A vast and little-known area of western Nepal, Dolpo is a magical region of frozen desert, piercing blue skies and unnamed peaks. There are hidden monasteries stashed with treasures, yak caravans passing along the old salt trade routes to Tibet, high passes where the air is so thin it pierces the lungs, snow leopard tracks and stone walled villages seeming to blend into the mountain slopes.
There are, however, a few things to remember. Getting there, nearly always by small twin-prop plane, is difficult, expensive and unreliable. Most of the walks are demanding, long and high with no creature comforts and must be undertaken with an organised camping group. Lastly, permits are complicated and expensive to obtain. But if you have the stamina, patience and finances, Dolpo will leave you enchanted.