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In Tibet, A Sustainable Camp by Local Nomads

By Guan Tan

 
 Norden Camp

Flags mark the entrance to Norden Camp, located in the Tibetan Plateau. The camp was founded by Yidam Kyap, a local nomad and his wife, Dechen Yeshi.

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 Norden Camp

A patio overlooking the Norden Camp grounds and the tents, also lodging for tourists.  

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 Norden Camp

A yurt or tent for travellers. "In the tent there was a furnace and coal furnace. When we got in, it was so smelly–the smell of coal. But after a while, the smell was quite comforting. It's the smell of warmth," quips Singaporean Ginette Chittick, who recently stayed at the Norden Camp.

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 Norden Camp

 Dried raspberry yogurt and nuts offered at the Norden Camp by the resident Chef Andrew.

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 Norden Camp

 A stream within the camp grounds.

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 Norden Camp

A baby yak staring into the camera. In the region, herds of yaks roam freely from hill to hill before coming home when night falls. 

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Norden Camp 

In the Norden Camp, locals teach travellers to milk yaks. The milk are especially precious–a portion are kept aside for the baby yaks while the rest are mixed with barley flour and made into confectionery.  

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 Norden Camp

Rolling hills in the vicinity of the Norden Camp grounds.  

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Monastery

When in the Norden Camp, take a twenty-minute road trip out to the neighbouring Labrang Monastery.

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 Monastery

When it's time for their prayers, monks stream through the monastery doors. Locals and travellers are not allowed to take pictures when the prayers are going on.

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 Monastery

Both locals and travellers alike are not allowed to enter the monastery. Instead, they gather by the door to join in the prayers. Some will attempt to throw money through the doors at the monks–a gesture symbolic for blessing. Younger monks will go around picking up money, and bring them to the monastery as donations.

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 Monastery

Coloured flags leaning by the walls of the monastery.  

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 Labrang

A bread shop nearby the Labrang Monastery. Most of these confectionery are unsweetened.

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Norlha Textiles

An offshoot of the Norden Camp business is Norlha Textiles. The company blends yak and sheep wool, processes them, spins them into yarn, or ships these woollen fabrics to designer and luxury brands such as Yohji Yamamoto. Here, a picture within the textiles factory.

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Norlha Textiles

A local villager employed by the textiles company pictured outside the factory. Norlha Textiles builds factories within these villages, so the residents won't have to relocate for work.

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Norlha Textiles

Ginette Chittick tries her hand at weaving yak wool yarns. These are usually done in wider scales, and are eventually sold as carpets.

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Norlha Textiles

Ginette Chittick weaving away.

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Photographs by Ginette Chittick
T magazine

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