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"Because it's there," mountaineer George Mallory quipped in 1922 when asked why he wanted to climb the tallest mountain on the planet. The fabled peak is located in the world's highest national park, Qomolangma Nature Reserve, which is a visual delight that alone is worth the trek from Lhasa. After the monsoon rains in June the hillsides are covered with a variety of blooming flowers and butterflies.
Even from April to June the light snow blanketing the rugged ground and along babbling brooks is striking.
With small villages of stone houses beside fields of highland barley, Gyantse feels far removed from Lhasa, although the drive is only about...