Summer is here and to help those of you who have no holiday plans Nicely Made in China (NMiC) talked to a young French woman, Marion Chaygneaud-Dupuy. Marion has been a trekking guide in the Himalayas since her 20′s exploring places such as Ladakh, Tibet and Nepal. After studying tightrope walking and juggling in Bordeaux she went on to study Tibetan buddhist philosophy in Darjeeling. Marion – who speaks Tibetan – has been living in Lhasa for the past 9 years and has created a truly original travel agency called Global Nomad. But Global Nomad is more than just a travel agency, as you will discover and Marion goes the extra mile to make sure her visitors leave Tibet with an unforgettable experience.
What type of trips does Global Nomad offer?
With partners Carol Pouget and Catherine Serret who are based in Chengdu, we are able to organize trips in the 3 Tibetan regions: Amdo, Kham and Central Tibet. We offer tailor-made trips for between 2 to 12 people, as well as scheduled trips for up to 20 people. For a tailor-made trip we make many and varied suggestions to our clients, from considering which region they would like to explore, to particular themed trips (for instance, practice of Tibetan calligraphy, spend evenings with story-tellers or discover Tibetan astrology) or a more sport-based trip (trekking, meeting caravans of nomads), or a bit of all of the above! For information on our scheduled trips, full details are given on our website.
What sets Global Nomad apart from other travel agencies?
We’ve set our own standards to guarantee a truly Tibetan experience. We ensure that the people we work with (guides, drivers, cooks) are all Tibetan and we have 6 Tibetan partners, each of whom specialize in a different region of Tibet. They have both English and French-speaking guides, all trained by Global Nomad in “cultural mediation” which ensures they know and understand how to share their own culture with foreigners. On reflection, I think this is a useful way to preserve the Tibetan culture. For the guides, it also gives them social standing, better salaries and professional qualifications.
What type of accommodation does Global Nomad offer on these trips?
In Lhasa and Chengdu, we offer 3 star hotels, all located in the Tibetan quarters and run by Tibetans. The hotels are clean, simple and comfortable. In Lhasa, we also offer the possibility to stay in a “hotel de charme” – a type of local boutique hotel.Outside the cities, we offer state-of-the-art camping and catering which includes hot meals adapted to Western tastes, vegetarian and other dietary needs. There is hot water in the morning and clean sanitary facilities in designated tents.
When is the best time of the year to visit Tibet?
Without doubt, between April and October is the right time of the year. It gets really busy during July and August in Central Tibet so we advise our clients, where possible, to avoid these months for that particular region. In Kham and Amdo however, July and August are the best months.
How much does it cost to travel with Global Nomad?
The scheduled trips cost from 7,000 Rmb ( 762 € – 1078 US$ – 661 £ – 1019 AU$ exchange rates on May 26th 2011) for a 7-day trip, to more than 30,000 Rmb ( ( 3268 € – 4623 US$ – 2834 £ – 4370 AU$ exchange rates on May 26th 2011) for a 3-week trip.
For our tailor-made trips it’s best to contact us: