Experiencing cordyceps digging in Lhasa

2017-06-15 15:11:59 | by: 闫洁 | From:China Tibet Online

"Look! I found cordyceps!” A tourist from Sichuan shouted excitedly as he found some cordyceps during his visit to Damxung County in Lhasa City of Tibet Autonomous Region.

Late May is the best season for digging cordyceps in Tibet, a product known as “soft gold” for its high price. In many villages abounding with cordyceps in Damxung, an ongoing source of income for herdsmen and farmers comes from the cordyceps found during this month. This year, the County is promoting tours which offer tourists the experience of digging cordyceps from May 27 to June 27.

Damxung means “a well-chosen good pasture” in Tibetan. The one-month long “cordyceps-digging” promotion would provide tourists from China and abroad with the opportunity of climbing mountains and looking for the cordyceps themselves. On the first day of the program, the tourists found 100 pieces of cordyceps.

Due to the difficult searching process and the need to preserve the soil after digging, Damxung County provides each tourist with a personal local farmer or herder as a guide during the activity, teaching them how to find cordyceps and replant the soil. One guide says, “You have to replant the soil after digging; saving the soil means good growth for cordyceps every year.”

Each tourist could bring up to five pieces of cordyceps for free with them, with the extra pieces to be sold by their local guides.

"After living in city for so long, I haven’t climbed mountains for a long time. When I was looking for cordyceps, crouching on the ground, I really felt a close connection with nature. It’s a much better experience than the usual superficial tour,” a tourist from Guangdong said, “No wonder cordyceps is so expensive, it’s so hard to find, luckily we have the villagers help us.”

Villager Lunzhu said that he could find about 30 pieces during the cordyceps-harvesting season. "Now local tourism is developed and the roads in our village are improved, so we can sell farm and livestock products right at home”. "All we villagers welcome tourists here. When we see how happy the tourists are, it makes us happy too,” he added.   

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