The Norden Blog

An intimate look into life on the Tibetan Plateau around the Norden Camp

Norden's Beginnings

Four years ago, Norden Camp opened for the first time on June 23rd. We started small, with four accommodation tents that Yidam had designed from yak hair material, four canvas tent in Tibetan picnic tent style, a log cabin lounge, the sauna and a large yak dining yak hair tents. Our first clients were a group of French travel journalists who cheerfully made due with what we had. The idea soon caught on, and Tibetan, Chinese and foreign visitors soon followed. Work had begun in early April, with the traditional clearing of the land from obstacles, a ritual where monks request the local spirit dwellers to move or co habit in peace. It was our aim to retain the character of the land by avoiding structures that required foundations; all our buildings are light and lifted above the ground. There would be no plumbing or running water except in the shower blocks and the toilets were built in the dry Finnish style. The land was leased from a local nomad and it was agreed that his animals were welcome to wander about until they left for higher pastures in June, returning in October. Sheep found the place so accommodating that they tried to settle in the space under the tents, shaking the floor and unsettling the guests.