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Savoring dream life in Tibet with a coffee van

Updated: 2023-04-04 10:09 ( Xinhua )
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LHASA, April 3 (Xinhua) -- While many people might search online for answers to questions like whether new energy vehicles are suitable for plateau regions when preparing for a road trip to southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, Mu Yiping and his wife Tan Yan had a different focus. They were preoccupied with finding out where to buy coffee beans.

The pink spring treat of peach blossoms in Tibet in late March is a sight to behold, attracting crowds of tourists.

This young couple from southwest China's Chongqing Municipality had also traveled to the region to relish this enchanting beauty. However, what sets their trip apart is the addition of a green coffee van.

"I have long been looking forward to visiting Tibet," said Mu, 32. "And then I had this idea of running a mobile coffee van business that allowed me to fund my travels while enjoying the trip."

It took the couple around six months to modify the van. To ensure they reach Nyingchi City before the peach blossom season, the two embarked on their journey from Chongqing in late February.

But the journey to the plateau was no easy task. While driving through one of the mountain passes at about 4,400 meters above sea level, they were stranded for two days due to the heavy snow and could only eat and sleep in the coffee van.

"After hitting the road, we found that the trip might not be as wonderful as we had imagined. We often encountered unexpected problems with water and power supply and it was also difficult to replenish the ingredients on the road," Tan said.

The couple continued to make progress with their coffee business as they continued with their mountain adventure, setting up stalls on the roadside during traffic jams. They also began to serve new beverages infused with Tibetan characteristics.

In mid-March, while the peach trees were still in the bud-burst stage, the couple arrived in Bome County in Nyingchi and decided to stay for a while.

Despite the tiring drive, the stunning views made it all worthwhile. They spent nearly 20 days in Bome, eagerly waiting for the peach blossoms to bloom into beautiful pink flowers that covered the mountainside.

"The scenes are fantastic and made our day," Mu said, adding that what impressed them is not only the scenic beauty but also the incredible changes Tibet has undergone over the past few years.

"Compared to my last visit to Tibet, I have noticed significant improvements in the quality of public facilities such as roads and scenic spots, which now boast better quality services," Mu explained.

In recent years, Tibet's focus on infrastructure development and efforts to promote its tourism industry has made it an increasingly popular holiday destination for travelers.

Data revealed that from January to February, Nyingchi received over one million tourists from home and abroad, generating tourism revenue of 906 million yuan (about 131.7 million U.S. dollars).

"Whether it's camping or self-driving tours, everything is so convenient in Tibet," Mu said.

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