Tibetan Buddhism still survives intact in Upper Mustang - a once forbidden kingdom high in the Nepalese Himalayas. Here is Al Jazeera's Steve Chao's documentary on his travels to Mustang, the former Kingdom of Lo and now part of Nepal.
Mustang was once an independent kingdom, but tied by language and culture to Tibet. From the 15th century to the 17th century, its strategic location granted Mustang control over the trade between the Himalayas and India. It now relies on tourism, animal husbandry and trade.
I also noted the recent death of Michel Peissel, who was a French explorer and an ethnologist who devoted a good part of his life to recording the culture of Tibet. He managed to gain access to the Mustang region in the early 1960s; which led to his book “Mustang: A Lost Tibetan Kingdom.
Al Jazeera also features a wonderful gallery of photographs of Mustang.
Readers of The Travel Photographer's blog may recall that I wrote of a cashier at a corner store near my building, who told me she was born in Mustang! A Mustang born woman working in a corner store in New York's West Village. How incredible is that?!