Shepherdesses herd flocks in a pasture in Damxung County, Tibet in 1975
Damxung is a bleak little settlement of low, barrack-like buildings. It is also the administrative centre of Damxung County, founded in the 1960s. It has an altitude of 4,400 metres (14,430 feet). Unlike towns in the southern farming areas, Damxung has no old Tibetan village at its heart. Its main street has the raw look of an American Wild West frontier town, with stocky nomad's horses hitched to the posts of open-front stores. A small ghost-town stands near an abandoned airstrip. The wind never ceases and the treeless plain stretches unbroken to the distant mountains. The nearest towns are Yangbajing, 85 kilometres (53 miles) to the south, and Nagqu, 160 kilometres (100 miles) to the north.