The Horses in Modern China – 2

In the Changdu district of Tibet, more and more motorcycle dealers are springing up. Motorbikes are found parked in pastoral farms and by small dwellings all over the area. Before proper roads had been built, pastoralists relied on horses to get about. But horses can cover only 50 to 60 kilometres a day and it would take their owners a whole day to commute between other adjacent cities or counties. Now that roads and highways have been built, a motorbike with a full tank of petrol allows them to travel more than 300 kilometres a day. Yaks continue to graze the pasture land, but pastoralists on horseback are rarely seen nowadays. In 2011, the Tibetan government initiated a modernization plan whereby pastoralists can receive a 10 per cent subsidy for purchasing consumer electronics and motorbikes. Their modernized lifestyle is no more different from that of city dwellers, with households owning televisions, washing machines, smartphones and most importantly, motorbikes.

In Inner Mongolia, other than making their way to the annual Naadam Festival on horseback, Mongolians now primarily commute by motorbike in daily life.


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