Lately, following the rise in prices for cordyceps sinensis in the marketplace, many Tibetan families who harvest cordyceps sinensis in Tibet's Nagqu Prefecture have become some of the richest nomads in Tibet.
After they earn money, they hide it in sacks under their beds. They fear that if they entrust the money to a bank, it will be lost. After they earn money, they see what kinds of things other people own, and they buy it.
There is a town in Biru County, which is teeming with cordyceps sinensis, that is jokingly called “Badao Town”. This isn’t because the people of the town are overbearing (one meaning of ‘badao’), but because there are a lot of Toyota Badao cars there.
Some people saw that others owned Badao cars, and without caring whether or not they could drive, they took their money from the sacks and bought a car, then paid for someone to drive and park it in the cattle ring. As a result, nearly every family in the town owns a Badao car.
It is said that cordyceps sinensis has helped many rural families to become rich, but there are some people who live in cordyceps sinensis areas that have not benefited. Harvesting the fungus requires each family to individually go dig on the mountains, and how much you dig up depends a lot on luck. If you only dig up a small amount, you won’t make very much money.