Nepal-Tibet border reopens to tourists after 2015 earthquake
Source :NewsBharati   Date :17-Sep-2017

Kathmandu, September 17: The famous Himalayan road from Lhasa to Kathmandu has been partially reopened for the first time since the April 2015 earthquake. The road was extensively damaged in the earthquake that claimed close to 9000 lives. The road is now just one-sided and truck traffic is limited but its opening will be a long-awaited relief for the tourists and trekkers in the region.

In August, Chinese authorities announced that the border at Kerung-Rasuwa had opened for international visitors, meaning the classic route from Lhasa, Tibet, to Kathmandu, Nepal, is possible once again. The border had been open as a trade route for Chinese and Nepalis but not to tourists; the crossing previously used by visitors, at Kodari, on the route of the Friendship Highway, remains too badly damaged to use.

“Nepal has always been a gateway to Tibet for travellers,” says Shiva Dhakal, managing director of Kathmandu-based tour operator Royal Mountain Travel. “Most travellers dream of going to Tibet overland but, with no border open, the adventure was missing while travelling there.”

Lhasa to Kathmandu tour is the most popular travel route for tourists who want to visit both Tibet and its neighbor Nepal. Normally, tourists can choose either fly from Lhasa to Kathmandu or travel from Lhasa to Kathmandu by overland/road.

The linear distance from Lhasa (3,658m) to Kathmandu (1,400m) is 609km, while the overland distance is around 1,000km. Travelling from Lhasa to Kathmandu by direct bus normally takes around 12 hours and usually 7~8 days by taking a overland trip.

Fortunately, in response to the fatal destruction of Zhangmu border, the authorities has decided to make Gyirong Port the official overland gateway to the international tourists and travelers commuting between Nepal and Tibet, China.