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Can We Travel from Kathmandu to Lhasa by Train?

November,30 2016 BY Kunga 0 COMMENTS

The distinct topography makes Nepal the global paradise of hiking, mountaineering, and tropical safari. Wedged between lofty Himalayan mountain range and fertile Indian plains, Nepal is well-known for its abrupt ascent of terrain across the narrow strip of land. However, to a large extent it is this peculiar rocky terrain that renders the construction of railways practically impossible. Therefore, so far there is no railway available from Nepal to Lhasa.

However, Can we have overland Nepal Lhasa tour by train in the future? Theoretically, it is possible and no one can rule out its possibility given the continuous development of engineering technology. A fine example is the successful construction of Qinghai-Tibet Train and the ambitious project Sichuan-Tibet Railway which is being built now.

kathmandu lhasa flight map

kathmandu lhasa flight map

So far, Flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa is the only way in

The linear distance between Kathmandu (1370m) and Lhasa (3658m) is 609km and it takes 1:30 hour to fly from Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport to Lhasa Gonggar Airport.

Can we travel from Nepal to Lhasa by road?

damaged zhangmu border map

The map of the damaged zhangmu border

Gyirong port to nepal map

Gyirong port, the replacement of Zhangmu border

Due to the devastating earthquake in Kathmandu in April, 25th, 2015, Zhangmu border, one of the vital overland gateways from Tibet to Nepal, was fatally damaged. And its full recovery was estimated to last for at least two years. The good news was that Gyirong (Jilong) Port, another replacement of Zhuangmu border, would take the place of crippled Zhangmu border and become the only overland gateway from Tibet to Nepal and vice versa. According to insiders’ information, the Gyirong port will be likely to open to public in June 2016, but the confirmed announcement is still up in the air. 

Travel Documents You Need

For foreign tourists who want to travel from Nepal to Tibet, you have to confirm the itinerary and tour services with a local tour company in Kathmandu, and apply for the Tibet Travel Permit via a trusty local agency. Tibet Vista has Kathmandu-based office and can help you get the needed travel documents.

For detailed steps, please check How to Enter Tibet from Nepal?

Please feel free to check the recommended Nepal Lhasa Tours 


About the Author - Kunga

Kunga, a fantastic tour guide in our company, was born in 1965 in holly Lhasa city but raised in Nepal and India. Kunga was brought to Nepal by his Nepali Mother when he was some 8 years old, and he spent his childhood and teenage time in Nepal and then went to India to get a further education. After study abroad for some 20years, Kunga went back to Lhasa in 1992 as an oversea Tibetan and started to guiding tourists form the world in our company CITS. He was so frankly, so modestly, so knowledgeable and so welcoming. Kunga was mentioned in the U.S Newspaper as the only one tour guide in Tibet, which indicates undoubtedly his excellence. Come to travel with Kunga, you will definitely get more as you expected.

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