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 Gyirong Port: Opened to Tourists for Tibet Nepal Overland Trip

Gyirong Port: Opened to Tourists for Tibet Nepal Overland Trip

On 30, August, 2017, the Tibet Autonomous Region Press Office convened a press conference in Lhasa, and announced officially that Gyirong Port (Rasuwa Port on the Nepal Side) is open for foreign travelers, which means travelers can enter Tibet from Nepal by land, or leave Tibet for Nepal by land. It was also declared that Gyirong Port was now an international port which would facilitate further trade between China and Nepal.

After the closure of the Friendship Bridge at Zhangmu, following the earthquake of 2015, the border between Nepal and Tibet was closed to foreign visitors for more than two years, forcing tourists to travel from China or to fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa.

With the opening of Gyirong Port as the new, official entry point for foreign tourists to Tibet, it has paved the way for more tourists traveling to the region after trekking in Nepal, and for the resumption of the famous overland tours from Lhasa to Kathmandu.

Where is Gyirong Port?

Located in Gyirong County, to the west of Mt. Everest and a little further along the border from the old crossing point of Zhangmu, it is closer to reach Kathmandu from the border line. Gyirong Port has been a major business hub on the border of China and Nepal for many years, and has been a crossing point for local businessmen obtaining goods from China to sell in Nepal. Gyirong means “village of comfort and happiness”.

Gyirong Port

Traveling Overland Between Tibet and Nepal Via Gyirong

How to Get to Kathmandu from Gyirong Port

Gyirong Port opens at 10am (Beijing time, GMT+8), which is 8:45am Kathmandu time. After crossing the Chinese border at Resuo Bridge of Gyirong Port, you arrive at Nepal side. The Nepalese border guards will first check your luggage at their simple tent office. Not far from the tent office is the parking lot for the vehicles doing the Gyirong to Kathmandu transfers. Most of vehicles are 4WD with a capacity of seven passengers, and it normally it costs RMB 160 (US$ 25) per person for this ride. Sometimes, the bus to Kathmandu might be available from here, but it is not advisable to use it, as the road condition is not so good, the bus is not as comfortable as a 4WD, and also not that safe due to the narrowness of the road on the Nepal side.

About 2km from the Nepalese border is the Immigration Building of Nepal, which is a shabby 3-storey yellow building. The driver will stop here for around half an hour and you can go to the 3rd floor to apply for your Nepalese Visa on Arrival, if you do not already have one. The Nepal visa costs US$ 25 per person for multiple entries of 15 days, and US$ 40 per person for 30 days. You need to bring one passport size photo and fill out the visa application form. It takes 15-30 minutes depending on how many tourists there are in your group, and how busy the office is at the time.

It is important to note that the cars from Gyirong Port to Kathmandu pass through Langtang National Park, and the Nepal Tourism Administration Bureau may charge passengers the entry and exit fee (about US$ 35). It is valid for several days with a formal invoice. The belongings that tourists carry must be in compliance with the regulations of China and Nepal. Passengers cannot carry excess items listed in the declared restrictions of China and Nepal. Visitors should keep the corresponding invoice for souvenirs, the certification for non-cultural relics, the Permit of the Ministry of Forestry, and other important documents in case the military police inspects the articles on the way. When booking a Lhasa Kathmandu overland trip with Tibet Vista, we will help you take care of all details. 

Trip route from Gyirong Port to Kathmandu

How to Get to Gyirong Port From Kathmandu

The road from Gyirong to Kathmandu in Nepal is mostly unpaved, with short stretches of asphalt and miles of narrow twisting mountain road. Some segments are cramped, with enough room only for one car. Most tourist are likely to encounter situations along the route, including traffic jams caused by landslides (when frequent rainfall happens during May to October), overcrowded vehicles in the high season, or road closures due to bad weather, such as heavy rain and snow in winter months (December to February). it is advisable to check the conditions of the road before traveling, as there may be a need to turn back and return to Kathmandu.

The crossing point on the Chinese border is at Resuo Bridge, around 24 kilometers from Gyirong Town. Once through the border checkpoint on the Tibetan side, it is a short drive to Gyirong, where you can easily find accommodation for the night. We will have our Tibetan guides meet you at Resuo Bridge, and escort you for the entirety of your stay in Tibet.

Most Recommended Tibet Nepal Overland Tour Packages

The following tours are for travelers who want to experience the best of Tibet and Nepal overland trip. Whether you prefer to join in a small group tour or take a customized private trip, you get more than just a tour package with Tibet Vista. You get a personalized experience from start to finish.

Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour

Touring Nepal from Tibet or vice versa has long been an orthodox travel route for global tourists. Located to the north of Himalayas, Tibet shares incredible bond with Nepal in religion and history and culture and customs, etc. Tourists embark your ultimate journey from Lhasa and travelall the way to Shigatse and finally reach Kathmandu via Sino-Nepal border or international flight. Tourists can cover literally all the highlight of Tibet tour and have the full picture of grand Himalayas.

Lhasa to Kathmandu Tour

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Kathmandu to Lhasa Overland Tour

For international tourists, Nepal is the best gateway country to enter Tibet. After touring the enchanting Kathmandu Valley, mysterious Hindu temples and trekking regions, you will travel to Tibet , another spiritual kingdom dominated by Tibetan Buddhism via overland Gyirong border or by Kathmandu-Lhasa flight. Tourists can explore the religious and culture heritage developed from Nepal and experience the sacred pilgrimage and jaw-dropping alpine lakes and lofty mountains and unique Tibetan monasteries on the roof of the world.

Kathmandu to Lhasa Tour

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Not find a Tibet trip exactly matching your travel time? Just tell us your travel plan, and we will set up a travel date for you. We guarantee you a tour as long as you confirm a trip with us 2 month in advance.

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Visa Requirements for Crossing Gyirong Border

Group Tourist Visa

The Group Tourist Visa is a special type of single entry Chinese visa, usually for a maximum of 30 days, and is issued by the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu for tourists who plan to travel to Tibet from Nepal. As a special regional visa regulation, the Group Tourist Visa only covers the itinerary booked in Tibet or an expanded tour in mainland China, and is difficult to extend for extra days.

Different from the Chinese Visa printed in the travelers’ passport, the Group Tourist Visa is issued on a piece of A4 paper listing the name, sex, date of birth, occupation, nationality, passport number, entry and exit date of all visitors to China from Nepal. Please note that the visa requires every foreign visitor to have joined a Tibet tour organized by a local travel agency, but the Group Tourist Visa can be applied for by a single person or a group of travelers with an arranged tour guide, driver, and vehicle as well as accommodation in Tibet.

Each traveler will get two copies of the original Group Tourist Visa issued by the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu. One will be checked and collected by the immigration office when entering Tibet and the other will be used for exit formalities when leaving China. All group members are required to enter and exit at the same time and same place.

Tibet Travel Permit

The Tibet Travel Permit, also known as the Tibet Entry Permit, is the official document which permits a foreign traveler to enter and travel in Tibet. It is the secondary travel document to travel in Tibet besides the Chinese Visa. Along with several other Tibet permits, the Tibet Travel Permit is the foremost and document required for foreign passport holders to enter Tibet. Issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau, it is also called Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit or TTB Permit. With the permit, you can visit Lhasa, and with the other permits you can travel to Shigatse, Namtso Lake, Everest, Mt Kailash, etc. The Tibet Travel Permit is also needed to take a train or flight to and from Tibet.

Currently, the Tibet Tourism Bureau issues the Tibet Travel Permit normally without restrictions for nationality, group size, and days. Still, tourists have to book a tour service from a Tibetan travel agency, and let the agency apply for the Tibet Travel Permit. To obtain the permit successfully, the scanned copies of your passport and Chinese Visa must be sent at least 15 days before your trip. Once complete, it is normally sent to your hotel in Kathmandu, along with the Group Tourist Visa, and other documents.

Alien’s Travel Permit

For traveling to places outside Lhasa, an Alien’s Travel Permit is required, which is also arrange by the tour operator. Unlike when traveling from China to Lhasa, this cannot be obtained once you are in Lhasa, as you will be traveling through restricted regions on the way to the Tibetan capital. It includes permission to travel in areas such as Gyantse, Shigatse, and Everest, among others.

Military Permit

The Military Permit is required for those traveling to military sensitive areas in Tibet, which is mainly the area around holy Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar in Ngari, and Pomi, Rawu, etc. in Nyingchi. The tour operator along with the other required permits will also obtain this.

Tibet Border Pass

Remote destinations, such as Mount Everest, Zhangmu, Yadong, Mount Kailash, Manasarovar Lake, etc., are located in the border area between Tibet and other countries. To travel to these destinations, one has to obtain a Tibet Border Pass (or Frontier Pass) which is issued by the Tibet Armed Police Border Corps in Lhasa. It cannot be applied for by travelers individually. One has to contact a Tibet travel agency to apply the Border Permit from the Tibet Armed Police Border Corps in Lhasa.

If you take flight from Katmandu to Lhasa, the Border Pass is also required. Your travel agency will apply for the pass and then send a scanned copy to you. Similarly, if you leave Tibet from Lhasa to Katmandu by air, the Border Pass is needed as well. The Tibet Border Pass is also required for mainland Chinese citizens, Hong Kong citizens and Macau citizens when traveling to Mount Everest, Mount Kailash and other border areas.

Nepal Visa

Nepal makes things easy for foreign travelers. Visas are available on arrival at the international airport in Kathmandu and at all land border crossings that are open to foreigners, as long as you have passport photos to hand and can pay the visa fee in foreign currency (some crossings insist on payment in US dollars). Your passport must be valid for at least six months and you will need a whole free page for your visa.

A Nepali visa is valid for entry for three to six months from the date of issue. Children under 10 require a visa but are not charged a visa fee. Your passport must have at least six months of validity. Citizens of South Asian countries (except India) and China need visas, but, if you are only entering once in a calendar year then these are free.

As a seasoned Tibetan travel agency with branch office in Kathmandu, we are able to get all permits and visa above provided you book a tour with us. 

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