The First Tourist Made His Way to Kathmandu via Gyirong Port after Earthquake
The newly-issued Chinese Visa to Nepal from Gyirong Port
On Oct, 29, 2015, the first Chinese tourist who made his way to Kathmandu via Gyirong Port was spotted in a Chinese restaurant in Nepal. Soon, the news of long-expected reopening of Gyirong Port became widespread in the cyber world. As tourists and Sino-Nepal tourism professionals all longed for an early resumption of booming business, Tibet Vista would like to offer some professional advice for tourists who expect to have Lhasa to Kathmandu overland tour via Gyirong Port.
Current Situation in Gyirong Port
Vehicles moving through Gyirong Port
No official news clearly indicated that Gyirong Port was reopening to tourists and the transportation was only back in trial operation. On Nov, 2, 2015, the unofficial jeep carpooling was seen heading from Gyirong to Kathmandu. One thing for sure was that as the earthquake recovery works had yet finished, the overland gateway from Gyirong Port to Kathmandu was not officially open. Since Lhasa had temporarily suspended the issue of Frontier Pass and it would be extremely difficult for tourists to go to Gyirong and there were only a handful of buses bound to Gyirong from Shigatse.
In addition, the road condition from Gyirong to Kathmandu was awful and there was no routine commute bus. On top of that, the weather in winter would be likely to cripple the normal transportation even if the physical road condition looked good. As the fuel shortage remained high in Nepal, the overland transportation from Gyirong to Kathmandu and vice versa would be a serious issue. Besides, the cost for jeep rental in Nepal would soar and the fuel supply also became a thorny problem.
For the Tourism Industry
The ecological system of Nepalese tourism was based on a chain of full-fledged services such as accommodation, material supply and transportation, etc. It was these indispensable factors that shaped the booming tourism. The success of Zhangmu port was a good case in point.
Apparently, Gyirong Port was yet to reach such ideal stage. And understandably it would take a while to have all the necessary stuff in place to see the rebirth of burgeoning tourism in Nepal. To simply put, given the few tourists and off-season in winter, businessmen felt reluctant to venture into the Gyirong to do business during this particular period.
Exact Identity of Such Traveler Was Unknown
Though the previously mentioned Chinese Visa showed tourists could travel to Kathmandu through Gyirong Port, the exact identity of the visa carrier was not clear. We didn’t know for sure if this man was a staff from Gyirong Port or had used his networking to pass Gyirong Port successfully.
Zhangmu Port Won’t Reopen in the Near Future
Given the current situation in Gyirong Port and Zhangmu Port, the best option for foreign tourists to travel from Lhasa to Kathmandu would be through flight. Hopefully, Gyirong Port will be open for tourists soon. Please never trust rumors and venture into Gyirong Port yourself.