Road to Tibet reopened following devastating 2015 earthquake


tibet-nepal-border-2017Dharamshala — More than two years after the devastating earthquake that shook Nepal, visitors will once again be able to cross the border between Nepal and Tibet by land after the recent opening of the road.

The April 2015 earthquake killed close to 9,000 people and left countless homeless, devastating the country, its infrastructure and its tourism prospects.

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.

With the land border closed, travelers had no choice but to fly on one of the Chinese airlines operating the roughly 90-minute route since the earthquake

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

Dhakal says the infrastructure on the Nepal side remains poor and Royal Mountain’s upcoming trips are still fly in/fly out, but he hopes to relaunch overland trips from April 2018.

“The road is there but it’s one-lane only,” he says. “So if there’s a truck on it there’s no way to get round it. There’s a lot of construction, which is difficult to pass on the Nepal side, and it is still the monsoon season. In November, we will go to Kerung and make our own assessment on whether it’s OK for tourists.”

Last Updated ( Friday, 29 September 2017 15:18 )