Gyirong to Kathmandu

As the Gyirong port is ready to open to all the international travelers now, the most favored cross-Himalaya overland adventure in Asia from Lhasa to Kathmandu via Everest Base Camp becomes reviving again after more than one year’s suspension due to the earthquake.

Because it’s a new port and new route still under the impact of post-earthquake reconstruction, so far, few local tour operators have scouted this area, and online guide and advice are rarely available at this time. As a professional regional guide links Tibet and Nepal, what we present you below are some practical travel advices concerning the journey from Gyirong to Kathmandu, and all the advices are based on our scouting trip. Hope you will find all those info helpful, and wish you a wonderful trip in Nepal.

1. The Chinese Customs at Gyirong border opens at 10:00 and closes at 17:30, the time is based on GTM + 8. Note that the Nepalese time is 2 hours and 15 minutes behind the Chinese time.

2. Now there is no hotel at the border, you have to stay in Gyirong Town the day before, the town is 24km away from the border, it takes about 40 minutes’ drive.

3. From Gyirong port to Kathmandu, there are only about 175 km, but it takes a 9 hours’ drive, because about half of road is narrow with only one lane and not well paved, and the road winds up and down amidst the mountains and valleys. Though it’s a tiring journey, yet the sceneries on the way are quite nice with great varieties, and part of journey even passes the famous Langtang National Park. Considering it’s a 9 to 10 hours’ drive mostly along narrow mountain road, so better to cross the border in the morning or latest before 1PM to avoid night drive.

4. There are buses and 4WD vehicles available after crossing the border, but NEVER take the bus, because as mentioned before, the road is narrow (not that safe for big bus), plus bus is easily overcrowded. The type of 4WD vehicles in Nepal are all TATA at a capacity of 7 passengers with all luggage on roof-rack. For this journey, it costs USD 25 / RMB 150 per person. The driver does not sell the tickets; you can buy the tickets near the Chinese Customs Building or at the Nepalese Immigration office.

5. The Nepal visa is available upon arrival at the Immigration Office of Nepal which is about 2 to 3 kilometers away from the Gyirong border. The 4WD vehicle at the border you use will drive you there. The Nepal visa fee will be USD 25 per person for multiple entries for 15 days, and it costs USD 40 per person for 30 days. You have to bring one passport size photo and fill the visa application form. It takes around 15 minutes depends on number of tourists there.