Tibet Nepal border to remain closed

UPDATED 20 March 2017: The Nepal-Tibet border is scheduled to reopen to foreign travelers sometime in June 2016. Read this post for more details.

UPDATED 20 March 2017

For travel agency recommendations in Tibet, send an email to: thelandofsnows@gmail.com   or go to this website: Himalaya Trip Planner

Tibet Nepal border remains CLOSED. It is impossible to say when this border will reopen. I expect it to remain closed until Summer 2017….maybe longer.

On 25 April 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal and parts of Tibet. The quake killed over 9000 and caused widespread destruction. The earthquake caused heavy damage along the border areas of Nepal and Tibet, particularly around the international border crossing at the towns of Kodari, Nepal and Zhangmu, Tibet. This border crossing has been closed since the day of the earthquake. In addition, flooding and rockslides in July 2016 have severely damaged large sections of road in Nepal near the Tibet border. When the situation changes, I will be sure to post it on my website immediately and to my Facebook page.

With the Nepal-Tibet (and vice-versa) overland border crossing closed the ONLY current option to go between the two countries is to fly. There are weekly flights between Kathmandu and Lhasa. It may be possible to cross from Simikot in far western Nepal to Tibet, however, I have not heard of any verified reports of anyone being able to use this crossing this year. Even when the Simikot border crossing is open, only a very small number of travelers use this remote border as it requires many days of trekking to reach Simikot and the expense of this journey is very high.

This closure ONLY affects the overland border crossing from Nepal to Tibet (and vice-versa). It does NOT affect travel in other areas of Tibet or Nepal. Places like Mt. Everest, Mt. Kailash, Lhasa, Shigatse, Gyantse, Nam Tso Lake and other areas of Tibet are ALL OPEN.

It is still possible to fly from Lhasa to Kathmandu. Until the international border crossing reopens, flying is the ONLY option for traveling between Tibet and Nepal.

If you have any questions about traveling to Tibet or would like to arrange a journey to Tibet, send an email to: thelandofsnows@gmail.com

80 thoughts on “Tibet Nepal border to remain closed

  1. Pingback: Nepal Earthquake Update | The Land of Snows

  2. rudi tettke

    I just wanted to say how I enjoyed your articles in particular the Tibet Nepal news.
    I have planned a 44 day China Tibet Nepal trip commencing in Beijing on the 8/10/2015. Your current updated information with regards to the Friendship Bridge closure has confirmed my status with the travel agent. I shall be looking at your website during my travels and shall recommend it to any traveller I come across when it arises.
    Great Work
    Kind Regards

  3. maria

    I have heard recently that Tibet Nepal border through rasuwa and geyrong side will open b opening soon this October month,is it true?

  4. Jo

    I am in Kathmandu now and I was told that the land border between Nepal and Tibet reopened 3 days ago. Is this info correct?

  5. arun

    I want to go to tibet on road way from nepal now any possibility is there because i will enjoy the road trip by car please tell me

  6. Pingback: How to go from Nepal to Tibet | The Land of Snows

  7. João PT

    I am thinking in doing the FriendShip Route Kathmandou-Lhasa, between final May and beginning of June 2016… what do you think.. how are the progresses going? should i risk the land travel or buy the plane ticket?

    Thank you very much

  8. Marieke

    Hi Lobsang,
    We want to cross the boarder from Nepal to Tibet at the end of April this year.
    What are the chances it will be open?


  9. Thomas Chile

    Hi Lobsang,

    could you be so kind and send me the more detailed info on the opening of the Zhangmu border, too.

    It sounds strange that some tour operators offer already tours to/from Kathmandu for 2016 when it is unclear whether the border will be open.

    Kind regards


    We a group of 7 heads want to go to Kailash Manas Sarobar this year. But we have hard that kodari, Nepal – Nyalam, Tibet Border are closed. is it correct or not please confirm.

  11. John Tucker

    We’re (party of 3) are interested in flying from Kathmandu to Lhasa right around the 1st of April. What would be the chances of this being possible. Thanks.

  12. robert

    Dear Lobsang,
    Great work you have done on this homepage. Thanks for all these current informations.

    We would like to enter Tibet beginning of July 2016 by road coming from Kathmandu with our camper van.

    Please keep us updated regarding the current border situation.

    Looking forward to your update.
    All the best.
    Melrob & co

  13. Mark

    Thank you for the info… I am hoping that the border opens soon as I would love to cross it in July 2016 or thereabouts!

  14. Pingback: Anyone plans to cross China (Kyrgystan-Nepal) July 2016? - Page 2 - Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB

  15. Sato

    Dear Lobsang,

    Thank you for answering all our questions.
    Don’t want to bother you too much, but has the chances of border opening gotten any higher? Would you say its still 30% for April?

    Crossing my fingers,

  16. Brigit and Rene Weiss

    Thanks Lobsang for all your informations that we are reading very frequently! Since October 2015 we are on the way back from Singapore to Europe with our campervan. Now we “got stuck” in Nepal, wish to cross the border to Tibet in May or June 2016.

    As no one else has accurate information about reopening the border (some talk about possible alternative border crossing from Nepal to Tibet), we are happy to receive Information from your home page. As cargo traffic between Nepal and Tibet seems already to be possible: Would it be e.g. possible to stamp the passport and carnet in Kathmandu and then in Lhasa and to cross the border e.g. in a convoy with cargo trucks? Could you get any Information about this possibility? As a Swiss Couple, we don’t get a visa for Pakistan, so there is no possibility for us to take the Karakorum Highway. – We would have to go back all the way to Laos…

    Thanks and greetings, Brigit and Rene

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Nope….it is not possible to do what you have proposed. You are not a cargo truck, you are not registered as a Chinese cargo truck and you have no cargo truck license…….plus 1000 other reasons why this is not possible.


  17. Magnus

    Do I get it right?
    Even if the road to Nepal is reopened when we are planning to leave Lhasa (after an organized group tour, middle of June), it would be difficult to carry through an overland journey to Katmandu as it must always be arranged by a travel company?

    Would we hypothetically be allowed to leave the organised group during the EBC visit and travel by foot into Nepal? The visa problems described seem to make the idea difficult to realize (the physical acclimatization problems not to mention).

    Very informative page, this! Tack så mycket!

  18. Debra

    I am planning a trip the end of July to travel from China to Tibet and than on to Nepal. Can you please recommend a couple travel agencies we can us for when we are in Tibet. I am traveling with an Indian male, Me an American woman and my 11 year old American/Thai daughter. Thanks

  19. Valentin Nicolae Juncu

    Hi Lobsang.
    What would you say are the chances of crossing from Tibet into Nepal late August this year? Can you please recommend me a travel agency that can take care of all the paperwork, licenses and special permits regarding the crossing of China from the Kyrgyzstan border to the nepalese one? (We are 2 guys on the motorcycles)
    Much appreciated!

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Still hoping the border between Tibet and Nepal will reopen by early to mid summer. My website will post updated information IMMEDIATELY once the border reopens. I emailed you further information regarding your proposed journey.


      1. Christian

        I work for a scandinavian tour company and we have a tour booked with 20+ people going from Beijing to Tibet and then Nepal in September. They now want to cancel the whole thing because they worry that the border won’t be open by then…

        1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

          As you probably know, the local television news here in Tibet announced last week that the international border between Tibet and Nepal will open in June. It remains impossible to say exactly when permits for this route will be issued, but right now it looks very likely that foreigners will be able to travel from Tibet to Nepal sometime in June. Regardless if you are a foreign-based travel agency that arranges tours to Tibet, you owe it to your clients to know all of the major travel regulations for Tibet. I recommend employing at least 1 or 2 Tibetans in Lhasa who can keep your company informed on the travel regulations here.


          1. Christian


            Yes, we know about the regulations, we’ve done this trip successfully many times through the years. We also have a local agency in Lhasa that handles everything for us and they are very keen and tell us the border will be opened during the summer. It’s the company in Sweden that is getting cold feet and want to cancel already now. I have told them about your website and that a tour in September should be no problem.

          2. Christian

            Hi Lobsang

            So, the Kodari border crossing will not be opened in the foreseeable future? Only the one at Kyirong? Coming from Base Camp, how much longer is the drive to Kyirong?


  20. Wolf

    Hi Lobsang

    Instead, got news that Gyirong will open in June 2016 for international tourists. Are you able to validate and confirm?

    Best greetings,


    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Local news in Tibet is reporting that the border to Nepal will reopen to travelers in June. HOWEVER, permits for this have still not been issued. It does look optimistic that the Tibet-Nepal border will open again soon. I will post more details once permits to cross to Nepal have actually been issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau.


  21. Monika und Martin

    Dear Lobsang,

    Thank you very much for your very informative and always updated webpage.
    We read about the TV reportage about the coming opening of the Kyirong border. As we intend to cross from Tibet into Nepal beginning of September we would like to know whether this coming opening also covers self-driving foreign tourists. Do you know anything about that.

    Thanks a lot!

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Self driving tourists require many, many permits and licenses. There are only a very small handful of travel agencies that can arrange these difficult-to-obtain permits. You will need to contact a travel agency specializing in this kind of tour to ask them your question.


    2. Raj Karadia

      Hi Monika, we are three friends from UK, driving overland from London to Mumbai. We also plan to cross Tibet to Nepal probably end of Sept 2016. We are also very anxcious on news regarding Kyerong border opening date. Would love to exchange our travelling routes and plans.

  22. phil turner

    hi I have just been advised by a tour company in Kathmandu that the Nepal Tibet border will open on 10th june 2016 , we are intending using this company to cycle the friendship highway including ebc , could you possibly confirm this information as we need to book our international flights from the uk many thanks phil

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Hello…greetings from Tibet. This is an UNCONFIRMED report. The Tibet Tourism Bureau, located in Lhasa (not in Kathmandu) has NOT given any confirmed dates on when the Tibet-Nepal border will reopen. While I do expect the border to reopen in June, the Chinese government has NOT said an exact date yet on the reopening. More information will hopefully be made known within the next week to 10 days. When more is known, I will immediately update this post. The information on my website comes directly from the Tibet Tourism Bureau, who is in control of the tourist regulations in Tibet.


  23. phil turner

    hi lobsang many thanks for your reply, hopefully the border will open soon, your posts are very helpful and informative, I wish you well phil uk

      1. Mika

        Eagerly waiting updates for border opening – will Lhasa – Kathmandu overland group tours resume immediately after newly issued Nepal crossing permits by Tibetan Turism Bureau? Any new date estimate for this to happen? I am planning to do this trip in early-mid September.


  24. Bernard

    Hello Lobsang,

    I heard the road to Kathmandu will remain close in July and, may be, in August.
    Please could you confirm (or not) ?

    Many thanks


  25. Gayatri

    Hello Lobsang,

    I have a Kailash & Man Sarovar yatra planned in the month of August. But my tour arranger informed us that Nepal-Tibet will not be opened thus overland trip is not possible,
    Could you please confirm on the news?


    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Please read the post you have commented on as it has ALL of the information that you need. As stated clearly in the post, the Tibet-Nepal border is CLOSED and has been closed since April 2015. It is impossible to say when it will reopen.


  26. Abbie

    Hello, planning a trip from uk next month! Would be wonderful to travel from Nepal to Tibet by land! Any updates on when this will be possible? Thank you

  27. Malcolm Mclaws

    I was just informed in Chengdu today that due to flooding the Tibet-Nepal border is closed for the future. My trip was to depart Lhasa Aug11 then cross to Nepal Aug 17. The only option now is to fly Kathnandu- Lhasa or vice versa. Please don’t let this stop you from visiting Tibet and its people. I’m still going by train to Lhasa then a 7 day tour back to Lhasa then flight to Nepal .

  28. Peter

    Hi Lobsang, what about just driving from Tingri towards Zhangmu to the highest mountain pass before descending to Zhangmu? Would that high mountain pass be near Nyalam? After that, we can do a U-turn back to Lhasa. Is that stretch of the G318 open & passable to traffic now? Thanks!

  29. Justin

    Hello Lobsang, thank you for all the information you provide, which is making it very exciting to plan my trip. I’m very grateful.

    I am still very much at the planning stages. I wonder whether you can tell me whether it’s possible to cross the border to Nepal near Purang – by crossing the Humla Karnali – and then trekking to Simikot, and also whether you can think of any agencies that might run tours to do this overland trip?

    I’d be very grateful for any information you could share. Thank you!

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Justin, it is possible to cross into Tibet from Simikot, Nepal. However, this is a VERY expensive way to enter Tibet. It is now the low season and travel in western Tibet will be difficult due to poor weather. It is impossible to say right now what the travel regulations will be in 2017 regarding the Simikot, Nepal—Purang, Tibet border crossing. You will need to check back with me in early April 2017 when the travel regulations for next year are announced.


      1. Justin

        Lobsang, thank you very much for your reply – and for highlighting the additional expense, which would clearly be an important factor in my decision.

        My hope was to travel the other way. To arrive in Lhasa by train, spend around three weeks travelling through Tibet, and then travel overland into Nepal. Do you know whether that is ever possible, or is this more difficult? Either way, if this isn’t a route that is used frequently, and if it is much more expensive, then it’s probably best I consider other options. I’ll continue my reading and research, and try to come up with another plan.

        Thank you so much again!


  30. Matteo

    hello Lobsand,

    thanks for all the information you provided.
    I will be in Lhasa in January 2017. I have read that the Jilong / Rasuwa border is now open.
    Is that true?



    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Nope….not true! As stated in the post you commented on, the overland border between Tibet and Nepal is CLOSED to all foreign travelers. Nepali and Chinese passport holders are able to use this border, but NO foreign travelers.


  31. Roger

    Hi Lobsang

    Thanks for your information.
    Is there any news for the border?
    Iam planning to Tibet and Nepal in March.2017


    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author


      Tibet is CLOSED each year from mid/late February until very early April. You will not be able to go to Tibet in March.

      The overland border crossing between Tibet and Nepal remains CLOSED. The China government has not said when this border will reopen. When it does reopen, I will update this post and write a new post on the top of my website.


  32. Ramses

    Will we be able to go from Lhasa to Nepal border, and grab a taxi there to Kathmandu?

    The friendship highway is open and allows this plan. Correct? Thank you

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Ramses, please re-read the post that you commented on. The Tibet-Nepal border crossing is still CLOSED and has been closed for nearly 2 years. If/when this border reopens, then yes, you can take a taxi from the NEPAL side of the border to Kathmandu. You will require a full organized tour in Tibet to the Nepal border, once this border reopens.


      1. Hitesh Mehta

        Hi Lobsang,

        This is Hitesh from India.
        I’ve made plan to visit mount Kailas in August 17. I was keen to Travell through friendship bridge from Nepal, with my friends group of nearly 60 people. But as it’s closed, we’ve to Travell from Lhasa, it cost us too high. Also my travel agent here quote on much higher side. Can you arrange or guide me the best way to do it.


        1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

          Hello….I have emailed you some information that will help you. Be advised that a journey to Kailash will not be cheap due to its remote location and the amount of time required to travel there.

          Enjoy your journey…..Lobsang

  33. Roni Johnson)

    Hello! My son is taking me on a dream come true adventure. We will arrive in Kathmandu May 24, 2017. Departing Kathmandu June 8th.

    Our interests are the following:
    1. Meditation classes or retreats in Kathmandu.
    2. Places to stay in Khatmandu
    3. How to get to Tibet / Mt. Everest, meditation in tibet, and where to stay.
    4. How to get to Rishikesh, where to stay and yoga retreats or classes.
    (the website you requested belongs to my son. Also, Atlas Physical Therapy and Wellness on FB).

    We have 16 days. Being the 16th day we leave Kathmandu 11:15pm, making our way back to Los Angeles.

    Thank you very much for any guidance you would be able to give us.

  34. Trish

    Hi there, do you know if the Friendship Highway is going to reopen any time soon? If not, are there other land border crossings that can be considered when coming from Nepal to Lhasa. I realise that I need a group visa for this. If I travel this way (or fly in from Kathmandu), is it then possible to continue on into China even on a group visa?
    Thank you for your help.

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Nearly all of Friendship Highway is OPEN. It has been open since a few weeks after the Nepal Earthquake. The only place that is closed is the Tibet-Nepal international border crossing along with the final 40 kilometers from just north of Nyalam to the border. It remains impossible to say when the Tibet-Nepal border crossing will reopen. All areas of Tibet along the Friendship Highway are OPEN.