Tibet Nepal Overland Border Closed

Updated January 2017: The Tibet-Nepal overland border has been closed since April 2015 due to an earthquake in Nepal. Read this post for details on when the border will reopen.

If you have questions regarding travel in Tibet or Nepal or need a reputable Tibet travel agency recommendation, send an email to: thelandofsnows@gmail.com or go to this site: Himalaya Trip Planner

Tibet Nepal Border Closed

UPDATED 23 January 2017

In April 2015, a devastating earthquake struck Nepal killing many thousands of people. The damage was especially bad along the Tibet-Nepal border area, including the towns of Kodari, Nepal and Zhangmu, Tibet where the overland border crossing between the two countries lies. Since the April 2015 Nepal Earthquake, the Tibet Nepal border has been closed to foreign travelers. This closure has been handed down by the highest level of government for the Tibet Autonomous Region. It is impossible to say when the Tibet-Nepal overland border crossing will reopen.

Heavy Rains Cause New Damage in Border Region

In July 2016, heavy monsoon rains along the Tibet-Nepal border have caused serious damage to roads along the new border crossing from Kyirong, Tibet to Rasuwaghadi, Nepal. Though this border crossing has NOT been opened to foreign travelers yet, this route has been open to traders from Nepal and China for much of the past year. Video from 9 July shows a massive rockslide just past the China customs building on the Nepal side of the border severely damaging the road. Though there has been no official report from China (which is typical), I expect this recent rockslide to further delay the opening of the overland border crossing between Tibet and Nepal. At this time, it is impossible to say when this border will reopen. I expect the border will remain closed until at least summer 2017….maybe longer.

Mt. Kailash in Western Tibet is open to foreign travelers

Mt Everest Base Camp

The Tibet-side Everest Base camp is open to travelers

What Areas Are Closed?

The Tibet-Nepal border crossing closure DOES NOT affect travel in other areas of Tibet. All areas of the Friendship Highway linking Lhasa with the Tibet-side Everest Base Camp are open. In addition, the overland route to Mt Kailash and Lake Manasarovar are also open. The only area that is closed is the overland border crossing and the final 90 kilometers or so north of the border on the Tibet side from the Thong La Pass southward (this area is only visited by those going overland into Nepal). All other areas of Tibet and Nepal are open and are in normal operation. On the Tibet side, you will not see any earthquake damage. In Nepal, many areas have now been repaired or are in the final stages of repair.

Note: The Friendship Highway is NOT closed. Only the Tibet-Nepal border crossing is closed along with a short section of highway located to the immediate north of the border. The overland Tibet-Nepal border remains closed at this time. It remains impossible to say when the Tibet-Nepal overland border will open. I expect it to remain closed until at least summer 2017 and perhaps longer.

Tibet Nepal border closed

Hindu Sadhu’s at Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu

Patan Burbar in Nepal

New Overland Border Location

Due to extensive damage along the old overland border crossing in Zhangmu, Tibet, the China government has moved the border crossing to a new permanent location about 75 kilometers west in Kyirong County. This isn’t actually a “new” border crossing as it has existed for local Nepali-Tibetan-Chinese traders for many years. However, the border crossing in Kyirong will now become the main international border crossing between Tibet and Nepal, replacing the old crossing between Zhangmu and Kodari. The first town on the Nepal side is Rasuwaghadi. Even before the April 2015 Nepal Earthquake, the China government was in the process of making the Kyirong-Rasuwaghadi a major border crossing between Tibet and Nepal. As stated above, monsoon rains in July 2016 have severely damaged the road along this new border crossing, which will delay the reopening of the border crossing until at least summer 2017.

Tibet Nepal border closed

A Tibetan from near the Tibet-Nepal border

When will the Tibet-Nepal Border Reopen?

Good question! It has now been 21 months since the April 2015 Nepal Earthquake. All roads on the Tibet side of the border are reported to be built and in good condition. From pictures, it looks like the new China Customs Building at Kyirong has been completed and looks ready to operate. In late April 2016, the local media in Lhasa reported that the Kyirong-Rasuwaghadi border crossing would “open in June”.  However it is now late January 2017 and the border crossing remains closed. The recent monsoon-related rockslide will certainly delay the reopening. The Tibet Tourism Bureau is Lhasa is silent on the subject. ***For now, it remains impossible to say when exactly the border will reopen.***

I am well aware of some travel agencies in Nepal and Europe (specifically Czech Republic) who claim the “border is open”. However, this is completely false. I get ALL of my travel information on Tibet directly from my own first-hand experience or directly from the top information sources, including the Tibet Tourism Bureau in Lhasa. I never post rumors and never post anything unless it is verified to be true. Once the border is scheduled to officially reopen, I will immediately update this post as well as my Facebook Page.

More Information

If you need more information on traveling in Tibet, info on the Tibet Nepal Border or need a recommendation for a reputable, Tibetan-owned travel agency, send an email to: thelandofsnows@gmail.com

Reuters photo from the Tibet-Nepal earthquake

25 thoughts on “Tibet Nepal Overland Border Closed

  1. Sergi Ruiz

    Pls can you advise if the border Nepal Tibet through Kodari Road G318 is open and if not whn is it scheduled to reopen..i am travelling next year.. Thanks and regarfs

  2. D. de Boer

    Also we are traveling to the border at april 2017. I hope to get a mail from you when it is open.
    The site is very good to read Thank you for the information .
    Hope for goodnews soon.
    Dirk.

  3. Peter

    Thank you for all this information! If I understand correctly, the only way to get to Nepal from Tibet is to fly from Lhasa to Kathmandu?
    We are planning to travel from Chengdu –> Tibet –> Nepal in March 2017, so I’ll keep an eye on your website!

  4. Marcella Manzini

    Great Site! We are a group of 8 people among French and Italian. Planning to do the Kailash tour (starting from Nepal) on August 2017. Please post me with news anytime. Thank you. Tashi delek

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Hello….It is impossible to say when this border crossing will reopen. It MIGHT be reopened by August 2017, but maybe not. Be advised that you can still easily get to Mt Kailash by starting in Lhasa and going west from there. You can reach Lhasa by flight from Kathmandu, Nepal or from many cities in Mainland China. You certainly do not need to wait for the Nepal overland border crossing to Tibet to reopen in order to do this journey.

      Lobsang

  5. Annie Naidoo

    Hi there my friend and I would like to visit Lhasa at the 3rd week in March 2017,would like to spend a week . Will fly from Kathmandu.tell us more about accommodation , places of interest. And would like to fly back to Kathmandu. What’s are requirements as well. Or could we see base of Mount Everest from the boder of Nepal and where?

  6. Fahmi

    Hi, I am planning to go to the border area in 3rd or 4th weekend of this month. Can I go to till border by private car/taxi? Another thing is that can I visit Nepal-Tibet border market that time? Thanks a lot 🙂

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Hello….As stated in this post, the Tibet-Nepal borer crossing is CLOSED and will remain closed well into 2017. If you are going from Kathmandu, you can travel to Kodari, but you will NOT be permitted to enter Tibet. There is zero chance of you being able to enter Tibet from Kodari.

      Lobsang

  7. John Doble

    Most helpful. Many thanks. I’m planning a trip to Mt Kailash in September. I will continue to look at your site, to see when the border reopens, for our return journey. We plan to enter Tibet on foot from Simikot: I assume this is still OK?

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      John….It remains impossible to say when the Tibet-Nepal border will reopen. Maybe it will reopen in 6 months….maybe in 6 years….no one knows and the government is not saying anything. Though costly, it normally is ok to enter Tibet from the Simikot area. This requires a trek from Simikot to Hilsa, walking across the bridge into Tibet and then meetingyour required driver, guide and private vehicle there. I have emailed you further info to help you plan this journey.

      Happy New Year!
      Lobsang

  8. Rishad

    woah buddy!!! Ive been reading stuff online for a month and none of my question were ever answered.

    Then I stumbled upon this gem!!! is there anywhere I can contact you personally?

    Thanks for all the info and help

  9. Oscar Cacho

    I just send you and e-mail, but so glad to read about the Earthquake damages being on their final steps to be overcomed.

    We will now wait a bit to make this amazing journey. Thanks again so much for your work!

  10. Diane

    Is it possible to visit Kodari and the Friendship Bridge from the Nepal side in October/November timeframe? I understand that crossing the border is not possible but would like to take a photo of the Friendship Bridge if possible.

      1. Diane

        Thank you so much for your very prompt response. You have made the world a much smaller and friendlier place with this website. I am so grateful to have found such a wonderful source of information and you are such a shining representative of your country and area. My heart and prayers are sent to you and your fellow people – I look so forward to experience the countries and cultures of Nepal and Tibet. Is there something I can bring from the United States as a gift to your people such as school supplies to the children or a donation to a charity of your recommendation? Thank you again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *