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Gyirong Port - The Only Opened Overland Pass between Nepal & Tibet

On August 30, 2017, Tibet of China and Nepal authorities convened a press conference jointly to announce the China Gyirong - Resuowa Port reopens officially and defined it as an international road port connecting Tibet and Nepal, which means that all foreigners can pass through this border to travel from Nepal to Tibet China and reverse way again.

Previous news reported that the Zhangmu Port, the previous biggest and busiest overland trading port in Tibet and Gyirong Port were both closed for a long time, affected by the devastating 8.1-magnitude earthquake happened in Nepal on April 25, 2015. Since then, tourists have to choose the only flight to travel to Tibet from Kathmandu, missing much fun of exploration and beautiful scenery along the land.

Although the Zhangmu Port remains closed currently, the reopen and enlargement of Gyirong Port, one of the main gateways in Tibetan history bring us a good piece of news: overland tour between Tibet and Nepal, Lhasa and Kathmandu is available now. Maybe Gyirong is less known to the public. Here TibetDiscovery present you a detailed Gyirong Port for the international overland travel from Nepal to Tibet.

Gyirong Port Location - Where is the Gyirong Port

Gyirong Port Elevation: about 1,850m/6,069ft.

Gyirong Town Elevation: about 2,800m/9,186ft.

Gyirong Port, or Kyirong Port, Gyrong Port (Gyirong means comfortable and happy village in Tibetan language) is located at Resuo Village, Gyirong Town, Gyirong County of Shigatse Prefecture and Gyirong Valley in lower reaches of Gyirong Tsangpo River of south Himalayas. Now it is the only opened international channel for international tourists to Tibet China from Nepal, which once simply used for Nepalese and Chinese (Tibetans are included), no international visitors were allowed. The Gyirong Port of Resuo Village in border of China and Nepal is about 25km from Gyirong Town, 73 kilometers away from the south of Gyirong County in the Shigatse Prefecture, about 160km from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal and 820km from lhasa, and about 360km from Mount Everest (Tibet Side).

China and Nepal Sides in Gyirong

Chinese Immigration Office and Nepal Customs are established on each side of the Resuowa Bridge. Any cross-border travel between Tibet and Nepal must go through customs entry and exit and check points from one to another. Before tourist arrive in Gyirong Port, you have to do a passport registration for entry or exit from the border offices.

National Boundary Marker - Resuowa Bridge

Resuowa Bridge crossing the confluence of Gyirong Tsangpo and Donglin Tsangpo River is one of the China – Nepal Borders. It is a solid and broad highway bridge constructed later than the first cable wire wooden drawbridge and the second steel suspension bridge, which now are mostly abandoned. Stands for three different stages of development, those three bridges witnessed the friendly exchange between China and Nepal.

Gyirong Port
Resuowa Bridge in Gyirong Port

Gyirong Port Transportation - Get to Gyirong Port from Lhasa & Kathmandu

Kathmandu to Gyirong Port - Gyirong Port is in north Kathmandu at a total distance of about 160km, usually takes nearly 7~8 hours driving. Nepal is a famous international destination where foreigners can easily find a car or bus to take you to Gyirong Port, or we can help you arrange one.

Yet you should know the road condition between Gyirong and Kathmandu.There is no international routine commute bus driving between Nepal and Tibet. The first section is the narrow and twisting mountain road with steep gradients and large camber, one side is the steep hill and another is the deep valley. Then you come to nearly 50km long dirt road with many small stones. You will fell bumpy during the long macadam road. If you happen to be stuck in traffic jam in high season or encounter road closure for landslide, your Gyirong to Kathmandu ride will extended to over 10 hours perhaps. And sometimes the road will be closed for the landslide, which is easily caused during rainy season (May to October) in Nepal and bad weather like heavy snow in winter (December to February).

Lhasa to Gyirong Port - Lhasa is more than 800km away from the Gyirong Port, which costs over 16 hours riding in all. Rarely tourists choose to the direct and very long driving from Lhasa to Gyirong Port, since you will suffer a continuously land riding nearly 20 hrs, and rest little on the way. Furthermore most vehicles can only take you to Gyirong Town, where is still 24km to the Gyirong Port, another 1 h’s driving is needed anyway. Most tourists like to continue Tibet travel incidentally visiting the highest mountain in the world – Mt. Everest and the holy cneter of the world - Mt. Kailash. Start from Lhasa and visit Mt. Everest or Mt. Kailash via Gyantse and Shigatse, your Tibet tour will end up in Gyirong Port.

>> Read More about Travel from Lhasa to Kathmandu.

Future China Nepal Railway - Lhasa Kathmandu Train

The future China Nepal Railway, also the extension of Qinghai Tibet Railway will connect Kathmandu in Nepal and Lhasa in Tibet. With great expectation, rail section between Kathmandu –Gyirong- Shigatse has already been in the plan after completion of Lhasa Shigatse part. Recently Chinese Government approved to accelerate the research, design, study and training about the international railway. The planned China Nepal Railway through Gyirong Port is based on its unique and better geographical advantages and huge development potential than Zhangmu Port. Few years later, the convenient train between Kathmandu to Lhasa, an easy link of Nepal and Tibet for all tourists will come true.

Gyirong Port Transportation
Nepal Ascetic Monks

Extension of National Highway 216 - Xinjiang Tibet Highway

The old 216 National Rd was merely a short highway in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. According to a new project of China National Highway Network Planning, previous route will be extended from both sides, the south trends towards Tibet and ends in Gyirong Port. Better yet, the bidding for the investigation and design of the Xinjiang Tibet Project has been finished in April 2016, which indicated a clear construction periods from 2017 to 2021. Masses of travelers, no doubt, will enjoy the close and commodious inland connection between Tibet and Xinjiang, even with Nepal in south Asia, great convenience for travel transportation

Gyirong Port Transportation
Camels in Desert of Xinjiang

Accommodation at Gyirong Town - Where to Live in Gyirong

Driving from Kathmandu to Gyirong takes more than 7~8 hrs, not to mention the quite long distance to Mt. Everest, Mt. Kailash or Lhasa in Tibet. A better advice is taking a rest in Gyirong Town after passing through Gyirong from Nepal or before heading to Gyirong from Tibet.

Gyirong Town is about 25km to Gyirong Port and 73km away from south Gyirong County. The town is not very big, but all blocks are newly-built and quite clean. It is a good stopover site with convenient board and lodging. Tourists have choices of some hotels and hostels in the town to stay a night of rest. Still you can exchange Nepali currency in certain stores or from Nepalese citizens here, or make the conversion in Gyirong Port. If you are not in a rush, you can visit Pakba Monastery (帕巴寺) - a Nepalese style temple with over 1,000 years history and a few historic relics around Gyirong Town. Zongga Town (elevation: 4,200m/13,780 ft), government site of Gyirong County, is about 70km to Gyirong Town, a second choice where tourist can stay overnight, have some food, Nepalese meals for example.

Gyirong Town
Gyirong Town

Visa & Permit for Passing Gyirong Port - Entry from Nepal

Travel to Tibet from Nepal via Gyirong Port - if you just finish your Nepal tour and want to explore Tibet nearby, you ought to contact a Tibet travel agency to make your Tibet tour schedule, like arrange tour guide, route, vehicle and driver and take care of necessary visa/permits. A Tibet Group Visa has to be applied in Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu Nepal only, rather than in your home country or any other third countries. You still have to get a Tibet Travel Permit & Border Pass and regional particular travel certifications to enter and visit Tibet. Extra permits will be required depending on your specific schedule.

Travel to Nepal from Tibet via Gyirong Port - crossborder journey to Nepal from Tibet needs a valid Chinese Visa firstly, and a Tibet Travel Permit, a Border Pass which permits travelers to enter and visit border areas between Nepal and Tibet. There are more Tibet regional travel permits, including Aliens’ Travel Permit and Military Permit are needed if you would like to visit further Tibet outside Lhasa such as Mt. Kailash travel, Mt. Everest travel. A Nepal Visa is the precondition for your entire Nepal travel. You can get it from the border entry office in Nepal side.

The Tibet Travel Permit is the foremost and basic official document required for foreigners who intend to travel to Tibet, whether from Nepal or China's other regions, by flight or by train.

>> More about Visas & Permits for Nepal Tibet Travel.

Tibet Group Visa
Tibet Group Visa
Tibet Travel Permit
Tibet Travel Permit

Scenery along the way to Gyirong - What to See around Gyirong

Gyirong is praised as the backyard garden of Mt. Everest and the last fairyland in Tibet. The belief that Gyirong Town will be an international holiday town in the future is wide-spread. Compared to flying between Lhasa and Kathmandu, the scenery of overland tour route is much more favourite and beautiful. A popular story about Gyirong traces back to A.D 8th century, Trisong Detsen, the 37th King of Ancient Tibet Kingdom invited the Padmasambhava to Tibet to spread Buddhism from India, Padmasambhava was amazed by the fantastic views and immediately named it Gyirong.

1. Pelkutso Lake - 佩枯措湖

As the biggest lake in Shigatse Prefecture, the lake (elevation: 4590m/15,059ft) is about 60km of north Mt.Shishapangma, 40km of south Yarlung Tsangpo River and 250km to Tingri County. Located in the Nyalam County of Shigatse Prefecture, Pelkutso Lake is a must pass from Mt. Everest to Mt. Kailash. Then climb up the Marra Mountains – 马拉山(elevation:5380m/17,651ft), which is the highest transportation point in the world Town, even higher than the EBC(5,200m) of Mt. Everest, and keep driving 20km to Zongga Town of Gyirong County.

2. Gyirong Valley - 吉隆沟

Soon after leaving Zonggar Town of Gyirong County, a 93kms’ long and deep canyon comes in to sight. It is because many kinds of scenery in four seasons coexist in the narrow Gyirong Valley (elevation: about 3,000m/9842 ft), green trees, quiet villages embraced by snow mountains, etc. that all call it a secret magic land in southern Tibet. The lush natural reserve of Gyirong is the core area of Mt.Everest Nature Conservation.

3. Kyipu Canyon - 吉普大峡谷

Kyipu Canyon gets its name from the opposite side Kyipu Village after several minutes’ drive (2km far) from southwest Gyirong Town. The canyon is about 15kms' long, 20~50m wide and has depth over 200m underground. Countless towering old trees and high peaks stand both shores. A cable wire hanging bridge was built above the canyon in 2006 under assistance from international organizations, designed and guided by a Swiss female designer. Summer months between June and September are the best time to visit the canyon when it is in full bloom, with some of the most beautiful views.

4. Nitsun Scenery Area - 乃村景区

Distance from Gyirong Town to Nitsun Village (elevation: 3350m/10,991ft) is about 7km passing some mountain roads. Nitsun Village is only few kilomters from south Gyirong Town. Nitsun stands for holy land on top of the mountain in Tibetan. Though it’s just a small village of dozens of families on the peak flat prairie, Nitsun is honored as a land of idyllic beauty for natural sightseeing platform of snow mountains, glaciers, meadow, prayer tower and flags. Every May and June, Nitsun Village is beautiful as a painting when rape flowers fully bloom and reflected by surrounding wonderful landscape.

5. Mt.Shishapangma - 希夏邦马峰

Ranking 14th among all peaks over 8,000m above sea level in the world, Mt.Shishapangma (elevation: 8,012m/26,286 ft) is the only mountain of similar elevation located completely in China. It is in the middle of Himalayas and about 120km to southeast Mt.Everest. Lies in Nyalam County next to Gyirong County in Shigatse Prefecture, this peak provides tourists plenty of chances to view its marvelous beauty along the way to Gyirong Port.

Scenery around Gyirong
Pelkutso Lake - The Biggest Lake in Shigatse
Scenery around Gyirong
Grand View from Gyirong Valley
Scenery around Gyirong
Kyipu Canyon
Scenery around Gyirong
Picturesque Nitsun Village
Scenery around Gyirong
Stunning Mt.Shishapangma Near Pelkutso Lake

Development Timeline of Gyirong Port

Nepal is the biggest trade partner with Tibet under the impetus of “ One Belt & One Road”. Making the utmost of location and previous influence of Gyirong Port will promote more trade, tourism and economic bounds between the two neighbors. At present, infrastructures and supporting facilities are reconstructed, rebuilt of border highways proceeds orderly, Gyirong Port is faced with better development.

1. On August 30, 2017, China Tibet and Nepal both announced Gyirong Port reopens as an international land port.

2. On April 25, 2015, both Gyirong Port and Zhangmu Port were closed due to a severe earthquake hit Nepal.

3. On December 1, 2014, Gyirong Bilateral Port officially restored the custom clearance between Tibet China and Nepal.

4. In 1987, Chinese Government approved Gyirong Port to be a national first class land border port in order to relieve the overburden of Zhangmu Port and further develop Tibet foreign trade. No tourism pass was allowed at that time.

5. On December, 1961, Gyirong Port was officially opened. And in 1972, it was set up as a national second class port.

6. In A.D 658 of Tang Dynasty, Wang Xuance - a diplomatist visited Gyirong to ancient India, leaving some stone carvings, later became the well-known Monument of the Mission Sent by the Tang Dynasty to Ancient India.

Gyirong Port
China's OBOR Talk with Nepal
Gyirong Port
Wang Xuance Visited Ancient India

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