Will the Kodari (Nepal-Tibet) Border Re-Open in 2019?
Does Zhangmu (Kodari) border re-open to the third country travelers in 2019?
This question has been raised up rapidly among the travel and trade entrepreneurs based in Nepal and Tibet.
The Zhangmu (Kodari) border crossing northeast of Kathmandu has been closed since 2015 earthquakes due to extensive damage to the infrastructure. The border would remain closed until the necessary road and building infrastructure had been reconstructed. It has already been more than three years since the 2015 earthquake hit hard damaging the Kodari Highway, which used to connect the Autonomous Region of Tibet. No vehicles or foot travelers can cross the friendship bridge as of now (Jan 2019).
However, Kerung (Kyirong) border has already re-opened in September 2017 to the third country traveler that is located in Rasuwa/Kyirong port, about 150 Kilometers from Kathmandu. Until this blog is written, no re-opening is scheduled in Kodari. The Kodari border crossing used to be a very popular road to travel to Tibet by land. Most of the international travelers used to prefer this border crossing for Mount Kailash Tour, Everest Base Camp Tibet tour, Kathmandu to Lhasa overland Tour and many other Tibet Tour Adventures. It is the nearest border from Kathmandu (115KM) and used to be the first choice of every travelers and trade persons.
There is a Good News: China has already started repairing the road from Nyalam to Liping and to Barabise. The physical construction work has been underway rapidly. The road construction on both sides (Tibet and Nepal) has been in progress and their working deadline is June/July of 2019. Now, we can understand that it is likely to have a green signal for the re-opening of this border crossing after the road and another physical construction are in proper shape. Government of Nepal has announced 2020 as the Tourism Year and re-opening of the Kodari border helps increase a good number of tourists and could be the key reason for Visit Nepal 2020 Success! However, the reopening of this Kodari border depends on how fast both sides reach a deal on setting up a securing mechanism along the border. The issue of re-opening the Friendship highway has featured in all political and diplomatic visits in both of countries. Re-opening of this Kodari border has special significance for both sides in terms of trade and tourism connectivity.
We are very excited about this good news and we believe that the re-construction work will be finished on the outlined date. This re-opening of the Zhangmu/Kodari border definitely increases the number of tourists to both countries and helps increase their revenue as well.