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Land

Border Crossings

Crossing the Border With Nepal

The China-Nepal border at Rasuwagadhi is a 45-minute drive (25km) from Kyirong. The Chinese side of the border is open 10am to 12.30pm, and 1.30pm to 5pm. To get here your driver and guide will need to obtain a border permit in Kyirong, if they didn't get one in Lhasa. The particularly officious immigration officers at the border will delay you for even the tiniest irregularity in your permits, so make sure your documents are 100% watertight.

After a cursory customs check you walk 100m across a bridge to the Nepal army checkpost, where there is a second equally inefficient customs check. Nepal immigration (open 24 hours) is a further 1.5km downstream. Here you can get a Nepal tourist visa on the spot (US$25/40/100 for 15/30/90 days) but you need cash US dollars and one passport photo. Nepal time is 2¼ hours behind Beijing time.

Private jeeps to Kathmandu wait at the bridge and also at Nepali immigration and charge around Rs 13,000 per vehicle. The road is in terrible shape and is an exhausting ride; expect to spend most of the day bumping around on potholed roads on the side of near vertical slopes. If you are travelling during the monsoon months (May to August) expect potential landslides and delays.

The only formal place to change money on the China side is the Bank of China in Kyirong, though Tibetan ladies often hang around hotel lobbies offering to change money out of bank hours. The Bank of Kathmandu in Timure, just past Rasuwagadhi, changes foreign currency into Nepali rupees. It's also possible to change Chinese yuán into rupees with licensed moneychangers in Kathmandu.