Nepal Earthquake 2015 and Tibet tourism update
Nepal Earthquake: Update at noon 26th April 2015
25th April 2015: a powerful earthquake shook Nepal on Saturday near its capital Kathmandu. The Earthquake with an estimated 7.1 sucks shortly before noon. By mid-afternoon, the United States Geological Survey had counted 12 aftershocks, with one measuring at the magnitude of 6.6. The shock was felt as far as Bangladesh, and some parts of Tibet in Shigatse prefecture, Nyalam, Dram and old Tingri. The latest death toll is 1157 at the time of writing.
Nepal is a gateway to Tibet for the majority of travelers coming into Tibet. This unfortunate Natural disaster has a huge impact on Travelers visiting Tibet. According to Lobsang of the Land of Snows. (who is in Shigatse prefecture right now), The earthquake was felt in some parts of Shigatse prefecture including Shekar, Old Tingri, Nyalam and Dram at the border. Currently, there is a moderate damage in Nyalam, The road from Nyalam to Dram in close due to the rock slide. Also, nonlocals are not allowed to cross the border between Nepal and China. this means as of now, it is not possible to go from Tibet to Nepal and Vice versa. It is hard to say how long will it take for situation return to normal. I hope on Monday, we will have an update from Tibet tourism bureau.
Our prayer goes to all the victims of this horrible disaster. if you are our partners and friends in Nepal reading this post please do contact us as soon as you are able to restore our communications.
Tibet-Nepal border opens
Tibet-Nepal border opens for the international travel from Kyirong port. click here for more
according to our source, The North Mount Everest Base is open for travelers from 1st July after its closure after the Nepal earthquake 2015. Click here to read more.
Everest base Camp regions are still close, overland journey to Nepal is not possible. All the other regions in Tibet are open for foreign tourist including Kailash region. Besides the closure of Everest Base Camp, Tibet is safe to Travel.
This morning we ask the staff in Tibet tourism bureau if the tourist are allowed to go to Gyantse and Shigatse and we were told. it seems it is ok to travel to above two destinations. the traveler must take the route from Lhasa to Gyantse to Shigatse and return back to Lhasa directly from Shigatse. but we will only know when our group will travel. It seems direct route from Lhasa to Shigatse is require for a relief effort.
Tibet tourism bureau has made permit for Mt Kailash region, departing from 20th May. So we can consider Kailash region will be open from May 20th.
Today we have another notice from Tibet tourism bureau. It clearly states no travel group or travelers are allow to visit Shigatse prefecture, this includes Gyantse and Shigatse. So if a travelers visit the region, you travel agency will be answerable to the authorities and this is not good for the travel agency. I hope every traveler would be responsible and would not insist the travel agency take them to Shigatse region.
The government needs the needs the road to the relief operation to the earthquake affected areas. I hope everyone would try to understand this need of government to help people in the affected area.
Update below is made as per the update was given from the guides in the field.
Please consider spending your times in Lhasa and central Tibet. until further notice.
We are not sure if the Everest base camp would be open in coming days, yet we are very hopeful it would be open soon. Our guide is able to go to Shigatse with a group and there are many groups departing for Shigatse this morning. Gyantse and Shigatse are open at the time of writing and it is more likely to remain open in coming days. We will update you more when we have updates.
According to the latest notice from Tibet Tourism Bureau, we were told to change all the itinerary where travelers are visiting Shigatse. The roads are required for emergency relief workers and relief purpose.
The train ticket to Shigatse is sold only for the residence of the prefecture.
According to the online message from Tibet tourism bureau. they may have an update on 1st of May. The Ali is also close.
Guides and drivers are reporting the travelers are not allowed to cross from Khampa-la pass. which is located before Yamdrok lake
Tibet tourism bureau is processing permit only for itinerary consisting, Lhasa and its eastern parts including Namtso, Drikung, Nyintri (kongpo), Reting and others.
According to our guide friend, visiting Everest Base camp, he was allowed to drive till New Tingri, which is about 100km from North Everest Base Camp in Tibet. There are going to Everest Base Camp tomorrow. we will update it tomorrow around 10 Am about if there are allow to proceed to Everest Base Camp.
Today, most probably we have had the update from Tibet tourism bureau. we will also update on it.
Suggestions from i-Tibet travel
1) if you are traveler planning to go to Tibet from Nepal in next two month, please rethink about it. I would recommend you coming into Tibet from China
2) if you are travelers traveling into Nepal from Tibet please consider diverting back to China, please contact your friends and travel agency in Nepal for their on field update.
I will update you more once when I have information. please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for expert advice.