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Tibet: New Border Crossing Opens up to Tourism

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Adventure travel specialist World Expeditions has announced that, following more than three years of disruption, all trips to Tibet will be completed once again in their true form and spirit

For an enhanced experience, most itineraries in Tibet are typically combined with neighboring Nepal, setting the scene for an iconic overland journey. The closure of the Friendship Highway, the main road artery linking the two regions, after the April 2015 earthquake, meant most itineraries in Tibet had to be rerouted.

© Richard I’Anson

Nathalie Gauthier, North American Manager for World Expeditions, explains:

“Tibet is an iconic destination; however, the post-earthquake arrangements for the past three years were not convenient for travelers. They had to fly in and out of Lhasa and, with no border crossing available, at the end of their journey were forced to ‘backtrack’ to the Tibetan capital. In addition to the inconvenience, having to buy a return flight from Lhasa was increasing the cost of their trip”.

The latest development has been made possible following the recent opening of a new border post to the west of the Langtang Himal mountain range (the Friendship Highway would utilize a border crossing to the east of Langtang). As well as linking once again by road the two regions, the new option opens up to tourism one of the lesser known parts of Tibet: Kyirong, the ‘village of happiness’.

The area is fondly remembered by Heinrich Harrer in the autobiographical travel classic ‘Seven Years in Tibet’ – “I shall never cease thinking of this place with yearning”, he says – where he describes idyllic scenes, such as how in the middle of a bamboo grove hot springs bubble, near the banks of an ice-cold glacial river.

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