AsiaChinaZhagmu

From Nepal to Tibet, China.

Zhagmu Travel Blog

 › entry 8 of 30 › view all entries
Zhagmu Tibet China

The last couple of days were entertaining in KTM.  We had an Australian girl working in KTM take us to a casino where she knows the manager and we would get looked after.  It turns out casinos are illegal under the Nepalese constitution so you have to play using Indian rupees then converted into the necessary chips for the tables.  We attended the Radisson Hotel and called into RAD CASINO located in the former basement car park which was converted some 6 months ago into the thriving 12 table high flying casino that we had before us.  Furthermore, the Nepalese are banned from playing, but they were there alright. We had our own waiter who provided us with tasty food and drinks when ever we cast a eye in his general direction.  Turns out if you play you get free food and alcohol, so we stayed until our luck, I mean money ran out.  We also managed to secure the casinos roaming phone and we tried to make some international calls, but it turns out we were using the incorrect international code, otherwise we could have been there even longer.  None the less we woke up a little sore and hung-over the next afternoon.

 

Trip from KTM Nepal to Lhasa Tibet lasting 8 days.

Valley leading to the immigration check point Tibet and Nepal
 

 

On the 1/5/04 we (13 of us, later split into a group of 5 and our group of 8 at the border) left KTM at 6am in a minibus bound for the border with Tibet.  If you don’t know anything about Tibet, let’s just say that it is a semi- autonomous state over run and governed by the Chinese.  Basically a country/state under Chinese occupation, north of Nepal.

Scenery
  At 10 am we arrived near at Kodari, and had to walk a few hundred meters to the Nepalese immigration point due to the massive amount of traffic on the 1.5 lanes of landslide prone road.  Some 15 minutes later we were through immigration and onto the Friendship Bridge.  This is where the transition came to a grinding halt.  We waited in no man’s land, the bridge prior to the first of 2 Chinese immigration points.  We waited from 10.30am until 5.30pm, seeking shelter from the rain under a make shift roof during some of the afternoon, with the locals.  The idea was for the Nepalese tour company to hand us over to their Tibetan company for the remainder of the tour. But you guessed it nobody turned up from Tibet.
On the road in Tibet
  We were short 2 Landcruisers, 2 drivers, and a guide.

 Everybody else seemed to be getting through, even tourists on mountain bikes, even 10 year old porters carrying a dozen rice cookers on their backs. Our Nepalese guides were making phone calls to find out what was going on but they were not able to give us a plausible excuse for the failure to appear on the Tibetans behalf.  Chinese would not let us into the country unless the tour company turned up.   

Finally at around the 8 hour waiting mark the Nepalese guides managed to lure some Chinese into taking us through immigration and to the Tibetan border town of Zhagmu (2300m altitude), some 8 klms uphill, in ankle deep mud because the entire road had been dug up for road works. After walking through the worst of the road works we managed to hitch a lift up to the town of Zhagmu, where we faced the next immigration check point that looked truly Chinese with massive steel gates crossing the road, stone cold faces of the guards at attention, and large Chinese symbols dwarfing you in gold and red. Unfortunately our guides were not here either and so immigration would not let us past the gates unless we handed in our passports and visas.  In case we escaped prior to further processing, we were told.  So some guy who had nothing to do with our group got us a hotel for the night.  Passports left with the PSB/Immigration. That evening just after dark at about 8.30pm or 9pm our guide arrived.  We weren’t quick to jump down his throat in case something genuine had caused his delayed arrival.  But it became apparent that this was how he/the company operated.  Unfortunately, he spoke less English then we could speak Chinese. It was clear from the outset that this was not going to be any ordinary tour of Tibet

 

portia says:
wow, that's a long wait at the border, maybe you should tell people which tour company not to use?
Posted on: Sep 14, 2007
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Zhagmu Tibet China
Zhagmu Tibet China
Valley leading to the immigration …
Valley leading to the immigration…
Scenery
Scenery
On the road in Tibet
On the road in Tibet
Zhagmu
photo by: julio182