Zhangmu is a border town between Nepal and China's Tibet. Also known as Kasa, Zhangmu perches on a mountainside 10km inland from the Friendship Bridge across the Bhotekoshi River (Sun Kosi River). The small town has become the major trading post between Tibet and Nepal. The subtropical oceanic climate endows the small town a warm, and humid weather and beautiful scenery throughout the year. A road snakes through the small border town.
The town is built along a winding road that is lined with private homes, shops, restaurants and government buildings. The booming border trade attracts merchants from inland China, Tibet and Nepal. Nepalese merchants export rice, flour, pepper, vegetables and perfumes while Chinese merchants sell wool, tea, salt and Tibetan medicine. There are also restaurants run by the Nepalese serving traditional dishes, instant noodles and beer produced in Nepal. A free trade market formed spontaneously near the Friendship Bridge about 8 years ago, still developing today.
Along the only street in the town, private houses, shops, restaurant and government buildings are built. The booming border trade attracts merchants from inland China, Tibet and Nepal running business here. Nepalese merchants export rice, flour, pepper, vegetables, and perfumes while Chinese merchants sell wool, tea, salt and Tibetan medicine. Nepalese even run Nepalese restaurants in the small town, serving Nepalese dishes, instant noodles and beer produced in Nepal. A free trade market formed near the Friendship Bridge spontaneously 8 years ago, which is now still developing. According to an agreement between Chinese and Nepalese governments, people living near the border may cross the border freely within 30km (18 miles) from the border. Every day, hundreds of Chinese and Nepalese merchants are doing their business. The local Sherpas lease their houses to those merchants, sharing profits from the border trade.
According to an agreement between the Chinese and Nepalese governments, people living within 30 kilometres (18 miles) of the border may cross the border freely. Every day, hundreds of Chinese and Nepalese merchants conduct business under this agreement. Local Sherpa lease their houses to the merchants thus sharing in the profit of the border trade.
Zhangmu is going to undergo major construction to meet the demands of the booming tourism and border trade. Zhangmu Hotel, the town's only hotel, will be rebuilt and expanded. Within the next 5 years the local government plans to build a 2,220-metre (7,280 feet) roadway to improve traffic flow.
The road form Nyalam Town (elevations 4,000 meters) to Zhangmu via Qupo about 30 kilometers, are occupied by high mountains and deep valleys, cliffy narrow coulees, thickly wooded with tall trees and huge stones. On the mountain round the road there often lots waterfalls. On some cliffs there even more than 11 pieces of waterfalls falling from the thousand meters high peak in the clouds, across the stones and pines. Waterfalls, forest and high mountains are the typical scenery along the road. The lush pine trees along cliff hindering mountain climb. This amazing view is quite different from it in Himalayan. The Sino-Nepal tunnel is the best position for the Mountain View. The roof at the round corner from Industrious and Merchandise Office to Electric station is the best place to bird view of the Zhangmu Town. Car wash is free in Zhangmu.
How to get there ?
There is no regular bus from Zhangmu to Lhasa or other areas in Tibet. So you can thumb a ride or hire a car. Visitors can inquire at the bus station or from the receptions desk at the hotel. There are also some tourist groups from Nepal to Lhasa. If you want a lift, you can contact with the driver or tour guide at the hotel.
1. Lhamu is the last stop to the Sino-Nepal board line with elevations 3,800 meters. There are 30 kilometers between Nyalam and Zhangmu. The board checkpoint is not far from Nyalam. There are three board checkpoints before Zhangmu Port. So you’d better take the ID card, travel permit or passport with you.
2. To choose the accommodation you’d better consider about the scenery and safety. Most of the hotels are not well equipped and the people there are very complicated. When you go outside, you’d better take the valuable things and the Id card or passport with you for check.
3. It has frequent showers in Zhangmu; it won’t hurt if you take umbrella with you.
4. There are lots of stone steps in Zhangmu, narrow, dark, slimy with few elbow. So you’d better be careful when climbing up. It’s a good idea to wear anti-slip shoes. When you go out at night, do remember to take the electric torch. There are lots of dogs in the dark place in Zhangmu barking at you. At this time you should calm down without worry. The dogs here seldom bite human beings. If you need to exchange Nepal Ruppi, you can go to Bank of China in Zhangmu. You should make clear the exchange rate and buy small things as souvenir in stores along the street.
5. You need the passport and visa to pass the checkpoint. No matter the domestic or abroad travelers need to issue the travel permit to pass the checkpoint.
6. Zhangmu Hotel is the only hotel . But it is a little bit expensive. For standard room RMB 100 Yuan per day. You’d better go to Lhamu for accommodation, where it is much cheaper and most of the drivers stay there. Then it will be easier for you to charter a car.
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