Archive for the ‘Zhangmu Travel’ Category

Zhangmu, Zhangmu Fort, Zhangmu Town – Zhangmu Town Tibet

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011
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Plan your Tibet tour? If you want to visit Tibet from Nepal or visit Nepal from Tibet, Zhangmu Town, the Chinese border town between Tibet and Nepal, is the fort you must pass through.

Zhangmu Town is under the administration of Nyalam County of Shigatse in Tibet. Zhangmu Town is situated along a single narrow zigzag mountain road at the sea level of 2300m. It is about 120km from Kathmandu Nepal, 736km from Lhasa and 30km from Nyalam Town.

Nyalam Town – Zhangmu Town 30km
We drove from Nyalam Towm at the altitude of 3500m down to Zhangmu town at 2300m. So in the short distance of 30km, we had to descend over 1000m at the sea level. The 30km National Highway 318 driving took us one hour. The road was very steep and zigzag. The views of the mountains on both sides of the road are amazing, tall and ancient trees, campher trees, water falls downpouring from the high mountains. It is an unforgetable road trip in our Tibet tour.

The zigzag road from Nyalam Town to Zhangmu Town

The zigzag road from Nyalam Town to Zhangmu Town

The road is very steep

The road is very steep

Plentiful waterfalls on the mountains along the road

Plentiful waterfalls on the mountains along the road

Zhangmu Town
Actually the town of Zhangmu is built on the single zigzag street winding along a single mountain road. Viewed from a distance, the town looks like a fairly big mountain town.

The long, narrow and zigzag street is very busy and packed with street front houses, apartments, restaurants, stores, inns, hotels and trucks loading and downloading.

We were all shocked by the crowded trucks, mainly from Nepal for transportation service loading and downloading, and waiting for the checkpoint or customs. The long queue makes the narrow street even much narrower.

We had a little worry about the traffic since our tour group would have to pass throug the port and enter Nepal before 6:00pm. Not soon our worry seemed unnecessary. All the drivers, taxis, trucks, tourist buses, vans, and cars have the tacit understanding on how to give way for the traffic at the highest efficiency without a traffic policeman!

The street is packed with trucks loading and downloading.

The street is packed with trucks loading and downloading

The downtown of Zhangmu Town

The downtown of Zhangmu Town

Zhangmu Town is built on a single street along a zigzga road.

Some local people are waiting in fornt of Zhangmu Hotel for money exchange business.

Some local people are waiting in fornt of Zhangmu Hotel for money exchange business.


This is a mountain town like Zhangmu  seen from a distance.

Zhangmu Town – Zhangmu Fort 10km

Now we left the downtown of Zhangmu Town and continued to drive from Zhangmu Town to Zhangmu Fort. The 10km road was a drive test for our driver who also came here for fist time. The Nepalese trucks lined up by the side the road, making the narrow road a single way! Again most of the drivers here had the skill and patience to move the traffic.

Zhangmu Fort was very busy and teemed with all kinds of people, tourists, businessmen, vendors and Currency exchange scalpers. Nepal is just a bridge away across the friendship bridge. We could clearly see the houses on the mountain side oppsoite us.

We drove on the “single way” road down to the Zhangmu Fort.

We drove on the – single way – road down to the Zhangmu Fort.

We had to stop and get off our bus about 200m away from the Zhangmu Fort and the people had to carry all their belongings to the fort.

We had to stop and get off our bus about 200m away from the Zhangmu Fort and the people had to carry all their belongings to the fort.

This is the entry to the hall of Zhangmu Fort.

This is the entry to the hall of Zhangmu Fort

Across the gully is the Nepalese side.

Across the gully is the Nepalese side

Zhangmu Travel Tips
1. Be ready for the worse traffic at Zhangmu
2. Having enough time for the transfer at Zhangmu
3. There are some nice hotels and inns at Zhangmu Town
4. You also can stay overnight at Nyalam Town, 30km from Zhangmu
5. Get ready for passports, visa, Tibet Travel Permit and Alien Travel Permit
6. Zhangmu taxi: RMB10
7. No shuttle bus from Zhangmu to Lhasa
8. Hitchhike a return bus or van to Shigatse or Lhasa

Any questions, just drop a line.

Tingri to Mt.Everest – Mt.Everest Base Camp Trip

Friday, September 2nd, 2011
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On August 25, 2011, together with 24 group members on a 35-seat bus, after 5 hours’ bumpy drive, we successfully reached the Mt.Everest Base Camp and (EBC) and saw the unparalleled beauty of the snow-covered peak of Mt.Everest under a clear sky. I’d like to make a trip report on our exciting trip, which may be helpful for those who have the same dream to view the highest mountain in the world at a shortest distance as a common tourist.

All the 24 foreign travelers on our tour group were from Venezuela. In the past few days all the way from Lhasa to Yamdroke Lake, Nangartse,  Gyantse, Shigatse and Tingri, our bus driver and I used every chance to inquiry about the road condition leading to the Mt.Everest Base Camp through other drivers and travelers who had just returned from the Everest Base Camp since it was our first time to visit Mt.Everest. But our local Tibetan tour guide having been to Mt.Everest Base Camp for many times was very carefree and confident about the trip.

Later we knew a bus trip from the main National Highway 318 to the Mt. Everest Base Camp would take 5 or 6 hours for a 100km mountain road mainly due to the poor and bumpy dirt road, but 3 and half hours for a land cruiser.

On August 24, 2011, we had a very easy schedule starting from Shigatse at 11:00am and arriving at Baiba Township of Shegar Town in Tingri at 3:00pm. Later in the afternoon we either took a break at our lodging hotel – Qomolangma Hotel or wandered on the only street in the Baiba Township, grabbing some snacks and water, or bottled oxygen for the next day’s expedition.

We all agreed to get up early due to the long road trip the next day. To our pleasant surprise, Qomolangma Hotel was very cooperative and ready to provide breakfast or dinner at any time clients demanded. We planned to get up at 4:00am and set the breakfast at 4:30am the next day.

Though in August, in the early morning we all felt a little bit cold because of the day and night temperature difference on the plateau. Some of the tourists had bought bottled oxygen from the shops on the street in the township just in case. Sunglass, sunscreen, sun hats and water were basic for the long and hard road trip at an average sea-level of 4000m. We set off at 5:30am from Qomolangma Hotel and it was still a little dark outside. I took my first photo on our long march to Mt.Everest.

It was still a little dark outside

It was still a little dark outside

Baiba Township in Tingri – Lugongong Police Checkpost
We left Baiba Township and drove along the National Highway 318 down to the south for about 10km, then we had to stopped for border check at Lugonggong Police checkpoint. Everybody on the bus must get off and wait in line inside the check building for check one by one.

After we came back from Mt.Everest Base Camp to Baiba Township, we would have to do the same check again. As a foreigner, you must have two permits – Travel Tibet Permit and Alien Travel Permit.

We had to stopped for border check at Lugonggong Police checkpoint

We had to stopped for border check at Lugonggong Police checkpoint

After finishing the border security check and we all got on the bus again, and continued to drive about 7km along the National Highway 318, then we saw a signboard pointing to the special road forking from the main asphalt road to Mt.Everest. Now we knew we were about to be on the bumpy road to fulfil our dream.

Embarked on the 100km Mt.Everest Base Camp dirt road
A signboard pointing to the special road forking from the main asphalt road to Mt.Everest Base Camp.

A signboard pointing to the special road forking from the main asphalt road to Mt.Everest

The moment we touched on the mountain road, we realized that why the 100km Everest Base Camp Road would take 5 or 6 hours for a bus trip. The dirt road condition was terrible, tough, harsh, bumpy like a washing board with a corrugated surface and some full of dirt holes!

Bumpy like a washing board with a corrugated surface 

Bumpy like a washing board with a corrugated surface

Not long we had to stop again to have our entrance tickets checked for Qomolangma (Mt.Everest) Nature Reserve at the checkpoint in the first village on our 100km road trip.

Entrance tickets checked for Qomolangma (Mt.Everest) Nature Reserve

Entrance tickets checked for Qomolangma (Mt.Everest) Nature Reserve

About two hours’ ascent  drive to the Gula Pass (Zegula Pass ) 5200m, a platform for viewing Mt.Everest
Now we began to have about two hours’ ascent drive along the rugged dirt road up to the pass – Gula Pass (or Zegula pass). Some crazy climbers would get up in small hours and get to the Pass to catch the sunrise over Mt.Everest! We were very lucky that the sky was clear with a fine day.

All of us expected to be on the platform on the Gula Pass to see Mt.Everest. For this, we had to endure endless twists and turns, and hairpin bends which elevated us little by little towards the azure sky and the pass.

We had to endure endless twists and turns, and hairpin bends.

driving-with-endless-twists-and-turns-and-hairpin-bends-

Driving with endless twists-and turns-and-hairpin-bends

We were elevated little by little towards the azure sky and the pass.

We were elevated little by little towards the azure sky and the pass

Now were about to drive though the Gula Pass 5200m.

Now were about to drive though the Gula Pass 5200m

Just over the Gula Pass 5200m, there was an open platform for people to park and view the magnificent Mt.Everest and other peaks. All of us were amazed by the view unfolding before us and couldn’t belive the beautiful views of the snow mountains were real! It was so beautiful!

People were busy taking pictures of the fantastic beauty of highest mountains in the world.

People were busy taking pictures of the fantastic beauty of highest mountains in the world.

A group photo of the 24 tourists from Venezuela

A group photo of the 24 tourists from Venezuela

 
I couldn’t help asking our tour guide to shoot a picture of me with Mt.Everest as the background.

I couldn’t help asking our tour guide to shoot a picture of me with Mt.Everest as the back ground.

Let’ have a close look at the magnificent Mt.Everest!

Let’ have a close look at the magnificent Mt.Everest!

Again two hours’ descent drive to the Mt.Everest Base Camp from Gula Pass 5200m
Now still excited, we started to drive down the pass toward the base. “Hiking up is easy, but hiking down is difficult”. We had to drive slowly along the zigzag roads. The scenery was magnificent with solemn Himalayan hillsides framing here and there on the way.

We passed small Tibetan settlements, nomadic herdsmen wandering across the wide arid plains, yaks, wild rabbits, wild sheep, dzopkyos (yak-cow hybrids),  and awe-inspiring mountain peaks – a paradise on earth!

We drove slowly down the Gula Pass 5200m with solemn Himalayan hillsides framing before us.

We drove slowly down the Gula Pass 5200m with solemn Himalayan hillsides framing before us.

The yaks walked carefree on the road.

The yaks walked carefree on the road

 
We were approaching Basong Township ( Pagsum Hamlet ).

We were approaching Basong Township ( Pagsum Hamlet ), the last village we would pass before we reached Rongbu Temple and Mt.Everest Base Camp.

We passed through Basong Township ( Pagsum Hamlet ), the villagers here could see Mt.Everest all year round!

We passed through Basong Township ( Pagsum Hamlet ), the villagers here could see Mt.Everest all year round!

checkpoint at the last Village – Quzong Hamlet (Quzong Village) before we reached Mt.Everest Base Camp, we again had to go through the border check at the checkpost at Quzhong Village, the last village on the way to the base.

The border check at the checkpoint at Quzhong Village, the last village on the way to the base.

The border checkpoint at Quzhong Village, the last village on the way to the base

Rongbuk Monastery 5154m
After Quzong Village, we drove along the valley leading to Rongbuk Monastery. On the way, we saw some climbers rode bikes to the camp. Rongbuk Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery of the Nyingma sect. Now there are some nuns and monks libing in the temple. The monastery lies by the foot of the Rongbuk Glacier at 5,154m.

It is the highest religious building in the world. Now it provides some basic accommodations for climbers. Rongbuk Monastery is considered as a gateway to Mt. Everest. From this good location you get breathtaking views of the magnificent Mt.Everest.

Some climbers rode bikes to the camp

Some climbers rode bikes to the camp

 

The narrow road along the Rongbuk River leading to Rongbuk Monastery.

The narrow road along the Rongbuk River leading to Rongbuk Monastery

Now we were passing by Rongbuk Monastery where you would have a nice view of Mt.Everest.

Now we were passing by Rongbuk Monastery where you would have a nice view of Mt.Everest.


Tent community (Za-Rombuk)
The Mt.Everrest Base Camp is about 8km south of Rongbuk Monastery. In the middle of the way between the Camp and the Monastery, there is a “Tent Community”, also known in the tourist book as “Za-Rombuk”. The “tent community” is set up by locals for 6 months of each year. The tents in Za-Rombuk seems cozy and warmer, and friendly. Climbers or leisure travlers share their temporary home. The tents are windproof, spacious. Heating comes from the stove in the middle of the room which burns yak and goat dung.

You can choose a bed, take some blankets, or use blanket yourself and go to sleep. There is no running tape water, but each tent usually takes water from the local snow-melt stream sand has a barrel in the tent. The toilets are the standard squat over a hole in the ground.

Tent community is also a parking lot as well a leisure place for relaxation. We parked our bus in the tent community area. From the “Tent Community”, we had to take the local  shuttle bus (environment protection bus ) to the real Camp, about 4km south of the Tent Community.This is the “Tent Community” compound, 4km north of the EBC camp, where people can stay overnight, buying water or snacks, as well as it is a parking lot.

This is the Tent Community compound, 4km north of the EBC camp

Inside one of the tents for overnight stay.

Inside one of the tents for overnight stay.

We had to use the local shuttle bus to reach the real base camp at the bus fare of RMB 25

We had to use the local shuttle bus to reach the real base camp at the bus fare of RMB 25

On our way from Tent Community to EBC camp

On our way from Tent Community to EBC camp

Mt.Everest Base Camp 5200m
When we reached the Mt.Everest Base camp, everybody again had to go through security check lining up at the small room by the entrance to the base camp. Once inside the compound of the base, people were allowed to ascend a hill to have a clear view of the magnificent Mt.Everest.

Normal tourists were not allowed to go down the hill to climb Mt.Everest. It was not the best time for Mt.Everest climbing, so there were no tents here in the base camp. March to Mary, September and October are the best season for Mt.Everest climbing. The Rongbuk river flows through the valley, constituting an amazing view of water, peaks, blue sky…

Everybody again had to go through security check at the small room by the entrance to the base camp.

everybody again had to go through security check at the small room by the entrance to the base camp

I stood on the top of the hill and turned north to have a picture of the base camp below.

I stood on the top of the hill and turned north to have a picture of the base camp.

I stood on  the top of the hill and took a picture of Mt.Everest in the south

I stood on the top of the hill and took a picture of Mt.Everest in the south

People were crazy about Mt.Everest .

People were crazy about Mt.Everest

I took a picture with Mr. Juan from Venezuela with Mt.Everest as the background.

I took a picture with Mr. Juan from Venezuela

Tingri to Mt.Everest Base Camp Travel Tips:
1. Better for a small group using a land cruiser instead of bus tour
2. Ready for Bottled oxygen if you are not confident about your health
3. Water and snacks
4. Sunglass, sunscreen, altitude sickness medicine
5. Good sleep the day before
6. Suggested to stay in Tingri for overnight
7. Alien Travel Permit for Mt.Everest Base Camp
8. Clothes for temperature difference

9. Best time: March, May, September and October

Any question, just drop a line.

Zhangmu taxi, Zhangmu taxi fare, tips and phones

Monday, February 14th, 2011
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 Zhangmu (elevations 2,300 meters), also known as Kasa, lies on a mountainside 10km (6 miles) inland from the Friendship Bridge that spans the Bhotekoshi (the Sun Koshi) River. This small town has become a major trading post between Tibet and Nepal.  

 

 

Zhamgmu taxi

 

Zhangmu Taxi Quantity
As a small town in Tibet, Zhangmu only has about 50 taxis running in the street. Because of its small size, taking taxi is the most convenient way to get around in Zhangmu City..
  
Taxi Models in Zhangmu
Generally speaking, the taxis running in the street of Zhangmu consists of Auto, Xiali and so on.
 
Zhangmu Taxi Fares:
• RMB10 traveling around the town
 
Zhangmu Taxi Company Bookings
There is no regular taxi company in Zhangmu Town, so if you want to take taxi, it is convenient to hail one along the street or around the hotel you lived.
 
Hailing a Zhangmu City Taxi
•The best places to hail a taxi is near Bus stop, Scenic Spots, Hotel and o the street
 
Zhangmu Taxi rider’s rights
As a taxi rider, you have the rights below:
Direct drive to your destination and no compulsory car pooling
Go to any destination in and beyond Zhangmu
Your car driver knows the streets in Zhangmu and the way to major destinations in Zhangmu;
Your driver should know and abide by all traffic laws;
Air-conditioning on demand;
A radio-free trip;
No Smoking
A clean passenger seat area;
A clean trunk
A driver uses the horn only when necessary to warn of danger;
No Tipping
 
Zhangmu Taxi Stands
There is no taxi stand in Zhangmu. It is common to hail a taxi along the street.
 
Zhangmu Taxi Complaints
If you have any problem with a taxi in Zhangmu, please contact the following:
•Zhangmu Taxi Supervisor Officer:
 
Zhangmu Taxi Useful Information
• the taxi drivers in Zhangmu do not use meters
•Zhengzhou Town-Lhasa: about RMB350
•RMB 10 within Zhangmu Town