Zhangmu, Zhangmu Fort, Zhangmu Town – Zhangmu Town Tibet

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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.

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