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No restrictions on Chinese tourists

Sunday, December 25th, 2016
Pic: Elaine Wang Yiwei

Pic: Elaine Wang Yiwei

The Chinese embassy in Kathmandu has denied rumours of official restrictions on the travel of Chinese tourists to Nepal, refuting media reports that the Chengdu Tourism Bureau had suspended group tours to Nepal and India.

An informal message about the supposed ban was quoted by some Nepali media, but it turns out no such order was issued either by the Chengdu Tourism Bureau or any other agency in China.

“Everything is as normal,” a customer service staff of China International Travel Service (CTIS) told Nepali Times over the phone from Chengdu.

The rumours that China has imposed restrictions on tourists travelling from Tibet to Nepal may have been triggered by speculation that they may be en route to Bodh Gaya where the Dalai Lama is supposed to be speaking at the Kalchakra Ceremony next week.

The Nepal Embassy in Beijing as well as the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu both denied there was any official restriction on Chinese visitors to Nepal.

No formal notice has been released by Chengdu Tourism Bureau so far. And embassy of China in Nepal didn’t receive any relevant notice neither, according to a consulate official.

Ironically, Kathmandu and Chengdu signed a sister-city agreement two days after the supposed ban on travel. Chengdu Tourism Bureau said Party Secretary of Chengdu Tang Liangzhi signed the pact on the establishment of a friendly relationship with Kathmandu and to further cooperation between both cities in the fields of finance, media, infrastructure and energy.

Online travel bookings for the Chinese New Year holiday next month are open as normal. Tuniu, one of the most popular online travel booking platforms in China, directs visitors to nearly 100 package tours in Nepal.

Asked if there were any restrictions on travel by Chinese tourists to Nepal, an online customer service staff told us: “We can arrange any time for you if you want to go to Nepal.”

Both group tour and individual tourist can still freely travel to Nepal, however there seem to be some restrictions on Chinese nationals entering Nepal overland from Tibet. According to a Chinese tourist Mo Mo who wanted travel to Kathmandu from Lhasa two days ago, the Kerung (Geelong) checkpoint is closed for Chinese citizens, and the only way to go to Nepal is by flight from Lhasa, Chengdu or other Chinese cities.

This is also confirmed by a Chinese car rental agency, Shen Xing, based in Kathmandu which provides transportation from Kerung to Kathmandu. An official of the China Youth Travel Agency in Tibet confirmed that Geelong port will not be be open for tourists at least until after Chinese New Year at the end of January 2017.

However, overland travel in the opposite direction from Nepal to China seems to be open for Chinese and Nepali nationals.

Qiu Tian and Pan Lan

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2 Responses to “No restrictions on Chinese tourists”

  1. eroKalam on Says:

    Nepal is a Naturally beautiful country in the world. Tourists can get everything in Nepal like Natural and spiritual beauty and also the humble respect of peoples. Nepal has been ranked as one of the best countries in the world. According to the largest travel guide book publisher ‘Lonely Planet’, ‘Nepal is number one country in the top 10 best value destinations for 2017.’ Lovely Planet just released annual best in Travel list for 2017. Here are a list of top 10 best value destinations.

  2. anonymous on Says:

    Helpful is so confusing, China is a great nation, I have chinese relatives so I am in favour, yet some Diplomacy on the way. Seems Dalai Lama wants to live until 15 years more and meet his people.
    That is possible?
    Nepal is the great nation of diplomacy, you have made peace, forgiven India, overcame so much.
    Buddha was not born in Tibet at all.

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