How to enter Nepal from Tibet/China at Jilongzhen/Rasuwa Ghadhi border as a China Overland Traveller with your own vehicle
In this article you will get to know the border crossing and China exit/Nepali entry procedures for China Overland travellers who cross from China/Tibet to Nepal at the newly opened Jilongzhen/Rasuwa Ghadhi border crossing.
Chinese immigration terminal at the Jilongzhen/Rasuwa Ghadhi border as seen from the Chinese side with German registered BMW motorbikes
Location of Jilongzhen:
Mountain Range at Paiku lake
One highlight on this route is Paiku lake (altitude: 4,591m). You can drive right up to the shore of this 27 kilometre long and 6 kilometre wide salt lake. The lake is fed by glacier water and is surrounded by 5,700m – 6,000m high peaks.
Afterwards, the lake the roads snakes up into the mountains and you will cross your last high altitude mountain pass with a height of 4,900 meters in Tibet before descending to Jilongzhen. The beautiful road runs along the Jilong river, deep canyons and at last pine forests.
While the roads on the Chinese side of the border are entirely paved (with perhaps some exceptions on the pass near Paiku lake and the stretch of 60 kilometres under construction roads near Saga), the “roads” in Nepal are in terrible condition and under construction. Expect sand, gravel, rocks, traffic (mainly trucks), large flat slippery stones hidden under sand, pot holes, possibly deep mud (after rain) and intense heat and dust. Furthermore, there are at least half a dozen time consuming military checks in between Rasuwa Ghadhi and Kathmandu.
Although its only 142 kilometres from Rasuwa Ghadhi to Kathmandu, you will need at least 8 hours, possibly more. We therefore recommend to stay in Dhunche (GPS: 85.29810999999995, 28.1079892 / altitude: 2,148m) overnight, which is 28 kilometres from Rasuwa Ghadhi. Note that some GPS systems have trouble navigating you on the Nepali roads since the newly carved tracks are not yet mapped. Locals we talked to estimate that the road construction will take another 4 years to be completed. You can estimate that you will enter Nepal and be done with immigration and customs after 2PM Nepali time.