Tragic news keeps coming in from Nepal. The earthquake’s death toll is now over 5,000, and more than 10,000 have been injured.
Though it’s impossible to plan for natural disasters like this one, there are some helpful precautions travelers can take when journeying to remote regions, and we covered those in an article earlier this week. And while our thoughts are with the immediate relief efforts and the long-term recovery of the region, we also know that many travelers who have trips planned for the future are wondering whether they should cancel or reroute their itineraries.
As always, we recommend the benefits of booking through a knowledgeable and well-connected travel specialist. It’s exactly times like these when you want to work with someone who knows the area intimately, has clout with the locals, has your back, and can provide quick and efficient help in a crisis (whether a natural disaster or a canceled flight).
We’ve turned to our own Trusted Travel Experts who live and work in the region to find out first-hand how travel is affected and what you can expect.
Mei Zhang, one of our Trusted Travel Experts for China, is based in Beijing and runs WildChina. She reports that “Bhutan has remained completely unaffected structurally by the quake” and reminds travelers that no travel warnings have been issued by the US or UK governments for Bhutan or Tibet. After reaching out to her local regional partners and confirming their safety and well-being, her company has chosen to continue its tours to Tibet and Bhutan, as well as to Lhasa, Yamdrok Lake and Gyantze. However, Tibet’s Everest Base Camp is closed to the public so that it can be used instead for relief missions, and cross-border roads between Tibet and Nepal are also closed.
David Allardice is another of our Trusted Travel Experts for China, and he confirms in a blog post on his company’s website that “Due to the geology of the area Tibet was largely spared and we can confirm that there has been absolutely no impact on Lhasa and its surrounding areas.”
If you were planning a trip to Nepal, Antonia Neubauer, our Trusted Travel Expert for Nepal and Bhutan, asks us to remind readers that Nepal’s largest source of income is tourism. “I would easily see planning a visit in the fall,” she said. “Kathmandu will be cleaned up in part, as much as it ever is. The city always had up to 18 hours of load shedding and water was always an issue, but hotels will have water and electricity. Rural areas and trails will be functional. People should go—a big help to the country.”