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Nepal to Tibet Transportation

  • by Eric
  • Last Updated: 2024-05-15

In ancient times, Buddhist masters and scholars crossed over the Himalayan Mountains for the purpose of spreading the knowledge of Buddhism. Nowadays, it has become a famous route for most travelers at home and abroad to travel to Tibet from Nepal. Following the ancestors’ footprint, you will uncover the mysterious veil of both Tibet and Nepal. During this trip, you will be stunned by the marvelous views of the grand mountains, tranquil lakes, and traditional architecture. Transportation plays an important role in a trip. Knowing the information about transportation is a prerequisite before your Nepal-Tibet tour.

Travel by Land via Gyirong Port

If you travel from Nepal to Tibet by land, the only port for international tourists currently is Gyirong Port. Via this port, you can take advantage of the Friendship Highway, which offers breathtaking scenery that captivates travelers with its natural beauty and cultural significance. The Friendship Highway closely connects Tibet with Nepal, from Kathmandu - the capital city of Nepal to Lhasa - the capital city of Tibet. Here are some highlights along this route:

Gyirong Valley

As you begin your journey from Gyirong, you're greeted by the lush greenery of Gyirong Valley. The valley is adorned with rolling hills, grazing yaks, alpine meadows, snow-capped mountains, and clear lakes, offering a picturesque introduction to your adventure.

Gyirong Valley
Nai Village of Gyirong Valley

Everest Base Camp and Rongbuk Monastery

On the way, you can visit the Everest base camp on the Tibet side, which offers a unique perspective of the world's highest peak, Mount Everest. Here you can enjoy a panoramic view of Mount Everest, allowing you to witness its majestic beauty up close. Also you can visit the famous Rongbuk Monastery, the highest one in the world at an altitude of 5000m. It is the best place for tourists to enjoy the charming and splendid sunrise and sunset in the background of the grand Mt. Everest.

Tashi Lhunpo Monastery

Further along the highway lies Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, one of Tibet's most important monastic institutions. Founded in 1447 by the first Dalai Lama, the monastery is renowned for its architectural splendor and spiritual significance.


The town of Gyantse is a cultural gem along the Friendship Highway, home to historical sites such as Gyantse Kumbum and Gyantse Dzong. The Kumbum is a unique multi-tiered stupa adorned with intricate murals and statues, and the Dzong is now a ruin, but you can also distinguish its former grandeur.

Gyantse Kumbum
Gyantse Kumbum

Karola Glacier

Near the highway, you'll encounter the magnificent Karola Glacier. This towering mass of ice and snow shows the region's glacial history and offers a striking contrast to the surrounding landscape.

Yamdroktso Lake

 Yamdroktso Lake is one of Tibet's sacred lakes. Its crystal-clear waters reflect the surrounding mountains, creating a stunning tableau of color and light. The lake is believed to possess spiritual significance and is a popular pilgrimage site for Tibetans.

Travel by Airplane

According to the multiple means of transportation, taking a plane is the most convenient way. Currently, there are several direct flights flying from Kathmandu to Lhasa on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Please note, that if international tourists choose this route, you need to apply for a China Group visa, which requires 4 participants. And the flight fare is almost at full price.

It takes no more than one and a half hours to get to Lhasa from Kathmandu. If you take this flight, we suggest you sit on the left side to view the magnificent Himalayas, as well as blue sky, and white snow from a bird’s eye.

Mount Everest
See magnificent Mt.Everest on the plane

Travel by Train

The direct train from Kathmandu to Lhasa is not been built well until now. However, there is a piece of good news the Qinghai-Tibet railway will be extended from the Shigatse Station, heading south across the Himalayas into Nepal. There's a plan to build a 300-kilometer-long world's highest railway. However, building railways in the Himalayan orogenic belt will be a new challenge in the history of human railway construction, and there is no experience at home or abroad to learn from. So it will take a longer time.

Travel by Bike

Traveling from Kathmandu to Lhasa by bike offers a thrilling and adventurous journey.  It's not only a physical challenge but also a deeply rewarding experience that allows you to connect with the majestic landscapes. This journey takes about 13-15 days to cycle from Nepal to Tibet because of the long and hard distance. Please note,

As you journey from Kathmandu towards Gyirong, you'll gradually gain altitude, encountering mountainous terrain and ascending through winding mountain roads. This ascent becomes more pronounced as you approach the Tibetan plateau, where the landscape becomes increasingly rugged and the air thinner due to the higher elevation. It's essential for travelers to acclimatize gradually to the higher altitudes to prevent altitude sickness and ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.

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