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Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland

  • Last Updated: 2021-08-24

Lhasa and Kathmandu are two top travel IPs in the world. The land tour from Lhasa to Kathmandu is always preferred for all travelers as this route gives travelers a visual feast of traditional customs and natural scenery. These two places have many similarities: remote and mysterious, beliefs and borders, relatively difficult to reach, magnificent natural scenery, as well as warm and honest locals.

Why Choose Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour?

There're two modes of transportation from Lhasa to Kathmandu, by land and by air. The flight distance from Lhasa to Kathmandu is 572 kilometers, and the whole journey takes only two and a half hours, but you will miss the most famous Lhasa to Kathmandu overland route. As one of the most famous land tours, Lhasa to Kathmandu overland tour has been attracting tourists from all over the world. The total length of Lhasa to Kathmandu overland is about 943 kilometers, including 829 kilometers in Tibet. Through the famous scenic route, Sino - Nepal Highway, this overland tour is not only the best way to travel the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau but also an important route to experience the most popular scenic spots on the g318 road. Currently, the train tour from Lhasa to Kathmandu is not available.

What's more, travelers can get used to the altitude of Lhasa city at 3650m first, then move forward gradually to other places with a higher elevation. They are less likely to suffer altitude sickness in this way.

Lhasa to Kathmandu overland tour

Experience the stunning scenery of the famed Sino-Nepal highway.

Practical Guide of Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Route

Day 1 Arrive in Lhasa(3650m)

Tourists from all over the world arrive in Lhasa according to their own way. Before starting the land trip from Lhasa to Kathmandu, you need to have a good rest to adapt to the altitude environment.

Day 2 to Day 3 Visit Lhasa

Lhasa also has many attractions worth visiting. Popular scenic spots include the landmark of Tibet - the highest palace in the world-Potala Palace,  the world's Buddhism center - Jokhang Temple, the most famous circumambulation and commercial center - Barkhor Street, the largest Tibetan Buddhism monastery -  Drepung Monastery, as well as beautiful Sera Monastery and Norbulingka.

At the scenic spots in Lhasa, you may walk with the devotional pilgrims shoulder by shoulder who are come from the remote areas by foot. They have faith in Buddhism, and they spare no effort to get to Lhasa - the holiest place in the world. You will fully enjoy the charm of this ancient holy city before moving forward.

Day 4 Lhasa (3650m) - Gampa La Pass (4990m) - Lake Yamdrok (4,441m) - Gyantse (4000m) - Shigatse (3800m)

Distance and time spent: 271km, about 6h due to the speed limit.

Highlinghts:Lake Yamdrok,Karola Glacier,Pelkor Chode Monastery

Starting from Lhasa, climb over the Gampa La Snow Mountain at 4990 meters above sea level, you will see the world’s highest freshwater lake and one of the three holy lakes in Tibet - Yamdrok Lake, known as “the sacred lake in the sky”. In the Tibetan language, it means "Jasper Lake". It is 250 kilometers long and covers an area of 638 square kilometers. The azure blue lake and the snow-capped mountains in the distance are integrated, coupled with the various mountains on both sides of the bank, the distinctive Tibetan villages, and the cattle and sheep make the journey refreshing. On the road, you will see Karola Glacier. After arriving at Gyantse, you will visit the Pelkor Chode Monastery, the only monastery covering three major sects in Tibetan Buddhism, known for its exquisite murals and carvings, and then drive to Shigatse, the second-largest city in Tibet, the seat of Panchen Lama.

Day 5 Shigatse (3800m) - Tingri (4300m) - Gawula Pass (5210m) - Rongbuk Monastery (5154m) - EBC (5200m)

Distance and time spent: 389km, 7h40min

Highlights: Gawula Pass Observation Deck, Everest, Rongbuk Monastery

In the morning, you will have time to visit Tashilhunpo Monastery, which is known as one of the four major monasteries of the Yellow Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The Tashilhunpo Monastery, built on the high slope of Nyima Mountain, is magnificent and majestic. You can see it from anywhere in Shigatse. It is the symbol of Shigatse and the residence of the Panchen Lama. After that, you will set off to Mount Everest, the top of the world.

It's a long journey in the afternoon, however, you will be accompanied by the beautiful scenery of the plateau. On the way, you will stop at Gawula Pass Observation Deck. At an altitude of 5200M, Gawula Pass is the only viewing platform in the world where you can view 5 snow-capped mountains above 8000 meters at the same time. The peaks are Makalu, Lhotse, Everest, Cho Oyu, and Shishapangma. Then you will descend to Rongbuk Monastery at 4,900 meters. Rongbuk Monastery, the highest monastery in the world, is the best viewing spot for Mount Everest.

Overlook from Gawula Pass Observation Deck

Overlook Himalayan mountains at Gawula Pass

Day 6 EBC (5200m) - Tingri (4300m) - Shishapangma (4591m) - Pekutso Lake (4591m) - Gyirong (2700m)

Distance and time spent: 433km, 9.5h to 10h

Highlights: Pekucuo, Shishapangma Mountain Reserve, Ghungtang Lhamo

In the morning, if the weather is good, you can see the golden summit of Mount Everest. You will return to Tingri from the Everest base camp and then proceed from Tingri to the west along g318 Highway. You can see the grandeur of the 14th highest peak - Shishapangma all the way, enjoy the picturesque lake - Peiku Tso, which is also the largest inland lake in Shigatse, and cross Mala Mountain Pass and Ghungtang Lhamo Pass. Then, go down the mountain, you will reach Gyirong, which is a town located at the Tibet Nepal Border.

Day 7  Gyirong town (2700m) - Gyirong Port (1800m) - Kathmandu (1400m)

Distance and time spent: 160km, 6h

It takes about an hour from Gyirong Town to Gyirong Port. After arriving at Gyirong Port, go through immigration procedures, and cross the Friendship Bridge to officially enter Nepal. Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, is about 85 kilometers from Gyirong Port. Due to the uneven roads, it will take a long time to get to Kathmandu from Gyirong. There are many modes of transportation from Gyirong Port to Kathmandu. You can choose to take a local bus, shuttle van, or rent a private car.

After ending your trip in Tibet, you will start a new trip to Nepal. When you enter the border of Nepal, you will go to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. In Kathmandu, you will stay for several days to enjoy the Kathmandu Tour. A holy Hindu temple - Pashupatinath, Boudhanath, and stupa in the Himalayas deserves to visit. Apart from these, Bhaktapur, the UNESCO heritage site cannot be missed in Nepal. To sum up, you could have a pleasant time in Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour.

Necessary Documents

Chinese visa

Except for citizens of Brunei, Japan and Singapore, all visitors to Tibet need a valid Chinese visa. Most Chinese embassies and consulates will issue standard 30-day or 60-day single entry visitors within three to five working days Visa ("L" category), varies according to the visa fee charged by your country/region. To apply for a Chinese Visa, you need to provide your original passport, two passport-sized photos, a complete application form(you can take it at the embassy or download it online), proof of booking of your round trip flight tickets to/from China as well as your hotel booking proof in China.

Tibet Entry Permit

You must have a Tibet Travel Permit/Tibet Visa/Tibet Entry Permit to travel to Lhasa by train or plane. You need to book Tibet tours first, then provide a colorful copy of your passport and Chinese visa to your travel agency. It usually takes at least 10 days to process these documents and Information. The Tibet Tourism Bureau will not issue permits 30 days in advance. Instead, they will issue TTB permits about 20 days before the tour start date.

Nepal visa

A Nepal visa is an entry document to enter Nepal. After arriving at Gyrong port, you can apply for the visa on arrival.

Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour Cost

On average, the cost of a land tour from Lhasa to Kathmandu is at least 1500 USD. In addition to the application for relevant travel documents, you also need to pay for tourist vehicles, hotels and catering, guides, as well as other tourist services. The specific cost will depend on the choice of your hotels, your travel dates, your group size, etc. If your budget is limited, you can book our small group tour departing from Lhasa to Kathmandu by land. You will save cost at least 20% as you can share the fare of the vehicle and tour guide with other tourists. Our group tours have up to 12 members to ensure quality.

>>See more about Lhasa to Kathmandu group tour

Best Time to Travel

In a year, the best time to travel from Lhasa to Kathmandu is in April, May, October, and November, during which the weather is fine, the sky is blue, the oxygen content is relatively higher, and the view is much better in these months.  Especially in October and November, there are more than nine hours of sunshine every day, which is the sunniest time of the year in Lhasa and Kathmandu.

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