Traveling from Nepal to Tibet is to trace the footprints of ancient Nepalese Buddhist masters and scholars who trekked over Himalaya Mountains to spread Buddhism and other knowledge, to find out the hidden connection between these two greatest lands on Himalaya, also to enjoy the fantastic landscape that you can only see on the mysterious Roof of the World. There are also several other reasons for you to take a trip from Nepal to Tibet.
How to Travel from Nepal to Tibet
Quickest Way to Get to Tibet
Bordering Tibet on the north, Nepal offers the quickest transportation to Tibet. From Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, travelers only have to drive about 90km to reach Gyirong Port on the border. Crossing the port, travelers can get to Mount Everest in a single day, then extend their trips to Shigatse, Gyantse, Lhasa, Namtso, etc.
Travelers can also take daily flights from Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport to Tibet. It takes only about 1.5 hours to get to Lhasa Gonggar International Airport.
Don’t Have to Have a Chinese Visa
Traveling from Nepal to Tibet, travelers don’t’ have to have a normal Chinese Visa. The China Embassy in Kathmandu ensures Tibet Group Visa which is a special single-entry visa allows foreign travelers to enter Tibet by overland trip or flight. This Group Visa can only be applied in Kathmandu. Your original passport will be required for the application. Usually it take about 3~5 days to obtain the group visa.
Plenty of Attractions along the Road
The overland route from Nepal to Lhasa, capital of Tibet, itself is a classic and popular traveling route which is full of attractions, some of which are the bests in Tibet, such as Mount Everest, EBC, Sakya Monastery, Tashilhunpo Monastery, Palcho Monastery, Lhasa, Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, etc. Most of these attractions are conveniently located near the driving road.
How to Get to Nepal
As a word famous travel destination, Nepal can be reached from global hubs easily. Most travelers choose to fly to Tribhuvan International Airport, the only one international airport in Nepal. It is about 6km away from downtown of Kathmandu city. So far, there are about 30 international airlines flying between Nepal and Asia, Europe and the Middle East. There usually will involve a stop in the Middle East or Asia. You can first stopover at Delhi or Bangkok, then take a short flight to Kathmandu.
You can also go overland to enter Nepal from India and Bhutan. Whether by flight or road travel, you have to get to Kathmandu at least 3 days in advance before leaving for Tibet.
How to Plan a Travel from Nepal to Tibet
Currently you have two options when you planning a trip from Nepal to Tibet – overland travel or flight travel. The most popular trip is the overland adventure from Kathmandu to Lhasa, via Gyirong Port, Mount Everest, Shigatse, Gyantse. There are also other overland itineraries you can take, such as Kathmandu Mount Kaillash Lhasa Overland, Kathmandu Tsetang Lhasa Overland, etc.
If you prefer flight travel, you can only get to Lhasa from Kathmandu since there is only one international air line between Nepal and Tibet. It won’t be a problem as you can have many options after arriving at Lhasa – exploring Lhasa surrounding, overland traveling back to Kathmandu, or travel from Lhasa to mainland China.
How many days you have planned for your trip?
Generally speaking, a Nepal Tibet trip can either be short to 4 days, or long to more than 20 days. It depends on where you want to go in Tibet. The classic route Kathmandu Lhasa Overland needs at least 7 days. If you want to cover Mount Kailash in your trip, you have to plan at least 13 days. A biking trip from Kathmandu to Lhasa needs about 22 days.
Private tour or group tour
According to local laws, independent travel in Tibet is not allowed. One has to take a private tour or join in a group tour, offered by a China travel agency. A private tour gives you more flexibility to arrange the tour length, itinerary and activities according to your personal interests. You will have your own private tour guide and driver. Traveling with a group tour, you will join other people in a fixed-departure date, and share the itinerary, vehicle and tour guide, which will greatly cut down your expense.
Kathmandu to Lhasa Overland via Mount Everest
This tour is the most popular tour from Kathmandu to Lhasa. It start from Kathmandu, goes northeastward to Lhasa. Highlights come along the way from beginning to the end. You will firstly go to have an exciting adventure on Mount Everest which is not very far away from Nepal side. Then you will travel to the Golden Triangle Destinations in Tibet - Shigatse, Gyantse and Lhasa.
Day 1~2 Nepal to Shigatse via Mount Everest
Drive from Kathmandu to Gyirong Port, and go to accommodate in Gyirong Town on the Day 1, then drive to visit Mount Everest on the Day 2. A highlight is Rongbuk Monastery.
Day 3~4 Mount Everest to Lhasa
After visiting Everest Base Camp, drive to Shigatse City on the Day 3. The Day 4 is for you to travel from Shigatse to Lhasa and visit unique Palcho Monastery, imposing Karola Glacier and tranquil Yamdrok Lake on route.
Day 5~7 Lhasa Tour & Departure
Visit the most classic attractions in Lhasa on Day 5 and Day 6, including the grandiose Potala Palace, holy Buddhist sites Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery, also the exotic Barkhor Street and quiet Norbulingka, and depart from Lhasa at Day 7 by flight or train.
If you prefer a slower pace, you can extend this trip to 9 days – spending an extra night at Gyantse, and an extra visit to Sakya Monastery.
Kathmandu to Lhasa Overland via Mount Kailash
This route is an in-depth Tibet tour which takes you to explore most of the best highlights of Tibet. After entering Tibet, you will firstly go to trek the holiest mountain in Asia – Mount Kailash, and visit Manasarovar Lake, then drive to National Highway 318, and travel to Lhasa via Shigatse, Gyantse and Yamdrok Lake.
Day 1~3 Kathmandu to Darchen
Mount Kailash is located in remote western Tibet, you have to spend three days on the road before getting to Darchen.
Day 4~6 Mount Kailash Trekking
In the following three days, you will trek around 50 kilometers to complete the Mount Kailash Kora.
Day 7~8 Drive from Darchen to Mount Everest
Long driving from Darchen to Mount Everest. But the landscape along the road is amazing.
Day 9~10 Travel from Mount Everest to Lhasa
Drive to Shigatse City on the Day 9. The Day 10 is to travel from Shigatse to Lhasa via Gyantse.
Day 11~13 Lhasa Tour & Departure
Spend two days visiting the most classic attractions in Lhasa, such as Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, etc, and depart from Lhasa at Day 13 by flight or train.
Kathmandu to Lhasa Tour by Flight
If you just want to spend a short stay in Tibet, you can directly take a flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa. A trip of 4~6 days is recommended for you to explore Lhasa and its surroundings.
- Day 1 Take flight to Lhasa from Kathmandu
- Day 2~3 Lhasa Acclimatization and city tour. Featured attractions includes Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery, etc;
- Day 4 Drive about 250km from Lhasa to visit the holy lake Namtso. Then return back to the city;
- Day 5 Lhasa Departure.
Necessary Permits for Tibet to Nepal Tour
Before starting your travel from Nepal to Tibet, please note that you have to get several necessary travel documents with you, including Tibet Group Visa, Tibet Entry Permit, Alien Travel Permit and Border Pass. It you want to extend your trip to Mount Kailash, you will to have an extra permit – Tibet Military Permit. Traveling with Tibet Discovery, you don't have to worry about failing to get these permits. We will apply for all the permits for you.
Group Visa is a special kind of Chinese Visa for foreign travelers to enter Tibet from Nepal. Common Chinese Visa doesn’t allow foreigner to enter Tibet from Nepal. With this Group Visa, one can also extend its trip to other provinces and cities in mainland China. Travelers can only apply for this permit at China Embassy in Kathmandu City. Original passport is required. lear more >
Tibet Entry Permit
Tibet Entry Permit is foremost and compulsory for foreign passport holders to enter Tibet. Issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau, it is also called TTB permit. Without the permit, you can’t board your flight to Tibet or cross overland from Nepal, also will not be able to get other permits to continue to travel Tibet further.
Every non-Chinese passport holder, including US citizens, UK citizens, Australians, Canadians, Germans, Taiwanese, etc., has to obtain Tibet Entry Permit. It takes about 15~20 days to obtain this permit. learn more >
Tibet Border Pass
To pass the China-Nepal border area, travelers have to hold a Border Pass which is issued by Tibet Armed Police Border Corps in Lhasa. It can't be applied by travelers individually. One has to contact a Tibet travel agency to apply the Border Permit from the Tibet Armed Police Border Corps in Lhasa. learn more >
Alien Travel Permit
When foreign travelers travel beyond Lhasa to other prefectures in Tibet, such as Shigatse, Shannan, Ngari, one has to have an Alien Travel Permit. The Lhasa to Kathmandu Cycling passes Shannan and Shigatse Prefectures. So the Alien Travel Permit is required. This permit can be applied after arrival in Tibet. Your tour guide will take you original passport and Chinese visa to apply for the permit. It usually takes only about 30 minutes to get the permit. learn more >
Tibet Entry Permit
Tibet Border Pass
Recommended Tibet Tour Packages
Tibet Discovery Tours is specialized in finding unique experience of Tibet, and leading you to explore what interests you most. Our Private Tibet Nepal Tours will take you to explore deep into the Holy Land, with loads of options, freedom & flexibility. You can choose from the following hand-picked tour packages which have been successfully operated for many years and created loads of amazing experiences for our customers, or check more Nepal Tibet Tours >>
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Thanks for question. The time for closing border varies in different years. Usually it will close when frequent rainfall happens during May to October.