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How to Travel from Tibet to Nepal

Why Travel from Tibet to Nepal

As two close neighbors geographically in the Himalayas, Tibet and Nepal shares some commons, but the natural scenery, local culture and history are quite different from each other. Traveling from Tibet to Nepal or from Nepal to Tibet, generally, the landscape and experience are always the same. If you’re in one the following situation, then you’re highly suggested to take a trip from Tibet to Nepal, rather than the opposite route.

If you already have a Chinese Visa , you can firstly visit China's other destinations, including hiking the Great Wall in Beijing, witnessing metropolis skyscrapers in Shanghai, seeing the magnificent Terracotta Army in Xian, etc., and then travel to Tibet with required permits, continue exploration to Nepal afterwards. This tour direction saves your money and time on visa issue if you’ve got a Chinese Visa.

Note: A Chinese Visa is not valid for entering Tibet from Nepal, unless you re-apply a Tibet Group Visa in Kathmandu, and the obtained Chinese Visa will expire.

2. Nepal has more international flights. After tour ends in Nepal, you can fly back home or transfer to other countries for further travel, while Tibet only has one international flights between Kathmandu, Nepal.

3. If you worry about high altitude sickness, you’re recommended to travel from Tibet to Nepal because you can have lots of time for acclimatization for high-elevation attractions, like Mount Everest and border area. The average altitude of Lhasa is about 3,700m, which is the best environment to adjust your body to high altitude and thin air on plateau. (Kathmandu has an average altitude of around 1,400. If you go to Tibet from Nepal, you will face huge increment of altitude and greater chance to suffer the stress when visiting Everest or Mt.Kailash.)

How to Plan a Travel from Tibet to Nepal

Your tour from Tibet to Nepal can be short or long, in different themes, or cover different destinations, according to your own interests, length of holiday and budget. There is no fixed travel route. You can go a classic itinerary - Lhasa/Gyantse/Shigatse/Everest/Kathmandu, or tailor make your own trip. Before planning your Tibet Nepal trip, here are several things to consider:

1) Where to start your trip, Lhasa or others?

There are different airlines taking you to different places in Tibet. That means you can start your Tibet tour from Lhasa, Nyingchi, Shigatse and Ngari. Well, more than 80% of our former customers chose to start their adventures from Lhasa because there are many flights and trains to Lhasa. Besides, Lhasa is the best place for high altitude acclimatization. From Lhasa, you can travel southwestward to Nepal. While Ngari, Shigatse and Nyingchi are only connected to a few cities in China.

2) How many days you have planned for your trip?

You decide the trip length. But you have to plan over 4 days for a Tibet Nepal tour package. If you want to travel overland to Kathmandu from Lhasa, you will need at least 7 days. If you want to cover Mount Kailash in your trip, you have to plan around 2 weeks.

3) Private tour or group tour?

According to local laws, foreigners are not allowed to travel independently in Tibet. All non-Chinese passport holders must take a private tour or join in a group tour, organzied by a China travel agency with planned transportation, accommodation and schedule. 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.

Travel from Tibet to NepalPotala Palace in Lhasa City
Travel from Tibet to NepalLhasa to Kathmandu Highway

Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland via Mount Everest - Most Popular & Classic

Your once-in-a-lifetime journey to Tibet isn’t complete without Mount Everest. Usually, it takes about 7~9 days to explore the most recommended destinations in Tibet, such as Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse, Mount Everest and others in a single trip. That can be extended longer if you like to visit extra attractions. Following is a sample itinerary:

- Day 1 Lhasa Arrival;

- Day 2~3 Lhasa Acclimatization and city tour. Featured attractions includes Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery, etc;

- Day 4 Travel from Lhasa to Shigatse via Gyantse. Visit Yamdrok Lake, Karola Glacier and Palcho Monastery on route;

- Day 5 After visiting Tashilhunpo Monastery, drive from Shigatse to Mount Everest. Accommodate at Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse or local guest house;

- Day 6 Go to visit the famous Everest Base Camp, then drivel from Mount Everest to Gyirong Town for accommodation.

- Day 7 Go to Kathmandu from Gyirong Port.

√ 8 Days Private Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour with Everest

√ 7 Days Join-in Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour via Everest (Group Tour)

If you have more time, you can travel to more attractions to better feel the beauty and purity of Tibet. Maybe a side trip to crystal holy lake Namtso, a additional visit to the special Sakya Monastery after spending overnight at Gyantse.

√ 9 Days Lhasa Kathmandu Trip with Namtso & Everest

Travel from Tibet to NepalPalcho Monastery in Gyantse Town
Travel from Tibet to NepalMount Everest View from Rongbuk Monastery

Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland via Mount Kailash - A Sacred Pilgrimage Journey

This route is a prolonged Itinerary from Lhasa to Kathmandu, costing more than 2 weeks. Before leaving for the Gyirong Port on the border, you will divert your direction towards Ngari Prefecture in northwest to visit the famous holy Mount Kailash and Manasarovar Lake after Everest.

Day 1~3 Arrival & Lhasa Tour

After arriving at Lhasa on the Day 1, you will go to visit the most classic attractions in Lhasa on Day 2 and Day 3, including the grandiose Potala Palace, holy Buddhist sites Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery, also the exotic Barkhor Street and quiet Norbulingka.

Day 4~5 Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse - Everest

You will travel from Lhasa to Shigatse and visit the tranquil Yamdrok Lake, imposing Karola Glacier and unique Palcho Monastery on route. Visit Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse and go to Mount Everest on Day 5.

Day 6 ~ 7 Mount Everest - Saga - Darchen

Transfer from Everest to Darchen, the nearest town to Mount Kailash. Then get to Darchen, a small village and the starting point of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.

Day 8~10 Mount Kailash Trekking

In the following three days, you will trek around 50 kilometers to complete the Mount Kailash Kora.

Day 11 ~ 13 Drive to Gyirong & Departure

Drive back to Saga to the border area, then transfer to Kathmandu from Gyirong Port.

√ 13 Days Tibet to Nepal Trave via Holy Mountains Everest & Kailash

Find more Mount Kailash Trekking Tours if you are interested.

Travel from Tibet to NepalHoly Mount Kailash
Travel from Tibet to NepalPilgrim at Lake Manasarovar

Lhasa to Kathmandu Flight Tour with Top China Highlights - In-depth China Discovery

Another good idea is to visit more destinations within your limited time, namely, put Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Chengdu and some hot tourist cities with Tibet and Nepal. The fast and convenient air travel from Lhasa to Kathmandu saves your time for getting more wonderful experience in China. Normally, you will need at least 2 weeks for such a trip.


Day 1~4 Arrival and Beijing Tour

Beijing is your first stop. You will visit the world’s largesr square - Tian’anmen Square, the “Forbidden City” where 24 Chinese emperor once lived in, hike the Mutianyu Great Wall, walk through the famous Beijing Hutongs, etc.

Day 5~6 Beijing to Xian High Speed Train & Xian Tour

You can have main essence of Xian’s cultural and historical treasures. You can see the huge Terracotta Warriors & Horses, bike on the Ancient City Wall, taste local snacks in Muslim Quarter, visit Buddhist temple - Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and Shaanxi History Museum to know better about Xian.

Day 7~9 Fly from Xian to Lhasa & Lhasa Tour

Tibet adventure begins from Lhasa. Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery and other landmarks surely will surprise you how faithful and devout Tibetans are, how sacred the land is.

Day 10~13 Lhasa to Kathmandu Flight & Kathmandu Tour

With several UNESCO World Cultural Heritage properties, Kathmandu Valley is the best place to decode charming of Nepal. We also take you to view gorgeous Himalaya sights from Nagarkot near Kathmandu.

Travel from Tibet to NepalMutianyu Great Wall in Beijing
Travel from Tibet to NepalJokhang Temple Square in Lhasa


Day 1~3 Arrival & Shanghai Tour

Shanghai is a very popular gateway to China. In Shanghai, a quick visit to the symbolic skyscrapers is a must. You will visit Yu Garden, Shanghai World Financial Center (the second tallest building in Asia), stroll along prosperous Nanjing Road, the Bund....

Day 4 Chengdu City Tour

Let’s go to the Chengdu Giant Panda Research Base to closely look at the cute pandas. Then to Wenshu Temple, Renmin Park and Jinli Street to feel culture and leisure life of Chengdu.

Day 5~7 Lhasa City Tour

You won’t miss the top highlights in Lhasa. Before sightseeing trip, pay attention to your acclimation of the high altitude.

Day 8 Fly from Lhasa to Kathmandu (about 1.5 hours)

Day 9~11 Kathmandu Tour & Departure

Durbar Square in Kathmandu Valley are good story tellers. The country’s glorious history, unique culture and local life all can be seen there. Swayambhunath and Boudhanath are also top sites to visit. Leave one day to Nagarkot to see the breathtaking sunrise of the Himalayas.

Travel from Tibet to NepalGiant Pandas in Chengdu
Travel from Tibet to NepalBuddhism Debate in Sera Monastery, Lhasa

Necessary Permits for Tibet to Nepal Tour

Traveling from Tibet to Nepal, whether taking flight or overland driving, you have to apply for and bring necessary travel documents with you, including Chinese Visa, Tibet Entry Permit, Alien Travel Permit and Border Pass. It you want to visit Mount Kailash, you will to have an extra permit – Tibet Military Permit. After arriving at the border, you will also have to apply for a Nepal Visa at the customs.

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 workding days to obtain this permit. know more details >>

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. know more details >>

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 >>

Chinese Visa

If you want to travel from Tibet to Nepal, you have to obtain a Chinese Visa first. Group Visa is not qualified. The Chinese Visa will also be used to apply for Tibet Entry Permit before your trip. learn more >>

Nepal Visa

Before arriving at the Nepal Tibet border (Gyirong Port), you have to apply for a Nepal Visa in Lhasa to enter the land of Nepal. It is simple and quick to complete the application with our help. Original passport is needed.

Tibet to Nepal | Tibet Entry Permit
Tibet Entry Permit
Tibet to Nepal | Tibet Border Pass
Tibet Border Pass
Tibet to Nepal | Aliens Travel Permit
Alien Travel Permit

How to Get to Tibet

To travel from Tibet to Nepal, you have to get to Tibet first. Currently travelers have two major ways to transfer to Tibet - taking flight and taking trains:

Taking Flight to Tibet

Tibet totally has 5 airports in different prefectures and Lhasa Airport is mostly used. Currently, there are more than 18 destinations in China operating daily flights (including non-stop & connecting flights) to Lhasa, Nyingchi and else destinations in Tibet. Among all the air-connected cities, Chengdu offers the most frequent direct flights to Tibet, more than 15 flights every day. Beijing, Chongqing, Xian and Kunming come after Chengdu.

So far, there is only one international air route to Tibet: Kathmandu to Lhasa flight (within 1.5 hours, weekly scheduled).

Useful Links: Flights to Tibet / Kathmandu Lhasa Flight

Taking Train to Tibet

Currently there are 7 major train routes connecting Lhasa with gateway cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Lanzhou and Xining. Travelers can also board the train at the midway stations, such as Nanjing, Xian, Taiyuan, etc. Among the 7 gateway cities, Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai are most popular because they are not only important international transfer hubs but also full of famous attractions. Xining is also recommended strongly because it is the nearest city to Lhasa by train, and you can stay there for one or two days to acclimatize the high altitude before arrival at Lhasa.

Useful Links: Popular Tibet Train Routes / Popular Tibet Train Tours

Travel from Tibet to NepalAn Airplane of Tibet Airlines
Travel from Tibet to NepalA Train Heading to Lhasa

Recommended Tibet Nepal 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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