Lhasa Kathmandu Overland Cycling - Bike from Lhasa to Kathmandu
Cycling from Lhasa to Kathmandu is a supreme biking adventure across the high plateau and across even higher passes on the roof of the world. This epic 1,100 kilometers’ journey is an ultimate challenge of both mental and physical powers as well as a memorable adventure on which you can see the breathtaking beauty of Himalaya and experience exotic Tibetan culture.
Nowadays it becomes easier to cycle from Lhasa to Kathmandu, because most of the roads are well-paved and you can easily get supply of food, drinks and accommodation during your trip. Actually there are not many things you need to worry about. Your tour operators in Tibet will take care of the whole details - acclimatization, itinerary, hotels, camping, food, permits, etc.
Why Start the Cycling from Lhasa
We strongly suggest you start your cycling tour from Lhasa to Kathmandu so that you can bike from lower altitudes to higher altitudes. The overlanding cycling crosses 6 major passes, including several passes over 5000 meters. So acclimatization is very necessary.
Lhasa, with an average altitude around 3,700m, is the best place for you to acclimatize your body to the high altitude. You can get to Lhasa by flights from other cities in China or Kathmandu. If you want, you can take a train to Tibet along the World’s highest altitude railway - Qinghai Tibet Railway, which is also helpful to avoid or deal with high altitude sickness.
During your acclimatization in Lhasa, you will have plenty of time to explore the famous sites in the holy city, such as Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street, etc. Besides, you can prepare food, drinks, medicines, gears and other necessities for your cycling trip in this capital city.
If you think it’s necessary, you can have some biking exercises surrounding Lhasa.
Lhasa to Kathmandu Cycling Route - Lhasa Kathmandu Bike Itinerary
The overland biking trip starts at Lhasa city, via Yamdrok Lake, Gyantse, Shigatse, Lhatse and Mount Everest, crosses Gyirong Port at the border, gets to Kathmandu with a whole distance around 1,100km, which needs at least 14 days to finish. Following is the detailed biking routes for your reference.
Day 1: Bike from Lhasa City to the foot of Kamba-la Pass (85km)
Your Lhasa to Kathmandu overland cycling starts with a relatively short and easy biking day. You will bike along the Tsangpo River. The roads are well paved and even. After around 85km’s leisure biking, you will get to the foot of Kamba-la Pass (3,700m) where you will camp for overnight.
Day 2: Bike to Yamdrok Lake (55km)
Today, you will bike from the foot of Kamba-la Pass to Yamdrok Lake. The most difficult part is the strong uphill riding to the summit of Kamba-la Pass(4,794m) where there are many prayer flags hanging. Here you can stop for a while to enjoy the panoramic view of Yamdrok Lake. Then descend from Kamba-la to the lake side of Yamdrok Lake. Camping for overnight.
Day 3: Bike from Yamdrok Lake to Karola Pass (54km)
Today, you will leave the beautiful holy lake Yamdrok, and bike along the black-topped roads to the foot of Karola Pass(4,750m). The most parts of today’s roads are even. Camping will be arranged in a village near Karola Pass.
Day 4: Bike from Karola to Gyantse Town (86km)
Today, you will firstly bike from the foot to climb over the Karola Pass(5,010m) where you will stop for a while to enjoy the beautiful landscape of Karola Glacier. Leaving Karola Pass, you will keep riding to Gyantse Town (3,980m). There are not many ups and downs on this section. So don’t have to worry about running out of energy even though you will ride over 80km. Gyantse Town offers good hotels and food. Here you can treat yourself a great bath and dinner in a local hotel.
Before leaving for Shigatse, you must take a visit the landmark - Palcho Monastery where different sects of Tibetan Buddhism existing peacefully. If time allows, you can also go to climb the historical Gyantze Dzong.
After the town visit, you have to ride about 94km to the second largest city in Tibet - Shigatse. This cycling can be done easily because the road is paved well and flat.
Day 6: Bike from Shigatse to Gyachung Monastery (75 km)
Before today’s cycling, you can spend about 1~2 hours exploring the famous Tashilhunpo Monastery which is the official seat of successive Panchen Lamas. The monastery has the world’s largest statue of the Future Buddha, Jampa.
Then leave Shigatse city and bike over two small passes and pass several Tibetan villages. Camp near Gyachung Monastery (4,100m).
Day 7: Bike from Gyachung Monastery to Lhatse County (95km)
Today, ride on the highway along the valley for several hours. Then climb over the Tso La Pass (4,520m), and keep riding to Lhatse County. If you prefer camping, keep riding about 10km out of the town. If you want to stay in a hotel, there are many local hotels to accommodate in Lhatse (3,860m).
Day 8: Bike from Lhatse to Shegar (75km)
Today, you will ride over Gyatso-la Pass (5,220m) where you can see the majestic Mount Everest for the first time. Keeping riding about 40km from the pass, you will arrive at Shegar Town. Stay in a hotel or camp for overnight in Shegar.
Day 9: Bike from Shegar to Rongbuk Valley (67km)
Today you will leave the Lhasa Kathmandu Friendship Highway because you are going to head toward Mount Everest. But today you can only finish the half way. First challenge is 20km of uphill roads which has 42 bends in total. Then you will get to Pang Pass(5,150m). Here you can see several worlds’ highest peaks, including Makalu (8,463m), Shishapangma (8,012m), Cho Oyu (8,210m), Lhotse (8,516m), Everest (8,848m). Then comes a 20 kilometer long downhill road leading to Rongbuk Valley where you will camp for overnight.
Day 10: Bike to Rongbuk Monastery (35km)
Keep riding about 35km along the Rongbuk Valley until you get to Rongbuk Monastery (4,980km) where you can see the best views of Mount Everest. This monastery also operates a guest house where you can get electric supply. Bathing is not available. You can also camp near the monastery.
Day 11: Bike from Rongbuk Monastery to Everest Base Camp (16km)
Today is for you to relax on the world’s highest peak. You will have a round biking trip of 16km between Rongbuk Monastery and Everest Base Camp (5,200m). The rest time is free for you to enjoy the time on this magnificent peak.
Day 12: Bike from Rongbuk Monastery to Old Tingri (86km)
Today, you will have a tough long cycling from Rongbuk Monastery to Old Tingri Town. Only a short section of the road is well-paved. The rest is bumpy road but not cliffy. There are several sharp ups and downs before getting to Old Tingri. Stay in a hotel or camping for overnight.
Day 13 ~ 14: Bike from Old Tingri to Gyirong County (188km)
In these two days, you will bike long from Old Tingri Town to Gyirong Town. It is hard to find a town to accommodate before getting Gyirong County. So you have to camp for accommodation. The landscape along the cycling is amazing. In clear days, you can see the clear face of Shishapangma Peak and enjoy the beautiful view of Pekutso Lake.
Day 15: Bike from Gyirong County to Gyirong Town (67km)
Today you will bike from Gyirong County to Gyirong Town which is only about 25km from the border. Have a good rest for tomorrow’s long biking to Kahtmandu.
Day 16: Bike from Gyirong Town to Kathmandu
Today, you will bike about 25km from the town to Gyirong Port at Nepal Tibet Border. Check though the customs, you have to bike 160km to Kathmandu City. The road is not very wide, and there are many vehicles. So be careful!
Dinning and Accommodation During Lhasa Kathmandu Cycling Tour
Dinning won’t be a problem. But don’t expect as great as a regular Tibet trip which stops at bigger towns for better food. During this Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Cycling, some places offer flexible choices of food, even western buffet, such as Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse; some places mainly offer Sichuan cuisines, such as Lhatse, Old Tingri, Gyirong, etc. While in other places which are not close to the town, you have to cook on your own, or bring snacks.
Camping is the major accommodation during Lhasa to Kathmandu cycling. But when you get to some towns and cities, such as Gyantse, Shigatse, Lhatse, Old Tingri, Mount Everest, if you want, you can also accommodate at hotels.
Guest House on Mount Everest
Necessary Permits for Lhasa Kathmandu Cycling Tour
The Lhasa Kathmandu Overland Cycling require you to obtain several travel documents, including Chinese Visa, Tibet Entry Permit (Tibet Travel Permit, TTB Permit), Alien's Travel Permit, Border Pass and Nepal Visa.
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 >
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 >
Tibet Entry Permit
Tibet Border Pass
Travel with Tibet Discovery
Tibet Discovery is a local based travel agency in Lhasa provides superior tour to every tourist. Traveling with us, you are assured to enjoy all our high-quality travel services, including vehicles, professional tour guide and experienced driver, well-organized itinerary, assistance of visa and permits application and other travel related services.
Your Tibet tour will become worry free because we will settle all details in advance. You can get to destination as swiftly and smoothly as possible. Our local guide and driver can accompany you to airport or Gyirong Port. Transfer service from Gyirong Port to Kathmandu can be provided if you need. Moreover, you will enjoy the freedom and flexibility to stop on the way for sightseeing or photograph. All cars are equipped with skilled and reliable drivers who have many years of driving experience in Tibet. There is also an Oxygen Box prepared for tourists.
Besides, our travel consultants will customize a tour, apply all needed permits and book the flight/train for you. During journey, your local professional travel guide will be at your side and help you enjoy a wonderful journey. Contact us to start your Tibet and Nepal discovery now!
Tibet Discovery Provides Best Tibet Tour Services
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 >>