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China Nepal Friendship Highway Route Map China Nepal Friendship Highway Route Map

China Nepal Friendship Highway from Tibet

Tibet Friendship Highway, also called China-Nepal Highway or Tibet-Nepal Highway, is a celebrated road connecting Lhasa (capital of Tibet) and Kathmandu (capital of Nepal). It is famous for its scenic wonders. Traveling along this beautiful road, you can enjoy quite a lot enchanting natural scenery and cultural wonders of Tibet. The world No. 1 summit Mt, Everest can be seen in its dramatic splendor. The road is also import to pilgrims who make their way from all around Tibet to the spiritual center in Lhasa.

Tibet Friendship Highway Facts

There are two lines of China-Nepal Friendship Highway, namely east line passing through Zhangmu-Kodari Port (樟木-科达里口岸) while the east line crossing Gyirong-Rasuwa Port (吉隆-热索瓦口岸). They share the same routes from Lhasa to Niemu.

East Line of Tibet Friendship Highway

Route: Lhasa - Shigatse - Lhatse -Tingri - Niemu - Zhangmu Port (Kordari Port) - Kathmandu

Length: 943km (582 miles)

The east line was completed 1965 and began to serve travelers since then. The Friendship Highway in Tibet side (Lhasa-Zhangmu section) is also one part of famous 318 National Road - honored as the Most Beautiful Highway in China. Due to the huge earthquake occurred in Nepal in 2015, the road near the border was broken and the Zhangmu- Kodari Port has been closed for a short time. After the reconstruction, it is open for trade only.

West Line of Tibet Friendship Highway

Route: Lhasa - Shigatse - Lhatse - Tingri - Gyirong County - Gyirong Port (Rasuwa Port) - Kathmandu

Length: 1,120km (696 miles)

Gyirong Port was open in April, 2017 and is a main port for travelers who want to have an overland trip between Kathmandu and Nepal. The scenery of west line is not second to the east line. Driving along this road, you will get a great experience as well.

China Nepal Friendship Highway
Friendship Bridge on the East Line
Gyirong Port
Gyirong Port

Road Condition of Tibet Friendship Highway

The road from Lhasa to Gyirong Town is well-paved and you can enjoy a smooth and comfortable driving experience. In order to ensure the safety, there is a rate-limiting policy in most roads of Tibet. So the drivers need to keep the speed under the limited speed and serve you a safe journey.

After crossing Gyirong Port, the road to Kathmandu is not in good condition. There about 50km-long cramped and miles of twisting mountain road. The mountain road is rather narrow that only one car can access in some segments. In rainy season (June ~ September), traffic jam caused by landslide may usually occurs, so the driving journey from Gyirong to Kathmandu may be extended to over 10 hours long. Remember to pay close attention to the weather before your driving trip between Kathmandu and Gyirong Port.

China Nepal Friendship Highway
318 National Road (Shigatse - Tingri Section)

Travel along Tibet Friendship Highway

Nepal and Tibet are two Himalayan kingdoms with much to enjoy, including history, Buddhist culture, traditional architecture, snow-capped peaks, etc. There are many tourists planning to travel them together. There are daily flights between Lhasa to Kathmandu, but some travelers prefer an overland trip by road for more enjoyable experience along Tibet Friendship Highway.

Most Popular Nepal Tibet Tours by Friendship Highway

>> 8 Days Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour via Mount Everest

>> 7 Days Join-in Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour

>> 11 Days Classic Tibet and Nepal Tour via Mount Everest

Travel Friendship Highway from Tibet or Nepal Side?

No matter you start your overland journey from Tibet or Nepal, you are able to appreciate the same impressive scenery. According to our experience, it’s more recommended to start your trip from Tibet to Nepal, especially for travelers who want to visit Everest and Ngari. Firstly, traveling your trip from Lhasa, you will have more time to adapt the high altitude in Tibet. The average altitude of Lhasa is 3,650 meters (11,975 ft) and the altitude of Rongbuk Monastery (the best viewing-deck for Mount Everest) is 4,980 meters (1,6338 ft). You will spend 2 days touring Lhasa and another 2 days travelling from Lhasa to Mount Everest. So you can have at least 4 days acclimatize your body to the higher altitude gradually. The average of Kathmandu City is lower than 2,000 meters (6,562 ft) and you will travel to Rongbuk Monastery with an altitude of about 5,000 meters in only 2 days. Travelers are more likely to suffer from high altitude sickness. Secondly, there is no need to apply Tibet Group Visa if you travel Tibet from Nepal. Tibet Group Visa should be applied by group of travelers with at least 5 members and they have to enter Tibet and exit Tibet or mainland China exactly on the same date.

Of courses, if you skip Mount Everest and travel with your family or friends (at least 5 members), traveling from Nepal to Tibet is convenient as well.

Definition of High Altitude
Definition of High Altitude

How to Travel along Friendship Highway

Tibet Friendship Highway can be traveled in different ways. Usually, travelers choose to drive to Shigatse via Gyantse rather than drive to Shigatse along Friendship Highway directly, because there will be much to see along the road. Generally, it takes about 4 ~ 8 days according to your detailed itinerary.

Route 1: Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse - Tingri - Gyirong - Kathmandu

It is the shortest driving journey to view the Golden Triangle Cities of Tibet, namely Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse. After you sightseeing in Lhasa, you can spend three days driving to Kathmandu.

On Day 1, drive to Shigatse via hero city Gyantse. During your journey, you will get an opportunity to see Tibet’s several natural wonders, including tranquil turquoise Yamdrok Lake, bright Karola Glacier which can be seen from the road, snow-covered Simila Peak and jade-green Manla Reservoir. In addition, you won’t miss the culture treasures in Gyantse and Shigatse as well. The Kumbum Stupa in Palcho Monastery is a featured Nepal-style stupa cherished with about 10,000 images and statues of Buddha.

On Day 2, pay a visit to Tashilhunpo Monastery - the home of Panchen Lamas in the morning and then drive to Tingri for accommodation

On Day 3, continue driving from Tingri to Gyirong Town and stay overnight

On Day 4, cross the Gyirong Port and drive to Kathmandu.

>> 7 Days Kathmandu to Lhasa Overland Tour

Route 2: Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse - Everest - Gyirong - Kathmandu


Yamdrok Lake is as beautiful as a sapphire

White Pagoda of Palcho Monastery

If you love more breathtaking landscape of high plateau, don’t miss Mount Everest. You will spend 4 days on the driving journey.

On Day 1, drive to Shigatse from Lhasa via Gyantse

On Day 2, drive from Shigatse to Everest via Tingri. You will reach Rongbuk Monastery - the highest (altitude) monastery in the world and the best viewing-deck for Mount Everest. If you are lucky enough, you will see the amazing sunrise, sunset and starry sky over Mount Everest.

On Day 3, drive to Gyirong from Rongbuk Monastery. In the clear days, you will see the face of Shishapangma Peak and the enchanting face of Pekutso Lake. Stay overnight in Gyirong Town

On Day 4, cross the Gyirong Port and leave for Kathmandu.

>> 8 Days Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour via Mount Everest

>> 9 Days Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour with Namtso and Everest


Mount Everest - World's Highest Peak

Route 3: Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse - Everest - Kailash - Gyirong

On Day 1 ~ 2, you will get to Mount Everest via Gyantse and Shigatse.

On Day 3, drive to Saga from Rongbuk Monastery.

On Day 4 ~ 7, travel to holy Mountain Mount Kailash and undertake a kora or trek around Mount Kailash. After the kora or trekking, drive to Lake Manasarovar which is honored as the Mother of Sacred Lakes for sightseeing and accommodate there.

Day 8 ~ 10, drive to Gyirong Town from Lake Manasarovar via Saga.

Day 11, cross the Gyirong Port and get to Kathmandu

>> 13 Days Tibet to Nepal Overland Tour via Tibet Holy Mountains Everest and Kailash

>> 14 Days Mount Kailash Tibet Highlights Tour from Kathmandu

Customers of Tibet Discovery
Mount Kailash looks like a hug ice-cream

Helpful Tips for Traveling Friendship Highway

● Permits for Tibet Nepal Overland Travel

Tibet Enter Permit is a must for traveling Tibet. If you plan to travel to the border areas like Mount Everest, Mount Kailash, Gyirong Port, etc., Tibet Border Pass is also necessary. Visiting Kailash needs Military Permit as well. All the permits can be applied by travel agency only. Usually it needs 20 days at least to obtain these permits. For those travelers who choose an overland trip from Nepal to Kathmandu, you need to apply Tibet Group Visa (Chinse Group Visa) in addition. Permits for Nepal Tibet Travel>

● Use Flight as an Alternative

During the rainy season, it will dangerous be dangers to drive between Gyirong and the Gyirong Port will be closed. You can take a 1.5 hours’ nonstop flight between Nepal and Tibet. During the flight journey, you see some high-soaring peaks as well, including Mount Everest. Lhasa Kathmandu Flights>

● Travel with Tibet Discovery

As a Himalaya based travel agency with offices in Nepal and Tibet, Tibet Discovery is experienced in offering you high-valued private tours which have helped lots of travelers travel Nepal and Tibet. Our professional travel consultant will deal with every detail of itinerary, permits, transportation, and accommodation before your visit. The service from our local guide and drivers will give you a memorable tour. Contact us to make your Nepal Tibet tour now!

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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