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Travel Guides from Lhasa to Kathmandu, Tibet (Overland, Flight, Bicycle)

Time: 10-06-2019 This Article is Composed by BudgetTibetTour

Lhasa to Kathmandu Scenery - Everest Base Camp Lhasa to Kathmandu Scenery - Everest Base Camp

The journey from Lhasa to Kathmandu is always one of the most popular routes in Tibet. Currently, there are three options for tourists to travel from Lhasa to Kathmandu: by flight, by overland (vehicle & bus) and by bicycle. All of the three ways will give travelers chances to enjoy the wonderful landscapes and experience the exotic culture of Tibet, which will make it a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

It is indeed a magnificent view. But in addition to the splendid scenery, for many tourists, including you, making a specific plan about the Lhasa – Kathmandu tour is a headache, since there are so many things should be considered. For example, what to see and do, where to eat and stay, how to save money and choose travel agency, when is the best time to go, what are the schedules of flight and bus, etc. All of these may drive you or many other tourists crazy, particularly those who are pressured for time.

How to Make A Plan for My Lhasa-Kathmandu Trip How to Make A Plan for My Lhasa-Kathmandu Trip

But you don’t have to worry much about it, as this travel guide will give you the most up to date information you need for your Lhasa - Kathmandu tour so you can travel better and cheaper. And all of these advice and information are based on the vehicle you use, how long you want to stay and what you want to. But all the routes listed in this guide are just suggestions, you can customize them based on your needs.

Before giving you the itinerary going from Lhasa to Kathmandu, you can briefly learn about the reasons for why so many travelers choose this route so that you can decide whether you need to go. If you have no interests about this part, you can directly start from Part 2.

Part 1. Why Travel from Lhasa to Kathmandu
Part 2. When Is the Best Time to Travel from Lhasa to Kathmandu?
Part 3. Necessary Documents for Lhasa to Kathmandu Tour
Part 4. Itinerary going from Tibet to Kathmandu (Overland Journey and Flight)

Part 1. Why Travel from Lhasa to Kathmandu 

Lhasa to Kathmandu Map Lhasa to Kathmandu Map

Reason 1. Experience Exotic Tibetan Culture and Spectacular Natural Scenery

This classic overland route on Friendship Highway between Lhasa to Kathmandu is around 1000 km. It is one of the most popular routes in Tibet, since it covers most of the Tibet’s historical sites and amazing natural landscapes including Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera monastery and Drepung Monastery, Mt. Everest, Mt. Kailash and Yamdrok Lake, Kathmandu Valley, etc.

Reason 2. Nepal Has Some of the World’s Most Attractive Sites.

As a tourism-oriented country, Nepal has abundant human and natural tourism resources. Every year, it attracts a lot of people around the world to travel there. Tibet, as its neighboring country, also boasts rich culture and spectacular scenery. For the close distance and rich tourism resources , many travelers generally like to visit both Nepal and Tibet at one time.

Part 2. When Is the Best Time to Travel from Lhasa to Kathmandu?

“When to go” is one of the most concerns among tourists, since bad weather may ruin your mood, even spoil your trip. Especially for some time-starved travelers, they would never want to stay one or more nights to wait for bad weather to be better. Well, which months present the best weather?

In fact, there’s no bad time to go. It really depends on what your travel goals and priorities are. If you want to have a trip that is relatively cost effective but of reasonably good quality, the best time is from Dec. to Feb when is the off-season, at which most of the travel agencies, hotels, attractions’ entry fee, flight and Tibet train, etc. may offer tourists big discounts. However, at this season, the weather might be bad. Sometimes the road might be blocked due to the heavy snow.

If you want to see Himalayas, the months from October through early May are the best seasons, since there’s very little rain falls and the weather is clear, which will give you a great view of the mountains like Mt. Everest and Mt. Kailash.

No matter which time you decide to go, some documents for Lhasa to Kathmandu tour is necessary.

Part 3. Necessary Documents for Lhasa to Kathmandu Tour

Chinese Visa

If you are an international tourist who plans to start your Tibet tour from your home country, then you need to apply for the Chinese visa at the Chinese embassy at your home country. There is something you should be careful when applying for a visa. Try not to mention Tibet or Xinjiang as your destinations. Travelers have had their visa application knocked back for doing this. You can mention some regular destinations like Beijing, Hangzhou or Shanghai, and reason for visit is TRAVEL.

Tibet Entry Permit

Tibet Travel Permit Tibet Travel Permit

Besides Chinese visa, you are also required to  apply for Tibet Travel Permit, also called Tibet Visa, with which you will be able to board a flight or train to Tibet or cross overland to Nepal. You can apply it by contacting a travel agency .

Alien Travel Permits

The travel permit is not needed for Lhasa or places just outside the city like Ganden Monastery but it is indeed required in most other areas such as Shigatze, Shanan, and Nagari, which are the places that must be passed on the way from Lhasa to Kathmandu. You can apply for it after your arrival in Tibet. Generally speaking, your tour guide will arrange it after your arrival in Lhasa.

Nepal Visa

After your arrival in Nepal Tibet border (Gyirong Port), you need to apply for a Nepal visa so that you can enter Nepal. The process is very simple, you can easily obtain it at the Nepalese Immigration Office at the the border.

Note: You’d better start your tour planning two months before traveling to Tibet, because some travel agencies need at least two weeks to arrange permits. What’s more, if you want to have a cycling trip, you need to book your cycling tour at least 25 days in advance so that we have enough time to help you apply for the Tibet Permit to enter Tibet.

Part 4. How to Travel to Kathmandu from Lhasa (Overland Journey and Flight)

Travel Guide from Lhasa to Kathmandu – By Overland (The Most Popular and Cheapest Way, 8-14 Days, cost at least $ 925 p/p)

Travel from Lhasa to Kathmandu – High-Altitude Sickness Travel from Lhasa to Kathmandu – High-Altitude Sickness

Lhasa to Kathmandu is one of the most classic and popular travel routes in Tibet. With travel distance around 1300km(one-way), this overland adventure covers almost all Lhasa’s historic sites and superb natural scenery. For most travelers, including you, it might be a once-in-a-lifetime trip. So, you’d better give yourself adequate time, not only to acclimate to the high altitude, but to experience the amazing culture and beautiful scenery along the way. In general, 8 -14 days is recommended.

The journey will start from Tibetan capital – Lhasa, which is located at 3650 meters (12,000 feet) and has less oxygen in the air than other low altitude cities. You are suggested to stay in Lhasa for 2 or 3 days before travelling to higher Himalayas so that your body can better adjust the high-altitude sickness. Though, high-altitude sickness is inevitable, you can reduce the risk of severe symptoms in advance.

Potala Palace Potala Palace

In general, we recommend you to spend 2 or 3 days in Lhasa, cause it is the largest and capital city in Tibet. There are many famous temples and monasteries like Jokhang Temple and Ramoche Temple, historic sites like Potala Palace, beautiful natural scenery like Namtso Lake to visit. In addition to attractions, it also has many comfortable hotels, excellent restaurants, and special bars to choose from.

Check for all Lhasa Hotels List >

After visiting Lhasa, the real adventure just starts. On the way to Kathmandu, you will see the turquoise-colored Yamdrok Lake lies the Tibetan town of Gyantse, the amazing Karo La Glacier, Tashilumpo Monastery, Sakya Monastery, Rongbuk Monastery, Everest Base Camp, etc. For more details about the specific travel guide for this once-in-a-lifetime trip, you can navigate to this guide >

Johkang Temple Johkang Temple

Tour recommends:

Travel Guide from Lhasa to Kathmandu – By Air (Quickest and Most Convenient Way, 4-5 Days)

Travel from Lhasa to Kathmandu by air is the quickest and most convenient way. It only takes you 1h30min from Lhasa to Kathmandu. Currently, there are two direct flights between Lhasa and Kathmandu every day, which are operated by Sichuan Airline and Air China separately.

You’d better book a ticket around 30 to 60 days before traveling. In this way, you can book some cheap tickets. And there is a price guide of flight for reference.

Flight Price Guide
April to June (Shoulder Season) July to Oct 
(High Season)
 Nov to Feb 
(Low season)
288USD---389USD 432USD—721 USD 216USD—284 USD

Cycling from Lhasa to Kathmandu Cycling from Lhasa to Kathmandu

Note: remember to choose a window seat on the right of the plane, from which you will get a splendid and magnificent view of majestic Himalayan Range and the pyramid-shaped summit of Mt. Everest.

Cycling from Lhasa to Kathmandu - By Bicycle (The Most Flexible Way, About 20 Days)

Cycling from Lhasa to Kathmandu is a challenge for both mental and physical powers. But it is also a memorable and impressive adventure on which you can enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Himalaya. Here is some advice about cycling from Lhasa to Kathmandu for your reference.

Lhasa to Kathmandu Cycling Routes
  Routes/Altitude Distance (km) Time
Route 1 Lhasa (3658m)-Qushui (3700m)-Nagarzê(4452m)-Gyantse (3977m)-Shigatse(4000m)-Jiding(3836m) 322
Route 2 Jiding(3836m)--Lhatse (4012m)--Tingri (Shelkar, 4300m)--Zhaxizong (4100m)--EBC(5200m) 283 4
Route 3 EBC(5200m)--Old Tingri(Gangga, 4800m)-- Peokutso Lake (4,591m)--Gyirong Town (2700m) 360 3
Route 4 Gyirong Town (2700m)----Gyirong Border (1800m)—Syburbesi (2380m)--Kathmandu (1400m) (207km, 2 days) 207 2

Best Season for Circling from Lhasa to Kathmandu

Mid-April to May, early June, Sept and Oct are the best time for cycling from Lhasa to Kathmandu, since it avoids the monsoon season in Tibet and Nepal and there’s no natural disaster like landslide and debris flow on Sino-Border border.

The Cost for Cycling from Lhasa to Kathmandu

In fact, the cost of cycling from Lhasa to Kathmandu is higher than the cost for taking flights or vehicles, partially because it is really a long journey (around 20 days), but also because it needs more staffs and resources like supportive van, logistic supply, guide, chef, medical help, camping and cooking facilities, etc.

Note: Remember is to book your cycling tour at least 25 days in advance. So the travel agency have enough time to help you apply for the Tibet Permit to enter Tibet.

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Travelers' Questions Might Help

The questions raised by our past customers can help you get a more clear picture about tours to Tibet, read them or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side, our specialists will reply you within 24 hours.

user portrait Mr. Ju*** from: 4 Days Lhasa Holy Landmarks Express

Hi, I plan to arrive in Lhasa on the 9th of March in 2020 by train and would like to do a 4 day tour. Unfortunately there are no tours scheduled between January and April, will there be tours added or are there not any planned?

Kind regards

Julian Franz

Answered by Helen

Hello Mr. Ju***,

    Thanks very much for your inquiry. We currently have no group tour in February and March, if you would like to travel Tibet in these months, we are able to arrange a private tour for you. While there are several confirmed departure date for the group tour in January and April, if your time is flexible, you may consider joining a group tour in April. I will send detailed itinerary to your email, please check it. Warm regards.

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8 Days Lhasa to Kathmandu Himalayan Panoramic Tour