When it comes to planning an overland trip from Lhasa to Kathmandu, tourists often get stuck in collecting the most up-to-date information. In this article, we have provided all the latest details on the Friendship Highway, best traveling time, classic overland route, Gyirong Port, etc.
Sino-Nepal Friendship Highway
Sino-Nepal Friendship Highway is reputed as the most spectacular route on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. With a distance of 943 kilometers, this highway consists of two parts, a 829-km-long section in China and a 114-km-long section in Nepal. Since its operation in 1965, millions upon millions of businessmen, pilgrims and tourists have traveled between Lhasa and Kathmandu.
Lhasa is the starting point of China-Nepal Highway. A large portion of goods sold on Lhasa Barkhor street are imported from Nepal. And many Nepalese businessmen are Tibetan offspring. In Lhasa, you’ll encounter some peculiar restaurants where you can enjoy Tibetan foods, Nepalese cuisines, Indian meals and western-style dishes. Most waiters here also come from Nepal. They can write down menu in English and speak Mandarin. You must be amazed at their unique Nepal beauty.
Driving along Friendship Highway, you can appreciate all kinds of sceneries varying from Shigatse farmland, Himalayan alpine terrain to Nepal river valley. The whole Lhasa to Kathmandu overland tour usually needs seven or eight days. Tibettour offers you the most professional tour guide, cozy vehicles, comfortable accommodations, etc.
In addition, many tourists would like to join Lhasa to Kathmandu bike tour. It’s a real big challenge for physical and mental strength.
Best Time to Overland from Lhasa to Kathmandu
With an average altitude of over 3,500 meters above sea level, Sino-Nepal Highway enters its rainy season from May to August. At that time, oxygen content is much higher and scenery turns to be colorful, but the weather is not so stable. The best months to drive to Kathmandu from Lhasa is September to November. In the crisp autumn, lakes and streams become more crystal. As clouds and mist blow away, you are more likely to catch a clear panorama of Mount Everest. The borders won’t be closed in winter but it often snows. The daily temperature can be as high as 15℃ and vehicles come back and forth. The light snow won’t be a big traffic barrier. But if it got heavier, especially continuing for several days, some sections would become dangerous and you may be trapped on the road. So be sure to get the exact weather information before your Tibet tour starts.
Daily Itinerary of Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour
Day1. Arrive in Lhasa (3650m)
When you arrive in Lhasa by train or flight, our Tibetan tour guide will greet you and escort you to your hotel. Please take things easy in the first few days and have a good rest.
Day2. Lhasa tour – Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street
Today, you’ll pay a visit to Potala Palace, the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. Then head to Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street where you can do the kora with pilgrims and buy some souvenirs for family members and friends.
Day3. Lhasa tour – Drepung Monastery/Sera Monastery
In the moring, you’ll visit Drepung Monastery, one of the three great Gelug monasteries inTibet. At afternoon, the most interesting thing is to watch monk debating in Sera Monastery.
Day4. Lhasa (3650m) to Shigatse (3900m)
Today, we’ll drive from Lhasa to Shigatse. You can catch a glimpse of Yamdrok Lake and Mount Nyenchen Khangsar on the way. In Gyantse, we’ll visit the famous Pelkor Monastery and Gyantse Kumbum. Then we’ll go to Tashilunpo Monastery where you can see the well-preserved largest statue of Jampa (future Buddha) in the world.
Day5. Shigatse (3900m) to Everest (5200m) via Tingri
After getting your Alien’s travel permit, we’ll leave Shigatse to Shegar. If the weather is clear, you can view Mt Everest in distance. After 4 to 6 hours’ drive, you will arrive at Rongbuk Monastery.
Day6. Everest (5200m) to Old Tingri (4300m)
Getting up early, you can catch the stunning sunrise on the top of Mt Everest. Then you may trek from tent to Base Camp 4/km one way or go to EBC by local bus. After visiting base camp, you can tour Rongphu Monastery which is the highest monastery in the world (5000m) and then drive to Old Tingri where you can enjoy the beauty of whole Himalaya range.
Day7. Old Tingri (4300m) to Kathmandu via Gyirong Port
In the early morning, we’ll leave Old Tingri for Kathmandu. The road to Gyirong Port is not bad but the altitude and the atmosphere is rabidly changing in front of your eyes. In the afternoon, you will arrive in border – Gyirong Port , and move to Kathmandu.
If you want to skip Everest Base Camp, 7 Days Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland without visiting Everest Base Camp will be the best option for you. See more at Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour
Due to the earthquake and floods on Sino-Nepal border, Zhangmu has not yet reopened to pubic. You can overland to Kathmandu via Gyirong Port as alternative. Here are a couple of things needing your attention!
1. The first and most important thing is your passport. Besides, your personal belongings would be also checked several times en route.
2. You should follow the provisions of customs, commodity inspection and border as well as Nepal’s related laws and regulations to avoid unnecessary troubles.
3. The currency you carry with shall be neither over CNY30,000 nor USD5,000. And it must be single currency. Excess is not allowed, or you’ll get punishment.
4. Once passing Resou Bridge, it means that you have entered Nepal.The immigration bureau is just 1.5 km away from Gyirong Poter. Moving 20km further, you can take public bus to Kathmandu for seven hours.
5. The time difference between China and Nepal is two hours and fifteen minutes.