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Tibet Tour for Cycling: What Is a Lhasa to Kathmandu Cycling Tour Like?

Latest Update: June,10 2023

Of all the ways touring Tibet, cycling comes the most unique one since it’s very challenging both physically and mentally. But it is well worth it: you’re able to choose off-the-beaten paths and enjoy the alpine views on your own pace.

As a tour operator, we have been running Tibet tours since 1984. Keeping ourselves open and up to the trend, we started Tibet bike tour at an early stage and have done many biking tours in Tibet and Nepal in recent years. Many of our guests who have chosen to cycle on the roof of the world have never regretted it.

Actually, we have just finished a Lhasa to Kathmandu cycling tour. Let’s have a look at what they have experienced.

The Lhasa to Kathmandu Cycling Tour We Had This Month

In general, this Lhasa to Kathmandu cycling tour can be divided into three parts: Lhasa to Shigatse, Shigatse to Everest Base Camp and Everest Base Camp to Kathmandu.

In the first two days, our guests just hung around in Lhasa and the surrounding parts, visiting Potala Palace, Johkang Temple and Barkhor Street, and Sera, Drepung and Ganden monasteries. This is also a period of time to acclimatize to the high altitude in Tibet.

Potala PalacePotala Palace is the first place to visit Tibet.

Cycling from Lhasa to Everest Base CampCycling from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp.

Cycling from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp

Cycling from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp

Cycling from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp

Then they rode out of Lhasa, heading to the foot of Gangba-la Pass (3,700m). Today is the easiest of all but it can be a bit tough since it’s the first day out of Lhasa. But the overview of Yamdrok Lake is rewarding.

Yamdrok Lake is one of the three holy Lakes in Tibet.Yamdrok Lake is one of the three holy Lakes in Tibet.

Having a rest beside Yamdrok LakeHaving a rest beside Yamdrok Lake

The following day, they passed through Gangba-la Pass (4,800m) and reached Lake Yamdrok Lake (4,441m). Gangba-la Pass is the first pass of the whole trip and the uphill ascend can be tough, but hanging your own prayer flags on the top rendered some relaxing moment. Today, they were able to take a closer look at Yamdrok Lake. The lake is one of the three holiest lakes in Tibet, and the biggest freshwater habitat for migratory birds. They camped overnight by the far side of the lake.

Camping outsideCamping outside and take a short break

After two days of riding, they found their own pace and pedalled from Yamdrok Lake to Shigatse via Gyantse. Although there’s the 4,750m-high Karola Glaciers on the way, the road becomes gravel in the beginning and later even tarred. Before riding towards the even tougher journey, we deliberately arranged an overnight stay in a hotel in Gyantse for our guests to regain some energy.

Arriving at Karola GlacierArriving at Karola Glacier

Besides the awe-inspiring views of Karola Glaciers, they also got a deeper understanding of the history of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism by visiting Gyantse Fortress and Pelcho Monastery.

Gyantse KumbumGyantse Kumbum is one of the foremost attractions in Tibet.

The journey from Shigatse to Everest Base Camp (EBC) was the toughest part of this cycling tour. They rode through the highest point of all the tour, but meanwhile were well rewarded with the most stunning alpine views. Firstly, they went to visit the famous Tashilunpo Monastery, the seat of Panchen Lama, the second leader after Dalai Lama in Tibetan Buddhism. After passing through Tso-la Pass at 4,520m, Pang-la Pass at 5,150m, they finally reached Rongbuk Monastery. On the way, they also made a stop in Gawula Pass and took some nice photos of the panoramic view of the Himalayan Mountains.

Enjoying the cycling tour in TibetEnjoying the cycling tour in Tibet

Gawu-la PassEnjoy the stunning scenery at Gawu-la Pass

Gawu-la PassOur clients got at Gawu la pass.

Gawu-la PassRiding towards Mt. Everest Base Camp.

Cycling at the Everest Base CampCycling at the Everest Base Camp

There are tents in the monastery and they stayed there for one day to treat themselves and gained energy fully before heading out again. Rongbuk Monastery is the world’s highest monastery and also the perfect spot to get both amazing sunrise and sunset photos of the might Mt.Everest. Do remember to get up one hour early before sunrise to get some of the nicest photo shoots!

Arrived at the EBCArrived at the EBC.

Breathtaking Sunrise at Everest Base CampBreathtaking Sunrise at Everest Base Camp

Breathtaking Sunrise at Everest Base Camp

Rongbuk MonasteryRongbuk Monastery is the world’s highest monastery.

After riding back through the bumpy road back to Old Tingri, they took the vehicle to Paiku Lake and cycled to Kyirong Border, where they headed for Kathmandu - Lhasa to Kathmandu Cycling Tour: your ultimate guide to cycling across great Himalayas.

From Kyirong, you can finish the riding and our staff at the Kathmandu office will pick you up and send you to your hotel. Or, if you want to make it all the way to Kathmandu on your bike, you can pass through customs and enter Nepal. From the Nepali town of Kodari, you would continue a downhill riding along the 50-kilometres-long bumpy and rocky roads. Suddenly it will become tropical and humid and green again as you cycle alongside rice paddies. After reaching the town of Dolalghat, you must climb up to the town Dhulikhel (1600m).

On the last day, you will freewheel down through Bhaktapur, where you can stop and see some of the town's famous temples if you wish, before riding into bustling Kathmandu - Check more popular Nepal tour here.

Whom Are This Tour Suitable For?

Anyone who wants to challenge themselves riding on some of the highest lands of all. But you should refer to your doctor's suggestion as a final guideline. And, even if you travel as a family and/or with kids, you can still take this tour. You ride while your partner and children stay in the car enjoying views with you.

Our guiding carOur guiding car

The Best Time for a Tibet Cycling Tour

The best time to cycle in Tibet is from Apr. to mid-Jun. and Sept. to Oct. when the weather is milder and there’s not much rain.

Having a rest and enjoying the beautiful sceneryHaving a rest and enjoying the beautiful scenery

How Is the Road Condition in Tibet?

The road in Tibet is nice and totally fine for cycling, although there are some bumpy parts. As you can see from the latest biking tour above, there are many sections where the road is well paved and easy to ride on. In general, Tibet is a safe place to travel to.

Riding to Mt.Everest Base CampGood road condition to Everest Base Camp

Cycling towards Mt.Everest Base Camp

Cycling towards Mt.Everest Base Camp

How to Plan a Biking Tour in Tibet?

For guests who want to do Tibet cycling tours, they need to do some physical training as well as following their doctor’s advice. Also, we would have a professional cyclist arrange some test cycling around Lhasa to know each of our guest’s physical situation better and design the daily riding distance accordingly.

Cycling towards Mt.Everest Base CampOur clients are cycling at the roof of the world.

On our side, we usually arrange a Tibet cycling tour in a ‘4+2’ format. Based on your group size, it comes with one or two 4-wheeled supporting vehicles to carry food and water, tents, spare parts for bike repairing, etc. Two guides are usually arranged as well, one to keep your company, rendering water and clothes and taking photos of you. Whereas the other guide will go ahead to find places to eat and camp, according to the itinerary. What you need to do is just carry a small quota of snack and water and enjoy pedalling. By this way, your cycling tour is much easier.

Our guests are preparing the lunch beside the road.Our guests are preparing the lunch beside the road.

As to altitude sickness, apart from your doctor’s advice, our guides are experienced enough to help you get a safe and comfortable journey. Just remember to tell your guide immediately if you feel uncomfortable.

To have a unique biking tour in Tibet, just leave a message telling us your requirements, and we’ll make it happen!

So if you’re ready to a Lifetime Tour to Tibet, our dedicated and professional teams are expecting you in Tibet! Please feel free to reach us, sharing your great ideas. We would like to offer the most useful Tibet tour advice, For Free!

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