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Should I Take the Overland Trip from Lhasa to Kathmandu, or Kathmandu to Lhasa?

December,14 2018 BY Sonam Tenphel 0 COMMENTS

An increasing number of people are keen on the overland trip between Tibet and Nepal, due to close geographic location, similar religious belief and unique natural landscape. In the last 2 years, the overland trip, whether from Nepal to Tibet or Tibet to Nepal, can’t be taken because of the earthquake that took place in 2015. Since that time tourists had been visiting these two places by plane. Fortunately, this is no longer true due to Gyirong Port, the new Sino-Nepal border, finally reopened to International Tourists by the end of Aug, 2017, tourists not only can travel by plane between the two destinations, but also they can travel overland. Those who are planning the overland tour must want to know which route is the best. Strictly speaking, every coin has its two sides. We combine rich experiences with the reality to analyze pros and cons carefully, if you want to know more, read the following.

 the Overland Trip The overland trip between Tibet and Nepal

Advantage and Disadvantage of the Overland Trip from Lhasa to Kathmandu

Tibet is surely the place where you can touch the sky, where you can feel like flying, where you can see how nature intertwines with religion. The tour from Lhasa to Kathmandu is also an excellent experience to explore Tibetan Culture, Buddhism or appreciate turquoise alpine lake and bright sunshine. Perhaps many people hesitate whether should do the overland trip from Lhasa. Actually, there are two irresistible reasons why tourists should take this trip.

Avoid Altitude Sickness

As we all know, Tibet is reputed as “the roof of the world”, sits on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the highest and largest plateau on the planet, at an average elevation of 4000 meters above sea level. Hence acclimatizing to the high altitude properly is quite important. If you choose to travel from Lhasa, you have the chance to get better used to acclimatization.

Generally, tourists will stay for 3 nights in Lhasa for acclimatization, and Lhasa is at an altitude of 3600 meters. Meanwhile, you can pay a visit to the most interesting Buddhist temples. These include the Dalai Lama's winter house, the Jokhang Temple or the Potala Palace. To observe Buddhist faith, you will also visit monasteries from that area, such as Sera or Drepung.

 Potala Palace In Lhasa, Tourists can get used to accimatization and drop by attractions

Gradually, you will head to Shigatse, which is 3900 meters higher, and will stay there for another night. The next day, you will move to the Everest Mountain, at an altitude of 5200m, which is the highest destination in your overland trip. This management can help ward off the risk of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), especially those who are in poor health. As long as you acclimatize yourself to this high altitude, the rest of trip will be completed successfully.

Experience the Highest Qinghai-Tibet Railway

What is the meaning of journey? The answer must be on the road. On the way to Lhasa by train is unforgettable and special. Travelling from Lhasa to Kathmandu, you first have to arrive in Lhasa, so taking Qinghai-Tibet railway train is not missed. This railway from Xining to Lhasa is known for its high altitude and complex terrain, reputed as the Sky Road, also only one railway in Tibet.

The train follows the Qinghai-Tibet Railway line, which travels over some of the most beautiful countryside in the world as it ascends to, and crosses, the Tibetan plateau. As a result, you can enjoy unmatched plateau landscape, the snow-covered mountain tops along the railway. If you visit Tibet in grazing season, the herds of yaks are grazing on the rich grass, sometimes several clusters of white clouds drift across the blue sky, all these seem to constitute a natural oil painting, which makes you relaxed and calm.

 the Qinghai-Tibet Railway line You will travel in a picturesque world by train

In fact, stay at train also will help you to acclimate and lessen the risk of altitude sickness. Certainly, you can also fly to Lhasa, it is more convenient but more expensive, less interesting. In so far as one wants to cut down his budget is not a good option.

However there is one reason that causes some people are not willing to choose this route, application for the Chinese Visa may take you longer time to wait. As for other travel documents, such as Tibet Travel Permit, on matter where you start, travel agency, such as Tibet Vista can help you to manage. So you have nothing else to do but to enjoy what these fascinated realms of this tour can offer you.

Advantage and Disadvantage of the Overland Trip from Kathmandu to Lhasa

Nepal is a country that is extremely complex, being a multitude of beliefs, values, landscape, all in a wonderful masterpiece. Travel overland from Kathmandu to Tibet is also a great option. As far as the necessary documents are concerned, starting from Kathmandu is easier. Tourists just need the Tibet Travel Permit and Group Tourist Visa, Chinese Visa is not necessary, this is why so many people choose to start from Kathmandu. In order to obtain the necessary documents for Tibet, tourists are obliged to stay for a few days in Kathmandu for Tibet Travel Permit and Group Tourist Visa (for Tibet). Of course, this is not necessarily a bad thing, as it gives you the chance to spend several days exploring Kathmandu.

 Kathmandu Before leaving for Lhasa, touring scenic spots in Kthamandu is a wise decision.

There are many attractions definitely being worth visiting in Kathmandu, including Pashupatinath, Swayambhunath, Boudhanath and Budhanilkantha. When traveling, you will find whole Kathmandu is full of artistic charms and religion. Every year, Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world visit these Kathmandu's sites reflecting ample cultural features of Buddhism. Nepali Buddhism is influenced by Tibetan’s to a certain extent, which can be conducive to the comprehension of Buddhist Culture in Tibet for tourists who are fond of it. With the in-depth understanding in religion, it is not difficult to find how strong faith is, and you can’t help respecting those pilgrims.

There is also an evitable disadvantage of this trip. The capital of Nepal, Kathmandu stands at an elevation of approximately 1,400 meters above sea level in the bowl-shaped Kathmandu Valley of central Nepal. However, Everest Base Camp in Tibet is located at an altitude of 5200 meters, it is difficult to get enough oxygen at high altitudes. And more notably, you will just take two days to reach EBC in Tibet, which means you don’t have enough time to get better used to acclimatization, accordingly, the risk of altitude sickness will be increased. Comparatively speaking, starting from Lhasa is beneficial to heath, which is a process of constant adaptation. Certainly, if having already been to higher area than EBC, you just choose which you prefer and prepare well before leaving. The details of preparation can be seen in other articles of our website, you can also inquire what want to know in travel agency or your friends who have already taken this overland trip.

In brief, whether you start from Tibet or Kathmandu, these two places have rich and splendid historical and cultural heritage, such heritages are blended with their enchanting scenery, something truly unique. Charming attractions can be indeed a feast to the eye. Also, Safety is of great important. Now you can make decision in accordance with all the reason listed above, and book your own Tibet Nepal overland trip.

Sonam Tenphel

About the Author - Sonam Tenphel

Energetic, responsible and reliable, Sonam is a guide with more than seven years experience informing visitors about heritage sites and attractions places in Tibet.

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