Ultimate Guide to Cycling from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp

November,20 2019 BY Lobsang Tsering 0 COMMENTS

Cycling Tours in Tibet are very famous. The wide expanse of beauty lying amidst the mountains, lakes and Alpine forests makes Tibet absolutely the right place to cycle around and enjoy the heavenly bliss. It may seem strange to others but actually, many cycle enthusiasts cycle around Tibet every year. Indeed it is a tough job to cycle in high altitudes but adventurers cannot compromise with the visual pleasures of Tibet that they will get while cycling. The most famous cycle route in Tibet is from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp. It is mostly opted by the cycle enthusiasts because of the greatness it provides.

The most famous cycle route in Tibet is from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp.The most famous cycle route in Tibet is from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp.

Why Cycling?

Cycling in Tibet is very popular. There are amazing cycle routes in Tibet. No cycle enthusiasts have ever regretted the decision of cycling in Tibet. Tibet is a land of snow-laden peaks, grasslands, green Alpine forests, meadows, small villages with hospitable folks. Cycle enthusiasts can traverse all these places. They can have adventure and pleasure all at the same time. While it may seem ridiculous to some, this tour is undertaken by many adventurers and travelers.

Cycle enthusiasts can traverse all these places and have adventure and pleasure all at the same time.Cycle enthusiasts can traverse all these places and have adventure and pleasure all at the same time.

Travel Documents in Tibet Tour

Permits and documents are very essential aspects of our travel. All the proper documents must be furnished whenever asked. Every traveller coming from a foreign country must furnish a Tibet entry permit. To tour and travel in all prohibited places of Tibet you must have a Alien's travel permit. If you want to venture in the military areas of Tibet you should probably need another permit and that is military permit.

Best Time to Do the Trip and Packing List

Mid April- October is a perfect time to make a cycle trip. Lhasa to Everest Base Camp is a great route and the beauty exceeds the limit during this time. In these months, the weather remains friendly too. Winter is certainly not a good time to make a cycle trip. Now cycling in the remote areas of Tibet will require efficient packing. You have to pack everything that is necessary and you may need in your journey. Here is a packing list to help you make a well-sorted packing.

1. A map is mandatory to take whether you take a tour guide or travel alone. However, it is always advisable to hire a local guide to help you in your trip.
2. Tibet has an unpredictable climate. Thus you have to prepare for all kinds of weather phenomena. Tibetan temperature greatly varies between day and night. It is obligatory that you pack warm clothes like a jacket, gloves, woolen clothes and windcheater. On the other hand cycling pants, long-sleeved sports shirt, raincoats and rain boots should be packed along. In summer you can simply wear a cycling pant and short-sleeved T-shirt while cycling. A down coat is mandatory for the ones journeying this route.
3.You will require camp wares too. Moisture proof sleeping bag, an advanced tent, first aid kit and water bottles are a must in the journey.
4. Remember before embarking on your cycle tour you may pack some vital bicycle pieces of equipment. You will not get a mechanic in the middle of the wilderness. You yourself have to mend the problem. So a knapsack, maintenance tools, brake cables, brake rubber, chain corrector, chain puncher etc will help you on your journey.
5. You can take a little bit of gasoline along so that at night you may light the gasoline to scare away wild animals.
6. Sun polarized sunglasses, sunscreen, and sun hats are necessary.
7. You may get hungry in your journey. Some instant snacks will look after that. You may pack ham sausages, steamed bread, chocolates, noodles, energy bars and nuts for your journey.

Highlights of Day to Day Cycling from Lhasa to EBC

It is an 18 days journey from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp thereby touching all the highlights in this route. Starting from Lhasa, there are beautiful highlights in the area. The Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple, the Barkhor Street along with Lhasa surroundings, Sera and Drepung Monastery form the main highlights of Lhasa.

Jokhang templeJokhang temple

Cycle enthusiasts can proceed towards Everest by the Friendship Highway. They will continue to cycle along Tsangpo River after leaving Lhasa and will reach the foot of Kamba La Pass. This is the first pass on your journey. After descending from there, the cycling route will continue along Lake Yamdrok Tso. Here you will get to see the holy lake of Yamdrok bestowed with immense natural beauty. As you cycle forward by Friendship highway, you will reach the Karola Pass. Camp in there and take rest for the day.

A cycle enthusiast reaches the Lake Yamdrok Tso.A cycle enthusiast reaches the Lake Yamdrok Tso.

After having a trek around Karola Pass, cycle along glaciers and lakes and spend a night at Gyantse. You may keep the next day for Gyantse Dzong and Gyantse Kumbum. The next destination is Shigatse. This day will be a hectic one. It is a long way to Shigatse so an overnight stay there is mandatory. Leaving Shigatse, you will cycle through valleys and enter a long route leading you to Tso La. After passing this, you have to head towards Lhatse. Cycling further over Gyatso La, you will come across the first sight of Mount Everest only if you are extremely lucky. 40 km away, you will get to the town of Shegar. This place forms a stop for anyone venturing for Everest.

The town of Shegar forms a stop for anyone venturing for Everest.The town of Shegar forms a stop for anyone venturing for Everest.

On your way towards Everest, you will get mesmerizing sites of beauty like Makalu, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Shishapangma. The next destination is Rongbuk Valley. A rough road proceeds through the Rongbuk valley that leads you to the sight of Mount Everest. You can camp in here beside the Rongbuk monastery. On the next day, cycle 8 km from this place to the Everest Base Camp.

Two cycle enthusiasts are riding towards EBC from Lhasa.Two cycle enthusiasts are riding towards EBC from Lhasa.

The Mount Everest Nature Reserve also deserves a special mention while talking about the highlights of this place. It exhibits marvelous natural scenery, vast geographical resource and age-old culture, and traditions. With all these treasures it must be explored by adventurers coming here.

Everest Base CampEverest Base Camp

Dining issues are the big factor that you have to consider while planning your cycle tour. While you are already advised to pack a few instant foods with you, you also have to rely on whatever food you may get on your way. Food served in the hotels of the popular places is good enough. Moreover there are two restaurants around Everest Base Camp - Rongbuk monastery restaurant run by the monastery itself and other tent restaurants run by locals. The food you will get here predominates in noodles and fried rice. The monastery restaurant is better preferred for the service it provides.

Mid April- October is a perfect time to make a cycle trip from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp.Mid April- October is a perfect time to make a cycle trip from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp.

You are having the sight of the great Mount Everest. You need to capture it in your camera. The best time to capture the beauty is one hour before and after the sunrise and sunset. You can get the best angles of the Everest from Tingri county, Rongbuk Monastery, and Everest Base Camp. This place is just 19 km away from the highest peak and you should shoot the picture for your life here. On your way, you will get several other picturesque landscapes to shoot. The bank of Yamdrok lake is very beautiful to be captured. You may even frame yourself with Tibetan Mastiff and Tibetan locals. You have chosen a route that offers you innumerable subject for photography.

>> Join-in 19 Days Tibet Biking Tour from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp

Cost of Cycling Tour

The cost of cycling tour is quite high. A rough estimation for an individual traveler can be up to 5,000 USD. Normally, this cost will include Tibet Travel Permits, the cost of the guide, accommodation and dining in the hotels, camping gears and camping meals with supply and staff services like the cost of the cook or any extra tour vehicle if required. However, don't be deterred by the pricy cost. Your expense may vary according to your personal preferences. Please feel free to contact our travel consultants for a fair and the latest quoation.

A viable solution to cut down the cost is to travel during the low season of Tibet tour, which overlaps the winter tour season (Late Oct. to mid-Feb) in Tibet. At that time, you may enjoy many discounts as to hotels, attraction’s entrance tickets and your flight or train ticket, etc. Or you can find some like-minded travel mates or team up with your relatives and friends to shoulder the cost.

Travel tips: After you book our Tibet tour, our travel consultants can help you get Tibet Travel Permit for free and work with you to sort out the details.

Why Cycling Tour is Even Costlier Than Normal Package Tour?

The cycling tours are generally costlier than the group tours that come around the price of $800 approximately. Cycling tours often get so costly that most of the tourist fails to afford them. Cycling tours are costlier for more than one reason. It takes more time to make this trip, nearly 2-4 weeks whereas the group tours are generally of shorter durations. The cycling tours are costlier because it includes the cost of a guide, maintenance tools and spare parts for the vehicle, additional requirements for the trip. The support vehicle which is obligatory to carry along costs additionally.

Tibet group tours thereby appear affordable in comparison to the cycling tours but cycling around the hills of Tibet has a specialty of its own. It is worth saving for a cycle trip in Tibet.

Cycling in Tibet, especially in the route between Lhasa to Everest Base Camp, is a memorable journey. But it needs immense physical as well as psychological strength to make a cycling tour. Not only you require to have proper cycling skills but also you have to be enough determined to face the surprises of nature on your way. If you think you have both of these then do not wait but plan your cycling tour now.

Lobsang Tsering

About the Author - Lobsang Tsering

I am a tour guide in Tibet an was Born in Kham Tibet, I am the father of 2 little girls, bachelor's degree. I have more than 7-years experience of being a tour guide in Tibet. I am a warm, friendly, knowledgeable and attractive guy.

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