Guide to Epic Cycling Tour from Lhasa to Kathmandu
Lhasa to Kathmandu, cycling tour is by far the most popular route amongst the enthusiastic tourists and especially the cyclists. The tour is a remarkable and most sought-after tour experience amongst the tourists. The route is studded with the beautiful yet enigmatic natural beauties, mainly the snow-clad mountains acting as the solemn guards almost throughout the journey. Moreover the trans-Himalayan ranges are not the only company that you are going to expect in this cycling route. Sometimes, you will come across green meadows and the stretches of Alpine beauties on both the side of the road.
Cycling Journey from Lhasa to Kathmandu
In the total overland cycling journey from Lhasa to Kathmandu, prepare yourself to come across the best of the cultural and historic portions of Tibet. In this article, we are going to discuss in details, the epic cycling route from Lhasa to Kathmandu and the various other minute details to be kept in mind, while making this trip.
The cycling journey from the capital city of Tibet to the capital city of Nepal includes certain customs and important documents and official acknowledgements. The various documents required for the cycling journey are -
1. Tibet Travel Permit. This is one of the most important documents that can be issued prior to your journey by one month. The customs will specifically check this permit at the border between Tibet and Nepal.
2. Group Tourist Visa along with Tibet Travel Permit in order to make the cycling journey. (If one travels from Nepal to Tibet by tour vehicle.)
3. Your Passport is also very essential. In case of any difficulty or any problem with the authenticity of Tibet Travel Permit, you Tourist Visa and your passport will come handy.
4. Alien Travel Permit also should be issued as your cycling journey will take you through many inaccessible parts of Tibet or the parts where tourists are usually not allowed unless they have an Alien Travel permit.
Best Time for the Cycling Tour
It is observed that the best time to make this cycling tour is from April to mid-June and again from September to October. Try avoiding the monsoon seasons during this trip as the slippery road condition harms the grip of the cycle and there are greater chances of fatal accidents. Also winter should be strictly avoided because of the fact during winter, majority of the road in Tibet remain blocked. As a result of that, the routes of the cycling become totally inaccessible during this time. Hence winter should be also avoided. During the months of April to mid-June and September and October, the weather remains perfect and clean. Visibility therefore is utmost during this time of the year.
Enjoying biking tour in perfect and clean weather.
Basic Itinerary of Tibet Nepal Tour
Day 1 Arrive in Lhasa
The very first day of the journey begins with your arrival in Lhasa.
Day2-3 Lhasa sightseeing - Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street, Drepung and Sera Monastery
The stay in Lhasa continues to acclimatize your body. Visit the top attractions in Lhasa in these two days like the Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street, Sera Monastery and Ganden monastery. Taste the local delicacies and enjoy your stay and soak in the authentic atmosphere of Tibet.
Day 4 Lhasa (3650m) to Shigatse(3900m) via Gyantse
On the fourth day, we will start our journey to Shigatse via Gyantse. We have to cross through Gampala pass and hence will get a glimpse of Yamdrok-Tso lake. You can also have the spectacular view of Mount Nyenchen Tanglha, surrounding the Yamdrok Tso lake. After passing through Karola Glacier, we will finally enter Gyantse. In Gyantse, we will come across, Gyantse Kumbum and the Gyantse fortress. Later we will travel to Shigatse and might behold the famous Barley Mill. After reaching Shigatse, we have to spend the night here.
Day 5 Shigatse(3900m) to EBC (5200m) via Tingri
From Shigatse, we have to make our journey to EBC via Tingri. On the way from Shigatse to EBC, Lhatse will fall. Lhatse is a small town where we can halt and have some meals. Then our journey will continue and after passing the magnificent Tsola Pass, Gyatsola Pass and Gawula Pass, we will finally reach EBC. Do observe the sunset and the sunrise against the snow lad peak of Mount Everest. Stay overnight in Rongbuk monastery.
Day 6 EBC to Gyirong Border (370km)
In the following day, after you have finished admiring the Mount Everest and completed the visit to Rongbuk Monastery, make your journey for Gyirong valley. The journey is made via Gangga Zhen. On reaching Gyirong, show your travel permits and make arrangements for your stay for the night. On the way, you will come across Mount Shishapangma and the beautiful Pekutso lake.
Day 7 Gyirong to Nepal Border
It takes just a few hours to travel from Gyirong to Gyirong port-the new Sino Nepal Border after the destruction of Zhangmu border due to the 2015 earthquake. Then from Gyirong Port, taking the Rasuwa Bridge will make you reach Kathmandu in just a few hours.
The above simple itinerary is just for your reference. It actually takes you around 17 to 22 days to complete the whole cycling trip from Lhasa to Kathmandu with EBC. Click here to see more details about 22 Days Lhasa to Kathmandu Bike Tour. Or just tell us your plan and our Tibet travel guru are ready here to help you sort out all the necessary travel permits and details.
Highlights of the Tour
Yamdrok Tso Lake
The very first thing that will fall in your journey and will sweep you off your feet is the vast Yamdrok Tso lake in Tibet. The lake is considered to be very holy and indeed it exudes a solemn beauty. It consists of clear blue water and the surrounding Nyenchen Tanglha with its snow-clad peak exudes a mesmeric scenic view.
Yamdrok Tso Lake
Gyantse Kumbumn and Gyantse Fortress
Gyantse Kumbum is a huge Stupa containing many attractions. It is almost like a monastery except that it is huge and contains many Stupas. The Gyantse fortress on the other hand is in totally dilapidated condition. But still the old world charm can be easily observed from it.
Tsola Pass, Gatsola Pass and Gawula Pass
These three passes are the important aspects to be passed while you are making your journey to Everest Base Camp. The Tsola Pass has an altitude of 4600m, the Gyatsola pass is situated at an altitude of 5200m and the Gawula Pass is situated at an altitude of 5250m. From these passes, you will get to see the excellent panoramic views of the entire Trans-Himalayan ranges.
EBC and Rongbuk Monastery
Everest Base Camp, situated at an altitude of 5200m, will give you a clear view of world’s largest peak, namely Mount Everest. You can also visit the Everest Nature reserve. From the site of Everest Base Camp, you will be able to get the mesmeric view of the sunrise and sunset against Mount Everest. Also before you get to EBC, you have to cross Rongbuk Monastery. The monastery is simple in design with the monks and nuns living in it. It is mainly used as an accommodation centre during this time. It’s another significance is that it takes active part in all the cultural festivals of Tibet.
Cycling towards Everest Base Camp
Mount Shishapangma and Lake Peikutso
Both of these exude magnificent beauties. While Mount SHishapangma remains snow-clad throughout the year and exhibits the raw beauty of nature, lake Peikutso involves variety as a lot of Tibetan wildlife can be observed in its shore. These wildlife include antelopes, sheep, and even wolves and foxes. Except for these, a lot of migratory birds can also be observed in the bank of the lake Peikutso.
Gyirong, the hidden Himalayan valley is also a place to be cherished. It includes a very comfortable climate along with a vast stretch of greeneries and also wildlife reserve. Though cultural relics might include some ruins of temples, the place of Gyirong is mainly popular for the vast natural reserve.
Packing should be done very carefully in this journey. The basic things to pack are -
1. Enough woolen clothes for your journey in Tibet.
2. Cotton clothes also.
3. Waterproof clothes in case of emergency.
5. Woolen and cotton socks, gloves and scarves.
6. A helmet is must and along with it the particular type of cycling shoes.
7. Medicines of all types.
9. Sunscreens and moisturizers.
10. Toiletry which should be kept totally personal.
11. The other cycling gears.
12. Also waterproof tents in case you have to camp for two to three days.
Why Cycling Tour is Expensive?
Cycling tours are usually expensive than normal tour packages owing to the fact that many extra items are required to be carried. In normal tour packages, you do not have to pay heed to the extra knickknacks of the journey, while in a cycling tour you have to indulge in a lot of extras. In cycling tours, you have to carry your chef, food ingredients and also a guide, in case you remain stuck and have to camp for two-three days in a definite place. Also renting cycles require a cost but the cost gets enhanced as you have to rent a lot of extra things like tires and other cycling gears for safety. You also need extra bicycles to be carried for which an extra van has to be rented. Thus the overall expense of the tour gets increased. However, still, indulging in cycling tours will give the best experience of your life that will worth the expense of the whole journey.