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11-Day Overland Trip from Lhasa to Kathmandu

A Great Road Trip across the Himalayas

Great natural forces have created the unbelievable Himalayan Mountain Range. The Himalayas have created "two worlds" with different landscapes and climates on their two sides, but they have not blocked cultural and economic exchange.

Nowadays, we don't need to suffer the hardships and dangers experienced by travelers in times gone by, but we can still enjoy the amazing landscapes along the way and sense the differences and connections between Tibet and Nepal.

During this 11-day overland trip from Lhasa to Kathmandu, you will start from the holy city of Tibet, drive by peaceful plateau lakes, cross vast grasslands, and stop at Everest Base Camp. Then you'll go through a forested Himalayan pass to the warm and wet southern slopes of the mountain range, and finish by exploring old and mysterious Kathmandu.

Lhasa to Kathmandu Tour Map

Overland Trip from Lhasa to Kathmandu Map

Tour 'Wow' Points

Discover the Stories and the Secrets of Building the Potala Palace

Discover the architectural miracle when you step up into the Potala Palace. Survey the impressive Buddhist artwork housed in the palace and listen to the stories behind it. But also view the palace from a less touristy angles.

colorful Potala Palace
Treasure in the palace

Stand in Front of the "Apex" of the Roof of the World

Visit Everest Base Camp's western slope, and catch the morning sunshine coloring Everest's snowy peak golden. Talk with a monk in Rongbuk Monastery, and receive a most sacred blessing in the highest monastery in the world.

morning sunshine on Mt. Everest
Rongbuk Monastery

Enjoy a Picnic on the Bank of the Holy Lake

Pilgrimage to the Lake Yamdrok and enjoy a picnic on the bank with a great view of the lake.

A yak on the bank of Lake Yamdrok
Picnic on the lake bank

Experience a Local Tibetan Family's House and Farming Work

Visit the living room of a local Tibetan farmer's or nomad's house. Listen to the hosts talking about their daily life. Help them with their farming or herding work, such as seeding, cutting barley, hanging barley on racks, or leading the sheep or yaks.

Tibetan family's house
people working in barley fields

Explore One of the Five Great Canyons in the Himalayan Mountains

Drive into the "back garden" of Mt. Everest. Catch a thrilling glimpse of Mt. Shishapangma and Pekutso Lake, which are hidden beauties less known to travelers.

Mt. Shishapangma
Gyirong Canyon

Travel Back in Time to the Middle Ages in the Kathmandu Valley

Explore Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan. Feel the spiritual strength of Hinduism and Buddhism.

Boudhanath Stupa
Old buildings in Kathmandu

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Itinerary Quick Look

Here is a suggested itinerary. We are happy to customize a tour according to your interests.

DAY 1 Arrive in Lhasa (elevation 3,650 m / 12,000 ft)

Your private guide and driver will pick you up at Lhasa's airport or train station and accompany you to your hotel.

DAY 2 Lhasa | The Essence of Tibetan Buddism

Start with the biggest and the most important monastery of Tibetan Buddhism, Drepung Monastery.

After lunch, visit Sera Monastery and watch a monks' debate. Guess the meaning of their gestures and grasp the chance to take photos.

DAY 3 Lhasa | The Holy City and Its People

Be Ready for the Potala Palace. Prepare to enjoy the resplendent chambers, exquisite wall paintings, and the stories about the king of the Tubo Kingdom and Dalai Lamas.

Have a walking tour in the afternoon. Visit Jokhang Temple and explore Barkhor Street including its local market, admire traditional Tibetan architecture, and take afternoon tea in peaceful Ani Tsangkhung Nunnery.

DAY 4 Lhasa to Shigatse (elev. 3,836 m) | Holy Lake Yamdrok

Leave for Shigatse via Gyantse. First, you will visit Lake Yamdrok. On sunny days, the lake appears turquoise. If it's good weather, you will enjoy a lakeside picnic including sandwiches, vegetables, and fruit.

Along the way, you will view the fabulous scenery of the Karola Glacier. When you stop at Gyantse, visit the town's top attraction Palcho Monastery. The huge white pagoda and murals are its highlights.

DAY 5 Shigatse–Tingri (elev. 4,300 m) | Tashilunpo Monastery

Visit Tashilunpo Monastery in Shigatse, which is the residence of Panchen Lamas and then take the drive to Tingri. The journey from Shigatse to Tingri takes about 4½ hours by car, but you will not get bored: there are stunning views along the way.

Have a good night's sleep to be ready for Mt. Everest Base Camp on the next day.

DAY 6 Tingri | Mt. Everest Base Camp (elev. 5,200 m)

Take a 4-hour trip towards the top of the Roof of the World. You will have many chances to take photos of the Himalayas along the way.

When you reach Mt. Everest Base Camp, you'll see Mt. Everest right there in front of you (weather permitting).

Visit Rongbuk Monastery near EBC, and see the hard life of the monks and nuns there. Talk with a monk. He will be happy to answer your questions about his life and study. Present a hada (Tibetan silk scarf) to him to express your respects.

DAY 7 Tingri- Gyirong | Get into the Interior of Himalaya

Today, you will drive into the "backyard of Mt. Everest'. Enjoy the scenery along the Gyirong Canyon which is one of the five great canyons in Himalaya Mountains. Catch a breathtaking vista of Mt. Shishapangma and stop at Pekutso Lake. Drive up to the Ghungtang Lhamo pass (elev. 5236m) and then keep going down to Gyirong town in the late afternoon.

DAY 8 Gyirong to Kathmandu | Say Hello to Nepal

Your Tibetan guide will escort you to the border. You need to fill the form and show all the documents needed for leaving China. And then, you will go across the bridge connecting China and Nepal. After going through the immigration of Nepal, you will see your Nepali driver is waiting for you with your name sign.

It is about 120km (72 miles) from Gyirong to Kathmandu. But you need about 8 hours due to the bad condition of the road. There will be several checkpoints along the way. You will be required to open your suitcases and bags.

DAY 9 Kathmandu | Splendid Ancient City of the Middle Age

Meet your Nepali guide in the hotel lobby. Walk around Kathmandu Durbar Square in the morning. The old temples and palaces come into view one by one.

Continue to the most information and the most sacred Hindu temple in Nepal, Pashupatinath Temple. It might not seem solemn at first glance; however, it is indeed where the spirit of Hinduism lies. It is also a crematory. If you see a funeral at the cremation ghat, it could be a moment that stuns your soul.

In the afternoon, visit Boudhanath Stupa to feel the piety of Tibetan Buddhism. The eyes on the golden pagoda seem to have a magical power that catches your eyes. The flying prayer flags and the monks walking around encourage you to pray for good luck.

DAY 10 Kathmandu | The Peaceful Bhaktapur and the Exquisite Patan

In the morning, you will go to Patan to see the most magnificent Durbar Square in the Kathmandu Valley. Admire the stone carvings in Krishna Mandir, the amazing religious artworks in Patan Museum, and the exquisite pool for the king in Sundari Chowk.

In the afternoon, you will visit another city in the Kathmandu Valley, Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur Durbar Square might be less crowded than the other two Durbar squares. The Golden Gate and Nyatapola Temple are the sites you cannot miss.

Get back to Kathmandu in the late afternoon and climb the mountain to visit Swayambhunath Stupa (Monkey Temple). You will find out how well Hinduism and Buddhism combine there. It is nice to enjoy a bird's-eye view of Kathmandu at sunset.

DAY 11 Kathmandu Departure

Your guide and driver will take you to Kathmandu's airport on time for your departure.

Hotel Selection

—the Icing on the Cake

Boutique hotels are recommended to enrich your travel experience.

lhasa shangri-la hotel
the hotel room with Potala Palace view
FromCNY18,500 / USD2,842p/p Based on a private tour for 2 people. Price varies depending on program, travel date, number of people and chosen hotel

Price includes:

  • Tibet Travel Permits
  • Private air-conditioned business car with big windows and ample space
  • English speaking local guide
  • Activities, hotels, and meals listed in the itinerary
  • 24/7 helpline for while you are traveling

Tour code: xz-24

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