A Great Road Trip across the Himalayas
11-Day Overland Trip from Lhasa to Kathmandu
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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About China Highlights
Since 1998 we've guided everyone ranging from US presidents, Australian Geographic and retired backpackers. Our goal is to create unique trips that take you off-the-beaten path, helping you discover China in a more authentic way. Our motto: "Discovery Your Way!"
Lhasa Tibet Adventure
Coco helped us plan our ideal trip to recent trip Tibet. She was informative, patient, and helped us tailor the trip to our own needs. She made excellent suggestions and supported us with the permits, travel itinerary, and even flights. She is an incredible asset to the China Highlights Team! Our local guide Tenzin was also excellent and flexible with us each day. I was hit with some altitude sickness and Tenzin helped me get oxygen and medicine needed. He worked with us each day to help us eat local foods and recommended ideal times to visit sites to minimize wait times. We were able to see everything on our list and eat excellent food. Thank you Coco and Tenzin! more
Itinerary Quick Look
Here is a suggested itinerary. We are happy to customize a tour according to your interests.
Your private guide and driver will pick you up at Lhasa's airport or train station and accompany you to your hotel.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Your guide and driver will take you to Kathmandu's airport on time for your departure.
—the Icing on the Cake
Boutique hotels are recommended to enrich your travel experience.
- 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