As the only international gateway city to Lhasa, Kathmandu has become a very popular destination among tourists. A Kathmandu to Lhasa overland tour is one of the best tour packages that takes you traveling along the Sino-Nepal Friendship Highway to explore the tranquil lakes, ancient monasteries and beautiful cultural reflections of the Tibetan Buddhism lifestyle. Choose one of the itineraries from our travelers favorite Tibet and Nepal trips below to uncover the mysteries of the Himalayas with help from our friendly local travel experts. All of the tours are customizable, so just tell us your needs and we'll do the rest to give you a once in a lifetime experience to these two Himalayan kingdoms.
There are two ways to get to Tibet from Kathmandu, via road transportation or by plane. Most travel agencies have to arrange a car drive to Gyirong port without carrying any tourists to pick you up if you choose to go to Lhasa from Kathmandu via road transportation, so the price is very high, so we suggest you take a plane to Lhasa. It is a much cheaper and faster way.
Nepal is the only country with direct flights to Lhasa, which costs about 300 US dollars. The whole journey is about 600 kilometers, and it takes about an hour and a half, which is pretty short for an international flight. There are two flights per day from Kathmandu to Lhasa, CA408 (12:10-16:00) and 3U8720 (11:30-15:05). The flights schedule may change without noticing any side, so it is suggested to check out the exact schedule with us at least one week in advance.
If you do want to travel to Lhasa from Kathmandu via road transportation, our partner in Nepal will send you to Gyirong, the new port between China and Nepal, and our Tibetan guide will pick you up after you pass customs. Due to the increasing elevation, you should stay at the port for a while to acclimatize yourself to the altitude, and then set off to the east Tibet slowly. Before reaching Lhasa, you’ll visit Tingri, Everest base camp and Shigatse.
There are numerous fascinating attractions along this classic route, such as Mount Everest, magnificent Buddhist monasteries and Lake Yamdrok. In addition, you will have the chance to meet face-to-face with local residents and explore exotic cultures and traditions.
Currently, it takes 4 working days to apply for a group visa for Tibet. That means you’re need to stay in Kathmandu for at least 4 working days. Then you can leave for Lhasa on the fifth day. Please note that you do not need to apply for a China visa if you have applied for the Tibet group visa.
For international tourists, visa applications need to be submitted to the Chinese embassy in Nepal through local operators. Visa fees vary according to your nationalities. It usually ranges from 90 US dollars to 200 US dollars.
Necessary documents include invitation letter, original passport and application form.
It takes about four days from Kathmandu to Lhasa. The following itinerary is for your reference:
If you want more sightseeing, it is recommended to spend one more day in Shigatse. The Karola Glacier and Kumbum Monastery could be included in the one-day tour in Shigatse. The Tashilhunpo Monastery could also be visited on the day you go to Lhasa from Shigatse.
The Tibetan group visa is one type of Chinese visa, but it is different from other types of Chinese visa.
Difference in entry cities: Tibetan group visas are only available for international tourists who enter Tibet from Kathmandu. Other types of visas allow tourists to travel to other places except Tibet. If other visa holders want to travel to Tibet, they need to apply for a Tibet Entry Permit.
Difference in the number of applicants: Tibetan group visas are applicable to more than 5 people and are supposed to apply through local travel agencies (If you don’t have travel partners, we could arrange other tourists to make the number reach 5. They will only share the visa, but will not travel with you); but there are no such restrictions in applying ordinary visas.
Difference in the requirements for entries to China: Visitors with Tibetan group visa are required to enter Tibet and leave China at the same time. there are no such restrictions for ordinary visa holders.
Difference in the requirements for visa extensions: Visas for Tibetan groups cannot be extended. Ordinary Chinese visas are more flexible and can be extended.
Until now, visas for Tibetan groups can only be issued in Kathmandu. The original passport must be submitted to the Chinese embassy in Nepal. Therefore, if you prefer to get to Tibet from Kathmandu, you should leave enough time for the application in Kathmandu.
Some of our customers posted their passports to Kathmandu for applying for the Tibetan group visa. According to their feedback, it took almost one month due to the slow international mail service in Nepal. Some of them even lost their passports. So it is not a good option.
Only local travel agencies in Kathmandu can submit applications for Tibetan group visas. Tourists are not allowed to submit applications as individuals. Asian Odyssey Travel has been operating trips in Tibet for over 10 years and has a long-term relationship with local travel agencies in Nepal. We are confident that we can handle it well for you and provide you with a comfortable journey if you book a trip to Tibet with us.
I was fully in love with Tibet. Truly unique. breathtaking, wonderful and yet once-in-a-lifetime experience. I was hoping I could stay longer to see the ancient city, Yamdrok Lake is the most beautiful lake I have ever saw.We managed to see as much as we can. Thanks to Claire who was very helpful to organize everything.
My best friend and I were looking forward to taking the train ride from Xining to Lhasa. Unfortunately, until the day we landed in Chengdu, our tour operator (different from Asia Odyssey) was unable to purchase the tickets for us. I contacted Danny after Googling and he was extremely helpful. Within 3 hours of contact, he had our train tickets. They were delivered to our hotel the next day before we left for Xining, and until we boarded the train, he was in contact with us to ensure that everything went smoothly. Thanks to Danny, we got to experience this once in a lifetime journey! Highly recommended for excellent and fast response! Thanks, Danny!
Wonderful moments in Tibet thanks to Odyssey Travel. It was all so well organized thanks to Amy who had been so professional and supportive.
The beauty of landscapes and people in Tibet were simply mesmerizing. Our guide and driver were amazing companions for this travel. The Kora of Mount Khalash was the highlight of this wonderful journey. I learned a lot about the culture of Tibet.
Thank you Odissey!
I wanted to visit Tibet for a very long time. Since I live in abroad, this wish was like The Everest Mountain, unreachable. After we contacted Ms. Kate, (高小乐), everything became so easy. Kate was very knowlegeable about Tibet, and very patient with our questions. We have been with her for about a year to prepare for the trip. She has provided excellent services. Due to the considerable preparation, the trip went better that I expected. This was the most memorable trip I ever had thusfar. Thanks Kate!
It was the first time we went to Tibet. Too much things we need to arrange, itinerary, travel date, tickets, permit…We were lucky to have had Kay handle our plan. She was professional, efficient and dealt everything in order. Our trip went smoothly as planned. We visited Lhasa, yamdroke lake, Everest, the beauty of Tibet was beyond my expectation except the altitude sickness.
This trip has been part of our family’s bragging card at get togethers and parties ever since we stepped foot out of Tibet. But it would have not been without the preparation and help from Xiao Yu, our tour planner from Chengdu. In addition our tour guide Julia was extremely informative and a joy to be around for those 8 days. The hotels were extremely nice and the places along the way were magnificent. Our family felt very welcomed to the area and we enjoyed the endless insight into the beautiful culture and religion (It helped out the person taking world history next year in our family). We would definitely recommend this trip to other family and friends as it is worth every single petty bit of the high elevation fatigue.