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22-Day Lhasa to Kathmandu Biking Tour

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Overview

Tour Type: Private Tour: Flexible Travel Date & Travel Routes
Guide & Driver: Chinese-English-speaking guide & air-conditioned
  • Cycling to pass the Nepal-China boarder, reach the beautiful town- Gyirong Town
  • Marvel at two incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites including Potala Place and Jokhang Temple
  • Wonder at the snow-capped mountains surrounding the spectacular Yamdrok Lake
  • Walk around Barkhor Street to experience life like the locals

Itinerary Day by Day

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Day1  Arrive in Kathmandu - Visit Kathmandu Durbar Square

Your tour guide will greet you at the Kathmandu airport to transfer you to your hotel and help you get checked in. After you've had a chance to rest for a while, we will take you to visit Durbar Square in the heart of Kathmandu. Hanuman Dhoka Palace is located here - this was the historic home of Nepalese royalty. Most of the buildings here were built from the 1400s to the 1700s so they are truly ancient buildings. Monuments of note include Taleju Temple, Jagannath Temple, Kal Bhairav, Kumary Ghar and the ruins of Kasthamandap, a large wooden structure built from the timber of a single tree, built in 1143 A.D. but destroyed in the massive earthquake of 2015.

Accommodation:Overnight at Kathmandu 3-Star hotel

Day2  Kathmandu Day Tour - Pashupatinath Temple - Boudhanath Stupa -Swayambhunath Stupa

In the morning, we will first visit the Pashupatinath Temple, one of the holiest temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and located about 5 kilometers east of the city. Then we will take you to see the Boudhanath Stupa, one of the world's largest stupas, located about 8 kilometers east of Kathmandu. After lunch, we will make our way west of the city to visit Swayambhunath Stupa, located approximately 4 kilometers west of Kathmandu. This ancient Buddhist Stupa is reportedly around 2000 years old.

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Kathmandu

Day3  Flight from Kathmandu to Tibet – Check In at Lhasa Hotel & Acclimatization

This morning you will take a morning flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa - a one-hour flight covering rugged, mountainous terrain that used to take months for trade caravans to cross. The mountains below offer up fantastic views during your flight - on a clear day you will be able to see as many as 8 of the world's 14 highest mountain peaks, including the highest of them all - Mount Everest. Upon your arrival in Lhasa, your tour guide will greet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel, where you will have the rest of the day to relax and become acclimatized to the higher elevation of Tibet.

Accommodation:Overnight at Lhasa 4-Star hotel

Day4  Lhasa sightseeing - Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street

Today we will start off with the fantastic Potala Palace, which historically served as the winter home of the Dalai Lama. It was first used in the 7th century by the 33rd king of Tibet. The most valuable collections in the Potala Palace are the gilded burial stupas of the former Dalai Lamas and the meditation cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet. After lunch, we will move on to the Jokhang Temple, which was also founded in the 7th century by the 33rd great king of Tibet to promote the Buddhist religion. Inside you can see the statue of the Buddha Sakyamuni as he was at the age of twelve - this is perhaps the most venerated object in Tibetan Buddhism. Around the temple is Barkhor Street where you can perform the "Kora" (a religious circuit around a sacred building or mountain) with pilgrims and locals. The Barkhor market is also a great place to pick up locally made handicrafts and souvenirs.

Accommodation:Overnight at Lhasa 4-Star hotel

Day5  Lhasa Sightseeing - Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery

This morning we will visit the Drepung Monastery - one of the great three Gelug monasteries of Tibet. Founded in 1416 by Jamyang Choge, on Tosngkhapa's main disciples, the Drepung Monastery is home of Ganden Palace, which formerly served as the Dalai Lama's palace before later moving on to the Potala Palace. In the afternoon we will move on to see another of the great three of the Gelug monasteries in Tibet - the Sera Monastery. Founded in 1419 by another main disciple of Tsongkhapa, Jamchen Chojey, the main attraction of this monastery is the lively scene of the monks debating Buddhist scriptures in the courtyard behind the monastery in the afternoon.

Accommodation:Overnight at Lhasa 3-Star hotel

Day6  The Journey Begins - Short Ride Out of Lhasa – Kamba La Pass (85 kilometers)

Our first riding day is fairly short and relatively easy, as we head out of Lhasa toward Mount Everest on the Friendship Highway across the plateau. The highway here is flat and in very good condition, so we'll have a chance to become accustomed to biking in the higher altitude on this easier section of the road. We will cycle along the scenic Tsangpo River to the base of the Kamba La Pass (elevation 3700 meters).

Accommodation:Camping

Day7  Ride to Yamdrok Tso via Kamba La Pass (55 kilometers)

After a good night's rest, we'll conquer the first mountain pass of our trip. It's a tough uphill climb along a basic road with several switchbacks. We'll be greeted at the top (elevation 4794 meters) with hundreds of colorful prayer flags waving in the wind as if to greet us and welcome our arrival. From this summit, it's a downhill slope to Yamdrok-tso Lake, which we will ride around to reach the far side and set up camp at an elevation of 4490 meters. Yamdrok-tso is one of the three great holy lakes of Tibet, with its beautiful turquoise green waters providing us with a calming effect after our difficult ride up the Kamba La Pass.

Accommodation:Camping

Day8  Yamdrok-tso to Karo La Pass Base (54 kilometers)

With beautiful Yamdrok-tso Lake behind us, we will continue along the Friendship Highway as it transforms into a gravel roadway. We will pass through a valley and on to the base of the Karo La Pass (elevation 4750 meters) where we'll spend the night in a tent village, with your tent already prepared for you for the night.

Accommodation:Camping

Day9  Karo La Pass to Gyantse (86 kilometers)
We will have an eventful day today as we get up early to make the strenuous climb to cross over Karo La Pass with its 5010-meter elevation. At the top we’ll be able to see glaciers reaching down from 6000-meter heights as they descend down into the beautiful lakes. After the tough ride up the pass, you will be rewarded with a night in one of the best hotels in the city of Gyantse (elevation 3980 meters).

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Gyantse (Hotel)

Day10  Gyantse to Shigatse (94 kilometers)
We'll begin the day with some sightseeing in Gyantse. Our first visit will be to the Gyantse Dzong, a 14th century fort that provided defenses for the city for centuries. We'll also see the Kumbum, which is a large gold-domed stupa containing several small chapels that boast an impressive collection of ancient Tibetan Buddhist murals. After our sightseeing in Gyantse, we will head out on the highway to today's destination city - Shigatse (elevation 3860 meters), the 2nd largest city in Tibet. The highway is well maintained and mostly flat, so it will be a relatively easy ride today. You will be able to enjoy a nice shower and a bed in your comfortable hotel room tonight.

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Shigatse

Day11  Shigatse - Gyachung Monastery (75 kilometers)
This morning we'll get up early to visit the Tashilhunpo Monastery, where you can see the well preserved statue of Jampa (future god) - the largest such statue in the world. The monastery itself was established in 1447 by the 1st Dalai Lama and has served as the seat of the Panchen Lamas for hundreds of years. After visiting Tashilhunpo Monastery, we will bike out of Shigatse along the road thorough two small mountain passes and through several small Tibetan villages. Once we reach the rarely visited Gyachung Monastery, we will set up camp for the night.

Accommodation:Camping

Day12  Gyachung Monastery to Lhatse (95 kilometers)

Maintaining our path along the highway, we will bike through scenic valleys before we ascend up and over the Tso-La Pass (elevation 4520 meters). In the afternoon we will pass by some hot springs before setting up camp about 10 kilometers outside of Lhatse.

Accommodation:Camping

Day13  Lhatse - Shegar (75 kilometers)

Today we will conquer the 5220-meter elevation of the Gyatso-la Pass, where on a clear day we will be able to see majestic Mount Everest in the distance. Once we have descended from the high pass, we will ride through small villages dotting the flat prairie of the plateau before arriving in the town of Pelbar, also known as Shegar. Many travelers use Shegar as a rest stop on the way to the region of Mount Everest, so it's a good place to stop and rest for the night.

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Shegar

Day14  Pang Pass (67 kilometers)

We will face a bit more of a challenging ride today as the road condition deteriorates from that that we have been traveling on for the past few days. We will depart from the well-maintained flat highway shortly after leaving Shegar as we head directly toward the peak of the world - Mount Everest - to eventually Mainland China and Tibet and enter into Nepal. Once we pass through a control checkpoint, we will have 20 kilometers of uphill riding, making our way through a total of 42 hairpin bends as we ascend to the summit of Pang Pass (elevation 5150 meters). We will have lunch with unparalleled views of some of the world's highest peaks, including Makalu (elevation 8463 meters), Shishapangma (elevation 8012 meters), Cho Oyu (8210 meters), Lhotse (8516 meters) and of course the highest one of all, Mount Everest (8850 meters). After lunch we will descend for 20 kilometers to the Rongbuk Valley (elevation 4200 meters) where we will set up camp for the night.

Accommodation:Camping

Day15  Day 15-16 Rongbuk Monastery (35 km)

The remainder of the road is a bit rough as we cycle through the Rongbuk Valley where Mount Everest will once again come into view. We will set up camp beside the world's highest monastery, the Rongbuk Monastery, where we will spend two days enjoying our natural surroundings. You will have the second day here at your leisure, which you can use to rest and relax or walk, cycle or even ride a donkey cart to the Everest Base Camp, located about 8 kilometers from our campsite at the Rongbuk Monastery.

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Rongbuk Monastery (Dormbed/Tents)

rongphu monastery

rongphu monastery

Day16  Rongbuk Monastery - Tingri (86 kilometers)

We will break camp today and leave the Rongbuk Monastery, back down on a rough road before heading off on a shortcut through the mountains. A rough trail will take us over a canyon before we descend down into the small village of Tingri (elevation 4340 meters).

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Tingri

Day17  Lalung Pass (77 kilometers)

We will have an easy start today as we ride along the flat roadway for about 40 to 50 kilometers before we begin our ascent up the gradual slope to the Lalung Pass (elevation 4990 meters). Here we will have a great view of some of the world's highest mountain peaks, including Shishapangma (elevation 8012 meters). We will set up camp here to spend the night.

Accommodation:Camping

Day18  Thang Pass to Zhangdu (117 kilometers)

Our final uphill climb begins today as we bike up to Thang Pass (elevation 5050 meters). From here we will again have incredible views over some of the world's most spectacular scenery before we begin an incredible downhill journey from near the top of the world. Once we reach the small village of Nyalam, our surroundings will become filled with greenery again as trees and plants are better able to grow below this elevation. We will see beautiful waterfalls and countless pine trees lining the highway as we continue our journey downhill. Our destination today is the border town of Zhangmu (elevation 2300 meters) where we will spend our last night in Tibet.

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Zhangdu

Day19  Zhangmu - Dhulikhel (97 kilometers)

As we leave Zhangmu we will have to pass through the customs and immigration checkpoint to gain entrance to Nepal. Our first town in Nepal is Kodari, which we will pass through as we continue our downhill ride for another 50 kilometers on some very bumpy and rocky roads. It will seem as though there is a sudden change in the scenery as we find ourselves in a tropical and humid environment as we bicycle through rice paddies to our final destination. We will pass through the small town of Dolalghat as we end this part of our downhill ride and climb back up a bit to the village of Dhulikhel at an elevation of 1600 meters. We will spend this night here to prepare for our final day of biking tomorrow.

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Dhulikhel

Day20  Dhulikhel - Bhaktapur - Kathmandu (35 kilometers)

On the last day of our biking journey, we will travel from Khulikhel to Kathmandu. It's a downhill ride through Bhaktapur where we can stop for a bit of sightseeing at the town's famous temples if you like. After Bhaktapur we will reach the relatively bustling city of Kathmandu, where you can have a free afternoon to relax and rest, or maybe do some souvenir shopping or check out some other sights that you may have missed during your earlier stay in the city.

Accommodation:Stay overnight in Kathmandu

Day21  Transfer to Kathmandu Airport - Depart from Kathmandu

Your incredible Tibet and Nepal biking adventure ends today as your tour guide escorts you to the Kathmandu airport for your flight on to your next destination.

Accommodation:

What's Included

All necessary Tibet Travel Permit. (Including Tibet Entry Permit, Alien Travel Permit, Boarder Pass
Private professional English-Speaking local tour guide
Licensed Vehicle with experienced driver
Airport (or train)pick up and drop off
Accommodation listed in the itinerary
Breakfast provided by the hotel
Tourists Accident/Casualty Insurance
A container of Oxygen for emergency use
All taxes, fees and handling charges
Lodging and meal allowance to the guide & driver
Reservation fee for visiting Potala Palace
2 bottles of drinking water per person per day
Meals not specified in the itinerary (All lunches & dinners)
All Entrance tickets to the sightseeing places
Flight/Trian tickets in and out of Tibet
Personal expenses such as laundry, drink, fax, telephone call, optional tour activities, etc.
Any losses incurred from the force majeure factor like government control, natural disaster etc.
Tips to the guide & driver ( Tips is not required but expected)
Single room supplement

Additional Info

Alterations of Itineraries

The travel date, service items, itinerary and number of visitors, visitors’ ID information, etc. can be modified free of charge 30 days or more before the trip. If the visitor needs to make a second modification, an additional service fee of 5% of the deposit will be charged. Every time the content of the travel contract is modified, the company reserves the right to re-quote.

Cancellation Policy

Once the deposit is paid, your trip is confirmed. If you need to change or cancel your itinerary, please contact your travel consultant by email, phone, instant messenger, etc. There will be a charge for Cancellation or modification. The policy is as follows:

1. Notice of trip cancellation due to personal reasons before the trip starts
Cancellation 30 days or more before the trip starts, 10% penalty of the deposit.
Cancellation 29-15 days before the trip starts, 20% penalty of the deposit.
Cancellation 14-7 days before the trip starts, 30% penalty of the deposit.
Cancellation 6-2 days before the trip starts, 50% penalty of the deposit.
Cancellation within 48 hours prior to the trip starts, no refund of your deposit.

2. Trip cancellation due to irresistible factors before the trip starts

If you have to cancel the itinerary due to irresistible reasons such as traffic, weather, politics, etc., the deposit will be fully refunded by the company (for loss related to air ticket/train ticket, please take reference of the first item).

Reviews

 Chrisz
Travel Date:Sep. 21st 2018

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.

 Sharon C
Travel Date:April 23, 2019

Tibet has been one of my top travel destinations. As a Buddhism, visiting places tapping into sacred goddess and Mother Nature becomes a dream for me to achieve. At the age of 40, I am so happy I have finally made my dream come true.

The trip planning to Tibet has never been easy for Taiwanese. To grant a permit by a trust worthy travel agent is already a hassle, my first trip plan didn’t get though two years ago. I am glad I found odyssey travel agent for my second try. The whole process started off with zero trust, trip advisor and Facebook helped me to validate its credibility, and further more I had even asked for reference check from the agent. Thanks Kay for being a nice and patient coordinator during this planning process.

With all had prepared, our group has been one of the most peaceful and harmony travel company I have been with. With years of experience, I have not been with a group of >20 until this time, apart from school and company team building. To spend 9 days with who I meet the first time and could probably the only time caused me zero worry with the brilliant tour guide Xiao Gao!

If you’ll and would like to have a joyful and unforgettable journey in Tibet, going up to the Everest base camp is definitely the only option. So is odyssey travel.

 jersey90104
Travel Date:June 26, 2019

We had a unique travel experience in Tibet specailly the landscapes we saw and local people we met.

Both of our tour guide and driver were excellent, our guide had a vast knowledge about the areas that we visited and also had extensive knowledge with the culture and history of Tibet. All the way, he made sure that we were comfortable with all aspects of the day. The place that he set for each day was appropriate for our abilities, because the tour schedule allowed for a slower start and initial days in Lhasa to adjust to the altitude. Also, the schedule did not put too much into one day. Once we departed from Lhasa and went to the higher altitudes, we did not have any problems with the heights because we were acclimated already, so a good schedule arrangment is very crucial for first-time tourists to Tibet. Our driver was very polite and accommodating person too, he always picked up us from the hotel on time every day and drove in a very safe manner and made us feel comfortable during the trip, he was a very nice man.

Additionally, I never forget the blue sky and white cloud in Tibet, everywhere is so gorgeous that could rarely see in big cities, we love it so much and hoped to stay there longer time. But only one point I want to tell here, the 3 star standard hotel in Tibet actaully is not really equal to 3 star standard hotel I ever stayed in domestic big cities of China, so choose 4 star hotel is suggested, I think it would be much more comfortable stay in the trip. Overall, the Tibet tour was excellent, here I much thanks to our travel agency Odyseey and consultant Amy for everything you did for us for the trip, thank you!!

 Mary C
Travel Date:July 6, 2019

We worked with Shirley to build an itinerary of cycling through Tibet to EBC. She was incredibly helpful and responsive. She designed a trip that met our requests and exceeded our expectations. She worked with our tour members who would be traveling from North America and China to make sure we were all set with plenty of time to get visas and permits.

Our trip was 10 days in Tibet, with a rest and sightseeing day in Lhasa (Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple). Our amazing guide Phuntsok handled travel, permit, and hotel logistics with expertise and flexibility. He was a 5-star guide in every way- making sure we had everything we wanted and needed, giving cultural + historical context to the sights we saw, and having lots of fun with us.

We had 2 drivers (the van and a truck for our bikes) who were both very helpful, friendly, and good company.

We were worried it would get into rain season while we were there - instead we had beautiful, sunny days 9.5 out of our 10 days.

Thank you to all at Tibet Odyssey Tours for a trip we will remember for a lifetime.

 Karin88888
Travel Date:May 30, 2019

We had a wonderful 8 days trip in Tibet with agency Odyssey travel’s organization and thanks too to our operator Amy’s help from begining to the end. Also, our guide she is an excellent guide, she is passionate and knowledgeable about Tibetan culture and religion, she taught us more than we thought. Thank you again Amy for your patience and all the follow-ups when I had questions even at night local time in China, it was great to have you as my tour operator. I feel very lucky to have accomplished my goal to the Mr. Everest, thanks for making this possible for us : )

 Getshulma
Travel Date:April 05th 2018

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.