Cycling Lhasa to Kathmandu

19 Days

Cycling Lhasa to Kathmandu is an amazing opportunity to experience the mountain biking experience in the beautiful Tibet. Tibet, protected by the great Himalayan chain to the south and west, and by the even more inhospitable mountains to the north and east, has haunted the ambition of explorers for centuries.

The allure is as high as the altitude, and for the adventurous cyclist this land of rugged beauty, vast landscapes, brilliant skies and glittering peaks offers one of the ultimate biking challenges.

After some essential time acclimatizing around Kathmandu and Lhasa (Tibet), our cycling Lhasa to Kathmandu route takes us across high altitude desert, over awesome mountain passes, stopping off at Rongbuk Monastery and Base Camp for views of the north face of Everest, before making the 160 km, 4600 meters descent into Nepal and the lush Kathmandu Valley.

In recent years much of the route has been surfaced making it perfect for cycling. A tough trip, but for those who venture to the spectacular beauty of Tibet, the sense of achievement is guaranteed.

For each trip, we also look for short and long tours to meet the desire and expectations of the client. We always try to satisfy the maximum level of our customers.

In this regard, we would like you to share your interest in the tours that you want in your holiday program and let us know without feeling any hesitation about any short/long trip that you planning forward. We appreciate you for that and set the itinerary that suits your time limit and scope of your budget.

Day 01 :

Upon your arrival in the Kathmandu (Nepal) airport after completing your custom formalities Visa,etc. pick up your luggage and look for our airport representative from Himalaya Discovery, who will display your name on the board at the arrival gate.

You will be greeted by our representative and transferred to the hotel by private tourist vehicle. Overnight in Kathmandu.

We will have a full briefing in the evening before dinner. The local leader will collect your passports, your return flight ticket and a copy of your insurance to secure the group visa for Tibet.

Today is free for sightseeing in Kathmandu. You may wish to visit Durbar Square in the heart of the old city where the old Royal Palace, with its intricate woodcarving is located. The whole area is a maze of temples and images. Leading away from the square in all directions are narrow alleys, full of the most amazing variety of shops and stalls.

Some of these landmarks are considered World Heritage Sites including the historic Bhaktapur Durbar Square, the famous ‘Monkey Temple’ Swayambhunath and Buddhists shrine Buddhanath which is one of the largest Stupas in the world.

There will also be a full trip briefing today with gear check. In case you need to hire or buy equipment locally there will be time to do this today. Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 03 :

An early rise to take the morning flight to Tibet. This is one of the world’s most spectacular flights, with a one hour flight over the incomparable Himalayas – keep your eye out for Everest!

After landing at Gongkar airport we transfer 70 km to our hotel in Lhasa’s beautiful Tibetan Quarter. After checking into the hotel, we go for a walk around the Barkhor Square, the spiritual heart of Tibet.

Day 04 :

Acclimatisation is very important at this considerable altitude (Lhasa is at 3680 meters), so for the first few days we make exploratory local rides and cultural visits to become accustomed to the thin air.

Points of interest include: – The dramatic Potala Palace (Winter Palace) and the Norbu Linka (Summer Palace), the palaces of the Dalai Lama, with many temples and rooms to explore. – Sera Monastery, one of Lhasa’s two great Gelugpa monasteries, once housing a population of around 5500 monks, though now it numbers only a couple of hundred.

The Jokhang Temple – the most revered religious structure in Tibet – where the bustle of worshippers creates an atmosphere and spectacle as absorbing as the Temple itself.

Day 05 :

Now fully acclimatised, we take to our bikes and cycle out to the Drepung Monastery on the outskirts of Lhasa. The Freedom Highway then leads us away from Lhasa down the Lhasa Valley and to our guesthouse in Chusul. Maximum ride distance is 70km.

Day 06 :

Following breakfast, those who feel up to it can tackle the 25km climb up to the pass of Kamba La. This tough climb will take 3-4 hours but the views from the prayer-flag-strewn summit at 4794 meters are spectacular. We then descend to the turquoise Yamdrok Lake where we have lunch, before taking the gentle and scenic road around to the small town of Nagatse. Maximum ride 105km.

Day 07 :

Following breakfast, there is the opportunity to tackle the first and (fortunately) ‘lowest’ of the high passes – the 5045meters Karol La. This climb will take approximately 3 hours. The subsequent descent is twice as long and descends over 1000meters in altitude to Gyantse in the heart of the Yang Chug Valley. There is plenty to catch the eye here, including the Palcho Monastery and the magnificent Kumbum Stupa – a fantastic tiered structure that is now unique in the Buddhist world. You will also be able to see the beautifully located Gyantse Dzong – where Lt. Col Francis Younghusband made his infamous first stronghold in 1904. Maximum ride distance 100km.

Day 08 :

Today’s ride is a scenic and gentle 94 km across beautiful plains with a dramatic mountain backdrop. After a mid-ride lunch stop, we continue across the plains into Shighatse, Tibet’s second largest city and home to the controversial Panchen Lama, whose home is traditionally at the Tashilunpo Monastery. Maximum ride distance 94 km.

Day 09 :

Visit the huge Tashilunpo monastery complex. During our time in Shigatse, the necessary permits will be issued for visiting Everest Base Camp

Day 10 :

A gentle start to the day with rolling terrain across the Shigatse Plains. A gradual but long climb then takes us to the double passes of Tra La (4050m) and Tsuo La (4520 meters).

There is then a fantastic descent which flattens out before we arrive at our guesthouse at Lhatse. Maximum ride distance 150 kms.

Day 11 :

A day to test the legs! We leave Lhatze and ride to the foot of the Gyatso La, before climbing to the summit of the pass at 5248 meters! This is the highest pass on the Friendship Highway and a steady effort will be needed to conquer it.

The sight of Everest looming into view is the reward for attaining the summit, as we gradually approach the Himalayan chain. Maximum ride distance 85km.

Day 12 :

After the initial smooth tarmac from the door of the hotel, we then turn south and head off-road for the next few days! For the very fittest there is another pass – this time the 5200 meters Pang La – where we feast on the extensive views of the Himalayas. On a clear day, the sheer scale of the mountain views throughout is unequalled in the world!

The descent from the pass is fast and twisty and brings us down in to the Rongbuk Valley and to our overnight stop in Tashi Zom. 90% off-road. Maximum ride distance 62 km.

Day 13 :

Cycling on a vehicle width jeep trail today in full view of Everest’s North Face, we approach both the mountain itself and the Rongbuk Monastery. Taking lunch in the airy tranquillity here is one of the highlights of the trip.

After lunch, we continue the short distance to our overnight accomodation at the Jarongbuk tented camp. The remainder of the afternoon is free to allow for acclimatisation to the lofty (5200 meters) altitude.

The stunning views of Everest, visible from our campsite, hopefully make up for the lack of air! 100% off-road. Maximum ride distance 52km. See note in accommodation section.

Day 14 :

After breakfast, we take to our bikes and head slowly up the gravel jeep trail to Everest Base Camp. The route is only 4kms, but the stunning views and thin air mean it might well take 90 minutes! The views from Base Camp are spectacular and offer a 360 degree panorama of the high Himalaya to put your photographic skills to the test!

After enjoying the ambience of Base Camp, we return to our tented accomodation where our cooks will have prepared another amazing lunch! The afternoon is free to relax and enjoy the incredible surroundings. 100% off-road. Maximum ride distance 8 km.

Day 15 :

Heading back out of the wide valley, a turn-off takes us over the Nam La pass and along smaller tracks to Tingri, a little town overlooking the sweeping plains. Tingri is bordered by the mighty Himalayas and we will have distant views of Everest, Cho Oyu, as well as the ruins of buildings destroyed in the 18th century Nepalese invasion of Tibet. 100% off-road. Maximum ride distance 70km.

Day 16 :

We usually drive to the first of the double passes of Lalung La (4950 meters) before riding down and up to the Shung La (5200 meters), the last pass in Tibet.

The high-altitude lunch spot here is fantastic with tantalising views of Shishapangma. Lunch is made even more enjoyable for knowing that it is now more than 4000 meters down to Nepal!

We begin our epic descent by thundering down to Nyalam where we will spend our last night in Tibet. Maximum ride distance 75km.

Day 17 :

Not a high pass to be found today! At Zhangmu we pass through Chinese customs before continuing down to Nepal, crossing the famous Friendship Bridge at Kodari. Please remember to ride on the left in Nepal! From Dolalghat we transfer to Dhulikhel. Maximum ride distance 50km.

Day 18 :

Wonderful way to end this trip – a big breakfast at sunrise and the spectacular panorama of the Himalayas.

You will freewheel down through Bhaktapur where you can stop and see some of the town’s famous temples if you wish, before we ride into busy Kathmandu again. Overnight in Kathmandu.

Today is rest and relax throughout the day. If you get interested to take some gifts from Nepal for friends and relatives, visit to some nearby shops or go out in Thamel for typical Nepalese goods which can be assisted by our guide or you can do it yourself too.

In the evening we will have a farewell dinner in a traditional Nepalese restaurant with cultural performances. Overnight in Kathmandu.

The trip concludes, our airport representative will drop you to the Kathmandu International Airport for your flight departure from Nepal.

Cost Includes

  • Airport transfers pick-up and drop-off
  • Guided city tour in Kathmandu by private vehicle inclusive of all entrance fees
  • Tibet entry permission, Chinese visa, monasteries entry fees
  • Kathmandu – Gongar (Lhasa) international flight
  • Three night’s accommodation with breakfast at a 3-star category hotel in Lhasa
  • All accommodation during in Tibet (hotel / tented on twin sharing basis)
  • Full board meals prepared by our expert cook (breakfast, lunch and dinner) with hot drinks link tea coffee, chocolate etc
  • A government licensed English speaking Nepalese leader during the whole trip.
  • 1 guide for up to 4 pax.
  • 1 guide and 1 assistant guide for 7 to 12 pax.
  • 2 guides for 10 to 20 pax.
  • 2 guides and 1 assistant guide for 15 and above.
  • Mountain bike for the number of days riding.
  • Tibet Tourism Board (TTB) approved Tibetan guide.
  • Supporting crew, supporting truck and our own kitchen staff.
  • Food, accommodation, salary, insurance, equipment, medicine for all our staff.
  • Trekking equipment (two men tent, dining tent, kitchen tent, table with chairs, kitchen utensils, and all other necessary equipments.
  • Tibet border to Kathmandu (Friendship bridge) pick up by private jeep / van / bus.
  • All government taxes.

Cost Excludes

  • International airfare and Nepal visa.
  • Your travel insurance (mandatory for the trip; should cover helicopter rescue charges worth a minimum of USD 50,000 per person).
  • Biking attire and other personal gears.
  • Tips for tour staff and driver (tipping is expected).
  • Others expenses not mentioned in the Service Include section

<strong>Q. Will somebody come to pick me up at the airport upon my arrival?</strong>

<strong>A.</strong> Yes, our airport representative will be there to greet you at the airport. S/he will be displaying an Himalaya Discovery Adventures sign board outside the airport terminal. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel by our tourist vehicle.

<strong>Q. When is the best time to travel to Nepal?</strong>

<strong>A.</strong> For the trekking regions of the Annapurna, Everest, Langtang, Jumla Rara Lake, Makalu, Kanchenjunga and Manaslu we recommend the periods February to May and September to December as the best time for travelling.
<li> For trekking in Mustang or Dolpo region we recommend May to September.</li>
<li>The Poon hill  trek  in the Annapurna region takes place throughout the entire year.</li>
<li>Cultural tours takes place throughout the entire year. For the best mountain views the periods February to May and September to December are recommended.</li>
<strong>Q. How is the climate (temperatures) during the seasons?</strong>

<strong>A. </strong><strong>Winter</strong> – January and February. Pleasant temperatures. The nights, mornings and evenings can, however, be quite cold (approx. 0°C – 5°C. Throughout the day, it is mostly sunny with cooler temperatures (approx. 18°C – 20°C).

<strong>Spring</strong> – March to May. Hot and dry pre-monsoon season (approx. 25°C – 30°C during the day, and approx. 7°C – 20°C at night). May is the hottest month in the lowlands. June is the hottest month in the mountains.

<strong>Summer</strong> – Monsoon from June to August (approx. 28°C – 30°C during the day, and approx. 20°C at night). Strong rainfall, continuous sultriness and high humidity.

<strong>Early autumn</strong> – From September the monsoon season is constantly interrupted by periods with only a slight rainfall. Towards the end of August the pauses in rainfall become more frequent and longer.

<strong>Late autumn</strong> – Post-monsoon season from October to December. The nights, mornings and evenings can be relatively cool (approx. 5°C – 10°C). During the day the sun shines and it is warm (approx. 20°C – 27°C).

<strong>Q. Where can I change money?</strong>

<strong>A</strong>. Any cash you have taken with you can be exchanged into Nepalese rupees at the banks, large hotels and the numerous bureau de changes.

<strong>Q. Can I use my mobile phone in Nepal?</strong>

<strong>A</strong>. The network coverage is meanwhile quite good in the Kathmandu Valley, Pokhara and other parts of the Terai (in the rural areas it is very unpredictable).

Basically, foreign SIM cards (providers having international roaming contracts with Nepal) can also be used. However, it is cheaper to buy a local SIM card (Mero Mobile, NTC (GSM) – for approx. NPR 500 or more) and top this up.

<strong>Q. Can I use the tap water for drinking and brushing teeth?</strong>

<strong>A.</strong> Tap water is not suitable for drinking in Nepal and it should not be used for cleaning your teeth, either. As there is often a scarcity of water in the countryside, water should be used very sparingly.

<strong>Q. What should I concern during my stay in Nepal?</strong>

<strong>A</strong>. Nepali people are very kind and friendly, but there are some things that you should be aware of:
<li>Do not take photos of anyone without their permission; always ask permission first!</li>
<li>Do not wear hot pants/short paints or stylish clothes in the remote area! (shoulders and legs should be covered)</li>
<li>Do not wear hats or caps when you enter a chapel!</li>
<li>Do not touch Buddha statues or ritual offerings inside of a monastery!</li>
<li>Do not kiss or hug in public places, especially in monasteries!</li>
<li>Do not step across someone’s feet, cups or cooking gears!</li>
<strong>Q. What documents do I need to visit Nepal?</strong>

<strong>A</strong>. A tourist visa is required for entering Nepal. The tourist visa can be applied for, for different lengths of stay. A visa is required for children under 10 years but no fee is charged. The entry to Nepal must take place within 6 months of issuing the visa.

<strong>Q. How much does the Visa for Nepal cost?</strong>

<strong>A</strong>. The fees for the tourist visa (fees valid since 16.07.2008) are staggered as follows:
<li>15 days (several entries possible)  $ 25 (approx. EUR 20.00)</li>
<li>30 days (several entries possible)  $ 40 (approx. EUR 35.00)</li>
<li>90 days (several entries possible)  $ 100 (approx. EUR 85.00)</li>
An extension of the visa to a maximum of 150 days is possible (per year – January to December). The extension must be made at the Immigration Office in Kathmandu. A fee of $ 2.00 is charged in Nepalese rupees (NPR) per day of extension.

<strong>Q. Can I find a hospital with western doctors?</strong>

<strong>A.</strong> CIWEC Clinic with western doctors is located in Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Tel. +977 1 442 4111,

<strong>Q. Do I need an international health and travel insurance?</strong>

<strong>A.</strong> It is recommended taking out a travel and health insurance covering the following risks:- Emergency and personal accident transport/emergency evacuation (helicopter rescue, rescue costs in a case of illness or accident), medical and personal accident risks, repatriation, tour cancellation, damages and theft of baggage.

<strong>Q. What happens in bad weather periods?</strong>

<strong>A.</strong> There is virtually always a possibility of a flight delay or postponement owing to highly unpredictable weather conditions that may occur in Himalayan regions, in particular, in the Everest region (Lukla), Jomsom, Dolpo, Simikot and the Jumla region, etc.

When trekking in remote areas or those described above, and especially outside the trekking season, the clients are strongly advised to reserve extra days for making  allowance for possible delays, and thereby avoid any frustrating consequences. In the case of a delayed flight prior to commencing the tour, or at the end of the tour, the participants shall pay for their own accommodation, food costs, etc.

<strong>Q. Where can I store my unneeded luggage during trekking?</strong>

<strong>A</strong>. As a rule there is the possibility before commencing the trek, of depositing part of the baggage in the hotel in Kathmandu or in Pokhara.

<strong>Q. What kind of meals I can have during the trekking?</strong>

<strong>A</strong>. All Meals on full board basis will be provided during trekking. Freshly cooked food is served at all times (western, continental and Nepalese, Chinese, Indian and Tibetan meals are available in all places).

<strong>Q. Is there any communication while we are on trekking?</strong>

<strong>A.</strong> There are telephones in some villages along the trekking routes from which you can make international calls. All our guides are equipped with the local mobile phone. You may wish to pass the number of our guide to your family for the callback or you can make a call from the guide’s mobile and pay him directly for the international call too.

<strong>Q. Can I re-charge camera batteries along the trek?</strong>

<strong>A.</strong> Yes, Most of the places, you can charge batteries along the trek (per hour USD 2 – 3 for charging).

<strong>Q. What kinds of banking facilities in Nepal?</strong>

<strong>A</strong>. Nepal has modern banking facilities and some international banks even have offices in Kathmandu. Almost all foreign currencies along with credit cards such as American Express, Visa, and Master card are accepted in Nepal. Nepal has also ATM facilities as well.

The above information is a guide and standard template of what we provide. This itinerary can be customized according to the duration of your holiday. We have many options for shorter visits based on your interests and budget.

On an adventure trip of this type, weather, political strikes, transport or a multitude of other factors beyond our control can result in a change of itinerary. It is however very unlikely that the itinerary would be substantially altered; if alterations are necessary the leader will decide what is the best alternative, taking into consideration the best interests of the whole group. Where a change does occur, we do everything we can to minimize its effect, but we cannot be responsible for the results of changes or delays.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Cycling Lhasa to Kathmandu
  • Strenuous
  • Min. 2 to Max.10 people
  • March to October
  • 5,220m.
  • 1 to 2 hours.

“ I was born and raised in Nepal, nearby Everest region. I am proud to be a native Sherpa, and I have been a Mountain guide over a decade now. Following my passion, I decided to start helping travelers with their travel plans! I think life is a journey, a trip where you collect experiences when you share with other people and with nature. “

Trip Designer  


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