Tibet Overland Kathmandu – 11 Days

Lhasa, which means ‘the land of the gods’ is the heart and soul of Tibet. It is a city of wonders, the capital of the Tibet and an autonomous region of China. For centuries this holy city has attracted travellers from all over the world with its beautiful scenery, cultural heritage and its mysticism.
This road trip starts from Lhasa all the way to Kathmandu. You drive simultaneously through smooth highways and rough roads visiting various attractions on the way. Crossing the Friendship Bridge to reach Kathmandu through Kodari, you come across the borderland between Tibet and Nepal which is the trade link between these two countries.

*Due to the April 2015 earthquake, this program is currently not possible as roads have been completely damaged.

Skeleton Itinerary

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lhasa

Distance (Airport to Lhasa):  60 kms/ 37 miles
Drive Time: 1 hour approx.
Altitude: 3,490 m/ 11,450 ft

Upon arrival at Gonggar Airport you will be met by our airport representative. Drive from airport to Lhasa and transfer to the hotel as booked. Rest of the day will be free for acclimatization.

Overnight at Hotel [-/-/-]

Day 2: In Lhasa

Visit Sera and Drepung Monastery
Founded in 1419, Sera Monastery is one of the “great three” Gelukpa university monasteries in Tibet. 5km north of Lhasa, the Sera Monastery’s setting is one of the prettiest in Lhasa. The Drepung Monastery houses many cultural relics, making it more beautiful and giving it more historical significance.

Overnight at Hotel [B/-/-]

Day 3: In Lhasa

Visit Potala, Jokhang, Barkhor and Norbulinka
Potala Palace: Potala Palace, the chief residence of the Dalai Lama since the 7th century has been the focus of the travelers for centuries. It is the cardinal landmark and a structure of massive proportion. It symbolizes Tibetan Buddhism and its role in the traditional administration of Tibet.  You will witness pilgrims on their morning “Kora” (circumambulation) of the Potala Palace.

Norbulingka means ‘Treasure Park’ in Tibetan and is situated in the western suburb of Lhasa City, on the bank of the Kyichu River, about one kilometer southwest of the Potala Palace. It is the biggest man-made garden in Tibet. Jokhang Temple also houses many invaluable cultural relics. Every year, the Great Prayer Festival is held here.

Visit Barkhor Street, the oldest street in Lhasa that runs through the center of the old city. It is a circular street where Tibetan culture, economy, religion and arts assemble. The market is both the spiritual heart of the holy city as well as the main commercial district for Tibetans.

Dinner will be served at a local Tibetan restaurant for you to savor the famous ‘Gyakok’ (Tibetan hotpot).
Drive back to the hotel.

Overnight at Hotel [B/-/-]

Day 4: Drive to Shigatse via Gyantse

Distance:  300kms/ 186 miles
Drive Time: 8 hours approx.
Altitude: 3,595 m/ 11, 794 ft

Today we will drive to Shigatse via Gyantse which is the third important city and is one of the least Chinese influenced towns in Tibet.

Yamdrok Lake is one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet. It is over 72 km (45 miles) long. The lake is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains and is fed by numerous small streams.

About 100 km east of Shigatse, lays the unique Palkhor Monastery, also named Palcho Monastery, and is very different from other monasteries. It is reputed as the lord of Tibetan stupas and is famous for its architecture, sculpture, and mural painting art.

The spectacular Bodhi stupa or Kumbum in Tibetan was built in 1412 and completed 10 years later. The famous Kumbum pagoda, built in collaboration with Newari artists from Nepal and Tibetan artists, also stands in the same courtyard with nine stories, 108 doors and 77 chapels containing clay sculptures and various murals. Shigatse is the second largest city in Tibet and the capital of the traditional Tibetan province of Tsang.

Overnight at Hotel [B/-/-]

Day 5: Drive to Shegar

Distance: 237kms/ 147 miles
Drive Time: 5-6 hours approx.
Altitude: 4,050 m/ 13,287

On the way from Shigatse to Shegar is the Shakya Monastery, built in 1073. Sakya means ‘Grey Soil’ in Tibetan, a name given because of the grey soil in the surrounding area. The monastery is divided into Southern and Northern parts. The Northern Monastery is now visible as ruins.

Overnight at Hotel [B/-/-]

Day 6: Drive to Rongbuk, visit Everest Base Camp

Distance:  131kms/ 81miles
Drive Time: 3 -4 hours approx. (each way)
Altitude: 4,980 m/ 16,338 ft

After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Rongbuk.

Visit Rongbuk Monastery: At the base camp of the north face of Everest, is the highest monastery in the world and represents one of those unforgettable experiences of this program. The 90 minutes hike from the Rongbuk Monastery to base camp is 16 kilometers, round trip, with a landscape of immense glaciers and valleys inhabited by mediators; herds of deer and yaks.

After visiting Everest Base Camp drive back to Rongbuk. Expect nights to be cold here.

Overnight at Hotel [B/-/-]

Day 7: Drive to Zhangmu

Distance:  281 kms/ 174 miles
Drive Time: 6-7 hours approx.
Altitude: 2,300 m/ 7,545 ft

Early morning drive to Zhangmu.
Zhangmu is a busy border town and port of entry located in Nyalam County on the Nepal-Tibet border, just uphill and across the BhoteKoshi River from the Nepalese town of Kodari. At 2300 meters above sea level, Zhangmu (Khasa in Nepali) is a wonderfully green, lush valley with mild and humid subtropical climate, which is a rarity for Tibet.

Overnight at Hotel [B/-/-]

Day 8: Drive to Dhulikhel

Distance: 153 kms/ 95 miles
Drive Time: 5 hours approx.
Altitude: 1,550m

Access to Nepal is via the Friendship Bridge and Kodari, around 8km below Zhangmu.

From Zhangmu it is a short drive to the Friendship Bridge which spans the Bhote Kosi River and marks the Chinese – Nepalese border where you part with your Tibetan guide and driver and walk to Nepalese Immigration Control in Kodari. Here you will be met by our Nepalese staff. After completing the entry formalities you continue the drive to Dhulikhel.

Overnight at Hotel [B/-/-]

Day 9: Drive to Kathmandu

Distance: 30kms/ 18 miles
Drive Time: 45 minutes approx. (if traffic allows)
Altitude: 1,440 m/ 4,600 ft

Drive to Kathmandu, en route visit Bhaktapur City.
Bhaktapur or Bhadgaon translates as the ‘City of Devotees’. Still untouched by rapid urbanization, Bhaktapur retains its charm by its brick paved roads, red brick houses and a way of life that goes back to medieval times. Famous for pottery and woodcarving, the squares in the city display ample wood carved windows.
After the sightseeing, continue your drive and transfer to the hotel.

Overnight at Hotel [B/-/-]

Day 10: In Kathmandu

Visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swyambhunath Stupa and Patan.
Kathmandu, the largest city of Nepal is the political as well as the cultural capital of the country. Like any big city, Kathmandu has rapidly expanded over the last decade but despite the hustle and bustle of the city, its people have remained as friendly as ever.

Swyambhunath Stupa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This ancient stupa is the most sacred Buddhist shrine of Nepal. Swayambhunath is also known as a Self-Created stupa.

After lunch we tour Patan City, the city of arts and architecture founded in 250 A.D. It is renowned for its fine works in bronze, silver and copper.
In Patan, visit the Durbar Square, Royal Baths, Mahaboudha Temple, Krishna Mandir Temple and Hiranya Verna Mahabihar (the Golden Temple).
A visit to the new Patan Museum is a must. It is housed in a former Malla presidential palace. The collection spans much of Nepal’s cultural history, primarily exhibiting metalwork sculptures from Hindu and Buddhist deities, typical of Patan’s tradition in craftsmanship.
Visit Om Handicrafts and observe the singing bowl demonstration. You will have plenty of time for shopping pashmina, silver jewellery, etc.

Drive back to hotel.

Overnight at Hotel [B/-/-]

Day 11: Final Departure

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for your onward journey.
Trip Ends


Destination Tibet & Nepal
Trip Duration 11 Days
Arrival In Lhasa
Departure From Kathmandu
Meals Bed & breakfast basis
Best Season February – May/ September – November
Activity Tour
Grade N/A
Tibet portion •    Arrival and departure transfers by private vehicle
•    Meet and assist by our representative at airport
•    3 nights’ hotel accommodation in Lhasa in a twin sharing room on bed and breakfast basis
•    1 night hotel accommodation in Shigatse in a twin sharing room on bed and breakfast basis
•    1 night hotel accommodation in Shegar in a twin sharing room on bed and breakfast basis
•    1 night hotel accommodation in Rongbuk in a twin sharing room on bed and breakfast basis
•    1 night hotel accommodation in Zhangmu in a twin sharing room on bed and breakfast basis
•    All entrance and monument fee as indicated in the program
•    All the sightseeing tour in Tibet will be provided as per the program with local English speaking Tibetan guide
•    All necessary transfer by private vehicle
•    Tibet travel permit
Nepal portion •    1 night hotel accommodation in Dhulikhel in a twin sharing room on MAP basis
•    2 nights’ hotel accommodation in Kathmandu in a twin sharing room on bed and breakfast basis
•    Pickup from Kodari – Kathmandu by private vehicle
Excludes •    International airfare& taxes
•    Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
•    Items of personal nature such as bar bills, alcoholic beverages, laundry, telephone calls, extra mileage, personal gratuities as tips to guide, porters, drivers etc
•    Personal insurance policy – suggested a comprehensive travel insurance covering tour and flight cancellations, loss of valuables, thefts, illness, accidents and hospitalization; and most of all Emergency Helicopter Evacuation
•    Expenses incurred by re-routing, inclement weather, floods, famine, political disruptions, strikes, riots and other disturbances
•    Any items and services that are not mentioned on cost inclusions