tibet lhasa kathmandu cycling tour

Day-1: Arrive Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel

Day-2: Full day Guided sightseeing around Kathmandu valley.

Day-3: Morning cycling

This morning we drive to Mutku and then cycle to Budanilkantha, where we are collected and driven back to Kathmandu. Here we do a gear check and collect our passports from the embassy.

Day-4: Kathmandu to Lhasa (3660m)

Transfer to the airport for the hour-long flight across the main Himalayan range. Afternoon at rest to acclimatise to Lhasa’s high altitude.

Day-5: Lhasa

We will visit Lhasa’s many monasteries and sites, such as the Sera Monastery, and the Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama.

Day-6: Lhasa

We visit the Potala Palace and Drepung Monastery founded in the 14th century, and once the largest in the world, with a population of around 10,000 monks. The afternoon, is a time to relax or further explore the area.

Day-7: Cycle to Kampa Pass

Today you start your cycle tour across the Tibetan Plateau. The first riding day is short and easy as you head out along the Friendship Highway. The road is in good condition and relatively flat. The trip will take you along the Tsangpo River to foot of the Kamba Pass (3700 m). When you arrive at the camp you will find tents, latrines, shower tent and facilities ready. Accommodation in tents [Cycling distance +/-: 85 km].

Day-8: Kamba Pass

Our first mountain pass. A strong uphill climb along a tar road of several switchbacks, reaches a summit lavishly adorned with prayer flags (4794m). After descending we continue alongside Lake Yamdruk, at the far side of which we set camp (4490m). Overnight in tents. [Cycling distance +/-: 55 km]

Day-9: Karo Pass

Leaving the beautiful lake behind, we cycle along the Friendship highway which soon becomes a gravel roadway, through a ravine and up to the foot of the Karo Pass (4750m), where our tented village will be prepared for the night. Accommodation in tents. [Cycling distance +/-: 54 km]

Day-10: Karo Pass to Gyantse

A significant time on the tour, as we have to get up early to climb the high Karo Pass (5010m). Around us we can see glaciers stretching down to 6000m and beautiful lakes. You are rewarded for your effort with a night in Gyantse (3980m). Hotel.

Day-11: Shigatse

First we will visit the Gyantse Dzong and Gyantse Kumbum. The Dzong is a fort dating from the 14th century and the Kumbum, a large gold-domed stupa with several small chapels, containing an impressive collection of Tibetan Buddhist murals. We then drive on the highway towards Shigatse. Although this involves a longer distance, the highway is tarred and flat. In the afternoon we will arrive in Tibet’s second largest city, Shigatse (3860m). [Cycling distance +/-: 94 km]

Day-12: Gyachung Monastery

We leave Shigatse and ride over two small passes and through several small Tibetan villages. We will cycle past the isolated Gyachung Monastery and camp. Accommodation in tents at around 4100m. [Cycling distance +/- 75 km]

Day-13: Lhatse

The route lead us through picturesque valleys before the long route begins which leads over the Tso-La (4520m). After lunch we head towards Lhatse past the hot springs and camp about 10km outside of town. Accommodation in tents. [Cycling distance +/- 95 km]

Day-14: Shegar

We view the stunning canyon of the 5220m Gyatso-La. On a clear day you will be rewarded for your effort with your first view of Mount Everest. After a 40 km ride through flat prairie towns, you will arrive in the town of Pelbar, often referred to as Shegar. Shegar, is a popular stopover for anyone heading to the Everest region. This is a long and grueling ride through the canyon. [Cycling distance +/- 75 km]

Day-15: Pang Pass

Just outside of Shegar, we will divert off the main Lhasa-Kathmandu highway and head towards the world’s highest peak, Everest. After passing through the border control point, you will be faced with 20km’s of uphill switchbacks (42 hairpin bends in total!) before you reach the summit of the Pang Pass (5150m). Your reward will be some of the most magnificent views of Everest and her surrounding peaks. Enjoy lunch as you gaze over Makalu (8463m), Shishapangma (8012m), Cho Oyu (8210m), Lhotse (8516m), Everest (8850m) and several other breathtaking peaks. Then a 20 kilometer downhill follows to the Rongbuk Valley (4200m), where we camp. Overnight accommodation in tents. [Cycling distance +/- 67 km]

Day-16-17: Rongbuk Monastery Everest Base Camp

Now you should be at peak fitness and excited about the approach of Everest Base Camp. A bumpy road winds up through the Rongbuk valley until the majestic Mount Everest appears before you. We will camp beside the monastery with the unforgettable sight of the 8848m peak in front of your eyes. We will stay here for two days. One your second day, you can either read a book or get even closer to Everest by taking a walk, cycling or hopping on a donkey and cart ride to Everest base camp, which is 8km from the campsite. Accommodation in tents (5150m). [Cycling distance +/- 35 km]

Day-18: Tingri

Leaving Rongbuk, we drive back down the bumpy road and then take a "short-cut" into the mountains. Another bumpy trail takes us over a canyon and down into Tingri (4340m). Overnight in tents. [Cycling distance +/- 86 km]

Day 19 Cycling to before Paiku-Tso Lake (BLD)

After breakfast in Tingri we will then start our ride to the Paiku-Tso Lake. Paiku-Tso Lake is a lake at 4,591 meters on the Tibetan Plateau at south of the Yarlung River. The lake is 27 kilometers long and 6 kilometers wide at its narrowest. It is surrounded by mountains reaching 5,700 to 6,000. Streams fed by glaciers cascade to the valley floor. Today is a long day of cycling but the rewards of the lake are worth ever second. Overnight accommodation in tents [Cycling distance +/- aprox 95 km]

Day 20: Cycling to Upper Kerong (Gyirong )

Today we cycle mainly downhill to Gyirong Town at 2,700 meters. It is an important town in the cross-border trade between China and Nepal and serves as the border between China and Nepal. Overnight accommodation in tents). [Cycling distance +/- 100 km]

Day 21: Cycling to Kerong border

After breakfast in Gyirong we will start cycling to the Kerong border and camp for the night. It is a beautiful scenic campsite and you can use the rest of the day to explore the area. Overnight accommodation in tents). [Cycling distance +/- 70 km]

Day 22: Morning cycling till Syburbesi DRIVE to Kathmandu (140 KM)

After the breakfast, we will start cycling until around midday when we should reach Syburbesi where a vehicle will be waiting to transfer back to Kathmandu Overnight accommodation in hotel).

Day 23: Final Departure from Nepal.

End of services



What visa is required for Tibet?

There are actually a number of required documents.

If starting your tour in Nepal you will need a multiple entry visa or if starting in Tibet, an entry visa for Nepal. Both can be obtained on arrival for $50.

For Tibet, who will need a China Visa. These can only be applied for in Kathmandu if travelling in via Nepal, otherwise from a visa agent if entering directly into Tibet.

You then also require a special Aliens Travel Permit to allow you to enter certain areas of Tibet such as Everest Base Camp and then a Tibet Travel Permit. Tibet Travel Permit can only be obtained by a registered tour operator, and is required to gain entry to Tibet, including boarding the plane or train, and will be checked at any of the checkpoints throughout the region. Both of the latter as well as the visa for Tibet if entering via Kathmandu are arranged by us.

You must of course also be in possession of a valid passport which is valid for at least 6 months from the end of the tour.

What is the terrain like?

The route is a mixture of good road, poorly maintained tarmac and very rough gravel tracks.

What type of bike do I need?

We highly recommend bikes with front suspension will help with the corrugation/washboard tracks on gravel roads, not to mention potholes. Although full suspension bikes can work it can be hard going for mainly tar surfaces.

When it comes to gear ratio we suggest a low gear such as a 22-tooth granny cog on the front crank though at the end of the day proper gearing is something you just have to feel out based on the terrain etc.

You can of course bring your own bike with you for the tour, you can buy or hire one in Lhasa.

When is the best time or months to cycle across Tibet?

Given the high altitude and low atmospheric pressure, Tibet has an intricate climate with two different weather zones between the Northwest and South east. The northern sections are dryer and colder than the south where there is more rain. Overall, cycling across Tibet can be done between April and October but certain months bring better weather.

April can still see the end of the winter snow fall and likewise October the start with the arrival of winter.

The bulk of the rainfall (albeit low), comes in July and August and can run into September.

Spring and autumn bring the most stable weather with milder temperatures, less or little rain and lighter winds.

What biking spares do I need?

Servicing for bikes in the region is rare, and you do not want to be stuck miles from anywhere with a broken wheel. The repair tools that you may require more frequently include

  • Multi tool
  • Tyre levers
  • Pump
  • Spare inner tubes
  • Spare spokes
  • Check with your bike shop for disc/ brake pads
  • A few links for your chain
  • Spares for unique features of your bike, e.g. fluid or bleed kit.

If bringing your own bike, it is essential that the bike is serviced and that all essential components are checked before you depart. Attention should be paid to the following aspects: chain, release clamps, tyre and inner tubes should be checked.

  • brakes and cables should be checked, adjusted, and replaced if necessary
  • all wheel spokes should be adjusted
  • gears and cables should be thoroughly checked.
  • all bearings should be greased and checked
  • tighten all nuts and bolts should be tightened and well secured.
What gear do I need for the ​Lhasa Kathmandu biking tour?

The weather during the day if there is no wind and the sun is out can be quite warm but it can quickly drop to/or below freezing at night For this reason you need to have a mix of light wickable gear for cycling and warm clothes to pull on if the temperatures suddenly drop such as gloves, jacket, long pants and arm and knee warmers.

We also highly recommend a few buffs where on can be used to cover your nose and mouth for dusty sections.  Our general gear includes, in additional to toiletries, sleeping bag, medical kit and basic bike tools:

  • Bike helmet
  • Sunglasses
  • Fleece cap
  • Windproof hat that fits under your helmet
  • Fingerless biking gloves
  • Thermal inner gloves
  • Warm Gloves
  • Arm and knee warmers
  • Wind/ waterproof cycling jacket (breathable fabric)
  • Fleece
  • T-shirts/long-sleeved
  • Thermal tops
  • Biking tops
  • Cycling shorts
  • Long cycle tights
  • Thermal long pants
  • Jacket - Down /Puffer
  • Trousers light weight
  • Socks
  • Cycling footwear
  • Boots
  • Sun hat
  • Buffs

How will the altitude affect me ?

This is a really difficult one to answer directly - "how will I cope with the altitude". To be honest, this is an ' unknown' factor as no-one can predict how your body will cope at altitude. People, who have been to altitude many times in the past without problems, may suddenly develop problems. There are many factors that play a role. 

Any altitude over 3,000 meters (9,843 feet) is usually defined as high altitude. Tibet is a land with average elevation above 4,000m. The tour is at high altitude so proper acclimatisation is paramount as is drinking plenty of water. It is also advisable to consult a doctor before traveling to ensure that you do not have any underlying issues. 

Can I choose my own departure dates?

Yes you can and we can easily plan your trek on dates that suit you. However given the cost of the trip it is best to go on a group departure date. If you are planning your own group we need a minimum of 4 people.

Where can I get cycling Insurance for Tibet?

If you are going hiking or climbing or trekking then you need extra cover for your activities. Hiking and Climbing have become popular for many adventure seekers looking to add a climb up Kilimanjaro or a trek to Everest Base Camp, Annapurna or even Island Peak to their list of amazing adventures. But any climb to high altitude carries with it a number of risks and having the correct and good trekking insurance is an absolute must. We recommend two different groups depending on which country you reside in. For further details, click on the icon

Can anyone get a Tibet Travel Permit?

Yes there are. Mera peak has 3 summits and the highest is at 6,476m/ 21,246 feet. The three are: Mera North, 6,476 metres (21,247 ft), the one we summit; Mera Central, 6,461 metres (21,198 ft); and Mera South, 6,065 metres (19,898 ft), as well as a smaller "trekking summit", visible as a distinct summit from the south but not marked on most maps of the region.

How fit do I need to be?

You need to be in good physical shape and able to sustain extended periods of hard hill cycling in variable weather conditions and on varying road surfaces.

You should start training a good 4-6 months prior to the trip with extended periods of cardio workouts and hill cycling.

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