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Tibet Overland Tour - 7 Days

Tibet Overland Tour

Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China remains one of the most interesting, mystical and spiritual region of the world. Tibet is situated at an average elevation of 16,000 ft. above sea level. Opened to the outsiders recently, facilities for tourists are gradually improving. A trip to Tibet is not for the faint hearted persons because travelling can be hard, adventurous and often unpredictable, since the region has rugged and high elevated landscape. So for those with high altitude problems and those with a history of heart, lung or anemia problems should consult a doctor and inform the travel agent in Nepal before considering a visit.

Visitors should also understand before venturing into this t rip that Tibet was only opened to tourism since the mid-eighties.

Overland tour in Tibet is especially for most exciting sightseeing experiences of the Himalayas and high altitude valleys. Still largely unexplored, Tibet makes a perfect destination for adventure seekers. The ancient monasteries found across Tibet, prayer flags flying on the alleys, pilgrims making miles of journey on foot, and the complete remoteness and isolation, gives a life time expression to the travelers.

Day 1
Day 01: Drive from Kathmandu to Nyalam (3,750m): 162km

The tour starts early morning drive to Kodari, the Nepali border post north of Kathmandu. After completing immigration and custom formalities, we drive up hill to Zhangmu, which is the border town in Tibet, China. After the formalities we continue our journey through a beautiful gorge to Nyalam across the Himalayan range. Our Tibetan representative will meet the group on arrival at the check-post. On the way, you will see fantastic view of deep valley with some overslowing waterfalls. Overnight stay in Nyalam.

Day 2
Day 02: Nyalam to Lhatse (4,350m): 220 km

Starting in the morning we drive towards Lhatse. Crossing two spectacular passes, and driving for about 7 hours we reach Lhatse. On the way, we cross the Nyalam pass (3,800m) and Lalung La Pass (5,082m). The day offers fantastic view of the high mountains including; Mt. Everest (8,848m), Jugal Himal, Mt. Makalu etc. Overnight stay in Lhatse.

Day 3
Day 03: Lhatse to Shigatse (3,900m): 244 km

In Lhatse we visit the place of famous Tashilunpo monastery which is the seat of Panchen Lama until his death in 1989. The monastery is decorated with huge Thangka wall which is clearly visible from the north side of the road we drive on. We drive some 6 hours to reach Shigatse for overnight stay.

Day 4
Day 04: Shigatse to Gyantse (3,950m): 90 km

In the morning we make a visit to Tashilunpo Monastery and the open market of Shigaste. After getting lunch we start our short drive to Gyantse where we visit the Khumbum Stupa and Phalkot monastery. Overnight stay in Gyantse.

Day 5
Day 05: Gyantse to Lhasa (3,650m): 259 km

This day we reach Lhasa after long drive of about 8 hours on the way crossing the Karo La and Kamba La pass; and also Lake Yamdrok Tso. We will also cross the YarlungTsangpo (Brahamaputra) river and see the distant views of the Potala Palace in Lhasa. Overnight stay in Lhasa.

Day 6
Day 06 and 07: Lhasa sightseeing Tour

These two days you will be planned for sightseeing and excursion of the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple along the bustling street of Barkhor Market. We will also visit NorbuLingka (the summer palace of the Dalai Lamas), Drepung and Sera monasteries. Overnight stay in Lhasa.

Day 7
Day 07: Lhasa to Kathmandu Trans-Himalayan flight

As per flight schedule, you will be transferred to Gongkar airport for the onward flight to Kathmandu. The flight is 1 hour and 10 minutes and is one the most beautiful scenic flights in the world. On your flight (don't forget to get right side seat) you can see the YalungTsangpo River, Lake Yamdruk, Kanchanjunga, Makalu and Mt. Everest.


The above Itinerary is the standard that we offer. It can be customized as per your particular requirements and interests.

Service Include

  • Transportation from Kathmandu to Lhasa (Tibet) by comfortable tourist vehicle.
  • Best available guest house with breakfast at Nyalam, Lhatse, Xigatse& Gyantse.
  • Two nights best accommodation with breakfast at a 2 star category hotel in Lhasa.
  • All sightseeing, Temples & Monasteries fees for whole tour.
  • Government licensed English speaking Tibetan guide for whole tour including his salary, food, accommodation and insurance.
  • Airfare from Lhasa (Tibet) to Kathmandu (Nepal) with airport departure tax.
  • All the necessary Tibet travel permit.
  • All necessary paper work for the trip.
  • All taxes official expenses and tourist service charge.

Service Exclude

  • All meals in other than breakfast
  • Travel insurance.
  • Optional tours and activities.
  • Nepal entry visa fee $ 40 for 30 days, easily can obtain upon your arrival at Tribhuwan international airport, Kathmandu, required 2 copies of passport size photos
  • Travel medical insurance
  • Tips and gratuities for field staff and drivers.

When to visit Tibet?

When to visit Tibet?

Although the Tibetan climate is not as harsh as many people imagine, be prepared for sudden drops in temperature at night, particularly in western Tibet. The most pleasant time of the year is between May and early November, after which temperatures start to plummet. However, in May and June there is a wind factor to consider and dust storms are frequent. During July and August you may find roads temporarily washed out along the Friendship Highway to Nepal. These two months usually see around half of Tibet's annual rainfall. October is the best time to make a trip to the east Tibet. Lhasa and its surroundings do not get really cold until the end of November. Although winter is very cold, many restaurants are shut and snowfalls can sometimes make travel difficult, some travelers swear by these months. March is a politically sensitive month (the anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising and flight of the Dalai Lama from Tibet to India) and there is occasional tightening of restrictions on travelers heading into Tibet during March and beyond. It is worth trying to make your trip coincide with one of Tibet's main festivals. Losar (New Year) is an excellent time to be in Lhasa. Saga Dawa (April or May) is also a good time to be in Lhasa or Mt. Kailash.

Clothing ?

Temperature fluctuate dramatically between daytime and at night. Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet, during daytime could have a temperature of around 10-25 degrees Celsius, while at night, it may go down to 0 degree or even below zero. It is advisable to bring appropriate clothing. For protection against cold, layered clothing is better than a few think ones, so choose your clothes accordingly. Clothes should preferably be made from natural materials, which allow the body to breathe better. You will be offending people if you walk around in skimpy or tight fitting clothes. Shorts are not welcome and women are advised to wear skirts or loose trousers; men should not wear singlet. During visits to monasteries, Dzongs and religious institutions, one should not wear shorts and hats, caps and do not smoke. Cottons and light woolens in summer and woolens and jackets the rest of the years and rain gear for the monsoons and comfortable shoes are advised.

Accommodations ?

Main Cities like Lhasa, Gyantse, Tsedang, Shigatse have relatively good hotels with at least a 2 star category. In smaller towns, the hotels are more basic. Further in villages, the accommodation is rudimentary.

Cuisine ?

Tourist hotels have a choice of Tibetan, Chinese and Continental food.

Guides ?

You will be accompanied by a Tibetan English speaking tour guide throughout your stay. Our tour guides are licensed and trained in programs conducted by the Tibetan Tourism Board. They have mountain guide training, including safety and fires aid instructions. They are well versed in local history and have local knowledge. The guides' extensive experience and knowledge of western culture would make you feel at home.

Land Transportation ?

We use 4-WD drive Japanese Toyota Jeep and luxury buses for the land transport within Tibet.

Tipping ?

Although the system of give and take is always there is Tibetan tradition, tipping is not Mandatory. But if you would like to appreciate the services of your guides, drivers and other staff you may give them according to your will.

Currency ?

In Tibet, foreign currency cannot be used directly. Foreign currencies can be exchanged into local only in big cities either at the Bank of China or some large hotels. Passports are required to exchange currency.

Travel permits & restrictions to Travel Tibet (Visa Procedures) ?

Tibet has three levels of bureaucracy: a visa to get into China, a Tibet Tourism Bureau permit to get into Tibet and an Alien Travel permit to travel to certain regions of Tibet. The current regulations state that all foreigners desiring to visit Tibet must be part of a group (though a group can be only a single person!). You are not allowed to travel in Tibet, only with an individual Chinese Visa obtained in Kathmandu. (Your individual Chinese visa will get canceled once we apply for Chinese visa from Nepal. There is only one way to save your individual visa, by entering Tibet from mainland China, i.e., doing Lhasa to Kathmandu tour instead of Kathmandu to Lhasa tour). Travelers must officially be part of a group with a guide who will help you dealing with the Chinese authorities at checkpoints en route. So traveling individually to Tibet is officially not allowed. If you are traveling Tibet via Nepal, you must obtain the Chinese Visa which will only be issued by the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu. However, if you are planning to visit Tibet via mainland China, you need to get the Chinese visa from Chinese embassy in your home country. Chinese Embassy is opened only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Generally, Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu takes about 5 working days to issue tourist visa but by paying express fee, we can get the visa in one day. If you would like to head out to mainland China after your Tibet travel, the group visa will allow you to enter but once you are in mainland China this visa will be replaced with an individual Chinese visa. Itinerary and the places to visit in Tibet must be stated clearly and finalized in advance, because while applying for a Chinese visa from Kathmandu, a copy of these information should be attached with the application. The visa is issued accordingly. According to the places mentioned in the itinerary, travel permit from the Tibet Tourism Bureau (Lhasa) is obtained. Rainbow Adventures will do this for you.

Tibet: Weather and Climate ?

Most of Tibet is a high altitude desert plateau over 4,000 m and many passes exceeding 5,000m. Days in summer (June to September) are warm, sunny and dry, from low to mid 20 degrees. But temperatures drop quickly at night. Winter is not as cold as you might expect, still averaging around 7 degree Celsius during the day in January, but plunging to around -10 (minus 10) at night. The best time to visit depends on what part of Tibet you are going to. For most areas, May, June and October are the best months. The coldest months are from December to February. It is not impossible to visit Tibet in winter. The low altitude valleys of Tibet see very little snow. Spring does not really get under way until April, though March can have warm sunny days. Mt. Everest Region: Early May and early October are the best time to visit Mt. Everest region. Due to the clear weather, you have good chance to observe Mt. Everest's true face. From December to February, it is too cold to go to this region. Mt. Kailash: Even without climate restrictions, this area is already inhospitable. Big rain and snow could make the journey worse. However, for those determined travelers, the appropriate time is May, June, July, September and October. Eastern Tibet: Don't go to this area in July or August. The rain could ruin the road and make terrible landslides. In the winter, the roads could be frozen. Northern Tibet: With the average altitude of 4,500m, this area offers very limited time for tourists. Summer is the prime time to enjoy the great plain in northern Tibet.

Tibet – Nature and Environment ?

The vast differences in altitudes and rainfall in Tibet creates ecosystem that vary from tropical cloud forests to high altitude deserts. The Tibetan plateau is the world's highest ecosystem and one of the world's last great untouched wilderness. Currently about 20 percent of Tibet region of China is protected areas. Most of these reserves are in name only. There is little protection. Poaching of wildlife occurs. In 2005, the Chinese government declared The Himalayas a Biodiversity Hot Spot.

Tibetan Culture ?

Tibetan culture developed under the influence of a number of factors. Tibet's specific geographic and climatic conditions have encouraged reliance on pastoralist, as well as the development of a different cuisine influenced by surrounding regions. Contact with neighboring countries and cultures, including Nepal, India and Mongolia – have influenced the development of Tibetan culture. But the Himalayan region's remoteness and inaccessibility have preserved distinctive local influences. Buddhism has exerted a particularly strong influence on Tibetan culture since its introduction in the 7th century. Art, literature, and music all contain elements of Buddhist religion, and Buddhism itself has adopted a unique form in Tibet, influenced by the Bon tradition and other local beliefs.

Religion ?

Bon was the indigenous religion of Tibet. Introduction of Buddhism in the 8th century gave Tibetan Buddhism much of its distinctive character. Tibetan Buddhism combines the essential teachings of Mahayana Buddhism with Tantric and Shamanic and Bon.

Festivals ?

Tibetan New Year (February or March) It is the greatest festival in Tibet. The time when peach blossoms, is considered as the starting of a new year. Since the systematization of the Tibetan calendar in 1027, the first day of the first month became fixed as the New Year. On the New Year's day, families unite, auspicious dipper is offered and the auspicious words TashiDelek are greeted. Butter Oil Lantern Festival (February or March) It is held on the 15th of the lunar month. Huge yak butter sculptures are placed around Lhasa's Barkhor circuit.

Dinning in Tibet ?

There are some decent restaurants and hotels in Tibet. The traditional Tibetan diet is largely limited to barley, meat and dairy products, with very few species of vegetables. By comparison, Chinese restaurants in village offer some excellent food. Some travelers find that Hui places are cleaner because of Halal food laws. They are easily identified with green flags and crescent moons on their signboards.

What to pack ?

Due to its unique geographic and climatic features, we have to pack many things before we leave for Tibet. However, it is impractical to take too much baggage, as it will weaken us on the plateau. What to pack then becomes an important issue (Please see our pack list).

You can send your inquiry via the form below.

Price From USD$1,300 USD$1,100/person
Total $ 1,100 USD

Trip Facts

  • Tibet (China)
  • 7 Days
  • Kathmandu
  • Kathmandu
  • guided tour.
  • 5050m/16564ft
  • Min.1, max 16 people.
  • breakfast only.
  • 3 star hotel in Kathmandu / Lhasa & best available guest house en-route to Lhasa

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