Tibet Overland Tour - 08 DaysTibet Overland Tour - 08 Days

Tibet Overland Tour - 08 Days

Trip Summary
  • Trip Duration8 Days
  • Difficulty Level Strenuous
  • Lhasa: The capital of Tibet and home to some of the most famous Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and landmarks like Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and Barkhor Street.
  • Everest Base Camp: The North Everest Base Camp in Tibet is accessible by road, and it offers stunning views of the world's highest peak.
  • Namtso Lake: The highest saltwater lake in the world, Namtso Lake is known for its stunning beauty and spiritual significance.
  • Yamdrok Lake: Another scenic lake in Tibet, Yamdrok is known for its turquoise blue waters and the surrounding snow-capped mountains.
  • Gyantse: A historic town in Tibet, Gyantse is known for its famous Gyantse Kumbum, a large stupa with many chapels containing Buddhist murals and sculptures.
  • Shigatse: The second-largest city in Tibet, Shigatse is home to Tashilhunpo Monastery, one of the largest and most important monasteries in Tibet.
  • Tibetan Culture: Tibet has a unique culture that is influenced by Buddhism, nomadic traditions, and a harsh environment. Travelers can experience this culture through local festivals, cuisine, and customs.
  • Trekking: Tibet offers many trekking opportunities, including the famous Kailash Trek and the Ganden to Samye Trek
  • Adventure Activities: Tibet offers adventure activities like mountain biking, rock climbing, and whitewater rafting for thrill-seekers.

A Tibet Overland tour is an adventure trip that takes you through the stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage of Tibet. The tour usually starts from the city of Lhasa and covers several other destinations across the region.

The tour takes you through some of the most breathtaking sights in Tibet, including the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and the Norbulingka Palace. You will also get to explore the picturesque landscape of the Tibetan Plateau, including high-altitude lakes, snow-capped peaks, and vast grasslands.

The trip usually lasts between 8 to 14 days, depending on the itinerary and your preferences. Some of the popular destinations that are covered in the tour include Shigatse, Gyantse, and the Everest Base Camp. You can also opt for a trekking adventure to explore some of the more remote parts of Tibet.

While on the tour, you will also get a chance to experience the unique Tibetan culture and lifestyle. You will interact with the locals, taste traditional Tibetan cuisine, and witness colorful festivals and ceremonies.

Overall, a Tibet Overland tour is an unforgettable experience that offers a perfect blend of adventure, culture, and natural beauty. However, it's important to note that Tibet is a politically sensitive region, and travel regulations can change at short notice. It's advisable to check the latest travel advisories before planning your trip.

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The journey from Kathmandu to Kerung Border is a scenic drive that takes approximately 6-7 hours, covering a distance of around 145 kilometers.

The route begins in Kathmandu and follows the Prithvi Highway, which passes through picturesque landscapes and traditional Nepali villages. The highway winds through steep hills, dense forests, and meandering rivers, providing stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

After driving for around 4-5 hours, you will reach the town of Dhunche, which is located at an altitude of 1,950 meters. From here, the road continues to climb towards the Tibetan border, crossing over several high passes, including the Langtang Lirung pass at an altitude of 4,610 meters.

As you approach the border, the landscape becomes increasingly barren and desolate, with towering mountains on either side of the road. Finally, after crossing the Friendship Bridge, you will reach the Kerung Border, which marks the entrance to Tibet.

    The journey from Kerung to Tingri/Lhatse covers a distance of 225 km/244 km, depending on the route taken. This is a long and challenging journey, as it involves travelling through high-altitude terrain with limited facilities.

    The route from Kerung to Tingri is via the Friendship Highway, which runs from Kathmandu in Nepal to Lhasa in Tibet. The road is mostly unpaved and can be bumpy and rough, especially in the mountainous areas. The scenery along the way is stunning, with views of snow-capped peaks, deep valleys, and picturesque Tibetan villages.

    As you ascend to higher altitudes, it's important to take precautions to prevent altitude sickness.Tingri is a small town located at an altitude of 4300m, and it's a popular stopover for travelers on their way to Mount Everest Base Camp. The town has basic facilities, including guesthouses, restaurants, and a market.

      The journey from Tingri/Lhaste to Xigatse covers a distance of approximately 244 kilometers and takes around 7-8 hours by road. The route passes through scenic landscapes, rugged terrain, and picturesque villages.

      Starting from Tingri/Lhaste, you will drive towards the south on the China-Nepal Friendship Highway. The road initially winds through the barren Tibetan plateau, passing by several small Tibetan settlements and monasteries. You will also pass through the Thong La Pass, which offers spectacular views of the Himalayan mountain range.

      Continuing on the Friendship Highway, you will arrive at the town of Lhatse, which is situated at an altitude of 4,050 meters. Lhatse is an important trading town in Tibet, and you can see many traders and travelers passing through the town.

      From Lhatse, you will drive towards the southeast, crossing several mountain passes and valleys. The road winds through the beautiful Yarlung Tsangpo River Valley, which is known for its lush greenery and fertile agricultural lands. You will also pass through small Tibetan villages, where you can get a glimpse of the traditional Tibetan way of life.

      After driving for several hours, you will finally arrive at Xigatse, which is the second-largest city in Tibet after Lhasa. Xigatse is known for its rich cultural heritage and is home to several important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, including the famous Tashilhunpo Monastery. You can explore the city's attractions, visit local markets and shops, and immerse yourself in the unique Tibetan culture.

        Day 4 of the journey from Xigatse to Gyantse covers a distance of 90 km and takes you through some of the most scenic landscapes of Tibet. The route passes through several small Tibetan villages, giving you a chance to experience the local culture and traditions. The journey begins in Xigatse, which is located at an altitude of 3,900 meters. As you leave the city, you will drive through some stunning mountain ranges, including the Himalayas.

        The first major stop on the journey is the town of Lhatse, which is located about 150 km from Xigatse. Lhatse is a small town but is an important stopover for travelers, as it has several restaurants, hotels, and other amenities.

        From Lhatse, the road continues through some more mountainous terrain before reaching the small town of Gyantse. Gyantse is known for its historic fort, the Gyantse Dzong, which dates back to the 14th century. The town is also famous for its Kumbum Stupa, which is the largest stupa in Tibet and is home to over 100,000 Buddha images.

          Day 05's journey will take you from Gyantse to Lhasa, covering a distance of 261 kilometers. The route is scenic and offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas. You will start your day early in the morning, as the journey is long and will take you around 7 hours to complete.

          You will travel through some of the highest mountain passes in the world, including the Kamba La Pass (4,796m) and the Karo La Pass (5,010m). These passes offer spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers.

          En route, you will visit the Yamdrok Lake, which is one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet. The lake is surrounded by snow-capped mountains, and its turquoise waters are a sight to behold.

          You will also visit the Potala Palace, which is one of the most iconic landmarks in Tibet. The palace was once the residence of the Dalai Lama and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace is a massive structure that rises over 13 stories high and contains more than 1,000 rooms.

          Your day will end with a visit to the Jokhang Temple, which is considered one of the most sacred sites in Tibet. The temple is located in the heart of Lhasa and is a popular destination for pilgrims. The temple is home to many precious artifacts and is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Tibet.

            Lhasa is known for its rich cultural heritage and religious significance, and there are several places that visitors can explore to learn more about the region's history and culture. Here are some popular sightseeing destinations in Lhasa:

            Potala Palace - This iconic palace is one of the most famous landmarks in Tibet and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was once the home of the Dalai Lama and is now a museum that showcases Tibetan art and architecture.

            Jokhang Temple - This ancient temple is a sacred site for Tibetan Buddhists and is considered one of the holiest places in Tibet. It houses many important relics and statues.

            Barkhor Street - This bustling street encircles Jokhang Temple and is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. It's filled with shops selling souvenirs, traditional Tibetan clothing, and local cuisine.

            Sera Monastery - This monastery is one of the three major Gelugpa monasteries in Tibet and is known for its lively debates between monks.

              The flight from Lhasa to Kathmandu typically takes around 1 hour and 20 minutes, and there are several airlines that operate flights between these two cities, including Air China, Sichuan Airlines, and Tibet Airlines. The flights usually depart from Lhasa Gonggar Airport and arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.

                Essential Information

                Best Seasons for Tibet Overland Tour

                The best seasons for a Tibet overland tour are from April to June and September to November. During these months, the weather in Tibet is generally mild, and the skies are clear, making it the perfect time for sightseeing and outdoor activities.

                In the summer months of July and August, Tibet experiences a monsoon season, which can result in heavy rainfall and make roads difficult to navigate. Additionally, the crowds of tourists during this time can make it difficult to fully appreciate the beauty of the region.

                During the winter months of December to February, Tibet experiences extremely cold temperatures, and many roads and attractions may be closed due to snow and ice. However, if you are interested in winter sports or festivals, this can be a great time to visit.

                Overall, if you want to enjoy the best weather and avoid the crowds, plan your Tibet overland tour for the spring or fall.


                There are various types of accommodations available during a Tibet overland tour, depending on your preferences and budget. Here are some of the options:

                Hotels: There are many hotels in Tibet that cater to tourists. These range from budget hotels to luxury hotels. The quality of the hotels can vary, so it's important to do some research before booking.

                Guesthouses: There are also many guesthouses in Tibet that offer budget accommodations. These can be a good option if you're looking to save money.

                Camping: If you're adventurous, you may want to consider camping during your Tibet overland tour. There are many campsites throughout the region, and camping can be a great way to experience the natural beauty of Tibet.

                Homestays: Some local families offer homestays, where you can stay in their homes and experience Tibetan culture firsthand. This can be a great option if you're looking for an authentic experience.

                Monastery Stays: Some monasteries offer accommodations to tourists. Staying in a monastery can be a unique and spiritual experience.

                It's important to note that accommodations in Tibet can be basic, and amenities such as hot water and heating may not be available in all places. However, the stunning natural beauty and rich cultural experiences of Tibet make it a worthwhile destination, regardless of the accommodations.

                Permits for Tibet Overland Tour

                The permits you'll need for an overland tour of Tibet include:

                Tibet Travel Permit: This is the primary permit that you'll need to enter Tibet. It's issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau and it allows you to travel within the Lhasa and Shigatse areas.

                Aliens' Travel Permit: This permit is required if you plan to travel outside of Lhasa and Shigatse. It's issued by the Public Security Bureau and allows you to travel to areas like Mount Everest Base Camp, Yamdrok Lake, and other popular tourist destinations.

                Military Permit: This permit is required if you plan to travel to certain restricted areas of Tibet, such as Nyingchi, Ngari, and the border areas. It's issued by the military and can take some time to obtain.

                It's important to note that independent travel in Tibet is not allowed, and you'll need to be part of an organized tour with a registered travel agency. This is strictly enforced, and travelers who try to enter Tibet without the necessary permits can face fines, deportation, and other penalties.

                Things to carry during Tibet Overland Tour

                Warm clothes: Tibet is a high-altitude region, and temperatures can drop significantly, especially at night. Be sure to carry warm clothes like jackets, sweaters, and thermal wear.

                Comfortable shoes: You'll be doing a lot of walking and hiking, so it's important to have comfortable and sturdy shoes that can withstand rough terrain.

                Sunscreen and sunglasses: Tibet has a high altitude and intense sunlight. Carrying sunscreen with high SPF and sunglasses will protect your skin and eyes from the harsh rays.

                Personal medication: It's always a good idea to carry any necessary personal medication, including altitude sickness medication, painkillers, and allergy medication.

                Water bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial in the high altitude of Tibet. Carry a reusable water bottle to refill at various stops along the way.

                First aid kit: In case of emergencies, it's best to have a basic first aid kit that includes items like band-aids, antiseptic, and pain relievers.

                Cash and credit card: Many places in Tibet may not accept credit cards, so it's best to carry cash as well. ATMs may be hard to find outside major cities.

                Camera and power bank: Tibet is a photographer's paradise, so don't forget to carry a camera to capture the beautiful landscapes. Power banks are essential to keep your devices charged in the absence of electricity.

                Copies of important documents: Carry copies of your passport, visa, and other important documents in case you lose the originals.

                Snacks and energy bars: Tibet is remote and may not have many food options. Bringing snacks and energy bars can be helpful during long drives and hikes.

                Frequently Asked Questions

                Do I need a visa to enter Tibet?

                Yes, you do. Tibet is an autonomous region of China, so you'll need a Chinese visa as well as a Tibet Travel Permit to enter. The travel permit is issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau and can only be obtained through a registered tour operator.

                What's the best time of year to visit Tibet?

                The best time to visit Tibet is from April to October when the weather is milder and the skies are clearer. The peak tourist season is from May to September, so expect larger crowds during those months.

                How long does it take to travel overland from Lhasa to Kathmandu?

                The overland route from Lhasa to Kathmandu is about 1,000 km (620 miles) long and takes around 7-8 days to complete. However, this can vary depending on the route you take and the number of stops you make along the way.

                Is it safe to travel overland in Tibet?

                Yes, it's generally safe to travel overland in Tibet. However, it's important to choose a reputable tour operator and to be prepared for the high altitude and the harsh climate. Make sure you acclimatize properly and take precautions against altitude sickness.

                What should I pack for a Tibet overland tour?

                You should pack warm clothing, including a down jacket and thermal underwear, as temperatures can drop below freezing at night. You'll also need a good pair of hiking boots, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Don't forget to bring any medication you need, including medication for altitude sickness.

                Can I travel independently in Tibet?

                No, independent travel is not permitted in Tibet. You must be accompanied by a registered tour guide at all times. Your tour operator will arrange all necessary permits and transportation for you.

                Kalpana Neupane
                Need assistance?Mrs. Kalpana Neupane (Travel Consultant)

                Call: +977 9851199586 or WhatsApp Chat: +977 9851199586