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Trip Fact

  • Trip Name : Lhasa to Kathmandu Mountain Biking
  • Difficulty :
  • Trip Duration : 21 Days
  • Activity : Mountain Biking

Lhasa to Kathmandu Mountain Biking

One of the most remote regions in the world, the cycling pilgrimage from Lhasa in Tibet, to Kathmandu in Nepal will quite possibly be a ‘life changing’ journey through time, scenery and physical demands. Our fully-supported mountain bike tour takes us along the Friendship Highway to the ‘Roof-Top of the World’, Everest Base Camp, and takes in the world’s 2nd longest descent, and the former home of the Dalai Lama.

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One of the most remote regions in the world, the cycling pilgrimage from Lhasa in Tibet, to Kathmandu in Nepal will quite possibly be a ‘life changing’ journey through time, scenery and physical demands. Our fully-supported mountain bike tour takes us along the Friendship Highway to the ‘Roof-Top of the World’, Everest Base Camp, and takes in the world’s 2nd longest descent, and the former home of the Dalai Lama.

Starting in Lhasa at 3,650m, we traverse 1,100km over 5 panoramic passes exceeding 4,500m, finishing in the Kathmandu Valley where the oxygen is rich and the lands fertile. Depending upon your individual tastes and strengths, we’ll average 70 km/day on our bikes. Our support vehicle is always available if you would rather take a day off the saddle. The terrain is 80% tarmac road and 20% non-technical off-road.

Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu
Day 2: Kathmandu (Sightseeing)
Day 3: Kathmandu to Nagarkot
Day 4: Nagarkot to Kathmandu
Day 5: Kathmandu to Lhasa (flight)
Day 6: Lhasa acclimatization and sightseeing
Day 7: Drepung Monastery and Potala Palace sightseeing
Day 8: Ride from Lhasa to Quxu
Day 9: Quxu to Nagarze
Day 10: Nagarze to Gyangze
Day 11: Gyangze to Shigatse
Day 12: Shigatse to Jidingzhen
Day 13: Jidingzhen to Lhatse
Day 14: Lhatse to Tingri/Xegar, via Gyatso La Pass
Day 15: Tingri  to Rongbuk, then EBC, and back to Rongbuk
Day 16: Rongbuk to Old Tingri
Day 17: Old Tingri to Menbuxiang
Day 18: Menbuxiang to Nyalam
Day 19: Nyalam to Dolalghat (Nepal), drive or ride up to Dhulikhel
Day 20: Ride from Dhulikhel to Kathmandu
Day 21: Final Departure from Nepal

Day 1 - Arrival in Kathmandu (1,345m/4,413 ft)
Upon arriving at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu, you will be received by our airport representatives who will warmly greet you and transfer to the hotel on a private tourist vehicle. We provide 3-star accommodation in the city and we arrange for a trip briefing with dinner in the evening.

 

Day 2 - Visit old town of Kathmandu
A professional guide and vehicle are provided for a day of sightseeing in and around Kathmandu city. We visit some of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city along with other interesting cultural monuments that dot the valley. These include Boudhanath Stupa (the largest Buddhist shrines in the world), Pashupatinath (the holiest Hindu temple in the world), Durbar Squares (Palaces and fortresses of medieval Kings), along with other popular cultural attractions. We get to observe the lifestyle of Nepalese people, holy sadhus and monks, fascinating history as well as awe-inspiring architecture.

 

Day 03 Ride from Kathmandu to Nagarkot via Bhaktaur (38km 2,168m)
We endorse Chinese visas on this day and you check bikes and equipments, after which we ride due east to the medieval town of Bhaktapur, an ancient city full of Newari culture. There are many temples and squares here that we will have time to explore. It is one of the major attractions of the Kathmandu valley, and definitely not to be missed! From here we head north-east to the beautiful Nagarkot hilltop on an excellent and quiet tarmac road. Nagarkot is the best destination to acclimatize and warm up before Tibet tour. Overnight at a hotel.

 

Day 04 Ride back from Nagarkot to Kathmandu via Shanku (34km 1,340m)
We descent on Jeep tracks through the ancient village of Shanku where we will have lunch and then ride back to Thamel, Kathmandu. We lose elevation on the downhill tracks, which at some points require technical skills. You will find yourself amidst massive stretches of farms. In fact, a considerable amount of rice and vegetables supplied to Kathmandu comes from Sankhu. Overnight at a hotel in Kathmandu.

 

Day 05 Fly from Kathmandu to Gonkar, then drive to Lhasa (3,650m)
After breakfast, drive to the airport for an hour flight to Gonkar. You will be met at Gonkar Airport by your Tibetan guide. After immigration formalities take a 1.5-hour drive along 93 km road leading to Lhasa lying at an altitude of 3,660m. It’s advisable to rest and take it easy for the remainder of the day due to Lhasa’s altitude. Overnight at a hotel.

 

Day 06 Lhasa acclimatization and sightseeing
We will visit a few popular places such as Sera Monastery which is one of Lhasa’s great monasteries that survived the Cultural Revolution better than most. We can get up close and personal to a ‘Debate’ where the monks will try and outwit their colleagues with questions on religion. Have a peaceful time watching pilgrims circumambulate from the comfort of a café overlooking the Barkor. Overnight at a hotel.

 

Day 07 Drepung Monastery and Potala Palace sightseeing
After a good breakfast we will start biking for Drepung Monastery cycling right in front and passing the Potala. The monastery is situated 25km to the west of Lhasa, this is to further acclimatize and adjust to the climate and altitude. Drepung Monastery the largest of the monasteries out of the great Gelugpa monasteries was home to around 10,000 monks during the Chinese takeover of Tibet in 1951. Once we reach the entrance to the monastery, we leave our bikes at the car park and climb up the stairs into the monastery.
Visit the famous Potala Palace. This is the cardinal landmark and a structure that deserves a place as one of the wonders of eastern architecture and it looks best from a distance. It takes about 3 hours of sightseeing at the Potala so we would advise on wearing comfortable attire, esp. walking shoes. Overnight at a hotel.

 

Day 08 Ride from Lhasa to Quxu (61km, 3,600m)
Biking towards Kathmandu starts on this day. After cycling through the busy roads for about 45 minutes we leave Lhasa behind. Please remember to always ride on the right side as there will be vehicles plying on this road. We follow the Brahmaputra River all the way down. Overnight at a guesthouse.

 

Day 09 Quxu to Nagarze (99km, 4,410m)
Biking over the Khamba-la pass (4,794 m), approx. 24km climb passing the old road between Gyantse and Lhasa the dazzling Yamdrok-tso (also known as Scorpion Lake) can be seen from the summit of the Kambha-la pass. The lake lies several hundred meters below the road, and in clear weather the lake is seen as a fabulous shade of deep turquoise. We will have lunch beside the beautiful Yamdrok Lake. After lunch we cycle down to the town of Nagarze. Overnight at a guesthouse.

 

Day 10 Nagarze to Gyangze (105km, 4,020m)
Panoramic sight sweeping from the left hand side up to the front give great views of the Himalayas and glaciers upon reaching the summit of the Karo-La Pass. One can awe at the sight of the glacier which is approximately 50m below the pass. Bike over the Simi-La (4,330m), and then it’s a pleasant gradual ride to Gyangze town. Visit the monasteries and Stupas contained within this historical town. Overnight at a guesthouse.


Day 11 Gyangze to Shigatse (94km, 3,835m)
Leaving Gyantse, we also leave behind our 2 days of off-road aches and pain as we find ourselves on a newly paved road which is a long day ride that will take us across vast stretches of flat agriculture land to Shigatse, Tibet's second biggest town in the traditional capital of Tsang. The Tsang kings exercised their power from the towering heights of Shigatse turning this town in to an important trading town as well as an administrative center. We visit the Tashilhunpo Monastery on the way. Overnight at a guesthouse.

 

Day 12 Shigatse to Jidingzhen (75km, 3,905m)
After a good breakfast, we’ll enjoy the beautiful scenery as we ride to Jidingzhen. We’ll call it a day as close to the base of the Tso-La pass as possible. This will be a good time to prepare physically and mentally for a couple of passes in the following days. Overnight at a guesthouse.

 

Day 13 Jidingzhen to Lhatse (70km, 4,050m)
Today will be a tough ride, with an occasional paved road making the rest of the road a dusty one. You can, of course, hitch a ride on the support vehicle if you don’t feel like riding the whole day. After we leave the Tso-La Pass (4,500m), we go down a long 9km descent and reach Lhatse, which is a small truck stop and is a dusty place but has some shops with well stocked shelves and few guesthouses. Overnight at a guesthouse.

 

Day 14 Lhatse to Tingri/Xegar (74km, 4,320m), via Gyatso La Pass (5,220m)
In the morning after breakfast we cycle up to a 25km climbing towards the Gyatso-La Pass (5,220m), the highest pass of our trip. The ride to Gyatso-La is an interesting one as we will be in the middle of a gorge during the start of this particular ride accompanied by a river on the right hand side. Approximately 7km before reaching the summit we come to an opening where we can once again see the great mountains, but it will be very windy at this point until we cross the pass and descent down to Xegar. Overnight at a guesthouse.

 

Day 15 Tingri to Rongbuk (5,000m), EBC (5,150m), and back to Rongbuk (55km)
Today we start our ride on a paved road up to the police check post. Here we would have to produce our passport to the authorities and after the check post we will turn off the Friendship Highway around 6km west of the Shegar checkpoint where our guide will sort out the permits for the Everest region. From here the path will be the toughest of bumpy roads. The road is very winding both up hill and down hill with sharp turns. On this particular road we would like to advise everyone to stay on the edge of the road at a safe pace because of heavy vehicle also using this road, which takes us to the Pang La pass (5200m), a rocky uphill. From here a superb panoramic view of Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu can be seen on a clear day. We will bike downhill towards the river where after crossing it we will face the windiest place of our tour. We will cycle to Tashi Zong village. Overnight at a guesthouse in Rongbuk.

 

Day 16 Rongbuk to Old Tingri (69km, 4,350m)
After an hour ride from Rongbuk we take new route to Old Tingri via Long Jong La. Occasionally, the level of river gets high which will make us difficult to cross the river, in such case we will ride and drive to Tingri via Tashi Dzong and Pang La. Overnight at a guesthouse.

 

Day 17 Old Tingri to Menbuxiang (72km, 4,685m)
Today the biking takes us over the pass of Lalung-la, which offers spectacular view of Gaurishankar, Dorje Lhakpa, Shishapangma and Langtang. Please make sure that you check your brakes properly because we will be riding mostly downhill from here. Overnight at a guesthouse.

 

Day 18 Menbuxiang to Nyalam (97, 3,750m)
We continue our descent southwards and after a few hours of biking we reach Nyalam which literary means ‘The Gateway to Hell’ in Tibetan. This is because the road drops from Nylam like a stone off the Tibetan plateau into a mossy gorge of waterfalls and cascades which during the monsoon creates a sea of clouds that submerges the road and thus giving the effect of an eerie scene out of a horror movie. Before reaching Nyalam just 10km off there is a place with the closest cultural sight which is Nyalam Pelgye Ling, a small temple that is associated with the Cave of Milarepa, the famous Buddhist mystic and composer of songs who lived during the late 11th to the early 12th century. Overnight at a guesthouse.

 

Day 19 Nyalam to Dolalghat (Nepal), drive or ride up to Dhulikhel (115km, 1,600m)
This is our last day in Tibet as we head towards the border Zhangmu which also is known as Khasa in Nepali and Dram in Tibetan, then entering Nepal through Kodari (which also happens to be the only bungee jumping spot in Nepal). We descend rapidly to Barabise on the longest downhill of our tour on muddy, rocky and slippery road with a big drop on the right hand side into the river Bhote Kosi. We will have lunch at Barabise (870m) a small town with shops and basic hotels. From here after lunch we have to option to either ascend to Dhulikhel (1,600m) or hop on the support van to the hotel in Dhulikhel. Overnight at a hotel.

 

Day 20 Ride from Dhulikhel to Kathmandu via Bhaktapur and Thimi (35km 1,340m)
After 2.5 km ride from Dhulikhel, we leave the Arniko Highway behind. Follow the dirt road up to Bhaktapur. Continue the broken tarmac road to Thimi a popular town for handmade paper mask. Thimi is the major supplier of vegetables in the capital, Kathmandu city. Ride the last section of Valley rim through busy traffic and transfer to your hotel. A pleasant stroll and a last-minute shopping spree in Thamel and Basantapur. We host a farewell dinner in a typical Nepali-style restaurant tonight to celebrate our hard work and achievement in the biking trip.

You have the option to extend your trip to continue onto Chitwan jungle safari, Pokhara sight-seeing, trekking, rafting & bungee, Kathmandu valley shopping tour, scenic Everest flight, and other activities. Overnight at a hotel.

 

Day 21 - Departure from Nepal
The trip concludes today. You will be dropped at Kathmandu's Tribhuwan International Airport by our airport representative for your flight departure from Nepal.

Price Details

Please enquire with us for prices

 

Price Includes

  • All ground transportation by private vehicle for airport and hotel pick up/drop off, sightseeing and transfers
  • All domestic flights (if any)
  • Accommodation in teahouses and hotels
  • All meals during biking
  • Entry permit to parks, monuments and cultural landmarks
  • Biking guide(s), porter(s) and driver(s) their daily wages, food, accommodation and other expenses
  • Comprehensive medical kit
  • In case of emergency, we can send helicopters for evacuation, manage all paperwork, and deal with related insurance companies (provided the client has valid insurance)


Price Excludes

  • International airfare and airport departure tax
  • Travel insurance covering medical treatment and evacuation by ground and air
  • Nepal entry visa, obtained upon arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu
  • Rescue and evacuation
  • Extra road transport/flight cost in case member returns earlier
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu and if applicable, in Pokhara
  • Items of personal nature like laundry, communication and bar bill
  • Tips for trip staff and driver. (Tipping is appreciated)
  • Other expenses not mentioned in the Price Includes section