How to go from Nepal to Tibet

Going from Nepal to Tibet can seem extremely difficult. In reality, it is very easy! Read this post for clear information on how to travel from Nepal to Tibet. Still have questions? Email me at: thelandofsnows@gmail.com

Overlooking one of the Buddhist monasteries near Boudha Stupa in Nepal

For a recommendation on a reputable and affordable travel agency to use in Tibet, send me an email at: thelandofsnows@gmail.com

How to go from Nepal to Tibet

Unfortunately, Tibet has a reputation as being an extremely difficult place to get to. Much of this is because of inaccurate information that is listed on overseas travel websites and on personal travel blogs. In reality, getting to Tibet is not difficult at all. In this post I will explain in detail how to travel from Nepal to Tibet. If you still have questions after reading this, feel free to email me at:  thelandofsnows@gmail.com 

How to go from Nepal to Tibet

Patan Durbar Square located in Lalitpur, Nepal

Some Hindu Sadhu’s at Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu

Travel from Nepal to Tibet

The travel regulations when going from Nepal to Tibet are different than the regulations when going to Tibet from China. For information on going to Tibet from China, please go to the following post of mine: How to go from China to Tibet

Regardless if you go to Tibet from Nepal or from Mainland China, all foreign travelers MUST be on an organized tour that only a travel agency (preferably one in Tibet) can arrange for you. There are no exceptions. All foreign travelers to Tibet must have travel permits, a tour guide, a private vehicle and a driver. Only a travel agency can assist you in getting to Tibet. You will need to contact a travel agency at least 5 or 6 weeks in advance so they can apply for your required travel permits and arrange the details of your journey.

Contrary to popular belief, group travel to Tibet is not required. You are free to visit Tibet as a solo traveler as long as you are part of an organized tour. However, many budget travelers will find the costs of traveling to Tibet quite high and will join a group tour in order to afford to travel there.

Nepal to Tibet Overland

There are 3 ways to get to Tibet from Nepal. The first is to travel overland from Kathmandu to Tibet. From Kathmandu, the Tibet border is about 115 kilometers north along the Araniko Highway, which connects Kathmandu to the border town of Kodari. Kodari is the last town on the Nepal side. From Kodari, the Tibet (China) border is just a couple hundred meters away. There are daily buses from Kathmandu to Kodari or you can have a travel agency in Kathmandu arrange a private vehicle to take you along this scenic road.

You will not be able to cross from Nepal into Tibet without an organized tour, which I will explain how to arrange later in this post. With your organized tour, you can then cross into Tibet, go through Chinese Customs and then meet your required tour guide, private vehicle and driver. From there, you can continue overland through Tibet to places like Everest Base Camp, Mt. Kailash, Shigatse, Lhasa and anywhere else in Tibet. Again, you will not be able to enter Tibet from Nepal without an organized tour from a travel agency, which needs to be arranged well in advance.

NOTE: Nepal Tibet Border Crossing Update: Due to the April 2015 Nepal Earthquake, the overland border crossing from Nepal to Tibet (and vice versa) is CLOSED to all foreign travelers. The new border point will be in Kyirong, Tibet, but it is impossible to say when this will reopen. I expect it to be closed until spring or summer 2017. Check the following link for more information: Nepal-Tibet border closed.

Nepal to Tibet

Himalaya Mountains viewed from the sky

How to get to Tibet

Guge Kingdom in western Tibet

Flying to Tibet from Nepal

The second option of going from Nepal to Tibet is to fly. There are weekly direct flights from Kathmandu to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa. The flight is just over an hour long. During the summer months (May through early October) there are usually daily flights between these two cities. During the low season, there are 2 or 3 weekly flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa. You will not be permitted to board any flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa without proving that you have an organized tour arranged for Tibet. Once you arrive at the Lhasa airport, your required guide, private vehicle and driver will meet you. You will then begin your travels in Tibet according to the travel itinerary that you arranged in advance with the travel agency you are working with in Tibet.

Along the Yarlung Tsangpo River in central Tibet

North Face Base Camp of Mt. Everest in Tibet

North Face Base Camp of Mt. Everest in Tibet

Simikot to Kailash

A more unique way to get to Tibet from Nepal is going from the small town of Simikot, located in far northwest Nepal. The only way to reach Simikot is by flight and unfortunately, there are no direct flights from Kathmandu to Simikot. You will have to first fly to Nepalganj and then fly to Simikot. From Simikot, it is a 5 day trek to the small village of Hilsa, Nepal, which is located just across from the border of Tibet. The trek from Simikot to Hilsa is stunning, however, a travel agency in Nepal will need to assist you with the required permits and arrangement for this extremely isolated area. From Hilsa, you can then cross over the bridge and enter Tibet where your required private vehicle, driver and guide will be waiting for you. From there, you will then travel to the nearby town of Purang where you will stay the night before going on to Lake Manasarovar and Mt Kailash.

Because you require 2 flights to reach Simikot from Kathmandu and because you have to have travel permits for this region of Nepal and a full organized tour once you reach Tibet, this is a not a budget-priced journey. However, it is an amazing journey that few foreign travelers experience!

Cho Oyu, the 6th highest peak on the planet, viewed from Old Tingri in Tibet.

Group Chinese Visa

The big difference when going from Nepal to Tibet compared to going from Mainland China to Tibet is the type of Chinese visa needed. When you go from Mainland China to Tibet, all you need is a normal Chinese Tourist Visa, which can be obtained from the Chinese Embassy/Consulate in your home country or at most Chinese consulates across the globe. However, when going from Nepal to Tibet, you MUST have a Group Chinese Tourist Visa, which can only be obtained from the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu. If you arrive in Nepal with a Chinese Tourist Visa (or other type of Chinese visa) already in your passport, you will not be able to use it and you will not be refunded the cost of this visa, which is now useless.

A travel agency in Lhasa will have to assist you in getting the Group Chinese Visa. They will write you an official Chinese Visa invitation letter, which will state all of the details listed in your passport along with your travel route in Tibet and the dates you will be in Tibet.  The travel agency in Lhasa will then forward this letter to their partners in Kathmandu who will assist you in submitting it to the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu. The Group Chinese Visa in Kathmandu normally takes 2 or 3 business days to obtain. Be advised that the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu does not process visa applications on weekends, during Chinese holidays or during most Nepalese holidays.

Unlike a standard Chinese Tourist Visa, which is placed inside your passport, the Group Chinese Tourist Visa is NOT in your passport. It is a full-sized piece of paper that lists your full name, birthdate, gender, profession, nationality and passport number. It also states how long your visa is valid for and how long you can stay in Tibet and China. The Group Chinese Visa will always be valid for the duration of your pre-arranged journey to Tibet. Normally the Group Chinese Visa will be valid for at least 28 days, though if you are taking a longer journey in Tibet, say 45 days for example, your Group Chinese Visa will be valid for the entire duration of your time in Tibet with at least another week for you to go to Mainland China and depart the country.

It is important to know that Group Chinese Visa’s can be issued to solo travelers. They are called “Group” visa’s, but for the past several years the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu has issued these group visa’s to solo travelers as well. Contrary to popular belief and contrary to many of the reports on the internet, you do not need to be in a group in order to travel from Nepal to Tibet. So, whether you are traveling with a small group, large group or traveling solo, you can easily have a travel agency in Lhasa arrange the required documents for you to obtain the Group Chinese Tourist Visa in Kathmandu.

Inconveniences with a Group Chinese Visa

There are a couple of nuisances with the Group Chinese Visa. The first is that this type of visa cannot be extended in China. A normal Chinese Tourist Visa can be extended at least once (and sometimes twice) in China, but the Group Chinese Visa cannot be extended. When you first begin to contact a travel agency in Tibet to arrange your journey, be sure to tell the agency if you plan to spend a couple of weeks or more traveling in Mainland China after your time in Tibet. That way they can make sure to write on the visa invitation letter that you be given a 28 or 35 day Group Chinese Visa.

The second nuisance is that if you are traveling with a group of people from Nepal to Tibet and then on to Mainland China, each of you MUST depart China from the same port, on the same day, at the same exact time. This is because the Group Chinese Visa is not in your passport, but is on a full-sized piece of paper. This means that all of you will have to exit through the same Chinese customs together at the same exact time. This can cause MAJOR problems if you use a budget travel agency and they place a group of strangers together who all plan to exit China from different ports (ie. some leaving from Beijing, others leaving to Hong Kong and others leaving from Shanghai, etc). So again, Group Chinese Visa’s cannot be extended and if you are traveling with a group, all of you MUST exit China together at the same place and time.

Mindroling Monastery in the Yarlung Valley east of Lhasa

Barkhor Square in Lhasa

Travel to Tibet must be arranged in advance

All travel to Tibet, whether from Nepal to Tibet or Mainland China to Tibet, MUST be arranged in advance. As stated throughout my website, all foreign travelers must be on an organized tour in order to go to Tibet. This organized tour includes travel permits, a tour guide, a private vehicle and a driver…no exceptions. Arranging this tour is actually extremely easy to do. You have the complete freedom to design your own travel route in Tibet. Itineraries listed on travel agency websites are merely suggestions. If you don’t see the specific route you are wanting to travel, no problem! Simply customize your own travel route and tell the agency you are using that you wish to follow your own route.

Travel permits for Tibet take a minimum of 14 days to arrange for most of Tibet. Travel permits for Western Tibet and Mt. Kailash take longer…about 4 weeks to arrange. You will want to begin contacting a travel agency in Tibet at least 1 month before you plan to arrive to Tibet. If you plan to go to the Kailash region of western Tibet, contact a travel agency at least 6 weeks in advance.  This will give you enough time to finalize your travel route and for the travel agency you use in Tibet to arrange your travel permits and to send the visa invitation letter to their partners in Kathmandu so they can submit it for your Group Chinese Visa.

For  more information about tours to Tibet, send an email to: thelandofsnows@gmail.com 

Travel from Nepal to Tibet

Sunrise at Guge in Western Tibet

How to get to Tibet

Summary of How to go from Nepal to Tibet

Here is a quick summary of how to go from Nepal to Tibet:

  • Traveling from Nepal to Tibet is not difficult
  • All travelers going to Tibet MUST be on an organized tour
  • Only a travel agency can arrange an organized tour for you
  • The 3 ways to get from Nepal to Tibet are by overland journey, by flight or by trekking from Simikot to Hilsa (NOTE: Currently the overland route from Nepal to Tibet is closed to to natural disasters)
  • To go from Nepal to Tibet, you must have a Group Chinese Visa
  • Group Chinese Visa’s can only be obtained with the help of a travel agency
  • Group Chinese Visa’s for Tibet can only be issued from the Chinese Embassy in Nepal
  • Group Chinese Visa’s can be issued to solo travelers who are on an organized tour
  • Group Chinese Visa’s cannot be extended
  • Everyone traveling on the same Group Chinese Visa must exit the country together
  • Contact a travel agency at least 1 month before you plan to go to Tibet

***This post is ONLY for those who are going from Nepal to Tibet. Going from Mainland China to Tibet is easier and the regulations are different than the regulations going from Nepal to Tibet. For information on how to go from China to Tibet, please read the following link: How to go from China to Tibet. If you have any travel questions on Tibet or other regions of the Himalaya, feel free to email me at:  thelandofsnows@gmail.com

Nepal to Tibet

Prayer flags above Yamdrok Lake in central Tibet

Pangla Pass

93 thoughts on “How to go from Nepal to Tibet

  1. Pingback: How to go from China to Tibet | The Land of Snows

  2. Alex Waigandt

    I am considering visiting Tibet in March, 2016. I an a citizen of the USA and will be leaving from Napal for Tibet. What is the cost to visit Tibet?

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      The costs of traveling in Tibet depend on the following:

      1. Where exactly in Tibet are you planning to go (Tibet is not a town, but a HUGE region of Asia)

      2. How many people are traveling with you?

      3. How many days are you traveling?

      4. What types of hotels do you want (budget, mid range, 5 Star)?

      Without knowing the questions above, it is impossible to give you any type of cost estimate.

      Lobsang

  3. Forrika

    hi, thanks for a very helpful website!! its clear and easy…. it seems:) However I am trying to find out how much the flight would be from KTM to Lhasa for Oct 2016 and its already cost like 400 EUR??? it is very expensive for such a short flight, so I wondering to ask you it is normal? book a ticket 8 months advaance and still so high amount? guess it only will go higher and higher by the time, right? Thanks in advance!!

  4. Nic

    Thanks for this great and informative post! Is there any news about the boarder crossing? Is the overland crossing still closed and if so, where can I find information about its possible re-opening? Thanks a lot in advance! Nic

  5. Narender Kumar Gautam

    Can I ride my bike from Nepal to Tibet in a an organized tour??
    I am Indian citizen.

  6. Shubhashri Barua

    Hi , My friends and I would like to travel Kathmandu to Lhasa with a tour to Everest base camp after June/July.. we are a group of 8-10 people. can you give us the costing for 3-4 star hotels and tours (we are from India)

  7. Anisha

    Is a ok/safe /healthy to go bunjee junping at tatapani and take the train to Lhasa after a night rest .

  8. Aman Agrawal

    Hello sir, we 4 guys are planning on a tour from India to London through Nepal-tibet-china. what we have to do to cross tibet and china. Any leads to travel agencies ?

  9. Michelle

    Hi there,
    Wanting to motorcycle the Friendship Highway from Kathmandu to Tibet. There will be 2 in our party how exactly do we get a group tour pass for entering Tibet and will we be able to drive our motorcycle or have to park it the boarder?

    Thanks!

      1. VINIT B

        dear sir,

        i have exactly same question for you . can i bring motorcycle to lhasa and go back as i came by road trip i lived in india. can you guide me. what kind of permit and paper work required for road trip.
        kindly help me
        thank you

        1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

          Hello….Bringing motorcycles registered in India or Nepal into Tibet is possible, but is very difficult and very expensive to arrange. You will need many permits to bring in a foreign vehicle to Tibet (including motorcycles) and will still need to be on an organized tour. This will be very expensive, but is possible to do. Currently, this cannot be done as the ONLY border crossing permitted for bringing in foreign vehicles into Tibet is from the main Nepal-Tibet overland border. This border is currently CLOSED due to the April 2015 Nepal Earthquake. You will need to wait for this border to reopen. It is impossible to say when the main Tibet-Nepal overland border will reopen.

          It might be cheaper for you to buy a motorcycle in Tibet and do this journey.

          Lobsang

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Fiona, as with travel everywhere in the world, the cost of a tour will depend on many things, such as:

      1. How many people are traveling with you?
      2. What class of hotel will you be staying at?
      3. How many days do you plan to travel?
      4. Which monasteries, temples, national parks, etc do you plan to see (all have high ticket costs).
      5. Are you taking a private or group tour?

      Without knowing this, it is hard to give a real answer. A small group tour will be your cheapest option and will cost between $1000 USD and $1250 USD per person. A private tour could cost as much as $6000 USD, depending on the length of your journey and the hotels you stay at.

      Lobsang

    2. Thomas

      Dear Lobsang,

      Is the border from Nepal to Tibet already open?
      I am planning to go solo from Nepal to Tibet in November. Do you have any suggestions on travel agencies? I travel budget. Thanks in advance!

  10. Samer Mansour

    Me and my friend are Syrian citizens living in Saudi Arabia. We’re planning to go to Nepal and from there to Tibet. All we need would be to apply for the Chinese group visa from Kathmandu? And by the way, Is the “Chinese Group Visa” another term for the Tibet travel permit? No need to apply for the Chinese visit visa from where we live?

  11. nupur

    Hello!
    I am a US citizen wanting to visit village schools ( on a motorbike or a taxi) in Tibet. Do you think that is possible?

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      In Tibet all foreigners MUST use a private vehicle the entire time they are in Tibet. You cannot use taxi’s or travel by motorbike, unless you specifically join a motorcycle tour. You also will not be able to visit schools due to strict government policies.

      Lobsang

      1. Natalie

        Hi Lobsang,
        Thank you for your very informative post. I would love to travel to Tibet in the next month. Do you mind sending me the list of travel agencies that you recommend.
        Thank you very much!

  12. Jacob Taylor

    Hi we two are planning tour of Nepal Tibet and main land China. We enter Lhasa/ Tibet from Kathmandu by flight. We understand that if visit Tibet entering from Kathmandu we can’t apply China visa from my home county, we should contact local travel company of Kathmandu or Lhasa and they apply for our Tibet permit and China group visa. Our question: is that China group visa also work to enter main land china or we need to again apply for China visa once we reach in Lhasa? We very much appreciate if you answer my query. Our plan is after visit Lhasa/ Tibet going to Beijing. Awaiting to your help.

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      A Group China Visa is valid for ALL regions of China and not just Tibet. When going to Tibet from Nepal, travelers MUST get their China visa from the China Embassy in Kathmandu. If you arrive with a China visa already in your passport, you will NOT be able to use it and will not be refunded for the useless visa. Enjoy your journey!

      Lobsang

  13. Hadar

    Hi Lobsang!
    Your post is great and has all the information I was looking for!
    thanks for that 🙂

    I have a question:
    We are a couple travelling for a month to Nepal and Tibet. We want to do the Annapurna and then fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa for a week in Tibet.
    I understand from your post we can arrange a tour in an agency in Nepal, but then we won’t have a 1 month advance for the group Chinese visa.
    What can we do?

    Thanks!

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      A Group China Visa only takes 2 or 3 business days to arrange….not a month. You will want to contact a Tibet-based, Tibetan-owned travel agency a month in advance by email. That way you will have plenty of time to have all arrangements made for you to go to Tibet. Relax….getting to Tibet from Nepal is very easy.

      Enjoy your journey….Lobsang

    2. Telma I Blank Canvas Voyage

      Hi Hadar,

      I am not sure if you will ever read my comment here…I hope you will.

      We are heading to Nepal and staying there for a month or so, and Tibet it’s on the itinerary.

      We are now in contact with some agencies in Tibet…but the prices OMG. Anyways….when are you going to Nepal?

      Email us at blankcanvasvoyage@gmail.com. Would be great to keep in touch, as we are doing something similar to you.

      Thank you

      Telma

  14. Telma I Blank Canvas Voyage

    Lobsang,

    Thank you so much for such a great explanation regarding visiting Tibet from Nepal.

    Any updates on the border?

    We are heading to Nepal for a month, from the end of September. Going to Tibet would be a dream.

    Let us know the current situation.

    Regards

    Thomas & Telma
    Blank Canvas Voyage

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Hello….The overland border between Nepal and Tibet remains CLOSED at this time. I expect it will remain closed a further 6 to 12 months. The only way to currently go from Nepal to Tibet is to fly. There are 4 direct flights per week from Kathmandu to Lhasa.

      Lobsang

  15. Khagesh

    I am an Indian. I wish to do a solo motorcycle trip to Mt. Kailash either from Nepal or from Nathula, Sikkim.

    My search on internet shows its not possible. Could you please, depending on your expertise, advise me if I will be able to make this trip.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      It will not be possible for you to take a motorcycle from India directly to Tibet….impossible. You will need to go to Nepal and then go overland, however, the overland border from Nepal to Tibet is closed due to the April 2015 Nepal Earthquake. Bringing in your own motorcycle from India or Nepal to Tibet will be VERY expensive.

      Lobsang

      1. khagesh

        Thank you for the quick reply.

        I intend to to drive to Kathmandu, then cross to Tibet through Kodari, Friendship Bridge.

        Very expensive, but it is possible. Yes? So, solo drive is possible for an Indian in Tibet then.

        What could be the possible expenses? I am aware the guide, the driver and so on. But solo trip in its true sense is what I look forward. With a backup we can even drive up to moon. No fun in it as you must be knowing.

  16. Martiena

    Hi Lobsang,

    Thank you for such an informative post! I am planning 6 months of travel and wanted to go to Tibet but was worried it would be too difficult….I’m glad to now know it’s not.

    Could you provide some names of reputable travel agencies in Tibet who will help arrange our itinerary and group visa from Nepal?

    We are two travellers, happy to go in a group, but would like the freedom to leave China on our own. We would like to spend 7-10 days in Tibet. Could you make a recommendation on itineraries (Where should we definitely go?) and what the price should be?

    Many thanks

    Martiena and Stuart (Scotland)

  17. Tiffany Ong

    Hi! Love your site! Hope you could help me on this. My mom and I would love to visit Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal next year. Im planning to fly from Chengdu China to Lhasa, then sight see around Tibet. I saw from your previous replies that the Nepal – Tibet border is still closed, and our only option is to fly. Would you know if next year sometime May or June, if the border will be open? I kinda want to do a roadtrip from Tibet to Bhutan then to Nepal and fly back home from Kathmandu. Can you also recommend local agencies that would accommodate us for small group tours? Would really appreciate your help. Thanks! – Tiffany, from Philippines

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Hi Tiffany….It is impossible to say when the Tibet-Nepal border will reopen. It could be in a few months, it could be in a year or more. Impossible to say. I have emailed you further information to help you plan your journey to Tibet and Bhutan.

      Lobsang

  18. OH Pf

    Hi, i plan to visit Tibet and Bhutan next year April. i am thinking ti spend around a month for this trip, maybe cycling in Tibet for 3 weeks.
    I am a solo budget traveller, mayb i know is it sound ok to stay in Tibet for 3 weeks?
    Thanks

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Hello…both Tibet and Bhutan require foreign travelers to be on an organized tour through a local travel agency. The costs of traveling in Tibet are quite high compared to most of Asia. Tibet and Bhutan should certainly NOT be considered budget travel destinations. Cycling tours in Tibet can easily be arranged, but be advised that cycling journeys are some of the most expensive tours you can take in Tibet. If you are a budget traveler traveling solo, Tibet and Bhutan will almost certainly be way out of your travel budget. For more details, send me an email at: thelandofsnows@gmail.com

      Lobsang

  19. Laura Solof

    Hi Lobsang –
    Great info on your page!
    Question 1 – How many are considered a group? My boyfriend and I are planning a Nepal-Tibet trip June 2017, in by flight or overland if the border is open, and out on the train to Beijing. We don’t want to be tied to anyone else’s travel plans. Can 2 be considered a group?
    Question 2 – Can you email some Lhasa travel companies?
    Question 3 – We hope to include Bhutan as well. Any good companies we can arrange from Kathmandu as well?
    Thanks so much!

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Laura,
      No group travel is required in Tibet. When going to Tibet from Nepal, all travelers have to get a “Group China Visa”, but these are issued to even solo travelers. It will be no problem for the 2 of you to get this visa. I have emailed you further info to help you plan your journey to Tibet and Nepal.

      Lobsang

  20. Krista Meakins

    Hi Lobsang,

    i was wonder if you could point me in the right direction for travel agents in Tibet for 2 girls travelling in September next year. We wanted to do the land crossing from Kathmandu and 5 days in Tibet. I’d love to know your- must do itinerary for that type of time frame.
    Thanks

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Hi Krista….sorry for the late reply. I have been at Mt Kailash in western Tibet. I have emailed you some info for your journey. I recommend the classic route from Lhasa to Everest Base camp….it’s a great route that allows you to see many of the key places in Tibet.

      Lobsang

  21. Md. Naimul Islam Khan

    Greetings. I want to visit Everest Base Camp but I am not confident about my current physical state. So I Planned Following Nepal>Tibet>EBC>Nepal. I want to avoid going to Lhasa for tight schedule. Is it feasible? How much time will this plan take? Can I go upto real base camp or tourist base camp?

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      First off, the Tibet-Nepal overland border is not open. This means that the ONLY way to travel between Tibet and Nepal is to fly. Second, if the border does reopen soon, it is EXTREMELY risky going from low altitude Nepal to the Tibet-side Everest Base Camp as there are few towns along the way that allow you to take time to acclimatize. You run a HIGH risk of serious altitude illness or worse. It is much better to fly to Lhasa and spend a few nights there before and then travel overland to EBC taking a further 3 nights staying in places like Gyantse, Shigatse and Shelkar. Tibet can be safely visited if you take time to acclimatize. Being foolish and not taking time to acclimatize can certainly be you in risk of serious illness or even death.

      Lobsang

      1. bimal

        @Losbang,
        I am Nepali passport holder living in KTM, planning to travel tibet this September. what are my options.

  22. Kevin M Ellerton

    Hi, thank you for the great article 🙂 my girlfriend and I are backpacking through India & Nepal, and hope to travel Overland to Beijing. What is the cheapest way to get across Tibet? We are US citizens.

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Kevin….as the saying goes, “you get what you pay for”. Beware of ultra cheap journeys in Tibet as they are cheap for a reason! There are many reputable agencies in Lhasa that arrange high quality AND economical journeys. I have emailed you further info. Enjoy your journey!
      Lobsang

  23. Anastasia Chen

    Hi, thank you for your detailed information. I have a question about car rentals. I am a China citizen, and I plan to rent a vehicle in Tibet travel all the way to Nepal and back. So am I able to do that? Or do I still have to apply for something else? I have an international driving license.

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Hello….Even Chinese citizens will need to obtain a border permit from the police station in Shigatse/Rikaze. An international drivers license is NOT valid in China. You MUST have a standard Chinese Drivers License that is Class C or higher. You will only be permitted to drive a vehicle inside Tibet. You will not be permitted to cross the border with a rented car into Nepal….no way!

      Lobsang

  24. Toby Butterwick

    Hi Lobsang,
    Excellent website and very informative, thank you.
    A couple of questions have been about motorcycles so I realise this is going to be expensive and not easy to arrange. I aim to be part of a group of about 10 people biking from Kuala Lumpur to London and we’re looking to cross from Nepal into Tibet (assuming the border is open in 2017/2018) and then run along west and up into Kyrgystan. Can you recommend a good travel agency in Lhasa who might be able to help us with that?
    Many thanks

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Toby…..As you know, it remains impossible to say when the Tibet-Nepal overland border crossing will reopen. No one expected it to be closed for as long as it has (closed nearly 20 months now to foreign travelers). It may reopen in 2017….hard to say.

      I sent you some further info on cycling in Tibet. With a group of 10 it will be MUCH for affordable than if you were going just by yourself.

      Lobsang

  25. Wan Laili Ibrahim

    I enjoy your website immensely. I am planning to travel to Tibet via Kathmandu with my teenage son in December 2017. Could you please suggest an 10-day itinerary which includes all the must-sees in Llhasa and the surrounding areas, as well as EBC? I would also appreciate a list of reputable agencies to contact.
    By the way, how is EBC on the Tibet side different from the Nepalese EBC? Does the Tibetan EBC involve some kind of overland travelling other than trekking on foot?
    Thank you.

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Hello…I emailed you some detailed info on Mt Everest and the differences between the Tibet side view (which offers the best view of Everest) compared to the Nepal side view (which doesn’t actually offer a view of Everest up close, but does have great views of other peaks). If you have further questions, email me directly at: thelandofsnows@gmail.com

      Lobsang

  26. Sally

    Hi Lobsang,

    The information on this page is great. Two of us are planning to fly to Lhasa from Kathmandu and do a 6 day tour in Tibet. I understand that we will need to obtain our visas for Tibet at the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu and that this would be a ‘group visa’. Can they issue a ‘group visa’ to just my partner and I so that we don’t have to leave China at the same time as a random group of people?

    Kind regards,

    Sally

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Hi Sally….Hope you are doing well. If you use a reputable travel agency in Tibet, they can easily arrange you a Group Chinese Visa for just the 2 of you. If you use a travel agency in Nepal or Mainland China, there is a good chance they will place you with a group of strangers that you will have to travel together with. So, use a good travel agency in Tibet. I have emailed you further info to help you. Have a great journey!
      Lobsang

  27. Christina Liapradipta

    Hi Lobsang,

    The information of you website is very helpfull. My boyfriend and I are planning to fly from Lhasa from Kathmandu. I heard, to arrange a Group China Visa only takes 2 or 3 business days. Is it impossible if we only have one weeks to arrange Group Visa include travel? could you please suggest the best one itinerary the favorite must-sees in Lhasa and a list of reputable agencies to contact.
    Thank you Lobsang 🙂

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Christina….The Group China Visa from the China Embassy in Kathmandu takes 2 or 3 business days to process. HOWEVER, you will want to contact a travel agency in Tibet at least 5 or 6 weeks BEFORE you plan to arrive to Tibet. The agency you use will need to apply for your travel permits, issue you a Visa Invitation Letter and arrange other details of your journey to Tibet. I have emailed you more info to assist you.

      Lobsang

      1. Lynn

        Could you send me that information?? I’m planning on a 2 week trip (mid-price)Kathmandu/Tibet/Bhutan in June this year. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  28. Abusaleh Noman

    Hi Lobsang,

    Good Day!

    I have a plan to make a travels schedule in month of May like – starting form Bangladesh to Nepal( by air) then Nepal to Tibet Lhasa (by road) and Lhasa to China ( by train ). could you please assist me to get the necessary information about travel agencies.
    Note: Before I travel to Nepal I’ll manage the other nations visit permission form Bangladesh, though I am living in Dubai.

    Thanks in advance.
    Noman

  29. Eddy Bulchler

    Hi Sir,

    I’ll be going to Nepal from Singapore starting April. I plan on staying in Nepal for a month plus then move on overland to Tibet.Since it’s not possible for me to go accross the border alone, Possible for me to arrange a tour while i’m in Nepal? So at least once i land in Nepal, i’ll head to a tour to arrange for Tibet for the following month.

    Will there be any agency in Kathmandu or any part of Nepal to arrange it?

    Best regards,

    Eddy

  30. Kelzang

    Hi Lobsang,

    I am a Bhutanese and seriously thinking of going to Tibet and Mount Wautai in China. Does the same visa rules apply to Bhutanese or is there any exceptions? Please advise. Thank you

    1. Mark Solis

      Hi Lobsang
      Thank you for your very informative post. I’m going to Nepal next month and planning on visiting Tibet. Do you mind sending me the list of travel agencies that you recommend.
      Thank you very much

        1. Nina

          Hey Lobsang, i’m planning to do the same. I’m in Kathmandu right now looking for an agency to go via tibet to china from here. Could you recommend some good agencys here?

          Thank you!

          1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

            Nina…I emailed some detailed info that I think will help you get to Tibet from Nepal. As you are going to Tibet, I recommend using a travel agency based in Tibet, rather than based in Nepal.

            Have a good day,

            Lobsang

  31. Monik Pandiangan

    Hello Lobsang,

    How are you? I’m Monik from Indonesia. I have been to Nepal in early April 2016 and got stranded due to the Turkish Airline incident. It was good extension though. How’s the progression of reconstruction in Nepal after the quake? But are you based in Nepal or Tibet? So this is my question, I would like to travel to Tibet from Nepal, would this be possible bro? I looked a little about the chats above, could you recommend travel agency in Tibet? But then can they assist to get the tourist visa?
    Best regards,
    Monik

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      It has been possible to travel from Nepal to Tibet for many decades. While the overland border between the two is still closed, you can take a flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa. I have emailed you further info to help you easily get to Tibet.

      Lobsang

  32. Haley

    Hello Lobsang,
    Thanks for your helpful information.
    Say, if I am wanting to fly from KTM to Lhasa but I already have a multiple entry chinese visa, would I still need to get a group chinese visa for Tibet? To avoid doing that.. what if I flew through a Chinese city, went through customs, and then continued to fly to Lhasa. Would that be allowed?

    Also, if you could recommend some travel agencies for a more budget-minded traveler, that would be fantastic.
    Thanks!

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      No matter what China visa you have, if you go from Nepal to Tibet directly, you MUST get a Group China Visa from the China Embassy in Kathmandu. Any visa that you have in your passport will be CANCELLED as you cannot have 2 valid visas for China in the same passport.

      To avoid losing your long term, multi-entry visa, I suggest flying from KTM to Kunming or Chengdu and then going to Tibet from there.

      Lobsang

  33. Vivien

    Hi, im going to nepal in june and would love to go to tibet also. Please can you recommend me some agencies who can arrange tours?
    Thanks for your article, i was beginning to think going to tibet was impossible.

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      Getting to Tibet is VERY easy. All you do is contact a travel agency in Lhasa and they will literally take care of EVERYTHING for you. There is nothing difficult about going to Tibet. I emailed you more info to help you.

      Lobsang

  34. Melita

    Hello,

    i’m would like to go to Nepal in July, and it would be great if I could visit Tibet since I’m there. Is it possible to book a tour in Tibet if I travel alone??
    Do you know by chance the cost of visa, i’m a Croatian citizen.
    Thank you very much,
    Best wishes, Melita

  35. Sainath Shetty

    Hi Lobsang,

    I am writing this mail to seek your advice on my dream trip on Bike from India to Oman. I would be grateful, If you could clear-off my doubts about formalities while crossing borders.

    Please advise on formalities / Documentations required while crossing borders from Nepal to Tibet to China .

    Awaiting to your help.

  36. Florence

    hello there Lobsang, its absolutely informative of your website.
    is the border remains close at the moment? I’m planning to visit Tibet from Nepal.
    Can you please recommend me some agencies who can arrange some reasonable tours for the two ? much appreciated.

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      As stated on my website, the main overland border from Tibet to Nepal remains closed. It has been closed for 2+ years and will likely remain closed for at least another 3 months….but could be closed for much, much longer.

      I have sent additional info to help you travel to Tibet. Enjoy your journey!

      Lobsang

  37. Raju Gurung

    Hi Lobsang,
    This website really gave enough knowledge about trip toTibet. Thank you for that. Myfamily consisting 5 people are planning to make their trip to Tibet from Nepal. So I would be grateful if you suggest me some good travel agencies.
    Hoping for your early reply.
    Thank you