Tibet and Nepal neighbouring each other and both have very unique and charming religious cultures. Nepal is known as the kingdom of Buddhas, has old towns with thousand years’ history and trek routes which could rank as one of Asia’s greatest trekking activities. Hence a lot of tourists choose to enter Tibet after their visit in Nepal, switch their eyes from the green oxygen-rich jungles to the mysterious Tibet up onto the plateau.
The pilgrims and prostrators from across Tibet, the chanting monks, the local grannies mumbling mantras while turning the prayer wheels in hands, the shaggy cloaks of the Khampa nomads and the colorful braids and jewelry decoration on the heads of the Tibetan women. All those precious moments in Tibet will long stay with you for the rest of your life.
The permit and visa application procedures for a Tibet tour differ from entering from mainland China, and you can find the latest information on how to get to Tibet from Nepal below.
Travel overland from Nepal to Tibet is a popular way. Catch a glimpse of the beautiful Gyirong Valley across the border, and continue driving along the famous Friendship Highway, you’ll get a close look at the picturesque Himalayas. Either the Everest Base Camp or the Mt. Kailash can be an exciting destination in this adventurous tour!
Taking flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa is recommended, as you’ll start the trip from a relatively lower place and ascend step by step to have a better acclimatization for the altitude on the plateau. Also, various tour options are available with better price and more departures. For tourists who’ll travel back to Nepal, our Tibet to Nepal tour by overland is awesome.
Tourists who travel to Tibet from Nepal should apply for their China Visa in Kathmandu. That is not something we can negotiate but based on a treaty between China and Nepal. For tourists who have dual nationality, please make sure to use the same passport to enter Nepal and Tibet. With your passport and China Visa applied in Nepal, you can fly or travel overland from Nepal to Tibet.
To fly from any city in China to Tibet, it is a must to have a China Visa first (except Singaporean, Japanese and Bruneians). With your passport and China Visa copies, we can apply for your Tibet Permit. When you check into the flight to Lhasa, you will be required to show your passport, China Visa and Tibet Permit. For Nepal visa, you can easily get it in the border upon arrival.
Before the application of your Chinese Visa in Kathmandu, we need your passport copies to apply for a visa invitation letter from Tibet Tourism Bureau. Once we get the invitation letter, we will send it to our Nepal partner. When you arrive in Kathmandu, they will come to pick up your passports and do the application for you. Instead of a page on your passport, the visa applied in Nepal is a piece of separate paper. You and your friends or travel partner will be on the same visa.
To cross the Nepal to Tibet border or fly to Tibet from Kathmandu, you need to show your passport and the group visa applied in Nepal. The visa is always valid for 30 days. You can use it even you travel to other cities of China. But please remember you and your travel partner need to exit China the same time since the group visa cannot be split or extended.
No, you can not. The Chinese Group Visa application in Kathmandu has to be processed by a local travel agency. The application needs at least 3 working days. We have experienced Nepal travel agency who can help you with the that. You only need to give them your passport once you arrive in Kathmandu and pay the processing fee. They will do the rest and come back to you with the visa.
No, there is no need to wait in Kathmandu while your visa application is in the process. You can travel around Nepal with your passport copies, even take the domestic flights. Our local Nepal partner will handle everything for you.
We will not suggest you travel from Nepal to Tibet if you have a 10 years Chinese Visa. Your visa will be canceled and you need to apply for a Chinese Group Visa. You can fly from Kathmandu to Chengdu or Kunming etc. and then connect to Tibet to avoid the visa application in Kathmandu.
Before the horrible earthquake on April 25th 2015, tourists travel via Zhangmu -Kodari Border. Since then there is no port open for tourists between Tibet China and Nepal. Tourists can only choose to fly between Lhasa and Kathmandu. From Aug. 30th, 2017, the Gyirong-Rasuwa border open to tourists. It is wonderful to travel overland from Tibet to Nepal after visiting to the Everest Base Camp or the Mt. Kailash.
Taking bus is the most economic way to get to Rasuwa from Kathmandu. You can take bus at Gongabu (Kathmandu) Bus Station, also called New Bus Park. It costs only 700 rupees (10USD) and 9 hours. It will be better if you and other tourists share a 4WD vehicle because of the rugged terrain and long driving. It will cost about 30USD per person if there are 7 persons to share the van.
From Kathmandu to Rasuwa border, the road is very bumpy, zigzag, narrow and dusty. There might be landslide in flood season from July to August. Although all this difficulty, the natural scenery on the way is awesome not to mention the section when you drive along the edge of the Langtang National Park. Once you cross the border to Gyirong, all the way in Tibet side are well paved.
Flying into Tibet and then travel overland back to Kathmandu is more popular. There are many tourists who travel to Nepal from Tibet after their China tour. It is easier to form a group. But if your next destination after Tibet is other cities in China, you can also travel overland from Nepal to Tibet.
Gyirong border opens at 10:00am (8:00am in Nepal side) and close at 5:30pm (3:30pm in Nepal side). Normally, if you travel overland from Kathmandu to Tibet, it is suggested that you stay one night in the village Syabrubesi near the Rasuwa border and cross the border early morning the next day.
All foreign tourists are required to get a Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) permit for visiting Tibet. Furthermore, an Alien Travel Permit is additionally needed for the trip to Everest Base Camp, as well as a Military Permit for the trip to Mt. Kailash or other sensitive border areas. All the permits will be organized by travel agencies on our side as part of our service, and the permit application process generally takes 15-20 work days depending on different routes of your Tibet tour. You can see more details below.