Travel from Nepal to Tibet Everest Base Camp

Travel from Nepal to Tibet Everest Base Camp might be a skip-over tour if you have already paid a visit to Nepal Everest Base Camp. But it could be an extended and deepened experience to visit the north face of Everest in Tibet side, given that the two Everest base camps come with distinctive differencesin the aspect of views, climate, facilities, etc.

Travel from Nepal to Tibet Everest Base Camp is a very popular route for those who travel from Lhasa to Kathmandu or the other way around. To accomplish the journey and enjoy the passing scenery, human landscape, culture and customs, and finally reach the mighty roof of the earth, the Mount Everest, getting some preparation work done is essential. Below are the relevant instructions and tips.

Everest Base Camp
Everest Base Camp

Documents Required to Travel from Nepal to Tibet Everest Base Camp

  1. Passport with a period of validity of at least 6 months is the first must-have document;
  2. Tibet travel permit, issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB), is also a mandatory document.
  3. Travel through Nepal to Tibet, requires all the foreign passport holders to have a Group Chinese Visa. Even if you have already got a Chinese visa of other types, when you intend to enter Tibet from Nepal, you have to apply for the Group Chinese Visa in Nepal. You’ll not be allowed to apply for the Group Chinese Visa on your own, but to have one authorized Nepali travel agency to proceed the application. Once the Group Chinese Visa has been issued in Kathmandu, the previous Chinese visas you hold will automatically expire.
  4. Special policy regulates that foreign travelers to visit Mount Everest region, have to also get additional documents alongside the above three, which are the Alien’s Travel Permit, and Border Pass. Same as Tibet travel permit and Group Chinese Visa, foreign travelers don’t need to and can’t apply for the documents by themselves, but need a travel agent to arrange these documents for them.

Summery for documents preparation: As the policy has been existing for a long time that foreign travelers must travel on an organized tour and travel in a group, the tour operators and their partner travel agencies doing Tibet inbound tourism business, have been very sophisticated to deal with the preparation for foreign visitors. These documents can all be obtained by them as long as you summit necessary documents and you are not with special occupations as diplomats, government officials, who should travel under the arrangement of Foreign Affairs Office of Chinese Government.

Transport and Routes from Nepal to Tibet Everest Base Camp

By train: the railway between Shigatse, Tibet and Kathmandu, Nepal is still in construction, so currently there is no direct railway to reach Mount Everest from Nepal. The estimated opening time for railway linking Nepal and Tibet is in 2022.

By air: 1) there are flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa. You can start your Everest trip from Lhasa; 2) There is also a flight from Kathmandu to Shigatse which has stopover in Chengdu, Sichuan, but very rarely found, and of which the duration can be around 13 hours. And then you can start your trip from Shigatse, the city having the jurisdiction over the Mount Everest region.

Overland Travel: this is the best way to leave your track along this amazing road with multiple landforms and abundant biodiversity, and dense mixture of culture. The most often used way is to get on an arranged vehicle by your trip advisor or hop on a motorcycle/bicycle. Check the routes below for a view.

As the altitudes in Tibet part averages over 4,000m and that in Nepal part is around 1,000 to 2,000m. We normally recommend that you start from Lhasa and head southwards to cross the border to arrive in Nepal instead of the reverse direction. However, with plenty of preparation, the Kathmandu to Lhasa trip would still be doable. Consult our experienced trip advisor to discuss about the details on your itinerary.

Day 1: Kathmandu to Gyirong Port and Gyirong Town (160km+23km)

It’s easy to rent a 4WD with other travelers in Kathmandu which usually costs XX per person, and takes roughly 7 to 9 hour-drive to get to Gyirong Port. As the lodging options are limited in the port area, once cross the border, you can drive another 23 kilometers northward to Gyirong Town, where you can stay overnight.

Day 2: Gyirong Town to Gyirong County, and Reach Old Tingri (Gangga Town) (70km+198km)

We recommend you choose Old Tingri (the seat of this county is called Gangga Town) as your overnight stop for two reasons: firstly, compared with the altitude of Tibet Everest Base Camp, 5,150m, Old Tingri, is sitting at 4,340m above sea level, where you can have a good rest and then get better adaptation to the much higher Everest; secondly, Old Tingri is where the insiders consider the best spot to see the four Himalayas’ mountains, which are all above 8,000m high. They are Mount Lhotse (8,516m), Mount Cho Oyu (8,201m), Mount Makalu (8,462m) and Mount Everest (8,848m).

Day 3: Old Tingri to Tibet Everest Base Camp (100km)

The short drive of today from Old Tingri to Mount Everest leaves you almost all day long to spend at the Everest Base Camp. You can visit the Gelupa Sect. Monastery—Rongbuk Monastery and admire the sunset (weather permits) there. You can stay overnight at the tent guesthouse at E.B.C or go to Shelkar, which is also called New Tingri, and on the way to Lhasa.

Day 4: Tibet Everest Base Camp to Shigatse via New Tingri and Lhatse (Shelkar) (114km+90km+150km)

Lhatse is where you can have a break and lunch but the lodging options are very limited and not in very good condition. You can get better accommodation and board in Shigatse, the second largest city of Tibet and spend half a day to do sightseeing in Shigatse to visit Tashilhunpo Monastery the next day.

Day 5: Shigatse to Lhasa via Gyantse, Yamdrok Lake (86km+90km+85km+153km)

The highlights of today’s road trip consist of Tashilhunpo Monastery, Gyantse Kumbum and Yamdrok Lake. Sightseeing of the day is a combination of solemn peaceful architectural buildings with dense religious atmosphere and amazing nature’s wonder, the tranquil corals-shaped deep blue lake Yamdrok, just a visual feast.

Know Before You Take This Overland Tour

  1. In China, we drive on the right-hand side of the road, and the driver seat on the vehicle is on the left.
  2. Weather-related hazards: summer roads can be treacherous especially in Nepali side from Kathmandu to Gyirong port, where most roads are dirt or gravel roads, and can be very muddy after the heavy rain brought forth by the monsoon.
  3. Plan a couple of extra hours each day on your driving itinerary. As you may encounter speed limits and security check at times.
  4. Self-drive a rental car in Tibet Autonomous Region for foreign travelers are not available at the moment. If you want to have a private vehicle and travel along the route at your own pace, you need to take a customized tour or group tour from a travel agency. In this way, you’ll have a guide and a driver, who’ll do the driving for you and share knowledge with you about the passing landscape.
  5. Take regular breaks and avoid night driving. Nearly all the main stops indicated above have basic lodging for passers-by. But some of them may not be listed online on the hotel booking websites. Get your guide or trip advisor to make hotel reservation for you ahead. Besides, staying in Everest Base Camp won’t be available in winter months from late November or December to February of the following year.
  6. Money: smartphone payment was banned or limited by Nepali government recently. If you plan to use Wechat or Alipay in Nepal, it’s not possible now. You can have money exchange at Gyirong port.
  7. Nepal emergency service numbers: 100 for police help, 101 to report a fire, 102 for ambulance, ; China emergency service numbers: 110 for assistance from police, 120 for medical rescue, 119 to report a fire in China.
  8. The office hours at Gyirong Port border crossing is from 10:00 to 17:30 on workdays.
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Nepal to Tibet Transports There are 2 ways to travel to Tibet from Nepal, and you can choose to either take the flight or drive overland via Gyirong border.
Nepal to Tibet Tour FAQs This article lists some frequent asked questions about how to plan a tour from Nepal to Tibet.
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Tibet Everest Base Camp vs. Nepal Everest Base Camp Mount Everest is divided into North Face in Tibet and South Face in Nepal. You’ll find the comparison of the two Everest base camps in this article.

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