Tibet-Shangri-la, the land of snows and the roof of the World. Tibet is the land of ancient Buddhist culture with awesome landscapes, artistic monasteries and century’s old caravan trails; it is an autonomous region of China. It lies on the plateau at an average elevation of 4,000 m. It is bounded by the Kunlun Mountains to the north and the Himalayan to the south. Tibet covers an area of 1.2 million sq. km, and has a population of 2.3 million.
Tibet is a sacred land of myths and mysteries inhabited by the ever smiling people has not only exerted magnetic spell upon travelers for centuries but also spies, missionaries, scholars, geographers, mystics, soldiers and cranks etc. Yet, few intrepid serious and determined have been able to make it. Tibet being extremely remote and isolated by the most formidable Himalayan ranges, a fascinating world of timeless splendor, unique tradition and breathtaking scenery awaits all travelers to the roof of the world.
A fully guided and supported expedition into Tibet from Nepal to ride the second biggest downhill in the world and get closer to the real nomadic people of Tibet. For bikers with an adventurous spirit who appreciates to spend a little more time to experience this vast landscape at a closer and more personal level. This expedition visit’s all the monasteries, places of interest in the cities and towns, and gives you the chance to ride the best, most scenic sections of the friendship highway. We drive in the support truck for the most uphill sections to give ourselves a rest. Guided by an experience Nepali Mountain bike guide, who is there to look after you, help your acclimatize and smooth your ride on the bike and communicate with the Chinese officials. Your trip starts and finishes in Kathmandu with the guide so all your worries are taken care of and to ensure a trouble free fantastic trip.
|Trip Code: BT -150
|Total Duration: 20 days
|Destination: Mountain Biking
|Best Time: March - May & Sept - Dec
|Trip Grade: Tough
|Group Size: 4-16
|Max Elevation: 5248
Group members arriving independently today should make their own way to the hotel. There will be a full briefing in the evening before dinner. The local biking guide will collect your passports, passport size photos (4) and a copy of your insurance to secure the group visa for Tibet. SH Altitude: 1340m
After breakfast we will issue local hire bikes for anyone who requires them, and then head east into the Kathmandu Valley to explore the fantastic network of country roads and off- road trails that this area has to offer. Today is the ideal opportunity to stretch your legs, also examine the bike for throughout the trip and begin the process of acclimatization. Ride approximately 25km. 70% off-road. NB: There will be no support vehicle today. SH (B) Altitude: 1340 meters
After an early rise, we take the morning flight to Tibet. This is one of the world's most spectacular flights, with a one hour flight over the incomparable Himalayas - keep your eye out for Everest! After landing at Gongkar airport we transfer 70km by bus to our hotel in Lhasa's beautiful Tibetan Quarter. If there is time after checking into the hotel you can go for a walk around the Barkhor Square, the spiritual heart of Lhasa. SH (B) Altitude: 3680 meters
Acclimatization is very important at this considerable altitude (Lhasa is at 3680m), so for the first few days we make exploratory local rides and cultural visits to become accustomed to the thin air. In Lhasa we visit the Potala Palace and the Jhokhang temple, or you can spend the day exploring Lhasa and relaxing the town. SH (B) Altitude: 3680 meters
For the second day of acclimatization we will drive to the Sera monastery, here we can watch the monks as they pray and light butter lamps. We will then cycle to the Drepung Monastery; these are two of the largest monasteries in Tibet once housing thousands of monks. BH (B) Altitude: 3680 meters
Now fully acclimatized, we take to our bikes and cycle out of Lhasa past the Drepung Monastery to the outskirts of Lhasa. The Friendship Highway then leads us away from Lhasa following the Yarlung Tsangpo River to our guesthouse below our first pass. BH (B) Distance: 74 kilometers Altitude: 3600 meters
After breakfast, those who feel up to it can tackle our first serious climb - 25km winding up to the Khamba La pass. This challenging climb will take 3-4 hours but the views from the prayer-flag-strewn summit at 4794m are spectacular. We then descend to the beautiful turquoise Yamdrok Lake where we have lunch. After lunch we continue on a gentle and scenic road following the lake to the small town of Nagartse. BH (B) Maximum ride distance: 85 kilometers Altitude: 4410 meters
After breakfast, there is the opportunity to tackle the first and 'Lowest' of the higher passes - the 5045m Karo La. It will take approximately 3 hours to cycle to the summit of the pass. From the top the road undulates for a while before a long 1000m descent to Gyantse in the heart of the Yang Chug Valley. The Karo La and Gyanttse are very historical parts of Tibet as they are where many of Sir Francis Young husband's battles were fought against the Tibetans in 1904. Hotel BH (B) Maximum ride distance: 100 kilometers Altitude: 3990 meters
There is plenty to see in Gyantse; after breakfast we usually visit the fort, set high on the hill top the fort offers fantastic views over Gyantse, it is also a very interesting building to explore. Later in the morning we set off for a scenic and fairly level 94km ride across beautiful plains with a dramatic mountain backdrop. We stop for lunch half way and then continue on to Shigatse, Tibet's second largest city and home to the Panchen Lama, whose home was traditionally at the Tashilunpo Monastery situated above Shigatse. Hotel BH (B) Maximum ride distance: 94 kilometers Altitude: 3860 meters
We will have a full day off the bikes to give the legs some time to recover. Whilst in Shigatse we will have time to visit the huge Tashilunpo Monastery. There will also be time to walk with the pilgrims around the monastery and to explore the local market. During our time in Shigatse, our permits will be issued for visiting Everest Base Camp. BH (B) Altitude: 3860 meters
We have a gentle start to the day as we cycle across the rolling Shigatse Plains. A long but gradual climb then takes us to the double passes of Tra La (4050m) and Yulung La (4520m). There is then a fantastic descent which flattens out before we arrive at our guesthouse at Lhatse. BH (B) Maximum ride distance: 150 kilometers Altitude: 4050m(Tra La 4050m & Yulung La 4520m)
A day to test the legs! We leave Lhatze and ride to the foot of the Gyatso La, before climbing to the summit of the pass at 5248m! This is the highest pass on the Friendship Highway and a steady effort will be needed for 4 to 5 hours to conquer it. The sight of Everest looming into view is the reward for attaining the summit, as we gradually approach the Himalayan chain. We then have a good undulating descent that brings us to our hotel in Shegar. Guest House BH (B) Maximum ride distance: 85 kilometers Altitude: 4300 meters
From Shegar we leave the main road and head off to the Pang La. It's a long hard climb to the top at 5200m, but well worth the effort. On a clear day from the top we can see Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and other Himalayan giants. A wonderful descent brings us to the small junction town of Tashi Dzom where we stay tonight. Guest House BH (B) Maximum ride distance: 70 kilometers Altitude: 4340 meters
The road surface deteriorates today as we head to Rongbuk and Everest Base Camp. Just before we reach the monastery at Rongbuk we should get wonderful views of Everest. We stay for the next two nights at Rongbuk Guest House opposite the monastery. It is a wild and windswept place; however there is the most wonderful sunrise and sunsets on the magnificent north face of Everest. BH (B) Maximum ride distance: 70 kilometers Altitude: 4920 metes
After breakfast, we cycle 8km slowly up the gravel jeep trail to Everest Base Camp. The thin air means it will be slow going and will take us about 2 hours - however the views ahead as Everest gets closer will spur us on! We are allowed to go up to a view point covered in prayer flags which overlooks Base Camp and from here we get superb views of the whole of the north face of Everest. We can trace the route Mallory and Irvine took on their ill-fated climb in 1924. We then return to Rongbuk for lunch and in the afternoon there is time to visit the monastery. BH (B) Maximum ride distance: 16 kilometers. 100% off-road Altitude: 4900 meters
We return to the Friendship Highway via a different route. The road surface is rough and it's a hard ride but the scenery is magnificent as we cycle through the barren Tibetan plateau. The track takes us over the Lamla (5010m) and down to the main road at Old Tingri, a windswept town bordered by the mighty Himalayas and from where we have distant views of Everest and Cho Oyu. BH (B) Maximum ride distance: 70 kilometers. 100% off-road Altitude: 4340 meters
Back on the main road the surface improves today. We leave Old Tingri by bus and drive to the bottom of our first pass. We now cycle across the main Himalayan chain and as we approach the top the magnificent views unfold. The Lalung La (5030m) is the first pass and then we descend a little before climbing to the Tong La (5153m), the last pass in Tibet. From the top we have fantastic mountain views ahead including Shishipangma to the right which is the only mountain above 8000m in Tibet. After lunch we start our descent to Nyalam. It's not all downhill – there are some great downhill sections but be prepared for the approximately 10km of undulating road with a few sharp steep uphill sections. We spend our last night in Tibet at Nyalam. Guest House BH (B) Maximum ride distance: 75 kilometers Altitude: 3750m (Lalung La 5030m & Tong La 5153m)
No high passes today as we leave Tibet and enter Nepal. Descending from Nyalam the valley narrows as we ride 42km down to Zhangmu, the last town in Tibet and a very busy border town. It may take some time to clear customs and immigration but finally we cross the Friendship Bridge and enter Nepal at Kodari. We must now ride on the left hand side of the road as we cycle down the valley following the Bhote Kosi most of the way. We ride to Bharabise, from here we drive to our hotel in Dhulikhel. BH (B) Maximum ride distance: 70 kilometers Altitude: 1600 meters
After breakfast we head off through the greenery of the Kathmandu Valley towards our final destination, Kathmandu via the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bhaktapur, where you will have some free time to visit the beautiful Durbar square. From here we drive back to our hotel in Kathmandu, where we pack up the bikes, shower, and prepare for our well- earned farewell celebration dinner. SH (B) Maximum ride distance: 20 kilometers Altitude: 1340 meters
Our tour finishes after breakfast. (B)
- Air ticket Kathmandu to Lhasa
- Bed and Breakfast basis in Nepal and Tibet
- Overland transportation (1 Truck up to 4pax with cabin for passengers and more than 4 pax bus and truck.
- Tibetan Guide and Nepali Cycling Guide cum Mechanic (extra Nepali guide if numbers dictate)
- All Entrance fees in Tibet and Nepal
- Double entry visa for Nepal
- Tibet group visa fee
- Excess baggage charges including bike transfer charges
- Lunch and Dinner
- Bikes & Equipment
- Mineral water/Soft and hard drinks
- Emergency evacuation fee
- Single supplement and unmatched charge
- Insurance and items of Personal Nature
- Please note the accommodation in Tibet is often very basic. This means there will not be hot water and the toilet system may also be erratic. Please bear this in mind whilst on your trip.
- We indicate in the itinerary what type of accommodation is provided on each day. The descriptions are guidelines only and are used to give an idea of the accommodation offered, rather than an exact description
- SH Standard Hotel, Lodge or Gite – no-frills hotel, usually with twin rooms and en suite facilities. Service and amenities are generally adequate.
- BH Basic Hotel, Lodge or Gite, Mountain Hut, Village House – Can be communal, often consisting of just a bed and shared facilities. Bed linen not normally provided. Running water, toilets and electricity may be inconsistent or non-existent. Cleanliness is not always assured.
- C Camping - In Rongbuk the accommodation is a seasonal tented camp. The tents are spacious and well equipped 8 people sized ones, which come with dormitory style single beds, solid flooring and a central heating stove.
- Single Accommodation: If you wish to have a single room, a single supplement of US$ 450 is payable at time of booking. Some of the places along the route only provide dormitory rooms, so single rooms cannot be expected every night. Please check day to day itinerary for more information.
- Unmatched Accommodation: In case of any unmatched clients, they will straight be categorized to the Single Supplement category and added to the Final Invoice.
Essential Trip Information
Cycling in Nepal is for beginners as well as for expertsView Essential Trip Information