Expedition At A Glance

25 days, 24 nights

Difficulty Level: 5

Price (US$): From $4,595

Months Available: May through October

OVERVIEW


Biking over the Himalayas: Lhasa to Kathmandu

This trip over the Himalayas is the ULTIMATE ride. (Hybrid bikes or mountain bikes with slicker tyres are best). The trip begins with a flight over the Himalayas to Lhasa (the capital of Tibet). After several days of acclimatization and sightseeing, we embark on our epic 700 mile ride on the paved Friendship Highway from Lhasa to Kathmandu. Besides, the three major towns of Tibet (Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse), we will be camping in tents supported by a team of Nepali trekking staff who will set up tents and cook for us. Also, there will be world-class Nepali biking guides to assist on the ride.

At Xegar we make a side trip (on jeep track) towards Rongbuk and the Everest Base Camp. With two nights of camping at Rongbuk, right below the imposing Everest, we have a whole day to explore Rongbuk and the Everest Base Camp.

We will assign one Nepali biking guide for every 5 participants. The expert guide will gladly help with bike repairs (if possible) and maintenance. There will be support jeeps/trucks for any days or sections you decide not to ride your bike. Bikes are not included in the trip price. It would be best if you bring your own bikes. Bikes are also available on rent in Kathmandu for US$ 15 to US$ 30 per day depending on quality and features.

Highlights

  • Explore monasteries and palaces in the once forbidden city of Lhasa
  • Ride cross-country (literally) on one of the highest rides in the world
  • One full day to explore the Everest Base Camp

DETAILED ITINERARY


Day 01 – Kathmandu (4,100 ft.)
Arrive Kathmandu. Transfer to Hotel Tibet. Welcome dinner.

Day 02 and 03 Sightseeing in Kathmandu (4,200 ft.)
Guided sightseeing tours of the city’s main attractions including the Bhaktapur and Patan Durbar Squares, Bodhnath Stupa and Pashupatinath temple. While you visit these sites, we will be working on obtaining your Tibet entry permit.

Day 04 – Kathmandu to Lhasa (11,900 ft.)
Fly over the Himalayas and by Mt. Everest into Lhasa. This flight offers the best views of Mt. Everest. Transfer to Hotel Shangbala. Welcome dinner.

Day 05 and 06 – Lhasa (11,900 ft.)
A couple of acclimatization and sightseeing days in Lhasa.

These include exploration of the Jokhang Temple, the magnificent Potala Palace and the Drepung and Sera monastery.

The 7th century Jokhang temple is the holiest temple in Tibet. It was built by emperor Tsrong Tsang Gampo to house the image of Akshobya brought to Tibet by his Nepali wife Princess Bhrikuti. After exploring the temple, head to the roof for magnificent views of Lhasa and the Potala Palace.

The Potala Palace is the most prominent landmark of Lhasa. It is built on Marpo Ri, a 130 meter high hill, the site of King Tsrong Tsang Gampo’s palace. Work on the Potala Palace was started in 1645 by the fifth Dalai Lama who decided to move the seat of the Gelugpa government from the Drepung monastery. Ever since, the Potala has been the home of each of the successive Dalai Lamas. Sadly unlike the Jokhang temple, which is teeming with pilgrims and locals, the Potala feels like a gigantic museum.

The Sera and Drepung monasteries with over 5,000 and 10,000 monks were once Lhasa’s two great Gelugpa monasteries. Now there are only a few hundred monks in both monasteries. Both monasteries are worth a visit and it is interesting to visit the Sera monastery in the afternoon to watch the monks debating in the courtyard.

Day 07 to 10 – Lhasa to Gyantse (13,000 ft.)
Gyantse is located 159 miles south-west of Lhasa. The drive to Gyantse can take upwards of 8 hours.

We will be crossing the approximately 160 mile section in four days crossing numerous high passes.

The first day’s ride to the bottom of the Khamba La on the Friendship Highway is relatively level and straightforward. Camp is at the foot of the pass.

On the second day, ascend more than 3,000 feet on switch backs to the Khamba La (15,750 ft.). You  are rewarded with great views of Yamdrok Lake and the mountain ranges that extend to Bhutan. Descend to camp near the lake.

The next day’s challenge is the ascent to Karo La (16,600 ft.) with glaciers dropping to the roadside. Descending from the pass, through a wonderful valley, camp beneath the Simi La.

After a climb to the Simi La, descend to Gyantse. Tonight we stay at a hotel. Afternoon is free to explore the temple complex of Kumbum.

Day 11 – Gyantse to Shigatse (12,600 ft.)
Today is a flat and slightly downhill morning ride to Shigatse passing through quaint villages and stopping to watch Tibetans tending to their crops. At Shigatse, we check in at our hotel and have the afternoon free to explore the local market.

Day 12 – Shigatse (12,600 ft.)
An additional day in Shigatse for rest and to explore the magnificent Tashilunpo Monastery.  The Tashilunpo Monastery served as the seat of the Panchen Lamas who were second only to the Dalai Lamas as spiritual leaders of Tibet.

Day 13 to Day 15 – Shigatse to Xegar (14,900 ft.)
Today is a comparatively level riding day with a gradual climb.  Camp is at 14,000 ft. before the Tso La pass.

The next day, climb to the top of the Tso La (14,700ft.) for spectacular views of the main Himalaya Range. Ride onwards to camp near Lhatse.

Begin with a tough climb to the high point of our route at the Gyamtso La (17,120 ft.). We get our first views of Everest, as we descend to Xegar.

Day 16 to Day 18 – Xegar to Rongbuk (16,400 ft.)
We have scheduled three days for this challenging dirt road section to the Everest Base Camp.

Ride the tough ascent to the Pang La (5150m) with outstanding views of the Himalaya, including Everest, Makalu and Shishapangma. Descend to camp near the river.

Today is a grueling morning’s ride to the Rongbuk Monastery where we set up our highest camp of this adventure.

The next day, there is an option to make the return ride up to Everest Basecamp.

Day 19 – Rongbuk to Tingri (16,400 ft.)
Early start for the ride back to the main road via the Lamma La to Tingri.

Day 20 and Day 21 – Rongbuk to Nyelam
Great views of Everest and Cho Oyu as we bike across the plateau to our idyllic camp, with green grass and a crystal clear stream, below the Lalung La (16,600 ft.).

Today we cross two high passes to cross today, including the Thang La (5132m), with great views of Shishapangma before our big descent towards Nepal, camping at Nyelam.

Day 22 and Day 23 – Nyelam to Kathmandu
From near the Tibet border, we arrive in Kathmandu in two days.

The first day is a massive and seemingly endless descent on switchbacks, crossing into Nepal at Zangmu and then ever downwards to the Borderlands Resort beside the Bhote Khosi River.On the second day, the challenge is the long and hot ascent to Dhulikhel before descending to Kathmandu Valley.

Day 24 – Kathmandu
A contingency day in Kathmandu. If not required, you are free to explore or go shopping. Farewell dinner celebrations in the evening to commemorate your completion of the highest bike ride in the world.

Day 25 – Depart for home
Transfer to airport for final departure.

PHOTO AND VIDEO GALLERY


COST AND INCLUSIONS


COST AND INCLUSIONS

Per person Price for 2016

5 or more participants: $4,595 USD per person
Single Supplement: $500 USD

Price includes:

  • Expert pre-trip advice and detailed information
  • Meeting and assistance at airports and airport transfers
  • Twin sharing hotel accommodations in Kathmandu, Lhasa and enroute
  • Lodge accommodations with Nepali support staff
  • Meals as indicated on itinerary
  • Tours as indicated on itinerary
  • Airfare: Kathmandu to Lhasa
  • Tibet permit
  • Chartered bus: Zhangmu (Nepal – Tibet border) to Kathmandu
  • Gamow Bag

Price does not include:

  • Your international airfare
  • China/Nepal Visa
  • Meals not indicated on itinerary
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Travel insurance
  • Other expenses of a personal nature (Soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, mineral water, laundry, phone calls, internet, comfort food, etc.)

DATES AND AVAILABILITY


2016 Dates:

August 19 – 12 September

AVAILABLE

Cannot find a departure that fits your schedule? No problem. Contact us for private departures (two or more participants) for a date of your choosing.

AVAILABLE:

Book this trip now as spaces are available.

GUARANTEED:

This trip has the minimum sign ups required and is guaranteed to run.

LIMITED AVAILABILITY:

Limited spaces are available so please contact us to inquire about the departure status.

FULL:

This date is unavailable. please contact us to inquire about other trip departure dates or booking this trip as part of a Custom Itinerary.

BOOK THIS TRIP


“Michael & I would like to extend our sincere appreciation for your excellent service in putting this trip together for us. Although the trekking was quite arduous because of the extreme altitude and difficult terrain, the astounding views to which we were treated make the difficulties pale in our memories.

The Tibetan guide chosen for us by Jwalant could not have been better. A university educated student of Tibetan history and culture, he graciously and patiently led us through many of Tibet’s precious cultural sites, all with perfect English. The Nepali team Jwalant brought together for our trip, including Monju, Padam and Pema, were amazing.   Even in the most extreme conditions, their proficiency in cooking delicious and nutritious food led us to eat huge meals even when we thought we had lost our appetites!

Thank you, Jwalant, for doing a great job in putting together this complex trip for us, and for choosing Tashi as our Tibetan guide! ”

– Michael Peterson, Tibet Kharta Valley Trek: September 2011

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