Kathmandu (Nepal) to Lhasa Transportation

1. Distance between Kathmandu(Nepal) and Lhasa(Tibet)

The linear distance from Lhasa (3,658m) to Kathmandu (1,400m) is 609km, while the overland distance is around 1,000km.

2. Travel Documents Needed

From Nepal to Tibet, travelers need passport, Chinese Visa, Tibet Group Visa, Tibet Travel Permit. Tibet Group Visa from Nepal (Group Visa for short) is a must for anyone who wants to enter Tibet by any means of transport from Nepal. Tibet Travel Permit is the first important document for any foreign tourists to enter Tibet from any gateway cities. Without it, you can’t apply Tibet Group Visa, or board the flight to Tibet. Travelers can apply the Tibet Travel Permit at its the office in Kathmandu.

Another document, Tibet Border Pass issued by Tibet Armed Police Border Corps, is only needed when you visit the border areas in Tibet.

3. Get to Tibet from Kathmandu by Air

There is only one daily direct international flight flying from Katmandu to Lhasa operated by Air China or Sichuan Airlines, which takes about 1.5 hours. 7 flights per week in total. The ticket fare is around 370 USD one way and is much higher in the peak travel season(from April to October). 

Kathmandu – Tibet(Lhasa) Flight Schedules

Flight No. Airlines Departure – Arrival Duration
CA408 Air China 13:20-17:00 1h25m
3U8720 Sichuan Airlines 12:00-15:35 1h20m

4. Get to Tibet from Kathmandu by Road

The overland route from Kathmandu to Tibet is not available now due to Nepal Earthquake in 2015. The natural disaster has devastated the Zhangmu border and when it will be open to tourists remains to be seen. At present, Gyirong Port is an alternative of Zhangmu border. Now you can only take a bus from Kathmandu to the border between Nepal and Tibet. After passing through the Gyirong Port, you must use a booked driving service from the travel agency. Usually it takes more than 20 hours from Kathmandu to Lhasa by road. About 4-6 days on the Kathmandu-Lhasa tour is needed to have a deep discovery of Tibet landscape and culture.

4. Get to Tibet from Kathmandu by Train

No trains connect Kathmandu and Tibet. According to the Belt and Road China and Nepal Co-building, there is a good news that the Lhasa-Shigatse Railway would be extended to Gyirong. So it’s possible to take the train between the two destination in the coming future.

5. Acclimatize to the High Altitude

The average altitude of Lhasa city is around 3700 meters. Make sure you are in great health prior to your travels, or you may get altitude sickness. High altitude sickness is the biggest risk for travelers to Tibet. However, there are certain things we can do to alleviate or avoid high altitude sickness such as having a good rest, drinking more water, no smoking and alcohol drinking, no frequent showers, etc. 

6. Kathmandu Lhasa Tours

8 Days Kathmandu to Lhasa Overland Tour via Mount Everest Base Camp

8 Days Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour via Mount Everest Base Camp

11 Days Nepal-Tibet Motorbike Tour from Kathmandu to Lhasa

13 Days Kathmandu, Lhasa, Xi’an and Beijing Train Tour

18 Days Tibet Motorbike Tour from Kathmandu to Lhasa via Mount Everest and Mount Kailash

21 Days Tibet-Nepal Cycling Tour from Lhasa to Kathmandu