LHASA – EVEREST BASE CAMP – KATHMANDU 21 days
TRAVEL DIARY BY PETER MUSGRAVE September 2003
This adrenalin-fueled challenging mountain biking journey across the -Roof within the World covers a distance about 1100 kilometers from the Tibetan money Lhasa to Kathmandu while in the coronary heart of Nepal crossing six elevated mountain passes above 5000 meters. Lhasa Everest foundation camp Kathmandu biking is considered as the intense highest biking journey with the world due to its length and the average altitude.
Before you embark on your biking adventure tour you have three days i.e 4 nights in Lhasa to acclimatize and to absorb the exoticism of the Tibetan heritages and to explore this history-laden city. With its spectacular mountain scenery and rich Buddhist culture Tibet is an amazing place to visit. You will be expertly guided around the most significant and ancient Gompas monasteries of Lhasa Gyantse Shigatse by your Tibetan guide who will instruct you on the intricacies of Tibetan Buddhism.
Basking during the grandeur of nature your mountain biking adventure passes through rugged landscapes historic and archeological sites nomadic settlements and pristine hamlets amidst spectacular views of some of worlds highest peaks. Emirates palace hotel abu dhabi En route you may dismount from your bike for blissful photographic moments sightseeing and camping. Exploring the country side is another interesting and fascinating prospect that can indeed be quite culturally stimulating. Another highlight of this biking tour is an off-road ride to northern foundation camp of Mount Everest at 5200 meter to appreciate awe-striking view of Mt. Everests northern face. The spine-tingling worlds longest downhill biking followed by a vigorous uphill climb to 5150 meter Thang La is certain to give you a huge adrenaline rush.
Nepalese support crew containing an expert Nepalese mountain bike guide also qualified as mechanic cook camping helper etc. will follow your entire biking trail in Tibet and Nepal with a 4WD Toyota Land Cruiser a truck and a highly knowledgeable English speaking Tibetan tour guide.
Journey FACTS Trip length- 21 Days Starts in- Lhasa Ends in- Kathmandu Group size- Maximum 12 Accommodation- Hotel and camping Transportation- Mountain bike 4WD land cruiser with support truck Maximum altitude- 5200m
TESTIMONIALS -We had a brilliant driver cook and guide and really enjoyed what they bought to the experience.- Name- Justin Ryan Country- New Zealand September 2007 HIGHLIGHTS The most complicated biking tour inside world. Adventurous bike ride to Mount Everest north base camp 3 days 4 nights in Lhasa staying near the citys main attractions – the Potala Palace and the Jokhang Temple 1 free day for self exploration in Lhasa. 1100 km biking across the -roof with the world in excess of six 5000 meter high mountain pass The spine-tingling downhill ride from 5150 meter higher mountain pass Inspiring landscapes superb mountain views rich Buddhist history culture Tibetan Nomads. Complete hassle free Chinese Tibet journey documentation. local expert guide delicious meals 4WD vehicle support. Spectacular flight to Lhasa passing right above Mount Everest and many for the highest peaks while in the world if you join the journey in Kathmandu
OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 1- Arrive Lhasa 3660m Day 2- Guided tour in Lhasa Day 3- Guided tour in Lhasa Day 4- Biking around Lhasa Day 5- Bike to the Foundation of Khampa La 4794m 80 km 6-7 hrs Day 6- Bike across Khampa La 4794m to Nagartse 4475m 72km 6-7 hrs Day 7- Nagartse 4475m to Simi La 4330m 67km 5-6 hrs Day 8- Bike across Simi La to Gyantse 3950 m 35 km 3-4 hrs Day 9- Tour Gyantse Bike to Shigatse 3900m 90km 4-5 hrs Day 10- Tour rest day in Shigatse Day 11- Bike to the foot of Tso La 4290m 106 km 8-9 hrs Day 12- Bike across Tso La 4500m to the foot of Gyamtso La 4630m 70 km 5-6 hrs Day 13- Bike across Gyamtso La 5220m to Shegar 4050m 65 km 7-8 hrs Day 14- Bike across Pang La 5150m to Choesang 4455m 60 km 6-7 hrs Day 15- Bike to Rongbuk 5000m 24 km 3-4 hrs Day 16- Bike or hike to Everest North Foundation camp 5200m 8 km Day 17- Bike or drive across Pang La 5150m to Tingri or Hot Springs 4350m 75 km 6-7 hrs Day 18- Bike to the base of La Lung La 4555m 55 km 4-5 hrs Day 19- Bike or drive across Lalung La 5124m Sung La 5200m to Nyalam 3750m 87km 7-8 hrs by bike. Day 20- Bike to the last Resort in Nepal 900m 60 km 3-4 hrs Day 21- Bike or drive to Dhulikhel 1450m 75 km 5-6 hrs by bike drive to Kathmandu 30 km 1 hr
DATES 8 May 2010 – 28 May 2010 4 September 2010 – 24 September 2010
PRICE To be announced soon
PRICE INLUDES- Guided ride by local expert Mt. Bike guide . accommodation in Dhood Gu or similar in Lhasa best available in Gyantse and Shigatse including breakfast. Camping at all other places supported by a Nepalese cooking team camping staff. 4WD land cruiser. Support truck for luggage food supplies. Guided sightseeing tours with all entry fees. Travel permits. Tibet visa. Airport transfers and Gammov bag altitude chamber.
PRICE EXCLUDES- Bike can hire in Kathmandu. Lunch dinner during Hotel stay in Lhasa Gyantse and Shigatse.. Airport tax. Hotels sightseeing tour in Kathmandu. All insurance. All expenses of personal nature. Nepal re-entry visa. Any cost incurred in emergency evacuation due to any natural calamity or any unforeseen events. Airfare from to your country and your insurance.
Note- Arrive Kathmandu 2 days prior to trip departures dates. Contact us if you would like to reach Lhasa by train from Beijing.
Mountain bike suitable for this trail are available on hire in Kathmandu and we can take care of hiring procedure.
Brand- RallyFujiTrekGiant- all front suspension Frame- AluminumChromoTitanium Gear- Rapid FireTwo fingers Grit shift etc. Hiring cost- USD 10 per bike per day.
There are dual suspension bike also available which cost USD 25 per bike per day not necessary.
Flighttrain fare Flight- rates and taxes are subject to change without prior notice Kathmandu – Lhasa- USD 356 Tue Sat in superior seasons Chengdu – Lhasa- USD 250 Beijing – Lhasa- USD 490 Shanghai – Lhasa- USD 512 Kathmandu – Beijing- 790 Train to Lhasa from Beijing USD 255 on soft sleeper bed subject to availability please read conditionsother available options Tibet Chinese visa- USD 114 for all nationality additional USD 85 applicable to American passport holder as levied by Chinese Govt.
Day 1- Arrive Lhasa 3660 m You have options to arrive Lhasa you can join the journey in Kathmandu and fly to Lhasa or arrive Lhasa from Chengdu Beijing Shanghai Xian or any Chinese Cities. Please see option detail on -general information section
You will be met at Gonggar Airport by your Tibetan guide. After immigration formalities take a 1.5-hour drive along 93 km road leading to Lhasa lying at an altitude of 3660 meters. Its advisable to rest and take it easy for the remainder of your day due to Lhasas altitude.
Day 2- Sightseeing in Lhasa Foremost your tour begins with a visit to Sera Monastery. An experienced tour guide also working as an interpreter escorts you to this preserved monastery of white-washed walls and golden roofs. Equally adventurous and exciting tempo builds up while touring Norbulingka the summer palace in the Dalai Lama. Jokhang Temple is another important sacred site which unravels more deep seated mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism. Visit to Barkhor Markets can be quite a change from other visits as you roam around the city savoring every tiny detail from stall hawkers coaxing their clients to purchase their goods to exhibition of Tibetan culture custom and tradition. Eventually the tour for the day concludes as you return to the comforts of your hotel.
Day 3- Sightseeing in Lhasa Like the previous day you experience invaluable insights during your visits to Potala Palace and Drepung Monastery. This 17th century Potala Palace offers an awesome view of entire city and also has private quarters from the Dalai Lama numerous grand state rooms and chapels. Ancient history has it that Drepung Monastery which was built in 14th century used to shelter around 10000 monks but as now there has been quite a declination resulting in only few hundreds. Tibetans respect and belief are immensely knotted with this monastery.
Day 4- Biking around Lhasa A final day in Lhasa for acclimatization. This is a day at leisure in which you are free to explore further or ride to Sera Monastery. Afternoon spend in a caf overlooking the Barkor and watch the pilgrims as they circumambulate the Jokhang.
Day 5- Bike to the foot of Khampa La 4794m 80 km 6-7 hrs Mountain biking adventure begins from Lhasa. Cycling past history-laden city of Lhasa you will transverse through barley fields traditional Tibetan villages and undulating uphill slopes. Few kilometers ahead a bridge appears across the river leading to the airport. Chinese soldiers can be seen stationed at the mid-point within the bridge. Turning away from your route to the airport you have to skirt along another direction following rarely-visited sandy path to Khampa La. The trail meanders through a village of mud-walled houses and pastoral farmlands. You may attempt to interact with local villagers with the assistance from your Tibetan guide. This gives you an opportunity to glimpse into the lives of local villagers. Further ahead the trail branches into a valley away from Tsangpo and then ascends. You will approach your first campsite on a rocky territory encompassing an area of width 30 meters and height 100 meters. After cycling for about 6-7 hours you will eventually arrive at the foot of Khampa La pass at an elevation of 4794. At an idyllic site you will camp for the night under starlit sky.
Day 6- Bike across Khampa La 4794m to Nagartse 4475m 72km 6-7 hrs TibetA tough climb across the first of six great passes of your journey. If you find it too tough peddling up 4794 meter higher pass you can always get on the support 4WD Land cruiser. Once you are on the top of your pass you have a glittering views of Yamdrop tso lake and stunning summit of Nanzin Kangsa 7252m. A descent to deep turquoise Yamdrok Tso Lake amidst its exquisite mesmerizing views further accentuates the biking thrill. Nomadic herders and grazing yaks make interesting picture-perfect view en route. After lunch you will ride along the shore on the lake on sandy roads for about 40km. The trail further continues along ridges inside the valley wall with breath-taking views of towering snow-capped peaks since the backdrop. Sooner sheep pastures come into sight. Resting your cycling journey for the day you set a camp after riding for 72 km up to Nagartse village at an elevation of 4475m.
Day 7- Bike to the foot of Simi La 4330m 67km 5-6 hrs Barking and howling of Tibetan Mastiff work since the morning alarm in awakening you from your hard earned sleep. Cycling away from Nagartse the trail progresses towards a valley and to the top of Karo La the first 5000 meter pass of your journey you have an option to getting on the support vehicle. Crossing Karo La 5050m you descend to the foot of Simi La at an elevation of 4330m through several interesting Tibetan villages. Basking in the grandeur of surrounding natural exoticism you will overnight at a superb locale.
Day 8- Bike across Simi La 4375m to Gyantse 3950m 35 km 3-4 hrs Today it is a fairly easy and short ride to the top of Simi La at 4375m and then mostly downhill ride into a wide sandy valley towards Gyantse. The trail crisscrosses barley field along the flowing river. Here you will spot several military and religious sites. You can bask with the sheer pleasure of visiting Pelkor Chode Monastery and Gyantse Dzong. Pelkor Chode Monastery has ancient murals thangkas chapels mandala and paintings of 84 mahasidhhas in yogic posture. Gyantse Dzong was constructed inside 14th century and offers majestic view of both Gyantse and Nyang Chu Valley. Gyantse Kumbum is one within the major attractions of cultural interest in Gyantse. It houses several chapels and Tibetan Buddhist murals. You will spend the night at comfortable hotel.
Day 9- Tour Gyantse bike to Shigatse 3900m 90km 4-5 hrs Todays ride is on tarmac following Nyang Chu River to Shigatse the second largest city of Tibet. En route you will encounter several trucks cabs and pedestrians hurrying along the busy streets of Shigatse. There are internet cyber caf many well-resourced shop restaurants etc. Tashilhunpo monastery being one with the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet is a major attraction of Shigatse. Overnight here will be in a comfortable hotel.
Day 10- Tour rest day in Shigatse Today is the rest day to explore the local market and Tashilhunpo Monastery. This monastery is one for the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet and there is much to explore within its substantial surrounding walls.
Day 11- Bike to the foot of Tso La 4290m 106 km 8-9 hrs The road being bumpy loose and dirty you may find the ride strenuous. Following the Friendship Highway you will gradually climb to the foot of Tso La where you stay the night at tented camp.
Day 12- Bike across Tso La 4500m to the foot of Gyamtso La 4630m 70 km 5-6 hrs A fairly easy eight kilometers ride brings you to the top for the Tso La from where you will have a clear view from the main Himalayan range. A brief stoppage at the top on the pass follows a thrilling downhill ride to the small town of Lhatse. After lunch at riverside the biking trail gains gradual climb to the foot of Gyamtso La at 4630 meter where you camp for the night.
Day 13- Bike across Gyamtso La 5220m to Shegar 4050m 65 km 7-8 hrs Tibet MountainsThe Gyamtso La at 5220 meter located approximately 15 kilometers from the campsite is the highest pass of this biking adventure. The trail to the top of your pass passes through steep and rough slope. From your pass it is steep downhill ride amidst stunning views of Mt. Everest Lhotse Cho Oyu. Riding past small Tibetan settlements nomadic herdsmen make your journey even more eventful. After arriving at a small Tibetan Town of Shegar. After peddling a few kilometers you reach your camping site.
Day 14- Bike across Pang La 5150m to Choesang 4455m 60 km 6-7 hrs Today you will detour away through the main road to Everest Base Camp. The biggest hurdle of todays ride is Pang La at 5150 meter. Approximately 2-3 hrs peddling along the dirt road into the north base camp of Everest brings you to the top of Pang La. The road zigzags across the back wall belonging to the valley overlooking stunning view within the pass. The view from the top for the pass is breathtaking with the whole Himalaya range gleaming right before you. The tough climb to the pass follows an excellent downhill ride to small Tibetan settlement where you camp for the night.
Day 15- Bike to Rongbuk 5000m 24 km 3-4 hrs The trail along the river for first few kilometers is fairly easy as you head toward Rongbuk valley. This ride gets quite pleasurable as your eyes savor the breath-taking view of glaciated valley. Yak-skin tents and grazing yaks can be viewed on the other side for the valley. Within few hours along Rongbuk Glacier North Face of Everest becomes visible flaunting its unparalleled beauty. Rongbuk Monastery lies ahead 8 kilometers below Everest Foundation Camp at an elevation of 5000m at the foot in the Rongbuk Glacier.
Day 16- Bike or hike to Everest North Foundation camp 5200m 8 km each way After taking a well-deserved rest you can indulge within the exoticism of exploring mystiques of Rongbuk glaciers. It is an 8 km each way walk along dirt road to the foundation of Mt. Everest. You ascend to the moraine and shortly encounter a nunnery ruined during the Cultural Revolution. A small hermitage is nestled within the vicinity. A few hours of ascent eventually brings you to the Everest Northern Base Camp. No matter how much difficulties and challenges you may face along the trail once you see the mighty Mount Everest your tiredness instantly elopes and you feel so much blessed as you savor this blissful sight. After photographic moments and exploration you retreat back to your camp.
Day 17- Bike or drive across Pang La 5150m to Tingri or Hot Springs 4350m 75 km 6-7 hrs TibetSince it takes lot of time on a bicycle to reach to the top of Pang La it is best to drive up to this pass and bike down to Tingri. The trail leading to Pang La is extremely rocky and bumpy. Soon after arriving at Pang La you collect your cycling gears and start peddling down the steep trail. Shortly a boulder comes en route and the trail gets rougher as it follows rock-strewn path. The trail descends to a series of sandy ridges which cut along the edge of a river gorge. Further down you will meet a stream. This adrenaline-fueled ride continues past pristine hamlets and lush barley fields. After coming close to Tingri if you look back you can catch a stunning sight of majestic Everest and Cho Oyu. The dirt road turns into a paved road as you will enter a small town of Tingri which is an unsheltered and windy settlement nestled underneath the enchanting Cho Oyu. Your overnight camp will be at a small village where you can take bath in a natural hot spring.
Day 18- Bike to the foundation of La Lung La 4555m 55 km 4-5 hrs The ride to Lalung La foundation offers unbeatable pleasures and adventures. Starting with a little uphill climb you make your way along the edge with the valley following a river and at some point you will see the river branching into a lake sheltering a variety of Himalayan ducks. Meandering past the valley floor of grazing yaks mud bricks small traditional villages and ruined monasteries the trail narrows to a gorge making you ride into the headwind for another five kilometers. Views of Everest and Cho Oyu from your lunch stop is simply amazing Riding a further 15 km brings you an excellent campsite at the foot of La Lung La with green grass and crystal clear mountain rivulet.
Day 19- Bike or drive across Lalung La 5124m Thang La 5200m to Nyalam 3750m 87km 7-8 hrs by bike. Climbing double pass today calls for real hard work. It is approximately 15 km uphill peddling from your campsite to the top for the first pass La Lung La at 5124 meters which offers excellent views of Shishapangma Cho Oyu Menlungtse and Gauri Shankar. A six kilometers downhill ride and a further seven kilometers uphill climb brings you to the top on the second pass Thang La at 5200 meters. If you find it too much to peddle uphill you have an option of getting on the support 4WD Land cruiser. After spending some heavenly moments at the top of the pass you begin what we call -the worlds longest downhill biking adventure. A long pleasant downhill ride amidst superb mountain scenery brings you to a village near Nylam where you camp for the night at 3750 meter.
Day 20- Bike to the last Resort in Nepal 900m 60 km 3-4 hrs Heading away from Nyalam you ride along the steep road dropping down through the gorge. The trail meets a glacial stream and turns back crossing the river. A further 15 kilometers of cycling brings you amidst the verdant vegetation and a little further ride brings you to the Chinese border town of Zhangmu at 2300 meter. Making your way through traffic and modern concrete block buildings perched on the slopes you will head towards Chinese customs where you are required to handle re-entry formalities to return to Kathmandu. Once you are done with this official procedure you advance towards 12 km descent to the river and the bridge to Nepal. The trail that follows at this point onwards is muddy steep and rocky. You may encounter several jeeps on the way. After bidding your Tibetan guide and driver farewell you will descend to the river valley. Initially the trail gets rocky but later eases when it enters paved road after 20 kilometers of descent. Utmost careful safety measures should be adopted as there are chances of washouts occurring at any time while riding along this steep muddy trail. Further down a village springs into picture. As you make your way to the entrance of the town you will experience many speed breakers. The trail then opens into rich verdant valley with rice terraces surrounded by green hills. After a sumptuous lunch at tranquil -the Last Resort you can stroll down the river or spend the day relaxing by the river admiring surrounding views of lush green hills with a bottle of beers or two.
Day 21- Bike or drive to Dhulikhel 1450m 75 km 5-6 hrs by bike drive to Kathmandu 30 km 1 hr Today you have an option of driving all the way to Kathmandu or bike up to Dhulikhel and drive to Kathmandu. Ride is on tarmac with occasional steep climb the large section within the road follows Bhote Koshi river through lush green beautiful Nepalese countryside. Evening in Kathmandu is a time for the celebration in a traditional Nepalese restaurant.
For more information pleasego to our official website-www.explorehimalaya.com
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