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Tour From Kathmandu to Lhasa (drive in - train out)

Heredia, Costa Rica
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Tour From Kathmandu to Lhasa (drive in - train out)

Hii Travelers,

I am planning to take a tour from KTM to Lhasa, I am getting nervous since most of the tours are schedule to start in KTM then flight into Lhasa to start the journey driving out of it, via EBC, is there any specific reason why most of the tours drive out Lhasa instead of drive in?

My itinerary is>

Siem Reap, Bangkok, Kathmandu, take a tour to Lhasa by car, and finally take the train from Lhasa to Beijing_?

Any advice regarding budget tour agencies?

France
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for Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, Jomsom, Mustang Region, Namche Bazaar, Sagarmatha National Park, Annapurna Region
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1. Re: Tour From Kathmandu to Lhasa (drive in - train out)

I have been to Tibet few times with a agent based in Kathmandu. Once drive in fly out and another fly in fly out. Both times the services were amazing and I got everything as promised at the time of booking. Not sure about other agencies but the agent I use does both drive in and fly out or fly in and drive out. The choice is yours.

Good Luck with your travel!

Sheffield, United...
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2. Re: Tour From Kathmandu to Lhasa (drive in - train out)

Hi

Driving from KTM to Lhasa via Tibet EBC has high risks of Acute Mountain Sickness and there have been deaths. The first thing to do is check the potential itinerary against the AMS guidelines - good information here:

ismmed.org/index.php/…

Many of the 'budget tours' go too high too fast; a customized tour is better but more expensive. Flying into Lhasa and driving back to KTM seems to have lower risks. Lhasa, at above 3500m is still above the guidelines. Choose carefully.

Vistet really knows his stuff and might be along later...

Good luck.

France
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for Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, Jomsom, Mustang Region, Namche Bazaar, Sagarmatha National Park, Annapurna Region
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3. Re: Tour From Kathmandu to Lhasa (drive in - train out)

This is the itinerary that I followed, though this time I copied the itinerary with altitudes from another site. The places are same like I did my tour but not sure if the altitudes are correct mentioned here. For your kind information here is the itinerary:

Kathmandu to Nyalam. (3700m)

Nyalam to Lhatse(4100m)

Lhatse to Shigatse. (3900m)

Shigatse to Gyantse ( 3950m)

Gyamtse to Lhasa (3650M)

Two Full Days Sightseeing tour in Lhasa

Lhasa to Kathmandu

For me I felt fine with my all trips to Lhasa and didn't feel of any altitude difficulties. It can be also because I had done some treks in Nepal in the high altitudes.

By the way scoodly Wikitravel site says Lhasa is in 3650 meters and Wikipedia says 3490 meters. Not sure which one to trust:

Links:

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lhasa

Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Lhasa

4. Re: Tour From Kathmandu to Lhasa (drive in - train out)

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Cumbria
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5. Re: Tour From Kathmandu to Lhasa (drive in - train out)

I went on an overland in / fly out trip to Lhasa a few years ago, similar itinerary to #3, but staying at Tingri on the second night.

members.virtualtourist.com/m/50192/5a7/

I agree with the points made my scoodly – But will add, that if you can do a trek in Nepal and get some pre-acclimatisation before your Lhasa trek then this will really help minimise your chance of being adversely effected by AMS – That’s what I did and although I did get a slight headache crossing some of the very high passes, overall I was fine

Good Luck

Rob

Chengdu, China
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6. Re: Tour From Kathmandu to Lhasa (drive in - train out)

I agreed that if considering the altitude of Kathmandu (1350m), overland from Lhasa to Kathmandu will be better for acclimatization. As it seems it moves gradually higher from Lhasa to the Base Camp, while there’s huge span of altitude from Kathmandu to Tibet

Kathmandu to border (1800m),

Border to Tingri (4300m)

Mt. Everest Base Camp (5150m)

But generally most tourists have minor effect from the high altitude, so just take it easy. Even if you are taking the overland tour Lhasa to Kathmandu, you’re goanna facing the altitude problem. You are travelling on the high plateau.

Overland KTM to Lhasa or Fly into Lhasa and overland Lhasa to Kathmandu can depend on your international flights, and your schedule staying in Nepal and Tibet. Now direct flight is available round Kathmandu to Lhasa on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Early booking is always suggested as there’s only 1 flight run by air china.

If entering into Tibet from Kathmandu, no matter you are taking the flight or taking car to Tibet, you will need to apply the China visa in Kathmandu first. It will take at least 1 day for an emergency application, so if you have some visit plan in Kathmandu, that will be good.

Someone with tight schedule and did not have time to apply the China visa in their country can take Kathmandu as the entry city to Tibet considering all the tourists must apply the China visa in KTM if entering into Tibet from Nepal.

Chengdu, China
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7. Re: Tour From Kathmandu to Lhasa (drive in - train out)

So if you are going to fly from Bangkok to KTM, and heading to the mainland city of China, that the overland tour KTM to Lhasa and train to Beijing is a good shot. Only the group visa you applied in Kathmandu has stricter time limitation. Better to preplan when you are getting out of China. The visa is no more than 30 days and very difficult to renew in China

Umeå
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8. Re: Tour From Kathmandu to Lhasa (drive in - train out)

(Edit : slip of the thumb posting , complete post follows )

Edited: 04 June 2013, 12:08
Umeå
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9. Re: Tour From Kathmandu to Lhasa (drive in - train out)

Lots of good points esp in # 2 , just like to emphasise a few things :

1. Gradual is over-rated , the the main problem with The Ktm-Lhasa run is sleeping elevations being higher than Lhasa from the start ( Nyalam 3750 , Lhasa 3660 ) . After the first acclimatization night(s) crossing high passes becomes an opportunity to acclimatize more effectively , not a crisis. AMS on the Lhasa-Ktm run after a couple of nights in Lhasa and feeling well from the start is basically a non-issue , as long as EBC is not included.

2. Avoid the Ktm-EBC-Lhasa run like the plague , unless you invest a LOT of time in this.

3. Lhasa to EBC : three nights in Lhasa ( or two + one night in Shigatse , less than two hundred meters higher )

, two nights higher Lhasa . Sakya would be my first choice , probably the only non-Gelugpa site you'll see on this route.

4. Pre-acclimatization : I guest you already have left Central America , which give several opportunies : Quito , Mexico City etc. Any trek with nights around 3000 meters will give you a real advantage , if not ...

4. Follow the standard medical advice : medicate with Diamox for any route that starts with nights from Lhasa's altitude or higher ( i.e. both the landroute and flying in to Lhasa ) Read the background info from International Society for Mountain Medicine already linked in # 2 , or CDC shortlinked at http://korta.nu/cdcalt , and talk it over with a travel doc.

5. AMS information from commercial actors in general is often poor , and Chinese travel agents regularly take this to a completely different level , not in a good way : http://korta.nu/stinks

Use these sources mainly for entertainment purposes.

Heredia, Costa Rica
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10. Re: Tour From Kathmandu to Lhasa (drive in - train out)

Thanks guys for all your help!!! I use to go for a jog to a mountain where it's elevation is 2800 m, does it help?

I am afraid our itinerary is quite short :

Transit/Day Bangkok Kathmandu

Visit Kathmandu

Visit/day 1 Kathmandu

Visit/day 2 Kathmandu

Transit/ day 4 Kathmandu Nyalam

Transit/ day 5 Nyalam Tingri

Transit/day 6 Tingri Rongbuk

Transit/day 7 Rongbuk Xigatse

Transit/ day 8 Xigatse Lhasa

visit/ day 9 Lhasa

Visit/day 10 Lhasa

Transit to Beijing

At Rongbuk, we plan to go to EBC. IS it to risky?