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Overland to Kathmandu - across the 'Roof of the World'

The Friendship Hwy between Lhasa and Kathmandu in Nepal is the main travelers’ route through Tibet and allows a number of excellent detours. It takes in central Tibet’s most important monasteries, plus views of the world’s highest peak. You can head straight from Lhasa to the coiling scorpion-lake of Yamdrok-tso and take in the views from Samding Monastery before heading over the glacier-draped Karo-la pass to Gyantse. This town is well worth a full day: the kumbum (literally ‘100,000 images’) chorten is a must-see and there are several adventurous excursions in the nearby area. A 90-minute drive away is Shigatse, with its impressive Tashilunpo Monastery. Shalu Monastery is a worthwhile half-day trip from Shigatse, especially if you have an interest in Tibetan art.

A popular side trip en route to Kathmandu is to recently renovated Sakya, a small monastery town located just 25km off the Friendship Hwy. Stay the night here and investigate the northern ruins or stay in the nearby town of Lhatse. The most popular excursion from the road is to Rongphu Monastery and Everest Base Camp. After Everest most people take the opportunity to stay the night in old Tingri, with its wonderful views of Mt Cho Oyu, before the scenic rollercoaster ride to Nyalam, Zhangmu and the Nepali border. It’s also a classic mountain-biking route.

Rongphu Monastery with Mount Everest in the back ground (photo from wikipedia) On

Name: Kunchok

The tour guide, Kunchok, was always taking very good care of us. He considered ou

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