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  The Chatter Box : Travel
Kathmandu ot Lhasa by chrirons on 9 November 2006 2:00pm
Hello fellow-travellers,

has anybody had experience with the Kathmandu to Lhasa by car trip.
We've searched the Internet and have found many agencies offering this at various prices (from 230£ to over 1000 £), but have also found plenty of warning against these agencies.

As we're on tight budget, we would like not to loose the money.

Could anybody here recommend one, please?

Chris and Lin
Re: Kathmandu ot Lhasa by Godfather on 11 November 2006 1:57am
I can't recommend a "specific" one because I did that 4 years ago now and things will probably have changed in Nepal due to the conditions there. Problem is, if you look on the net, you will end up only finding the "absurdly" high prices (the guy in the agency I eventually went with,told me that whenever someone books the trip on the net he will go as high as he can because for all he knows, the person booking could be a millionare for all they know).

Your best bet is organizing thing "on the ground" in Nepal. Make it clear "in person" what your budget is. Haggle (a bit of Life of Brian). Go from agency to agency yourself, and you will get a good deal 'eventually'. Mine was about $110 for the 5 day trip up to Lhasa overland.

That included the various permissions, accomodation,landcruisers,entrance to monasterys,breakfast and simple meals.

$15 total,hitching back myself on the return to Nepal though. LOL. But everyone gets stung on that 'initial' journey up to Lhasa, no matter how they do it (jeep or plane). No way to avoid it. It is a joint China/Nepal deal so that everybody's back gets scratched.

It took a while of looking around, drinking Chai and getting to know the people in the agencys before I got it down to that price. At the end of the day, all independent travellers from all the agencies will end up together on the same bus from Nepal anyway (transfer to the Chinese landcruiser jeeps once over the Chinese border),and people in my group had payed either close to mine or more than "10" times for the exact same thing. It all depends on what cut each individual agency takes in Nepal.

Go to the scummy run down looking agencies, and you will end up paying less. Cheapy agencies always come with more risk attached of course. But 'you get what you pay for' (as they say).

Ask as many questions as you can, so that things are straight before you leave, and make sure there are no hidden charges. Then you minimize those risks.

As Nepal has 1000's of visitors each year ranging from the Dal Baht eating and sandal wearing backpackers, to the high flying execs from New York who fancy a bit of a trek. There is an agency for all types and all budgets in Kathmandu. So shop around wisely.

Also keep in mind that the Chinese regulations on this trip changes from year to year, and some years you can get a "individual" chinese visa meaning you can then break away (as I did) once in Lhasa,and travel independently in Tibet.

Others years you can only get a "group visa" which means you'll have to stick together as a tour for the duration, only going where they want you to for as long as they dictate,stay where they want you to, eat where they take you,and come back exactly when they want you to.

Whatever situation you find with the visas, everyone initially has 'group' "permissions" for the many checkpoints along the friendship highway to Lhasa.
Re: Kathmandu ot Lhasa by Ken Dunn on 11 November 2006 7:57am
Without reading Godfather's details, Kathmandu to Lhasa is straight through the middle of the Himalayan mountain range and I would think any roads, if they exist, would be impassable by car at most times of the year.
Re: Kathmandu ot Lhasa by chillibetty on 19 December 2006 5:23pm
So have you made the trip??? How was it?

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