Tibet

tibet-monastry

Highest land on the earth offers incredible varieties of holiday trip. One can enjoy spiritual trips to strenuous adventures like hiking to the mount Everest Base camp. We offer 3 days to 14 days  tours in Lhasa and in entire Tibet.

Trips in  Tibet


About Tibet

Invaded by China in 1949-50, the independent country of Tibet was forced to face the direct loss of life that comes from battles and, soon after, the loss of universal freedoms that stemmed from Communist ideology and its programs such as the Cultural Revolution (1966 - 1976). However, it is erroneous to believe that the worst has passed. The fate of Tibet's unique national, cultural and religious identity is today seriously threatened and manipulated by the Chinese.

China's policy of occupation and oppression has resulted in no more or less than the destruction of Tibet's national independence, culture and religion, environment, and the universal human rights of its people. China has broken international laws and routinely violates its own constitution by inflicting this destruction, yet time and again goes without punishment.
National Independence

With a written history of more than 2000 years, Tibet existed as an independent sovereign state prior to Chinese rule. As recently as 1914, a peace convention was signed by Britain, China and Tibet that again formally recognised Tibet as a fully independent country. But having no representation in the United Nations, the world largely stood by and allowed China's occupation and destruction to happen.

Tibetans have demonstrated repeatedly for independence from China. Ours has been a non-violent struggle, yet even when Tibetan children as young as ten whisper the words "Tibet is independent" or "Long Live His Holiness the Dalai Lama", the Chinese accuse them of trying to "split" the "motherland" and often sentence them to prison. Possessing an image of the Tibetan national flag can lead to a seven- year jail term. As of 1998, 1083 known Tibetans remain incarcerated in Chinese prisons on account of their political, religious or ethical views. Of these, 246 were women and 12 were juvenile.

Tibet (Tibet Autonomous Region, TAR for short) borders Xinjiang, Qinghai, Sichuan and Yunnan internally while India, Burma, Bhutan, Sikkim, and Nepal meet its external borders. It covers a massive 1,220,000 square kilometers (470,920 square miles), which is about 12.8 % of the whole of China. With an average height of 4,000 meters above sea level, Tibet is encompassed by some of the world's highest mountains. The Himalayas to the south, the Karakoram to the west, and the Kunlun to the north are the dream lands of all adventurers and mountaineers.

The vast land is also the cradle of several great rivers such as the Yangtze River, the Yellow River, the Nu River (Salween), the Lancang River (Mekong), the Yarlong Tsangpo (Brahmaputra), the Indus, and the Ganges. Tibet also offers awe-inspiring scenery of beautiful lakes and valleys.
Potala Palace in Lhasa

Debating of Buddhist Doctrines in Sera Monastery
Debating of Sutra in Sera Monastery
Over 1,500 lakes including Heavenly Lake Namtso and the holy Lake Manasarova make Tibet the plateau with largest amount of lakes. Without irrigation and nurturance of these rivers and lakes, the surrounding lands may not flourish.

The long history and exotic religion allures more and more tourists every year. Tibetan Buddhism inhabits most Tibetans' hearts. Thus, a great deal of splendid monasteries, vivid murals and sculptures, and solemn stupas were built to worship the unparalleled Buddha. Lhasa and Shigatse, the most important cities of Tibet, feature most of the religious monuments including the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Ramoche Monastery, Tashilunpo Monastery and Sakya Monastery. Besides the monasteries, sacred mountains and holy lakes are also great places to show the Tibetan peoples' devotion to Buddha.

Western Tibet, Ngari, is a vast barren plateau and renowned as the Roof of Tibet. As the place where the Holy Lake (Lake Manasarova) joins the Sacred Mountain (Mt.Kailash), Ngari is a holy pilgrimage destination of both Tibetans and Hindus, as well as a popular challenge to trekkers. The ancient Shang Shung Kingdom and Guge Kingdom also exert a pull. As the climate is so inclement few people live in this region. Therefore, Ngari is also the home of wild yak, Tibetan antelope, wild donkey, and many other rare wild animals.

In Tibet, five mountains exceed the altitudes of 8,000 meters (26,240 feet) and many of the mountains exceed the altitudes of 7,000 meters (22,960 feet). Hence, southwestern Tibet has been a popular destination for mountaineers. Mt. Everest towers over the region. Besides, more than 40 snow capped peaks are open to mountain climbing enthusiasts. Each year, thousands of adventurers and mountaineers come to Tibet to challenge both nature and themselves. Southern Tibet also offers primeval forests, running waters, and a relatively mild climate. Yarlong Tsangpo Canyon, the largest canyon in the world, is the home of rare plants and animals, and remains unknown to anyone other than the local people.
Jokhang Temple

Tibetan people are warm and hospitable. Tourists can visit local families and experience the daily life of Tibetan people. Holidays and festivals are the most important days in Tibet. Enjoying the local food and dancing with beautiful Tibetan girls are the most excellent ways to celebrate these joyful times. Buying some typical handicrafts in Barkhor Street or from other authentic vendors may add extra happiness to your visit.

Beside white snow capped mountains, verdant virgin forests, clean running rivers and tranquil beautiful lakes, the devotional pilgrim progress toward their places of worship by prostrating themselves under the sky and along the roads, making people humble and modest. Tibet, the lost paradise under the sky, is undoubtedly a place where the spirit lives!

The already famous Tibet Railway that was completed last October has been officially set for operation from July 1, 2006. This miraculous engineering achievement will make Tibet, the mysterious and amazing sacred land with a thousand-year history, witness many changes leading to prosperity.
Statue of Maitreya, Tashilunpo Monastery

Following the opening of the Tibet Railway, 3,000 - 4,000 tourists are expected to travel to Tibet every day. It is anticipated that the railway will enhance tourism to both Qinghai Province as well as the Tibet Autonomous Region, thus bringing prosperity to that part of West China that until now has not enjoyed all the benefits attributable to the tourist industry. The new rail link provides the traveler with a more convenient, comfortable, safer and economical way to go to Tibet. In turn the railway will alleviate the pressure on exiting passenger transport during the peak period of the high season. The Tibet Railway offers the tourist the opportunity to see more of the wonderful landscape that is unique to the 'roof of the world'. By opening up the connection between Lhasa and Qinghai, the railway will not only give outsiders the opportunity to take Tibet tours but will also facilitate economical freight transport for the benefit of the Tibetan people as a whole.

The miraculous railway now closely connects mainland China and remote Tibet, which will speed up economic development. The Tibet Railway will not only bring about a significant change of the mystical view of the outside world to Tibet, but will also create a better cognition of the Tibetan people by the outside world. There is a strong belief that Tibet will welcome a better tomorrow thanks to this widely hailed sacred road.

Tibet lies on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau of the southwest border of China. The average height of the whole region is more than 4,000 meters above sea level, for which Tibet is known as "Roof of the World". The highest peak of Tibet, also the highest in Himalayas and in the whole world, is Everest Peak, which is as high as 8,846.27 meters above sea level.

Although a part of China, Tibet has a unique culture of all there own. It is mainly inhabited by Tibetans, a minority nationality of old and mysterious people. Tourist attractions include the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Jokhang Temple, and a number of Buddhist sacred places.

Tibet (Xi Zang in Chinese) is to the south of Xin Jiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Qing Hai Province, to the west of Sichuan, to the northwest of Yunnan and to the north of India and Nepal. Its population of 2.3 million people come from a variety of ethnic groups including Tibetan, Han, Monba and Lhota. Its capital city is Lhasa.

Northwest Tibet, mainly Qing Hai plateau, is home to a variety of unusual and unique animals. Across the northern expanse of Tibet, you can see vast grasslands where horses, yak and sheep roam freely. The world's lowest valley, the Grand Yarlun-tzanpo River Valley lies in east Tibet.

Nearly all Tibetans follow Tibetan Buddhism, known as Lamaism, with the exception of approximately 2,000 followers of Islam and 600 of Catholicism. Tibetan Buddhism was greatly influenced by Indian Buddhism in its early time, but after years of evolution, Tibetan Buddhism has developed its own distinctive qualities and practices. A well-known example is the belief that there is a Living Buddha, who is the reincarnation of the first, a belief alien to Chinese Buddhism.

It is freezing cold in most time of the year. Most tourists come to visit Tibet only in the warmest seasons, June, July, August and early September.
Cultural Consideration

The Tibetans are among the easiest people to get along with in Asia. But still there are some cultural considerations you should better to pay attention to when you travel in Tibet.

Do not photo them without permission!
Always circumambulate gompas and other religious objects clockwise , thus keeping shrines and chortens to your right.
Don't touch or remove anything on an altar.
Don't take photos during a prayer meeting. At other times always ask permission to take a photo, especially one using flash. The larger monasteries charge photography fees.
Don't wear shorts or short skirts in a monastery.
Take your hat off when you go into a chapel.
Don't smoke in a monastery.
Do not eat dog, donkey and horse in Tibet.
Be aware that Tibetans often gesture with their lips to show a direction, so if a member of the opposite sex pouts at you they are just showing you where to go.

Travel with Children

It's not wise to bring a very small kid to travel to Tibet. Kids are usually getting more easily tired of an endless round of monasteries. But on the other hand, children can be a great ice-breaker and generally generate a lot of interest. There are certain things you could bear in mind if you are obliged to travel with children:

Choose to stay in connected rooms which are available in most of up-class hotels in Lhasa, Shigatse and Tsedang. (see the hotel list ) .Added bed is usually not very comfortable, meanwhile most of hotel rooms in Tibet are not spacious for adding beds.
Try to stay in Lhasa or around as living conditions ( medical , accommodation, food) in remote areas of Tibet are very basic and harsh.
Get more contacts with local people may bring fun and interest of children. Kids are easily getting bored by sitting in coach. Arranging some easy walk in local village will be a sound idea.
You could visit some local school, let your children communicate with their cotemporary kids may be constructive and funny. There is a Blind School in Lhasa which is built by a German Blind lady is a good and easy place to visit.
Bring all supplies( including nappies and medicines) with you . Small spoons can be useful as most places have only chopsticks. There is plenty of boiling water to sterilize bottles etc.

How to Get Visa

Tibet we need Tibet travel permit and Tibet china visa. If you are entering Tibet from Nepal must apply Tibet china visa in Kathmandu, So we (Himalaya Holiday Service - HHS) will take care Tibet visa with original passport. If you are Entering Tibet from mainland china must bring china visa from your Home. Your china visa copy must send to us one month before the travel date so please make sure you apply and get china visa on time.
Your passport must be valid over 6 months beyond the end of travel date.

How to enter

There are many ways to get Tibet, depending on how quickly you want to get there and how adventurous you choose to be.
Getting to Tibet by Plane

Most tourists will want to go to Tibet by plane. Flights are available to Gongkar airport, 95km (59mi) from Lhasa, from Beijing, Chengdu (with daily departure), Chongqing, Xining, Chamdo, Xi'an, Zhongdian, and Kathmandu.

Chengdu is the most important hub for flights going to and from Tibet. There are at least two flights form Chengdu to Lhasa EVERYDAY. Flights to Tibet from Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, all go through Chengdu. Chengdu offers several tourist attractions, including its world-famous Giant Panda Bears, the Ancient Sanxingdui Ruins, and the "Terracotta Warriors No. 2" (The more well-known Terracotta Warriors are in Xian). We recommend staying overnight in Chengdu to take advantage of these attractions.

Flights going to Lhasa from Chengdu all leave very early in the morning. The planes are all Airbus A340s, so expect a comfortable flight. Remember to look out the window! Along the way you'll be treated to breathtaking views of Tibet's snow-capped mountains. Bird View from Aircraft

On the way to Lhasa, the plane flew ever soooo closely to the snow capped mountains, so close that I could almost touch the peaks! Never have I seen so many mountain peaks at an altitude of over 7000 meters concentrated in a single location! Yes, Tibet has numerous of them! It was quite an exhilarating experience even if I only got to see it from the inside of the plane.
Drive to Tibet in 4 Wheel Vehicles

For the adventurous, driving a 4 wheel-drive vehicle to Tibet provides an incredible experience that you will be remember for the rest of your life. It is a difficult route, not for the faint of heart!
You can drive to Tibet via 5 routes

  • Sichuan (Chengdu) to Lhasa : 2159 kilometers to 2407 km
  • Yunnan (Kunming) to Lhasa: 2317 kilometers
  • Qinghai (Xining) to Lhasa: 1947 kilometers
  • Xinjiang (Yecheng) to Lhasa: 2743 kilometers
  • Kathmandu to Lhasa

The Qinghai and Kathmandu ("friendship highway") routes are the most accessible. We do not recommend any of the other routes unless you are a ‘professional driver’, equipped with all the necessary gear and backup support.

Access Tibet Tour operates 4 wheel driving tours to Tibet. If you would like the real adventure of driving all the way up to the rooftop of the world, please click here to contact us .
Travel to Tibet by Train

A modern train runing on the Qinghai-Tibet railway going to Lhasa
First time for the Tibetans taking a train on the roof of the world

It is now possible to go to Tibet by train via the Qinghai-Tibet railway, the world's highest altitude railway. While traveling to Tibet by train takes much longer than by plane, you will be witness to thousands of miles of the most stunning landscapes in the world, rolling by outside your window.

Trekking information

In general, travel to Tibet represents the sightseeing tours but even the land is situated in average of above 13000 feet, this inaccessible land have lots of possibilities of trekking routes for the adventure seeker. Whether it is a pilgrimage trek or a mountain expedition, Tibet offers trekking trips from short one day to month long as per ones requirement. But the treks are not feasible in the wintertime as the temperature goes very low (-30 to -40ºF) and also the days are much shorter.

We offer many different types of treks to Tibet, with a range of hotels to suit every pocket. What's more, as we understand that a visit to this special country is a highly personal experience, we can also arrange a trek to meet your specific needs.

Tibet is probably the only destination among the Himalayas that's not as known for its adventure circuits as the rest are. But do not underestimate this destinations as just another trans-Himalayan area of the Himalayas. There's much more to Tibet than Buddhism, monasteries and cold desert-like weather.

Climate & Trekking Season In Tibet
Tibet's high altitude and the atmosphere allow the sun's solar radiation to strike the earth with unusual intensity. To protect your eyes and skin, you'd better to bring the sunscreen, which with a sun protection factor of 15 and sunglasses are also useful. And lip creams and balms are also sold with SPF ratings, zinc, oxide creams provide 100% block out. Generally from April to October is the best season for opting a Tibet tour. But it really depends on your route and a normal winter Tibet tour schedule is quite comfortable, because in winter, the tourist rush is not much and you can enjoy the beautiful scenery freely.

Major Trekking Regions In Tibet

Everest Region:
Usually Everest is more known as a part of Nepal and trekkers have explored numeorus trek routes towards this world's highest peak from Nepalese Himalayas. Still, if you like trekking in the unexplored zones then opt the routes to the Everest range from the Tibetan Himalayas side. One Everest trek tour option from Tibet is from Kathmandu drive across beautiful Nepalese countryside to the Chinese boarder town of Zangmu before negotiating the road up through the deep gorges of Sunkoshi River to Tingri. Trek past the ancient village of Tingri to the base camp from where one can see the magnificent and huge dimensions of Mt. Everest.

Kailash Mansarovar Yatra:
Kailash Mansarovar YatraFor well over a thousand years, pilgrims have journeyed Kailash Mansarovar to pay homage to the mountain’s mystery, circumambulating it is a ancient ritual of devotion that continues to this day. People have been visiting Kailash - Mansarovar for centuries. Almost all the major passes of Uttaranchal Himalayas lead to Kailash - Mansarovar. The important ones in the Kumaon region are Lipulekh, Lampiya Dhura, Nuwe Dhura, Lowe Dhura, Unta Dhura, Jayanti and Kungri Bingri. Under the administration of the Indian ministry of external affairs and with the cooperation of the Chinese government, Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam has been conducting trips to Kailash - Mansarovar through the Lipulekh pass.

Namchag Barwa Trek:
Namchag Barwa is an excellent short trek for nature lovers and amateur botanists. It includes the delightful Nyima La and the lushly forested Rong Valley. The route begins in Pei, a small village that is also the staging post of treks to the great bend of the Tsangpo via Pelma Kochung and to Metog. Here a ferry crosses to Timpe on the north bank of the river, site of a revered Guru Rinpoche cave and monastery.

A splendid trail leads north to the Nyima La through some of the finest virgin forests and flower gardens in southeastern Tibet. The idyllic walk passes a nomad camp and groves of flowering rhododendrons along the way. Many plant species abound on the open moorlands near the pass. From the pass there are tremendous views of the Assam Himalayas, including nearby Gyala Pelri and Namche Barwa. On the far side of the Nyima La is the Rong Valley, a heavily forested scenic valley that is luxuriantly carpeted with primulas and violet irises from May to July. The best time for this trek is from May to October.

Trekking Permits In Tibet
There are two requirements for foreign tourists tour in Tibet. One is the Chinese Visa, which you can apply for in Chinese Embassy in your place. Another is the Alien' Travel Permit, which issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau. There are no independent trek tours allowed in Tibet. You should join an organized group or have the local travel operator arrange a trek tour for you.

High Altitude Sickness
High Altitude Sickness could happen to any guest in high altitude. The effect of HAS usually remains 2 days till the body acclimatizes. Headache, nausea, vomiting and short breath are the common symptoms. To avoid HAS take garlic soup, more water frequently. Diamox tabs are also recommended.

Here is a short information about the common trekking routes available in Tibet:

Ganden to Samye Trek

  • Duration: Total 12 days
  • Accommodation: hotels in the cities and camping during trekking.
  • Activities: Sights Seeing, Trekking
  • Trip Grading: Hard
  • Trip Type: Popular
  • Group Size: 2-10 pax

Kharta Valley and Everest Khangshung Face Trek

  • Duration: 21 Days
  • Accommodation: Hotels, guesthouse and tented camps.
  • Activities: Sightseeing, Trekking/Hiking
  • Trip Grading: Hard
  • Group Size: 2-10 pax
  • Start From: Lhasa

Lhamo Lha-tso-The Oracle Lake Trekking

  • Duration: 12 Days
  • Accommodation: Hotels in the cities and camping during trekking.
  • Activities: Sightseeing, Trekking/Hiking
  • Trip Grading: Moderate
  • Trip Type: Non-Touristic
  • Group Size: 2-10 pax

Nam-Tso, The Heavenly Lake Trekking

  • Duration:10 Nights
  • Accommodation:Hotels, guesthouse and tented camps.
  • Activities: Sightseeing, Trekking/Hiking
  • Trip Type: Popular
  • Group Size: 2-10 pax

Tibet - Everest Base Camp Trek

  • Duration: 16 Days
  • Accommodation: Hotels, guesthouse and tented camps.
  • Activities: Cultural Touring, 4WD Adventure , Strenuous Trekking
  • Trip Grading: Hard
  • Trip Type: Non-Touristic
  • Group Size: 2-10 pax

Tsurpu to Yangpachen and Dorjeling Nunnery Trekking

  • Duration: 9 Days
  • Accommodation: Hotels in the cities and camping during trekking.
  • Activities: Sightseeing, Trekking
  • Trip Grading: Hard
  • Trip Type: Popular
  • Group Size: 2-10 pax

Weather

Average Minimum Temperatures in Lhasa, Tibet, China (°C)Average Maximum Temperature in Lhasa, Tibet, China (°C)Lhasa, Tibet Average Temperature (°C)Average Precipitation/ Rainfall (mm)Wet Days (>0.1 mm)Relative Humidity (%)
Weather in January-107-20071
Weather in February-79113<171
Weather in March-21258172.0
Weather in April11685<167
Weather in May5191225359
Weather in June9241763864
Weather in July923161221371
Weather in August92216891072
Weather in September7211466771
Weather in October117913264
Weather in November-51342<171
Weather in December-9900071

Altitude Sickness

Adverse reactions to the high altitudes of Tibet are one of the biggest challenges in traveling there. However, if you are properly informed and prepared, high altitude should not be an obstacle to safe and comfortable travel.
What is the definition of High Altitude?

  • High Altitude: 1500 - 3500 m (5000 - 11500 ft)
  • Very High Altitude: 3500 - 5500 m (11500 - 18000 ft)
  • Extreme Altitude: above 5500 m

When acclimatization lags significantly behind ascent, various symptoms occur. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) represents the body's intolerance of the hypoxic (low oxygen) environment at high elevations.

What are the symptoms of AMS?

  • Hyperventilation (fast breathing)
  • Shortness of breath during exertion
  • Increased urination
  • Altered breathing patterns at night
  • Frequent nighttime awakening
  • Strange dreams

Tips to avoid AMS

  • Do exercise to improve your fitness before coming to Tibet.
  • Try to avoid catching a cold (frequent hand-washing, etc.).
  • Make sure to get a good night's sleep the night before flying to Lhasa.
  • Avoid strenuous activity during your first day in Tibet.
  • When arriving in the airport in Lhasa, walk slowly, take deep breaths. Take time to acclimatize.
  • Ascend to higher altitudes gradually. DO NOT ASCEND ANY HIGHER if you begin feeling ill.
  • Prepare AMS medication, in accordance with a doctor's advice.

FAQs

Where is Tibet located in Asia?

Tibet is the autonomous state of China situated on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau. Tibet covers an area of 471900 sq miles and extends 2600 km from West to East and 1300 from North to south. Its longitude is 78° to 90° east and latitude is 28° to 37° north. It borders India, Nepal, and Bhutan in the south.

What is the distinguishing factor of Tibet?

Tibet separates itself from the rest of the world in the sense that it houses some of the world’s ancient Buddhist monasteries. It is also the place where Tibetan Buddhism gained its roots and slowly spread to the rest of the world. The arid landscape is pretty alien and the view from the high passes are astonishing. However, Tibet is most popular as the Roof of the World and also hosts views of some of the highest mountains on the planet.

What budget should I bring while traveling in Tibet?

There are many activities that can be done in Tibet and depending on what you want to do, the budget tends to fluctuate. If you are a budget traveler, then you can expect to spend at least 75 USD for a day in Tibet. The high range reaches a maximum of 150 USD per day and it includes the cost of food and accommodation. As such, you can bring appropriate amount of money according to your itinerary. We also advise you to carry extra money just in case of emergency and contingencies.

Which sites should be focused while traveling in Tibet and when is the best time to explore them?

When you are traveling in Tibet, there are many famous sites that you can choose. But as you might not have enough time, these are some sites that you must visit: Lake Mansarovar, Mount Kailash, Namtso Lake, and Shigatse. You can visit the monasteries in Dira Phug and Zuthrul Phug on the Kailash Tour as well. Similarly, Lhasa is the capital of Tibet and hosts an astounding number of cultural heritages including the Potala Palace, Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery, and Jokhang Temple.

The best time to go on a trek in Tibet is during the months of April, May, September, and October. If you choose to sightsee and indulge in tours, you can visit Tibet throughout the year.

What are the basic Tibetan customs and traditions that travelers need to know?

During your tour in Tibet, you should refrain from making any sort of cultural remarks towards the local religion. The people here are very sensitive of their culture and do not want it disrupted. Travelers should not touch or walk on religious texts and touch the prayer flags. You should also take permission before you take a picture in a holy site. During the religious processions, it is advised that you maintain your silence. When meeting a lama, do not hug him or shake hands with him.

What are classified as illegal activities in Tibet?

Tibet is an autonomous region of China so there are some rules and regulations that you must follow. When you are in Tibet, you must not eat meat of horse, dog, donkey, and fish as they are sacred. Do not talk about sensitive topics like Tibet and China relation. In addition, you cannot involve in activities like smuggling, murder, rape, and homicide. Similarly, we also advise you to use social media sites discreetly using VPN since sites like Facebook and twitter are banned from common usage in China. All these offenses are punishable by law.

Is Visa mandatory for visiting Tibet and can I get it from Kathmandu?

Yes, it is mandatory to have a Visa in order to enter Tibet. If you are entering Tibet via Mainland China, you must have your Chinese Visa as well. Similarly, if you are entering Tibet via Nepal, you must possess a Tibet Group Visa. We advise you to carry the official documents with you at all times when you explore Tibet.

Yes, you can apply for a tourist visa from Kathmandu. You need to submit your necessary documents to the trip operator to get your visa along with the required fees.

Do my electronics (mobile, laptop) work in Tibet?

The standard voltage in Tibet is 220 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. If the voltage is same with your country then it is all right. If these specifications differ from those in your country, you can always purchase an adapter at the local market or request the hotel or lodge you are staying at for one.

How can I reach Tibet and what can I bring along with me?

You can reach Tibet by air, overland, and by train. You can fly or drive from both Nepal and China whereas the train service is available only from mainland China. There are entry points at Kerung and Kodari at the Nepal-Tibet border to enter Tibet. Likewise, the flights from Kathmandu take you directly to the Lhasa Airport.

Are there any health standards that should be met before visiting Tibet?

There is no rule which states that a traveler must possess a certain level of health requirement. However, it is advised that travelers get themselves medically cleared before venturing into Tibet as it will prove helpful. You should consult with your doctor and procure an official medical prescription in case you need any medications on your trip.

What is the appropriate dressing code in Tibet?

During your time in Tibet, men can wear casual clothing or loose sportswear. If you want, then you can wear the double layered robes but it is not necessary. For women, they can wear casual clothing which does not give much exposure. It is essential that your clothing does not violate any social and cultural norms of Tibet. So, comfortable casual or formal wear is the way to go.

How to stay in good health when traveling in Tibet?

The most common problem while traveling Tibet is altitude sickness. In order to avoid altitude sickness, we advise you to continue on your trip slowly and carefully. Do not climb higher altitude in a short time period. You may get stomach ache as the food may not digest properly. During such time, take proper medicines. Drink mineral water and do some light exercises too.

What is the public transportation system in Tibet and is my driving license valid in Tibet?

In the major cities of Tibet like Lhasa and Shigatse, buses and taxis are most common. If you plan to go outside the major cities and into remote areas, then the best option for you will be to hire a 4WD land cruiser. If you want to drive in China, then you must apply for a Chinese driving license since the international driving licenses are not allowed.

What are the popular news channels, FM stations, and the main media in Tibet?

The China Tibet Broadcasting is the popular broadcast network that is situated in Lhasa. The popular FM stations are Radioguide FM and Voice of Tibet. You can also use Chinese social media sites to gather necessary information and news in Tibet and China.

Are there any Tourist police in Tibet and how do I file a complaint to them?

Although there is a Tourist Police in China, there isn’t a designated tourism-designated police force in Tibet. However, there is a considerable number of police officers. There is a large number of plain-clothed police officers including monks and monastery officials. You can easily file a complaint at the local police stations.

Which is the most popular trekking region and touring region in Tibet?

The popular trekking paths in Tibet comprise of the Gama Valley trekking and the famous Mount Kailash kora trek. You can even visit the Namtso Lake in Damxung and head towards the Tsurphu to Yangpachen Trek. The best time to indulge in treks in Tibet is during the months of April, May, September, and October. In terms of tour, you can head out to Lhasa, Shigatse, and Kailash. The tours can be done anytime throughout the year.

How long does it take for a letter from my country to Tibet by post?

The postal services in China is cheap and efficient. The airmail letters and postcards take somewhere between 10 to 12 days to reach most of the destinations. You have the option of either choosing a domestic or an international package delivery provider like FedEx and DHL.

Can I bring my medication with me?

Yes, you can bring your medications with you. Some travel agencies may ask for your medical condition before traveling and arrange the trip accordingly. If you want to stay on the safe side, you should bring your doctor’s prescription when traveling to Tibet.

What are the basic Dos and Don’ts in Tibet?

While in Tibet, do not do or participate in any act that harms the religion and belief of the locals there. Do not touch a Tibetan on the head as it is considered offensive. Do not receive gift from a Tibetan host with one hand as it is considered impolite. Do not carry items such as dagger and knife. Never address Tibetans by their name as it is considered impolite. Similarly, it is also important that you do not speak about the political situation between Tibet and China, and those related to the Dalai Lama.

Is it better to travel to Tibet alone or with travel agencies?

Travelers need to understand that unlike any other country, you cannot travel to Tibet without a guide or a travel agency. You need a guide or an agent under every circumstance. As such, it is for the best that you arrange your trips with travel agencies since there are number of travel issues in Tibet.

Where can I exchange my money and are there ATM facilities in Tibet?

You can exchange your money at the exchange counter in the Lhasa Airport or you can even have it exchanged at the various banks and money exchange shops. You can refer to the exchange rates at the official website of Bank of China at: http://www.boc.cn/sourcedb/whpj/enindex.html. There are ATM facilities available in the major cities like Lhasa and Shigatse and they accept credit cards as well. As you move into the rural areas, you won’t find ATM facilities so it is better that you take spare cash pre hand.

What are my options of reaching Tibet by India and Nepal?

If you are traveling from India, then there are 3 main passes that connect India and Tibet. They are the Lipulekh Pass, Nathu La pass, and the Shipki Pass. The Shipki pass is mostly used by Indian travelers. If you are traveling from Nepal, then you can choose to drive via the border crossings at Kodari or Rasuwagadhi. You can catch a flight from Kathmandu to Tibet too.

Where can I learn about the weather conditions and flight cost in Tibet?

To learn about the weather forecasts in Tibet, you can visit the website http://www.cma.gov.cn/en2014/. If you want to learn about the flight rates, then you can check the website https://www.trip.com/

 

What are the medical facilities like in Tibet?

Apart from the major cities like Lhasa and Shigatse, there is not much medical facilities available in the remote parts of Tibet. There are however small medical clinics and check posts though. If there is an extreme injury or condition, then travelers need to be evacuated by air.

What should I eat to stay in great physical condition in Tibet?

Traveling in Tibet is a bit hard due to extreme elevation and the thin air. In order to be in great physical condition, we advise you to eat only those food which are prepared from the fresh ingredients. We do not recommend drinking from the tap or even ice. Always carry a mineral water bottle and a portable water purifier, if possible. Following a healthy and hygienic lifestyle is always the best way to stay in a great physical condition when traveling in Tibet.

How much money should I separate for contingencies?

Contingent events arrive in all sort of cases. While traveling, they can arrive in the form of accidents, flight delays, theft, and robbery. It is recommended that you set aside an amount of around 3000 USD for contingent situations.

Do I need any sort of inoculations and travel insurance before visiting Tibet?

Although it is not mandatory, travelers are recommended to take the following vaccinations before entering Tibet: Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Hepatitis B, Rabies, Measles-mumps-rubella, polio, cholera, and yellow fever. However, you should consult your doctor regarding this matter.

A travel insurance is a must if you are traveling to Tibet. Although there is no hard and fast rule regarding it, but you need to have a travel insurance to be on the safe side. However, you should be very careful when choosing a travel insurance company. The travel insurance should cover all the medical, trip delays, cancellation, and property loss.

What can I do during my stay in Tibet?

Tibet comprises of a plethora of sights that travelers can visit. Tours and treks are the popular travel and tourism activities in Tibet. Lhasa, Shigatse, Manasarovar, and Kailash are the best destinations for tours. Potala Palace, Sera, Jokhang, and Drepung monasteries in Lhasa along with Lake Mansarovar, Dira Phug, and Zuthrul Phug in Kailash and Manasarovar area are standout tour destinations. Similarly, Mt. Kailash Kora is the most famous trekking venture in Tibet along with Tsurphu to Yangpachen Trek.

What is Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and how can I prevent it while visiting Tibet?

Acute Mountain Sickness or altitude sickness is the condition when a human body cannot adjust with the increase in altitude. This is especially a major issue during high altitude trips and its symptoms begin to appear from 2500 meters. Since the average elevation of Tibet is 4500 meters, travelers have to plan their trip carefully in order to avoid altitude sickness. You need to take a steady approach when traveling. Similarly, you should drink plenty of water and maintain a healthy diet. It is also essential to have medications which can be used to prevent AMS.

What are the time zone and phone code in Tibet?

The time zone in Tibet is (GMT+8). Tibet follows the phone code of +86.