FAQ about Traveling to Tibet

Permit for Tibet

The Tibet Travel Permit is a must for foreigners traveling to Tibet. Besides that, Aliens’ Travel Permit is required if you are visiting Everest Base Camp, and Military Permit for Mount Kailash.

You need to send a copy of your passport and China visa (no need for originals) to your Tibet travel agency, together with your tour information, we will then help you apply for the Tibet travel permit.  It’s suggested to submit the permit application a month ahead of time. Once submitted, the agency will usually obtain your Tibet travel permit around 5-7 days before the trip.

The original permit will be delivered to your last city in China. If you are taking a train, the permit will be sent by email and you will be able to ride on the train to Lhasa with the copies(except for Chongqing, Lanzhou, Xi’an).

Weather in Tibet

April to October are good time visiting Tibet. July and August (10-25 Celsius) are the rainy season in Tibet, it mostly rains at night, which wouldn’t affect regular tours, but trekking and overland driving tours are best avoided during these months.

The best time(5-20 Celsius) travelling Tibet is May, June, September, October, especially for snow mountain lover, as a clear sight of Mount Everest peak can be guaranteed during these months.

The temperature will be -5 to 10 Celsius in Tibet in winter time, and in far northern and western parts, it can be -20 to -5 Celsius at night. But with sufficient sunshine all days during this season, Tibet is in fact not too cold in the daytime. Travelling Tibet costs the lowest this time in a year with less crowded environment – So it’s up for you to decide. 

Even though in Tibet most days are sunny, it will get cold and chilly in the morning and at night. A windbreaker, jacket, or warm sweater is suggested to bring along together with shirts and short pants. While in autumn and winter, a down jacket is a must especially if you are visiting Everest Base Camp. Wearing gloves, woolen socks, and hats will keep you warm too. There is no need to bring any special mountain boots to travel in Tibet, a pair of normal and comfortable sports shoes or boots are good enough to provide you a pleasant experience travelling in Tibet.

How to Travel to Tibet

It depends on how much time you have, flight is normally 2 to 5 hrs to Lhasa. A lot of cities in China have direct flights to Lhasa. Train is at least a 20 hours’ ride, even though many cities are running trains to Lhasa, most people take the train from Xining to Lhasa.

Train tickets can be booked 30 days in advance, early reservation is necessary. You can book it on China Railway Official Website http://www.12306.cn, or through other intermediary website such as http://ctrip.com. We provide train tickets reservatoin service too. 

You can get the tourist vehicle arranged by your tour ageny, or drive on your own to Tibet through Sichuan, Yunnan, Qinghai, Xinjiang in China, and Gyirong and Hilsa in Nepal.

Money in Tibet

As rest of China, Renminbi(RMB) is the main currency.

In Lhasa, very few restaurants, hotels and shopping malls accept foreign credit and debit card. You are suggested to bring the cash and get it exchanged to RMB from Bank of China before Tibet or when you arrive in Lhasa. Some ATMs in Lhasa, Shigatse, Tsedang, Nyinchi, Gyirong are possible to withdraw cash too. 

It generally costs around 100$ to 150$ per day joining our small group tours. The others not included in the package are your transport to and out of Lhasa- 150$ to 470$ for one way trip. Other meals(breakfast included)- 5$ to 10$ each meal. Tips for the guide and driver- 5$ to 10$ per day. And personal expense.

Cellphone and Internet Access in Tibet

There are three ways. One is to open international roaming in China from your home mobile carrier, so that you can make and receive phone calls and messages. Second is to get a Chinese SIM card to receive phone calls and messages, also make sure your card has a package with free internet to use. The last is to use Wi-Fi, in Tibet big cities like Lhasa and Shigatse, wifi is very common to find in hotels and restaurants. Do expect unstable signals and no wifi in remote areas if you travel long.

In China, you can’t access google, gmail(other google related products), Facebook, Skype, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube. Hotmail works good, Whatsapp has no problem to use too, only you can’t load the pictures on it. To solve the problems as above, you can purchase VPN service early in advance.

Altitude Sickness in Tibet

Moderate exercise at least four months before your departure will be helpful. Generally, an hour of walking, three to four times per week would be considered a good conditioning to be comfortable walking stairs, and moving around the different sites. The other is to bring pills like diamox, it can speed up part of the acclimatization process, and help to relieve the symptoms. Some people also try local medicine such as hongjingtian pills/liquid. Lastly, ascend slowly. Acclimatizing one or two day in Lhasa is recommended before proceeding to a higher altitude. Also remember to drink more water, avoid alcohol and strenuous activities during the trip.

Once landed in Lhasa, 75% of the tourists will experience mild altitude sickness, the symptoms includes headache, fatigue, nausea etc. Normally you will feel better after one or two days’ stay in Lhasa(3650m) or other place with lower altitude. If the sickness is getting worse, don’t ascend until you feel better. We are 24 hours reachable if you need to be sent to hospital for further checkup or treatment. 

Safety in Tibet

Tibet is very safe to travel. You see policemen and checkups almost everywhere. For the regular tour routes, the road is all well paved with strict speed control. You can join our small group tour, experienced guide, driver, and everything else are taken care of by the agency. All you need to do is just to relax, enjoy the trip, and make friends from all over the world!

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