Tibet Travel General FAQs

1. Are independent travelers allowed in Tibet?

Independent travel has been prohibited in Tibet since 2008, so all the travelers should come part of an organized tour group or a private tour from a local Tibet based agency, because all foriegn travelers should have the Tibet travel permit to travel into Tibet, so only the local Tibet based travel agencies has the authority to obtain the related permits that issues from the Tibet Tourism Bureau and other corresponding departments.

2. Do you sell Tibet permits separately?

No travel agency in Tibet sell Tibet Travel permits separately, because it is against the local tourism policy, but when you book your tour with us we will arrange all the travel permits for your group according to the tour.

3. When is the best time to travel to Tibet?

Generally speaking, from April to October are the best time to visit Tibet, as in these months, we have a warm and beautiful sceneries. However, having a winter tour from November to February can be pleasant if you are interested to experience local activity and culture. by travel Tibet during the winter, you can avoid the tourist crowds and costs are comparatively much cheaper. Nevertheless, you can experience the mass of local pilgrims around the monasteries and temples, because winter is a best travel season for Tibetan pilgrims. Choosing the best season to travel to Tibet mainly depends on the tour you are interested in. If you are interested in Mt.Everest Tours, the best time to visit would be in May, June, the beginning of July, September and October. In these months, EBC is warmer and clear, blue skies allow you to view the mighty peak of Mt. Everest clearly. If you are interested in Mt. Kailash and far Western part of Tibetan plateau, then May, June, July and September is the best time to travel. In these months it is warm and you will have no rain during your Kailash trekking days; you will also have the opportunity to see local pilgrims doing the Kora (trek). If you are interested in experiencing Tibetan festivals, then August is the best time to travel, in which there are numbers of popular festivals both ritual and cultural celebrated in Tibet. and best time for Trekking in Tibet is from May to Sept.

4. When is the high or peak travel season?

The peak travel season is from May-September, these are the best and most popular months to visit. The rainy season starts at the end of July and lasts almost all of August; fortunately, most of the rain falls during the night and there is not much heavy rainfall in the day. Despite the rain, there are many festivals in August you can't miss if you are interest in Tibetan culture and tradition.

The tourism seasons in Tibet are defined below:

High season: June 1st to October 30th

Shoulder season: March 1st to May 30th and November

Low season: November 1st to February 30th

High season marks the best time of the year to travel in Tibet; the climate is comfortable, there are many festivals, local activities, holidays and lush green surroundings. During this period, all the hotels and airlines will be at their busiest making traveling costs higher than the rest of the year.

If you are taking a train in Tibet, you should try to avoid the first week of May (May Days Holiday), the first week in October (China National Day), and late January/early February (Chinese Spring Festival). Train Tickets during these times are heavily booked by mass Chinese tourists and you will probably have to pay an expensive surcharge to acquire the tickets or you might not even be able to get the tickets at all

5. How to get into Tibet?

There is only one international flight to Tibet, which is from Nepal (Kathmandu), but China domestic flights are available from most of the major cities in mainland China like Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Kunming, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Zhongdian(Shangrila), Xian and so on.
If you like to take the Qinghai - Tibet train, then trains are available from Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Xian, Lanzhou, Chongqing and Xining, but trains from Xian are comparatively harder to get because it is not an originating station and all trains passing through are in transition, so from Xining is comparatively the easiest and shortest train ride.

If you are interested in Overland Tours in Tibet, you will only be able to travel from Chengdu, Qinghai and Yunan from within China or from Kathmandu in Nepal. The overland drive takes longer but can add an element of adventure. When you decided your traveling dates, please check with us regarding the availability since parts of the Chengdu-Tibet and Yunnan-Tibet routes are frequently closed due to political sensitivity and landslides during the monsoon season.

6. What are the easiest gateway cities to Tibet?

Flying from mainland China is the easiest way to getting into Tibet. If you want to take the train to Tibet, Xining is the best option as the train from Xining takes only 24hrs and affords all the best scenery through the northern plateau, it also cut through the might Thangula range and snatch the highest railway in the world.

7. How can I book a Tibet tour?

In order to make it ease, we have categorized three way to book a tour based on your requirements. 1. Those who don’t enough knowledge of Tibet or not very sure what to do in Tibet, then we have Tailor-made Form that require to fill some basic information and we will customize a tour that meet your interest. 2. Those who know little about Tibet and having a rough travel plan, we have Design Your Own Tour Forms, from where you can choose different destinations and activities, then we will emend it in the best way to achieve your requirement. 3. Those who have clear Tibet travel plan can choose one of our well designed Tibet Private Package Tours and summit it to get a quote.

8. Can I have some free days in Tibet?

Currently it is not allowed to have free day exploration in Tibet and at least you should have your guide with you to explore in Tibet.

9. What currency is used in Tibet?

The Chinese RenMingBi (RMB), also called Chinese Yuan (CNY) is the currency using in Tibet. You can’t use other foreign currencies for shopping, but the Bank of China accepts credit cards and travelers checks in exchange for cash. You can also withdraw cash from ATM in Tibet and it is easy to find in bigger cities like Lhasa, Shigatse, Tsedang, Gyantse, Nyintri and so on.

10. Can I withdraw cash from the local banks in Tibet?

Credit cards such as American Express, Diners Club, JCB, Master and Visa are accepted at the local, large hotels and tourist stores. You also can withdraw cash from the Bank of China ATM machines found easily in Lhasa, Shigatse and Tsedang. Sometimes, the China Constructional Bank also works with these credit cards, but a $2-4 (USD) surcharge is applied for each transaction. Obviously, there will be no ATMs or banks in rural villages, so when we visit you'll need to carry some cash with you.

11. What do I do when approached by beggars?

Religious beggars are an accepted part of society in Tibet. Giving money or food to a pilgrim is considered an act of merit. Donations of one cent to one Yuan (Chinese currency) are appropriate. But many young beggars in the street are professional beggars and you should wave them off as the locals do, Giving money to these young beggars discourages their own self-reliance.

12. What should I bring for the plateau weather?

Tibet's high altitude and clear atmosphere allow solar radiation to strike the earth with unusual intense radiation. It's very easy to get sunburnt here so bring sunscreen with a high SPF, a good quality pair of sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. Calamine lotion is great for a mild sunburn. Having a good moisturizer is also helpful as the dry air may cause your lips and the tissue in your nostrils to crack. A detailed Packing List can be found in the logistic guideline that we will send you before your trip.

13. What should I concern during my stay in Tibet?

Tibetan people are very kind and friendly, but there are some things that you should be aware of:

·         Do not take photos of anyone without their permission; always ask permission first!

·         Do not discuss sensitive topics like political matters!

·         Do not wear hats or caps when you enter a chapel!

·         Do not touch Buddha statues or ritual offerings inside of a monastery!

·         Do not kiss or hug in public places, especially in monasteries!

·         Do not step across someone’s feet, cups or cooking gears!

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