Tibet Travel Information
Tibet is indeed a very rich and beautiful land, located on the highest plateau on Earth at an average altitude over 4000 meter. It is nowadays the South west frontier of China. Within its borders there are more than fifteen peaks above 7000 m. among which eleven are over 8000m. It borders with Sichuan, Yunnan, Qinghai and Xinjiang; in the North, Nepal, India, Sikkim, Bhutan Burma and Kashmir form its Southern borders. The Tibet Autonomous Region with a population of over two million covers an area of 1.2 million sq. km.
Tibet has a long and complex history, written records have survived from the 7th Century A.D. however it is known that nomadic tribes populated Tibet as early as the 2nd Century B.C. and discoveries suggest a much longer history of human kind…More recent times have seen the invasion of China in 1959 and the inevitable dilution of Tibetan culture. Tibet however has proved over the years since, that its way of life has been able to withstand this influence.
Power of thought and life itself overcoming the modern ravages of politics.
The journey to unlock the complexities posed by this arid mass of discovery (almost the size of Europe) begins with probably the most dramatic flight in the world. From Kathmandu, you journey the huge backbone of the High Himalayas to land deep in the heart of the Tibetan plateau. A further two hours drive by road through barren wilderness Lhasa, the capital and home to the famous Potala Palace unfolds. Lhasa remains the major focus of Buddhist worship anywhere in the world, a place for the traveler to cast away any preconceptions he or she may have and join in Tibet’s journey of discovery along the way at least for a while.
You can travel to Tibet throughout the year but mid July through to the end of September is the best period. The temperature varies sharply from the south grassland to north plateau. The south is warm and rainy. Most rain falls during May to September. It is warm from June to August. The coldest months are from December to February and crossing over the passes becomes almost impossible. Below given is a table of average temperature, rainfall and sunshine hours in Tibet. Hotels/guesthouses have basic facilities and even a hotel in Lhasa may not meet your expectation. We always try to provide our clients a twin room but it may not always be possible. Sometime, because of weather factor or road condition, we may not be able to bring you to the hotel of our contract or rooms may be already sold out due to delay arrival and we may have to request you to adjust in whatever accommodation available at that moment. In Lhasa, Gyantse and Xigatse, you can expect twin room with attached toilet/shower but other places; you will have to adjust with common restroom facilities.
Electricity and hot water supply may be disrupted although the hotels of cities promise them.
Tibet is indeed a very rich and beautiful land, located on the highest plateau on Earth at an average altitude over 4000 meter. It is nowadays the South west frontier of China. Religion here has a strong Tibetan cultural flavor, while keeping the original basic doctrines of Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhism has a great influence in the daily life of the Tibetan people.
From Lhasa, the capital of Tibet Autonomous Region, to the pastoral villages spread throughout the grasslands; there are many temples with golden roofs shinning under the sun.
Another important symbol of Tibetan Buddhism is the pilgrims who prostrate themselves every nine steps on their way from their hometowns to the holy city of Lhasa. Pilgrims can also be seen throughout Tibet visiting religious sites to erase their sins and accumulate virtue.
The monasteries are also the places where monks study Buddhism and where religion, art and customs have coalesced into one whole in Tibet.
There are two kinds of permits issued for traveling in Tibet: the entry permit (TTB permit, equivalent of a visa for Tibet) and the Alien travel permit (PSB permit). Access Tibet Tour provides both types of permit.
TTB Permit – Tibet Entry Permit
When you fly into Lhasa you will need to show this permit when checking in at the airport. Also, in order to buy a flight to Lhasa in the first place you will need to show this permit. TTB permits are also needed by groups traveling by Land Cruiser, but this will be arranged by the travel agency organizing the trip. Following is a picture of a TTB permit (click on the picture to enlarge):
For centuries Tibet has fascinated travelers from around the world. Remote and once difficult to reach, it lies at an average height of nearly 5000m above sea level in the world’s highest region. This Himalayan area is, of course, home to the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest or Qomolangma, as the Tibetans know it. The stunning views of countless, snow-capped mountains are unforgettable, as are the beautiful clear waters of lakes such as Yandrok Lake which the Tibetan people regard as a holy site.
The Tibetan Plateau is also the source of some of the world’s greatest rivers – the Yangtse, the Yellow River, the Ganges, and the Mekong, among others, all start their long journeys here. This is also the site of the highest hot springs on earth at Yangbajain.
The isolation of Tibet has meant that it developed its own unique culture, and when Buddhism was introduced in the seventh century AD, this too developed into a particularly Tibetan form known as Lamaism. The Tibetan people are very devout and all across Tibet are temples and monasteries, many of which are “university monasteries” where Buddhist monks not only spend time in medication and contemplation, but in actively studying Buddhist scriptures and debating points of Buddhist thinking. The most important include the Lhasa’s famous Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery where the famous debates are a daily attraction.Tashilumpo Monastery in Shigatse is of great importance, too. All these monasteries hold Tibetan treasures and Buddhist icons of huge value and beauty.
Tibet’s most famous building, the Potala Palaces towers over Lhasa and was the home of the Dalai Lamas. It too is of great importance not only as a palace, but as a Buddhist study centre and shrine. No visitor to Tibet can miss it and think they know Tibet.
Living in such a remote and, away from the main cities, an often harsh country has made the people resilient, but dedicated to simple living. Their unique cuisine has to be sampled and the best place for this is in the small restaurants in the Barkhor Street area of Lhasa. This is the capital’s old quarter and remains very traditional.
But this is not to suggest the austerity of life at such an altitude means the Tibetan people don’t enjoy celebrations! A full list of festivals would be more than this short article can deal with. Most are connected to Tibetan Buddhism.
Typical is the Shoton Festival or Yoghurt Festival, held in August to mark the end of the monks’ summer retreat. Traditionally, the monks would be given gifts of yoghurt – a prized foodstuff in Tibet. Today, it is celebrated with feasting, singing and dancing. People gather in the park of Lhasa’s Norbulingka Park and picnic in groups sheltered from the wind by their colourful hanging walls of rugs and printed canvas.But the most important festival is the secular Tibetan New Year,which is celebrated with carnivals, horse races, archery and, of course, more feasting. Other important Festivals include the Harvest Festival and the month long Bathing Festival in which people engage in ritual bathing to wash away passion, greed and jealousy and attempt to abandon ego.
Whatever time of year, there is always something going on to capture the imagination of visitors to this unique and beautiful land. Want to see more details about Tibet attractions? Just take a Tibet Tour with Access Tibet Tour.
01. Simikot Kailash Dharma Yatra (June, July and August) —29 Days
Day 01 Arrival in Kathmandu airport and transfer to Hotel.
Day 02 Free day in Kathmandu sightseeing Hotel.
Day 03 Flight: KTM – Nepalgunj transfer to Hotel.
Day 04 Flight: Nepalgunj – Simikot Trek to Dharapari, Camp.
Day 05 Trek to Kermi, Camp.
Day 06 Trek to Yalbang, Camp
Day 07 Trek to Muchu, Camp
Day 08 Trek to Yari, Camp
Day 09 Trek to Sip, Camp
Day 10 Drive to Taklakot, camp
Day 11 Drive to Manosarovar visit Rakshak Tal, camp
Day 12 Hike to Tseti Drive to Darchen, camp
Day 13 Trek to Dri ra Phuk, camp
Day 14 Trek to Zuthul Phuk, Camp
Day 15 Trek end and drive to Tirthapuri, Camp
Day 16 Drive to Toling, camp
Day 17 Visit Tsaparang, overnight in Toling, camp
Day 18 Drive to Ali / Shiquqn He
Day 19 Drive to Gertse – camp
Day 20 Drive to Tsochen – camp
Day 21 Drive to Lhotse, camp
Day 22 Drive to Shigatse visit Market, Hotel (BLD)
Day 23 Visit Tashilunpo, Drive to Gyantse, Hotel (BLD)
Day 24 Visit Khumbum Drive to Lhasa, Hotel (BLD)
Day 25 Lhasa: S/S – Sera, Drepung, Potala, Jokhang, hotel (BLD)
Day 26 Lhasa: S/S – Barkhor, Norbulingka, Hotel (BLD)
Day trip to Gyanden if possible Sightseeing in Lhasa, hotel (BLD)
Day 27 Flight Lhasa – KTM, transfer to Hotel (BLD)
Day 28 Free day in Kathmandu, Relax with long hour Spa experience and in the evening seven star fare well diners.
Day 29 Final departure to destination.
02. Lhasa Paradise tour——-6 Days
Day 01: Kathmandu to Gonggar to Lhasa.
Day 02: Lhasa Sightseeing Tour After breakfast full day sightseeing of Potala Palace, Ramoche Monastery and & Norbu Linka. Potala Palace, this legendary palace built atop a single hill is synonymous with Tibet by the first foremost king Songtsen Gompa. Norbu Linka meaning ‘Treasure Park’ covers an area of around 360000 sq. m. and is considered to be the biggest man made garden in Tibet. After Sightseeing you will be transferred to hotel for your overnight at hotel in Lhasa.
Day 03: Lhasa Sightseeing Tour After breakfast full day sightseeing of Sera Monastery, Jokhang Monastery, Barkhor Market. Sera Monastery, 5 Kms north of Lhasa, Sera setting is one of Lhasa’s prettiest monasteries. Jokhang Temple, situated in the heart of Old Lhasa, it houses Tibet’s most precious religious relic, a golden Shakyamuni Buddha which was brought as a gift by the Chinese Princess Wen Cheng on the occasion of her wedding to the Tibetan King, Songtsen Gompo. Barkhor Market place, which is the religious and social focus of Lhasa. After sightseeing you will be transferred to hotel for your overnight stay.
Day 04: Lhasa extra days sightseeing
Day 05: Lhasa – Gonggar – Kathmandu
Day 06: Full Day Kathmandu valley sightseeing.
Day 07: Final departure to destination.
04. Monumental to Zhangmu tour——–8 Days
Day 01: Kathmandu /Lhasa-Tsedang Morning you will fly for about an hour over the panoramic Himalayan Ranges to the capital of Tibet. “Lhasa”. On arrival you will be met by the local representative and driven to Tsedang (90 km /1.5 hrs). Tsedang sits on the south bank in the middle section of the YarlungTsangbo River with a moderate climate at an altitude of 3,600 meters.
Day 02: Tsedang Sightseeing of Yambulaghang and Samye. Samye Monastery was the first Buddhist monastery to be founded in Tibet. It is also notable as the site of the “Great Debate” (792-794) between the Indian Mahayanists and Chinese Chán (Zen) Buddhists.Samye is famous for its sacred mandala design: the central temple symbolizes the legendary Mount Meru, center of the universe. It is a popular pilgrimage destination for Tibetan Buddhists, some of whom travel on foot for weeks to reach it. Overnight at designated Hotel.
Day 03: Lhasa Sightseeing tour after breakfast proceed for full day sightseeing of Potala Palace, Ramoche Monastery and & Norbu lingka. Potala Palace, this legendary palace built atop a single hill is synonymous with Tibet by the first foremost king Songtsen Gompa. Norbu lingka meaning ‘Treasure Park’ covers an area of around 360000 sq. m. and is considered to be the biggest man made garden in Tibet. After sightseeing you will be transferred to hotel for you to stay overnight at hotel in Lhasa.
Day 04: Lhasa After breakfast, proceed for full day sightseeing of Potala Palace, Ramoche Monastery and & Norbulinka. Potala Palace, this legendary palace built atop a single hill is synonymous with Tibet by the first foremost king Songtsen Gompa. Norbu lingka meaning ‘Treasure Park’ covers an area of around 360000 sq. m. and is considered to be the biggest man made garden in Tibet..
Day 05: Lhasa After breakfast, proceed for full day sightseeing of Sera Monastery, Jokhang Monastery, Barkhor Market. Sera Monastery, 5 Kms north of Lhasa, Sera setting is one of Lhasa’s prettiest monasteries.
Day 06: Lhasa/Kathmandu (By Flight) Transfer to airport (90 km) to connect return flight for Kathmandu.
Day 07: Full day Kathmandu Valley tour, in the evening seven star fare well diners in Nepalese classical restaurant.
Day 08: Final departure to your destination.
05. Lhasa Everest Base camp Lhasa tour——8 Days
Day 01: Arrival in Lhasa Gonggar Airport and transfer to Lhasa city Hotel. The Tibetan tour guide will meet you at the Lhasa Gonggar Airport and greet you with a white scarf (called Kada) in a Tibetan traditional way. On the way, you will see the big Nietang Buddha engraved in a mountain wall and upon arrival, just take rest for high altitude acclimatization.
Day 02: Sightseeing in Lhasa City: Full day Sightseeing in Lhasa which covers the most beautiful splendor in Tibet – Potala Palace, the spiritual center of Tibetan Buddhism – Jokhang Temple and the famous bustling Barkhor Street around the temple.
Day 03: Drive from Lhasa to Gyantse about 270km crossing the Khamba la Pass(4800m) and the Karo La Pass(5010m.), visit Monasteries and superb Khumbu Stupa and forward to Shigatse the second largest city in Tibet
Day 04: Shigatse-Tingri (Shegar): After breakfast, we’ll visit the foremost attraction in Shigatse – Tashilumpo Monastery and the new palace of Panchen Lama there, and drive about 250km to Tingri via Gantsola Mountain Pass (5220m).
Day 05: Tingri-Mount Everest Base Camp: Tibet Himalayas Travel is about 100km from Tingri to the highest monastery in the world – Rongbuk Monastery and the Mount Everest Base Camp where you will have the life-long experience with this highest mountain in the world..You can hike the 8km from Rongbuk Monastery to the Everest Base Camp for about 2hrs.
Note: The accommodation at the Everest reserve is poor (dorm type without private bathroom / toilet, etc.) so if you wish, we can also drive back to Tingri (Shegar) on this day for better accommodation.
Day 06: Everest Base Camp-Shigatse: Drive about 350km back to Shigatse and relax.
Day 07: Shigatse-Lhasa: Drive to Lhasa along the northern route via Yarlung Tsangpu River (Brahmaputra). The rest time will be free for you to explore the old city.
Day 08: Departure from Tibet: This day you will transfer to the Gonggar Airport and help you board the plane to your next destination. Your wonderful Everest tour ends.
06. Tibet Seven Star tours——10 Days
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu airport – Kodari – Zhangmu – NyalamWithin these three days, the essential documentation and visa work will be completed for Tibet visit. You check out of the hotel early in the morning and leave straight for Kodari which is the Nepal China Border. After clearing all the immigration formalities, you will cross the friendship bridge into the city of Zhangmu. Our representative will meet you at the Tibet side from where you will be driven further to Zhangamu and transferred to the hotel. Overnight stay at the hotel
Day 02: Nyalam – Tengri After breakfast, we head straight for Xeger. En route we will cross Nyalam Pass and Lulung Pass. The journey is bit lengthy and takes around 8 hrs continuous driving to reach there but this 250 km stretch will not at all be boring or tiring. The stretch is one of the most scenic in entire Tibet. Get the best views of Himalayas and even Mt. Everest that will leave you spell bound. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel.
Day 03: Tengri – Shigatse This day too is set for long drive, you will be taken in a coach to Shigatse which is around 244 km away. It will take around 8 hrs to cover the entire distance. On arrival, check into the hotel. Overnight stay at the hotel
Day 04: Shigatse – Gyantse Early Morning, after breakfast, visit the famous Tashilhunpo Monastery and the free market at Shigatse. After that drive towards Gyantse which is around 90 km away. Estimated time for the journey is around 2 hrs. You will reach Gyantse by afternoon and directly check in at the hotel. There explore the Palkhor Monastery and Kumbum Stupa. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 05: Gyantse – Lhasa Wake up to the rising sun and get ready for another day of sight full journey to the Capital City of Lhasa. Passing through Karo Pass, Kamba Pass and Yamdruk Lake, we reach Lhasa after a journey of 8 hrs and covering an area of 260 km. Transfer to the hotel for the overnight stay.
Day 06 : Lhasa Sightseeing Tour -After the best Tibetan cuisine breakfast, brace yourself up for witnessing few of the most beautiful architectural wonders in entire Tibet. Visit the famous Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and the busy Barkhor street. Back to the hotel for a refreshing night sleep.
Day 07: Lhasa Sightseeing Tour-The day is again set aside for sightseeing in the wonderful Lhasa City. Explore the fascinating sites of Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery and Norbulingka. If time remains, you can always go out looking for unique Tibetan items like Thangka Paintings and famous Tibetan knife. Return back to hotel for the overnight stay.
Day 08: Lhasa – Gonggar – Kathmandu – Drive from Lhasa to Kathmandu via Gonggar look around Gonger Then Drive continues to Kathmandu.
Day 09: Full Day Kathmandu Valley tour.
Day 10: Final departure from Kathmandu to your destination.
07. Simikot Kailash Via Manasarovar Tour
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu airport and then Transfer to the designated Hotel/Resort with BLD Plan.
Day 02: Full day Free, Kathmandu valley explores tours.
Day 03: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj and transfer to designated Hotel with D/B Plan.
Day 04: Fly from Nepalgunj to Simikot Trek to Dharapari, Camp.
Day 05: Trek to Kermi, Camp.
Day 06: Trek to Yalbang, Camp.
Day 07: Trek to Muchu, Camp.
Day 08: Trek to Yari, Camp.
Day 09: Trek to Sip, Camp.
Day 10: Drive to Taklakot, camp.
Day 11: Drive to Manosarovar visit Rakshak Tal, camp.
Day 12: Trek to Gosul Gompa, back by Jeep to Tschiu Gompa, camp.
Day 13: Drive to Tirthapuri, camp.
Day 14: Drive to Toling – visit Tsaparang, camp.
Day 15: Drive to Darchen, camp.
Day 16: Trek to Dri ra Phuk, Camp.
Day 17: Trek to Zuthul Phuk , Camp.
Day 18: End of Trek and drive to Tirthapuri, Camp.
Day 19: Drive to Hor – visit Seralung, Camp.
Day 20: Drive to Paryang, Camp.
Day 21: Drive to Saga Camp.
Day 22: Drive to Zhangmu, Hotel with B/L/D Plan.
Day 23: Cross the border drive to KTM, transfer to Hotel with B/L/D Plan.
Day 24: Free day in Kathmandu Hotel with B/L/D Plan.
Day 25: Full day Kathmandu Valley exploration tour and in the evening seven star fare well diner in the Nepalese classical restaurant.
Day 26: Final Departure to destination.
08. Manasarovar Dharma Yatra tour By Helicopter——8 Days
Day 01: Arrival at Kathmandu and Transfer to the designed Hotel by our representative and stay Overnight at Hotel Radisson or Annapurna with B/L/D plan.
Day 02: Fly to Nepalgunj and Overnight at Hotel with D/B Plan.
Day 03: After having breakfast Early morning Fly to Simikot and further to Hilsa by helicopter and drive to Taklakot and Check- in hotel.
Day 04: Rest for acclimatization at Taklakot. Overnight at guest House.
Day 05: Drive to Manasarovar and Overnight at Guest House.
Day 06: Parikrama of Manasarovar and Drive to Sershong. Trek to Dirapuk and Overnight at Mud house or Camp.
Day 07: Trek to Dolma pass ,Trek to Zuthul puk and Overnight at Mud house or Camp.
Day 08: Trek to Darchen, Drive to Purang, Overnight at Guest House.
Day 09: Drive to Hilsa, Helicopter to Simikot, Fly to Nepalgung/Kathmandu.
Day 10: Full day Classical tour in Kathmandu Valley.
Day 11: Final shopping day in Kathmandu.
Day 12: Final departure to destination.
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