Our tours/treks are based on entry and exit from Kathmandu. However you can enter from parts of mainland China, Beijing and Chengdu as well.
AIR CHINA (CA) is the only airline currently operating flights between Kathmandu & Lhasa sector. This flight offers panoramic view of Mt. Everest, Mt. Makalu and many others Himalayan giants. M/S China Air operates regular flights between Kathmandu & Lhasa sector as follows:
A traveler should bear with him/her a passport with validity residual no less than six months. Make sure that it has plenty of blank pages for visas, entry and reentry stamps and extensions. Besides, holding other ID’s like student card or driving license will be an advantage. Loosing passport in Tibet is very bad, as you have to go to Beijing to get new one.
All tourists visiting Tibet requires valid China visa & a special Alien Travel Permit, which they can obtain only by joining tours organized by recognized travel/tour agencies. Those who arrive in Kathmandu with a Chinese visa issued by Chinese Consulates outside of Kathmandu will find it useless for entry into Tibet.
There is no minimum group size requirement for traveling into Tibet. As long as one is traveling in an organized tour visa will be issued for even individuals. Please note Tibet visa regulations often change & hence given information may not be true at the time when you travel. Please check with us or with concerned Chinese Embassies in your respective countries for latest visa regulation rules about visiting Tibet before making your travel plans.
Diplomatic passport holders must get clearance from Beijing for travel into Tibet, which often takes long time. It is advisable to travel on non-diplomatic passports, if you have one.
We require at least 7 days notice to process your Tibet visa via Lhasa & at least 4 days in Kathmandu for the Chinese Embassy to handle your passport. Consular section of the Chinese Embassy is open for business between 10-12 am on Monday, Wednesday & Friday only. Current visa fee is USD 200 for USA Nationals & USD 116 for others.
There is no prohibition on still & video cameras, tape recorders or any other electronic gear for personal use as long as they are declared in the customs declaration form at the point of entry. Export of art objects dating back prior to 1959 are forbidden & may be detained.
In current years, many tourist class hotels have sprung up in bigger cities such as Lhasa, Gyangtse & Shigatse that offer quality accommodation. There is also a new deluxe 5 Star Grand Brahmaputra Hotel in Lhasa. In the smaller towns, however, the accommodation facilities are still quite basic. And during the peak holiday seasons in July & August there is often difficulty in getting rooms. We categorize our tours into 3 types deluxe, standard & budget based on the available hotels.
Meals & Drinks in Tibet:
Tibet has only a handful of towns, and Tibetan cuisine is not exactly the most varied in the world. It is useful to carry, anything that can be brewed with hot water. Instant coffee, drinking chocolate, tea (bags), soup cubes, drink power and powdered milk, salami, fruits, breads, instant noodles, vegemite, nuts and raisins, chocolate, dry foods and biscuits.
Renmbi, the people’s money used by millions of Chinese every day, circulates in notes of 1, 2, 5 10 and 50 Yuan; 1, 2 and 5 Jiao; 1, 2 and 5 fen. There are also coins for 1, 2 and 5 fen. With the Chinese Currency, Renminbi; one Yuan is divided into 10 Jiao; into 10 fens.
Those with chronic health problems should consult a doctor before making tour plans. Most people visiting Tibet rarely suffer more than mild discomfort before getting acclimatized. Suggested remedial events:
Weather in Tibet:
Tibet lies above 3,000m. It not astonishingly has a harsh climate. However, there are at least two separate climatic regions. One of which compromises the high plateau North and West of the Yarlung Tsang Po valley and South of the Kun Lun and Altun Shan mountain ( some 75% of the land area of Tibet) & other, the Yarlung Tsang Po & associated valleys (including Lhasa), Which are significantly lower, & contain all of Tibet’s main inhabitants centers.
The first region is mainly uninhabited and in winter is dry extremely cold. In summer, rain and snowstorms are common. Especially in the wild central section. The second region has a rather different climate. Tibet region in summer (from June to September) there is plenty of sunshine & blue skies, but the monsoon often makes its way across the Himalayas (Particularly in the south-east & some rain & cold must be expected. The day time temperature comfortable (about 20 to 25 C. in Lhasa and 18 C. in Mt. Kailash and the night are rather cold. In spring and autumn (April/May, October) the weather is generally dry and clear, maximum temperatures around 17-22 in Lhasa and 10-16 C. in Kailash.
All travelers’ visiting Tibet are strongly recommended to provide for their own trip insurance at home that adequately covers for medical, emergency rescue expenses, trip cancellations or any other eventual mishaps. Our field staffs are adequately insured by the company that covers for medical assistance, accidents or deaths.
Clothing & Accessories
Warm clothing is essential throughout but more specially from October to April. In general dressing in layers is recommended. Few change of clothes such as shirt, sweater, jacket & cotton inner linings with tops & bottoms, comfortable walking shoes, pair of pants should suffix. During the month of October to April more heavy woolen or down clothing & boots will be necessary.
Other recommended accessories – water bottle, water purification tabs, chopstick, suntan lotion, utility knife, flash light, and battery operated shavers, dusk mask or bandana, medicine for common colds, headache, fever, stomach disorders & diamox for altitude sickness. A good Tibet guidebook by Lonely Planet or the Rough Guide & a route map is strongly recommended.
For camping/trekking trips we recommend:
Best Time to Visit Tibet:
Even though the high altitude of the Tibetan Plateau, the daytime temperatures are actually quite mild. Between April and November the average temperature ranges form 15-25 degrees Celsius and the skies are usually clear and blue. From July to August though there can be the odd shower during the day. The nights, however, can be very cold and temperatures can drop below 0 degrees Celsius. During the day a light shirt or jumper and lightweight pants will be fit, but a warm fleece or down jacket is recommended for the evenings.
The best time of year for overland tours in Tibet is from April to November and for treks and Mt. Kailash tour from April to the beginning of October.
Do’s and Don’ts when you are travelling in Tibet