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Tibet trip notes

Trip Notes

1. Tibet Entry Permit

You need a Tibet Entry Permit and it is included in the tour price. Send your passport and China visa copies to us 20 days in advance, and we will deal with your permit once you book a Tibetan tour with us. In our experience, we can virtually guarantee to get your permit when Tibet is open to foreign travelers.

2. Travel in Winter (November to February)

Lhasa’s average winter temperature is around 10°C during the daytime. You won’t have a problem with travel in the city of Lhasa. Many local people come back to towns in winter. It’s a great time for clear skies, hotel discounts, and fewer tourists.

3. Guiding

Our English-speaking guides are natives with good knowledge of Tibetan culture, history, and Buddhism. And most of them are trained to offer Western standard service.

4. Food and Accommodation

Food — Enjoy some local Tibetan food on your trip.

Hotel — You will stay in a deluxe room in the Shangri-la Hotel, one of the best 5-star hotels in Lhasa. To make sure you are warm enough at night is necessary as Tibet is very chilly in the evening. The comfortable hotels like Shangri-la Hotel offer you a trouble-free sleep.

The hotel’s restaurant is a good place serving Tibetan, Nepalese, and Chinese food with comfortable conditions.

5. Altitude Sickness

Nearly all tourists entering Tibet experience altitude sickness. For some the effects are strong, but for most it is just an inconvenience. Before your trip, ask your doctor for suggestions, and bring some medicine in case.

Lhasa is at an altitude of 3,650 meters (12,000 ft). You may experience further altitude sickness in the Potala Palace and Drepung Monastery, which have higher altitudes.

Shangri-la Hotel has doctors and oxygen bags on hand. If you have any problems, ask the hotel staff or your guide for help. NB: the hotel doctor is expensive. We offer free oxygen bag in the car.

6. What to Pack

Seek medical advice about altitude effects and pack any medicine you might need. Sunglasses, snow glasses, hat, lip balm, sun block, walking boots, and down jackets are recommended.

7. Getting There and Returning

There are many discount flights to Lhasa in winter. Our travel advisors are glad to book a flight for you.We suggest you take a flight arriving in Lhasa in the morning. Morning flights are more likely to be on time. A flight takes around 2 hours from Chengdu, Xi’an, Chongqing, or Kunming, or around 5 hours from Beijing or Shanghai.

Trains: There are direct trains to Lhasa from Beijing and Shanghai(over 40 hours), it’s much easier to get tickets in winter than peak time. If you are interested in take a train to Lhasa, we suggest you take the train from Xi’an or Xining because the best scenery is not until 10 hours from Lhasa. A ticket from Xi’an to Lhasa is around 1300 RMB and a ticket from Xining is around 1000 RMB including a commission charge. We can book a soft berth compartment if you don’t want to share a compartment with others.

We suggest you take a train out of Tibet, or take a train from Xining or Xi’an to Lhasa, as there is a higher possibility of successful booking. It takes about 25 hours from Xining or Lanzhou. We can book a soft berth compartment if you don’t want to share a compartment with others.

8. Extensions

Please feel free to ask your trip advisor to make itinerary changes and even extend your tour while you’re planning it. We also offer tours to other parts of Tibet and China. If you want to visit Yamdrok Lake and Shigatse, Tsetang, or the Nyingchi area, you need to extend your tour by 2–3 days for each destination. Other areas in Tibet are not recommended in winter. You cannot extend your stay once in Tibet.

9. Disadvantages of Winter Travel

Roads to Nam Lake and Mount Everest are likely to be blocked by snow after mid November until late March. Other parts of Tibet outside Lhasa and southeast Tibet are very chilly. Travelers should avoid Nagqu, ALi, Zangdong, and Amdo areas.
Some hotels and restaurants will be closed, but it won’t influence choices much as there are few tourists.
Altitude sickness might be worse, as oxygen levels decrease with temperature and increased wind speed, however this can be combated if you take a bit longer to acclimatize.
10. Transport

Private comfortable car/van and experienced and careful local drivers ensure the road conditions in Lhasa will be as small a problem as possible. The journeys to some parts of Tibet are bumpy on rugged roads. Some roads are strictly limited to speeds of 30km/h (20 mph). Our drivers drive carefully and slowly. The longest drive commonly undertaken is the 7–9-hour journey to Mt. Everest Base Camp.

11. Booking

Take the time to apply for your Tibet Entry Permit into consideration. It’s best to book a tour with us at least 30 days before your tour starts.

Deposit: If you book a Tibet tour 30 days before departure, you are required to pay 10% deposit in advance; if you book a Tibet tour within 30 days before departure, you are required to pay in full in advance.

Cancellation: You can cancel the tour up to 14 days before departure.

12. Money Exchange

We recommend bringing enough cash for your Lhasa trip. If you run out of cash, the Bank of China can exchange money. However, branches of the Bank of China are much smaller and fewer than in other cities in China.
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  •  tibetbest@vip.163.com
  • Beijing Youth International Holiday Travel Service, Beijing, China
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