Home » Tibet Vacations » Tibet Travel Tips

Tibet Travel Tips

Tibet travel tips on money saving, personal safety, sightseeing, and enjoying your trip to the fullest from InfoHub suppliers and community members.

Tibet Group Visa in Nepal
Submitted by M21580
A "must" for visitors' Tibet tour from Kathmandu, Nepal. No mater whether you already have a Chinese Visa or not, you need to apply for a new Chinese Visa which is a group visa issued by the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu. The Group Visa is a type of China Entry Visa and is usually valid for 15-20 days.

International visitors should plan 4 days or more in Nepal for Group Visa application. Usually, visitors can ask the travel agency in Tibet to write a Invitation Letter for Group Visa application.
... view more
The detailed procedures to apply Tibet Group Visa in Nepal
1. Before visitors start their Tibet tour from Nepal at least 20 days, they should email the travel agency and send the scan copy of passport.
2. Then your travel agency will apply the Tibet Travel Permit from Tibet Tourism Bureau.
3. After getting it, your travel agency will send the scan copies of TTB permit and Invitation Letter to you.
4. You will hold your passport, scan copies of TTB permit and Invitation Letter to Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu to apply the Group Visa.
5. After 4 working days, you will get it.

How to Get Tibet Travel Permit
Submitted by M21580
Tibet Travel Permits (or Tibet Visa) are the necessary documents required for a tour to Tibet in additon to Chinese Visa. Tibet Travel Permits vary according to the places that travelers plan to visit, but the most basic one is the permit issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau. It is required as a must entry pass to Tibet for every foreign traveler.

As Tibet Tourism Bureau does not accept individual application for permits, international visitors must entrust a Tibet local travel agency to apply for Tibet Travel ... view more Permits. Before visitors start their Tibet tour at least 15 days, they should email the travel agency and send the photo copy of the passport and Chinese Visa. And then the travel agency will arrange the staff to Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB), Tibet Security Office and Frontier Defence Office for the record, and then get the permit from TTB after 7 working days.

After your travel agency get the permit, they will post the original permit document to you if you fly into Tibet, Or they will send the copy of permit document to you if you take the train to Tibet on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.

Photography in Tibet is a great enjoyment
Submitted by M21076
Although there are many professional photographers have spent a lot of time and energy in depth Tibet shooting, but there are many ordinary tourists that can get the super-duper pictures easily here, even just use the normal camera and just shoot at the buildings or sceneries. So, don't mind you are a professional or not. But if you love photography, please remember the following tips:

1. Take as many as possible with film, in accordance with the experience than the usual multi-band double film;
2. ... view more You'd better to avoid buying film in remote areas;
3. Take Multi-band back-up battery, because the low temperature in Tibet will greatly reduce the battery life;
4. Protect your camera, do not make it a long time in Tibet under the sun exposure;
5. You'd better take the lens with a UV mirror, it can protect the lens, at the same time get a little bluer sky;
6. If possible, bring a small desktop tripod and flash, the camera will give you bring a lot of fun;

When you are in Tibet, please bear in your mind that don't photograph someone if they don't want you to. Especially don't take photos during a prayer meeting. When you are going to take picture of the wall or pagoda, especially when using a flash, please ask permission to take the photos. Because the flash may hurt the cultural relics.

If you want to take the photos of really Tibet, you'd better to take a journey to Ngari, you will have a vivid impression of the desolation and abstruse of Tibet. If you want to take the natural scenery, you'd better visit the east of Tibet, Nyingchi area or south of Tibet, Mt. Everest.

Currency, Money & Credit Card
Submitted by M21076
The only place to change foreign currency and travellers check in Lhasa is the Bank of China, Tibet Branch, it is located at Lingkhor street, by the left of Potala palace. You can also change the money in Shigatse, Zhangmu or Purang and Ngari or at the airport on arrival.

You may also change the cash in some hotels, but the exchange rate may be lower in the bank, and besides, most of the currencies, Australia dollar, US dollar, UK pounds. Japan Yuan, the euro, etc are acceptable at the Bank of China, Tibet ... view more Branch.

You'd better take some travellers cheques before you go, because the exchange rate is higher than it is for cash. Travelers checks from the major companies such as Citibank, American Express are accepted here.

Credit Card: Credit cards in Western countries are quite popular, but in Tibet, just a few places accept, some top-end hotels in Lhasa, or Bank of China, Tibet Branch, the commission fee is about 3%. So far, our company don't accept credit card, too. You have to go to Bank of China to draw out the money first if you pay us in Tibet.

One of the most important reasons for visiting Tib
Submitted by M21076
It has been claimed and repeatedly echoed in the west that Tibetan culture is being ruined. In fact, ever since the early 1980s, great efforts have been made to rescue ancient classics and traditional cultural relics. A case in point is King Cesar, the 100,000-line epic has been orally passed down through history. Rescuing it has been one of the major projects undertaken by the state ever since the 1980s, and special organs have been set up for the purpose. Registered epic singers total over 40 people, including ... view more Zhaba (an old artist) and Yumei (a young woman artist from Nagqu Brasslands). Gambian Gyamco, he specialized in the study of King Gesar, was the director of the office of the King Gesa of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Over two decades, they recorded thousands of tapes. Based on this, over 3 million copies in 100-plus volumes of King Gesar in Chinese were published. In addition, close to 100 articles and dozens of works, were published. This proved to be an unprecedented cultural harvest in history.

Efforts made to gather and compile folk literature, opera, music and dance are also crowned with great success. Books published as a result include Collected Folk Songs of Tibet, Collected Folk Stories of Tibet, Collected Folk Sayings of Tibet, Collected Tibetan Music, Collected Tibetan Dances, and Tibetan Operas.

The Shoton Festival (also called Yoghourt Festival), the Ongkor (Harvest) Festival and some other traditional events have been restored, and become merged with the performance of Tibet opera, song and dances, and sports activities. During the national ethnic minority sports meet in 1999, the Tibetans astonished everyone with their achievements in various traditional items.

Traditional Tibetan paintings and sculptures have also been restored and carried forward, and a good contingent of young artists is cutting a brilliant figure in these arts.

Listed Tibetan taboos help you behave well in Tibe
Submitted by M21076
1. When they receive guests, no matter walking or talking, the Tibetans always ask the guests or the aged to be the first and use respectful remarks, for example, they add "la" after names to show respect and closeness. They abstain from call others’ names straightly. When they welcome and see off guests, they stoop with smiles on their faces. Inside the house, they have to sit cross-legged, and they should not straighten their legs and put soles of feet towards guests. They cannot glance this way and ... view more that. When receiving gifts, they use both hands. When presenting gifts, they bend down and raise the gifts above head with both hands. When proposing tea, toast and cigarette to guests, they present it with both hands and fingers cannot be put into the bowl.

2. The Tibetans abstain from killing living things. It is the biggest taboo of theirs. Buddhists are regulated strictly in this aspect. They are allowed to eat mutton and beef, but they don’t slaughter animals by themselves. The Tibetans absolutely abstain from eating donkey meat, horse meat and dog meat. The Tibetans in some areas don’t eat fish.

3. When having meals, they cannot fill food mouthfully and make a sound.

4. When drinking the buttered tea, the guest cannot accept it and drink until the host presents the buttered tea with both hands to him.

5. The Tibetans avoid spitting and clipping hands after one’s back as a taboo.

6. When seeing monasteries, mani stacks and stupas, people should turn from left to right. The people believing in the Bon Religion turn from right to left. People should not step over braziers and musical instruments.

Prevention of Altitude Illnesses
Submitted by M21076
Prevention of Altitude Illnesses:
Basically, there are two categories to prevent it, proper acclimatization and preventive medications.

1. Proper acclimatization:
- Do exercises to keep you good healthy condition before coming to Tibet
- Avoid catching a cold
- Make sure you did not have any serious problem with heart and lungs
- Less activities for the first several days in Tibet, walk slowly, drink more water
- Ascend to higher altitude gradually.

2. Preventive medications:
- Hong Jin Tian, a kind ... view more of traditional Tibetan medicine, comes from Plant, you can easily buy the aqua distilled from the Hong Jin Tian plant.

- Diamox (Acetazolamide), it allows you to breathe faster so that you metabolize more oxygen, thereby minimizing the symptoms caused by poor oxygenation. This is especially helpful at night when respiratory drive is decreased. Since it takes a while for Diamox to have an effect, it is advisable to start taking it 24 hours before you go to altitude and continue for at least five days at higher altitude. The recommendation of the Himalayan Rescue Association Medical Clinic is 125 mg. twice a day (morning and night). (The standard dose was 250 mg., but their research showed no difference for most people with the lower dose, although some individuals may need 250 mg.) Since Diamox is a sulfonamide drug, people who are allergic to sulfa drugs should not take Diamox. Diamox has also been known to cause severe allergic reactions to people with no previous history of Diamox or sulfa allergies.

- Dexamethasone (a steroid) is a prescription drug that decreases brain and other swelling reversing the effects of AMS. Dosage is typically 4 mg twice a day for a few days starting with the ascent. This prevents most symptoms of altitude illness. It should be used with caution and only on the advice of a physician because of possible serious side effects. It may be combined with Diamox.

Tips for Tibet Tour
Submitted by M20347
1. You need to make sure your travel agent is legal or illegal before you book the trip. Your travel agent should be reliable.

2. Tibet tour comes in a package, such as tour guide, transportation, accommodation, various permits, sightseeing and it’s entry fees for monastery and spots. We operate tours in Tibet group size 1 to 100 persons. 4, 8, 8, 12, 16, 20 are good numbers of group size to make a good deal.

3. a) If you are traveling to Tibet China side, you need to issue your Chinese visa at your ... view more country and send us your visa copy and passport copy rest of the job for entry and travel permits we will do it.

b) If you are traveling to Tibet from Nepal then do not apply Chinese visa. You just send us your minimum 6 months valid clear scan passport copy to start all the permits process once you are in Nepal then you need to fill up one visa form with passport size photo on it and need to handover your original passport to us then we will do the rest of visa work.

For more details please contact us.

Trekking Safety
Submitted by M15328
Trekking tips for Trekker's from Adventure Pilgrims Trekking Pvt. Ltd.

1. Don't walk alone. Accidents do happen even to experienced and strong people. Be sure that if one happens to you, that someone is with you to immediately get help. If you are leaving your companions, even briefly make sure they no where you are going and someone waits for you to return...this includes going off in the forest for a call of nature.

2. If you are part of a trekking group, make sure that the Guide or Group Leader ... view more knows your plan and ask that a Porter accompanies you. Listen to advice. Ask about the trail ahead. Don't go, if the Guide or Group Leader tells you it is not safe to do so.

3. Always have at least a light jacket and some small snacks in your pack. The jacket is helpful when you stop for a rest as you will cool down quickly. An "emergency blanket", the lightweight, foil reflective type would have been very useful in making a shelter to reflect heat from the fire or simply wrap around her body.

4. If you are part of a group and feel that you must have some personal space and private time on the trail...make sure that you do not go ahead of the leader.... and know who is at the back of the group (support staff member) and make sure you do not get behind that person. If your Guide or Group Leader does not suggest this type of an arrangement....ask them. Everyone in the group should be aware of the guidelines (safety rules) recommended for the group's management. Don't perceive these guidelines to be limiting your personal freedom....they are for your safety and the safety of other group members.

5. Remember when one person fails to be guided by safety standards, they put others at risk who are part of the search and rescue team.

"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it" (Viktor Frankel

Tibet Weather
Submitted by M17054
Lhasa / Shigatse / Lhatse / Tingri / Nylam: Along the Friendship highway is basically in good conditions year around. But from December to February, the thawed road could make some trouble. Try to avoid August - landslide could happen in the rainy season.

Mt.Everest Area: Early May and early October are the best time to visit Mt. Everest. Due to the clear weather, you have great chance to see Mt. Everest's true face (if you are lucky). From December to February, you'd better not to go to this area ... view more because it is too cold - except you are real Great Adventure People.

Ali (Mt.Kailash): Even without climate restrictions, this area is already inhospitable. Big rain and snow could make the journey worse. However, for those determined tourists, the appropriate time is May, June, July, September and October.

Eastern Tibet: Don't go to this area in July or August (the rainy season) because the rain could ruin the road, and make terrible landslides. In winter, the road could be frozen.

Northern Tibet: With the average altitude of 4,500m, this area offers very limited time for tourists. Summer (July to August) is the prime time to enjoy the great plain in northern Tibet.

What to Bring When Travel to Tibet
Submitted by M17054
- Aspirin-for pain or fever.
- Antibiotics-consider including these if you are traveling well off the beaten track.
- Cold and flu tablets, throat lozenges and nasal decongestant.
- Multivitamins-consider for long trips, when dietary vitamin intake may be inadequate.
- And also you may ask your doctor to give you more advice; you know most places in the world are at too low altitude comparing with Tibet.

- Sunscreen (UV lotion) with a high sun protection factor (SPF>30)
- ... view more Sunglass designed for intense sunlight
- Long sleeve clothes.

Clothes: The temperature is around 25 centigrade degrees; the day time, (sunlight is rather strong) and night it could reach 6 centigrade degrees; casual clothes with dark colors would be suggested.

Note: The very important one is that avoiding catching a cold there, which would be rather dangerous especially for who do not get used to such high altitude. Bring a light down-jacket with you! It will be rather cold at night in the Base Camp!

Dos and Dont's in Tibet
Submitted by M17054
1. Always add a 'La' after one's name to show your respect.
2. When receiving a hada (a long narrow scarf made of silk, that represents purity and good fortune), it's proper to accept it with both hands.
3. When visiting a monastery, always walk clockwise around the religious shrines. It is ok to enter a chamber without removing your shoes, but it is proper etiquette to offer some money or ghee to the monastery
4. When offered highland barley wine, take it in both hands, lift the cup ... view more with your right hand, dip lightly into the cup with your left middle finger, and flick some wine to he sky to show your heavenly-mindedness. Flick a second and third time, showing respect to earth and Buddha respectively. Then, drink some before the host refills the cup. Drink some again before the host fills it once more. When the cup is filled for the fourth time, drink it up. Only in this way will the host feel respected.

1. When two friends meet after along separation, one friend's hand should not be put on the others shoulder.
2. Do not walk over or step on the other people's clothes or put your clothes in other people's hands.
3. Do not make a racket when arriving at a monastery.
4. In some places eating fish is forbidden.

To Avoid Acute Mountain Sickness
Submitted by M17054
AMS is very common at high altitude. At over 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) 75% of people will have mild symptoms. The occurrence of AMS is dependent upon the elevation, the rate of ascent, and individual susceptibility. Many people will experience mild AMS during the acclimatization process. The symptoms usually start 12 to 24 hours after arrival at altitude and begin to decrease in severity around the third day.

Tips to avoid AMS:
1. Do not overexert yourself or more higher for the first 24 hours.
2. If you ... view more begin to show symptoms of moderate altitude sickness, don't go higher until symptoms decrease.
3. Stay properly hydrated. Acclimatization is often accompanied by fluid loss, so you need to drink lots of fluids to remain properly hydrated.
4. Take it easy and don't overexert yourself when you first get up to altitude. But, light activity during the day is better than sleeping because respiration decreases during sleep, exacerbating the symptoms.
5. Avoid tobacco, alcohol and other depressant drugs including, barbiturates, tranquillisers, sleeping pills and opiates such as dihydrocodeine. These further decrease the respiratory drive during sleep resulting in a worsening of symptoms.
6. Remember: Acclimatisation is inhibited by overexertion, dehydration, and alcohol.
7. Prepare some AMS pills according to your doctor's suggestion.
8. Do exercises to keep you fit before coming to Tibet.

Who can't go: Everyone should have more or less altitude symptoms. However, those who have the following symptoms may not going to Tibet:
- Something relating to Tuberculosis, pneumonia, serious tracheitis, bronchitis
- Serious heart attack, high blood pressure
- Have already got a serious cold.