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Tibet Information

Tibet TravelHow to Access?

Fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa:
Air China, the only Airline operates the flight between Kathmandu and Lhasa 3 days in a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday). The flight operates from April through end of the October. The rest of the months the Air China withhold the flights because of the low flow of passengers/travelers. This trans Himalayan flight takes 1 hour & 10 minutes to reach Lhasa from Kathmandu.


Tibet from mainland China:
Lhasa is also connected with Beijing, Xian, Chengdu and Shanghai by air. There are every day Flights operating from Lhasa to these cities. Gongar is the only Airport in Lhasa. So, now days, travelers who are interested visiting Tibet via mainland China can commence their journey from one of these cities. The journey from the mainland China is hassle-free than the journey via Kathmandu.


Overland connection from Kathmandu Nepal:
There are five major road routes to Lhasa but foreigners are only supposed to use the Nepal (Friendship Highway) and Qinghai (via Golmud) routes.

The journey from Kathmandu should be viewed as an adventure, not just a sightseeing. The road itself was poorly constructed and is prone to closure by landslides, particularly from June through September. It can be very dusty and some kind of facemask is a good idea to take along. As you drive to altitudes of over 17000 feet at some points, altitude sickness becomes a real possibility and most will feel some symptoms. You must make sure to drink plenty of fluids to help you acclimatize. The choice of hotels en route (except in Lhasa, Shigatse and Gyantse) is extremely limited. From Kathmandu it takes 5 days to reach Lhasa. This rout opens round the year for travelers.

Kathmandu to Lhasa Road
The journey from Kathmandu should be viewed as an adventure, not just a sightseeing bus tour. The road itself was poorly constructed and is prone to closure by landslides, particularly from June through September. It can be very dusty and some kind of facemask is a good idea to take along. As you drive to altitudes of over 17000 feet at some points, altitude sickness becomes a real possibility and most will feel some symptoms. You must make sure to drink plenty of fluids to help you acclimatize. The choice of hotels en route (except Lhasa) is extremely limited. Hotels are basic with showers, flush toilet, a small shop, a restaurant and the laundry facilities only. Food is not readily available en route until the stopover hotels are reached. We recommend you carry packed lunch from the hotels. We suggest you bring a canteen or water bottle with purification tablet or water filter pump and refill your bottles at every opportunity. Meals en route (until Lhasa) tend to be greasy and you may want to bring snacks or other foodstuff with you. We therefore suggest you to carry tinned food, biscuits, chocolates, cheese, drinking chocolate/coffee, soup cubes, instant noodles, vegetables, nuts and raisins, chewing gum, etc.


Flora & Fauna :
A variety of large mammals can be found including the elusive Snow leopard, bears, wolves, blue sheep. Other animals include musk deer, yaks and Tibetan antelope.

People & Culture:
Tibetans share their region with Menpa, Luopa, Han Chinese, Hui, Sherpa, and a few Deng people. They are however the main inhabitants on the plateau.Tibetans in general are optimistic and happy people.

They were Initially, farmers who settled in small villages with barley as their main crop, these roaming nomads earned their living by herding yaks and sheep .As larger settlements developed many Tibetans made a living as craftsmen. Nowadays more and more people are migrating into businesses.The Tibetan language belongs to the Sino-Tibetan phylum. People in U, Tsang, Kham, and Chamdo.

Most Tibetans are devout Buddhists while a few believe in the old Bon religion (which predates Buddhism). Islam and Catholicism also have a few followers in Lhasa and Yanjing respectively. The population is increasing fairly rapidly. According to the census conducted in 2000, there are 2,616,300 people in Tibet, with Tibetans totaling 2,411,100 or 92.2% of the current regional population. The census also revealed that the average life span has increased to 68 due to the improving standard of living and access to medical services. Illiteracy has decreased to 850,700.

Insurance
Full travel insurance coverage, particularly for health, trip cancellation/interruption is strongly recommended.

Money
Banks in Tibet/china are closed on Saturday & Sunday. So, you are kindly requested to carry about US $ 100 per person in cash over and above the tour cost to cover your extra expenses for main meals and others enroute until Lhasa. If it is cash dollars, even local people help you to get them exchanged in Chinese yuan. Travellers cheques & credit cards are very difficult to be cashed outside the banks especially Outside Lhasa.


The unit of currency for foreigners is the Yuan. US$ 1= +/- 8 Yuan. Money can be exchanged at the bank of China at Zhangmu, Xigatse and Lhasa.

Risk and Liability
Ghale Treks will make every effort to make your journey very smooth and pleasant. However, all programs in Tibet are conducted strictly under the rules and regulations of the Tibet Tourism Bureau. Therefore, Ghale Treks or its Tibetan counterpart cannot be responsible for any change or alterations in the itinerary due to unavoidable circumstances such as landslide, road blockage, flood, snow, political unrest, cancellation of flights, delayed arrivals, sickness or accidents. Any extra cost incurred thereof shall be borne by the clients. It is most advisable all clients to have full insurance against medical and personal accidents. Cancellation insurance is also highly recommended.

Visa
The Chinese governments prohibits individual traveller to visit Tibet. The Chinese embassy will only issue visas to travellers on group tours i.e if there is a single tourist or a tourist group of less then 05 pax then they will have to join a group in order to get a visa. In addition to the visa, it is necessary to obtain an aliens' travel permit for travel in Tibet.



For Tibet/China visa, we need 7 clear full working days and clients or their passports should be available in Kathmandu. On request, we can advise the CHINESE CONSULATE/EMBASSY to issue TIBET/CHINA visa provided the group is minimum of FIVE PAX. For permits, passport details of the clients is required atleast a month prior to trip. Please find the tibet visa sample below:


When to Visit Tibet?
The best time to visit Tibet is May to October when it is warmer. The winter months are very cold. The best time to make a tour in Tibet is between mid-May and mid-October. However, the weather of the first and last months of this season is generally stable and clear, with cool temperatures during the days and nights below freezing, so least travelers visit Tibet during this period. July and August are usually warmer, but this is when the monsoon pushes beyond the Himalaya, swelling the creeks and coating the valleys with greenery and wildflowers.

Climate
Temperature, Rainfall and Sunshine in the Lhasa Area
MonthTemperature (oC) maxTemperature (oC) minRainfall (mm) Sunshine (hours)
January+ 9 -130.2 251
February +10-120.5226
March +13-52.0241
April+16+15.0244
May+20+525.0 284
June+25+977.0 227
July+26+10129.0 224
August +27+9138.0 221
September+21+856.0 238
October +17+18.0 285
November +12-72.0 271
December +8-130.5 2


Clothing
Casual wear and comfortable walking shoes are the rule for Tibet. Be sure to bring warm clothing as nights and early mornings can be quite chilly to downright cold in winter months. Bring all your own film, medicine, cosmetics, personal toilet items, etc. as these are difficult if not impossible to obtain in Tibet. A small first aid kid is also a good idea, although our representatives also carry basic medical supplies.

Time
China time is 2 hours and 15 minutes ahead of Nepal time in winter and 3 hours and 15 minutes in the summer.

ALTITUDE SICKNESS
As Lhasa lies at over 12000 feet, you are likely to experience some of the minor symptoms and discomfort of altitude sickness (headache, mild nausea, loss of appetite) until your body adjusts to the elevation. This can take from a few hours to a couple of days, depending on the individual. Take it lightly, but drink plenty of non-alcoholic liquids. Proper hydration is critical to acclimatization.

Customs regulations :
art objects and antiques in Tibet fall under special restrictions forbidding their export. Anything made before 1959 is considered an antique. Rugs may be bought and exported, so may the small religious objects that are sold in open markets, providing only one or two are taken as souvenirs. Customs officials have been known to confiscate jewellery or other objects if they consider that a tourist has purchased 'too much'.

 

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