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Tibet General Information

Introduction

Tibet usually known as the “Roof of the World" as the average height of the whole region is more than 4,000 meters (16,500ft.) above sea level and popular for having the world’s highest plateau. It lies on Tibet Plateau of the southwest border of China. The highest peak of Tibet, also the highest in Himalayas and in the whole world, is the Everest Peak, which is as high as 8,848 meters above sea level. Till today, Tibet still remains one of the most interesting, mysterious, enchanting, remote and underdeveloped parts of the world. Its transformation from a warring and aggressive to a peaceful, pious and gentlepeople by the influence of Buddhism, is very amazing. Its isolation nearly tills the second half of the twentieth century; its diverse climatic and geographical conditions strongly attract people of all types from historians, adventurers, pilgrims and so on. Nearly all Tibetans follow Tibetan Buddhism, known as Lamaism, with the exception of approximately 2,000 followers of Islam and 600 of Catholicism. Tibetan Buddhism was greatly influenced by Indian Buddhism in its early time, but after years of evolution, Tibetan Buddhism has developed its own distinctive qualities and practices. A well-known example is the belief that there is a Living Buddha, who is the reincarnation of the first, a belief alien to Chinese Buddhism.Tibet is cautiously opening up to the western world offering travel seekers a fulfilling authentic experience, which can be adventurous and unpredictable due to the lack of infrastructure which is poor to non-existent, making a simple road trip a complete adventure. (At least we think so). After centuries of virtual isolation local monasteries are striving to find a place in a country that's crashing into the twentieth century. Tibet is the perfect destination to try exotic foods while embarking on a spiritual journey, leaving you feeling internally rejuvenated whilst stepping back in time. For the culture lover’s witness displays of people so optimistic yet so proud of their religion and beliefs, remaining much the same as they did one hundred years ago.

Access to Tibet

By Air: Kathmandu - Gonggar : a twice-weekly flight operates between Kathmandu and Lhasa from the beginning of April through October and sometimes till November depending upon the weather conditions. The 55-minute flight offers spectacular views of the Himalayas and the southern Tibetan plateau including Mt. Everest and many more surrounding peaks of Khumbu region.

By Road: An approach that has great appeal for hardy and adventurous travellers is to enter or leave Tibet by road, following the footsteps of explorers who for more than a century tried to reach Lhasa overland. Kathmandu to Lhasa by road is 900 Kilometres. Along the way you can visit some of the most scenic and religious sights.

Tibet Visa

Now individual travellers are allowed into the Autonomous Region of Tibet. The Chinese Embassy will issue the visas. Visas can be arranged from Kathmandu (Global Holidays Adventure Pvt. Ltd) easily and we can help you. It is necessary to obtain a travel permit for travel in Tibet. Please carry some passport size photographs plus smaller denomination of US dollars cash for the completions of visa formalities.

This is to notify you for change in the rule of visa applying through chinese embassy for this year 2013 than of previous year. Unlike previous year there won’t be same day visa and visa for individual traveler. We can get visa on normal policy receiving on 4th morning of the applied day; semi-urgent policy receiving on 3rd morning of applied day; and top-urgent policy receiving on 2nd morning of applied day. In case of any emergency to get visa on same day we can manage but you have to pay additional service charge for the emergency assist depending in the situation and feasibility.

Visa Price:

Nationality

Normal Semi-Urgent Top-Urgent
USA US $ 140 :Us $ 155 Us $ 175
Other Nationality US $50 Us $ 65 Us $ 85
Nepalese Nrs. 2250 Nrs. 3550 Nrs.4000

Visa Day

Days Collect Visa Application Distribute Visa
 
Opening Time Closing Time
Opening Time Closing Time
Monday-Friday
9:00 AM 2:00 PM
10:00 AM 4:00 AM

Climate, clothing and equipment:

Tibet is very cold in winter, cool in summer and generally dry. The air neither blocks nor holds heat. Sunshine feels warm, shadows are chilly, and temperatures can change rapidly within a day, from 29 degree Celsius in desert areas in summer, and plunging below 4 degree Celsius the same night. The most pleasant months for tourism are from April to October.

Clothing should be simple and consist of layers, which can be added or removed as the temperature changes during the day. A warm wind/water breaker and comfortable shoes are especially recommended. A light and warm jacket and trousers are also recommended. For more details please e-mail us.

Trek Nepal supplies a comprehensive first aid kit during the trip. If you have any personal medication please supply either from your home country or from Nepal upon arrival. Lhasa offers a variety of drug stores but it is advisable to bring your own medications.

Transportation:

There are no air routes within Tibet except from Amdo to Kham. The distances are huge and the only recommended mode of transportation is hiring the vehicles from a travel agent.

Emergency Evacuation:

Travellers are requested to take insurance from home which covers medical and emergency evacuation. Seriously ill travellers should not consider trying to leave Tibet by road, as the difficulties and uncertainties of such a journey holds many risks.

Money Exchange and Bank:

Banks in Tibet/China are closed on Saturday & Sunday. So, you are requested to carry about US $100 per person in cash or travellers cheque for personal expenses. If it is cash dollars, even local people help you to get them exchanged into Chinese Yuan. Credit cards are very difficult to cash outside the banks, especially outside Lhasa. The unit of currency is Yuan, which is approximately US$ 1 = 8 Yuan.

Places of interest in Tibet Zhangmu (7000ft.) better know by its Tibetan name, Khasa, Is a small settlement clinging to a hillside 10km inland from the friendship Bridge across the Bhotekoshi River. After the closure of the China/India border from Gangtok, Zhangmu has become the major trading post between Tibet and Nepal. The climate is quite different from the winterland. The hills around Zhangmu are heavily wooded with countless waterfalls in summer and frozen icicles during winter. It has a bank, a post office a government store, and is presently undergoing a construction boom to meet the demands of trade and tourism.

Nyalamu (12200ft.) known as “Kuti” to Nepalese traders, used to be an important trade post tucked into a fertile valley. Now days, barrack-style Chinese communes surround the typical old, flat roofed, mud-brick houses. Although vegetation is sparse, one can see an abundance of alpine fauna on the hillside during the summer months.

Gutsuo (14200ft) is a military base camp situated at the start of the plateau after passing through the Thongla pass, (16400ft.) from where a stunning panoramic view of the northern face of the Himalayan range unfolds. The best view of Mt. Everest and its neighboring peaks can be seen from the road at Gutsuo. Accommodation here would be in tented camps or at the barracks itself.

Xegar (13,800ft) is a new Chinese commune built at the foot of the ruins of Xegar Dzong, and is 7km from the main road. With a population of 3000 its importance lies in the fact that it is the center of this large and remote country and also a base from where expeditions to MT. Everest and other peaks are launched.

Lhaze(13100ft.) is situated at the crossroads from where the road turns westward towards MT. Kailash and Mansarovar Lake. During the short summer season, the whole valley is covered with green barely fields and bright yellow mustard meadows, which is a welcome change after the barren lands of the Tibetan plateau. There is also a small hot spring located kilometers away.

Festivals There are many different festivals, mostly based on Buddhism in Tibet. Tibetan New Year is the most important and popular festival in Tibet. Known as Losar, the festival is celebrated from the 1st- 3rd of the first Tibetan month on the Tibetan Calendar (February). Specially made offerings are offered to family shrine deities. Doors are painted with religious symbols and other painstaking jobs are done to prepare for the event. After dressing up, people "open" their doors with prayers and go to monasteries. People visit their neighbors and exchange their blessings (Tashi Delek) in the first two days. Celebration is the theme during the session. On the third day, old prayer flags will be replaced with new ones. Other folk activities may be held in some areas to celebrate the events.