Tibet FAQ


Is independent travel allowed in Tibet?
Independent travel is not allowed in Tibet. You should join an organized group or use an authorized agency like Trekking Team.

What are the known places in Tibet?
Lhasa, Tsetang, Gyantse, Shigatse, Tingri, etc. are the most popular places in Tibet. Tours and expeditions to the mountains of Everest, Kailash and the Kharta area are also exciting and challenging.

How to enter Tibet? Through China or Nepal?
By Flight - There are multiple flights through China (Beijing, etc) and Kathmandu, Nepal. These trips will usually guarantee spectacular views of the Himalayas as well.
By Land - There are several roads through China and Kathmandu, Nepal. Overland trips are very popular and wonderful scenery is all part of the experience.
Combination Land/Flight - also popular is to split the trip into a flight one direction and drive the other.

What travel tips can be provided to respect the culture and traditions of local people?
Tibetan people are very kind and hospitable. You can feel free to talk with them, but there are some items to respect.
- Always ask permission before taking photographs of people.
- Religion and politics can be sensitive matters. Be cautious with questions dealing with these topics.
- Avoid eating dogs, donkeys or horses in Tibet.

What can I do with Tibetan beggars?
Religious beggars are an accepted part of society in Tibet. Giving money or food to a pilgrim is considered an act of merit. Donations of two or three Yuan (Chinese currency) are appropriate.

If beggars are old men and women dressed in dirty, shredded clothing, or a young child with a monkey on a chain, you will know these are the professional beggars. Their actions have less merit than the religious pilgrims do. Just wave them off as the locals do or simply walk away.

What medicine I should bring for the high elevation?
In addition to the normal medications for traveling recommended by your doctor, you should bring some thing to prevent symptoms of acute mountain sickness. Take time to acclimatize, drink lots of water and bring purification tablets. People suffering from heart, lung and kidney diseases should consult a physician before traveling to Tibet.

For more details you can visit Staying Healthy

What should I bring for the plateau weather?
Tibet's high altitude and the atmosphere allow the sun's solar radiation to strike the earth with unusual intensity at all times of year. To protect your eyes and skin, bring a sunhat, sunglasses, lip balm and lotions sold with SPF ratings, and/or zinc-oxide cream to provide 100% block-out.

Always bring warm clothes with you even in the summer season for the temperature in Tibet varies a lot in the day and night time. Light clothing for daytime and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

For more details see our check list.

Can you arrange Tibet permit for us before the tour begins?
Yes. We will handle it for your group in time. Tibet Permit can be issued two weeks prior to your entry Lhasa.
 
Do I need to bring with me photos of mine for the Tibet Permit? If so, in which size?
Your photos are not necessary to apply the Tibet Permit since your personal information is enough to get the Tibet Permit.
 
Do you know whether we can fly freely to Lhasa without Tibet Permit?
The Tibet Permit must be obtained beforehand so that you can be allowed to enter Lhasa.
 
We hold several different passports, some diplomatic and some United Nations passports. Can we obtain Tibet Travel Permit?
Non-Chinese passport holders (including those of Taiwan, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and other countries) must have an Alien's Travel Permit as well as a valid passport and a visa (Travelers from countries having visa exemption agreement with Hong Kong do not need a visa) to visit Tibet. Since the government encourages group tours to Tibet the Permit is issued only to tour groups traveling tour operator and travel agency. We can represent you to facilitate the application process with the requirements on your full name on the passport, gender, birth date, occupation and the passport number and nationality. But for visitors who hold diplomatic passports, such a permit should be obtained in an official way.
 
Can you tell me how often your Tibet tours leave?
Since we offer private tours as well as group tours, you may start anytime in your convenience if you choose our private tours. If you want to join with our fixed departure then it is mostly Tuesday, Thursday  and Saturday.
 
Are guides English speaking? What is their experience/education level, and are they Tibetan or Chinese?
Surely, our guides are all English speaking. Tibetan guides know more about the culture and speak less English than their Chinese peer. Most of them are well educated professionals and inspections will be imposed on them by China National Tourism Administration annually to maintain their service quality
 
When is the best time to go?
Tibet is vast! Generally, it is recommended to pay your visit from May to July, and September to October. Lhasa, Tsetang and Shigatse are suitable for tourism year round. The harsh coldness makes it unadvisable to visit the Everest Base Camp area from October to next April. During the winter, roads might be blocked by heavy snow in east Tibet and Ngari while in August huge rainfall makes travel in those areas very difficult
 
Is it safe to travel in winter time, especially from Tibet to Katmandu (which is where I want to finish)?
The Chinese-Nepal Highway (Lhasa-Kathamandu) is often blocked in winter times due to heavy snow and is not easy to travel along and at the same time there will be no flight from Lhasa to kathmandu.
 
How do I get to Lhasa from Bangkok (or other international cities)?
There is no other international flight to Lhasa except from Hong Kong and Kathamandu at present, so it is impossible to fly to Lhasa from other international cities directly. You have to transfer to Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xian or Kunming from other international cities and then fly to Lhasa  or the best way is directly from Kathmandu.
 
Do you provide vegetarian meals?
Yes. We will do.
 
Is it advisable for me to bring a sleeping bag with me because the sheets/blankets of the hotels I'll be staying in may not be clean or may not be sanitary?
It is all right. Tibet tour is a hard tour. Do expect unsatisfactory and uncomfortable hotel facility and service in Tibet, except in Lhasa! Your own sleeping bag ensures your nice sleep en route if you take our tours to remote areas.
 
Will Barkhor Market in Lhasa be open in winter?
Barkhor Market opens year round. Have a nice shopping there.
 
What is the best way to visit Tibet? Join a pre-packaged tour or do-it-yourself?
Since group travel is encouraged while independent travel is restricted in Tibet, independent travel in Tibet might not be smooth and happy. Although some guide books instigate people to slip in, it will be OFFENSIVE to the authorities. A tour package is an alternative most people choose.
 
Are Tibet's streets safe?
Generally, it is quiet safe in Tibet. Since most Tibetans are devout Buddhists, who believe good deeds will accumulate merit in their next lives, crimes are rare. But tourists need pay attention to dogs!
 
What clothing should I bring?
It depends on when and where you are traveling to. For details, please refer to Check list
 
What medications should I take with me?
Prepare your first aid kit with medicine for diarrhea, giardiasis, hepatitis and other diseases tourists may contract on the plateau. Medicine for respiratory tract infections, such as colds, influenza and bronchitis which may further diminish oxygen intake also shall be included to prevent those diseases since they may result in serious consequence on the Tibet plateau. Consult your doctors for details. For details please refer to Staying Healthy.
 
How much should I tip?
Tipping is not a custom in China, thus in Tibet. However, as the tourism develops, tour guides, drivers, and hotel staff do expect tips. If the service is satisfactory, a few dollars to the guide and the driver will be appreciated. While in restaurants and taxis, tips are not necessary.