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Tibet Autonomous Region lies in the southwest of China and in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It is bound to the north by Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Qinghai Province, to the east by Sichuan Province, to the southeast by Yunnan Province and to the south and west by Burma, India, Bhutan, Sikkim and Nepal. The region covers an area of around 1.22 million km2, which accounts for 12.8% of the total of China.
With an average altitude of above 4,000 meters, Tibet Autonomous Region has very complex topography and falls into three geographic parts: the west, the south and the east. The western part, known as the North-Tibet Plateau, lies between Kunlun Mountain and Kangdese Mountain, and Tonglha Mountain and Nyainqentanglha Mountain. This west accounts for two thirds of the total area of Tibet. The southern part of Tibet consists of valleys and lies between the Kangdese Mountains and the Himalayas. The eastern part is mainly made up of canyons and is marked by a gradual decline in altitude intercepted by small ranges called the Henduan.;
ARRIVAL IN LHASA:
Lhasa is connected by railway line from Chengdu, Beijing, Xian, Xining and Shanghai. Air China operates flights between Kathmandu and Lhasa (Tue, Thu & Sat ). This flight offers spectacular views of Mt. Everest, Makalu and many other Himalayan giants. We will organize your pick up once you reach Lhasa and drive you to your hotel.
Visa & Entry Procedure:
For Tibet, we organize a group visa, and in order to do this we will need a copy of your passport at least 30 days prior to the commencement of your trip. Tourism regulations in Tibet are subject to change without prior notice. As per current regulation Chinese Embassy issues visa on Mon, Wed and Fri (9am – 11am) in Kathmandu. Hence, we will need your original passport 1 day before the visa processing day.
Those entering Tibet from mainland China (Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xian, Guilin etc) have to get Chinese visa from their country (please ask us for the best way of doing it).
We bring together a small group of like minded people. During the trip, not only do they gain a memorable and insightful travel experience but also get an invaluable opportunity to interact with each other. On our fixed scheduled departures, group comprises of maximum12 & minimum 2 persons. You are likely to join a group from different countries. Average age ranges from early 20s to mid 50s.For private trips, no minimum and maximum apply.
If you would like to travel independently or with your friends, families and colleagues you are invited to choose any of the trips at your convenient time frame for any number of people (min 1 max 100 at a time).
Throughout your time in Tibet you will be accompanied by an experienced English speaking Tibetan guide who will not only act as an interpreter but will also provide valuable insights into the Tibetan way of life.
In Lhasa, you will stay in a 3 star hotel. The hotel is renowned for its hospitality and warm Tibetan ambience. It is conveniently situated in the centre of town, just a few minutes walk from the Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Square. If you would like to book a single room, please do inform us. A supplement charge will incur in that case. (Up gradation to 4 & 5 star available on request).At Gyantse, Shigatse, Shegar and Zhangmu accommodation will be in the available hotels, your guide book the rooms on arrival. If rooms are not available at specified hotel, he will book a room at another similar category hotel.
We shall try our best to provide the best accommodation available but please do keep in mind that you are taking an adventure tour, and sometimes the arrangement may be basic. Traveling in Tibet is a fantastic experience but sometimes you have to put up with a bit of discomfort. To enjoy this trip you need to have an adventurous spirit and the ability to overlook minor discomforts.
These vehicles are extremely sturdy, spacious and reliable and they make the journey as comfortable as possible.
A TYPICAL DAY – OVERLAND DRIVE :
After breakfast, we begin our day's drive at about 9am. We'll drive for several hours, stopping along the way for photographs or places of special interest, before stopping for lunch at around midday. After lunch we continue our journey, generally arriving at our destination by 3 or 4pm.
FOOD: All breakfasts are included in our package. Your guide will help you find good restaurants with reasonable price. A must are the small Tibetan restaurants which serve authentic Tibetan food. You can try ethnic Tibetan cuisine. Have some momos or gyantok, and wash it down with a cup of salted Tibetan butter tea. Meals will either be in the hotel or at a restaurant of your choice (where available). While on the road, lunch will be at one of the many Chinese tea shops along the way which generally serve a variety of noodle and vegetable dishes and meat where available.
Expect to spend around 15-20 US$ per day for meals.
Communication facilities in Tibet have been improved over the past few years. All the hotels we use in Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse have international IDD phone and fax services. Phone calls can also be made from public booth in bigger towns. Internet cafes are also available at bigger towns, check with your guide for the best cyber cafes in each town.
You can also have a roaming facility added to your mobile phone as mobile phones work fine in Tibet. If you buy a Chinese SIM card at the border, you could stay in touch with your family and friends most of the time. Please ask us for the latest facilities and schemes on Chinese mobile phones..
Climate and best time to visit:
The best time for this tour is from April to November. Between April and November the average temperature ranges from 15-25 degrees Celsius and the skies are generally clear and blue. From July to August though there can be the odd shower during the day. The nights, however, can be very cold and temperatures can drop below 0 degrees Celsius.
Clothing & accessories:
During the day a light shirt or jumper and lightweight pants will be suitable, but a warm fleece or down jacket is recommended for the evenings. Keep a scarf handy as some of the roads can be dusty. While visiting sites and exploring during the day, keep yourself covered from the UV rays with a sun hat or cap and sunscreen lotion or cream.
Personal Expenses: Besides Chinese Yuan, only US $ are accepted in Tibet. But the shops that accept American currency are very limited and you might not be able to get a good deal for an exchange rate. Credit cards can only be used at some hotels. The Bank of China also accepts credit cards. ATM is not widely available. Exchanging your money to Chinese currency will be the best option for you, which can be done at the Bank of China (exchange rate between USD & RMB is 1:8.5 at the time of writing this text). While changing money at the local money exchange centers, please make sure that you are accompanied by your guide and do consult him as you may easily be duped with counterfeit notes.
Tibet is becoming more expensive every year. There are many shops in Lhasa, Shigatse and Gyantse that sell traditional Tibetan handicrafts. We recommend you to bring extra money to spend on souvenirs.
Tips are appreciated by your support team, after completion of the trip. The amount you give depends on your budget and appreciation of their work. For this you can allocate around 5% of your total tour cost.
Vaccination requirements change frequently, so we suggest you to consult your doctor at least 2 months prior to your trip. The main health consideration in high altitude is Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). You may experience some mild symptoms initially, such as headache, lethargy, nausea and difficulty sleeping, but these should lessen within a few days. To avoid Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), people take pills called ‘Diamox’. You can also use these pills after consulting with your doctor. A supply of bottled oxygen is carried in the vehicle at all times. Our itinerary will allow your body to acclimatize properly and to handle the low oxygen rate.
Rescue and Evacuation :
In case of a serious sickness or a casualty, which we hope will not happen, you shall be transferred to the nearest hospital. Since you are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it or be prepared to pay on your own.
Before joining a tour, we recommend you to take a travel insurance which should cover cancellation, medical expenses and emergency repatriation.
One should keep in mind that this is an adventure trip that takes you into one of the remotest corner of the Tibetan plateau, where many unforeseen events may contribute to the need for a change in the itinerary. Depending on the prevailing situation, the itinerary can be modified to some extent after consulting with your guide. However, the date of tour completion should always coincide with the original itinerary.
PEOPLE AND CULTURE:
The Tibetans are classified as belonging to the Mongoloid family of people. They are probably descendents of a variety of nomadic tribes who migrated from the north and settled along sedentary cultivation of Tibet’s river valleys. The Tibetans living within the borders of present day Tibet are easily identified by their distinctive dialects, social customs and dress. The Topas live in the highland regions (Lato and Ngari), the Tsangpas in the West Tibet (Tsang), the Upas live in central Tibet, the Horpas comes from the north (Nagchu/Jangtang), the Kongpowas from the south, the Khampas live in the east, the Amdowa in the northeast, and the Gyarongwa in the extreme east.
Travelers to Tibet inevitably find Tibetans to be friendly and possessing a great sense of humor. It is appreciated when you try and use Tibetan language when communicating with Tibetans. The further from Lhasa you travel, the more often Tibetan is used. Religion is extremely important to the majority of Tibetans, and travelers should endeavor to respect their customs and beliefs. Always circumambulate Buddhist religious sites or monastery in a clockwise direction, and when in a monastery do not wear a hat, smoke or touch frescoes. In addition, refrain from climbing onto statues, mani stones or other sacred objects They are warm and friendly people.
Some speak a bit of English and are happy to have a chat with you. Don't photograph people without permission, and be aware that some locations prohibit photography without a fee.
In addition to this tour, we can organize trip extensions both within Nepal and other neighboring countries. You may want to try white water rafting or go on a jungle safari in the deep jungles of Chitwan or take a cultural tour in Pokhara and Kathmandu. You may as well take a trip to India or Bhutan, whichever appeals more to you. Please ask us for details.
DATE OF CANCELLATION (Charge incurred)
2 months before departure - loss of deposit (US$ 300)
29 days to 2 months before departure - 30% of total trip cost
10 to 28 days before departure - 60% of total trip cost
Less than 10 days before departure - 100% of total trip cost;