How to plan a Tibet trip?


Reading Guideline:
 

Top Reasons to Visit Tibet


A Mysterious Place


Compared to most of places in China, there are only a few tourists travel to Tibet, for its special geographical conditions, the high altitude and transportation, even Chinese people. This mysterious and holy place has its particular colorful culture and religious believes and traditional customs that differ from any other places in China. But you don’t need to worry too much, local people in Tibet are warm-hearted and very welcoming to tourists.

 

Extraordinary Sceneries


Tibet is regarded as roof of the world due to its high altitude, with an average elevation of more than 4000 meters above the sea level, which is famous for its majestic natural sceneries. Those snow-capped mountains and glaciers, transparent blue alpine lakes, endless green grasslands with varieties of wild animals and clean air without pollution, form such a peaceful and tranquil wonderland for you to explore all its original beauty.


Yangpachen

 

A Spiritual Trip for Your Soul


Tibet is so called a holy land of kinds of religions, including Tibetan Buddhism and Bon. Because of the strong religious atmosphere and historical culture and customs, Tibet is said to be the best place to seek your soul and refresh your spirit.
 


 

Specific Tibetan Food


Tibetan food is really different from any other traditional Chinese cuisines, for its distinctive highland characteristics. With all those representative food like mutton, beef, Zanba, buttered tea, Tibetan barley wine and so on, you may definitely have a wonderful memory of the food in Tibet.

 

The Highest Peak Mt. Everest


Mt. Everest, the main peak of the Himalayas, is the highest mountain in the world. If you really love snow mountains, here in Tibet, it’s a great chance for you to appreciate the highest peak of the world and enjoy the generosity from the nature. Or you can challenge yourself once in your lifetime.



 

More information about Tibet facts.


Tibet Entry Permit

For all non-Chinese-passport holders who travel to any cities in Tibet are required for the Tibet Entry Permit (TTB Permit). You may also need it when you take trains and planes. You can only travel to Tibet in groups organized by a travel agency or by the offices of the Tibet Tourism Bureau. You’d better apply for it at least 15 days ahead of your departure day.
 

Tibet is closed to all foreign visitors in every March according to Tibet government regulations. Please avoid traveling to Tibet in March. It is better to visit Tibet from the middle of April so that you could get more time for Tibet permit application.

 

More details about Tibet Entry Permit.
 


Top Places to Visit in Tibet

Lhasa

Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet Autonomous Region, also the political, economic, cultural and religious center of Tibet, is named as “the city of sunlight”, due to the abundant sunshine of more than 3,000 hours annually. As a holy place for Tibetan Buddhism, there are plenty of temples in Lhasa. The Potala Palace, a symbol of Lhasa, Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery, are all good for experiencing Tibetan Buddhism. Here you can not only enjoy yourself in the beautiful natural sceneries, but also experience the historical culture around the city.


Potala Palace

 

Recommended Tour: 4 Days Best Lhasa Tour

 

Shigatse

Shigatse, the second largest city of Tibet, has once been the political, religious and cultural center of Tibet, with a profound history. It is also the gateway to Mt. Everest Base Camp, an ideal place to visit Mt. Everest. The best time to visit Mt. Everest is from May to June, very suitable for mountaineering. And if you also want to experience the Buddhism culture in Shigatse, Sakya Monastery and Tashilhunpo Monastery may be good choices. Furthermore, you could also get close to Nepal in Zhangmu Town where Sino-Nepal Friendship Bridge located.


Mt. Everest Base Camp

 

Recommended Tour: 6 Days Mystical Tibet Exploring Tour

 

Shannan

Shannan is one of the birthplaces of the ancient Tibetan civilization with a rich culture and long history. The representative attractions in Shannan are famous among tourists, such as Samye Monastery which is the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet, and Yamdrok Lake, surrounded by snow-capped mountains which is also one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet, you may have a leisure time in Shannan.
 


Yamdrok Lake

 

Recommended Tour: 5 Days Cultural Tibet Tour

 

Nyingchi

Nyingchi, a perfect combination of snow-capped mountains and peach blossoms, holds the reputation of Jiangnan Area in Tibet along the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon which is the deepest, narrowest and longest canyon in the world. Don’t miss the beautiful peach blossom during March and April while the Nyingchi Peach Blossom Festival is on April.



 

More attractions in Nyingchi.

 

Chamdo

Chamdo, as other places in Tibet, has splendid natural views and glorious culture. You may have a chance to enjoy the rare view of Danxia landform, decorated by the particular Tibetan houses. The most symbolic tourists destination is no doubt to be the Ranwu Lake, whose beauty combines characteristics from both Swiss Alps snow peaks, glaciers and the streams in Jiuzhaigou Valley.
 


Ranwu Lake

 

More attractions in Chamdo.

 

Nagqu

Nagqu, located between the Tanggula Mountains and Nyainqentanglha Mountain Range, is highlighted by alpine grassland and towering mountains. Go to the North Tibet Grassland if you like a wide grassland view, which is one of the five biggest pastures in China, and you can also visit the Nagqu Firigid Grassland. You’d better not miss the Namtso Lake, the second largest saltwater lake in China, where the crystal blue water joins together with the azure sky, creates a marvelous picture for tourists.


Nagqu Firigid Grassland

 

Recommended Tour: 6 Days Lhasa to Namtso Lake Tour

 

Ngari

Ngari is one of the lowest population densities in the world. It is said that the west part of Tibet shows how the real Tibet should be, that’s where Ngari is located, and it’s also known as “the roof of the roof of the world” due to the high average altitude in Tibet, a more mysterious land in the mysterious Tibet. People believe that Ngari is a more than holy place which is so far away from the chaotic world, with an extreme beauty and storied culture. 
 

Lake Manasarovar, the most transparent freshwater lake in China and a holy center for pilgrimage, and The Ruins of Guge Kingdom with ancient civilization, Ngari is a perfect destination for you to explore the ancient Tibetan culture and unbelievable landscape. Main travel routes in Ngari can be divided into South Line and North Line, the South Line is a common route for travelers while the North Line is more adventurous for explorers.


Ruins of Guge Kingdom

 

Read more about Tibet Attractions.
 


Best Time to Go to Tibet

Tibet offers plenty of views for tourists no matter which season you choose. You can choose spring to appreciate the peach blossoms in Nyingchi, summer to get rid of the hot weather, autumn to have a great view of Ngari area, winter to enjoy the magnificent snow sceneries. Generally speaking, the best time to visit Tibet is considered to be May to October, and the most beautiful time is from June to September. Meanwhile, July and August are high seasons for travelling to Tibet, you’d better book hotels ahead of time.
 

Place Best Time to Visit Rainy Season
Lhasa May to October July to September
Shigatse May to October July to September
Shannan June to August June to September
Nyingchi March to April June to September
Chamdo May, June and September June to August
Nagqu May to September May to September
Ngari July to September June to September



Notice:


Better to avoid these periods since the price for hotel and transportation may be higher and it will be crowded everywhere.
 

  • Late Jan. or early Feb. (Chinese Spring Festival)
  • First week of May (Labor Day)
  • First week of October (National Day)



Spring of Nyingchi



Read more about Tibet Climate & Weather.


How to Get to Tibet

By Plane

It’s convenient to take airplanes to Tibet, since you have more choices for the tickets, and it’s a fast way to get to Tibet. There are airports in main cities in Tibet, such as Lhasa Gonggar International Airport, Chamdo Bangda Airport, Nyingchi Mainling Airport, Nagri Gunsa Airport, Shigatse Heping Airport. The best way to Tibet is by plane.

 

By Train

Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the world’s highest and longest high plateau railway, is reputed as the "Road to Heaven” which starts from Xining City in Qinghai and ends at Lhasa in Tibet, extending 1956 km. It’s a great experience to take trains to Tibet for the beautiful sceneries along the way, however, it’s more difficult to book a train tickets than flight tickets due to the limitation of the tickets, and the long trip on the train may give you more possibilities to get altitude sickness.

 

Know about Tibet Train Tours.


 

From Tibet to Nepal

Good news is that it’s available to have a road trip from Tibet to Nepal. Take bus to Gyirong Border, go through the formalities of China Customs and apply for your Nepal visa before you land Nepal. There are buses to Kathmandu.

 

Recommended Tour: 10 Days Travel through Tibet to Nepal

 

More about transportation in Tibet.
 


How Many Days to Stay in Tibet

The vast land in Tibet has so many amazing places and charming attractions for tourists, as a result, it’s impossible to travel around the whole plateau within a single trip. Determine places you want to visit the most first, you may need about 3 days for each city. And choose the theme of your Tibet tour, no matter photography tour, train tour or hiking tour so that you could add your favorite attractions on your tour list, also check the date of traditional festivals in Tibet if you want to experience the local culture. Topchinatravel would be happy to help with your Tibet travel plan.


Namtso Lake

 

Recommended Tibet Tours:
 

8 Days Tibet Everest Base Camp Tour

11 Days China Tour to Tibet

15 Days Expedition to Mt. Everest Base Camp



Tailor-made your personal Tibet Tour: Free Online Tailor-made Tour




Read more details about Tibet tours.
 


What to Eat in Tibet

The taste of Tibetan food is palatable and unique, with a featured plateau style. Try the Zanba, the staple food for Tibetans every day, which is made of barley flour. And don’t miss the yak beef, grilled mutton chops, as well as Tibetan Yogurt. For the drinks, the most representative one is the Tibetan Barley Wine which has a long drinking history among Tibetan people, meanwhile, the Tibetan Buttered Tea is also a kind of common drink in Tibet.


Yogurt

 

Read more about Tibetan Food.
 


Where to Stay

►In Lhasa, you have a lot of choices for a comfortable place to stay. You could choose one around Potala Palace, convenient for both sightseeing and shopping, or in Barkhor Street & Jokhang Temple area which is located in the Lhasa old town with more characteristic restaurants and bars, and if you want a quieter place, choose one near Norbulingka which is around the most beautiful artificial garden in Tibet.
 

►In Shigatse, there are plenty of hotels with good conditions. Choose your hotel according to attractions you’re planning to visit, you can either stay in the downtown or near Tashilhunpo Monastery.
 

►In Shannan, you may not have as much choices as in Lhasa, but you can still find a comfortable one for your trip. You can choose your hotel in Naidong county.
 

►In Nyingchi, you’d better stay in different hotels according to the attractions you want to visit, since each attraction is far from the other. You can make a choice among those areas, Bayi Town, Suosong Village and Zhibai Village.
 

►In Chamdo, it’s convenient to stay near the bus station, Karuo Area or Basu County, according to places you want to visit.
 

►In Nagqu, there are many choices in Seni Area and Anduo.
 

►In Ngari, you can consider Shiquanhe or Zhada areas. And there are guesthouses in some counties and villages, but it’s not so convenient for the transportation.
 


Tibet Travel Tips

How to avoid altitude sickness?

  • Have a body check before your Tibet trip to make sure whether you could stand for the high-altitude conditions or not.
  • Spend a few days in Lhasa after you arrive at Tibet in order to get your body acclimate to the high altitude on the plateau.
  • Don’t take a shower on the first day in Tibet.
  • Avoid intense exercises because of the high altitude.
  • Eat more vegetables and fruits, but don’t be too full.
  • Drink as much water as you can.
  • Don’t worry too much, take a good rest.
  • Keep yourself warm and change your clothes according to the temperature change.

     

What to Prepare

  • Get ready for your Visa, and do remember your passport.
  • Keep the Tibet Entry Permit well, it’ll be checked.
  • Prepare for your SIM card to make sure the internet use in China.
  • Take some medicine with you for emergency use, especially if you are easy to get altitude sickness.
  • Bring sunscreen, sunglasses and hats for the strong ultraviolet ray.
  • Don’t forget your umbrella and rain gear during the rainy seasons.
  • Pack suitable clothes, windproof jacket and thick coat are suggested, outdoor clothing will be good. Prepare a pair of comfortable shoes if you want climbing activities.
  • Prepare your moisturizer because the weather is really dry.
     


What to Know

  • Read some basic information about Tibet and China so that you could have a better experience there.
  • Choose a good time for most of attractions you want to visit may help you get a wonderful experience during your Tibet trip.
  • Respect the ethnic cultures, local customs and religious beliefs of people in Tibet, know something about Tibetan Buddhism if you have interests.
  • Get to know Tibetan Taboos.


 


Read more about Tibet Travel Tips.
 


Traditional Festivals in Tibet

Tibetan New Year


Date: 1st, Jan in Tibetan Calendar

Place: Tibetan area

Activities: Tibetan Opera; Tug-of-war Competition; Horse Racing; Insert new prayer flags

 

Butter Lamp Festival / Choe-nga Choepa


Date: 15th, Jan in Tibetan Calendar

Place: Jokhang Monastery, Lhasa

Activities: Worship Buddha; Display colorful lamps on the shelves at Jokhang Monastery; Tibetan singing and dancing show
 


Shoton Festival


Date: 30th, Jun in Tibetan Calendar

Place: Lhasa; Shigatse

Activities: Eat Yogurt; Show Buddha’s paintings (Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery); Tibetan singing and dancing performances; Tibetan Opera
 


 


Ongkor Festival


Date: June to August in Tibetan Calendar

Place: Tibetan area

Activities: Celebration of harvest; Offer sacrifices to the Tibetan god; Tibetan singing and dancing performances; Tibetan Opera; Horse Racing

 

Read more about Tibet Festivals.
 


Basic Chinese You Might Need

Chinese Pinyin English
你好 Nǐhǎo Hello/Hi
再见 Zàijiàn Bye/See you
谢谢 Xièxie Thank you.
不客气 Búkèqi You’re welcome.
对不起 Duìbùqǐ Sorry
请问卫生间在哪里? Qǐngwènwèishēngjiānzàinǎlǐ? Excuse me, where is the restroom?
多少钱? Duōshǎoqián? How much?


 

Learn more about Survival Chinese Phrases.

 

Recommended Tours