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Top Seven Reasons Why You Should Travel in Tibet in Winter

March,11 2019 BY Sonam Tenphel 0 COMMENTS

Speaking of the winter in Tibet, most people will picture continuous snowy ranges, frozen lakes and chilly wind. Indeed, it’s true, but to some extent, traveling to Tibet in winter is quite a wise choice. You may think it is crazy to recommend to visit the snowy plateau in winter, however, there are top seven  good reasons for taking a Tibet winter tour.

1. Tibet isn’t that cold in winter

Though most places of Tibet is chilly, Tibet is not as cold as your expect, especially in Lhasa which is surprisingly even warmer than Beijing. It does not get below freezing. It only snows occasionally and there is more sunny days than any other time of the year. The average temperature of Lhasa in winter is around 7℃ ~ 9℃, and the city is covered by warm sunlight in the daytime, while at night the temperature drop sharply. In a word,  It is dry and sunny.

peaceful-potala-palace
Peaceful potala palace in winter
 

2. Tibetan Pilgrims outnumber tourists plus more experiences with locals

In winter, the Tibetans have finished husbandry and swarmed into Lhasa for worship. Temples and religious activities can be found in every corner of Tibet with numerous devout worshippers holding butter lamps, spinning prayer wheels and burning incense. On the way to Lhasa, you can see religious people devoutly prostrating themselves on the ground to show their deepest respect to holy city.  

a-tibetan-woman
A Tibetan woman spinning her prayer wheel
 

On the one hand, there are much fewer tourists, and the cities and destinations are more leisurely with none of the hustle and bustle during the peak season. So just take the opportunity to enjoy the calmness of this highland. On the other hand, you can take your time to experience Tibetan life by visiting a local family and chatting with them to get a better understanding of them.  If you really wanna experience the Buddhist atmosphere of Tibet and know more about the Tibetan people, traveling to Tibet in winter will be your best choice.

3. Favorable ambient light for photography

Tibetan people, villages and natural landscapes offer plenty of opportunities for photography. In winter, the sun is lower and the sky is clear, which  casts beautiful light and illuminates the architecture and snow mountains perfectly. In general, the visibility is more brilliant compared to summer, as there is little rainfall and fog. Even if  photography isn’t your cup of tea, just lay back in the sweet tea house and enjoy the cozy sunshine and pervasive Buddhist atmosphere in winter. 

tibet-photography
Foreign tourists are taking photos at a corner of a monastery
 

4. Appreciate breathtaking snowscape

The stunning colors of Tibet’s vegetation change with the seasons.You can see continuous snow-capped mountains, like Mt. Everest and Mount Namjagbarwa.The mountain is surrounded by fog and cloud in spring and summer for its relatively low altitude and high humidity. What’s more, you can see migratory birds  in Lhasa. Tens of thousands of migratory birds will  fly to Lhasa River wetland to enjoy their winter as Tibet provides favorable ecological environment, wetlands, lakes and pasture for them, like black-necked crane, bar-headed goose and yellow duck.


migratory-birds
Thousands of migratory birds fly to Lhasa river to overwinter
 

5. The cost will be more economical  in winter

As winter is the "off season" of Tibet travel, the tour cost, such as those for accommodations, transportation,  entrance fee of attractions and guides are far more affordable in winter. Many hotels, airlines and Tibet travel agencies will promote tours by offering discount to attract more tourists with no compromise to services. You can save at least as much as 50% of a trip to Tibet in summer.

6. It is easier to book the train tickets and apply for Tibet Travel Permit with fewer problems

With far fewer tourists, it’s easier to get your Tibet travel permits, and to book flights or trains. Trains and flights still run in winter and you can also get discount on your tickets.

7. Explore the local folk customs via a series of traditional Tibetan festivals

Winter is a festive season in Tibet. Many tourists love to join the event to understand the culture, the customs better. You can join one festival during your visit in Tibet and it will surely add more unforgettable memories of the snowland. Tibetan New Year, also known as Losar, falls on the 29th of December on the Tibetan Calendar,  is one of the most important festivals in winter. It is an occasion when Tibetan families reunite and expect that the coming year will be a better one.

tibetan-new-year
Tibetans are dancing  in their traditional clothes to celebrate the Losar festival
 

Of course,there are many other famous festivals in winter, including Lamp Lighting Festival, falls on October 25 of  the Tibetan calendar, which is celebrated to commemorate a great Tibetan reformer-Zongkaba; Exorcism Festival, falls on December 29 of the Tibetan calendar,  is celebrated to welcome the New Year; and Ghee Lamp Festival, falls on January 15 of  the Tibetan calendar, which is celebrated by monastery worship in the daytime and the Barkhor Street lamp festival at night.

Don’t hesitate,  a winter tour in Tibet is a win-win, which  will give you the experience of a lifetime. Just come and enjoy yourself.

Sonam Tenphel

About the Author - Sonam Tenphel

Energetic, responsible and reliable, Sonam is a guide with more than seven years experience informing visitors about heritage sites and attractions places in Tibet.

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