How to Plan a Budget Tibet Tour
As one of the hottest tourist destinations in the world, Tibet receives thousands of tourists from all over the world each year. But as it is a remote area with high altitude, harsh climate and poor transportation, the cost of a tour to Tibet might be much higher than some other places of China. So how to plan a budget Tibet tour is important for those tourists with a tight budget. There are several ways to cut down the cost of your tour.
Firstly, you can go to Tibet by train rather than by flight. You can further cut down the cost if you choose hard sleeper berth instead of soft sleeper. The hard sleeper berth is also soft and are not bad as you imagined though it can be a little annoying. The biggest difference is that there are 6 berths in one hard sleeper compartment while 4 berths in the soft sleeper compartment. Actually if you were to take a soft sleeper, it is almost the same price to fly. The cost of a hard sleeper berth is usually only 65%. Therefore, the cost on the transportation of getting to Tibet is cut down by 35%.
At present, there are many trains heading to Lhasa along the world's highest railway from mainland China. There is a train from Beijing to Lhasa or Shanghai to Lhasa everyday, and the trains to Lhasa from Chengdu, Chongqing and Guangzhou start every other day.
Secondly, you can share the cost of other travellers by joining in a tour group. By this way, you can cut down the cost of your Tibet tour on tourist vehicle, tour guide, single room supplement, even food. For example, if you are just 2 travelers traveling together, you need at least one local tour guide, a driver and a tourist vehicle. Of course, the cost is only shared by two. While if you join in a tour group with 4 travellers, the cost is shared by 4. So the cost is cut down by as much as 50%.
Thirdly, you can choose cheap guest houses and hostels which only cost you around 8-10USD per night. There are also economic hotels with clean standard rooms for your choice, costing around 15-25USD per night, including simple breakfast. Then the cost on accommodation is cut down by at least 50%.
Fourthly, you can arrange food in Tibet by yourself. Generally, the daily cost of a lunch and a dinner is around 80-100RMB(13-16USD) per person due to the limited food supply in remote area and high local food price. But you can arrange very simple food that may cost around 50-60RMB. Actually, you can not save too much on food. Honestly, I also think that it is not advisable to have too simple food in Tibet because you need more energy to travel in Tibet than most other places.