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How to Plan a Tibet Tour in 2024

December,18 2023 BY Master Kungga Dundruk 0 COMMENTS

Wanna tour Tibet, yet still have a vague idea of what to start for preparation? Here our travel gurus share with you the easy-to-follow guide to plan your upcoming Tibet tour.

1. Firstly, you need a Tibet Travel Permit to enter Tibet

Tibet Travel Permit is the first thing you need to deal with when planning a Tibet tour. As the national policy states that foreign tourists cannot enter and travel in Tibet until they get a Tibet Travel Permit.

And we can help you to get the permit to ensure your smooth visit to Tibet. You just need to send us copies of your valid passport and Chinese Visa after booking your Tibet tour with us. Then we will hand in these documents to apply for the Tibet Travel Permit.

Usually, it takes 8 to 9 working days to get the Tibet permit issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau. After that, we will immediately mail the permit to you. Then you can carry the permit to enter Tibet. It is recommended to start the permit application in advance in order not to delay your trip.

2. Secondly, select one of the most professional Tibetan local travel agency

Since individual travel is not allowed in Tibet, every international tourist to the plateau needs to book their tour through a local travel agency. So it is important to choose a trustworthy and professional Tibet tour operator to handle your trip.

As a pioneer of Tibet tourism for international tourists since 1984, Tibet Vista is the one worth your trust. Unlike some of the travel agencies using a third party to handle the tour, we actually operate our own tours, with a team of professional guides, drivers, and customer services.

We offer a wide collection of Tibet tours that can meet the needs of different tourists. You can choose to join our well-crafted Tibet small group tours, which range from 4 days to 17 days, focusing on different popular travel routes in Tibet. Or, you can customize your own trip with the help of our senior travel consultant.

No matter which kind of tour you choose, we will always do our best to provide you with a smooth and comfortable journey to the holy land.

Small Group Tour in TibetJoin in our small group tour to enjoy a wonderful trip in Tibet

3. Thirdly, pick the most pleasant time to visit Tibet

As a common practice, Tibet tour is open to international tourists from early April till late Feb next year. Overall, April to May and September to October is the best time to visit Tibet in most of its regions.

During these months, Tibet is in spring and autumn, and has the most pleasant climate. The weather is warm and stable, and there is less rainfall. It is also the best time to visit Everest Base Camp for a clear view of the world’s highest peak.

Summer is also a good season to visit Tibet, despite being the rainy season. The rains mostly come at night, and will not disrupt your journey in the daytime. The weather is warmer but not very hot, and there is higher oxygen content.

For budget travelers, traveling to Tibet in winter (Nov. to mid-Feb.) could be a wise decision. You can enjoy more discounts on entrance fees, accommodation, flight or train ticket, etc. Also, the strong sunlight due to the high altitude makes Lhasa a cozy place to stay in winter. And what awaits you are less crowded attractions, and more Tibetan pilgrims.

Travel tips: whenever you travel in Tibet, do pay special attention to the dramatic temperature change between day and night.

4. Fourthly, decide which itinerary you will take

Tibet covers an area of 1,228,400 square km, and is the second largest region in China. A great number of holy Tibetan monasteries, lofty mountains and sacred lakes, etc are scattered in its 7 prefectures.

Given the varied interests and number of days to stay in Tibet, we recommend the following classic Tibet tour itineraries for your choice.

4-5days in Tibet: Lhasa and Yamdrok Lake

Undoubtedly, Lhasa tour would be the focus of your Tibet travel. The historic Lhasa city (3650m), a live reminder of the past and modern prosperity of Tibetan Buddhism and secular culture, is the center of Tibetan Buddhist pilgrimage and your first window to Tibetan Buddhism culture and unique Tibetans’ life on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

For first-timers to Tibet, a 4-day Lhasa tour is an excellent choice for a short stay. The attractions you will visit include: Potala Palace, the winter palace of the former Dalai Lama; Jokhang Temple, the spiritual heart of Tibet; Barkhor Street, the bustling pilgrimage road, peppered with fervent pilgrims and souvenir shops; also the Sera Monastery, the site for the dramatic monk debate in the afternoon, etc.

If you have one more day off, you are also suggested to visit Yamdrok Lake, one of Tibet’s top t three sacred lakes, which is closest to Lhasa city. In this way, you can go to appreciate the stunning turquoise lake after touring the capital city, which makes for a wonderful 5-day Lhasa and Yamdrok Lake tour.

Lhasa tourVisit the holy Jokhang Temple during the classic Lhasa city tour

8-9 days in Tibet: Lhasa, Shigatse and Everest Base Camp

Travelling from Lhasa to Shigatse and finally to Everest Base Camp (5200m) is the most popular route among tourists, for most of the highlights of Tibet tour are centered in this itinerary.

Usually, you will first spend several days touring Lhasa and get yourself acclimatized to the high altitude. Then you will travel from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp via Gyantse and Shigatse, following the smooth road of Friendship Highway. As you arrive at EBC, you will enjoy the glorious summit of Mt. Everest.

The attractions you will visit after leaving Lhasa include: Yamdrok Lake, Korala Glacier, Palcho Monastery, Kumbum Stupa, Gyantse Fortress, Tashilhunpo Monastery, Gawu La Pass, Rongbuk Monastery and Mount Everest etc.

It normally takes 8 days to complete this Lhasa and Everest Base Camp tour. And if you have extra two days of vacation, you can also visit Namtso Lake after returning to Lhasa from EBC.

15-18 days in Tibet: Lhasa to Mount Kailash in Ngari

If you are fairly familiar with attractions in central and southern Tibet, then western Tibet(Ngari Prefecture), which features a divine pilgrimage route and ancient Tibetan civilization, and rarely-seen wildlife in the boundless wilderness, is the right destination for you.

On top of the Lhasa to Everest Base Camp trip, you can continue westwards to Mount Kailash, one of the most renowned sacred mountains in Asia. Then follow the ultimate 3-day pilgrimage kora around this holy mountain, to accomplish a lifetime adventure of Mount Kailash kora tour. You will also visit Lake Manasarovar, the world’s highest freshwater lake and one of the top three sacred lakes in Tibet.

A classic Mount Kailash tour from Lhasa normally takes 15 days. But if you have more time or want to explore more of western Tibet, you can move forwards to Guge Kingdom and Zanda Earth Forest. You can also visit Tholing Monastery, the oldest monastery in Ngari.

5. Fifthly, how to get into Tibet from mainland China, by train or flight

So far, the most viable way to travel to Tibet is by train or domestic flight after international tourists land in China.

The train to Tibet runs along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, and departs from several major cities in mainland China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Xining, Chengdu etc. The train is provided with oxygen supply in its passenger carriages, and the shortest train journey from Xining takes about 22 hours.

If you want to get to Tibet more quickly, you can take the flight. The ticket may more expensive, while the travel time will only be several hours. And you can fly directly to Lhasa from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xian, Nanjing etc.

During the high season of Tibet tour (July - August), both flights and trains to Tibet will be in big demand. So you may fail to book a ticket for your preferred date or seat. On this occasion, we can help you to get your flight or train ticket, as long as you book your tour with us.

6. Sixth, how to avoid high altitude sickness when traveling in Tibet

With an average altitude of above 4000m, Tibet is indisputably the “roof of the world”. Most new-arrived tourists to Tibet will have some mild symptoms of altitude sickness, such as shortness of breath, headache, etc.

However, there is no need to panic. Normally the symptoms will disappear as your body acclimatizes to high altitude after a couple of days. And you just need to follow some advice to avoid severe altitude sickness.

First, it is important to get enough rest and not rush to higher places upon your arrival in Lhasa. Second, keep proper dining with more protein-rich diets. Also, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. And you should pay attention to not catching a cold since this will worsen your situation.

7. Seventh, enjoy your lifetime Tibet trip with our professional local tour guide and driver

When all preparations have been made, you can embark on your journey to travel to Tibet. And according to the rules, you will need to tour guide to accompany you during your trip. Meanwhile, you will also need a private driver with a private vehicle when traveling from one city to another, as public transport is not available for international tourists in Tibet.

But this provision is not a hassle, but will better help you to have a safer and smoother holiday in Tibet. Especially, if you book your Tibet tour with us, you can enjoy the best professional services from our seasoned local tour guide and driver.

All our tour guides are local Tibetans who are not only fluent in English, but also have years of experience. They are patient and meticulous, willing to solve sorts of questions you may confront in Tibet. Also, our Tibetan drivers are familiar with the local road conditions and can drive safely in kinds of weather conditions.

Tibetan Guide and DriverEnjoy an unforgettable trip in Tibet with our local Tibetan guide and driver

Conclusion

In a word, it is not so difficult to plan a tour to Tibet, by following the guidelines listed above. You just need to prepare the required Tibet Travel Permit in advance, choose the proper itinerary and travel time, and book the flight or train ticket as you prefer. If you are not sure of your idea or find the problem tricky, please feel free to contact us for professional advice and tips.

Master Kungga Dundruk

About the Author - Master Kungga Dundruk

Kungga Dundruk, often respectfully referred to as “Manager Kunga”, is the most revered and legendary Tibetan guide in our team.

Currently working as a customer service manager in Lhasa, Kunga used to study business overseas and got his Bachelor of Business in Nepal and India before moving back to his homeland. With pure passion for life and unlimited love for Tibet, Kunga started his guide career as early as 1997.

As a legendary Tibetan guide with 22 years of guide experience, Kunga was awarded the Gold Medalist of China’s Best Tour Guide in 2019, marking the pinnacle of his career. Today, Kunga loves sharing his wealth of Tibetan knowledge through travel articles and stands ready to offer prompt support whenever our guests need help in Lhasa.

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