Ultimate 100 Tibet Tour Information for Tibet Travel
Before you set your foot on lofty Tibetan Plateau, our local Tibet travel experts would like to share some fun Tibet tour information with you. The following 100 interesting facts and tips of Tibet travel will challenge your knowledge about Tibet and pave a way for a real adventure in Tibet.
1. Tibet is much bigger than you thought. Covering 1,228,400 square km, Tibet is the second largest region in China.
2. Known as the “The Roof of the World”, Tibet has an average altitude of above 4,000m, while Mt. Everest, the world’s summit, stands at 8,844.43m
3. The highest region of Tibet is not in Lhasa or Shigatse, but in Ngari Prefecture, western Tibet, where the average altitude is above 4500m.
4. Are Tibetan monks vegetarian? The fact is not. They also eat yak meat for the protein on the harsh Tibetan Plateau.
5. To many western travelers, the real draw of Tibet is not in Lhasa but the Mt. Everest in Tingri, and holy Mt.Kailash in Ngari. - Visit Mt. Everest and Mt. Kailash in 15 days.
6. Whether or not you will get altitude sickness has less to do with how old you are, but more to do with your gene and how well your body acclimatizes to Tibetan Plateau.
7. Even if you have a Chinese Visa, you can’t enter Tibet because international tourists can only visit Tibet via a guided tour with a Tibet travel agency like us.
8. Contrary to the belief that it’s not safe for young kids and the elderly to Tibet, our youngest client is a 3-year-old baby brought by his Australian parents while the oldest is 82-year-old German grandpa who even made it to EBC and Mt.Kailash without oxygen supply, truly amazing, isn’t it?
9. Even if in summer, you’d better bring down jacket and thermal underwear, so long as you travel to Mt. Everest or Mt.Kailash or Namtso where temperature plunges as the altitude rises.
10. You’d better avoid catching a cold before leaving for Tibet, or you might be hit by serious acute altitude sickness.
11. Getting a Tibet Permit is not that difficult. Email us the photo images of your passport and Chinese Visa. We promise to nail it for you.
12. Tibet is essentially a realm of Buddhism. You will be surprised to find that Tibetan Buddhism touches every facet of their life. Even a rat or a fly should not be killed.
13. Shoton Festival is a big Tibetan festival where Tibetan monks will feast on Tibetan yogurt, offered by locals. You may also enjoy the dramatic unfolding of gigantic Buddhist Thangka.
14. Probably, to your surprise, nowadays, many Tibetan monks have iPhones or an Ipad and they use the internet to expand their vision. Taking selfies is also popular among them.
15. Mingling with locals for sweet tea and tasty Tibetan yak noodle soup in a local teahouse is a perfect way to explore the lives of locals.
16. Though most Tibetans can’t speak English, the menu in many restaurants of Lhasa is written in Tibetan, Chinese, and English and plenty of local hawkers know many useful English phrases for business.
17. Only Tibet offers the best panorama of mighty Himalayas. At Gawu La pass on the way to EBC, you will enjoy the top 4 highest peaks, i.e. Makalu(8463m), Lhotse(8516m), and Mt. Everest (8844.43m) and Cho Oyu (8201m)and Shishapangma(8012m).
18. To local Tibetans, the most sacred Buddhist site is not Potala Palace, but the holy Jokhang Temple, where the life-sized statue of 12-year-old Lord Buddha is enshrined.
19. Don’t order fish when dining with local Tibetans in a restaurant, for fish is a dining taboo for Tibetans due to religious purpose. - Check the culinary tour in Tibet.
20. Polyandry is a rare marital arrangement in which a woman has several husbands. In Tibet, those husbands are often brothers also known as "fraternal polyandry".
21. While you might hear the miraculous effect of a Tibetan herb medicine, well do not buy unknown medicine in Tibet, because it might be dangerous without doctors’ consent or consultation.
22. Be careful with the huge temperature change in Tibet. In some cases, you may experience 4 seasons during a single day trek.
23. Don’t rush to stroll along Barkhor Street shortly after you arrive in Lhasa. Your body needs more time for acclimatization to the altitude ascent than you thought. The uninhabited regions of Tibet, like northern or western Tibet, are never lifeless. It’s home to packs of Tibetan antelopes, wild asses, wild yaks and wolves, wild birds, snow leopards, and rare flowers, etc.
24. Though many dogs in Tibetan monasteries are friendly to visitors, do not try to approach stray dogs or chained Tibetan mastiffs which are extremely aggressive to strangers.
25. Husbandry, tourism, and trade are the major source of Tibet’s economy. Your journey to Tibet will create many job opportunities for the local community.
26. Rongbuk Monastery(5154m) is the world’s highest Buddhist site next to EBC, a prototype of a flooded monastery in the movie 2012.
27. Don’t leave your Tibet Permit application to the last min. The processing of it alone takes 8-9 business days. Then the issued permit will be delivered to your hotel in mainland China, ready for your Tibet entry.
28. If you travel from Nepal to Tibet, you need to get both Tibet Permit and China Group Visa. Our staff in the Kathmandu and Lhasa office will help you. Your original passport is needed to apply for a China Group Visa.
29. Kathmandu, Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Xining, etc. are some of the best gateways to Lhasa.
30. Overall, traveling by Tibet train is the best option to reach Lhasa, given the punctuality, cost-effectiveness, and best view and acclimatization to altitude.
31. Travel light works best for Tibet travel. Sleeping bags and camping gears can be rented from us.
32. Since some of the most famous Tibetan attractions, like Mt. Everest and Mt.Kailash, etc. are located far away from Lhasa. A long drive is expected each day.
33. Though looking glamorous, the bright sunshine with powerful UV light will show no mercy to your skin. Do bring your sunscreen and sunglasses.
34. No vaccination is needed before visiting Tibet.
35. To foodies, you will enjoy real culinary delights in Lhasa where local Tibetan cuisine, Nepali and Indian dishes and western and Sichuan food are available.
36. Being a destination of Buddhism, Tibet is exceedingly safe for global travelers.
37. Cash is more widely accepted in Tibet than a credit card.
38. For shopping or Tibetan souvenirs, look no further than Barkhor Street. From exquisite handicrafts to tasty yak meat, there are plenty of choices.
39. Lake Yamdrok, Lake Namtso, and Lake Manasarovar are 3 of the most sacred lakes in Tibet. And Namtso is the highest lake with 4718m above the sea level.
40. A great way to secure your Tibet train ticket is by using our ticket booking service, esp. during the peak season of Tibet tour in summer.
41. Losar (or Tibetan New Year), Shoton Festival and Saga Dawa Festival are the most important festival in Tibet.
42. The best time to visit Tibet is from April to mid-June and Sept. to Oct.
43. If you travel on a budget, joining a Tibet small group tour and traveling in winter will much lower your cost.
44. Useful Tibetan phrases like “Tashi Delek”=Hello, “Thuk-Je-Che”= Thank You, are great icebreakers with local Tibetans.
45. To international tourists, you can’t stay overnight in the monasteries.
46. Sera Monastery is the best place to watch “Monk Debate”, held 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Mon-Fri.
47. Though Tibetan monks can eat yak meat, they are forbidden to get married.
48. You rarely see constant downpour in Tibet. So, your Tibet journey won’t be affected by the monsoon season in summer.
49. Tsampa (roasted barley flour), dried yak meat and butter tea and Tibetan momo and yak noodles soup are the most popular staples to local Tibetans.
50. No photo is allowed inside Tibetan monasteries.
51. The nightlife of Lhasa is never dull. Lively music bars and Princess Wencheng musical stage show, the dancing floor of Nangma Hall, etc. You discover a real Tibet.
52. If you love drinking beers, don’t miss out the refreshing Lhasa beers and home-made Chang.（barley wine）
53. No matter how beautiful the Tibetan lake is, don’t swim in the lake because the lakes in Tibet are considered holy.
54. Unlike the EBC in Nepal, which can only be accessed by trekking or flight; you can enjoy tour vehicle, or trek or cycle to the EBC in Tibet.
55. You will be surprised to find that there is a post office at EBC(5200m). Why not send a postcard to your friend from the “roof of the world”?
56. Colorful Tibetan prayer flags draped over lofty mountain passes are believed to bring good luck and blessings.
57. To have internet access in Tibet, our local leader can either help you buy a Sim Card or lend one to you, with 4/3 G access.
58. To visit the real Tibetan nomads, time your visit in summer and journey to the Namtso town where nomads raise their yaks and sheep.
59. Kyirong border is where you exit Tibet, China to Kathmandu, Nepal. We offer a one-stop jeep transfer service.
60. Some of the symptoms of altitude sickness are rapid heart rate, headache, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, insomnia, or feeling unsteady. - Check experts’ tips to avoid altitude sickness.
61. All of our travelers will be covered with high-value high altitude travel Insurance and multiple insurance items, esp. designed for Tibet tour.
62. Sky burial is a funeral practice commonly seen in Tibet. Only family members of the dead can attend the funeral.
63. For the off-the-beaten tour around Lhasa, Ganden Monastery and Drak Yerpa Monastery are great places to visit.
64. The viewing platform of Chakpori Hill is the best place to shoot Potala Palace.
65. There aren’t many desserts in Tibet. Things like Dresil are eaten during Tibetan festivals.
66. Each traveler only has an hour to visit Potala Palace to avoid huge gatherings.
67. In Lhasa, Makye Ame is said to be the restaurant where the sixth Dalai Lama had his romance.
68. The best time for birding in Tibet is in winter when waves of black-necked cranes and Ruddy shelducks, etc. come.
69. People with asthma, heart problems, and hypertension shall not visit Tibet for safety concerns.
70. Essentially, Tibet tour is an adventure journey. In many remote places, showering facilities are not available.
71. Normally, 3 days are needed for acclimatization in Lhasa before venturing out to higher places.
72. It’s better to prepare some stationery or clothes for poor children in remote Tibet rather than giving them money.
73. You may bring some snacks or altitude sickness pills for Tibet travel, which is quite useful for low blood sugar and dizziness.
74. Like many religions, Tibetan Buddhism believes in reincarnation. Mysterious Lake Lhamo La-tso is where senior Tibetan monks seek visions of the next living Buddha.
75. The lodging condition of EBC is very basic and the pit toilet can be a nightmare to western travelers.
76. Local Tibetans love soaking themselves in the hot springs, for its special healing effect.
77. Samye Monastery is the very first Tibetan monastery in Tibet.
78. To discover the lost civilization of Tibet, Guge Kingdom is where you should visit.
79. Don’t want to get altitude sickness for Tibet tour? Then, visit Nyingchi, a place with the serenity of the “Swiss Alps” and pristine forests.
80. Unfortunately, there are no showering facilities on Tibet train.
81. To photograph the sunrise of Mt. Everest (7 am to 8 am) at EBC, you need to get up as early as 6:30 am.
82. The best view of Tibet train journey is from Golmud to Lhasa. While the highest point Tibet train reaches is at 5,072m
83. On your way to EBC, you are more likely to see goas (or Tibetan gazelles) than actual Tibetan antelopes.
84. Tibetan yaks have three times more red blood cells than normal cows so they live without any problems on lofty Tibetan Plateau.
85. The toughest challenge of 3-day Mt. Kailash trek on day 2, when you are expected to travel past holy Drolma La Pass (5630m).
86. If you want to take a holy “dip” in the Lake Manasarovar, you have to be careful with the freezing water.
87. Zongjiao Lukang Park, right behind Potala Palace, is a great place to explore the lives of local Tibetan and photography.
88. Motion sickness pills can be a great help if you suffer from a long drive in Tibet.
89. Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama in Lhasa, is a great place for a picnic for a family visit.
90. Kathmandu and Chengdu are two of the best gateways to enter Tibet by the overland journey.
91. Shigatse, the second-largest city in Tibet, is the vital hub to Mt. Everest and home to generations of Panchen Lamas.
92. The 2-day Shalu to Nartang Trek is the easiest scenic trek for everyone in Tibet.
93. Close to holy Lake Manasarovar lies its sister Lake Rakshastal, which is deemed as a lake of the demon.
95. Due to the high altitude, tea can’t be grown in Tibet. In the old days, Tibetans sold their ponies in exchange for Chinese tea in Sichuan and Yunnan.
96. Only Tibet Mountaineering Association can lawfully organize the expedition team for Mt. Everest climbing.
97. For photographers, 24-70mm F2.8 and 70-200mm F2.8 and 14-24mm F2.8 are the best lens choice for capturing Tibet.
98. Tibet is the source of 5 great rivers, i.g Yarlung Tsangpo, Yellow River, and Langcang River, and Nu River and Indus River.
99. Locals burn things like branches pine and cypress for its aromatic smell as an offering to the Buddhist deities.
100. Pick a locally-owned Tibetan travel agency that truly cares about your experiences and travel safety, with attentive & reliable services.
Having discussed so much, we want to say that Tibet remains a virgin land for adventure. And the most difficult part is to take your first move, then the rest will be for us to take great care of.
Don’t hesitate to share your inspirations for Tibet travel with us.