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Lhasa Weather in January

Lhasa PeopleTibetan Native in Lhasa

Weather: January is the coldest and driest month of the year in Lhasa, but it might still feel comfortable on sunny days. It is sharply cold at night. The average nightly low temperature is -9 °C (16 °F), and the average daily high temperature is 7 °C (45 °F). Due to the high altitude of 3,650 meters (12,000 feet) however, it feels warm when it is sunny, and it usually is sunny. There is a danger of sunburn.

January is in the middle of the dry season. It rains or snows only about 1 day of the month for total precipitation of only 1 mm for the entire month. The 'City of Sunlight' gets 8 hours of sunlight a day to enjoy this month. Check the Lhasa weather and forecast>>

Clothing: There is a big temperature temperature drop from day to night of 16 °C. It is cold at night even if it was sunny during the day. Many hotels in Lhasa have no central heating, so you might need your coat inside. Dress in layers. Generally, bring a T-shirt, jacket, trousers, and a sun hat for the day, and have a coat, long winter underwear, and gloves for being out at night.

Altitude Sickness: Considering the very high altitude, it is a good idea to have a health check before going. There are altitude sickness medications and vitamins that might help. Most visitors suffer from altitude sickness. Take precautions if you have high blood pressure, asthma, or heart disease. See Lhasa health advice>>

Things to Do in Lhasa in January

Lhasa MealEnjoy dining at the Lhasa restaurants

Sample the Lhasa Food

Lhasa dining: When it is very cold, you'll find a variety of restaurants with Tibetan, Chinese, Muslim, and Western styles of food. During the Chinese New Year and Losar holidays, try the delicious traditional holiday foods.

Traditional Tibetan foods are rich in calories, high in protein, and often high in fat or cheese. It is often piping hot to combat the chilly atmosphere. You'll find yak meat dishes, yak cheese and milk dishes, barley dishes, and mutton and goat dishes. If you like meat, dairy, and protein, you'll like a lot of this food, but sample around to find the dishes you like.

Tour the Lhasa Architectural Highlights

The Potala Palace is gigantic, ancient, and world famous. A lot of people have seen it in movies. It sits on a hill in Lhasa at an elevation of 3,700 meters (12,100 feet). Many people dream about visiting the palace.

The palace is crowded with pilgrims and locals in late January if the Chinese and Tibetan New Year occur then. Otherwise, you'll appreciate January being the low season, when there are mostly Tibetans who take their visit seriously. The climb up to the palace may be too strenuous if you have not acclimated, so it might be better to go there after about two days of acclimation.

Chinese New Year

Enjoy the Chinese New Year: The Spring Festival holidays are the time for the local Chinese and visiting tourists to enjoy the holidays. The Chinese New Year falls in late January one in three years. It is traditional for Chinese to close shop and take a several day vacation starting from the evening of Chinese New Year's eve.

Chinese New Year tabooTibetan New Year Dancers

Tibetan New Year (Losar)

Experience Losar: The Tibetans have their own traditional new year holidays based on their calendar. Their new year day usually falls within three days of the Chinese New Year, but occasionally it is a month off.

The Losar holidays are a colorful week of activities. They enjoy Tibetan dramas, feasts, and traditional sports such as wrestling and racing horses. Tibetans dress in their finest and gather from all over the region for the ceremonies in the big temples. It is their most important religious holiday season.

Touring Lhasa in January

Low Travel Season

There are good reasons to visit Lhasa in January. There is much less crowding, the atmosphere is more authentically Tibetan, the prices for hotel accommodations and tickets are much less, and the weather is still comfortable. Tibetans flock to Lhasa from the surrounding mountains to winter for the season where it is drier and warmer.

However, travel and tourism increases for about a week before and two weeks after the Chinese New Year, and the prices for Lhasa hotel rooms, flight tickets and train tickets increase greatly. Let us help you book rooms and tickets with our experience and connections.

Visiting Tibet requires a special Tibet tour visa as well as a China visa. The latest regulations require tourists to travel as part of a tour group. We try to make our tours as flexible and personalized as possible. Let us help you arrange your trip and these documents.

Recommended Tour Packages

4-Day Essence of Lhasa Tour: Our guide will pick you up from the train station or airport and help you settle in your hotel. Your private driver can stop where you want along the way. You'll go to Jokhang Monastery, Barkhor Street, Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery, Norbulingka, the Potala Palace, a Carpet Factory, and the Tibet Museum. You can also visit a Tibetan family.

We want to provide our clients with the flexibility to design an individual dream tour. To proceed click "Create My Trip">>

For ideas, see our Lhasa Tours.

Further Reading

Lhasa Average Daily Temperatures Based on Historical Data

Date Average High Average Low
January 1 44 °F 6.67 °C 14 °F -10 °C
January 2 44 °F 6.67 °C 13 °F -10.56 °C
January 3 44 °F 6.67 °C 13 °F -10.56 °C
January 4 44 °F 6.67 °C 13 °F -10.56 °C
January 5 44 °F 6.67 °C 13 °F -10.56 °C
January 6 44 °F 6.67 °C 13 °F -10.56 °C
January 7 44 °F 6.67 °C 13 °F -10.56 °C
January 8 44 °F 6.67 °C 13 °F -10.56 °C
January 9 44 °F 6.67 °C 13 °F -10.56 °C
January 10 44 °F 6.67 °C 13 °F -10.56 °C
January 11 44 °F 6.67 °C 13 °F -10.56 °C
January 12 44 °F 6.67 °C 13 °F -10.56 °C
January 13 44 °F 6.67 °C 13 °F -10.56 °C
January 14 44 °F 6.67 °C 13 °F -10.56 °C
January 15 44 °F 6.67 °C 13 °F -10.56 °C
January 16 44 °F 6.67 °C 13 °F -10.56 °C
January 17 44 °F 6.67 °C 14 °F -10 °C
January 18 44 °F 6.67 °C 14 °F -10 °C
January 19 44 °F 6.67 °C 14 °F -10 °C
January 20 44 °F 6.67 °C 14 °F -10 °C
January 21 44 °F 6.67 °C 14 °F -10 °C
January 22 44 °F 6.67 °C 14 °F -10 °C
January 23 44 °F 6.67 °C 14 °F -10 °C
January 24 45 °F 7.22 °C 14 °F -10 °C
January 25 45 °F 7.22 °C 15 °F -9.44 °C
January 26 45 °F 7.22 °C 15 °F -9.44 °C
January 27 45 °F 7.22 °C 15 °F -9.44 °C
January 28 45 °F 7.22 °C 15 °F -9.44 °C
January 29 45 °F 7.22 °C 15 °F -9.44 °C
January 30 45 °F 7.22 °C 16 °F -8.89 °C
January 31 45 °F 7.22 °C 16 °F -8.89 °C

Lhasa Climate Information by Month