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Lhasa Weather in May

Flowers near the Potala PalaceFlowers near the Potala Palace

Weather: May is one of the best months to see Lhasa and other places in Tibet. Lhasa gets warm spring sunny weather with low rainfall. The flowers bloom and the trees turn green. The average nightly low temperature is 6 °C (43 °F), and the average daily high temperature is 20 °C (68 °F).

There are 8 hours of sunshine a day, and the ultraviolet radiation index is extremely intense. It rains about 10 days a month for a total of 29 mm of total rainfall. Though it is cold at night, the high elevation of 3,600 meters or 12,000 feet makes it feel warm when it is sunny. Check the Lhasa weather forecast>>

Clothing: For comfort in the changing temperatures, you'll need to dress in layers. Many restaurants and some hotels in Lhasa have no central heating, so you might need a coat inside. But the sunshine is so strong that you might feel comfortable in shorts during the day. We suggest that you cover up if you are outside to prevent sunburn. Have a coat, T-shirt and trousers. A sun hat and sunglasses can protect you.

Altitude Sickness: The oxygen content of the air is only 2/3 that at sea level, and it is even less in most of the rest of Tibet, so a health check is advisable before you go. Take precautions if you have asthma, high blood pressure, or heart disease since these conditions are exacerbated in the high altitude. Most visitors get altitude sickness. Acclimate before exerting yourself in higher altitudes. See Lhasa health advice>>

Things to Do in Lhasa in May

Ganden MonasteryGanden Monastery

Visit the Potala Palace: The gigantic red and white palace is a world famous Lhasa landmark and is recommended by UNESCO. You may have seen it in movies. There are 1,000 rooms in its 13 stories. Construction started in the 7th century, and it housed the Dalai Lamas. Now it is a museum and is still a worship place. Crowds of Tibetans worship during their ceremonies. The beautiful building sits on a hill in the city, and many tourists find the walk up to be difficult unless they acclimate for two or three days.

Visit Ganden Monastery: This big monastery near Lhasa is an authentic ancient and important monastery where crowds of monks are still trained. It is probably the most scenic and interesting monastery in Tibet, and it sits on a mountain at an elevation 4,300 meters or 14,000 in a scenic area where there is good hiking around it. Even the 1.5 hour drive there is scenic. One of the most popular and scenic hikes in Tibet starts from Ganden Monastery.

Travel and Hike around Lhasa

Low rainfall and warmer weather means it is one of the best months for sightseeing and hiking in the mountains around Lhasa. You don't need to travel far to find excellent and scenic hiking paths at high altitude.

Hike between Ganden Monastery and Samye Monastery: This great high altitude hike begins and ends at two monastaries. Ganden is conveniently near Lhasa. It is only a 1.5 hour drive away. The weather is more temperate than at Kailash, and the elevation is lower. Most people can cover the 80 kilometer route in several days. Have good winter gear and rain gear.

Touring Lhasa in May

May High Travel Month

The end of April is when a big travel season starts coinciding with the good weather and spring scenery. Travel is especially busy for the last few days of April and the first week of May for their May 1 national holidays. 

Further Reading

Lhasa Average Daily Temperatures Based on Historical Data

Date Average High Average Low
May 1 63 °F 17.22 °C 37 °F 2.78 °C
May 2 63 °F 17.22 °C 37 °F 2.78 °C
May 3 63 °F 17.22 °C 37 °F 2.78 °C
May 4 64 °F 17.78 °C 38 °F 3.33 °C
May 5 64 °F 17.78 °C 38 °F 3.33 °C
May 6 64 °F 17.78 °C 38 °F 3.33 °C
May 7 64 °F 17.78 °C 38 °F 3.33 °C
May 8 65 °F 18.33 °C 39 °F 3.89 °C
May 9 65 °F 18.33 °C 39 °F 3.89 °C
May 10 65 °F 18.33 °C 39 °F 3.89 °C
May 11 65 °F 18.33 °C 39 °F 3.89 °C
May 12 66 °F 18.89 °C 40 °F 4.44 °C
May 13 66 °F 18.89 °C 40 °F 4.44 °C
May 14 66 °F 18.89 °C 40 °F 4.44 °C
May 15 66 °F 18.89 °C 41 °F 5 °C
May 16 67 °F 19.44 °C 41 °F 5 °C
May 17 67 °F 19.44 °C 41 °F 5 °C
May 18 67 °F 19.44 °C 41 °F 5 °C
May 19 67 °F 19.44 °C 42 °F 5.56 °C
May 20 68 °F 20 °C 42 °F 5.56 °C
May 21 68 °F 20 °C 42 °F 5.56 °C
May 22 68 °F 20 °C 43 °F 6.11 °C
May 23 68 °F 20 °C 43 °F 6.11 °C
May 24 68 °F 20 °C 43 °F 6.11 °C
May 25 69 °F 20.56 °C 43 °F 6.11 °C
May 26 69 °F 20.56 °C 44 °F 6.67 °C
May 27 69 °F 20.56 °C 44 °F 6.67 °C
May 28 69 °F 20.56 °C 44 °F 6.67 °C
May 29 70 °F 21.11 °C 44 °F 6.67 °C
May 30 70 °F 21.11 °C 45 °F 7.22 °C
May 31 70 °F 21.11 °C 45 °F 7.22 °C

Lhasa Climate Information by Month