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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.

Shugla PassShugla Pass (5,256 meters) on a hike between Samye and Ganden

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. It is best to book Lhasa hotel rooms and arrange your flight tickets and train tickets in advance. China requires a special Tibet tour visa that we can arrange for you. Let us plan a personalized tour for you or your group.

Recommended Tour Packages

4-Day Essence of Lhasa Tour: You will see almost all the local highlights, including the Potala Palace, Sera Monastery, Barkhor Street, the Norbulingka, Drepung Monastery, Jokhang Monastery, the Carpet Factory, and the Tibet Museum. You could visit a Tibetan family's house too. Enjoy the flexibility of private transport. This tour is modifiable.

See our Lhasa Tours for more options, or tell us your dream trip ideas with this "Tailor-Make a Tour Form">>

Further Reading

Lhasa Average Daily Temperatures Based on Historical Data

DateAverage HighAverage Low
May 163 °F17.22 °C37 °F2.78 °C
May 263 °F17.22 °C37 °F2.78 °C
May 363 °F17.22 °C37 °F2.78 °C
May 464 °F17.78 °C38 °F3.33 °C
May 564 °F17.78 °C38 °F3.33 °C
May 664 °F17.78 °C38 °F3.33 °C
May 764 °F17.78 °C38 °F3.33 °C
May 865 °F18.33 °C39 °F3.89 °C
May 965 °F18.33 °C39 °F3.89 °C
May 1065 °F18.33 °C39 °F3.89 °C
May 1165 °F18.33 °C39 °F3.89 °C
May 1266 °F18.89 °C40 °F4.44 °C
May 1366 °F18.89 °C40 °F4.44 °C
May 1466 °F18.89 °C40 °F4.44 °C
May 1566 °F18.89 °C41 °F5 °C
May 1667 °F19.44 °C41 °F5 °C
May 1767 °F19.44 °C41 °F5 °C
May 1867 °F19.44 °C41 °F5 °C
May 1967 °F19.44 °C42 °F5.56 °C
May 2068 °F20 °C42 °F5.56 °C
May 2168 °F20 °C42 °F5.56 °C
May 2268 °F20 °C43 °F6.11 °C
May 2368 °F20 °C43 °F6.11 °C
May 2468 °F20 °C43 °F6.11 °C
May 2569 °F20.56 °C43 °F6.11 °C
May 2669 °F20.56 °C44 °F6.67 °C
May 2769 °F20.56 °C44 °F6.67 °C
May 2869 °F20.56 °C44 °F6.67 °C
May 2970 °F21.11 °C44 °F6.67 °C
May 3070 °F21.11 °C45 °F7.22 °C
May 3170 °F21.11 °C45 °F7.22 °C

Lhasa Climate Information by Month