FAQ on Preparing a Trip for Tibet
- Can I travel to Tibet by myself?
- What are the hotels like in Tibet?
- When is the best time to visit Tibet?
- Could you give me some advice on clothing when traveling in Tibet?
- Do I need a guide when I go to Tibet?
- Can I travel Tibet with my child?
- What's the standard of food like in Tibet?
- Are there any suggestions on what I should do or take to acclimatize the altitude in Tibet?
- What should I bring for the Tibet plateau weather and high elevation?
- About Highland Altitude Sickness
No, individual travelers are not allowed to enter Tibet. Government regulations require that all travelers be accompanied by an accredited tour guide. Tourists are permitted to book their own accommodation and or flight / train tickets however land content in Tibet must be organized by an authorized travel agency.
When travelling in some remote area such as Tingri, Zhangmu and Everest Base Camp, hotels are only can provide basic facility and service for foreign tourist. The English-speaking levels of hotels’ staff are also very poor. For example, the staff in Tsetang Hotel and Thangka hotel are nearly can not speak English. And sometimes, those hotels might cut off power, water and heater due to the bad weather.
The best time to travel to Tibet is between May and October. The weather during other time is quite cold and makes sight seeing more difficult. The difficulty created by this short season is that it can be very crowded making travel and hotel reservations difficult and the quality of guiding services erratic.
Temperature differs dramatically between daytime and night. Lhasa, the capital city, could have a temperature during daytime of around 10-25 Centigrade, but at night, temperature may plummet to 0 Centigrade or lower. You are advised to bring thick, warm coats when traveling Tibet. The roads are very dusty so you may wish to consider wearing dark colored clothing.
The Chinese government requires that all travelers be accompanied by a tour guide at all times so that travelers' safety can be maximized.
Tibet may not be an ideal destination for young Children. The climate and generally harsher conditions in Tibet may not be ideal for young children. The sights and attractions are not those which children like to visit and facilities will be very primitive. If you do decide to bring your young child to Tibet please ensure that you bring all your child's daily needs with you.
Tourism in Tibet is still in its infancy so therefore the quality of restaurants will not be as high as in other parts of China. There are no 5 star dining experiences. Of course Tibetan/Nepalese food is the main fare with yak and mutton being the most favored meats. Curries and stews are common. Chinese and western food are easily found and the standard is ok. The Chinese food is a more westernized variety. The eating house are usually clean even if they are basic in some areas.
Almost every visitor is affected by the high altitude as Tibet is over 3000 meters above sea level and many areas are above 5000 meters. Most of the visitors get acclimatized to the high altitude by taking it easy for one or two days, while still paying to their health. We would like to make several suggestions to those considering going to Tibet. 1. People with serious heart diseases should not visit Tibet. Those with less serious heart problems need to consult a doctor before traveling. 2. People with high or low blood pressure need to consult a doctor before traveling. 3. Try to keep healthy and not to catch a cold before entering Tibet. 4. The first day arriving in Tibet, visitors are advised not to take a bath and smokers not smoke. Drink plenty of water while traveling in Tibet. 5. Eat light, high-carbohydrate meals for more energy and avoid alcohol as it may increase the risk of dehydration. 6. Tell your guide quickly if you don't feel well and follow the guide's advice. 7. It is advisable to use sunscreen, sunglasses, lip creams to protect your eyes and skin, for Tibet's high altitude and the atmosphere allow the sun's solar radiation to strike the earth with unusual intensity. 8. In addition to the normal medications for traveling it is advisable to bring high altitude medication. Ask your doctor for suggestions.
Tibet's high altitude and the atmosphere allow the sun's solar radiation to strike the earth with unusual intensity. To protect your eyes and skin, the sunscreen, sunglasses or dark glasses and lip creams are advised. In addition to the normal medications for traveling, just like the Aspirin and Ibuprofen etc, you should bring some high altitude medication. Better ask your doctor for suggestions
Nearly all the tourists entering Tibet have to experience highland altitude sickness. For some the effect is strong, while for others it is just a little. The reaction may varies from person to person. Read more about Highland Altitude Sickness and how to avoid it.