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Weather: The dry season sets in across Tibet in October, and this makes it one of the best months for travel, touring, and outdoor activities. It is generally sunny across Tibet every day, and it is still nicely cool or even warm at Everest during the day.
Most tourists arrive in Lhasa. It is one of Tibet's lowest valleys that tourists go to. Lhasa gets 5 days of rain and only 9 mm of total rainfall. There is 9 hours of sunshine a day on average, and this makes it feel warm outside in the high altitude of 3,600 meters (12,000 feet). The average daily high is 17 °C (63 °F), and the nightly low is about 2 °C (35 °F). See the Lhasa weather forecast>>
Clothing: For the temperature changes as you travel, it is best to dress in layers with a coat, trousers, a T-shirt, a sun hat and sunglasses. You can even wear shorts on some days, but you'll still need a coat at night. Take some rain gear, and remember to take heavy winter gear and gloves up to the higher mountains. The UV radiation is intense, so have a sun hat and sunglasses.
Altitude Sickness: Oxygen is only 2/3 that of sea level or less in Tibet. Most people get altitude sickness. Seek medical advice before you go as many medical issues are exacerbated. Read Tibet travel health advice>>
Ganden Monastery: This big monastery is 1½ hours outside of Lhasa. It is an ancient and authentic active monastery. Monks are still trained there, and it is probably the most scenic and interesting monastery.
It is on a mountain top at 4,300 meters or 14,000 feet in a scenic area where there is good hiking. Even the drive there is scenic with autumn colors.
October is one of the best months to leave the Lhasa valley and see the southern attractions such as Shigatse, Gyantse, Yamdrok Lake, Mt. Everest and Kathmandu.
Yamdrok Lake (4,500 meters or 14,700 feet): This lake is among the most beautiful and highest in Tibet. It is about two hours outside of Lhasa along the highway.
Shigatse (3,900 meters): It is the second biggest city in Tibet and noted for sightseeing highlights such as Tashilhunpo Monastery and as a place to acclimate for high mountain hikes. The average daily high temperature in October is 15 °C (59 °F), and the average nightly low is -1 °C (30 °F). It is seven hours from Everest.
The dry sunny weather is a good time to hike in the high altitude areas. It is one of the best months for Mt. Everest and Mt. Kailash. Most people require a week of acclimation and exercise at the 4,000 foot level beforehand.
Hike between Ganden Monastery and Samye Monastery: This is one of the best hikes in Tibet and is conveniently near Lhasa. The 80-kilometer route can be covered in several days. Be prepared with good rain gear.
Mt. Everest Base Camp (5,200 meters): Clear weather opens up in October at Mt. Everest. Though it is below freezing at night, it is warm and sunny enough to enjoy walking and sightseeing during the day. The average nightly low temperature is -7 °C (19 °F), and the average daily high is 12 °C (54 °F). It feels warmer in the 17,000 feet elevation, and there is about 17 mm of total precipitation in the month. See our private Mount Everest tour>>
Mt. Kailash and Manasarovar area (4,556 meters): October is a good month for traveling on the rugged roads to Kailash and hiking there, and it is when many South Asians go there for pilgrimage. The lake is at the 15,000 feet level, and the highest pass on the route around is 5,500 meters or 18,200 feet.
High season: A big National Day travel rush to Tibet begins at the end of September, and it lasts until about the middle of October. In one of three years the Mid-Autumn Festival adds even more Chinese tour groups in the first week of October. But tourism drops off in the second half of October when there are better prices and accommodations.
Plan ahead and prearrange for tickets and accommodations in October. You'll need a Tibet travel permit, and we can arrange it for you. We can arrange Lhasa hotel rooms, Shigatse hotel rooms, flight tickets and train tickets that you'll appreciate.
If you want to discover more about Tibet, it is advisable to have an experienced private tour guide. We can help you with that.
Here are our most popular Tibet itineraries for your inspiration: