Tibet is a most unusual and beautiful place. The majority of its land rests above 4000 meters (13,000 feet) and is surrounded by mountain ranges on three sides. The awe-inspiring Himalayas are the highest in the world, as is the never-ending Tibetan plateau . It is a place for the rugged adventurer as well as the spiritual wanderer.
Tibet is a land held back in time, housing many secrets. Nomads remain much the same as they did one hundred years ago. Roaming the plateau from winter and summer camps the nomads still mainly subsist from their yak herds. Then, there are the monasteries, which are striving to find a place in a country that’s suddenly facing the 21 st century.
The Tibetan people and their religion have been inseparable. Even in their earliest myths one finds references to Tibetan religious beliefs. Originally, the Bon religion dominated Tibet . After the introduction of Buddhist statues and later, Sanskrit documents from India , Buddhism crept increasingly into Tibetan culture. Tibetan Buddhism is the culmination of some early Bon beliefs, Indian Buddhist texts and several great lamas. Buddhism and politics had been interwoven since King Songsten Gampo married a Chinese and a Nepali princess, who were both intergral in the emergence of Buddhism. It was the Fifth Dalai Lama who actually built the Potala Palace as the government seat and religious center. A theocracy had prevailed until 1951.
After centuries of virtual isolation Tibet is cautiously opening up to the western world. Officially, China has only opened the doors for travelers these past few years. A visit to Tibet ( TIBET TOUR/ TIBET TREK ) is an incredible experience, although it is not for the faint-hearted. The traveling is difficult and unpredictable. The infrastructure is poor to non-existent, therefore turning a regular tour into a complete adventure . Traveling in Tibet is not your average trip but an experience of a lifetime, which we invite you to take with us.
The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, in the southwest of China , has long enjoyed reputation of being “the Roof of the World”, where Tibet Autonomous Region with an average altitude of over 4,000 meters and an area of 1.2 million square kilometers occupies a major portion. The majestic Tibetan highland stands on of the world and its unique cultural tradition has an international fame. This is a land of vast contrast with snow-capped mountains offering beauty unsurpassed and deep tropical rainforests in another, and with open pastureland against imposing mountains and cornier forests. The great Himalayas lies in its south with the towering Mt. Qomolangma standing above all world’s peaks.
In addition to these spectacular offerings of nature, the timeworn Tibetan cultural tradition is most enchanting. A glorious tradition mingled with wisdom of the Han and other ethnic peoples is represented by such achievements as the ancient Shengshong Culture ruins, Yumbu Lhakang Palace , the ruins of ancient Guge Kingdom , the Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple . The population of the region consists mostly of the Tibetans, Monbans and Lhobans, all industrious and honest people full of wisdom and valor. Over the centuries, they have cultivated very unique ethnic traditions, folklores and ways of life, contributing to the Chinese civilization and human progress. This is a land of enduring enchantment and tantalizing mystery.
Tibet enjoys such unparalleled travel resources as Mt. Qomolangma , the highest peak in the world on Sino-Nepalese border, the winding Yarlung Tsangbo River , ancient ruins, palaces and monasteries, folkloric activities and religious ceremonies. Tourism resources in the region have been continuously developed. Lhasa is now the tourist center with routes extending to Shigatse, Shannan, Nyingchi, Ngari and Nakchu, covering a total of over 60 scenic spots and places of interest.
Most importantly, all travelers traveling in Tibet are kindly requested to bear in mind that Tibet being extremely remote isolated by the most formidable Himalayas ranges, remains still one of the most captivating but least developed parts in the world. With its very short history of tourism (just about 12 years), the facilities for tourists although being upgraded are still at basic and limited scale. So, the visitors are requested not have high expectation in terms of facilities in Tibet . You can rather take this tour as an adventure from every point of view. However, we will always put all our efforts to make your journey as pleasant as possible.
BOOKING & VISA
Minimum of 2 week in advance, a firm booking with full payment along with full passport details (full name, sex, nationality, passport number, date of birth and profession) should reach us. We arrange Tibet / China visa, however, 5 full working days are required with a condition that client should be available in Kathmandu; otherwise Agent charge will have to be paid by the client.
ALTITUDE & HEALTH TIPS
Travelling in Tibet is an adventure involving high altitude and could be strenuous. While most visitors have only minor effect from the altitude, we advice specially the guest with known heart or lungs or blood diseases to consult their doctor before travelling. Mild headache, fever, loss of appetite or stomach disorder can take place in a process of acclimatisation. Our advice for better acclimatisation: drink 4 ltr of water minimum a day, do not exhaust yourself too much, breathe deep and take more rest then usual!
May to August.
However, a down jacket sweater, sunglasses, stick for lip protection, sun lotion , Swiss knife, water bottle, a small medical kit, gloves, walking/hiking shoes, woolen socks, sun hat, rain coat, sleeping bag, etc. are always advised.
RISK & LIABILITY
HIMALAYAN ROCK always make all efforts to make your journey smooth and pleasant. However as all Tibet tours are run strictly under Tibet tourism Authority. HIMALAYAN ROCK or its agents shall not be responsible for any change or cancellation of programs due to on avoidable circumstances such as road blockade, flood, snow, political unrest, cancellation of flight, delayed arrival of clients, sickness, accidents or breakdown of vehicles. Any extra cost occurring shall be paid by the Clients on the spot. So it is must advisable to the clients to have full insurance against medical and personal accident risk. A cancellation insurance is also most recommended.
Please feel free to contact us for questions about our Tibet tours and our itineraries. We will be pleased to answer all questions and help we the best way we can.
Overcoming altitude problems: Traveling in Tibet is an adventure involving high altitude and could be strenuous. So far, most visitors have only minor effects from the altitude. However, we advice especially the guests with known heart or lungs or blood diseases to consult their doctor before traveling. Mild headache, fever, loss of appetite or stomach disorder can take place before acclimatization. Our advice: Drink 4 ltr of water minimum a day. Do not exhaust yourself of much and breathe deep and take rest mote than usual. Bottled water is available in each hotel where you have overnight and in the restaurant en route where you have your lunch.
Landslides: As Tibet tours get opened mainly during the monsoon time; there are high chances of landslides mostly in the Nepalese part (also in the early part in Tibet ). In case of landslides, to over cross them and the gap in between, extra vehicle with porters may have to be arranged. In that case, you are kindly requested to contribute nominal charges for porters and vehicle, ranging from Rs. 200 to 300 per person. We wish there will be no hassles as such.
Money: Banks in Tibet/China are closed on Saturday and Sunday. So you are kindly requested to carry about US$ 100.00 per person in cash to cover your extra expenses for your main meals and others en route until Lhasa . If it is cash dollars, even local people help you to get them exchanged in Chinese Yuan. Travelers Cheques and credit cards are very difficult to be cashed outside the banks especially out side Lhasa . Exchange rate from US$ to Yuan is about 8 Yuan from 1 US$.
Next, if any of the clients pay for the Tibet tour in TC, one afternoon you are kindly requested to accompany the guide to the bank in Lhasa for about 15 minutes and please make an extra counter signature on the TCs you have paid. Your direct present and counter signature ensures immediate encashment of the TCs to our agent in Lhasa . Otherwise, it may take months. Your kind co-operation in this regard will be highly appreciated.
Guide: we always try to provide a good English Speaking Tibetan guide. However, as Tibetan guides do not get enough exposure to English Language in Tibet , please do not expect fluent and spontaneous explanation from him/her. Your frequent questioning will encourage him/her to explain well, question by question.
Monastery fee: It is included through out your tour for the monuments and monasteries as mentioned in the itinerary.
The Chinese visa with special Tibet permit for traveling to Tibet will be procedure by us. Your passport should reach us at least 2 weeks prior to departure date to procedure Chinese visa and Tibet Permit. Normal procedure for Chinese visa and Tibet Permit takes 5 working days. Normal visa fee is US$ 26.00 Per Person. An urgent fee of US$ 17 additional is applicable for the visa to be procedure within a day.
The Embassy of China (in Kathmandu ) is open every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 09 AM – 11 AM for Chinese visa/Tibet Permit.
Hotel en route: As the facilities in Tibet are very basic, hotels, although they look gorgeous, do not have proper facilities even in Lhasa . So, in the remote areas, it is obvious that hotels may not have enough double rooms and clients sometimes may have to have triple, four or five bedded rooms in the some places. However, we always try to provide twin bedded rooms. Especially, first two nights have to be spent in such hotels that may not have bathrooms attached and could require you to use common toilets. So, you are kindly requested not have a high expectation from the tour in the term of the facilities in the Hotels.
Recommended Restaurants in Lhasa : Eating out in Lhasa is enjoyable. The following restaurants are recommended that serve cheap and best food ranging from Tibetan to Chinese, continental to semi-Chinese.
01. Snow land Restaurant/Barkhor
02. Crazy Yak Restaurant/Barkhor
03. Kailash Restaurant/on the roof top of HTL Banaksol
Estimated expense for food in Tibet :
En route in Lhasa
Lunch Aprox. 15 Yuan 30 Yuan
Dinner Aprox. 25 Yuan 40 Yuan
Breakfast: from the first day onward, breakfast will be offered after an hour’s drive from Kathmandu at a Mountain Resort at Dhulikhel. So, please do not bother for breakfast in your Hotel, which may cause delay to report to the bus stand. Breakfast is included through out your tour.
Tipping: Guides and drivers are not paid well in Tibet . So, you are kindly requested to tip the guide and driver so as to enable us to have them happy for our future groups as well.
Last minute checking:
very importantly, on the last day, if you are traveling in a group, please make sure your guide has the original visa copy with him (if you are traveling in group) and other necessary travel documents (travel permit for the group and alien’s travel permit for the individual travelers) before you leave your hotel for the airport for the final departure. This is all to enable you to check out from the immigration without any hassle.
Clothes: As the temperature in Tibet is low, it is always advised to carry, warm clothes with you. As the weather is harsh and dry, chapstick, suntan cream, sun hat, sunglasses with sporty shoes are always recommended.