General Information

Climate

Early May and early October are the best time to visit Mt. Everest. Due to the clear weather, you have great chance to see Mt. Everest’s true face. From December to February, it’s too cold to go to this region. But the magnetism of Mt. Everest always attracts people anytime of the year.

Mt.Kailash:
Even without climate restrictions, this area is already inhospitable. Big rain and snow could make the journey worse. However, for those determined tourists, the appropriate time is May, June, July, and September
Eastern Tibet: Don’t touch this area in July or August, the rain could ruin the road, and make terrible landslides. While in winter, the road could be frozen.

Northern Tibet:
With the average altitude of 4,500m, this area offers very limited time for tourists. Summer is the prime time to enjoy the great plain in northern Tibet.

TEMPERATURE & RAINFALL AT LHASA

MONTH CELSIUS FAHRENHEIT RAIN FALL
Max Min Max Min  Inch
January 06 -10 42 14 Nil
February 08 -08 46 18 Nil
March 12 -30 54 26 Nil
April 15 00 59 32 0.4
May 18 05 64 41 1.4
June 23 09 73 48 2.8
July 22 09 71 48 6.7
August 22 08 71 47 4.7
September 21 07 70 44 4.7
Otober 17 02 62 35 0.4
November 12 -04 53 25 Nil
December 08 -10 46 14 Nil

Best Time to visit Tibet:
APRIL MAY, JUNE, JULY AUGUST, SEPTEMBER.

Health Precautions

Your trek will consist of long days which will require good aerobic (endurance) conditioning. You should create a well-rounded work out plan prior to your trek which combines endurance, strength, flexibility and balance. Depending on the nature of your trek the training program will vary slightly but the underlying principle should be aerobic conditioning. Examples of aerobic exercises include running, cycling, Nordic skiing, and swimming. Ideally you want to start your work out with a warm up of 5-10 minutes at50-60% of your maximum heart rate, then continue for another 20-60 minutes at 65-80% of your maximum heart rate, and finish with a cool down of 5-10 minutes at 50-60% of your maximum heart rate. This should be practiced 3-4 times a week for up to eight weeks before your course start date. A strength training workout (i.e. weight-lifting) could be a good supplement to your work out plan, but not a substitute. Good conditioning will not only improve your chances for success but will also improve the quality of your course. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions on specific training programs. The possibilities are endless, so get creative and have fun!

 

Here are several activity specific workouts you can do to supplement your conditioning:
Ski Mountaineering – Go downhill skiing with a light weight pack and ski uphill with a 40-50lb. pack. Mountaineering – Take long day hikes carrying a 40-50lb. pack while wearing your plastic boots. Backpacking – Take long day hikes carrying a 40-50lb. pack while wearing your hiking boots. Sea Kayaking – Build up your core strength and upper body with push-ups, sit-ups and pull-ups. Rock/Ice Climbing – Build up your upper body strength and balance with push-ups, sit-ups and pull-ups.

 

We recommend Lakeland Mountain Guide lead by Matt Le Voi who is well versed with the Nepali culture and treks in the Himalayas.
Lake Mountain Guide Call us today on 01900 336795 | 07557022362, LakelandMountainGuides@live.co.uk, http://www.lakelandmountainguides.co.uk

Geography

Tibet, a rich and beautiful land, is located at the main part of Qinghai-Tibet plateau, south-West frontier of China. Tibet borders with Sichuan, Yuannan, Qinghai and Xinjiang; to the south contiguous to India, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and Burma, and bounded by Kashmir on the west. When the word Tibet is mentioned something icy chills the readers’ nerves. In fact it snows only once or twice in a year and owing to the perpetuity of bright sunshine, it is not at all cold during the daytime even in the coldest of the winter. Tibet is so sunny that it produces a year-round sunshine of over 3,000 hours in a year. Its old name-“land of snow” – the name by which Tibet is almost popularly known as, is always thickly covered with snow with hardly any signs of inhabitation.

In fact, it is correct only when it is referred to the world greatest ranges located in Ima, the Tisi, and like. These ranges, run by leaps and bounds across the country showing their beautiful snow covered peaks against the bluest of skies. Geographically, Tibet can be divided into three major parts, the east, north and south. The eastern part is forest region, occupying approximately one-fourth of the land. Virgin forests run the entire breadth and length of this part of Tibet. The northern part is open grassland, where nomads and yak and sheep dwell here.

This part occupies approximately half of Tibet. The southern and central part is agricultural region, occupying about one-fourth of Tibet’s land area. With all major Tibetan cities and towns such as Lhasa, Shigatse, Gyantse ad Tsetang located in this area, it is considered the cultural center of Tibet.

The total area of the Tibet Autonomous Region is 1,200,000 square kilometers and its population is 1,890,000. The region is administratively divided into one municipality and six prefectures. The municipality is Lhasa, while the six prefectures are Shigatse, Ngari, Lhaoka, Chamdo, Nakchu and Nyingtri (kongpo). The People’s Government of the Tibet Autonomous Region exercises the highest administrative authority in Tibet.

Culture And Traditions

When travelling internationally special attention needs to be paid to local customs and laws. We Recommend reading up on the customs of the area that you are travelling prior to your departure. The Lonely Planet is an excellent resource. Please consult with your instructors for information regarding your location. Here are some helpful tips from us.

 

Dos and do nots

  • Communication might be a little hard, but the people are welcoming enough for you enjoy your trip there.
  • Beef is prohibited among both Hindus and Buddhists. No female animal is killed for food.
  • Walking around temples or stupas is traditionally done clockwise.
  • Generally temples, stupas and monuments are permitted to be photographed but it is better to ask authorized people for permission before using a camera.
  • It is better to be decently dressed when visiting any place. Sun and beachwear is not proper when roaming around. Briefs, shorts and bare shoulder and back may not be appreciated. One need not be stiff and overdressed but comfortable and decently covered.
  • Public display of affection between man and woman is frowned upon. Do not do something that is totally alien to our culture.
  • We are hard on drug abuse; trafficking and possession of drugs are taken as serious offences.
  • Cheap charity breeds beggars but does not solve their basic problem. Therefore, do not encourage beggary by being benevolent.
  • Beware of touts who claim to be representing companies and offer to take you bargain hunting.
  • Use hotel safety boxes for your valuables. Do not leave cash and other valuable things lying around in the room.

Legal Consideration

Dos and do nots

  • Respect the law of the land.
  • Respect local customs, religions and cultural norms and values.
  • Always use authorized travel, trekking and rafting agencies.
  • Don’t forget to use hotel locker for any valuables.
  • Take care of your belongings properly. Never leave them unattended at any time and any place.
  • In any case of loss, theft, cheating, robbery, immediately contact the tourist police or the nearest police station.
  • Always notice the taxi and bus number before using those vehicles.
  • Use authorized porters from your travel and trekking agency.
  • Exchange foreign currency only at government authorized banks money exchange Keep receipt and beware of the pickpockets or BATE will be happy to recommend reliable money changers.
  • Always carry the copies of your passport’s main page, visa and insurance policy.
  • Give your international flight ticket to BATE to reconfirm.
  • Medical and Travel Insurance
    Please consult your physician before deciding your holiday. If you require any personal Medications, or, have any pre-existing medical problems, make certain to re-confirm with your Guide upon arrival.
  • Furthermore, BATE requires that all Guest have their own travel insurance. Individuals are solely responsible for any medical costs including all associated rescue, evacuation, lost baggage, transportation costs, travel delays, and other costs. In these events you may need to cancel your trip.

Altitude Sickness

Travelers to Tibet are reported to exhibit mild symptoms of altitude sickness. So, some measures of precaution and remedies should be taken. Complaints of headache, fever, loss of appetite, uneasiness, stomach disorder etc can come up before acclimatization. Travelers with heart, lungs and blood diseases should consult with their doctors before they sign up for a trip. Consumption of enough liquid food (not liquor!) and enough rest is recommended if you notice the symptoms of sickness. As Lhasa lies at over 12000 feet or 3600 m you are likely to experience some of the minor symptoms and discomfort of altitude (headache, mild nausea, loss of appetite) until your body adjusts to the elevation. This can take from a few hours to a couple of days, depending on the individual. Take it easy, but drink plenty of non-alcoholic liquids. Proper hydration is critical to acclimatization.

Acclimatization & Altitude Sickness:
Due to the very high altitude – over 12,000 ft, acclimatization is very important. You may be likely to experience some of the minor symptoms and discomfort of altitude sickness (headaches, mild nauseas, loss of appetite) until your body adjusts to the elevation.  This can take from a few hours to a couple of days depending on the individual. Do not exert yourself and drink plenty of non-alcoholic liquids. It is very important to drink at least 4-5 liters of liquids daily to avoid any altitude sickness; this is probably the best remedy for AMS.

Do not forget – the common effects of altitude such as:

  • You may feel breathlessness on exertion; some headache is treatable by aspirin.
  • May be some difficulty sleeping and a little loss of appetite.
  • You might also wake up suddenly at night trying to catch your breath. Do not panic! Your metabolism as simply slowed down.
  • You may also experience an exaggerated thumping headache, which will not go away, breathless even at rest, extreme nausea.
  • The lack of oxygen in the system will first affect either the brain (HACE – Height Altitude Cerebral Edema) causing loss of physical and mental coordination OR the lungs (HAPE – Height Altitude Pulmonary Edema), coughing up persistent sputum or both.
  • Do not drink any alcohol on the outward trek. It seriously impairs the ability to acclimatize, and confuses the symptoms of AMS.

The following medication has been found to be helpful:  
Diamox the common name for Acetazolamide originally developed as a diuretic, but pragmatically found to aid acclimatization available in Kathmandu pharmacies. Some people feel it is ‘cheating’, but as trekking at altitude is not a competition and you are here to enjoy it to altitude, not just mask the symptoms. It will make you pee more as intended, and possibly give you a tingly feeling in your fingers, but is understood to have no more serious side effects. Taking it is entirely down to personal choice, but if you do decide to use it as a preventative we have found that a half a 250 mg tablet works just as well as a whole one and minimizes the side effects, each morning and evening, from the night before the trek through to the start of the descent from the highest point.

Oxygen Cylinder:
We provide reserve oxygen cylinder in our private tours. However, we suggest refraining from using artificial Oxygen which does not help only temporary unless there is urgent. There will be minimum charges for using it.

Airlines

Below is the flight schedule for tibet.

Air China Flight Schedule:

Schedule Flight No. Sector ETD / ETA
December (2012)- January 2013
Tue, Thurs, Sat.
CA 408
CA 407
Kathmandu – Lhasa
Lhasa – Kathmandu
1210, 1545
11.45, 1110
January  –  March  2013
Tue, Thus, Sat.
CA 408
CA 407
Kathmandu – Lhasa
Lhasa – Kathmandu
1210, 1545
11.45, 1110
April  –  July 2013
Tue, Thus, Sat.
CA 408
CA 407
Kathmandu – Lhasa
Lhasa – Kathmandu
1210, 1545
11.45, 1110
August  –  October 2013
Monday, Tue, Wednesday, Thurs, Sat.
CA 408
CA 407
Kathmandu – Lhasa
Lhasa – Kathmandu
1210, 1545
11.45, 1110
November – December 2013
Tue,  Thurs, Sat.
CA 408
CA 407
Kathmandu – Lhasa
Lhasa – Kathmandu
1210, 1545
11.45, 1110

NOTE: Flight schedule are subject to change as per the Air China.

Ktm – Lhasa Flight:
Air China (CA) – is the only airline currently operating flights between Kathmandu & Lhasa sector.  M/S Air China operates regular flights between Kathmandu & Lhasa sector – 2 flights from April – June and sometime adds more depending upon the demand of flight seats.  However, we recommend our valued guests to plan their trip based on Saturday and Tuesday flights which is guaranteed.  This is probably the only flight in the world that flies over Everest and other highest mountains on Earth.

You must take left hand seat while flying Kathmandu – Lhasa and vice versa. Flight takes approx. 50 minutes.

 

Distances And Driving Hours

S. No. From To Km (OW) Approx. Driving Hours
1 Gongkar Airport Lhasa 65 1
2 Gongkar Airport Tsedang 65 65
3 Lhasa  Gyantse 265 4
4 Lhasa Shigatse via Gyantse 360 5
5 Lhasa Shigatse via (Northern route) 280 4
6 Lhasa Tsedang 190 3
7 Lhasa Ganden 60 1.5
8 Ganden Til Monastery Drigun 100 2
9 Tsedang Ganden 65 2
10 Lhasa Drigun Til Monastery 160 2.5 hrs
11 Lhasa Tidrum Nunnery 200 3
12 Lhasa Namtso Lake 230 5
13 Lhasa Rongbuk 650 11
14 Lhasa Shegar (New Tingri) 655 11
15 Lhasa Nyalam 925 15
16 Lhasa Zhangmu (via Gyantse) 955 13
17 Lhasa Zhangmu (via Northern route) 880 12
18 Lhasa Sakya 565 9
19 Lhasa SAGA 805 13
20 Lhasa Kailash 1395 23
21 Lhasa Yamdrok Lake 105 2
22 Lhasa Tsurpu 70 1
23 Lhasa Nakchu 480 9
24 Lhasa Rating 175 3
25 Lhasa Nyidri 900 15
26 Lhasa Shishapangma B.C 790 14
27 Lhasa Cho Oyu Base Camp 680 12
28 Tsedang Samye Monastery 40 1
29 Tsedang Gyantse 160 3
30 Tsedang  Shigatse 250 4
31 Gyantse Shigatse 90 1
32 Gyantse  Lhatse 240 4
33 Gyantse Shegar 390 7
34 Gyantse Old Tingri 330 6
35 Gyantse Zhangmu 590 7
36 Shigatse  Shegar 300 5
37 Shigatse Sakya  210 4
38 Shigatse Old Tingri 360 6
39 Shigatse  Lhatse 150 3
40 Shigatse Zhangmu 600  8
41 Shegar Old Tingri 60 1
42 Shegar Rongbuk 85 1.5 hr
43 Rongbuk  EBC 7 ½ hr
44 Shegar Lhatse 150  2.5hr
45 Shegar  Sakya 210 3.5 hr
46 Sakya  Rongbuk 295 5
47 Old Tingri  Lhatse 210 3.5 hr
48 Old Tingri  Rongbuk 85 1.5 hr
49 Old tingri   Nyalam 210 3.5hr
50 Old tingri Zhangmu 240 4
51 Old Tingri Cho Oyu 60 1
52 Lhatse Sakya 60 1 hr
53 Nyalam Zhangmu 30  ½ hr
54 Zhangmu Kathmandu 123 5
55 Kodari Kathmandu 117 4hrs
56 Kodari Zhangmu 6 ½ hr
57 Zhangmu Rongbuk 325 5
58 Zhangmu Shishapangma 100 2
59 SAGA LHATSE 300 5
60 Saga Nyalam 720 9
61 Saga Shigatse 450 8
62 Saga Lake Manasarovar 560 7
63 Saga Dongpa (Tradun) 170 3
64 Saga Baryang 250 4
65 Lake Mansarovar Baryang 270 4
66 Lake Mansarovar Darchen 30 ½ hr
67 Darchen Tarpoche 20 ½ hr
68 Mt. Kailash KORA KORA 52 km All walk
69 Tarpoche Dirapuk 13 km 6-7 hrs walk
70 Dirapuk – Dolmala pass Zutulpuk 22 km 10 hrs walk
71 Zutul puk     Trek end (Close to Darchen) 12 km 4-5 hrs walk
72 Trek end (Close to Darchen)  Lake Mansarovar 30 ½ hr
73 Manasarovar Kora 70 2
74 Dongpa (Tradun)  Baryang 150 2.5hr
75 Lijiang Zhongdian 206  4
76 Zhongdian Dequin/Feiliaisi 200 3
77 Feilaisi Markham  215 4
78 Malkham Dzogong 158 3
79 Dzogong  Pasho 200 3
80 Pasho-Rawa-tso  Pomi 220 4
81 Bayi Draksum Tso/Lhasa 490 8
82 Finish Kailash trek () Tirthapuri 60 1
83 Toling  Chapsang 80 1.5
84 Toling Tirthapuri (Very long drive) 530 9
85 Toling Day trip to Guge 60 1
86 Ngari Pursum Saga  320  5
87 Lake Mansarovar Ngari Pursum 130  2
88 Lhasa Drak Yerpa Moanstery 40 ½ hr

 

Elevations

 

S. No. NAME HEIGHT (m) HEIGHT (ft.)
 1 Gongkar Airport 1300 m. 4265 ft.
2 Lhasa 3600 m. 11811 ft.
3 Gyantse 3950 m. 12956 ft.
4 Shigatse 3900 m. 12792 ft.
5 Shegar 4200 m. 13776 ft.
6 Zhangmu 2300 m. 7544 ft.
7 Tsedang 3510 m. 11512 ft.
8 Rongbuk 5100 m. 16498 ft.
9 Tingri 4300 m. 14107 ft.
10 Namtso Lake 4718m 15475ft
11 Yamdrok Lake 4408 m. 14458 ft.
12 Nyalam 3750 m. 12300 ft.
13 Lake Mansarovar 4558 m. 14950 ft.
14 Mt. Kailash 6714 m. 15875 ft.
15 Saga 4840 m. 15875 ft.
16 Lhatse 4050 m. 13284 ft.
17 Drigung 4300 m. 14104 ft.
18 Darchen 4560 m. 14957 ft.
19 Paryang 4540 m. 14891 ft.
20 Dirapuk 4900 m. 16072 ft.
21 Zutul puk 4790 m. 15771 ft.
22 Ganden 3800 m. 12464 ft.
23 Tsurphu 4390 m. 14400 ft.
24 Sakya 4280 m. 14041 ft.
25 Everest Base Camp (EBC) 5200 m. 17056 ft.
26 Dolmala Pass 5630 m. 18466 ft.
27 New  Drongpa 4725 m. 15498 ft.
28 Lalung La Pass 5050 m. 16564 ft.
29 Thong La Pass 5150 m. 16892 ft.
30 Karo La Pass 5045 m. 16548 ft.
31 Khamba La Pass 4970 m. 16301 ft.
32 Drak Yerpa Temple 4800 m. 15744 ft.
33 Gyatso La Pass 5220 m. 17122 ft.

 

 

Festivals

Tibetan New Year (February or March), Saga Dawa Festival (May or June), Gyantse Horse Race & Archery (May or June), Changtang Chachen Horse Race Festival (August), Shoton Festival (August), Harvest Festival (September), The Main Folk Festivals Bathing Week (September), Kungbu Traditional Festival (November of December) are the main festival of Tibet, celebrated by every person in Tibet as well as other countries also. Please contact us for current dates of different festival.

Festival Dates in 2014:

S. No. Festival Date Festival location  cities and towns
 01  Tibetan New Year March 02  Lhasa and towns
 02  Butter Lamp  March 16  Lhasa
 03  Saga Dawa
Main day of Saga Dawa
 May 29 to June
June 13
 Lhasa and major towns
 04  Gyantse Horse Race  June 08  Gyantse
 05  Thangka Unveiling Tashilumpho  July 10  Shigatse
 06  Zamling Chisang/Samye Dolde  July 12  Samye monastery
 07  Ganden Thangka Unveiling Festival  Aug 10  Ganden monastery
 08  Nagchu Horse Race  Aug 10 o15  Nagchu (Northern Tibet)
 09  Shoton Festival  Aug 25 to 31  Lhasa:  Drepung & Sera, Norbulinka
 10  Mid Autum Festival (National Day)  Oct 1-7  National day ( around China)
 11  Lhabab Duechen  Nov 13  Lhasa
 12  Palden Lhamo Festival  Dec 6  Ganden Monastery
 13  Ganden Nga-Choe  Dec 16  Lhasa and major towns

 

 

Restaurant and Cuisine

Foods in Tibet differ in pastoral areas and agricultural areas. The staple food includes roasted highland barley flour, wheat flour, meat, or red food, and milk, or white food. The principle in summer is the white food, while that in winter is the red food. Local flavors in the pastoral areas are mutton sausage, and dried beef. The flavor of the Tibetan food is fresh, light, and tender. Salt, onion, and garlic are the main ingredients. There are many restaurants in Lhasa, Shigatse, and Tsedang, All restaurants of various classes are decorated and furnished in the traditional Tibetan style. Diners can enjoy delicious Tibetan dishes while admiring paintings and murals symbolizing happiness and good luck in the restaurants. High on the menu are such flavors as sausages, barley wine, butter oil tea, beef and mutton eaten with the hands, yak tongue, steamed buns, zanba made from highland barley, pastries, sweet tea, butter tea, dried beef, and xiapuqing, or minced mutton and beef.

Tipping

There is no tipping culture in most of the local restaurant especially outside Lhasa or en-route places or in many of the small hotel and Guest houses even in Lhasa. However, your tour staff involve in your day to day holiday activities do expect tips. We suggest per week approx. US$ 75 to Guide and US$ 50 if you think staff have done their job properly and they deserve it.  Tips are not compulsory.  We suggest to tips at the end of the trips, it is best to put money in an envelope and offer with Khadka (Tibetan scarf) which is the local culture and this will be highly appreciated.

Train Schedule

Train schedule last updated August 2013:

Train # From To Dept. Time Arriv. Time Hours/ Distance
T28 Lhasa Beijing 9.20 7.34 46 H 4064k
Beijing Lhasa 21.30 18.38 44 H 4064k
T21/24 Lhasa Chengdu 13.10 7.57 42 H  3348k
Chengdu Lhasa 20.59 17.02 45 H  3348k
T221/224 Lhasa Chongqing 13.10 8.36 43H    3642k
Chongqing Lhasa 19.55 17.02 45H    3642k
T24/21 Lhasa Lanzhou 7.45 10.19 26H   2176k
Lanzhou Lhasa 12.15 15.40 27 H  2176k
T21/24 Lhasa Xining 7.45 7.40 23H   1960k
Xining Lhasa 14.56 15.40 24H    1960k
T116/163 Lhasa Xian 10.00 20.49 34H    2864k
Xian Lhasa 10.11 19.15 33H    2864k
T263 Lhasa Guangzho 10.00 18.10 56H    4980k
Guangzho Lhasa 12.19 18.30 54H    4980k
T163 Lhasa Shanghai 9.50 11.53 50H    4377k
Shanghai Lhasa 19.52 20.48 48H    4377k
T24 Lhasa Golmud 12.45 1.54 13H    1142k
Golmud Lhasa 2.52 10.50 15H    1142k

 

Do’s And Dont’s

Some useful tips on Do’s and Don’ts

  • Wear proper dress code during visit holy area, remove your hat, do not interrupt prayer
  • Do not point with your finger to any holy object,  No antique are allowed to take from Tibet
  • China time is 8 hours ahead of GMT, Always keep copy of your visa or permit with yourself.
  • Do not take photograph without asking, Do not talk about any sensitive issues
  • Important Tibetan words are Tashi Delek which means “greetings”, Thucheche means “thank you”,  Use always both hand whenever you give or take.
  • Do not touch, walk over, or sit on any religious texts, sacred objects or prayer flags.
  • Tibetan people do not eat horse, dog, or donkey, as well as fish (in some areas).  While in Tibet, you should follow local dietary restrictions.
  • It is not polite to clap your palms and spit behind the Tibetan people.
  • Tibetan people stretch out their tongue to say hello to you. Also it is a courtesy to put their hands palm in front of breast.
  • Do not smoke in monasteries. Also it is not permitted to touch or photograph Buddha statues and religious articles.
  • In addition, when walking around the monastery, you should always walk in a clockwise direction (with the exception of Bon temples).
  • When walking around dagobas, monasteries or Mani piles, please go around them in a clockwise direction (with the exception of Bon sites), without crossing them.
  • Eagles are sacred birds in the eyes of the Tibetan people. Do not disturb them, drive them away or injure them.
  • You should also not disturb sheep or cows decorated with red, green or yellow cloth.
  • It is advisable to offer Khada ( silk scarf to anyone you meet for the first time)
  • It is advisable to offer Prayer flag or Lungta sacred script (string of prayer flag) in high passes, temple for good fortune or long life
  • Please always keep your original visa & passport with you for any random  security check

Note: We will offer you each prayers flag before you leave for Tibet as a gift.

 

Customize Your Tours