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

MONTHCELSIUSFAHRENHEITRAIN FALL
MaxMinMaxMin Inch
January06-104214Nil
February08-084618Nil
March12-305426Nil
April150059320.4
May180564411.4
June230973482.8
July220971486.7
August220871474.7
September210770444.7
Otober170262350.4
November12-045325Nil
December08-104614Nil

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:

ScheduleFlight No.SectorETD / 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.FromToKm (OW) Approx.Driving Hours
1Gongkar AirportLhasa651
2Gongkar AirportTsedang6565
3Lhasa Gyantse2654
4LhasaShigatse via Gyantse3605
5LhasaShigatse via (Northern route)2804
6LhasaTsedang1903
7LhasaGanden601.5
8Ganden Til MonasteryDrigun1002
9TsedangGanden652
10LhasaDrigun Til Monastery1602.5 hrs
11LhasaTidrum Nunnery2003
12LhasaNamtso Lake2305
13LhasaRongbuk65011
14LhasaShegar (New Tingri)65511
15LhasaNyalam92515
16LhasaZhangmu (via Gyantse)95513
17LhasaZhangmu (via Northern route)88012
18LhasaSakya5659
19LhasaSAGA80513
20LhasaKailash139523
21LhasaYamdrok Lake1052
22LhasaTsurpu701
23LhasaNakchu4809
24LhasaRating1753
25LhasaNyidri90015
26LhasaShishapangma B.C79014
27LhasaCho Oyu Base Camp68012
28TsedangSamye Monastery401
29TsedangGyantse1603
30Tsedang Shigatse2504
31GyantseShigatse901
32Gyantse Lhatse2404
33GyantseShegar3907
34GyantseOld Tingri3306
35GyantseZhangmu5907
36Shigatse Shegar3005
37ShigatseSakya 2104
38ShigatseOld Tingri3606
39Shigatse Lhatse1503
40ShigatseZhangmu600 8
41ShegarOld Tingri601
42ShegarRongbuk851.5 hr
43Rongbuk EBC7½ hr
44ShegarLhatse150 2.5hr
45Shegar Sakya2103.5 hr
46Sakya Rongbuk2955
47Old Tingri Lhatse2103.5 hr
48Old Tingri Rongbuk851.5 hr
49Old tingri  Nyalam2103.5hr
50Old tingriZhangmu2404
51Old TingriCho Oyu601
52LhatseSakya601 hr
53NyalamZhangmu30 ½ hr
54ZhangmuKathmandu1235
55KodariKathmandu1174hrs
56KodariZhangmu6½ hr
57ZhangmuRongbuk3255
58ZhangmuShishapangma1002
59SAGALHATSE3005
60SagaNyalam7209
61SagaShigatse4508
62SagaLake Manasarovar5607
63SagaDongpa (Tradun)1703
64SagaBaryang2504
65Lake MansarovarBaryang2704
66Lake MansarovarDarchen30½ hr
67DarchenTarpoche20½ hr
68Mt. Kailash KORAKORA52 kmAll walk
69TarpocheDirapuk13 km6-7 hrs walk
70Dirapuk – Dolmala passZutulpuk22 km10 hrs walk
71Zutul puk     Trek end(Close to Darchen)12 km4-5 hrs walk
72Trek end (Close to Darchen) Lake Mansarovar30½ hr
73ManasarovarKora702
74Dongpa (Tradun) Baryang1502.5hr
75LijiangZhongdian206 4
76ZhongdianDequin/Feiliaisi2003
77FeilaisiMarkham 2154
78MalkhamDzogong1583
79Dzogong Pasho2003
80Pasho-Rawa-tso Pomi2204
81BayiDraksum Tso/Lhasa4908
82Finish Kailash trek ()Tirthapuri601
83Toling Chapsang801.5
84TolingTirthapuri (Very long drive)5309
85TolingDay trip to Guge601
86Ngari PursumSaga 320 5
87Lake MansarovarNgari Pursum130 2
88LhasaDrak Yerpa Moanstery40½ hr

 

Elevations

 

S. No.NAMEHEIGHT (m)HEIGHT (ft.)
 1Gongkar Airport1300 m.4265 ft.
2Lhasa3600 m.11811 ft.
3Gyantse3950 m.12956 ft.
4Shigatse3900 m.12792 ft.
5Shegar4200 m.13776 ft.
6Zhangmu2300 m.7544 ft.
7Tsedang3510 m.11512 ft.
8Rongbuk5100 m.16498 ft.
9Tingri4300 m.14107 ft.
10Namtso Lake4718m15475ft
11Yamdrok Lake4408 m.14458 ft.
12Nyalam3750 m.12300 ft.
13Lake Mansarovar4558 m.14950 ft.
14Mt. Kailash6714 m.15875 ft.
15Saga4840 m.15875 ft.
16Lhatse4050 m.13284 ft.
17Drigung4300 m.14104 ft.
18Darchen4560 m.14957 ft.
19Paryang4540 m.14891 ft.
20Dirapuk4900 m.16072 ft.
21Zutul puk4790 m.15771 ft.
22Ganden3800 m.12464 ft.
23Tsurphu4390 m.14400 ft.
24Sakya4280 m.14041 ft.
25Everest Base Camp (EBC)5200 m.17056 ft.
26Dolmala Pass5630 m.18466 ft.
27New  Drongpa4725 m.15498 ft.
28Lalung La Pass5050 m.16564 ft.
29Thong La Pass5150 m.16892 ft.
30Karo La Pass5045 m.16548 ft.
31Khamba La Pass4970 m.16301 ft.
32Drak Yerpa Temple4800 m.15744 ft.
33Gyatso La Pass5220 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.FestivalDateFestival location  cities and towns
 01 Tibetan New YearMarch 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 #FromToDept. TimeArriv. TimeHours/ Distance
T28LhasaBeijing9.207.3446 H 4064k
BeijingLhasa21.3018.3844 H 4064k
T21/24LhasaChengdu13.107.5742 H  3348k
ChengduLhasa20.5917.0245 H  3348k
T221/224LhasaChongqing13.108.3643H    3642k
ChongqingLhasa19.5517.0245H    3642k
T24/21LhasaLanzhou7.4510.1926H   2176k
LanzhouLhasa12.1515.4027 H  2176k
T21/24LhasaXining7.457.4023H   1960k
XiningLhasa14.5615.4024H    1960k
T116/163LhasaXian10.0020.4934H    2864k
XianLhasa10.1119.1533H    2864k
T263LhasaGuangzho10.0018.1056H    4980k
GuangzhoLhasa12.1918.3054H    4980k
T163LhasaShanghai9.5011.5350H    4377k
ShanghaiLhasa19.5220.4848H    4377k
T24LhasaGolmud12.451.5413H    1142k
GolmudLhasa2.5210.5015H    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.

 

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