Official Tibet Travel abd Tour Guide - Must-See for Beginners 1

The climate of Tibet:

1. How’s the climate in Tibet? Is it hot in summer? Is it very cold in winter?

The climate in southeastern Tibet, including Nyingchi and Chamdo, is balmy, with an average temperature of eight degrees centigrade, while in western Tibet (Shigatse and Nagqu) is quite cold, with an average temperature below zero degrees.


However, in the central area of Tibet, the climate of Lhasa and Tsedang is more favorable for traveling. Travelers can visit these two areas all year round, not too hot in summer and cold in winter.


2. How is the road condition in the rainy season in Tibet? Need I take any rainproof with me?

3. What is the best time to travel to Tibet?

Generally speaking, early April begins the travel season, which lasts until mid-June when many Chinese travelers rush to Tibet for the summer holiday. Late June to the end of the National Holiday is the peak travel season when important festivals are held in Tibet, like Shoton Festival, Gyantse Dawa Festival, and Nagqu horse riding Festival. After mid-October, Tibet turns to winter, and as the number of visitors reduces greatly, more than half of hotels are closed for poor reservations.

As for the best time to travel, it depends on your travel requirement.

2. If you like trekking, do it in May or September when the monsoon will never bother you, and the weather is balmy and pleasant.

3. If you love Mt.Everest and want to see the clear face of it, try to avoid the rainfall season and foggy weather.

4. If you love to visit the grassland in north Tibet, do the tour in July when the flowers bloom in the vast plain and groups of yak and sheep, Tibetan nomad tents spread all over the table.

5. Those who want to drive to Tibet through the Sichuan-Tibet highway should avoid the rainy season. There will be mudslides, cave-ins, and mire on certain sections of the road, blocking the passage of vehicles.

About high altitude sickness

1. What is high altitude sickness? What’s the symptom of high altitude sickness?

High altitude sickness may occur at high altitudes (over 2700m) due to the decreasing availability of oxygen. It usually occurs following a rapid ascent and can be prevented by slowly ascending. Symptoms often manifest themselves six to ten hours after climb and generally subside in one to two days, but they occasionally develop into more serious conditions. Common symptoms of high altitude sickness include shortness of breath, headache, fatigue, stomach illness, dizziness, and sleep disturbance.

2. How to avoid or relieve high altitude sickness?

Keep a good mood, and don’t be too excited or worried about high altitude sickness. Before visiting Tibet, get as healthy as possible, both physically and psychologically. Take care of yourself and avoid catching a cold before going to Tibet. Do not shower the first two days after you are in Lhasa to avoid being cold, or you will easily suffer from altitude sickness under weak physical conditions. Do not drink any alcohol on the first two days when you are in Tibet. Drink plenty of water and eat light, high-carbohydrate meals for more energy. Do not run, jump or do some taxing jobs in the first two days. Being peaceful and having a good rest is important. Once you have the symptoms of altitude sickness, take some medicine (it is said that it’s helpful to have some butter tea if you can adapt to the flavor of it), and don’t go higher. Medication and oxygen also help to prevent altitude sickness. Mild altitude sickness symptoms can be treated with proper medication. If medication and oxygen do not relieve the symptoms, go to a hospital or evacuate immediately to a safe altitude! Oxygen can help you reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness but do not use it too often in Lhasa while your symptoms of altitude sickness are not serious. You should go to the nearest hospital if you feel chilly or uncomfortable. In addition to the normal medications for traveling, it is advisable to bring high-altitude medication. Seek suggestions from your doctor. Tell your tour guide quickly if you don’t feel well and follow the guide’s advice.

3. What should I do if I have high altitude sickness after arriving in Tibet?

There are hospitals in many large cities in Tibet. You may slowly adapt to mild, high-altitude sickness by yourself and go to the hospital if it is serious. After you already have high altitude sickness, you should rest well, not move too much, eat, drink water with black sugar, or take some medicine. If the high altitude sickness is severe, you should go to the hospital, descend to some lower places, or leave Lhasa immediately. High altitude sickness shall disappear after you descend to a certain altitude, and it has no sequel symptoms.

4. Is high altitude sickness more serious if going to Tibet by plane than by train?

Exactly, but both means have their advantages and disadvantages. You are more likely to have high altitude sickness because you don’t have enough time to gradually adapt to the plateau environment if you go by plane. The altitude change is from several hundred to more than 3000 meters. While if you go to Tibet by train, you can adapt your body to the high plateau environment slowly and gradually. Then, you may relieve or avoid high altitude sickness.

5. People with what kind of diseases can not go to Tibet? Do I need physical practice before traveling to Tibet?

People with the following diseases can not travel to Tibet:

    • People with all kinds of organic heart diseases, severe arrhythmia or resting heart rate over 100 per minute, high blood pressure II or above, all types of blood diseases, and cranial vascular diseases.
    • People with chronic respiratory system diseases have a medium degree of obstructive pulmonary diseases or above, such as bronchus expansion, emphysema, etc.
    • People with diabetes mellitus, which is not controlled properly, have hysteria, epilepsy, and schizophrenia.
    • People with bad colds, upper respiratory tract infections, and body temperature above 38F or below 38F, while the whole body and the respiratory system have obvious symptoms, are not recommended to travel to Tibet until they’re OK.
    • People diagnosed with high-altitude pulmonary edema, high-altitude cerebral edema, high-altitude hypertension with an obvious blood pressure increase, high-altitude heart diseases, and high-altitude polycythemia.
  • High-risk pregnant women.

You may have a physical examination if unsure about your body condition. But you are not supposed to exercise more before going to Tibet, for exercising will burden your heart, and you’ll need more oxygen, which may easily cause high altitude sickness.

6. Why can not people with cold go to Tibet? What should I do if I catch a cold in Tibet?

Your immune system shall be weak if you catch a cold, and you may suffer high altitude sickness easily. Besides, severe colds may easily turn into more serious high-altitude diseases, especially pulmonary edema, which is very dangerous. So you are not supposed to travel to Tibet before you get rid of a cold.

While if you catch a cold in Tibet, things might not be so serious because your body has already, to some extent, adapted to the plateau environment, and you can go to a doctor and take some medicine

Permits & certificates

1. Are any limitations or restrictions imposed on foreigners to travel to Tibet? How about overseas Chinese, Taiwan Compatriots, and Hong Kong and Macao compatriots? How to handle it, and how long does it take?

2. What is Tibet Entry Permit? How to get a Tibet Entry Permit, and what documents are required?

Tibet Entry Permit, or Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) Permit or Tibet Visa, is the basic document for foreign travelers to enter Tibet. No foreign visitor can visit Tibet without holding the Tibet Entry Permit. Foreign tourists must show their Chinese Visa and Tibet Entry Permit when they change boarding passes for flying to Tibet or boarding trains to Tibet.

Tibet Tourism Bureau officially issues Tibet Entry Permit to restrict the number of foreign visitors. With this permit, foreign tourists can travel in the Lhasa region, including Lhasa city, Yamdrok Lake, Ganden, Tsurphu, Namtso, Drigung Til, and Rating.

Tibet Entry Permit is not available for independent travelers. Foreign travelers must travel in a tour group and ask a legitimate travel agency to apply for a Tibet tour.

Documents required:

If you are a Hong Kong and Macau SAR citizen, China Re-entry Permit for Hong Kong & Macau Compatriots is enough to travel in Tibet. You are not required to apply for the Tibet Permit.

Pay attention: An Alien’s Travel Permit is required if you plan to travel to places officially closed to foreigners in Tibet.

3. What is Alien’s Travel Permit?

Except for Tibet Entry Permit, an Alien’s Travel Permit is required if you are planning to travel to places officially closed to foreigners in Tibet, such as Mt. Everest, Rongbuk Monastery, Mt. Kailash, and Lake Manasarovar. Alien’s Travel Permit is unnecessary for places in the Lhasa region, towns of Shigatse and Tsetang, or nonstop travel on Friendship Highway.

Notice: If you want to do a Tibet overland tour from Yunnan, Sichuan, Qinghai, or Xinjiang province to Tibet, you must get the PSB permit before your tour starts.

4. Which parts of Tibet are listed as closed areas?

At present, you have to apply for a Travel Permit if you are planning to visit the following places: areTsedang: Samye Monastery, Tomb of Tibetan King, Trundruk Monastery, YumbulakhangShigatse: Sakya Monastery, Mt. Everest, Rongbuk MonasteryGyangtse: Pelkor Chode Monastery & Kubum StupaNgari Region: Mt. Kailash, Lake Manasarovar, Tsaparang, Years, etc. Nyingchi Region: Based-to, Pomi, Raw-to, etc. Chamdo Region: Chamdo, Riwoche, Tengchen, etc.5. Are there any other certificates and permits that may be required in Tibet?

Except for Tibet Entry Permit and Alien Travel Permit, there are Military Permit, Foreign-affairs permit, and other permits which may be required when traveling in Tibet.

6. How to deal with the visa from Tibet to Nepal? Can I apply for a Nepal visa in Lhasa? Is it fast? Shall I be denied?

You can also get a Nepal visa at the border. Not far from the Friendship Bridge, you can get an arrival visa for 15 day stay at the border office for 25 USD. You need to prepare a passport-size photo and complete a form as well.

What to Pack:

1. What drugs to take when traveling to Tibet?

In the first few days after arriving in Tibet, you may experience some altitude reactions. Colds, insomnia, and digestive disorders are common. Take an adequate supply of any prescription medication you regularly use, including medicine for colds, headaches, stomachaches, insect bites, diarrhea, and so on, like Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Antibiotics, throat lozenges, nasal decongestant, vitamins, etc. Most over-the-counter medicines, such as aspirin and anti-diarrheal pills, are available in Lhasa but are more difficult to obtain outside urban areas. It is advisable to take anti-altitude sickness drugs to cope with oxygen deficiency. Bring diamox pills, which are believed to prevent altitude sickness effectively. Please consult your doctor before your travel to Tibet.

2. What food to take when traveling to Tibet?

You may take some chocolate, dried beef, hot pickled mustard tuber, biscuit, and other food and snacks you like. You’d better bring food with high calories. You may also take some gum with you, which may help relieve the symptom of syringes and headaches. When traveling to remote areas of Tibet, it is a good idea to pack food, snacks, and drinking water. Finding food or drinkable water in these areas is not always easy. Water purification equipment, such as hand pump filters, is unnecessary, as bottled mineral water and thermoses of boiled water are available everywhere throughout Tibet. Water purification tablets can be useful during trekking. Taking a good quality multivitamin to supplement your diet is a good idea since a supply of vegetables and fruits may not be readily available.

3. The necessary commodities you should take when traveling to Tibet Necessities: sunglasses, hat, sun cream, skin cream, lipstick, long sleeve clothes, sweaters, Passport, visa, money, credit card, camera, film, batteries, toiletries, cosmetics, knife, watch, day bag-pack, big travel bags (soft luggage), water bottle, journal, reading book, writing materials, binoculars, family pictures, and snack foods.

4. What clothes and shoes should be worn when traveling to Tibet?


Most hotels in Tibet have no central heating. The air-conditioners in single rooms do not work well in the cold night. From November to March, you must bring down jackets, warm sweaters, gloves, warm pants, and woolen hats in winter. It is very cold in the morning and evening. In summer, wearing a T-shirt in day time but a Jacket is necessary at the hotel in the morning and evening.

Even in summer, a down coat is necessary for those traveling beyond Lhasa and Shigatse into more remote areas such as the Everest Camp. A windbreaker plus a sweater will work nicely for strolling around Lhasa in summer.

Other essentials to pack include four or five pairs of cotton or woolen underwear, four or five pairs of woolen socks, long sleeve cotton or lightweight wool shirts, and T-shirts. Women should avoid skirts or dresses.

Also, whenever you visit Tibet, keeping warm is very important if your plan includes overnight at Everest Base Camp or Namtso Lake or several days of outdoor treks in the mountain area. The winter clothes are a must. However, you do not need to worry too much about clothing; you can buy any clothes you need in Lhasa, which are quite cheap.