Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal
Frequently Asked Questions about Tibet Tour
What is the best season for tour in Tibet?
Tibet presents its best from April to October. However visiting Tibet in winter has its own advantages. The tourist rush is at lowest and you will be able to explore Tibet freely. And the accommodation and transportation also are more available.
When is the best time to go?
Tibet is huge and need your time if you really want to enjoy this place in full swing. It’s best if you plan your visit from May to July or September to October. The bitter cold makes it very difficult if you are planning to pay visit to Everest base camp from October onwards and hence is urged not to. August receives heavy rainfall and winters are full of snow falls blocking roads and transportation.
Is it safe to travel in winter time, especially from Tibet to Katmandu (which is where I want to finish)?
The Lhasa Kathmandu highway is often blocked in the winters due to heavy snowfall thus airways are advised. But if you are planning to take this way in summers and spring this might turn out to be one of the best road travels you’ve had.
Gears and medications you’ll need in Tibet tour
What are the things I’ll need while traveling to Tibet?
Necessities for adventure in Tibet tours include walking shoes, backpack, duffel bag, sleeping bag, air bed, raingear, tent, gas stove, water bottle, knife, sewing kit, compass, altitude meter, map, leg wrappings, kitchen utensils, cups, nylon rope, toilet paper, a lighter, an electric torch, plastic bags, sunglasses, sun block, ground sheet pad, insectifuge, camera, telescope, wrist watch and food.
Attention should be given to cold and frostbite prevention, as even in summer, a warm coat is necessary. For other seasons, or when at high altitude (above 4,500 meters above sea level), a heavy coat or down jacket will be needed. Temperature of Tibet differs heavily in night and days. Sudden change of temperature might trouble you layered warm clothes are advised. Sun in the high plateaus are very intense and hamper your skin. A wide brimmed hat can be very useful here and visitors are urged to bring it. You can always use a comfortable walking shoes and a mask.
Many places in Tibet that deserves your visit have poor lighting and that might ruin your visit to those monuments. A nice flash light will be of great use,
Finally, travelers should take some medicine for colds, headaches, stomach troubles or other minor ailments. Vitamins are also recommended. To prevent sun-burn and for general comfort, sunglasses, hat, and sun block should be worn for outdoor activities.
What medicine I should bring for the high elevation?
Medicines like clod and flu tables, throat lozenges, nasal decongestant, aspirins and multivitamins will prove to be very useful here. Or else you can consult with local doctors here in Tibet. The locals have very much experience of the altitude sickness, the garlic soup they prepare are very effective and always help you.
Money and Insurance
ther than Chinese currency, what else currency is acceptable in Tibet?
Very few places in Tibet accept the US dollars. So using the Chinese currency is the most convenient way for the monetary transactions in Tibet. If you run out on Chinese currency you can always for for an exchange agent or you can visit the Bank of china.
Can I draw cash from the local banks in Tibet?
Yes you can draw money from the bank but only the Bank of china has this function. The ATMs in Tibet are known to give troubles, and hence a tourist is always advised to bring in some cash with him.
Do travel agencies provide travel insurance?
Yes. It is compulsory that travel operators must buy travel agencies' liability insurance for their clients.
Are Tibet's streets safe?
Yes Tibetan streets are very safe. Since most of the people in Tibet are followers of Buddhism and believe in non violence and peace there are hardly any crimes in Tibetan streets. But tourists should be alert of the Tibetan street dogs.
Getting along with the Tibetans
What are the norms if I contact with the Tibetans?
You will find Tibetans very friendly and kind. Throw a slight smile to a Tibetan in the street and you will get a big happy grin back. But you should be careful about few things. One shouldn’t photograph people without permission, you should show some respect. And please do not talk on sensitive topics like politics and religion. And do not eat FISH, DOG, DONKEY and HORSE in Tibet. Tibetan people worship these animals and these people are very sensitive about their religion.
Tibetan people respect each other very much and they do not address people directly by their names. They add suffix like “La”, “Agyi” or “Ajog” after their names while addressing each other. They normally take off their hat and bow when they greet people.
A guest should always wait for the host to hand over the tea when I lunch and whenever the host presents s some gifts to the guest the guest must receive it with two hands or else it is considered impolite or ignorant. While rotating the monasteries or any temples one should walk around them clockwise, keeping the right side of your body towards the temple. And finally one should never touch a Tibetan in his/her head.
What about tipping? How much should I tip?
Tipping is not a custom of Tibet yet as the tourism grows in Tibet people in profession like guide, driver, waiters and hotel staff expect tips. If you are satisfied with the service then a few dollars tip will please them.
What should I do with the beggars in the Tibetan streets?
Religious beggars are an accepted part of the Tibetan society. Giving money or food to those beggars is considered an act of merit. Donation of five fens to two Jiao (Chinese Currency) is appropriate. But if the beggars are the old men and women who dress in shredded, bulky clothes, while the younger ones may have a monkey on a chain, it is a spectacle of great interest to the Tibetans. These beggars are professionals, having less meritorious intentions than religious pilgrims. Just wave them off as the locals do if you don't want give anything.