Trip Overview

Trip Highlights
  • Altitude: Average elevation of roughly 14,370 feet (4,380 meters) above sea level.
  • People: Tibetan, with Han (Chinese), Hui (Chinese Muslims), Monba, Lhoba, and other minority nationalities.
  • Language: Predominantly Tibetan.
  • Capital: Lhasa.
  • Flora: The area has 25.2 million hectares of forest, mainly tropical and subtropical coniferous forests. The dominant tree species include spruce, fir, pine, larch, cypress, birch, and oak. Tibet has around 400 rhododendron species, accounting for half of the world’s total.
  • Fauna: Home to snow leopard, clouded leopard, lynx, Tibetan takin [goat-antelope], Himalayan black bear, brown bear, wild yak (drong), blue sheep, musk deer, golden monkey, wild ass (Kyang), Tibetan gazelle, Himalayan mouse hare, Tibetan antelope, giant panda, red panda and others.
  • Birds: Over 532 different species of birds in 57 families.  Some of them include stork, wild swan, Blyth’s kingfisher, goose, jungle flycatcher, redstart, finch, grey-dided thrush, Przewalski’s parrotbill, wagtail, chickadee, large-billed bush warbler, bearded vulture, woodpecker and beautiful nuthatch. The most famous and rare bird is the black-necked crane. More than 15,000 natural lakes are also found in Tibet.
  • Economy: Mineral deposits of about 126 different minerals accounting for a significant share of the entire world’s reserves of gold, lithium, uranium, chromite, copper, borax and iron.  Tibet has the largest high-grade uranium deposit in the world.  Amdo’s oil fields produce over 1 million tons of crude oil per year.
  • Best time to visit Tibet: The weather in Tibet is good from April to Mid November and better from August to October.  The environment of Lhasa is much more favorable than other places in Tibet, so Lhasa is suitable to travel all year round.

Tibet is a region in the Himalayas known as the Roof of the World and the Land of Snow. It has a rich history dating back to 127 BC and is known for its battles with Mongols and Chinese. The Tibetan Empire reached its peak during the 7th and 8th centuries, conquering parts of Nepal, India, and the Silk Route states. The Tibetan Kings imported Buddhism from India and became its emissaries. The Great Fifth Dalai Lama created the Ganden government in 1642, which demilitarized Tibet and formed it into a spiritual nation. In 1904, the British invaded Tibet, and in 1949 and 1950, the People’s Liberation Army of China invaded eastern provinces. His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama was forced to flee to India in 1959, where he has lived in exile ever since. Tibet is now an Autonomous Region under China, but it is known for its unique high altitude ecosystem, culture, geography, and landmarks that attract tourists and travelers.

Detailed Descriptions

  • Culture

  • Architecture

  • Stone houses

  • Language

  • Festivals

  • Arts and Handicrafts

  • Food

  • Traditional clothes

  • Tibetan Nomads

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is independent travel possible in Tibet?

    Answer: Independent travel in Tibet is prohibited. In order to get there, all foreign travelers need to book a travel tour with travel agency.

     

  • How to get to Tibet?

    Answer: You can either fly, take a train or go by road.

  • How are the Tibetans?

    Answer: Tibetans are extremely religious so you should respect their privacy when they pray (back off, don’t stay too close, be quiet, ask for photo permission, etc.). You should also show your respect and thankfulness when you receive any gifts from them. They don’t eat fish, dog, donkey and horse meat due to religion belief so don’t insult them eating these food in front of them. Moreover, when you visit temples you should follow prayers, wait in the queue, walk around them clockwise, don’t push people or overtake. Always follow the rules when going to monasteries and taking pictures inside temples is strictly forbidden.

  • Where can we eat and what’s the food like?

    Answer: Street food is not available everywhere. You can get some snacks (Tibetan delicacies) but not a proper meal. There are few restaurant, very cheap and nice, where you can dine out. If you don’t like Tibetan food (little spicy, based on yak meat and dairy products) you can easily get Indian or western style food.

     

  • Can Tibetans speak English? Can I speak Chinese to them?

    Answer: Most of Tibetan people can speak very good English, unlike Chinese people.

  • Is wi-fi available?

    Answer: Yes, wi-fi is available in each hotel in Lhasa.

  • Can you go to Tibet without a tour?

    Answer: No, it is impossible to travel to Tibet without an organized tour. A tour guide and permits are required to travel to Tibet from Nepal and Mainland China ports. You must process the Permit and book a tour guide through the tour operator.

     

  • How can I get a permit for Tibet?

    Answer: Your travel agent applies for the necessary permits to TTB. The authority starts to issue permits 2-3 weeks before your departure. The travel agent uses the Permit 2-3 weeks in advance, which means you are requested to confirm your trip at least four weeks to avoid any risk.

  • How do I receive my Permit?

    Answer: Your Permit will be sent to your given address in China but not other countries; you will be required to send your proper address in China (Either apartment or hotel) with a telephone number; the postman will send your original Permit before your flight or train to China. On the other hand, if you are traveling from Kathmandu (Nepal) there is a different procedure as you will need to prepare the paper issued from the Embassy of China in Kathmandu. Please consult with your travel agent about it. Please check out Tibet Travel Procedure for more details.

  • Why Tibetan Yaks are quite indispensable in Tibet?

    Answer: The yak is a treasure for the Tibetan people. Not only does it provide them with meat, milk, and cheese, but the clothes they wear are also made of the yak’s hair. For Tibetan nomads, yak wool is also the material for their tents. Almost everything in Tibet tent houses is related to yak, and even the yak’s dung can be used as fuel to keep the Tibetan nomads warm and to fuel their cooking.

    The yak is also an important vehicle for riding and carrying goods. For example, while doing the Mount KailashKora, you can hire a porter and his yak to carry your luggage, which not only lightens your burden but also brings some income to the local Tibetans.

Trip Review