The mystic Shangrila, the forbidden kingdom on the roof of the world has captured mans imagination for centuries.
Great explorers & adventurers of the century have ventured into this holy land rendered inaccessible by the hostile natural conditions & bandits that waylaid them on their journeys through the Himalayas. Despite untold ravages which occurred during the "Cultural Revolution". Tibets past grandeur, majesty, magic & mystery still remains undiminished. One can still see today nomads herding their yaks, pilgrims worshipping at sacred shrines & the expansive, striking & enduring Himalayan topography. Tibet is truly an adventurers paradise.
How to Access?
Fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa:
Air China, the only Airline operates the flight between Kathmandu and Lhasa 3 days in a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday). The flight operates from April through end of the October. The rest of the months the Air China withhold the flights because of the low flow of passengers/travelers. This trans Himalayan flight takes 1 hour & 10 minutes to reach Lhasa from Kathmandu.
Tibet from mainland China:
Lhasa is also connected with Beijing, Xian, Chengdu and Shanghai by air. There are every day Flights operating from Lhasa to these cities. Gongar is the only Airport in Lhasa. So, now days, travelers who are interested visiting Tibet via mainland China can commence their journey from one of these cities. The journey from the mainland China is hassle-free than the journey via Kathmandu.
Overland connection from Kathmandu Nepal:
There are five major road routes to Lhasa but foreigners are only supposed to use the Nepal (Friendship Highway) and Qinghai (via Golmud) routes.
The journey from Kathmandu should be viewed as an adventure, not just a sightseeing. The road itself was poorly constructed and is prone to closure by landslides, particularly from June through September. It can be very dusty and some kind of facemask is a good idea to take along. As you drive to altitudes of over 17000 feet at some points, altitude sickness becomes a real possibility and most will feel some symptoms. You must make sure to drink plenty of fluids to help you acclimatize. The choice of hotels en route (except in Lhasa, Shigatse and Gyantse) is extremely limited. From Kathmandu it takes 5 days to reach Lhasa. This rout opens round the year for travelers.
Flora & Fauna :
A variety of large mammals can be found including the elusive Snow leopard, bears, wolves, blue sheep. Other animals include musk deer, yaks and Tibetan antelope.
People & Culture:
Tibetans share their region with Menpa, Luopa, Han Chinese, Hui, Sherpa, and a few Deng people. They are however the main inhabitants on the plateau.Tibetans in general are optimistic and happy people.
They were Initially, farmers who settled in small villages with barley as their main crop, these roaming nomads earned their living by herding yaks and sheep .As larger settlements developed many Tibetans made a living as craftsmen. Nowadays more and more people are migrating into businesses.The Tibetan language belongs to the Sino-Tibetan phylum. People in U, Tsang, Kham, and Chamdo.
Most Tibetans are devout Buddhists while a few believe in the old Bon religion (which predates Buddhism). Islam and Catholicism also have a few followers in Lhasa and Yanjing respectively. The population is increasing fairly rapidly. According to the census conducted in 2000, there are 2,616,300 people in Tibet, with Tibetans totaling 2,411,100 or 92.2% of the current regional population. The census also revealed that the average life span has increased to 68 due to the improving standard of living and access to medical services. Illiteracy has decreased to 850,700.
If you book your trip from Kathmandu you must take a nepali visa at your arrival at the airport:
-25US$ for a multiple entry visa for a duration of 15 days.
-40US$ for a multiple entry visa for a duration of 30 days.
you can pay these fees also in euros.
>>Chinese visa and travelling permit
All visitors entering Tibet require a SPECIAL TRAVEL PERMIT. Chinese visa, obtained by the visitors in their home town will not be valid entering into Tibet. The Chinese Government will not give out visas to single people, only groups of 4 people or more. The Chinese government encourages (strongly) travellers to enter the country in groups. So that all our tour is in joining group basic. You are requested to submit us the following passport information at least 18 days before trip departure for visa procedure. At least 2 days before tour commencement, original passports must require
1. Name in full (as in passport):
4. Passport Number:
5. Date of birth:
Visa regulations for Tibet keep changing so please ask us for latest Tibet visa infos.
>>When to Visit?
From April to November is the perfect time to head up to Tibet. Tibet is not as cold as it sounds. During tourist season it is cold at night and warm and sunny during the day. The temperature falls dramatically in shade and at night. For the festivals the best months are February, March and June-September.
>>Guide and accommodations on the road
Throughout your time in Tibet you will be accompanied by a knowledgeable Tibetan guide who will not only act as an interpreter but will also provide a valuable insight into the Tibetan way of life.
In Lhasa and the major cities of Tibet ( Xigatse, Gyantse, Tsetang ) accommodations are of a high standard ( single or double rooms with private bathrooms, hot shower ). Elsewhere along the route, accommodation will be in the best available hotels but in many case accommodations are quite basics (dormitory). Whilst on the road, lunch will be at one of the many Chinese tea shops along the way which generally serve a variety of noodle and vegetable dishes and meat where available.
>>Transportation in Tibet
The roads in Tibet can at times become quite rough and impassable for many vehicles, It can at times become quite rough and impassable for many vehicles, so for this reason we use best Land cruiser 4WDs (Toyota 4500). These vehicles are extremely reliable and will make the journey as comfortable as possible. As for the trekking there will be a truck for carrying luggage and trek equipments. Well drive for several hours, stopping along the way for photographs or places of special interest, before stopping for lunch at around midday. After lunch we continue our journey, generally arriving at our destination by 3 or 4pm.
>>Best Time to Visit Tibet
Despite the high altitude of the Tibetan Plateau, the daytime temperatures are actually quite mild. Between April and November the average temperature ranges form 15-25 degrees Celsius and the skies are generally clear and blue. From July to August though there can be the odd shower during the day. The nights, however, can be very cold and temperatures can drop below 0 degrees Celsius. During the day a light shirt or jumper and lightweight pants will be suitable, but a warm fleece or down jacket is recommended for the evenings.
The best time of year for overland tours in Tibet is from April to November and for treks and Mt. Kailash tour from April to the beginning of October
>>Luggage during trekking:
During trek your main luggage will be carried by porter or pack animals (usually yaks ). You simply carry a day pack with water bottle, camera, sun-screen, spare jacket, etc. - a small load that allows full enjoyment of the trek. A trek bag is ideal for your main luggage.
Visit your usual doctor or a specialist to check any recomandation concerning yourself.
Check that the usual vaccinations are on date (DTPolio type Revaxis, BCG).
Some vaccinations are advised: Hepathite A, Typhoide, Meningite (A+C).
- Acute mountain sickness (AMS):
Acute mountain sickness (AMS) occurs from the combination of reduced air pressure and a lower concentration of oxygen at high altitude. Symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening, and can affect the nervous system, lungs, muscles, and heart.
In most cases the symptoms are mild. In severe cases fluid collects in the lungs (pulmonary edema) causing extreme shortness of breath, which further reduces how much oxygen a person gets. Brain swelling may also occur (cerebral edema). This can cause confusion, coma, and, if untreated, death.
The chance of getting acute mountain sickness increases the faster a person climbs to a high altitude. The severity of the symptoms also depend on this factor, as well as how hard the person pushes (exerts) himself or herself. People who normally live at or near sea level are more prone to acute mountain sickness.
Symptoms: Difficulty sleeping, dizziness or light-headedness, fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, rapid pulse, shortness of breath.
Prevention: Education of mountain travelers before ascent is the key to prevention. Basic principles include: gradual ascent (400m/day above 3000m), stopping for a day or two of rest for each 2,000 feet (600 meters) above 3000m; sleeping at a lower altitude when possible, drink enough fluids, avoid alcohol, eat regularly and learning how to recognize early symptoms so you can return to lower altitude before worsening symptoms occur.
Acetazolamide (Diamox) helps speed the process of getting used to higher altitude, and reduces minor symptoms. Therapy should start one day before the ascent and continue one to two days into the excursion. This measure is recommended for those making a rapid ascent to high altitudes.
People with underlying cardiac or pulmonary (lung) diseases should avoid high altitudes.
- Personal medicine: - High protection sunscreen, lip balm
- Immodium/tinidazole (diarrhoea)
- Rehydratation salt
- Throat tablets
- Bandages, tablets for water purification (type Micropur)
Dont drink local water if its not boiled (tea, coffee, soup) or purified by tablets or filter. Dont eat fruits and fresh vegetables if they are not peeled.
Before joining the tour we recommend you to take travel insurance. This should include adequate cover for baggage, medical expenses, cancellation, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation.
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