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About Tibet

Tibet is located at the main part of Qinghai Tibet Plateau, south west of China. Tibet is lying in the rain shadow of the Greater Himalayas beautiful never ending Landscape and surrounding my mountains. Tibet is roof of the world, most of land situated above 4000m (13000ft) from sea level. Third Pole of the Globe is located at the main part of Qinghai-Tibet plateau; The Tibet Autonomous Region with a population of over two million covers an area of 1.2 million sq. km.Tibet is bounded by Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Qinghai Province to the north, Sichuan Province to the east, Yunnan Province to the south east and countries like India, Burma, Bhutan, Sikkim and Nepal to the west and south. Although it’s a part of China, Tibet has a unique culture of their own; it is mainly inhabited by Tibetans, a minority nationality of old and mysterious people. Due to unique landscapes, religion and culture, Tibet has remained a hidden sanctuary to the world for many years and gained more popularity among enthusiastic travelers.

The economy of Tibet is dominated by agriculture, though tourism has become a growing industry in Tibet in recent decades. The main religion in Tibet is traditional old Tibetan  Buddhism( Bonor Bonpo) , in addition there is Bon which was the indigenous religion of Tibet before the arrival of Buddhism in the 7th century CE (Bön is now similar to Tibetan Buddhism) though there are also Muslim  and Christian minorities. The Staple foods in Tibet are roasted barley yak meat potatoes, and butter tea/green tea. Now they grow many vegetables and fruits in a modern green house.
Tibet has a long and complex history, written records have survived from the 7th Century A.D. however it is known that nomadic tribes populated Tibet as early as the 2nd Century B.C.The main land of Tiber is surrounded by High Mountain, old caravan trails, which cross mysterious landscape; through hidden valleys to exotic cites. All this combines to offers you a spiritual journey to highlights of your lifetime experience.

The major cities of Tibet are

  1. Lhasa
  2. Gyantse
  3. Shigatse
  4. Gyatsa
  5. Tsetang .

This area is also considered as the cultural center of Tibet and Buddhism.

Main attraction of Tibet Tour:

Potala Palace: The Potala place, one of the most famous architectural works of the world. It was started build during the 5th Dalai Lama’s region in the 7th century. the Red Palace and the White Place of Potala is 110 m high with 1000 rooms .

Jokhang Temple: The Jokhang Temple situated in the centre of the old section of Lhasa, Jokhang Temple was built in the mid-7th century A.D. This four stories with splendid Golden roofs Temple is Tibet’s most secret Temple. The temple houses many historical relics Murals since, Tang Dynasty and statues of King Songtesn Gampo, Princess Wencheng, and Princess Bhrikuti Devi. “Princess Willow” (a tree), and “The Uncle-Nephew Alliance Tablet” can be seen at the front gate of the temple.

Norbulingka (official summer resident of Dalai Lama): There is a beautiful park in the western suburbs of Lhasa. It used to be the Summer Palace for the Dalai Lamas where they handled political affairs, and practiced religious activities. This park covers 40 hectare with full of various flowers, trees ponds, gardens, and pavilions.

Drepung Monastery: It is one of the great largest Gelukpa monasteries in Tibet. It is located 5km’s distance to the western suburb of Lhasa. Derpung means “rice-heap”.It was founded by Jamyand Chojey a disciple of Tsong Kapa in 1416.The monastery, occupying an area of 250,000 Sq.Km, with a fixed number of 7,700 monks, is the largest monastery in Tibet. The monastery keeps plentiful historical and cultural relics, Buddhist ancient scriptures, arts and crafts, scroll paintings.

Sera Monastery: It is lies 5km northern outskirts of Lhasa along the base of the mountain and edge of the Lhasa valley. It was founded in 1419 by Jamchen Choje, one of the eight disciples of Tsong Khapa, the founder of Gelugpa Sect, covering an area of 114,964 square meters.You will enjoy the unexpected architecture as you have an opportunity to learn history of Tibetan Buddhism. If you are lucky and reach there after 3 pm, you can see the exciting events of monks debating in the courtyard grounds.

Tashilunpo Monastery and Sigatse: It was founded in 1447 by Gendun Zhuba, one of the principal disciples of the Founder of the Yellow Sect Zongkaba, and was then enlarged consistently by different generations of Panchen Lama; the main chapel contains a 26 m high huge statue of the future Buddha.

Namtso Lake: It is located about 269 km from Lhasa, With an area of 1,940 square kilometers, the Namtso Lake is the second largest salt-water lake in Tibet and world highest altitude salt lake as well..

Mt. Everest: Qomolangma meaning “Goddess of universe” in Tibetan is the highest mountain on earth with an altitude of 8, 850 metres. Mt. Qomolangma,known to the western world as Tsedang

Mt. Kailash: Mount Kailash, one of the world’s most sacred mountain by Buddhists and Hindus

Manasarover; Lake:A Holy Lake: It is situated in the west Tibet between Mt. Kailash and Gurla mandhara mountain range. The  Hindu and Buddhists believe that the lake is the bestowal from the heaven. The holy water can cure all kinds of diseases, wash people clean and get rid of people’s worries. After walking around the lake and taking baths at the Four Bathing Gates, the pilgrims can be free from sins and be bestowed happiness.

 

When is the best time to visit Tibet?

The best time to visit Tibet is from early May to late October. Because first of all the Tibet weather would be not harsh, and secondly it is best time to visit Mt. Everest Base

When is the best time to visit Tibet?

The best time to visit Tibet is from early May to late October. Because first of all the Tibet weather would be not harsh, and secondly it is best time to visit Mt. Everest Base Camp (if you have plan to get there).

What’s the weather like in Tibet?

Lhasa - Shigatse - Lhatse - Tingri - Nylam: Along the Friendship highway is basically in good conditions year around. But from December to February, the thawed road could make some trouble. August - landslide could happen in the rainy season.
Mt.Everest Area: Early May and early October are the best time to visit Mt.Everest. Due to the clear weather, you have great chance to seeMt. Everest's true face (if you are lucky). From December to February, you'd better not to go to this area because it is too cold - except you are real Great Adventure People.
Mt.Kailash and Manosarobar: 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, September and October.
Eastern Tibet : Don't go to this area in July or August (the rainy season) because the rain could ruin the road, and make terrible landslides. 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 (July to August) is the prime time to enjoy the great plain in northern Tibet .

What do you suggest we bring with us if we travel to Tibet?

For the clothing, we suggest casual attire style and layered clothing. In day time you may need only a T-shirt or at most a jacket, but at night you may need a coat. Down coat is necessary if you go beyond Lhasa and Shigatse to remote areas, the Everest Camp or further to Mt.Kailash.
Sun glasses, sun blocking cream, moisture scream are very necessary to be in your packing list.

What is high season? What is the definition for high season, shoulder season and low season?

High season marks the most popular times of the year for travel in Tibet, due to the weather, holiday periods or other reasons. Therefore hotels, airlines and travel agencies are heavily booked, and prices are higher than at other times.
The seasons are usually defined as follows:
High season: July 1 to October 15.
Shoulder season: May 1 to June 30.
Low season: October 16 to April 30.
Access Tibet Tour reserves the right to vary prices as a result of seasonal charges being imposed.

What currency do I have to use in Tibet?

Tibet is Renminbi (RMB). Foreign currencies can’t be used directly. Foreign currencies may be converted into RMB at all banks, bank branches or hotels at the exchange rate quoted on the foreign exchange marker on the day. The basic unit is the yuan (RMB).The exchange rate is about USD 1 = 8.278 CNY (approx.) Banks in Tibet/china are closed on Saturday & Sunday. So, you are kindly requested to carry about Few Hundred USD per person in cash over and above the tour cost to cover your extra expenses for main meals and others enroute until Lhasa. You had better bring some cash USD with you or get enough local currencies before leaving the cities for the remote parts.

The Bank of China in Tibet is the bank which specializes in handing money exchange.

What documents do I need if I am planning to travel to Tibet?

You need to have a valid passport, a valid China visa and a Tibet travel permit (sometimes people call it Entry permit or TTB, or Tibet visa).

Do I need Visa for China?

All visitors traveling to mainland China, whether for business or pleasure, require a visa. No Visa is required prior to enter Hong Kong; a Visa will be issued upon arrival. If you travel beyond Hong Kong, even for a few hours, you will need a China visa to enter China.

What should I be aware of when apply for the China Visa?

Access Tibet Tour recommends that you obtain your visa before leaving the country where you live. When you are applying for the China visa, ATT advises you try not to mention Tibet or to write anything about Tibet on the application form. It is advisable to refer to other places in China like Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, etc. otherwise, visa officer may reject your application and you won’t get the visa to China.

Do I need double/multi-entry visa if I come to Tibet from China mainland and return China mainland after the trip?

No, because Tibet is a part of China, if enter Tibet from other cities in China mainland and after the trip in Tibet, get back to China mainland again, only a single entry visa is required.
For example:
BeijingàTibetàShanghai
For this, a single entry visa is okay.

If I travel via Nepal to Tibet, are there any special requirements on China visa?

Before you are coming to Lhasa from Katmandu, you must get China visa from Katmandu because no matter you've already got the visa in your country or not, you must get a visa in Katmandu, which is regulated in an official memo between China and Nepal. The fastest way is that we send the Invitation Letter to Katmandu at least one day prior to your arrival in Katmandu, then you can apply for China Visa in the second day easily, which will cost around 1-2 days. Chinese Visa fees: US$ 80 t0 100 payable in cash upon arrival in Katmandu [US$ 100.00 for US Citizens].
The Chinese embassy in Katmandu only opens for visa application on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00am to 11:30am. The application will take at least one working day, please confirm your schedule to fit the visa application.

What is Tibet Travel Permit?

Tibet Travel Permit is the official document that allow foreign traveler to enter Tibet. It is granted by the Tibet Tourism Bureau. Tibet Travel Permit sometimes is also called Tibet Entry Permit or TTB permit.

What do I need to do to obtain the Tibet Travel Permit?

You need provide us with the high quality scanned copies of your passport and China visa, and the following information as well. Then we can hold these things to help you get the Tibet Travel Permit.
1) Full name
2) Gender
3) Date of birth
4) Passport number
5) Nationalities

What are the hotels like in Tibet?

Tourism is Tibet is in its infancy and the number of 4 Star hotels is quite limited. The newer hotels have been built away from the city center in order to protect the city history and environment. These hotels have central heating which is used in winter but no cooling is available in summer. We would still warn that the facilities and service standard may not be as you would expect from a hotel with this rating in other parts of the world. Older hotels located in the city have a good location but will not provide the level of comfort of the newer hotels and may not have any central heating. The level of service and facilities may be quite basic. Staff will probably not speak much English. Hotels in small cities and the Everest Base camp are very basic. They will usually have a public bathroom with squat toilet.

What can we eat in Tibet?

In Lhasa, you can choose Chinese food, western food, Nepali food and Tibetan food as well. But in remote towns and areas, choice is limited, Chinese food or Sichuan cuisine is the best choice.

Is communication to home possible while on trek? What about internet?

There are telephone facilities in cities as well as in the villages at many places, from where you can make international calls. Internet facility is available in the cities. You can also use your mobile phone at most part of Tibet. Remember, Social networkings are banded in Tibet.

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