Tibet Travel FAQ
1. When is the best time to visit Tibet?
The most suitable time to visit Tibet is from April to October as the temperature is warm these months, and you can view beautiful sceneries. However, suppose you are interested to learn about Tibetan Culture and to experience the local activities. You can schedule your Tibetan trip from November to February, as many Tibetan festivals are between these months.
2. Is an independent tour allowed in Tibet?
Independent tours have been restricted in Tibet since 2008. Instead, you should have private time or an organized tour group from a local Tibet-based agency. There are many checkpoints, and you must have a tour guide to help you through the legal formalities.
3. Do you sell Tibet permits separately?
No, the travel agency cannot sell Tibet Travel permits separately because it is against the local tourism policy. However, if you book your tour with My Everest Trip, we will arrange all the Travel permits for your group.
4. What currency do I have to use in Tibet?
The unit of currency is the Chinese Yuan (CNY). The Bank of China can exchange all foreign currencies. The banks in Tibet/China are closed on Saturday and Sunday.
5. Are credit cards accepted in Tibet?
Credit cards are not recommended as a way of payment in Tibet because they are not accepted in most places.
6. What documents do I need to travel to Tibet?
There are various kinds of travel documents required to travel in Tibet. You will need a TTB (Tibet Tourism Bureau) permit for a few days in Lhasa or somewhere near Lhasa. However, if you want to travel beyond Lhasa city, you will require a PSB and ATP permit. My Everest Trip will take care of all the permit hassles when you book your tour with us.
7. If I Travel via Nepal to Tibet, are there any special requirements for a Chinese visa?
If you want to enter Tibet via Kathmandu, you’d better get a Chinese visa from Kathmandu regardless of whether you have already got the key in your country or not; you must get a Group Visa in Kathmandu, which is an official agreement between China and Nepal.
8. What are the Transportation Facilities in Tibet?
Non-Chinese tourists cannot ride on public buses, and hiring a private vehicle is expensive. Usually, Lhasa city is tiny, so it would be better to travel on foot. You could hire a taxi if you want to travel to certain monasteries outside Lhasa city.
9. What Kinds of Hotels are Available in Tibet?
Tourism in Tibet is in its early stages. The number of luxury hotels is quite limited. The new hotels have been built away from the city centre to protect the city’s history and environment. These hotels have central heating used in winter, but no cooling is available in summer. It is better that you do not expect luxury service while in Tibet. However, in Lhasa, some hotel rooms have internet access. The level of services and facilities is quite essential. The hotel staff rarely speak English.
10. What Can I Eat in Tibet?
In Lhasa, you can choose Chinese, Western, Nepali, and Tibetan food. However, only Chinese food and Sichuan cuisine are on the menu in remote areas.
11. What Clothes and Equipment Should I Bring When Travelling to Tibet?
- Down jacket or warm fleece top
- Thermal underwear (top and bottom)
- Cotton shirts (short and long-sleeved)
- Warm cotton trousers
- Polarized sunglasses
- Beanie or warm woollen hat and gloves
- Scarf (to keep out dust as well as cold)
- Sleeping bag (for camping/trekking)
12. How bad is Altitude sickness in Tibet, and what can I do to avoid or treat it?
With an average altitude of 4500m, Tibet is one of the highest living places on earth. Tibet air is relatively thin, and many visitors from low-altitude areas may suffer from altitude sickness. Most people suffer minor effects like headaches, loss of appetite, and a tendency to have no energy until their bodies adjust to the high terrain. It will take a few hours or days to get acclimatized. So the traveller should pre-plan the symptoms and prevention of altitude sickness before travelling to Tibet. It is better to carry altitude sickness pills to help overcome altitude sickness. You are highly recommended to stroll and take deep breaths.
13. What vaccinations are recommended for Travel in Tibet?
Hepatitis A + B and Typhoid are some vaccines advised to all travellers planning to travel to Tibet. Yellow Fever vaccines are recommended for those coming from Yellow-fever-infected countries like Africa or the Americas; otherwise, it isn’t required or recommended.
14. Will there be problems with the language barrier?
The main languages used in Tibet are Chinese, Tibetan, English, and Nepali. Very few people speak English well, so your tour guide will assist you with communication.
15. What are the dos and don’ts when visiting religious sites in Tibet?
- All Tibetans are religious Buddhists, so they show respect for their beliefs.
- Walking clockwise in or outside would be best while visiting temples, monasteries, pagodas, and Mani stones.
- You cannot touch Buddhist statues or sutras or take pictures of them inside temples or monasteries.
- Prayer wheels must not be rotated contrarily
- Do not touch the head of anyone.
- Eating horse, dog, and donkey meat are strictly prohibited.
- Smoking is strictly prohibited.