All tourists visiting Tibet requires valid China visa & a special
Alien Travel Permit which they can obtain only by joining tours
organized by recognized travel agencies. Those who arrive in Kathmandu
with a Chinese visa issued by Chinese Consulates outside of Kathmandu
will find it useless for entry into Tibet.
There is no minimum group size requirement for traveling into Tibet.
As long as one is traveling in an organized tour visa will be issued
for even individuals. Please note Tibet visa regulations often change
& hence given information may not be true at the time when you
Diplomatic passport holders must get clearance from Beijing for
travel into Tibet which often takes long time. It is advisable to
travel on non-diplomatic passports, if you have one.
We require at least 7 days notice to process your Tibet visa via
Lhasa & at least 4 days in Kathmandu for the Chinese Embassy
to handle your passport. Consular section of the Chinese Embassy
is open for business between 10-12 am on Monday, Wednesday &
Friday only. Visa can also be issued in less than 3 days upon payment
of visa rush fees. Normal group visa fee is USD 26 & visa rush
fee is another USD 17. For USA nationals the group visa fee is USD
60 days Nepal visa is readily available at the Tribhuvan International
Airport or any other land entry points on payment of USD 30 visa
fee. Those travelling to Tibet, Bhutan or Sikkim & transiting
through Nepal must obtain multiple entry visa & cost USD 50.
Tourists transiting through Kathmandu & spending less than 3
days are now issued with gratis visas. Also nationals of SAARC countries
& Peoples Republic of China are no longer required to pay visa
How to get to the Tibetan Cultural Area
There are three parts of TCA, which is Kham, Amdo and Ngari. To
travel in Kham, Amdo Lhasa & Chengdu is the gateway town of
entering the eastern Tibet of Kham, as well as the most convenient
city for catching the flight for Kathmandu & Beijing. For a
tour of Amdo, Lhasa & Xining is one of the best towns to start
with this trip, as there are direct flights from eight cities of
China, which is Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Xining, Kunming,
Is a custom itinerary available?
Please mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
When to Go?
In general, from March to December is the best season for a tour
to the Tibetan Cultural Area. But it really depends on your route.
In fact a tour scheduled in winter will be quite comfortable, because
in winter, there are less tourists, and you can enjoy the beautiful
For sightseeing - at any time of the year, particularly in Western
Tibet, it is good to be prepared for sudden drops of temperature
at night. Basically, the Tibet climate is not as harsh as many people
imagine it to be. The best time of year to be in Tibet is from the
end of March to the middle of December. However, in May and June
there is a wind factor to consider, but it really depends on your
For Treks: Normally it depends on your itinerary, and mostly April,
May, June, September, October and November is the better trekking
season with clear skies and comfortable temperatures. December through
to February is colder though much quieter and the mountain views
are stunning. Daytime temperatures are very pleasant for trekking
though at night with clear skies temperatures can fall below -15
- 20C. In the spring season from March to early May it is much warmer
and greener on the hillsides.
What types of trips are offered?
We offer both pre-scheduled and custom adventure trips. Our trips
range from a few days touring to month-long back country expeditions,
for both the novice traveler as well as the experienced. We explore
the Himalayas and other areas in the Tibetan Cultural Area by foot,
bicycle, 4-wheel drive and horseback.
Are the itineraries fixed?
These are the "mountain adventures"! Weather, accidents,
sickness, landslides are beyond our control. In this situation itineraries
might be changed with out any prior notice by the guide.
Is a custom itinerary available?
Of course! Is your ideal a private departure date for your family,
friends, colleagues, school, or other special-interest group? Our
team is very happy to put together special dates and arrangements
that fit your needs. Please call or email us to discuss the best
time of year, accommodations, special emphasis, or other considerations.
Email at email@example.com
for more details.
Is there any age limit?
We do not apply age limits but it is important to discuss with us
the appropriateness of a trek or tour. Regardless of age you do
need to be in good health to enjoy your exploration in Himalayas
What is the size of a group?
Our groups are small, from individuals to no more than 23 people.
We want to make sure that each participant gets maximum attention
and care from our guide. Our trips average between 6-16 people.
Our minimum group size varies by trip, but is usually 3 people.
The unobtrusive nature of small groups also allows for more personal
interaction with local people resulting in a meaningful exchange
of ideas and cultures.
The whole Tibetan Cultural Area is a safe area for tourists; the
worst problems are likely to be coping with the effects of altitude.
We also make every possible effort to keep Tibetan Trekking travelers
safe and happy!
If travelling alone, Should I join a group?
That is entirely up to you! Because we run custom trips, we can
accommodate anything you want to do. If you join a group you will
not be alone in that choice. We also have people travelling with
friends, spouses, and family. If you want to travel alone, let us
know and we will arrange for a personal trip. Either way travelling
with us is a safe, convenient way to explore the Himalayas.
Visa and Permits
There are two requirements for a foreign tourist's tour in Tibet.
One is the Chinese Visa, which you can apply for in Chinese Embassy
in your home country, or we can assist you and send the visa directly
from China. Another is the Tibet Travel Permit, which issued by
Tibet Tourism Bureau. For explore some places in TAR, some special
permission required by related Governments divisions, and that depends
on your route.
How do we meet with the guide upon arrival?
In China, we have a national guide, which means the guide who travels
with you and smooths the way and a local guide, which means the
guide who is in charge of guiding your tour at any one place. If
you don't have a national guide and travel alone then, after clearing
the customs formalities and claiming baggage, you would proceed
to the airport exit. The local guide will be waiting for you at
the exit and holding a sign with your name. In addition, all ground
transportation involved in your trip is provided to you at no extra
Is travel insurance necessary?
Yes! Without any doubt, you need travel insurance. Most travel insurance
companies offer emergency medical transport and medical expenses
insurance. These pay for loss due to any unforeseen situation such
as death, injury, or illness. We urge you to buy this insurance.
While we do everything possible to ensure the safety of our members,
if any of the above do happen it can be very costly to you. Buying
travel insurance is an easy way to ease the mind and to know that
you will be able to deal with problems that might arise.
What clothing should I bring?
In Tibetan Cultural Area it is usually cool in the mornings and
evenings. During the day while walking it can get quite hot. It
is necessary to add or strip clothes to avoid becoming ill. The
personal items listed below are recommended to keep with you:
- 'Layered' clothing for flexibility
- A combination of loose fitting pants (or skirts for women)
- Long and short sleeved shirts
- Polypropylene long underwear (which can be worn with shorts)
- A "fleece" jacket and a good waterproof windbreaker,
preferably made with "breathable" Gore-Tex fabric.
- For footwear we recommend a medium to lightweight hiking boot
which has a good tread and provides some support around your ankles
- Utility knife; sun hat, sunglasses, suntan lotion, Scarf, Chopsticks,
water bottle, Day pack and small medical kit…etc.
How will the altitude affect me?
Firstly, not all our trips go to very high altitudes.
The Tibetan Plateau lies over 3800m, so whichever way you enter
the Tibetan Cultural Area, most people will experience some of the
minor symptoms and discomfort of altitude sickness, until their
body adjusts to the elevation. This can take from a few hours to
couple of days, depending on the individual. Symptoms include headache,
nausea, and lack of appetite. Travelers are advised to take things
easily while you acclimatize.
Travelers with heart and lung problems or blood diseases should
consult their doctor before booking a trip. Very rare cases of altitude
sickness have been reported. It is recommended that you drink approx.
3 liters of water per day, do not strain yourself, move slowly,
breathe deeply and take regular rests.
We take every precaution with our adventurers by acclimatizing slowly.
Rest days are built in to the itinerary so there is no pressure
on us to move you on.
How difficult are the treks?
In Tibet you can find the vacation that meets your activity level
and aspirations. Each of our treks & tours has been graded to
help you choose the holiday that is right for you.
For trekkers with no previous experience, we offer a diverse range
of easy treks. By easy, we mean that the trek involves no difficult
climbing or ascents to high altitudes, takes usually no more than
a week and is suitable for anyone. However, you should not think
that loss of height means loss of interest; while our more challenging
treks get you closer to a small number of mountain ranges, lower
altitude treks often provide colorful horizons of a whole series
of ranges. High or low, mountain villages reachable only by several
days walk from the road brim with character.
Treks in Grade 2are suitable for any walker looking for something
a little more energetic. They are longer (6 -20 days,) involve more
walking up and down and climb to higher altitudes, where you will
be rewarded with close-up views of big mountains.
Those should only undertake grade 3 treks with some previous mountain
walking experience. They ascend to altitudes of up to 4500m. And
involve some steep climbing, although it is never necessary to use
ropes. Treks at this level can he arranged for periods of 8 -22
Grade 4 treks are only for adventurers who involve steep ascents
to high altitudes with the possibility of some rope climbing. You'll
need stamina to complete one of these treks, as it can take 20-28
days to journey to the heart of the wildernesses that they cross.
All are camping expeditions.
Things to keep in mind when you have contact with the Tibetans:
Tibetan people are very kind and hospitable, you can feel free to
talk with them. But there are some rules you should go by!
- Do not photo them without getting permission - please show
- Don't talk about sensitive topics like the political and religious
- Don't eat the dog, donkey and horse in Tibet!
- Religious beggars are an accepted part of society in Tibet.
Giving money or food to a pilgrim is considered an act of merit,
donations of five fen to two jiao (Chinese money) are appropriate.
Notice if the beggars are the old men and women who dress in shredded,
bulky clothing, while the younger ones may have a monkey on a
chain, a spectacle of great interest to the Tibetans. These beggars
are professionals, having less meritorious intentions than religious
pilgrims are. Just wave them off as the locals do if you don't
want give anything.
- Tibetans will also appreciate tourists respecting a few of their
customs. These include walking clockwise around Buddhist temples,
monasteries and religious sites. At these places Tibetans consider
smoking and failing to remove hats disrespectful. Those wishing
to leave a donation at a religious site (as most Tibetans will)
should leave it on the altar or give it directly to a monk or
nun. This will ensure it stays in the temple. Tourists often encounter
beggars at religious sites, usually pilgrims from rural Tibet.
Giving them a small donation will help them reach their destination
and will bestow merit on the giver. If you do give, try to give
the same amount as a Tibetan would and avoid handing out large
denominations, as this tends to turn foreigners into special targets.