Tibet forms seven geographical zones. Central Tibet with Kyichhu valley, Southern Tibet with Lokha and Kongpo valley, West Tibet with Tsang and Lato valley, Northern Tibet with Chhangthang Plateau, Far west Tibet Ngari Arid Land, Eastern Tibet with Kham and Fareast Tibet with Amdo and Gyarong. Tibet referred as Shangri-La, The Forbidden Land, The Roof of the World. Tibet is the land of the ancient Buddhist culture, arts and monasteries. Surrounded by grand mountains, Himalayas to the south and Kunlung Mountain to the north. Tibet has century old caravan trails cross the mysterious landscape through hidden valleys to exotic cities. All this combines to offer to Traveller a unique experience. Tibet offers ultimate challenge for trekkers and adventurers, from spiritual journeys to high mountain climbing adventures for lifetime experience. Lhasa is the capital of former Tibetan Kingdom and present Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).
Since the Tibet is vast and wild geography; one cannot travel everywhere in single trip. There are six neighboring gateway cities offering access to Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) Kathmandu from Nepal, Beijing from China, Chengdu from China, Kunming from China, and Lanzhou from China and Kashgar from China. Among them easiest to enter Tibet is from Kathmandu Nepal.
Shambhala Holidays provide travel service both private group and group joining. Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) set rule group traveller on paper visa for Tibet for travellers who travel Tibet.
Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) China is an area of 1.2 Million sq kms with 2.62 million populations. Widely spoken language is Tibetan and Chinese. Buddhist, Bonpo and Muslim are major religion. Tibet is +0800 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. 220 volts electric is used. Tibet 86 (TAR code), 891 (Lhasa city code)
Geography: Bordered by Nepal on the South, Bhutan to east and India to east west, today the Autonomous Region of Tibet measures 2,600 km (1,625 miles) from east to west and 1,300 km (812 miles) north to south for a total area of 1,221,700 square km (471,900 square miles). The average elevation is 5,000 m (16,500 ft).
Climate: Tibet is cold in winter, cool in summer and generally dry, receiving only 45 cm. (18 inches) of rain or snow annually. Temperatures can differ greatly within a day, however, passing 29 C (85 F) in desert areas in summer, and plunging below 4 C (40 F) at night. The higher you go the colder it gets, of course, sunlight is extremely intense. Winds in winter are ferocious. Rainfall in Southern Tibet occurs intermittently between June and September, bringing moisture to barley fields and greenery to the valleys.
When to visit Tibet: The travelling season in Tibet extends from the beginning of April through the end of October. During April to June the days are clear and fine. However, the region creat problem sometime by monsoonal rains, which continue from July through to the middle of September. During this time the rains frequently cause landslides on the Sun Kosi sections of the Lhasa to Kathmandu highway causing untold inconvenience and delays. In late September and October a clear and stable weather pattern returns until the onset of the first winter snows in late October.
Customs: Customs procedures for China are generally smooth and quick. On arrival you must complete a baggage declaration form on which you should declare personal valuables such as watches, cameras, radios, calculators, jewelry, foreign currency and travellers cheques, etc. Make sure you retain this form because you will have to present it together with your valuables at customs again on your departure. Export of antiques over 120 years old will need special permission and customs may confiscate other antique items if they think they’re from a dubious Source.
Getting There: The choice of entries and exits for Tibet has recently increased to include more international access to Lhasa. There are direct flight into Lhasa from Kathmandu Chengdu, Beijing (via Chengdu) and Xian (via Golmud). Apart from the Kathmandu-Lhasa flight, Nepal overland route to Lhasa has become a very popular. Recently another entry point to Tibet from West Nepal (Simikot) has been opened.
Time: 08 hours ahead of GMT. Note Tibet is linked to Beijing time so when you cross the border to Nepal the time change is considerable. Nepal is 5 hours and 45 minutes ahead of GMT.
Currency: Renminbi, the People’s money used by millions of Chinese every day, circulates in notes of 1,2,5, 10 and 50 Yuan; 1,2 and 5 Jiao; 1,2 and 5 fen. There are also coins for 5 fen. With the Chinese Currency, Renminbi, one Yuan is divided into 10 Jiao; Jiao into 10 Fen.
Traveller’s cheques and credit cards: All major currencies, traveller’s cheques and credit cards are accepted by the Bank of China and large tourist hotels in Lhasa. When you change at the bank you will receive a money exchange receipt which details the transaction. Keep the exchange receipt you can use it to reconvert your left over Chinese currency when you leave.
Bank: The Bank of China is close to Public Security Bureau, just behind the Potala. Opening hours art from 1000 hrs to 1330 hrs and from 1600 hrs. to 1830 hrs. It’s close on Sunday.
Business hours: Most shops are open between 0900 hrs and 1230 hrs; and then again from 1430 hrs. Until 1730 hrs many shop close on Sunday. Government offices are usually closed on Saturday afternoon and Sunday.
Clothing and accessories: April to October lite clothing is required. The recommended items are: Sleeping bag, shirts, comfortable walking shoes, Long John Trousers and shirts, sweater, jackets, dust mask, socks, sun hat, sun glasses, sun lotion, utility knife, water bottle/thermos (liter) flashlight. Water purification tabs, medicine for headaches, fewer, colds stomach disorders etc. Toilet papers and tissue papers.
Airport: Lhasa Gonggar Airport is 46 kms away from Lhasa.
Airport taxes: The airport departure taxes are included in tickets.
Transportation: Transportation will be either in a Land cruiser, Mini-Van or Tourist bus depending on the size of the group.
Food and drinks: Tibet has only a handful of towns, and Tibetan cuisine is not exactly the most varied in the world. It is handy to carry, anything that can be brewed with hot water. Instant coffee, drinking chocolate, tea bags, soup cubes, drink powder and powdered milk. Other food items worth considering are instant noodles, vegemite, nuts and raisins, chocolate, dry foods and biscuits.
Altitude and health: No special inoculations are required but because of Tibet’s high altitude travellers with a pre-existing problem of heart, lungs or anemia should consult a doctor before even thinking about a visit. Most other travellers, once they are acclimatized, rarely suffer more than mild discomfort from the altitude.
Over exertion seems to contribute to mountain sickness and dehydration may be a prides-posing factor. Sensible precautions should include:
Stick to a schedule of mild activity and rest for the first two days.
Drink plenty of fluids. Two to five liters a day are recommended to maintain clear, copious urine.
Don’t smoke, if you are a chronic smoker, keep it to a minimum.
Avoid sedatives such as sleeping medicine or tranquillizers. They tend to depress respiration and limit oxygen intake.
DIAMOX (acetazolamide), a mild diuretic which stimulates oxygen intake, is used by doctors for climbers making sudden ascents. This is prescription drug. One 250 mg. tablet taken on the plane from Chengdu or Kathmandu and another at bedtime the first night in Lhasa’ may help to forestall discomfort for people known to be susceptible to mountain sickness. Consult a doctor.
It is not unusual to wake up at night at high altitudes gasping for breath. Don’t panic! This complaint, known as “Periodic Breathing”, is normally quite harmless, caused by a change in the control of breathing within the brain while you sleep. Normal breathing can be quickly re-established by relaxation, rhythmic deep-breathing, and the understanding that there is nothing to worry about.
Visa: All visitors entering Tibet should require special travel permit. This can be obtained joining only by-organized tours through recognized travel agencies. Chinese visa, obtained by the visitors in their home town will not be valid entering into Tibet.
For your kind information Chinese Embassy, Kathmandu working days are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1000 hrs to 1115 hrs in Kathmandu. 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 passport, if you have one.
Cost of Tibet visa fee is varies for every national. Urgent Tibet visa fee of US$ 85 and for USA Nationality is USD 175
Booking conditions and visa arrangement: Confirmed reservation should reach us 3 weeks prior to tour departure date along with US$100 non-refundable deposit per person.
“Go to Tibet and see many places, as much as you can; then tell the world.”
– His Holiness the Dalai Lama