Traveling to Tibet is on many travelers’ bucket lists.
Over the years, Tibet has become popular not only for its spiritual tourism but also for adventurous and offbeat tourism it offers.
Tibet’s secluded locality, high altitude (popularly called as the ‘Roof of the World’), warm hosts, and old world charm make Tibet a must visit.
You’ll enjoy serene spiritual vibes, religious monasteries and sacred relics, majestic mountains, breathtaking views and pristine lakes.
And Tibet’s challenging roads for driving and cycling are something to experience.
Traveling to Tibet Hacks – How To Prepare For Tibet
Here are some awesome hacks and tips to help you prepare for first time trip to Tibet.
Use a Tibetan Travel Agency (MUST HAVE)
Find a reliable and responsible local Tibet travel agency
Tourists cannot travel solo in Tibet.
Their government does not allow doing so for safety reasons.
Whether you are travelling alone or in a group, you have to go through a certified Tibetan travel agency.
Tibet tours are expensive, and there are agencies that offer cheap packages.
Don’t book through agencies just because it is cheap; they compromise on safety and comfortable travelling.
Book with a reliable agency like Tibet Vista.
Tibet Vista has been arranging tours in Tibet for more than three decades and is one of the largest travel agencies in China.
Tibet Vista thrives to provide travelers with a safe, enjoyable, and thoughtful experience.
With a promise of arranging tours with no hassles, decades of experience, and a hard working team, it’s easily the best agency to book your trip with.
Tibet Vista not only provides standard package tours, you can also customize your trip with them.
The staff and guides are well versed in English which makes communication easier.
Customize Your Tibet Trip
Work with your travel consultant to customize your Tibet tour, keeping in mind Tibet has so many things to offer.
You can go on any type of trip:
- Fully adventurous trip filled with mountain climbing and overlanding
- Full-scale cycling trip
- Fully spiritual tour which involves exploring many monasteries and old Tibet
- Trip that provides you a bit of both — adventure and spirituality
There are so many attractions in Tibet, do a quick research of what Tibet has to offer before booking a tour.
Decide also if you want to arrive to Tibet by flight or train.
Consider if you want to do an overland or cycling trip or will you travel by car.
Once you decide what kind of trip you are looking for, you can choose any existing packages or customize your itinerary.
You can customize your own itinerary depending on budget, time available, attractions you want to visit, and the month you are traveling to Tibet.
You can plan your ideal trip, the way you want, with help of travel consultants in the travel agency.
Tibet Travel Permit Hack
What do you need to travel to Tibet?
E-mail your travel documents to apply for Tibet permit to China.
You need certain documents to enter Tibet.
Along with your Chinese visa, you need a Tibet Travel Permit (TTP) to enter Tibet.
You can obtain your Tibet Travel Permit through your travel agency.
You will have to email them copies of your passport and Chinese visa to the agency at least 20 days before your date of travel.
The permit can be obtained within 5-7 working days.
This permit is checked and asked for in airports, hotels, and at the entry of some attractions.
It is important to have them with you at all times.
If you want to travel out of Lhasa and other remote areas you have to obtain Aliens Travel Permit and Military Area Entry Permit.
These two permits can be obtained after entering Tibet, but you need TTP to enter Tibet.
Book your Tibetan flight, train tickets, and hotel accommodations ahead
It is important and advisable to book travel tickets and accommodation in advance.
Especially during peak tourism season, the flights, trains, and rooms get booked fast. Sometimes even the hostels get fully booked.
The Tibet tourism season is in peak from May to October…we like Tibet in April
The later you book, the more expensive gets the cost of stay and travel.
Train tickets have to be booked at least 4-5 weeks in advance as hundreds of people travel to Tibet by train, including the locals.
In case of hotel accommodations, if you want to stay comfortably in 3-star and budget hotels, you need to book at least a month in advance.
Sometimes even the youth hostels and home stays get fully booked by climbers or backpackers.
When you look for accommodation in the last minute, you might not get the room you want and might end up paying a lot for a room with very basic facilities.
Also, plane tickets are cheaper when you book at least a month in advance.
The travel and accommodation costs reduce by half during winter and off-season months, as the inflow of tourists are very low during those times.
Traveling to Tibet Packing Hacks
Double check your packing list before travelling
Tibet, the roof of the world, is located at an average elevation of 4,000 m.
You’ll experience even higher altitude in some places as you traverse mountains and various Tibetan attractions.
It is important to bring appropriate clothing and other necessary items.
Must Haves For Traveling to Tibet
Your Tibetan packing list should have the following items:
- Travel permits, passport, other travel documents
- Cotton t-shirts, thermal wear, down jacket, waterproof jacket, woolen gloves, socks, warm pants, sweaters, UV protected sun shades, hat
- Sunscreen, lip balms, hand sanitizer
- Emergency aid kit
- Energy bars, dry fruits, energy drinks, water bottle with filter or LifeStraw
- Small bag to carry your essentials
- Comfortable walking shoes; appropriate shoes for hiking if appropriate
- Hiking poles and sleeping bags if you are trekking
- Small waist pouch to carry money and permits
- Extra batteries, portable chargers for phones and laptops
The most important thing of all is the medication.
Most of the travellers irrespective of age, gender, and health condition, experience symptoms of altitude sickness like mild headaches and loss of appetite.
This is normal and the tourists are advised to visit their physician before the trip.
Get medicines for altitude sickness before the trip.
You can easily find small oxygen tanks to buy in Tibet in case of shortness of breath due to less oxygen in the air.
In case you forget to bring anything, you can find most easily in Lhasa.
When traveling to Tibet you’ll discover for yourself what a wonderful place it is to visit.
There’s some beautiful views, Lhasa Buddhist Attractions and unwinding experiences in store for you.
Prepare yourself by researching in advance so you will have an easy time traveling in Tibet.