How to plan a trip to tibet

    November 20, 2020 December 2, 2020 NormanCulture, Destinations, Safety

How to plan a trip to tibet

Time goes and things will be changed, so are followed the rules and regulations of any circumstance. As a normal phenomenon upon the flood of tourists throughout years, many kept dreaming and planning somewhere with much excited aspiration. If your travel destination will be Tibet, then you must be thinking of how to travel to Tibet. Still, travel information about a particular place or thing does make any means of requisition. If you are planning to travel to Tibet in the near future, I hope this will help you arranging yourself. A read list ensures you get prepared and prepared to unlock great memories!

A Sudden thought of tips on how to travel to Tibet

Have you ever heard about Tibet? Are you confused about how to travel to Tibet? This question might be the foremost for any one who is going to get in and yet in a successive line of questions has lain next to you. Why! Don’t you expect your Tibet tour must be a lifetime experience? The answer could be yes! Because Tibet is a land of mystery and you can think more beyond your imagination. The richest cultural depth and the unexpected last adventures may help drawing extra consideration of your fanciness. Be the best being best at ticking your answers correctly in the next few minutes. I am actually not trying to get you in feared but it always stick with first things to the first. Try to read another post about Travel in Tibetan Areas, a five minutes break for looking into the solid information.

Right Time

Here, I would like jot a brief paragraph about “When, why and how to travel to Tibet? This question has two parts, one is about adjusting the best time in you and the other is to see what is the best time to travel to Tibet? Contact our Tibet tour operator for the later answer.

How to plan a trip to tibet

You exactly know when is the best time for yourself like a week or wishing to spend the time in somewhere on the Tibetan plateau. If you could finally decide and about to do a classic Tibet tour within the time you are free. What I suggest you is not recommended, do not rely merely on words of mouth for information. Just read best Tibet travel agency list to select your Tibet tour company before your go. However, this might be not really help that a Tibet tour operator can fulfil your wish and best time adjustment. Try to convince more about your travel plan and getting information from any recent source of medias: internet or from friends. Eventually, this little knowledge about Tibet may not help you to get a better-customised Tibet tour. Ask questions like when, why and how to travel in finding the current possibilities you might have it. Right! You don’t wish your tour would end unsatisfactorily.

There may have new formalities being charged and demolished in the most recent times which yet unknown by the sources that you believe. It is also possible your nationality is being permissible or rejected to book a tour to Tibet. How much the way you think important of your tour is as same important at choosing a travel agency in Tibet. Read from forums and also read reviews of a specific travel company that you want go with. Investigate for a successful travel before you go, as it is also depend on preparation. What I mean? You always have the right time and right plan unless to travel in Tibet in the mean time for a right offer, right information, right services etc.

Right Service

You will get value of a product based on how much you have spent time and effort. Times and effort are equal to an amount of money in substitute. Whether you spent money, time or effort it will define you the same value as you paid them out of you. But, to this modern world they are not important in case of abnormal and unreliable services. The only thing is that you didn’t get what you expect. What you want to do? If you are traveling to some specific area and need a reliable Tibet tour company, you cannot stop at thinking about a right service. Write them email and even call them in person to discuss a complete of program, which might start in the coming months. Check whether they are on time responding with your questions. You may ask any question regarding the trip.

How to plan a trip to tibet

The productive way of a successful tour is depending one who is in charge with the tour you are going to book with. This could be any local travel agency in Tibet and by further contact in emails and calls make you know the person mentally to decide your action before booking. A condition of a service is based on the response of travel agency in charge.

    November 5, 2020 November 27, 2020 NormanCulture, Destinations, Reviews, Safety

How to plan a trip to tibet

Planning a successful Tibet trip may, at first, seem an arduous task. The paperwork appears to have been invented simply to confuse. Each place on your list to visit has at least two different names and five different spellings. You are traveling with stubborn friends. You wish you had all the information began the process. Why are maps so hard to find? And who likes dealing with consulates anyways?

Three words in case you are worried about any potential headaches: it’s worth it. Though no plan is bullet proof, we’d like to share a couple of tips with you that can ease the process and make sure your trip goes smoothly.

1. Thoroughly examine a map of the People’s Republic of China.

Don’t confuse yourself with guidebooks and too much online research just yet. First, get a map of China and read it closely. Notice where national roads and railways are and aren’t. Better still, if you can get an administrative map, read the names of the provinces and prefectures to find out which areas are Tibetan cultural areas.

Notice that the area labeled “Tibet” is the only area you need a Tibet permit to enter. Many travelers get tripped up on this one, especially if they are planning trips to the Tibetan regions of Kham and Amdo: not all of Tibet is included in the area that says Tibet on the map!

If the places you want to travel Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu, or Yunnan, you won’t be needing a Tibet permit, just a valid Chinese Tourist Visa! If you are feeling wary of traveling on an escorted tour, visiting Tibetan areas outside the Tibet Autonomous Region is a great option.

2. Too much is better than too little for planning a Tibet trip

If you are traveling to the Tibet Autonomous Region, you must list every destination you intend to visit when you first apply for your permit. Let’s say, for example, that you are considering a visit to Everest Base Camp but haven’t made up your mind. Better to include it in your itinerary as you can subtract sites if you are not feeling well, but will not be allowed to add sites after the permit has been issued!

3. Follow the visa advices your travel agency gives you!

To planning a Tibet tour, sometimes people have trouble getting a Chinese Tourist Visa before they even begin their permit process. If your Tibet travel agency tells you it’s better not to mention that you are going to Tibet when you submit your paperwork…heed their words! You aren’t lying. It’s just the crazy procedural way things work. Focus on getting your visa and the permit follows upon arrival to China. Telling a Chinese consulate that you plan to travel to Tibet sometimes leads to outright visa rejection because you do not have the necessary permits (even if you say you plan to get them). Yes, it’s ridiculous, but be ready to roll with it!

Many rules are subject to change on a whim and its safest to assume that whoever you have helping you on the other end knows what they’re doing. Decisions in China are often subject to personal connections, an official’s mood, and other human variables that are just as random as the weather. Remember that the system is different from your home country, even and especially how people relate to planning a Tibet tour and deadlines, and try not to let the process stress you!

4. Take a trip to the doctor.

Before you depart, it might be a good idea to take a Tibet trip to the doctor, especially since you will be traveling at high altitude. If you have any previous health conditions, check in to make sure they will not affect your Tibet trip. Even if you don’t have previous health conditions, going in for a checkup can alert you to conditions you may have known about (like high blood pressure or blood clots).

5. Go with an open heart and an open mind.

Many travellers have a romanticised image of Tibet as a secluded land of monks, inaccessible and untouched by the modern world. In reality, Tibet has a long history of trade and exchange with its neighbouring countries. Tibetan pop music exists alongside traditional songs, and young people here dress much the same as young people in other parts of the world. Monks can be seen driving cars and using cellphones because Tibetan monastic traditions do not require total separation or seclusion from the outside world (except in some forms of retreat).

It is important to remember that How to plan a trip to tibetTibet and Tibetan people are not part of a living museum, but a living, breathing culture. Buddhists have fought wars too, lamas are not above human emotions, and many people dream of seeing the world; just like you! Looking beyond what we expect to see can help us appreciate a deeper type of beauty and ensure that we have a richer travel experience. Determining pre-departure that one will travel with their ears open is the best planning a budget Tibet tour anyone could do!

How to plan a trip to tibetPlanning a trip to Tibet looks like an almost impossible task. With the many restrictions on foreign travel in Tibet, it can seem hard to be able to get around all the red tape that is required, for visas, permits, tour guides, etc. However, it really is not as hard to do as it may seem at first.

Thousands of foreign tourists travel to Tibet every year, and here at Explore Tibet, we are on hand to make sure that your journey to the roof of the world is planned out to the finest detail and goes without a hitch.

Travel to Tibet cannot be done independently and requires the use of a registered Tibetan tour operator. Explore Tibet is just such a tour operator, with ten years’ experience in the field of Tibetan travel for foreign tourists. We have planned hundreds of thousands of trips for our international clients and can help you to plan yours too.

How to plan a trip to tibet

Find a tour operator

A tour operator is a requirement for any trip to Tibet. Chinese regulations state that independent travel in Tibet is prohibited, and all foreign tourists must use a tour operator to plan and execute their trip, as well as providing the required tour guide, driver, and private vehicle. The tour operator is also the one that makes the applications for all the required permits for your tour.

Deciding on which tour operator to use can be a hard choice. This is where the internet comes in. Websites such as TripAdvisor and Lonely Planet are the top sites in the field of international tourism around the world and are a great resource for finding a good Tibetan tour operator. The sites work by allowing their members to post reviews of the companies that are listed in their databases as tour operators, travel agents, and local businesses from around the world.

How to plan a trip to tibetThese reviews are not computer generated, they are made by real people that have traveled where you want to go. The reviews are honest and reliable, and while there may be a few bad reviews on almost all of the sites, nobody is perfect, and even the best companies can get it a little wrong sometimes. By looking at the reviews that are available, you can get a good idea of how good the company is and whether the services they provide are adequate for your requirements.

Explore Tibet has been the recipient of the TripAdvisor Award for Excellence for several years now and is rated as one of the top Tibetan tour operators according to the customer reviews on the TripAdvisor website. They are also the top Tibetan tour operator listed in the Lonely Planet Guide to Tibet. Lonely Planet not only have a website with reviews of tourism businesses, they are the publisher of the premier travel guide for tourists around the world. So if you really want to know how good a company is, check out their TripAdvisor pages and the reviews on Lonely Planet.

How to plan a trip to tibetDecide on your itinerary (Where to visit)

The next obvious step, once you have decided that Explore Tibet can handle your trip well enough, is to plan the route you want to take around Tibet. This includes where you want to travel to, what places you want to see, and whether or not you want to visit Mount Everest. Here at Explore Tibet, we have professional and caring staff that can help you decide on your itinerary for the trip and make other suggestions as to what you might like to see in Tibet, based on your answers to their questions. All our staff are Tibetan and are experts in their fields, with a wealth of knowledge about the Tibetan plateau and the people and culture.

Once you have decided on your itinerary, our helpful and friendly staff will make sure you are constantly kept updated on the details and standing of your trip, including the applications for permits and how the applications are progressing. And they are always on hand to answer any questions you may have.

How to plan a trip to tibetWork out the best time to visit for you

Knowing when to go is half of the battle when planning a trip to another country, and especially if that country is on a different continent with different or unique weather systems. While Tibet is in Asia, it has a very different climate to every other Asian country that surrounds it. Lying on the high-altitude Tibetan plateau, with an average elevation of around 4,800 meters, the climate and weather in Tibet is unique.

For most people, traveling to Tibet is best done in the summer months, which are also the peak months for Tibetan tourism. The weather is at its warmest and while the plateau is subject to the southwest monsoon in Asia, there is actually very little rain and what does fall normally happens in the evenings and overnight. Summer is also the time when the oxygen content of the air is higher in Tibet, making acclimatization a little easier.

Spring and autumn are a great time to travel to Tibet, with pleasant temperatures and almost no rain at all. The skies are clear, and the sunshine makes the temperature feel warmer during the day, However, it can get very cold at night, so you should prepare warmer clothing for the evenings. It is also the best time for those wanting to trek around Mount Kailash or Mount Everest, or even in the Gama Valley, as the weather is perfect for high-altitude trekking.

Winter, despite what many people think, is also a good time to travel to Tibet, and it is really not as cold as you might think. Temperatures can get down to around minus 25 degrees in the most remote regions of Tibet at night, but for the most part, the temperatures during the day are pleasant, and it is actually possible to suffer from sunburn in the winter. And it is not all heavy snow and blocked roads in the winter. From December to January, it is still possible to visit Mount Everest, often with just a little snow on the ground.

After all of this is done, you can just sit back and let us handle all of the details of the tip, from your permits and passes for Tibet and the tickets to get into the various attractions you will be visiting to your hotel and guesthouse accommodation, your private driver, vehicle, and guide, and even your tickets for the train to Tibet from mainland China if you need them. All you have to do is travel to Tibet and enjoy your tour.

    November 5, 2020 November 27, 2020 NormanCulture, Destinations, Reviews, Safety

How to plan a trip to tibet

Planning a successful Tibet trip may, at first, seem an arduous task. The paperwork appears to have been invented simply to confuse. Each place on your list to visit has at least two different names and five different spellings. You are traveling with stubborn friends. You wish you had all the information began the process. Why are maps so hard to find? And who likes dealing with consulates anyways?

Three words in case you are worried about any potential headaches: it’s worth it. Though no plan is bullet proof, we’d like to share a couple of tips with you that can ease the process and make sure your trip goes smoothly.

1. Thoroughly examine a map of the People’s Republic of China.

Don’t confuse yourself with guidebooks and too much online research just yet. First, get a map of China and read it closely. Notice where national roads and railways are and aren’t. Better still, if you can get an administrative map, read the names of the provinces and prefectures to find out which areas are Tibetan cultural areas.

Notice that the area labeled “Tibet” is the only area you need a Tibet permit to enter. Many travelers get tripped up on this one, especially if they are planning trips to the Tibetan regions of Kham and Amdo: not all of Tibet is included in the area that says Tibet on the map!

If the places you want to travel Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu, or Yunnan, you won’t be needing a Tibet permit, just a valid Chinese Tourist Visa! If you are feeling wary of traveling on an escorted tour, visiting Tibetan areas outside the Tibet Autonomous Region is a great option.

2. Too much is better than too little for planning a Tibet trip

If you are traveling to the Tibet Autonomous Region, you must list every destination you intend to visit when you first apply for your permit. Let’s say, for example, that you are considering a visit to Everest Base Camp but haven’t made up your mind. Better to include it in your itinerary as you can subtract sites if you are not feeling well, but will not be allowed to add sites after the permit has been issued!

3. Follow the visa advices your travel agency gives you!

To planning a Tibet tour, sometimes people have trouble getting a Chinese Tourist Visa before they even begin their permit process. If your Tibet travel agency tells you it’s better not to mention that you are going to Tibet when you submit your paperwork…heed their words! You aren’t lying. It’s just the crazy procedural way things work. Focus on getting your visa and the permit follows upon arrival to China. Telling a Chinese consulate that you plan to travel to Tibet sometimes leads to outright visa rejection because you do not have the necessary permits (even if you say you plan to get them). Yes, it’s ridiculous, but be ready to roll with it!

Many rules are subject to change on a whim and its safest to assume that whoever you have helping you on the other end knows what they’re doing. Decisions in China are often subject to personal connections, an official’s mood, and other human variables that are just as random as the weather. Remember that the system is different from your home country, even and especially how people relate to planning a Tibet tour and deadlines, and try not to let the process stress you!

4. Take a trip to the doctor.

Before you depart, it might be a good idea to take a Tibet trip to the doctor, especially since you will be traveling at high altitude. If you have any previous health conditions, check in to make sure they will not affect your Tibet trip. Even if you don’t have previous health conditions, going in for a checkup can alert you to conditions you may have known about (like high blood pressure or blood clots).

5. Go with an open heart and an open mind.

Many travellers have a romanticised image of Tibet as a secluded land of monks, inaccessible and untouched by the modern world. In reality, Tibet has a long history of trade and exchange with its neighbouring countries. Tibetan pop music exists alongside traditional songs, and young people here dress much the same as young people in other parts of the world. Monks can be seen driving cars and using cellphones because Tibetan monastic traditions do not require total separation or seclusion from the outside world (except in some forms of retreat).

It is important to remember that How to plan a trip to tibetTibet and Tibetan people are not part of a living museum, but a living, breathing culture. Buddhists have fought wars too, lamas are not above human emotions, and many people dream of seeing the world; just like you! Looking beyond what we expect to see can help us appreciate a deeper type of beauty and ensure that we have a richer travel experience. Determining pre-departure that one will travel with their ears open is the best planning a budget Tibet tour anyone could do!

Tibet is the highest plateau in the world. There are too many myths and legends about this magical land, which attract tourists to explore it every year. Whether you are looking for a short Lhasa trip, an Everest Base Camp tour, a longer pilgrimage tour to Mt.Kailash, or an overland tour to Kathmandu, how to plan a cheap Tibet tour is very important for tourists on a tight budget. Besides, Tibet travel costs are generally higher than in other places in China due to its remoteness. There are eight ways to save cost for your Tibet trip.

Have a Join-in Small Group Tour

International tourists can’t travel independently in Tibet. So you have to hire a tour guide accompanying you all the way and the tour guide cost can’t be cut. In addition, Tibet is very vast, most of the famous tourist attractions in different destinations are far away from each other. Outside of Lhasa, you can’t take public transportation but to hire a private vehicle to go to the place, thus, there’s another big expense. In view of this situation, many Tibet travel agencies have opened Tibet small group tours for budget travelers, especially solo travelers. Compared with a private travel price, joining a Tibet travel group can save at least 25% because you can share tour guide fee, car and driver fee, single room supplement, and the cost of food with other travelers in the group. For example, if you’re a single traveler, from Lhasa to Mount Everest base camp, the standard Tibet travel cost for solo travelers is usually between 2000 USD and 3000 USD (excluding airfare or train tickets). But if you join in a group tour, you can reduce about 1000 USD/person including entrance fee, tour guides fee, transportation fee in Tibet, and hotel single supplement fee.

How to plan a trip to tibet

Our small tour group at Yamdroktso Lake side

Unlike other large groups with rigid programs and too many people, Tibet small group tours collect 12 people at most in a group. At Great Tibet Tour, we usually recruit 3 to 5 people in a group to ensure smooth communication between tourists and guides. Therefore, you can save money and there’re many more flexibilities. Furthermore, the advantages of a small group are to meet new friends from all over the world and share your emotional moments.

Book Your Tibet Tour in Advance

Book your tour in advance and enjoy early bird deals to save. Most travel agencies will launch various preferential tour packages and booking discounts from 3% to 15% from time to time. >>Check more for early birds discounts

In addition, if you book in advance or book as a group (3 people or more), you can get a further discount.

Take a Train to Tibet Instead of Flying to Tibet

Taking a plane is a quick way to Tibet if you have a very short time schedule to Tibet. But if you have enough time, it’s a cheap way to take a Tibet train from big cities in China such as Guangzhou, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xining, and Xi’an. Besides, taking a train from Xining to Tibet is the shortest and the cheapest. By the way, the Qinghai-Tibet railway is worth experiencing once as it’s the highest railway in the world and you will see amazing plateau scenery along the way, which you can’t see anywhere else. The Tibet train tickets can save 1/3 or half of the airline fare according to the train berth class. If you choose a hard-sleeper instead of a soft-sleeper, you can further reduce the cost. The hard-sleepers are not so bad as you imagine. The biggest difference is that a hard-bedroom has 6 berths without a door but the soft-bedroom has 4 berths with a door.

What’s more, the Tibet train provides travelers with better opportunities to adapt to high altitude. The train is equipped with 2 sets of oxygen supply systems, one is a diffuse supply, the oxygen content in the carriage is adjusted by air conditioning. When the train is at high altitude, the cabin provides extra oxygen to prevent altitude sickness. In emergency cases, every passenger also has a private oxygen supply, and there’s a doctor on every train.

Travel in The Off-season

Traveling to Tibet in winter can save a lot of expenses because air tickets and hotel expenses will be much cheaper in the low season. In addition, every winter in Tibet, there is a free admission policy for scenic spots, such as Potala Palace, Norbulingka Park, Everest National Nature Reserve, Lulang Forest, etc.

The winter in Lhasa is far less cold than imagined, because it’s the Sunshine City, with more than 3,000 hours of sunshine throughout the year. The temperature in the warm sun can be as high as 15 degrees in winter. Not only Lhasa, but a large part of Tibet is actually very warm in winter, such as Shigatse, Lhoka, and Nyingchi. The sky of Tibet is much blue in winter, and the snow-capped mountains are clearer and whiter.

How to plan a trip to tibet

Lhasa, the Sunshine City, with more than 3,000 hours of sunshine throughout the year.

Think about it, in the warm sunshine of Lhasa in winter, strolling around the temples, looking at the snow-capped mountains, having a cup of butter tea and a bowl of tsampa, what a pleasant thing!

Save Expense on Accommodation

Staying away from the busy streets can lower the accommodation cost because the fee of both luxury hotels and economy hotels located in the city center is definitely more expensive. Lhasa city is not big, and it will not have a big impact on hanging out.

Choosing a youth hostel or a family inn is also a pretty good choice. The price is even cheaper, about USD10 for a bed. In addition, you can make more friends. Ask your travel agency to recommend some cost-effective guesthouses.

Arrange Your Own Food in Tibet

You can arrange your own food in Tibet. In general, Tibet’s food price is higher than in mainland China. Most food and stuff are transported by land or by air from the mainland, so the prices are more expensive, and the cost of living here is higher. The daily cost of lunch and dinner is about 20 USD/ person. But if you can accept very simple food, which may only cost about 10 USD/ person/day.

Take public Transport in Lhasa

To take public transport in Lhasa city can save your budget on transportation. According to regulations, international tourists can travel by bus or taxi in Lhasa city under the escort of a tour guide. The bus is all one yuan, and it is suggested to ask about the bus route and prepare change first. A taxi is 10 yuan for 3kms, which is enough for most tourist attractions. The general charge is 5-10 yuan for rickshaws, and it is usually determined by your travel distance. There would be bicycles in inns where you stay, and you can also ride bicycles around Lhasa. You’d better familiarize yourself with the roads before the ride.

Be Smart with Shopping

It will make sense to shop around and bargain for saving expenses. Barkhor Street is a very popular place for tourists to choose souvenirs. When you encounter something you like, it is not recommended to buy it right away. There are many things of the same kind. Shopping around to get an ideal price can help lower your cost.

Neighboring Tibet, Chengdu is the best gateway to explore this mysterious land, to experience the Tibetan cultural, to observe the local people, and to appreciate the breathtaking natural scenery. If you are planning a trip from Chengdu to Tibet, you can get some inspiration from our article.

1. Choose the Best Time

Chengdu and Tibet have different weather conditions. Each season has its highlights. The best times to take a trip to Tibet from Chengdu are from May to June and from September to October.

The best times to visit Chengdu are from March to June and from September to November.

A summary of the weather in Chengdu might read “an early spring, a hot summer, a cool autumn, and a warm (relative to the surrounding areas) winter”. Learn more about Chengdu Weather.

The best time to visit Tibet is from May to September when there is a more comfortable temperature, averaging above 10В°C, and higher oxygen content.

Most of Tibet experiences frost at least 6 months of the year and the highest lakes have ice from October to March. The weather varies a lot from region to region. Learn more about Tibet Weather.

2. Things to Do in Chengdu and Tibet

Chengdu and Tibet provide abundant activities for tourists ranging from culture, fun, relaxation, and history to adventure.

Things to Do in Chengdu

  • Join a Panda Keeper Program to interact closely with cute pandas.
  • Try a hot pot to discover the culture of Chengdu’s cuisine.
  • Wander along Jinli Ancient Street at night to see the Chinese-style buildings and lanterns.
  • Visit Wenshu Monastery if you are interested in the Buddhist culture.
  • Get a taste of the lazy local lifestyle by visiting People’s Park.
  • Read more

Things to Do in Tibet

  • Explore the Potala Palace, which is an iconic landmark in Tibet.
  • Make a circuit of Barkhor Street to get an insight into the Tibetan culture and beliefs.
  • Gaze at the beauty of Yamdrok Lake and Namtso – Tibet’s pristine landscapes.
  • Adventure into Everest Base Camp.
  • Read more

3. Consider Your Travel Duration

A basic tour of Chengdu and Tibet needs 8 days. You can extend your trip according to your schedule because Chengdu and Tibet are both worthy of in-depth exploration due to their rich tourism resources.

We suggest a 3-day visit in Chengdu so that you can experience the highlights there, such as pandas, Wenshu Monastery, and Jinli Ancient Street, at a leisurely travel pace.

If you are a panda lover or are interested in Chengdu’s surrounding cities, you can include one more day to have close contact with pandas, such as being their keeper, or go to Leshan to visit the Leshan Giant Buddha.

For a Tibet tour, you need at least 4 days. You can use the first day to have a good rest and adapt to the high altitude after your arrival.

During the remaining 3 days, you can visit the capital city, Lhasa, to see the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street, Norbulingka, Sera Monastery, and Drepung Monastery.

You can extend your stay to explore Lhasa’s surroundings, such as Everest Base Camp, Yamdrok Lake, Karuola Glacier, and the Palcho Monastery. You can refer to our 8-Day Lhasa to Everest Base Camp Tour.

4. Choose Your Preferred Transportation

There are two ways for foreign tourists to travel from Chengdu to Tibet: by train and by airplane. We recommend taking a flight. The journey takes about 2ВЅ hours.

Chengdu provides more than 10 direct flights to Lhasa daily. A flight ticket is easier to purchase than a train ticket, which is in high demand, especially in summer.

Taking a flight will make it easier for you to adapt to the altitude sickness in Tibet. A train journey from Chengdu to Lhasa takes about 36 hours.

Lack of rest on the train may make you prone to altitude sickness when you arrive in Lhasa and feel tired when you tour around. Learn more about How to Get from Chengdu to Tibet.

5. Consider the Accommodation in Chengdu and Tibet

Chengdu offers a range of hotels and you can easily find a nice hotel in one of the streets. It is not easy to decide where to stay for most foreign tourists, however, as it is probably their first time in Chengdu.

Chunxi Road and Tianfu Square are the most popular places to stay for foreign tourists because of the central location, convenient transportation, and better hotel facilities and services.

If you prefer a quiet environment, the area around Wenshu Monastery is a good choice. We offer a detailed guide on Where to Stay in Chengdu.

Tibet’s accommodation is not as good as Chengdu’s but Lhasa provides better accommodation than some remote regions, such as Everest and Ngari.

We suggest a hotel with a high star-rating, which also offers an oxygen supply. The areas near the Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple are good choices. Read our article introducing The Best Hotels in Tibet with Free Oxygen and Potala Views.

If you want us to help you book your hotels, feel free to tell us your requirements.

6. Apply for a Tibet Travel Permit

Due to Tibet’s political situation, foreign tourists cannot travel to Tibet alone and must apply for a Tibet Travel Permit. You have to find a China-based travel agency, like us, to help you do this as foreign tourists are not allowed to apply for Tibet permits independently.

Learn more about what you need to do if you want to apply for a Tibet Travel Permit.

Itineraries for Inspiration

Are you struggling to decide on a travel plan? Here, we have provided you with itineraries to help you get inspiration. Our tours can be customized according to your needs and interests.

  • 8-Day Chengdu and Lhasa Classic Tour: Suitable for a first-time visitor who seeks a tour containing the most important features of Chengdu and Lhasa: Pandas, Sichuan cuisine, holy temples and picturesque landscape.

Tibet is the highest plateau in the world. There are too many myths and legends about this magical land, which attract tourists to explore it every year. Whether you are looking for a short Lhasa trip, an Everest Base Camp tour, a longer pilgrimage tour to Mt.Kailash, or an overland tour to Kathmandu, how to plan a cheap Tibet tour is very important for tourists on a tight budget. Besides, Tibet travel costs are generally higher than in other places in China due to its remoteness. There are eight ways to save cost for your Tibet trip.

Have a Join-in Small Group Tour

International tourists can’t travel independently in Tibet. So you have to hire a tour guide accompanying you all the way and the tour guide cost can’t be cut. In addition, Tibet is very vast, most of the famous tourist attractions in different destinations are far away from each other. Outside of Lhasa, you can’t take public transportation but to hire a private vehicle to go to the place, thus, there’s another big expense. In view of this situation, many Tibet travel agencies have opened Tibet small group tours for budget travelers, especially solo travelers. Compared with a private travel price, joining a Tibet travel group can save at least 25% because you can share tour guide fee, car and driver fee, single room supplement, and the cost of food with other travelers in the group. For example, if you’re a single traveler, from Lhasa to Mount Everest base camp, the standard Tibet travel cost for solo travelers is usually between 2000 USD and 3000 USD (excluding airfare or train tickets). But if you join in a group tour, you can reduce about 1000 USD/person including entrance fee, tour guides fee, transportation fee in Tibet, and hotel single supplement fee.

How to plan a trip to tibet

Our small tour group at Yamdroktso Lake side

Unlike other large groups with rigid programs and too many people, Tibet small group tours collect 12 people at most in a group. At Great Tibet Tour, we usually recruit 3 to 5 people in a group to ensure smooth communication between tourists and guides. Therefore, you can save money and there’re many more flexibilities. Furthermore, the advantages of a small group are to meet new friends from all over the world and share your emotional moments.

Book Your Tibet Tour in Advance

Book your tour in advance and enjoy early bird deals to save. Most travel agencies will launch various preferential tour packages and booking discounts from 3% to 15% from time to time. >>Check more for early birds discounts

In addition, if you book in advance or book as a group (3 people or more), you can get a further discount.

Take a Train to Tibet Instead of Flying to Tibet

Taking a plane is a quick way to Tibet if you have a very short time schedule to Tibet. But if you have enough time, it’s a cheap way to take a Tibet train from big cities in China such as Guangzhou, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xining, and Xi’an. Besides, taking a train from Xining to Tibet is the shortest and the cheapest. By the way, the Qinghai-Tibet railway is worth experiencing once as it’s the highest railway in the world and you will see amazing plateau scenery along the way, which you can’t see anywhere else. The Tibet train tickets can save 1/3 or half of the airline fare according to the train berth class. If you choose a hard-sleeper instead of a soft-sleeper, you can further reduce the cost. The hard-sleepers are not so bad as you imagine. The biggest difference is that a hard-bedroom has 6 berths without a door but the soft-bedroom has 4 berths with a door.

What’s more, the Tibet train provides travelers with better opportunities to adapt to high altitude. The train is equipped with 2 sets of oxygen supply systems, one is a diffuse supply, the oxygen content in the carriage is adjusted by air conditioning. When the train is at high altitude, the cabin provides extra oxygen to prevent altitude sickness. In emergency cases, every passenger also has a private oxygen supply, and there’s a doctor on every train.

Travel in The Off-season

Traveling to Tibet in winter can save a lot of expenses because air tickets and hotel expenses will be much cheaper in the low season. In addition, every winter in Tibet, there is a free admission policy for scenic spots, such as Potala Palace, Norbulingka Park, Everest National Nature Reserve, Lulang Forest, etc.

The winter in Lhasa is far less cold than imagined, because it’s the Sunshine City, with more than 3,000 hours of sunshine throughout the year. The temperature in the warm sun can be as high as 15 degrees in winter. Not only Lhasa, but a large part of Tibet is actually very warm in winter, such as Shigatse, Lhoka, and Nyingchi. The sky of Tibet is much blue in winter, and the snow-capped mountains are clearer and whiter.

How to plan a trip to tibet

Lhasa, the Sunshine City, with more than 3,000 hours of sunshine throughout the year.

Think about it, in the warm sunshine of Lhasa in winter, strolling around the temples, looking at the snow-capped mountains, having a cup of butter tea and a bowl of tsampa, what a pleasant thing!

Save Expense on Accommodation

Staying away from the busy streets can lower the accommodation cost because the fee of both luxury hotels and economy hotels located in the city center is definitely more expensive. Lhasa city is not big, and it will not have a big impact on hanging out.

Choosing a youth hostel or a family inn is also a pretty good choice. The price is even cheaper, about USD10 for a bed. In addition, you can make more friends. Ask your travel agency to recommend some cost-effective guesthouses.

Arrange Your Own Food in Tibet

You can arrange your own food in Tibet. In general, Tibet’s food price is higher than in mainland China. Most food and stuff are transported by land or by air from the mainland, so the prices are more expensive, and the cost of living here is higher. The daily cost of lunch and dinner is about 20 USD/ person. But if you can accept very simple food, which may only cost about 10 USD/ person/day.

Take public Transport in Lhasa

To take public transport in Lhasa city can save your budget on transportation. According to regulations, international tourists can travel by bus or taxi in Lhasa city under the escort of a tour guide. The bus is all one yuan, and it is suggested to ask about the bus route and prepare change first. A taxi is 10 yuan for 3kms, which is enough for most tourist attractions. The general charge is 5-10 yuan for rickshaws, and it is usually determined by your travel distance. There would be bicycles in inns where you stay, and you can also ride bicycles around Lhasa. You’d better familiarize yourself with the roads before the ride.

Be Smart with Shopping

It will make sense to shop around and bargain for saving expenses. Barkhor Street is a very popular place for tourists to choose souvenirs. When you encounter something you like, it is not recommended to buy it right away. There are many things of the same kind. Shopping around to get an ideal price can help lower your cost.

This is going to be a pretty short post since there are only a few ways to cut costs for Tibet travel, which is expensive, plain and simple.

How to plan a trip to tibet

The high costs of travel to the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) is due in large part to the government rules requiring you have to have a guide and driver for each day that you are there. (Though for certain low-level activities in Lhasa itself you can get away with just a guide.) In spring of 2016, the already-expensive prices rose substantially higher due to a new government policy centralizing all the tourism vehicles.

So the prices are high. What can a traveler to do cut costs?

  1. Join a group: The single most effective way to bring your expenses down is to join a group for travel in the TAR. If you can form a group on your own, great. If you are traveling solo, our agents can help form groups for 4-day Lhasa Highlights, 6-day Cultural Highlights (including Lhasa, Shigatse and Gyantse), Everest Base Camp, and Mt. Kailash tours. (You can inquire here for a group trip.)
  2. Travel in low season: Trips from November to mid-February are going to be cheapest. It’s cold in winter and you have some limitations about where you can travel, but winter is actually a good time to travel in the TAR. See this post on 5 Reasons Winter is the Best Time to Visit Tibet.
  3. Outside the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR), travel with a guide but no driver: If you are traveling in non-TAR areas of Kham and Amdo, you can hire a guide to go with you on public transportation. Obviously, this is a tougher trip than if you have a driver, but you can definitely save money this way, and see more of the local culture. Actually, you can technically travel without a guide too, in the non-restricted and non-TAR areas of Kham and Amdo, but we don’t recommend it. Yolanda has traveled all over the world on her own, but Tibet is one place she wouldn’t do it, for multiple reasons. (Inquire here for a guide for Kham/Amdo.)
  4. Sign up 3 months in advance for Early Bird Discount: Some of our recommended agents offer a 5% discount when travelers confirm a group tour at least 3 months in advance.
  5. Share a room to avoid the Single Room Supplement: Many agents charge a supplemental fee for travelers staying solo in a room on a group tour. The fee can really add up so especially on longer trips like Mount Kailash, you can save hundreds of dollars by opting to share a room with a fellow traveler.
  6. Take a short trip: The very least expensive trip we know of is a 4-day Lhasa highlights group tour. Clearly, shorter trips cost less, also in Kham and Amdo, so if you really, really want to see Tibet, but you’re low on cash (or even time), inquire about a Lhasa highlights tour, or ask here for a short Kham/Amdo trip.

Our honest recommendation about costs and prices, though, is to recognize that it is going to cost a lot, and to save your vacation time and money so that you can afford to go for at least 10 days, and hopefully 2-4 weeks. Tibet is a magnificent country and the farther out you get from the main areas, the richer and more authentic your experience becomes, but it will take time to get out there.

Personally, we set aside $200 every month by automatic deposit into a special savings account that is for travel, for a total of $2400 a year. We pretty much forget about it, and then every couple of years, we have enough for a decent-sized trip. If you can set aside even $50 a month, it will build in no time!

Plus, if you’re someone who can use credit cards responsibly, you can build up free flights over time by using credit cards that give points. There is a huge amount of info about how to do this online.

Updated on February 9, 2020. First published on July 6, 2016.

Your Tibet travel advisors, Lobsang and Yolanda

Most people who want to go to Tibet don’t know how to get there or who to trust for help. We’re Lobsang Wangdu and Yolanda O’Bannon, and we help make Tibet travel more simple, safe and ethical so you can feel peace of mind about your trip. Learn more about us and YoWangdu here.

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Tibet Travel Planning Guide

  1. How to decide where to go
    • What Does T.A.R. mean?
    • Helping you Choose Where to Go
  2. How to choose when to go
    • At a Glance: When to Travel to Lhasa
    • Chart: Month-by-month breakdown
  3. Choosing a Tibetan agent
    • Choosing the right agent
  4. Prevent Altitude Sickness
    • How to Avoid Altitude Sickness!
    • Checklist: Altitude Sickness Prevention
  5. Learn About Tibet
    • Learn More About Tibet Before You Go
  6. Manage trip costs and budgets
    • Actual Prices for Tibet Trips
    • How to Cut Costs on a Trip to Tibet
    • How Much Does it Cost?
  7. Manage Visas and Permits
    • “Tibet Visa”
    • Tibet Travel Permit
  8. Prepare for a Healthy Trip
    • Video: Consult a Travel Doctor
  9. Reserve international flights
    • Tips for Booking Your International Flight
  10. Book Domestic Flights and Trains
    • Booking Flights and Trains to Tibet
  11. Book Hotels in China and Tibet
    • How to Book Hotels
  12. Apply for Chinese Visa
    • How to Apply for a Chinese Visa
    • Video: How to Apply for a Chinese Visa through an Agency
  13. Consider getting Travel Insurance
    • Travel Insurance
  14. Prep and Pack
    • What to Pack for a Trip to Tibet
    • Packing List
  15. Bonuses
    • Buddhist Etiquette Cheat Sheet
    • Practical Guide to Tibetan Buddhism

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