Tibet Travel Tips
Here I will provides you full information including the planning of Tibet trips, practical information and some other travel tips. Through them, hope you can have a good preparation and enjoy youeslf in lhasa.
Tibet Travel Documents
Considering the special ethnic traditions, the cultural relics, the environmental protection and the transportation capacity of Tibet, Chinese Government regulates that non-Chinese citizens, including foreign visitors, Taiwan visitors and overseas Chinese must have a Tibet Travel Permit as well as a valid passport and a visa (Visitors from countries having visa exemption agreement with Hong Kong do not need a visa) to visit Tibet. A visa can be obtained from the local Chinese consulate in your country. However, the foreign journalists and diplomats are not allowed to go to the region as a visitor.
▶▶Who has to carry a Tibet Travel Permit?
1. The Taiwan visitors, who do not have the valid identity card of China
2. Non-Chinese passport holders
3. The overseas Chinese, who do not have Chinese passport
Note: The Hong Kong and Macau citizens who hold SAR passport, Home-Visiting Certificate or Permit to Traveling to and from Hong Kong and Macau do not need a Tibet Travel Permit.
Since the government encourages group tours to Tibet, the permit is issued only to tour groups traveling with a Chinese tour operator. The permit is issued for free by Tibet Tourism Bureau. Your travel agency will represent you to facilitate the application process.
For those overseas visitors want to go to the region as an individual, the administrative offices of Tibet Tourism Bureau in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu (in Sichuan) and Golmud (in Qinghai) will answer for the related affairs.
Tibet Tourism Bureau
Tel: 0086-891-6835472/ 6834315
Address: No.3 Norbulingka Road, Lhasa
▶▶Information on the administrative offices of Tibet Tourism Bureau:
1. Chengdu Office
Address: No.3 Wuhou Hengjie, Chengdu
2. Xi'an Office
Address: Qomolangma Hotel, No.333 Youyi Dong Lu, Xi'an
3. Shanghai Office
Tel: 021-62578447; 021-62572413
Address: 1/F, No.350 Wuning Lu, Putuo District, Shanghai
4. Golmud Office Tel: 0979-8483286; 0979-8483532
Address: No.11 Yanqiao Zhong Lu, Golmud
5. Zhongdian Office
Tel: 0887-8229028; 0887-8227892
Address: Room 2206, Xiangbala Hotel, Shangri-La, Yunnan
Things in Lhasa
Dialing Code 0891
Zip code 850000
Airport Inquiry: 6833446
Since foreign exchange service is not offered in the more remote areas of Tibet, you are advised to get prepared with money in Lhasa. The Bank of China Tibet branch provides cash advances and cheque exchange services. Its location is No.28 Lingkhor Xi Lu, Lhasa. The opening hours are from 9:30 to 18:00, Monday to Friday; and 11:00 to 15:00, Saturday and Sunday.
The biggest post office in Lhasa is located on the West Beijing Road, at the east side of the Potala Palace. The office not only offers full postal services but also sells various kinds of postcards. The opening hours are from 9:00 to 18:00.
More things about Lhasa,Tibet
①High Altitude: The Tibetan Plateau's elevation can reach about 2 miles (3,000 meters) above sea level. As a result, people will be exposed to stronger ultraviolet rays, increasing the risk of sunburn. The high elevation also means that the air is thinner, which can result in altitude sickness in those who are not acclimatized to less oxygen. Travelers are strongly advised to carry sunglasses, after-sun cream, a sunhat and lip balm as well as common medicines for colds and anodyne,and medication for altitude sickness.To avoid of high altitude sickness you should avoid strong activity; do not take shower at the first day; drink more water and avoid of alcohol,eat vegetables and fruits; better not to take oxygen if your AMS symptoms are mild.
②Extreme Weather: The extreme climate makes Tibet one of the world's harshest places to live. Although its summers are cool, winters are viciously cold, and the differences between daytime and night time temperatures can be vast. Visitors are strongly advised to prepare appropriate clothing according to the season they are traveling in.Usually, the months from June to October are suitable for traveling to Tibet. But best season to visit Tibet is autumn.
③Things to pack
A windbreaker, a pair of durable and comfortable shoes, a down jacket (better with hat), sunscreen cream, sun block, skin cream and lip balm, sunglasses, medicine for urgent use.
④The condition of Tibet accommodation
Compared with other developed cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, the hotel standard and environment is relatively low, which still can ensure a comfortable stay in Lhasa for you. Hotels in small cities and the Everest Base camp are very basic.
Western food is ensured only in Lhasa.
⑥flights to Tibet
Lhasa Gonggar Airport connects Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xian, Guangzhou, Kunming, Diqing, Chamdo, etc. Besides, there is one international airline running between Lhasa and Kathmandu.
China Mobile coverage is available in some areas of the region, but there is no coverage in villages. Therefore don't rely on cell phones as a method of communication. Telephones can be found not only in the post office, but in many street booths and shops in Lhasa.
If you are lucky enough to catch a Tibetan festival during your visit, it will surely make your visit more interesting and unforgettable.
Shoton Festival is most significant religious festival in Lhasa.In the ancient times when the Buddhism prevailed in India, it was regulated that all the monks could not go out in case to avoid stepping on insects. That's how Shoton Festival formed and it was introduced to Tibet. During the period of Shoton Festival, there will be a Buddha Exhibition. The huge Thangka of Shakyamuni with over 500 year's history has always been collected in the monastery and only exhibited during Shoton Festival. This great event attracts the followers and tourists from different places.
Tibetan New Year
Tibetan New Year is the grandest festival in Tibet. The celebrations last for ten days from January 1st to 10th of the Tibetan calendar. The main activities will be held in the Jokhang Temple. Generally it coincides with the low season for visit.
Saka Dawa Festival
Saka Dawa Festival is a unique and popular festival in spring. It is held on April 15th of the Tibetan calendar. On this day, the whole of Lhasa is immersed in incense smoke. The people of Lhasa walk around the wall of Jokhang Temple and the Potala Palace as a pilgrimage.
Presenting Hada (or Khatag) is traditional practice of respect and hospitality in Tibet, and will be appreciated by your host. If you are presenting a Hada to a statue or a high lama, raise the Hada above your shoulder and bow. When you receive a Hada, it is proper to accept with both your hands.
Always add a "La" after one's name to show your respect, for example Tashi La. Address a high lama with "Rinpoche" and a common lama with Geshe La, even though he might not be a Geshe.
There are some common rules to remember if you plan to visit a monastery. Always walk clockwise around the religious shrines, stupas, Mani stones and prayer wheels. However, if you visit a Bon monastery, then walk counter clockwise.Although the monks remove their shoes upon entering a chamber, it is acceptable to enter a chamber without removing your shoes. Coming inside during the chanting session is permissible. Sit or stand in the rear, with no loud and irreverent conversation.Also, it is considered proper etiquette to offer some money or butter fuel while visiting a monastery.
The following are considered taboo:
Smoking, consuming alcohol or making unnecessary noise in a monastery.
Touching, walking over or sitting on any religious texts, objects or prayer flags in a monastery.
Causing anything to be killed in a monastery.
Intrusive photography of a monastery especially when people are performing religious ceremonies. Always ask for permission.
Harming vultures, or yaks and sheep wearing red, yellow or green cloth.
Stepping on the threshold when entering a Tibetan house.
Spitting before somebody.
Placing trash in the fire.
Public displays of affection.