Tibet General Information
Tibet is indeed a very rich and beautiful land, located on the highest plateau on Earth at an average altitude over 4000 meter. It is nowadays the South west frontier of China. Within its borders there are more than fifteen peaks above 7000 m. among which eleven are over 8000m. It borders with Sichuan, Yunnan, Qinghai and Xinjiang; in the North, Nepal, India, Sikkim, Bhutan Burma and Kashmir form its Southern borders. The Tibet Autonomous Region with a population of over two million covers an area of 1.2 million sq. km.
Tibet has a long and complex history, written records have survived from the 7th Century A.D. however it is known that nomadic tribes populated Tibet as early as the 2nd Century B.C. and discoveries suggest a much longer history of human kind…More recent times have seen the invasion of China in 1959 and the inevitable dilution of Tibetan culture. Tibet however has proved over the years since, that its way of life has been able to withstand this influence. Power of thought and life itself overcoming the modern ravages of politics.
The journey to unlock the complexities posed by this arid mass of discovery (almost the size of Europe) begins with probably the most dramatic flight in the world. From Kathmandu, you journey the huge backbone of the High Himalayas to land deep in the heart of the Tibetan plateau. A further two hours drive by road through barren wilderness Lhasa, the capital and home to the famous Potala Palace unfolds. Lhasa remains the major focus of Buddhist worship anywhere in the world, a place for the traveler to cast away any preconceptions he or she may have and join in Tibet’s journey of discovery along the way at least for a while
Geographically Tibet can be divided into three parts; the East, the South and the North. The Eastern part is forest region which occupies around 25% of Tibet. The Southern part is open grassland occupying almost a half of Tibet. The Southern and Central region is an agricultural region occupying the rest of Tibet as well as containing all the major cities Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse, Gyatsa, and Tsedang . This area is also considered as the cultural center of Tibet and Buddhism.
You can travel to Tibet throughout the year but mid July through to the end of September is the best period.
The temperature varies sharply from the south grassland to north plateau. The south is warm and rainy. Most rain falls during May to September. It is warm from June to August. The coldest months are from December to February and crossing over the passes becomes almost impossible. Below given is a table of average temperature, rainfall and sunshine hours in Tibet.
Hotels/guesthouses have basic facilities and even a hotel in Lhasa may not meet your expectation. We always try to provide our clients a twin room but it may not always be possible. Sometime, because of weather factor or road condition, we may not be able to bring you to the hotel of our contract or rooms may be already sold out due to delay arrival and we may have to request you to adjust in whatever accommodation available at that moment. In Lhasa, Gyantse and Xigatse, you can expect twin room with attached toilet/shower but other places; you will have to adjust with common restroom facilities.
Electricity and hot water supply may be disrupted although the hotels of cities promise them.
From Kathmandu, you will be transferred by a van/coach to Kodari (Tibet border 116 km) accompanied by our escort and from Tibet border onwards, Tibetan crews will drive you all the way to Lhasa. In the event of landslides or road blockade by any reason and service of porters are required to carry your luggage or hire another means of transport between the two landslides or for onward journey, you will be asked to contribute a nominal sum of money.
During the change of vehicle in the border, you are requested to help yourself about your luggage.
Tibetan guides are reported to have limited English and you may not expect a fluent explanation about culture and religion or any other academic topics. He will serve more as a geographical guide and will be responsible for dealing with bureaucracies on the way. However, we will try our best to assign you the best guide available though.
The weather is cold, harsh and dry. You will need enough warm cloths , tennis shoes, suntan cream, sunglasses, hats, scarves, lip guards etc.
Your trip includes only breakfast. So, you may want to carry with you energy bars, dry foods like chocolates, cookies etc to eat on the way. Restaurants in Lhasa,Gyantse and Xigatse
serve varieties of cuisines ranging from Chinese to Continental but in other places, you will find basic Tibetan foods.