Best Seasons for Tibet Overland Tour
The best seasons for a Tibet overland tour are from April to June and September to November. During these months, the weather in Tibet is generally mild, and the skies are clear, making it the perfect time for sightseeing and outdoor activities.
In the summer months of July and August, Tibet experiences a monsoon season, which can result in heavy rainfall and make roads difficult to navigate. Additionally, the crowds of tourists during this time can make it difficult to fully appreciate the beauty of the region.
During the winter months of December to February, Tibet experiences extremely cold temperatures, and many roads and attractions may be closed due to snow and ice. However, if you are interested in winter sports or festivals, this can be a great time to visit.
Overall, if you want to enjoy the best weather and avoid the crowds, plan your Tibet overland tour for the spring or fall.
There are various types of accommodations available during a Tibet overland tour, depending on your preferences and budget. Here are some of the options:
Hotels: There are many hotels in Tibet that cater to tourists. These range from budget hotels to luxury hotels. The quality of the hotels can vary, so it's important to do some research before booking.
Guesthouses: There are also many guesthouses in Tibet that offer budget accommodations. These can be a good option if you're looking to save money.
Camping: If you're adventurous, you may want to consider camping during your Tibet overland tour. There are many campsites throughout the region, and camping can be a great way to experience the natural beauty of Tibet.
Homestays: Some local families offer homestays, where you can stay in their homes and experience Tibetan culture firsthand. This can be a great option if you're looking for an authentic experience.
Monastery Stays: Some monasteries offer accommodations to tourists. Staying in a monastery can be a unique and spiritual experience.
It's important to note that accommodations in Tibet can be basic, and amenities such as hot water and heating may not be available in all places. However, the stunning natural beauty and rich cultural experiences of Tibet make it a worthwhile destination, regardless of the accommodations.
Permits for Tibet Overland Tour
The permits you'll need for an overland tour of Tibet include:
Tibet Travel Permit: This is the primary permit that you'll need to enter Tibet. It's issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau and it allows you to travel within the Lhasa and Shigatse areas.
Aliens' Travel Permit: This permit is required if you plan to travel outside of Lhasa and Shigatse. It's issued by the Public Security Bureau and allows you to travel to areas like Mount Everest Base Camp, Yamdrok Lake, and other popular tourist destinations.
Military Permit: This permit is required if you plan to travel to certain restricted areas of Tibet, such as Nyingchi, Ngari, and the border areas. It's issued by the military and can take some time to obtain.
It's important to note that independent travel in Tibet is not allowed, and you'll need to be part of an organized tour with a registered travel agency. This is strictly enforced, and travelers who try to enter Tibet without the necessary permits can face fines, deportation, and other penalties.
Things to carry during Tibet Overland Tour
Warm clothes: Tibet is a high-altitude region, and temperatures can drop significantly, especially at night. Be sure to carry warm clothes like jackets, sweaters, and thermal wear.
Comfortable shoes: You'll be doing a lot of walking and hiking, so it's important to have comfortable and sturdy shoes that can withstand rough terrain.
Sunscreen and sunglasses: Tibet has a high altitude and intense sunlight. Carrying sunscreen with high SPF and sunglasses will protect your skin and eyes from the harsh rays.
Personal medication: It's always a good idea to carry any necessary personal medication, including altitude sickness medication, painkillers, and allergy medication.
Water bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial in the high altitude of Tibet. Carry a reusable water bottle to refill at various stops along the way.
First aid kit: In case of emergencies, it's best to have a basic first aid kit that includes items like band-aids, antiseptic, and pain relievers.
Cash and credit card: Many places in Tibet may not accept credit cards, so it's best to carry cash as well. ATMs may be hard to find outside major cities.
Camera and power bank: Tibet is a photographer's paradise, so don't forget to carry a camera to capture the beautiful landscapes. Power banks are essential to keep your devices charged in the absence of electricity.
Copies of important documents: Carry copies of your passport, visa, and other important documents in case you lose the originals.
Snacks and energy bars: Tibet is remote and may not have many food options. Bringing snacks and energy bars can be helpful during long drives and hikes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a visa to enter Tibet?
Yes, you do. Tibet is an autonomous region of China, so you'll need a Chinese visa as well as a Tibet Travel Permit to enter. The travel permit is issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau and can only be obtained through a registered tour operator.
What's the best time of year to visit Tibet?
The best time to visit Tibet is from April to October when the weather is milder and the skies are clearer. The peak tourist season is from May to September, so expect larger crowds during those months.
How long does it take to travel overland from Lhasa to Kathmandu?
The overland route from Lhasa to Kathmandu is about 1,000 km (620 miles) long and takes around 7-8 days to complete. However, this can vary depending on the route you take and the number of stops you make along the way.
Is it safe to travel overland in Tibet?
Yes, it's generally safe to travel overland in Tibet. However, it's important to choose a reputable tour operator and to be prepared for the high altitude and the harsh climate. Make sure you acclimatize properly and take precautions against altitude sickness.
What should I pack for a Tibet overland tour?
You should pack warm clothing, including a down jacket and thermal underwear, as temperatures can drop below freezing at night. You'll also need a good pair of hiking boots, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Don't forget to bring any medication you need, including medication for altitude sickness.
Can I travel independently in Tibet?
No, independent travel is not permitted in Tibet. You must be accompanied by a registered tour guide at all times. Your tour operator will arrange all necessary permits and transportation for you.