Tibet, a land veiled in secrecy for centuries, "The Roof of the World" with all its mystery is now open to tourist. Nepal provides one of the few windows on the long forbidden Tibet and its culture. Ever since Tibet was opened to the world in 1985, Nepal has become an easy and attractive gateway from which to explore Tibet. We operate tours to Tibet by breathtakingly beautiful Overland trips and for easy access by Air. Heart rending dry plateau's, green flatlands, and intense culture, make the journey worthwhile. Tibet is harsh and primordial. Guarded by high passes and blessed by wispy prayer flags, it is often painted as a Shangri - La of cliff-hanging monasteries and a culture locked in eternal mysticism. A century ago, a visit to Tibet took stamina, nerve and a good deal of luck. Isolated by formidable geographic barriers and guarded by its government.
Tibet at a Glance:
Tibet lies at the centre of Asia, with an area of 2.5 million square kilometers. The earth's highest mountains, a vast arid plateau and great river valleys make up the physical homeland of 6 million Tibetans. It has an average altitude of 13,000 feet above sea level.
A traveler should bear with him a passport with validity remaining no less than six months. Make sure that it has plenty of blank pages for visas, entry and reentry stamps and extensions. Besides, holding other ID's like student card or driving license will be an advantage. Loosing passport in Tibet is very bad, as you have to go to Beijing to get new one.
Visa-Travel Permit :
Travelers to Tibet requires to obtain special Group Visa/Permit. The visa processing is initiated only after you book a trip with a qualified travel agency. Original passport has to be submitted along with the Visa Application Letter ( Invitation Letter) of Tibetan Tourism Authority to the Chinese Embassy in Nepal or abroad. We are eligible to process your visa/permit and can fax you the Visa Application Letter ( Invitation Letter) if you wish to apply the visa abroad. Normally, Chinese embassy of Kathmandu works on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 09 30 am to 11 am. The regular visa fee is USD 50 and you can collect the passport on the third working day. For emergency processing, there will be an extra fee like 4 days processing charge US$ 65 and the same day processing (top urgent) charge US$ 85 but this will only apply other than American nationals. For the Americans nationals normal visa process, mid urgent (4days) and the top urgent visa fee will be US$ 142, 180 and 198 respectively.
TRAVEL INFORMATION ON YOUR TOUR TO TIBET
Most importantly, all travelers traveling in Tibet are kindly requested to bear in mind that Tibet, being extremely remote and isolated by the most formidable Himalayan ranges, remains still one of the most captivating but least developed parts in the world. On top of that, with its very short history of tourism (just about 15 years), the facilities for tourist, although being upgraded, are still at basic and limited scale. So, the visitors are requested not to have high expectation in terms of facilities in Tibet. You can rather take this tour as an adventure from every point of view e.g., road, hotel, visa, altitude, etc. However, we will always put all our efforts in making your journey as pleasant as possible.
Overcoming Altitude Problem:
Traveling in TIBET is an adventure involving high altitude and could be strenuous. So far, most visitors have only minor effects from the altitude. Age is no bar. However, we advise especially the guests with known heart or lungs or blood diseases to consult their doctor before traveling. Mild headache, fever, loss of appetite or stomach disorder can take place before acclimatization. Our advice: Drink 4 ltr of water minimum a day. Do not exhaust yourself so much, breathe deep and take rest more than usual. Bottled water is available in each hotel where you have overnight and in the restaurants en route where you have lunch.
As Tibet tours get operated mainly during the monsoon time, there are high chances of landslides mostly in the Nepalese part (also in the early part in Tibet). In case of landslides, to over cross them and the gap in between, extra vehicle with porters may have to be arranged. In that case, you are kindly requested to contribute nominal charges for porters and vehicle, ranging from RS. 200-300 per person. We wish there would be no hassles as such. Besides the landslide expenses, if our guide/Tibetan guide raised any unjustifiable extra cost on the way, you are kindly requested to have a receipt from the guide with his/her signature so as to enable us to reimburse accordingly. Without the receipt, reimbursement is not possible.
Banks in TIBET/CHINA are closed on SATURDAY & SUNDAY. So, you are kindly requested to carry about USD 100 per person IN CASH to cover your extra expenses for main meals and others en route until LHASA. If it is cash dollars, even local people help you to get them exchanged in Chinese Yuan. Travelers Cheques & credit cards are very difficult to be cashed outside the banks especially outside LHASA.
Next, if any of the clients pay for the Tibet tour in TC, one afternoon you are kindly requested to accompany the guide to the bank in LHASA for about 15 minutes and please make an extra counter signature on the TCs you have paid. Your direct presence and counter signature ensures immediate encashment of the TCs to our agent in LHASA. Otherwise, it may take months. Your kind co-operation in this regard will be highly appreciated.
We always try to provide a good English speaking Tibetan Guide. However, as per new regulation, guides are provided by the guide association on a queue basis. As the guides in Tibet do not get enough exposure to English language in Tibet, please do not expect fluent and spontaneous explanation from him/her. Your frequent questioning will encourage him/her to explain well, question by question.
Clothes & Accessories:
As the temperature in Tibet is low and involves high altitude journey, it is always advised to carry warm clothes (better along with a sleeping bag with you). As the weather is harsh and dry, Chap Stick, suntan cream, sun hat, sun glasses with sporty shoes are always recommended.
Monastery Entry Fee:
It is included through out your tour for the monuments and monasteries as mentioned in the itinerary, whereas photography fee is not. So, kindly pay the photography fee accordingly if you persist in having the photos inside the monasteries.
Hotels en route:
As the facilities in TIBET are very basic, hotels, although they look gorgeous, do not have proper facilities even in LHASA. So, in the remote areas, it is obvious that hotels may not have enough double rooms and clients sometimes may have to have triple, four or five bedded rooms in some places. However, we always try to provide twin bedded rooms. Especially, first two nights have to be spent in such hotels that may not have bathrooms attached and could require you to use common toilets. So, you are kindly requested not to have a high expectation from the tour in terms of the facilities in the hotels.
Recommended Restaurants in LHASA:
Eating out in LHASA is enjoyable. The following restaurants are recommended that serve cheap & best food ranging from Tibetan to Chinese, Continental to semi-Chinese.
01. SNOWLAND RESTAURANT/BARKHOR
02. MAD YAK RESTAURANT/BARKHOR
03. DUNIYA RESTAURANT/BORKHOR
04. KAILASH RESTAURANT/on the roof top of HTL BANAKSOL
05. BARKHOR CAFÉ/ BARKHOR
06. MAKEYAME RESTAURANT/BARKHOR
Average Estimated Expense for Food in TIBET EN ROUTE IN LHASA
Lunch Aprox. 30 yuan 50yuan
Dinner Aprox. 4 yuan 55 yuan
From the first day onward, breakfast will be offered after an hour’s drive from KATHMANDU at a mountain resort at DHULIKHEL. So, please do not bother for breakfast in your hotel, which may cause delay to report to the bus stand. Breakfast is included through out your tour.
Guides and drivers are not paid well in TIBET. So, you are kindly requested to tip the guide and driver so as to enable us to have them happy for our future groups as well.
Last Minute Checking:
Very importantly, on the last day, if you are traveling with a group visa, please make sure your guide has the original visa copy with him (if you are traveling in group) and other necessary travel documents (travel permit for the group and alien’s travel permit for the individual travelers) before you leave your hotel for the airport for the final departure. This is all to enable you to check out from the immigration without any hassle. (This point does not apply if you are carrying your visa for Tibet in your passports.)
Airport tax in LHASA or even in Kathmandu do not need to pay.