Tibet Travel Guide

Tibet, with its full name Tibet Autonomous Region, is one of the five autonomous regions in China. It lies on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The unique plateau scenery and attractive Tibetan culture facts attracts an increasing number of tourists in recent years. It is one of the top destination for photography tour in China.

Known as the roof of the world, Tibet bears the fame of world’s top 10 tallest peaks. Famous rivers including the Yangtze, Yellow, Mekong, and Indus all have their sources in Tibet. Tibet is also the place in China where people are most loyal in Buddhist faith. Tourists to Tibet will find prayer flags hang everywhere and mysterious beautiful monasteries sitting on snow mountains, beneath blue skies, and beside crystal lakes.

Chinese: 西藏 xī zàng
Location: Southwest China
Population: 3.4M (2018)

Potala Palace

Jokhang Temple

Norbulingka

Barkhor Street

BaksumTso Lake

Mt. Everest

Yamdorktso Lake

Sera Monastery

Top Things to Do in Tibet

  • Potala Palace
    Pay a Visit to Holy Potala Palace

Potala palace, located on Maburi mountain of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet autonomous region of China, is the highest altitude palace and the largest and most complete ancient Tibetan building which integrates palaces, castles and monasteries. The main building is divided into the white palace and the red palace. The palace is more than 200 meters high, with 13 stories on the outside and 9 stories inside. The Potala Palace square in front of the Potala palace is the world highest altitude city square in the world.

  • Three major temples in Lhasa

The three major monasteries in Lhasa are Drepung, Ganden and Sera monasteries, which are the must-see places for pilgrims or travelers to Lhasa. When walk into these monasteries, people will definitely experience the profound and mysterious Tibetan Buddhism and learn more about it.

  • Namtso Lake
    Three sacred lakes

When it comes to the lakes in Tibet, people will always take these three lakes at the first place, and they have become the symbol and must-visit places of Tibet. Three holy lakes are different in shape and have their own legends or historical stories. They are Namtso Lake, Yamdrok Lake, and Manasarovar Lake.

  • Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon

The Tibetan plateau, known as the “roof of the world”, has two “top of the world”: one is the Mount Qomolangma- the highest mountain in the worldwide, and the other one is Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon, which is the deepest and longest river valley in the world. Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon, average altitude over 3,000 meters, is 504.6 kilometers long with an average depth of 2268 meters and a maximum depth of 6009 meters. Many areas are still unexplored, so this canyon is called “last secret places on earth”.

  • Taste the unique Tibetan Food

Tibetan food is a unique branch of the whole flavor of the Chinese cuisine. The main ingredients are beef, mutton, pork, chickens, as well as potatoes, radishes and other vegetables as the ingredient. And the staple food is made by rice, flour, highland barley. Tibetan people are keen on sweet, soul and crisp food, and they usually bake, fry or boil food. The specialties of Tibetan food are Tsampa, Tibetan Butter Tea, Sweet Milk Tea, Yak meat and Yogurt.

What to Eat in Tibet

  • Tsampa
    Tsampa

Tsampa, one of the traditional staple foods of Tibetan herdsmen, is the staple food for Tibetan people. It is made by the highland barley flour. While eating it, people can use a small amount of butter tea or sugar to mix with it, and knead into a ball. Tsampa is not only easy to eat, rich in nutrition, high in calories and suitable for the cold weather, but also easy to carry or storage.

  • Tibetan Butter Tea

Butter tea is a special drink in Tibet. It is usually consumed with Tsampa to help people prevent the cold and quench thirst. This kind of drink is made of ghee and strong tea. The making process is putting some ghee into the bucket, adding salt, pouring the boiling strong tea into the bucket and mixing them until ghee is dissolved.

  • Sweet milk Tea

Most tourists may not accustomed to the Tibetan butter tea, then sweet milk tea is a good choice. It is mainly made of black tea and milk, which tastes delicious and is popular with tourists.

  • Yak Meat
    Yak meat

Yak meat of Tibet is characterized by high protein, low fat and calorie but rich in various amino acids. Its nutritional value is ten times that of ordinary beef.

  • Yogurt

People who have tasted Tibetan yogurt will never forget the unique taste. The ingredient is fresh yak milk, and it is also made by boiling, cooling and fermentation, so it tastes sour than other kinds of yogurt.

Tibet Travel Guide

1)How to plan your Tibet tour?

Zezhol Monastery

A. How many days do you plan to spend in Tibet?

a.Four days tour

Generally, four days is enough for you to visit Lhasa and nearby famous attractions. During the journey, you can not only appreciate the sacred and magnificent Potala palace, stroll around the traditional Barkhor street, but also pay a visit to the three famous temples in Lhasa to experience the profound and mysterious Tibetan Buddhism and culture.

b. Six or seven days tour

In addition to sacred and profound Tibetan Buddhism, the natural scenery could also be taken in consideration. Namtso Lafe, Yamdrok Lake and Manasarovar Lake are good choices to add in your must-visit list.

 


2)Transportation

A. Flight

Lhasa Kongga International Airport

Lhasa Kongga International Airport, located in Yingbin road, Gongga county, southwest of Lhasa, is one of the highest altitude airports in the world, which is about 85 kilometers away from the center of Lhasa city. Lhasa Kongga International airport was put into use on November 23, 1966, and has become the largest aviation hub in Tibet autonomous region. By June 2019, it has 96 domestic and foreign air routes and has connected to 48 cities.

Sera Monastery

3) The Best Time to visit Lhasa

The weather of Lhasa can be really changeable, as a saying goes: you may not experience the apparent four seasons in one year, but it possible to experience all four seasons in Lhasa within a day. 

 

The weather in Lhasa is relatively mild throughout a year. It is not too cold in the winter or too hot in the summer. Besides, sunshine is rich resource in Lhasa and it is known as “Sunshine City”. In recent years, basking sunshine in the square of Jokhang Monastery has been a popular item for travelers coming from busy inland cities.

 

Another characteristic of Lhasa weather is the night rain. Lhasa tends to rain in the evening and night but keep sunny in the daytime due to its special geographical conditions. It always rains every night in the wet reason, that is July to early October. 

According to the above climate and weather conditions of Lhasa, March to October is the best time to travel in Lhasa. Air pressure rises up in summer and the temperature as well as humidity also is better than other periods.

Ganden Monastery

4) Health and SafetyConcerns of Tibet Travel:

It’s necessary to take high altitude, dry climate and its remote location of Tibet in consideration. It is important to take precautions to cope with the altitude, intense sun, dry atmosphere and to take a comprehensive first aid kit for if you get ill in a remote location where health care is not available.

Prepare Yourself Physically for Tibet

Prepare yourself physically by following a regular exercise program before leaving for your trip especially if you live in an area of low altitude. If your trip to Tibet involves trekking, then make sure you can insist by practicing at home until you can reach your aim of your Tibetan trek. Check whether you are able to trek with equipments you plan to take. If you are not going to trek in Tibet, being in peak physical condition will help your body cope with the high altitude in Tibet. The high altitude may adversely affect your health and the best way to combat this is to be fit and have good stamina.