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The Himalayas are not merely a geographical feature, a range of mountains. they epitomise people's civilisational identity that goes back to the dawn of history. If these majestic mountains were not there, the rain clouds sweeping up from the Indian Ocean.
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Tibet Tours


Tibet Trans Himalaya

Tibet ToursTibet , one of the extra ordinary destinations where indeed adventure lurks around every corner. Its name the "Roof of the world" is not a mere statement. The valley bottoms of Tibet are higher than the highest mountains elsewhere.

Adventure on the road is never short on the beautiful Trans-Himalaya drive of over 970-kms, through four mountain passes, promising a panorama of a cultural and scenic diversity unsurpassable anywhere. The Buddhist monasteries of Drepung, once the largest; the Jokhang- a spiritual centre, and the awesome palaces of the Dalai Lama. Norbulingka or the Summer Palace and the Potala - the Traditional Seat are some of the highlights of visit.

Adventure on the road is never short on the beautiful Trans-Himalayan drive of over 970-kms, through four mountain passes, promising a panorama of a cultural and scenic diversity unsurpassable anywhere. The Buddhist monasteries of Drepung, once the largest; the Jokhang- a spiritual centre, and the awesome palaces of the Dalai lama. Norbulingka or the Summer Palace and the Potala - the Traditional Seat are some of the highlights of visit.

Tibet has got the harshest climate in the world. It is cool in summer but freezingly cold in winter. The average temperature in north Tibet is subzero and winter hits in October till the coming May or June, July and August are the best time to visit the area, enjoying warm temperature, intense sunshine, beautiful scene and festive events.

How to reach Tibet
To get to the Tibetan capital, Lhasa , foreign travelers usually start from Chengdu in Sichuan , Xining in Qinghai or Kathmandu in Nepal :

Air :
1) Chengdu , Sichuan to Lhasa Direct daily flights are available between Chengdu , Sichuan , and Lhasa . You can easily get a ticket through a travel agency in Chengdu . There is also a comfortable 2-hour flight twice weekly between Chongqing and Lhasa .

2) Kathmandu to Lhasa From April to November there are 2 flights a week available between the Nepalese capital and Lhasa . Schedule air services fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa , and back every Tuesday and Saturdays with additional flights on Thursdays from July. This flight last a little over one hour and gives you a panoramic view of the Himalayas . However, individual travelers can get neither a visa nor an air ticket, which are only available to members of an organized group.

Road :
1) Xining , Qinghai via Golmud to Lhasa , this bus trip is tough going and takes a minimum of 2 nights and 3 days along the Qinghai-Tibet Highway . Although uncomfortable this is still the most popular route for travelers sticking to land transportation.

2) Kathmandu via Dram (Khasa) to Lhasa As with the Qinghai-Tibet Highway , the China-Nepal Friendship Highway is a popular route for travelers. This route brings you close to a number of famous sights, such as Shigatse, Gyantse, and the Everest Base Camp. It takes 5-7 days of traveling over the Tibetan Highlands to get to Lhasa via this route. This overland trip also subjects individual travelers to the same restrictions as access by air from Nepal .

Genreral Info on Tibet

Clothing: Light-weight clothes May through October and warm layered clothing from November to April

Borders: India , Nepal (1,236-kms), Bhutan (470-kms) and Mayanmar

To Tibet Altitude
Zhangmu 7,000 ft
Xegar 13,800 ft
Xigatse 12,600 ft
Lhasa 13,050 ft

Note :
Season for Tibet is from the end March to end November each year. From end November to end March it gets too cold and flights do not operate during this period. Flights operate from first week April to end November every year.

Access to Tibet is limited to organized groups. Visa applications have to be made through a registered travel agency in Nepal . A visa for China does not entitle you to travel in Tibet .

Geography of Tibet

Tibet ToursLying to the north of the 3000 kilometre-long Greater Himalaya Chain, and protected on its northern side by an expanse of impenetrable desert, Tibet has always been a difficult country to gain access to. The Tibetan Plateau is one of the highest and most extensive on earth. The average height of the land area of Tibet as a whole is around 4000 metres, and visitors to Tibet will spend considerable amounts of time at altitudes in excess of this figure. Above 4000 metres there are generally no trees, and the landscape of most of Tibet is, as a result, open and harsh in appearance. Typically, the scenery comprises rolling brown and orange hills, with a backdrop of distant snow-covered peaks, punctuated by occasional settlements where, with irrigation, it is possible each year to grow a single barley crop. As recently as the start of the 20th century, very few Westerners had managed to reach as far as the capital, Lhasa.

Amongst the first to be given permission to enter the territory were a number of British mountaineering expeditions, which between 1921 and 1938 attempted to climb Mount Everest from a basecamp in the Rongbuk Valley. After the annexation of the country by the Chinese in 1950, Tibet was even more tightly sealed off from the outside world. In the first years of the 1980’s the first tourists were allowed into Tibet, and the trickle had become something of a flood after the official opening of the country to individual travellers in 1984. However, following a period of political disturbance at the end of the decade the Chinese reimposed restrictions once again. It is now only possible to enter Tibet as a member of a recognised group. The extent of the area known as Tibet had always been difficult to pin down, but with the coming of the Chinese, borders have been drawn up, and the so called TAR (Tibetan Autonomous Region) is now bounded to the north by the Chinese Provinces of Xinjiang and Quinghai, and to the east by Sichuan.

Time Zone
The time in India is GMT +6 hours.

Climate
During the period from May to October, the weather in Tibet can be surprisingly mild, with warm, dry and sunny days and crisp cold nights. At the time of our trips to Tibet (May to October), night time temperatures at our highest camps, are likely to fall well below freezing. This high plateau-land experiences regular strong winds, especially in the afternoons, and dust storms are not uncommon. The influence of the monsoon brings a little rain to Tibet during July and August. At any time of the year it is possible to experience snowfall in Tibet.

Rough guide to temperatures

Places Max Min
Lhasa & the Tibetan Plateau 20/25°C 0/5°C
Rongbuk Valley Everest Basecamp 15° C - 5/10°C
At the highest camps on Lagpa Ri 12°C 8/15°C

Customs, Religion & Dress
Tibet ToursThe Buddhism practiced in Tibet has developed over centuries from a number of influences. Known as Vajrayana (the Diamond Vehicle), it is tantric in its outlook, which is to say its focus is upon the individual achieving enlightenment through yogic and meditational practices. In this, guidence is given by teachers who devote their lives to learning the Buddhist scriptures. This form of Buddhism is very rich in imagery. Various sects associated with individual monasteries place differing emphasis on certain tenets of these teachings. The dominant sect in Tibet is the Gelugpa or ‘yellow hat’ whose leader is the Dalai Lama. The period of the Chinese Cultural Revolution was a bleak one for Tibet where many monasteries were damaged or torn down by cannon, dynamite and bare hands. Following the death of Mao Tse Tung in 1976 the Chinese authorities softened their attitude to Buddhism and today many monasteries are functioning again and the religion is openly practiced by the people of Tibet. Visitors are welcome in most monasteries and holy places. As a general rule it is fine to take photographs of the external building but you should seek permission before using a camera inside. Sometimes this is permissible after making an offering (donation). Tibetans do not show their legs in public. When trekking above villages it is fine to wear shorts but it is a good idea to carry long pants or a skirt so that you are appropriately dressed when passing through towns or villages. When in doubt you should seek the advice of your trip leader.

Currency
Politically part of China, Tibet uses the Chinese Yuan Renminbi. It is not necessary to purchase Chinese currency outside the country. There are exchange facilities in Lasa. Your travel money should be carried in the form of cash or travellers cheques. Dollars are preferable to Sterling. You may encounter difficulties exchanging Sterling travelers cheques in Tibet. Credit cards can be used to purchase some goods in Lasa and are particularly useful for more expensive items such as carpets and Tanka paintings.

Visas
Tibet ToursThese are subject to change and depend on whether you join the trip in Kathmandu or China . If you are joining the trip in Kathmandu you will need a multiple entry visa for Nepal which can be obtained either from your nearest Nepalese consulate or on arrival in Nepal . If you are staying only 3 days in Nepal you are entitled to free visa.
For Tibet , we organize a group visa, and in order to do this we will need a copy of your passport at least 20 days prior to the commencement of your trip, followed by your actual passport one day before the visa issuing days. If you are entering via mainland China you have to obtain Chinese visa from you home country. Visa regulation in Tibet keep changing please ask us for latest Tibet visa information.

Getting into Tibet
Our tours and treks are based on entry and exit from Kathmandu . However, you can also enter from parts of Mainland China , i.e. Beijing , Chengdu etc.
Air China flies between Kathmandu and Lhasa across the mighty Himalayas . This flight offers spectacular views of Mt. Everest , Makalu and many other Himalayan giants. All our trips, which begin by flying into Lhasa , can be joined from Kathmandu, Beijing , Hong Kong, Chengdu or Bangkok (via Chengdu ). In the cities above you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. You will then have he chance to see the sights before being transferred to the airport the next day for your flight to Lhasa . Additional accommodation in Kathmandu, Beijing , Hong Kong, Bangkok or Chengdu can be arranged, please ask us for more detail.

Vaccinations
You should visit your own doctor and dentist for a check-up prior to taking your trip to Nepal.
The following is a ROUGH GUIDE for immunization. (We must stress that this is only a basic guide to the most commonly required vaccinations for travel worldwide. You must seek and abide by the specific advice of your local doctor/medical professional).
(a) Polio (normally you will just need a booster.)
(b) Tetanus.
(c) Typhoid. A full course requires 2 injections separated by an interval of 4-6 weeks.
(d) Hepatitis (A) and (B).
(e) Anti-malarial prophylaxis: Please refer to your doctor for the most up to date information about anti-malarial medication for the areas that you will be visiting.
(f) Rabies pre-exposure vaccination. Please refer to your doctor for advice on whether you need rabies pre-exposure vaccination. In the unlikely case of your being bitten, this vaccination does not eliminate the need for urgent evacuation to a suitable medical facility for additional treatment,. However, it does simplify that additional treatment and also prolongs the period that you can safely delay before receiving post-exposure treatment.
Given enough notice, your doctor will be able to administer all the above vaccinations.
 

Additional Source of Information

Books

Trekking in Tibet. Gary McHugh.
The Tibet Guide. Stephen Batchelor.
Tresspassers on the Roof of the World. Peter Hopkirk.
Tibet and its History. Hugh Richardson.
A Cultural History of Tibet. Snellgrove/Richardson.
Abode of Snow. Kenneth Mason.
Seven Years in Tibet. Heinrich Harrer.
People in High Places. Audrey Salkeld.
Tibet Handbook. Victor Chan. (In depth guide to monasteries and religious sites)
The Trekkers Handbook. Tom Gilchrist.

Maps
It is possible to get hold of a reasonable map of the route from Lhasa to Kathmandu in Kathmandu.
Schneider Maps 1:50,000.
Jumla NH44-11 (Start of the Mount Kailas trip).


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