Tibet Travel Guide | Tibet Best Places and Things to do

‘a huge and vast country stands on top of world's highest and largest plateau’

Tibet the wonderland, a country with vast territory and landlocked in between mainland China, Nepal, Bhutan, and India. As well close to Pakistan in the southwest and extends far toward Myanmar in the southeast. 

A country of great fascination with its ancient history, age-old culture, and colorful custom with ancient temples and beautiful monasteries. Including a huge towering fortress known as Dzong, guarding its fabled cities and town from invaders in the early days.

Tibet stands high as the ‘Roof of the World’ covering its huge territory of 1,228 million sq. km. about 463,320 sq. miles. The country with the most world highest peaks Mt. Everest, Cho-Oyu, and Mt. Shisapangma which is wholly in Tibet.

The great Himalaya Mountain straddles the border between Tibet and Nepal and a few with Bhutan, towards the southeast of the country.
Tibet, located on the highest and largest tableland of the world, is known as a plateau with deep valleys, high eroded hills, and canyons. With huge summer pastureland for cattle and Yak grazing ground, where the native nomads or Drokpa camps are found.

Since early 1965, Tibet became the Autonomous Region Republic of China, the country has changed over the years, especially the city areas. With modern high buildings and networks of motor roads and highways, but still retains its past glory of ancient history.

History-Religion and Culture of Tibet:

Tibetan Religion and culture are related to the background, with its beautiful and large landscapes, and way of ancient traditional farm life and raising livestock.
Tibet is also a country with great wonderful cities where the most important monasteries and religious sites of great cultural interest are located.

The ancient religion of Tibet before Buddhism took over was Bon and still exists around Tibet Far South West. Spread as far towards western Nepal and Bhutan, worship of Mother Nature and natural spirits are linked to five important elements.
Which is the sky, fire, water, vegetation, and earth, the practice of Bon slowly fading around main cities and towns. As the country was largely dominated by the Buddhist religion with few Tibetan Muslims, who entered Tibet's main cities for trade. Taking the ancient silk route from Turkestan, and other Islamic countries that border with Tibet. 

At present five main orders and sects of Tibetan Buddhism are in practice, the oldest with many followers is Nyingma. Established in the 7-8th centuries by the great saint Padamasamba / Guru Rinpoche who traveled from India via Nepal to Tibet.
Likewise, the Gelugpa sect was founded by Tsong Khapa in the early 14th Century, and the Kagyu of the 11th Century with Sakya sects in 1073 A.D. and minor followers of Kadam sects found around rural areas of Tibet.

Tibetan are highly religious following the path of Buddhism as per the order of high gurus and priests of a different sect of Buddhism. In Tibet various religious festivals and events are held all around the year, the most important is Saga Dawa. Related to the birth anniversary of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha falls at the end of April or the first week of May, as per the Buddhist Lunar calendar.

The other major festival is the Tibetan New Year takes place during the cold winter months of February, in the Tibetan calendar. That consists cycle of animals and birds or creatures birds likewise a year of Hare, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Ape. Includes Bird, Dog, Pig, Mouse, Bull, and a Tiger, as per English or Gregorian calendar 2020. It was the year of a Rat or Mouse, and from this February 2021 onward year of an Ox, celebrated with pomp and joyous ceremony.

‘A great wide country with exciting places from leisure to adventure activities
Tibet best places and things to do, in a great country with vast territory steeped with ancient history and glorious old heritage. Where all types of visitors from families, school/college groups, elderly people, and adventurers can enjoy various exciting activities. 

Tibet, since the country flung its door wide open to the outside world about four decades ago, interested travelers were always eager. To step inside and explore the hidden treasure of mystic, and the myth of Tibetan legends of age-old culture and custom. That is rarely seen in other parts of the world, as Tibet was always a country of fascination for many travelers and explorers.    

Tibet, located on the world's highest and largest plateau or tableland, a vast country of high snow mountains, and desert-like landscapes. A barren and arid hills of rocky cliffs with windblown eroded canyons, in some remote areas of Tibet. Where you can experience the complete ambiance, feeling out of this world within the absolute wilderness, with only the sound of nature and howling winds.  

Besides its scenic barren and arid land appearance on country out-backs, the traditional farm villages, towns, and cities is equally interesting. Festooned with old temples and monasteries of great religious importance, where you can witness Tibetans from all walks of life. From different parts of Tibet on pilgrimage for worship on various monasteries and religious sites in the harmony of prayer chanting. 

Best places to visit in Tibet:

Nearly all places in Tibet are the best to visit if your holiday duration allows, as there is so much to see and explore. As all parts of Tibet is exciting and interesting from culture, and history to religious sites including the awesome scenery of the landscapes. That includes high mountains, valleys, and huge emerald-colored lakes considered as holy and blessed by Mother Nature.

1. Lhasa City Tour:

Most tour in Tibet begins from the fabled city Lhasa, although turned into a modern city, and the capital of Tibet. One enjoys a tour visiting both sides of the city new and old, the eastern side of Lhasa still preserves its ancient glory. Where a large number of locals reside close to Barkhor Square and its colorful busy bazaar.
In Lhasa, a tour of 2-3 days takes short drives and walks to Drepung monasteries, originally a university for learning Buddhism. As well as a holy seat of many high priests to the 5th Dalai Lama and later moved to Potala Palace.

Tour of Shera Monastery, where visitors can observe monks in religious practice with works of arts and craftsmanship. Visit the oldest temple monastery of Jokhang, one of the earliest and oldest religious buildings, which was built around the 6th Century. By the great king Songsten Gampo who had two queens of China and Nepal to maintain peace and stability with both countries.

Extend the day tour visiting Norbulingkha garden palace, built as a summer residence from the 13th and 14th Dalai Lama (who is in exile since Tibet became part of mainland China since the end of the 1950s). A palace of Tibetan-style beautiful architecture, the interior is furnished with semi-modern amenities with a wide-open flowering garden and tall trees. Includes willow, Populus, pines, and juniper the only surviving species in Tibet with an average height of above 3, 000 m. The most important and highlight of the Tibet tour is a visit to the famous and magnificent Potala Palace. Jostling through crowds of ethnic Tibetan pilgrims, it is not hard to be captivated by the marvelous culture, religion, and traditions.

Potala Palace stands high on a red hill that dominates the Lhasa city, built-in 640 A.D. During the time of the 5th Dalai Lama, the head of state a 13 storied palaces with 1,000 rooms. Beyond Lhasa a day tour or more visiting the eastern suburb of the city to beautiful Ganden Monastery huge complex. Located on the hill of Wangku-Ri at the height of above 3, 800 m, offers grand views of scenic farm country. Ganden a foremost monastery of the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism (Yellow Hat), all the Great Six monasteries (Ganden, Sera, Drepung, Tashilumpo, Labrang, Kumbum) are of Yellow Sects. 

From Ganden, one can continue further North-East towards magnificent Namtsho Lake or return to Lhasa, as for Namtsho the holy large lake. Requires one more extra day to enjoy the lake scenery and its beautiful surroundings, staying overnight in a local simple guest-house.

2. Beyond Lhasa to Gyantse, Shigatse cities: 

From Lhasa, enjoy a tour of 2-3 days or more to a week, staying longer at the height of 3, 600 m high in Lhasa. Helps you to acclimatize better before heading towards much higher altitude destinations around Tibet like to Gyantse and Shigatse cities.

An exciting scenic day drives towards the southeast of Lhasa, where you can witness the real Tibet. Driving through rural traditional heritage farm life within vast Tibetan plateau of beautiful landscapes to reach high Khamba-La on route Gyantse. 

At 4,800 meters high pass of Khamba-La offers a breathtaking panorama of Tibetan landscapes with snow peaks, beautiful emerald Yamdrok Tsho. The Turquoise and Lake, then head down to Yamdrok Tsho and Nagarktse town to cross Karo-la at a 5,050-meter pass. Where you can overlook amazing views of ice falls and glaciers of Mt. Nzongkhangsa at 7,206 meters. From here few hours drive to Gyantse, a city with a famous Kumbum stupa built in the early 15th century.

Next morning or same day in late afternoon short drive to Shigatse, 2nd largest city of Tibet after Lhasa. In Shigatse visit a large complex of Tashilumpo monastery, the traditional residence of the Panchen Lama, second head after Dalai Lama. 

Tour of the monastery with 27 m high gold/bronze plated of Matriya Buddha (the future Buddha). Afternoon visit the local interesting market an opportunity to get immersed within the harmony of Tibetan age-old culture and custom.

3. Other places of great interest of Tibet wonderland:

Besides exciting and fascinating tour Lhasa, Shigatse, Gyantse with Ganden and Namtsho Lake, within Tibet with enough time visit Everest base camp. Including the oldest and highest monastery of Rongbuk on route to Everest's north base camp. For travelers with much interest can extend the tour of the famous holy sites of Mt. Kailash and the huge Manasarover Lake. Where you can make a circuit of the sacred peak, the abode of Lord Shiva or Guru Khang Rinpoche. The important pilgrimage of four main religions Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and old Bon sect followers.

4. Hike-Treks and Mountain Biking:

At present all around Tibet with many networks of motorable roads and highways, with few places for hikes and long-distance trekking. But interested bikers can enjoy long or short distance a few days around Lhasa outskirts or reach from Lhasa to Kathmandu. Biking on main Lhasa-Kathmandu Friendship Highway with a tour of Gyantse and Shigatse, as well covering Everest base camp. Then bike all the way to reach the border town of Nepal and Tibet either at Kyirong or Zhangmu.

A short hike from Ganden an interesting hike to reach at Samye Monastery near the valley of Yarlung Tsang Po or Brahmaputra River. A 3-4 days hike and the trek takes you above from Gyama Valley to cross Shuga-la at 5,240 m high. 

On crossing the pass downhill to Samye Monastery via Yamalung and Nyengo and drive back to Lhasa. For this short trek and hike needs to carry camping gear and foods with an expert local guide.

Other good areas to trek from Nylam town which is near the Nepal border, a wonderful trek of a weeklong round trip to South Mt. Shisapangma base camp, while the other North base camp where one can drive.

How to get into Tibet:

There are various entry points, where high road links to Tibet one can travel from mainland China via air, surface. As well also by train from Beijing to Lhasa taking nearly 3 days or more of 40 hours, a distance of 3,757 km. One of the highest railway lines crossing over 5, 000 m passes, overlooking the beautiful scenery of Tibetan landscapes.

The other route is from Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal taking a drive to the border of Nepal and Tibet / China. To reach at Kyirong or Gyirong Country located 2,700 m and 8,900 feet high, the distance of 126 km and 6 hours ride.
On reaching the frontier town of Nepal Rasuwagadhi and Kyirong County, with visa formalities, where Tibetan guides and drivers receive you. For drive towards your tour destinations, visiting the cities of Shigatse, Gyantse to Lhasa with views of Mt. Everest, Cho-Oyu, and Shisapangma. On scenic and exciting road to Shigatse from Kyirong county.

In the past years before the road to Kyirong was constructed, the overland journey from Kathmandu on the old Arinko Highway. Which is also called Friendship Highway linking Kathmandu to Lhasa of 144 km distance and a much shorter of 4 hours’ drive.

Another easiest way to reach direct to Lhasa is by air a little more of an hour flight from Kathmandu. The plane lands near Lhasa at Gonggar, Tibet International Airport, with an hour drive to enter the city in Lhasa.

For interested travelers with much time can enter Tibet, from Far Western Nepal involves flights to Nepalgunj city airport. Where another scenic flight reach you at Simikot a hill town, and trek for a few days to Hilsa village. The border of Nepal and southwest Tibet and then drive to enter the first interesting town of Taklakot. 

A great adventurous way to enter Tibet within its vast plateau of the pure wilderness of desert-like terrain. Driving in the close shadow of holy Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarover, a famous pilgrimage destination. For Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, and Bon the ancient cult of Tibet that still exists in the wild country of Tiber South West.

A Complete Visa / Tibet Travel Permit Information

If you don't obtain a Tibet Travel Permit in advance, your long-standing desire to experience Tibetan culture may remain unfulfilled, especially if you're a foreigner. The Tibet Travel Permit, also known as the Tibet entry permit, is a crucial document that grants foreign visitors permission to visit and stay in Tibet. It's important to note that the Tibet Travel Permit is not a Tibet Visa. It is issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau in Lhasa, not by any of the Chinese embassies. This permit is valid for the entire duration of your trip to Tibet. Additionally, if you plan to visit restricted areas like Mt. Kailash, Mt. Everest, or Mansarovar Lake, you will require additional permits such as Aliens' Travel Permission, Military Permit, or Foreign Affairs Permit.

The Tibet entry permit is mandatory for international travelers who wish to enter Tibet, in addition to a Chinese visa. Every international tourist must apply for a Tibet Travel Permit in order to board a flight or take a train to Lhasa, check into hotels, and visit the famous landmarks of Tibet.

You might be wondering why you need a Tibet Travel Permit when you already have a Chinese visa. It's important to understand that a Chinese visa and a Tibet entry permit are two different documents. The Tibet Travel Permit acts as an entrance ticket and is not stamped on your passport like a visa. Tibet is a part of China, and there is only one visa required to travel to Tibet, which is the Chinese visa. You can apply for a Chinese tourist visa in your home country or at most Chinese embassies worldwide if you are traveling to Tibet from mainland China. However, if you are entering Tibet from Nepal, you must obtain a Group Chinese Visa from the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu. It is not permissible to use a Chinese visa obtained from any other location; it must be obtained specifically through the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu.

Ensure that you keep your Tibet Travel Permit in a secure location, as you will need to present it when you exit the country.

Obtaining a Tibet travel permit is relatively straightforward for any traveler. However, it may seem complicated if you lack the necessary knowledge. The information provided here is based on our local expertise, and we hope it will make your journey to Tibet easier. we are also here to assist your travel needs to Tibet and help to obtain the Tibet Travel Permit.

Who requires a Tibet Travel Permit?

International visitors require a Tibet Travel Permit.
Residents of Hong Kong and Macau do not need a permit but must possess a home return permit and Hong Kong/Macau passport.
Diplomats, journalists, and government officials also require a Tibet entry permit, but their applications are handled by the Tibet Foreign Affairs Office.

How to get a Tibet Travel Permit?

Solo travel to Tibet is prohibited since 2008, and you must arrange your trip with a licensed travel agent.

The application for a Tibet Travel Permit can only be made through a certified local travel agency as the Tibet Tourism Bureau does not accept applications from individuals.

The permit is not immediately available, so it is advisable to allow extra time for the application process. once we apply for the visa the embassy will give us the date for Biomatric. you have to be opresent at the visa application cebter for it and pay the visa fee. once the Biomatric is done the visa will be issued in abour 4 to 6 working days. 

How long does it take to get a Tibet permit?

Typically, it takes 6 to 9 working days for the Tibet Tourism Bureau to process the Tibet Travel Permit.

During the high season (April to October) and Chinese festivals, the processing time may be longer.

Communicate with your travel agency a few days before your trip to confirm the status of your Tibet Travel Permit.

How much does a Tibet permit cost?

In most cases, the cost of a Tibet entry permit is included in your Tibet package and does not require additional payment.

If you are entering Tibet from Nepal, you will need to obtain a China Group Visa, which incurs an additional cost.
Remember, while we strive to provide up-to-date information, the rules and regulations regarding travel to Tibet can change, so it is always a good idea to check with your travel agency or the Chinese embassy for the most current requirements.

regulations regarding travel to Tibet can change, so it is always a good idea to check with your travel agency or the Chinese embassy for the most current requirements.

Health and Safety measures against AMS in Tibet:

For travel to Tibet, where all visitors must be in good sound health and most important getting acclimatized. Tibet is located at an average altitude of 3,000 meters high above sea level. No wonder it is known as the Roof Top of World, most areas of Tibet are arid with dry landscapes. With very little vegetation and forested areas, and yet the native have survived for thousands of years settled on this harsh terrain. 

With less air to breathe, if one is not careful adjusting with its environment and high altitude. Travelers requires at least a minimum of two overnights, staying in the same place and heights of above 3,000 meters. 

One of the best ways for acclimatization is to climb higher and then rest and sleep in a low place. Actually, there is no medicine to avoid the AMS, except taking advice from your doctor and local guide or group leader.

Take things slowly, enough rest, and drinking much water, for slight headaches, one can take aspirin or paracetamol pills. To get relief from headache and fever, some travelers take Diamox a brand name for Acetazolamide a "water pill" (diuretic). Used as preventive measures to reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness, but it depends on how and where you take it. Best before entering Tibet or high altitude continues till the end, even though you feel better. Side effects are like nibbling of fingers makes you pee a lot, for travelers in doubt can buy portable oxygen. Available in town and cities big shops and stores in Tibet, where your local Tibetan guide will help you.

Information regarding altitude mountain sickness or AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness), the worst symptom is HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Edema). 
This means water in the brain, similarly HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema), a symptom of water in the lungs.

Travelers with the above symptoms should descend to the lower level with an accompanying guide, staff, and close friends or relatives. To reach back to Kathmandu or the nearest Tibetan city, towns with good hospitals.   

Tibet Weather and Climate:

Many people in the world think Tibet is a cold of arctic zone climate. 
But it is not always cold with freezing temperatures, depending upon the seasons of visit and the region of visit.

Tibet with four main seasons, spring (March to May), summer (June to August), 
Autumn/fall (September to November), and winter begins from December to February months. Due to high altitude and thin air above 3,000 meters high, summer is warm with bright sun-lights of strong UV (Ultra Violets). 

Where travelers need sun-glass, sunblock creams, wearing long sleeves shirts and trousers with a sun hat for the day. Morning and late afternoon can get colder and the wind chill factor adds more freezing temperatures, from mid-afternoon till dusk can get very windy.

Late spring and summer till mid-autumn of October will be the best time to travel, when most days are crystal clear. With blue sky for excellent views of snow peaks and their amazing landscapes. Tibet gets very little rain as the southern monsoon heavy dark clouds blocked by the mountain range of the Himalayas. 

That is why Tibet a dry and arid country, but can get heavy snow during the winter and early spring seasons.
In late spring and summer temperatures can reach a maximum of 25 degrees Celsius with a minimum of 0 to 5 degrees. That is in the morning and night time as well in shades away from sun lights. September to November is clear and sunny most of the days, can be very cold morning and in the late afternoon till nighttime.

But one can enjoy the bright starry night sky, and with full moon nights reflecting on snow mountains.

Flights to Tibet:

Whether you fly from cities of China or from Chengdu, a Tibetan city close to the mainland, where Air China. As well China South Airlines fly almost daily flights to Lhasa city airport at Gonggar, Tibet International Airport.

From Kathmandu to Tibet or vice versa Air China flight departs every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from Kathmandu. Which is Nepal Tribhuvan International Airport (flight code KTM). Lands at Lhasa Gonggar, Tibet International Airport (flight code LXA). Flight duration of 1 hour 15 minutes covering an aerial distance of 570 km, flies over great Himalaya range. 

During air views of the world most highest peaks with Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho-Oyu, and Shisapangma. On reaching Tibetan soil at Lhasa Gonggar airport, received by Tibetan guide and drive for an hour or less to enter the fabled city in Lhasa.

Entering Tibet via Nepal by land or air:

once we have obtained the visa for you we will prepare a Tibet Group Visa with all names, ages, sex, and occupations are listed on A 4-size sheet of paper, including passport numbers, and date of birth. The dates of entry and exit are mentioned. The Visa has to be shown at the Air-China airport desk.
On arrival at Gongar town, Tibet International Airport is less than an hour's drive from Lhasa, going through security and immigration, where the arrival group visa will be kept by the authority, with stamped of arrival on other exit visa paper.
Which should be handed to your Tibetan guide for safekeeping as well as to produce wherever needed. Either driving back to Kathmandu or by air.  


Tibet, for all types of activities from leisure tours, exciting days or more hikes to trekking and biking, as well for a long-distance scenic drive. A great place for pilgrimage as well for Hindu and Buddhism followers.
famous Packages of Travel and Tours in Tibet organized by Namaste Nepal Trekking & Research Hub
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Enjoy the wonderful mesmerizing adventure of a lifetime experience within Tibet the wonderland.

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