Tibet has a long and diverse history, Tibet's geographical formation was due to the movement of the tectonic plates that also gave birth to the Himalayas and the mountainous landscape. Geographically, located on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau at the southwest frontier of China, Tibet covers an area of 1.2 million sq km which is 4,000 meters above sea level at an average and has over 50 peaks more than 7,000 meters, so it known as the 'the roof of the world' or 'the third pole on the globe'. Its old name - "land of snow" - the name by which Tibet is also known as, is always thickly covered with snow with hardly any signs of habitation. The terrain of the plateau tilts from northwest to southeast. There are steep winding mountains, deep ditches and glaciers, Gobi and other landforms. A frigid zone, temperate zone, subtropical, and tropical zone's offer a wide variety of plants and rare wild animals. The landscape here can be divided into Himalayan Mountains, the South Tibet Valley, northern Tibet, and eastern Tibet alpine gorge area.
In Tibet, there are many famous high mountains, which constitute the basic skeleton of the plateau topography and are also the center of ancient and modern glaciers, these famous mountains are Gangdise Mountains, Kara Kunlun mountains, Kunlun Mountains: , Hengduan Mountains, the and Himalayan Mountains. Among these mountain ranges the main peak of Gangdise mountains – Mount Kailash is 6656 m above sea level. And Mount Nyainqentanglha of the Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains is 7717 m above sea level. Mount Kailash is the famous pilgrimage site of Buddhism and Hinduism. The highest peak in the world, Mount Everest, also lies in the Himalayan mountain chain.
Tibet is also the province with the largest number of international rivers. The famous Ganges River, Indus River, Brahmaputra River, Mekong River, Salween River, Irrawaddy River originate on the Tibet Plateau. The Rivers' sources of water are mainly rain, ice and snow melting water and groundwater. The water flow is rich with low sediment concentration and good water quality. These rivers serve as the life support system for around one third of the world's population in Asia.
Tibet also has one of the largest distributions of lake provinces in China. Tibetan lakes are varied in type. Divided by water systems, it can be divided into outflow lakes and inland lakes throughput divided by water chemistry there are freshwater lakes , salt water lakes and salt lakes. In Tibet, there are over seven hundred small and large lakes, accounting for about thirty percent of the total of the lakes in China.
of the world’s population depends on the flow of fresh water from Tibet.
feet is the average height of the mountains in Tibet, earning its nickname as “Roof of the World”.
feet is the base of Rongbuk Monastery at the foot of Mt. Everest.
lakes in Tibet has the area with over 100 square kilometers.
square kilometers is the drainage area covered by 20 rivers in Tibet.
species of birds exists in Tibet.
The northern Everest base camp is one of the highlights for adventure travelers in Tibet and it provides the stunning views of Everest massif ,as well as Makalu and Shishapangma. Taking a drive from Lhasa and enjoying the two other cultural cities of Gyantse and Shigatse on the route and also observing the the magnificient Rongbuk monastery the journey towards base camp itself is full of sighteeing activities.While trekking towards the base camp you will also enjoy the spectacular panoramic view of the Rongbuk glacier The Rongbuk monastery ,which was founded in 1902 has a series of meditation caves which was though to be used by the ancient people some four hundred years ago and it also gives the hint of the ancient civilization in this area. The lama here traditionally blesses all expeditions aiming for the summit of Mount Everest. The trek to this northern Everest base camp provides more incredible views and a real sense of awesome grandeur of Mt. Everest and its surrounding peaks.
Lake Manasarovar lies at 4,590 m (15,060 ft) above mean sea level, a relatively high elevation for a large freshwater lake on the mostly saline lake-studded Tibetan Plateau.
Lake Manasarovar is relatively round in shape with the circumference of 88 km (55 mi). Its depth reaches a maximum depth of 90 m and its surface area is 320 km2 (120 sq mi). It is connected to nearby Lake Rakshastal by the natural Ganga Chhu channel. Lake Manasarovar is near the source of the Sutlej, which is the easternmost large tributary of the Sindhu. Nearby are the sources of the Brahmaputra River, the Indus River, and the Ghaghara, an important tributary of the Ganges. Like Mount Kailash, Lake Manasarovar is a place of pilgrimage, attracting religious people from India, Nepal, Tibet and neighboring countries. Bathing in Manasarovar and drinking its water is believed by Hindus to cleanse all sins. Pilgrimage tours are organized regularly, especially from India, the most famous of which is the yearly "Kailash Manas Sarovar Yatra". Pilgrims come to take ceremonial baths in the waters of the lake.
Mt. Kailash stands prominently in a remote south-west corner of Tibet, an amazingly symmetrical 22,028 foot striated pyramid with a diagonal gash on one of its faces. It has been described as 'compelling, dome-shaped peak, rising above a desolately beautiful 13,000 ft plateau of rainbow-colored rocks';. Mt. Kailash is called Kang Rinpoche, or the Precious Mountain in Tibetan. This peak is the earthly manifestation of Mount Sumeru or Meru, as it is also known. Sumeru is believed to be the axis of the universe. The point or very tip, that is, the spot about which the entire cosmos spins is Mount Meru. The journey to Mt. Kailash is an important pilgrimage for millions of Buddhists and Hindus, in addition to Jains and also to Bonpos. It is believed that one circuit of the sacred Mt. Kailash(54 km/32-mile) is sufficient to wipe out all the sins of your lifetime. Wiping out all the sins of your lifetimes is a much bigger task; that major sin clean-up requires 108 revolutions. Bathing in the icy sapphire waters of Lake Manasarovar at the mountain's base is said to remove the sins of innumerable lifetimes. Since Mt. Kailash is the home of Lord Shiva, for Hindu people it is also the highest blessing to take darshan of the mountain - to be in its presence; to be seen by and to see it.
Namtso Lake is the largest lake in Tibet, the second largest salt water lake in China and the world's highest lake. It is located between the Damxung County of Lhasa and the Bango County of Nagqu region.In the Tibetan language, "Namtso Lake" means "Heavenly Lake". The lake surface is at 4,740 meters above sea level, measuring about 70 kilometers long and 30 kilometers broad, with a surface area of 1,920 square kilometers. Because of the high altitude, you'll need to acclimatize in and around Lhasa for a few days before heading this way. It is not unusual for visitors to get altitude sickness on an overnight stay out at the lake.The melted snow and ice of the Nyenchen Tangula Mountains from the main water supply of Namtso Lake. With lush grass growing on the vast land near the lake, the place is the best pasture land of northern Tibet. Wildlife creatures, especially precious birds, find the place to be an ideal habitat. When the ice melts in late April, the lake is a miraculous shade of turquoise and there are magnificent views of the nearby mountains.
The Jokhang was founded during the reign of King Songtsen Gampo. According to tradition, the temple was built for the king's two brides: Princess Wencheng of the Chinese Tang dynasty and Princess Bhrikuti of Nepal. Both are said to have brought important Buddhist statues and images from China and Nepal to Tibet, which were housed here, as part of their dowries. The oldest part of the temple was built in 652. In the next 900 years the temple was enlarged several times with the last renovation done in 1610 by the Fifth Dalai Lama. The temple, considered the "spiritual heart of the city" and the most sacred in Tibet, is at the center of an ancient network of Buddhist temples in Lhasa. It is the focal point of commercial activity in the city, with a maze of streets radiating from it. The Jokhang is 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) east of the Potala Palace. Barkhor, the market square in central Lhasa, has a walkway for pilgrims to walk around the temple which takes about 20 minutes.
Ganden is 40 kilometres (25 mi) northeast of Lhasa. The monastery lies in a hilly natural amphitheater. from the kora route around the monastery there are dramatic views over the valleys that surround it. Ganden Monastery is at the top of Wangbur Mountain. Ganden contained more than two dozen major chapels with large Buddha statues. The largest chapel was capable of seating 3,500 monks. Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama (born 1935), took his final degree examination in Ganden in 1958 and he claims to feel a particularly close connection with Tsongkhapa. The monastery runs a guesthouse for visitors. Ganden's main assembly hall is a white building with gold-capped roofs, near a huge square. The main chapel contains many gilded images of Tsongkhapa. A maroon and ochre chapel beside the main assembly hall has a statue of Sakyamuni Buddha, and has a section used for hand-printing scriptural texts using wood blocks.
Located at the foot of Tatipu Hill in the northern suburb of Lhasa City, Sera Monastery is one of three famous monasteries in the city along with the Drepung Monastery and the Ganden Monastery. It is dedicated to the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat Sect, a branch of Tibetan Buddhism, founded by Tsong Khapa. Jamchen Chojey, one of Tsong Khapa's disciples built it in 1419 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The monastery was named Sera which means wild rose in the Tibetan language, because the hill behind it was covered with wild roses in bloom when it was built.
The monastery is magnificent and covers an area of 114,946 square meters (28 acres). Its main buildings are the Coqen Hall, Zhacang (college) and Kamcun (dormitory). Scriptures written in gold powder, fine statues, scent cloth and unparalleled murals can be found in these halls. Colorful debates on Buddhist doctrines are held here and these employ a style distinctive from those at Lhasa's other famous monasteries.
Located in the old area of Lhasa City, Tibet, Barkhor Street is a very ancient round street surrounding the Jokhang Temple and the locals are always proud of it. As a symbol of Lhasa, it is also a must-see place for visitors. It's said that in 647, the first Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo (617 - 650) built the Jokhang Temple. Due to its magnificence, it quickly attracted thousands of Buddhist pilgrims. As a result, a trodden path appeared. That is the origin of Barkhor Street. Today even still many pilgrims hold the prayer wheels to walk clockwise there from dawn to dark. Also you can see some pilgrims walking or progressing body-lengths by body-lengths along the street. Even some of them are teenagers or have experienced thousands of miles' walk to reach this sacred place. The way they express their piety could make you understand the holiness of religion.
For visitors, Barkhor Street is a magical place showing the original outlook of Lhasa. It was paved by hand-polished stone boards. Though it is not broad, it accommodates thousands of tourists every day. Varied shops stand on its both sides and thousands of floating stands are on every corner. Most of them offer the prayer wheels, long-sleeve 'chuba' (the Tibetan people's traditional clothes), Tibetan knives and some religious articles for sale. Furthermore, some shops sell 'Thangka' (the Tibetan scroll painting), which is a unique art of Tibet with the themes of religion, history, literature, science and customs. Surprisingly, there are some articles from India and Nepal in this street as well.
Situated on the Red Hill of central Lhasa, Potala Palace is the highest ancient palace in the world, reaching 3,767.19m (12,359.55ft) at the topmost point.
Potala named after a holy hill in South India is a Sanskrit word meaning "Abode of the Avalokitesvara (Buddha of Mercy)." Legend has it that in the 7th century, to greet his bride Princess Wen Cheng of the Tang Dynasty (618B.C. - 907B.C.) of China, the then Tibet King Songtsen Gampo built a 9-storey palace with a thousand rooms up on the Red Hill and named it Potala. Later, with the collapse of the Songtsen Gampo Dynasty, the ancient palace was almost destroyed in wars. What we see at present is the architecture of the Qing Dynasty (1644B.C. - 1911B.C.) and the continuous expanding work outcome since the 17th century. Potala Palace is composed of 2 parts, the Red Palace as the center and the White Palace as two wings.The Red Palace or Potrang Marpo is the highest part in the center that is completely devoted to religious study and Buddhist prayer. It was painted to red to represent stateliness and power.
Located in the southeast corner of Norbu Lingka, Lhasa city, Tibet Museum covers an area of 23,508 square meters (5.8 acres) including the exhibition area of 10,451 square meters (2.6 acres). It is equipped with modern facilities to ensure quality service for visitors and safety and efficient administration of the museum itself. Here exhibits are introduced in Japanese, English, Tibetan, and Chinese, in order to accommodate visitors from all over the world.
The museum building is a pioneering institution in the history of the region. Designed by a Han Chinese architect from Sichuan province, the complex is a wonderful combination of Chinese and Tibetan architectural styles. Upon entering the Prelude Hall, visitors' attention will immediately be caught by the colourfully ornamented beams, pillars, lintels, banners and wall hangings. Going forward, visitors will see that the museum is actually sub-catalogued: the first catalogue includes two exhibition halls on the first floor, showing the splendid history of the land and its abundant natural resources; the other catalogue is on the second floor and is comprised of five small exhibition halls that display folk custom, treasures, and arts and crafts of that region.The museum houses a rich collection of prehistoric cultural relics including Buddha statues in different postures, imperial jade seals, gold albums, gifts granted by emperors, colourful tangkas, and various printed Sanskrit and local scriptures. Visitors can also see variety of folk art such as unique local handicrafts, costumes, jewellery, and adornments made of gold, silver, and jade, as well as fine Chinese pottery.
Foreigners need Chinese Visa to visit Beijing, Shanghai or other cities in China, but going to Tibet is very different. Although most places in Tibet are open to foreigners, the Chamdo Region and some of the frontier areas are restricted. To travel to those areas, they must have Tibet Travel Permit issued by the government of the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR). If they want to visit border areas like Mount Everest and Mount Kailash, they must have an additional permission from other government agencies of the TAR, such as the foreign affairs office, the public security department, the armed forces frontier corps and the military region.
Travelling to Tibet via Nepal or go overland via Nepal's Zhangmu or Simikot border:
Travelers who are planning to fly to Lhasa via Kathmandu or go overland via Zhangmu or Simikot border, they would need to arrive in Kathmandu at least 2 to 6 days (if they want to apply for the minimum visa - normal charge) before their entry into Tibet.
Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu issues visas only on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays from 0900 hrs to 1100 hrs.
Travelers are thus required to arrive in Kathmandu a day prior to the visa issuing days to enable us to get Chinese/Tibet visa for them. In order to get the Tibet visa, we would need to show your original passport at the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu. In such situation , on your arrival at the Kathmandu our airport receiving staff would collect the passport from you while dropping you at the respective Hotel and get the visa.
Some points to consider
Do not apply for the Chinese visa in your country if you are intending to travel to Tibet via Kathmandu (Nepal). If you had applied for the Chinese visa in your country prior to arrival in Kathmandu, it would be automatically cancelled when we get the Tibet visa for you here in Kathmandu.
The Chinese/Tibet visa you get in Kathmandu is a "group visa" and is not entered in travelers' passports but on a separate sheet of paper - be it one person or a group consisting of two or more persons.
These 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.
For Tibet, we organize a group visa, and in order to do this we will need a copy of your passport at least twenty days prior to the commencement of your trip, followed by your actual passport five days before the visa issuing days. If you are entering via mainland China you have to obtain Chinese visa from you home country.
Winters (November to March) are cold (the average temperature in January is -2°C) but there isn't all that much snow. Summers (May to September) have warm days with strong sunshine and cool nights. At higher elevations, above four thousand meters, even summer days can be chilly. During spring and autumn you need to be prepared for four seasons in one day, including the possibility of snowfall. Each year, from July to September is the best time for Tibet tours. In Tibet, there is strong radiation, rich sun light and low temperatures. The temperature decreases along with the rise of altitude and latitude. Traveling to Tibet, you should pay attention to the climate of Tibet and prepare well according to the expected weather.
When traveling to Tibet, generally speaking, the golden season for traveling is from May to October. During this time, according to statistics the weather is fine and pleasant and the density of oxygen is the highest. When the weather is not very cold, averaging above 10°C this is naturally the busiest travel time in Tibet. In addition, several Tibetan traditional folk festivals are also celebrated in this season.
Most annual rainfall comes in the rainy season that starts from July when the precipitation covers 90 percent of the whole year. Usually it rains at night in Lhasa, Shigatse and Chamdo area.
Currently there are only two international flight to Lhasa (Tibet) from Kathmandu (Nepal) and more flights from different cities in mainland China. There are between three to seven flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa in a week which are operated by Air China and Sichuan Airlines. There are more flights from mainland China to Lhasa, tourists can fly to Tibet from Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu within 7 hours, but all foreign travelers need the Tibet travel permit (TTP) to board the flight to Lhasa.
With the completion of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway that is known as the highest railway on earth and the first railway to Tibet, Tibet's history without a railway was finally ended. At present, there are several trains to and out of Tibet each day. To enter Tibet by road from Nepal via the international borders makes the drive from Kathmandu to Lhasa very spectacular, you should take five days including one day acclimatization in Zhangmu or Nyalam. More days are recommended if you want to include a visit to the Everest Base Camp area.
Renting a car or jeep is the best way to travel when sightseeing in Tibet. However, when travelling in Central Tibet there is a good public bus network, although foreigners are not currently allowed to use the intercity bus.
The capital city of Tibet in Lhasa there are many hotels able to provide quite good lodging services for travelers. There are enough top class hotels that cater to upscale travelers, while for the backpackers and budget travelers, many economical hostels, guest houses and home hostels are a good choice. To facilitate your stay , most of the hotels there are built around the old city district, the bustling areas or the well-trodden scenic spots, such as Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street, and the basic facilities and services they offer are also nothing to jest about. Now You could find from Budget to 5* Hotel most of places in Lhasa.As we have got hotel booking facility also for our clients ,we can book hotel in Tibet as per your request and preference.
In Tibet, you can use Chinese Yuan 'RMB', pronounced Ren Min Bi. But in Tibet people don't use coins as other big cities in China. Generally speaking, Chinese currency is accepted at all places in Tibet. Credit cards are a convenient payment method in Lhasa, but do not work well in other cities in Tibet. Most of the five star, four star or even three star hotels in Lhasa accept credit cards. The Lhasa branch of the Bank of China is the only bank in Tibet that provides credit card advances. Although US dollars can be accepted in Tibet, there are many limitations at shops to accept American currency. Exchanging your money to Chinese currency will be the best option for you, which can be done at the Bank of China.
In Tibet, the standard voltage is 220 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. If the standard voltage in your country is between 220 - 240 V (as in the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia and Africa) you can easily use your electric appliances in Tibet. However, if the standard voltage in your country is in the range of 100 V - 127 V (as in the US, Canada and most South American countries), you need a voltage converter in Tibet. You can bring your own voltage converter as you might not find them in Tibetan stores.
Plan your route to manage altitude sickness. The main thing is to give your body enough time to acclimatize before going higher. Plan your route with altitude sickness prevention in mind, by taking at least two days to reach near 9000 feet, not following speedy walking , not increasing your sleeping elevation more than 1500 feet per day and spending an extra night at the same elevation every 3000 feet. Be prepared to adjust your plans, descend or spend a few extra days acclimatizing if it proves necessary. While in Tibet you are very high up, the sun is going to be very strong so bring and use sunscreen.
Here are some health related recommendations to those travelers arriving at the plateau region, It Is recommended not to walk fast or run, not to do manual labour, travelers can also take some drugs to mitigate altitude sickness, and also take some butter as a side remedy as butter is also good to mitigate altitude sickness. As the air humidity at the Tibetan plateau is very low, it's easy to get dehydrated when traveling in Tibet so drink plenty of water/fluids. One to five liters a day is recommended to maintain clear, copious urine.