Tibet Tour FAQ

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Can the Elderly and Kids Travel to Tibet?

Actually there is no age limitation for people to travel to Tibet, but theoretically, the kids who are under 7 or 8 years' old are not really recommended to travel to Tibet because the parents sometimes can’t tell if their children suffer from symptoms of altitude sickness. Meanwhile, traveling to regions with quite high altitudes such as at Ngari or Everest Base Camp is too risky for young kids to visit. But in Lhasa and surrounding areas are perfectly fine for kids to simply grab the rough idea of Tibetan culture and history.

As for the old, it's also hard to define the age as the boundary of whether being able to travel to Tibet. Things are not always absolute considering the age of traveling to high altitude places. Previously, our oldest client who came from the US and even made it to Everest Base Camp is at the age of 81 with her 76-year-old wife. So suggest you consult with your doctor and staying physically strong and healthy are a must before making the decision to travel to Tibet.

What's Tibetan food like?

Tibetan people have unique food and drink due to the high altitude, their religious belief, and ethnic customs, their diet mainly consists of beef, milk and other high protein food such as yak meat and mutton to help them fight the cold. Tsampa is also the staple food in Tibet, it is a dough made with roasted barley flour and yak butter, Tibetan people eat this at every meal and bring it as ready-made food when traveling.

How we can get the Tibet Permit if we plan to fly from mainland China to Lhasa? How about taking the train?

If you'll fly to Lhasa, you have to show the original Tibet Permit to aboard the airplane. Please tell us your hotel details (name, phone number & address) then we'll deliver your original Permit accordingly. Please do check with the staff at the front desk of your hotel to get your permit. In case any problem, please contact with your travel advisors at once. If you take the train to Lhasa, usually you just need to show the copy of the Tibet Permit and you can pass the check-in. We'll send the Permit's copy to you by email as soon as we get it. Just print the Permit (3 copies are highly recommended) out and bring with you to the railway station. But please note Chongqing, Xi'an and Lanzhou train stations require the original permit.

How long we can get the Tibet Permit after we sent the documents to you?

Usually it takes 12 days, at least 7 days if you only travel in Lhasa city. The permit application is not only related Tibet Tourism Bureau, but also other department of government, such as Public Security Bureau, Foreign affair offices, and frontier defense department are involved. If you want to visit western Tibet like Mt. Kailash, Guge Kingdom, we have to provide the documents at least 1 month before your entering Tibet to military office. Only the documents passed the check-in can Tibet Tourism Bureau issue the permit.

How to prevent the Altitude Sickness?

  • Visitors with a severe cold, a high fever, acute or chronic pulmonary diseases, severe cardiovascular diseases, women with an advanced pregnancy and children under three years of age should avoid traveling to regions with a high altitude.
  • To prevent the occurrence of altitude sickness, visitors should have a proper rest and avoid strenuous activities days before you go to Tibet. After getting off the plane, you should try not to carry heavy things or run. Instead, you should have some rest.
  • Nifedipinum, Nuodikang Capsules and Suoluomabao Capsules (known as Hongjingtian Capsules in Chinese) may help some people prevent the occurrence of altitude sickness when they are taken three days before arrival to a highland. Note: Acetazolamide (Diamox) is a drug used to stimulate breathing and reduce mild symptoms of mountain sickness. This drug can cause increased urination, so when taking this medication, make sure you drink plenty of fluids and do not drink alcohol; if you don’t drink enough water, it may result in serious dehydration, which can worsen AMS.
  • Insist on High Carbohydrate Diet--Carbohydrate can provide heat quickly increasing the amount of the exchange of oxygen; while too much fat and animal protein shall aggravate high altitude sickness. Smoking shall not only consume the oxygen in the air, but also the carbon monoxide generated by the cigarette shall be absorbed by the hemoglobin. Smoking shall obviously aggravate high altitude sickness. Do not drink alcohol

What do I do if I get Altitude Sickness in Tibet?

Getting adequate rest and administering oxygen can help alleviate some of the symptoms of altitude sickness. The main form of treatment for all kinds of mountain sickness is to climb down (descend) to a lower altitude as rapidly and safely as possible. If a patient does not show any sign of improvement after 3 to 4 hours, he/she should go to a hospital for treatment.

How is the weather in Tibet?

Generally speaking, Tibet is cold and dry all year round. Most of Tibet experiences frost at least 6 months of the year. Some high lakes are frozen from October to March. Tibet is a vast area, the topography and altitude vary greatly from eastern part to western part. Thus the temperature varies greatly in different areas, even within a single day at the same place. The weather change is huge in mountain areas then that is in central township areas. In winter, from November to next March, of course, you need bring down jackets, warm sweaters, gloves, warm pants, woolen hats. It is very cold in the morning and evening. In summer/spring/ autumn, wearing a T-shirt and coat in the day time but the Jacket is necessary at a hotel in the morning and evening.

Is there Crime in Tibet?

Overall Tibet is a safe place where you will meet friendly, honest and trustworthy people. Tibet has a low crime rate. But for travelers, you need to take care of your belongs and be on your guard against pickpockets. You should take particular care when traveling after dark, especially if you are alone.

Is there a risk of attacked by animals?

Be aware of attack from animals. Tibetan people are often attacked by wild yaks and dogs. When you traveling in Tibet, do not approach it or play with it.

Is the traffic safe in Tibet?

Nowadays, most roads are paved and road transport condition has improved. And we only use experienced drivers and safe cars to make sure your safety.

Is it easy to find western restaurants in Tibet?

Yes, you could easily find western restaurants in some big cities such as Lhasa, Shigatse, Tsedang, etc. Just tell your interests to your tour guide, he/she will help you find the one you like. But in the small counties/towns, it is hard to find the western food.

Are there any restaurants available for vegetarians?

Yes, you can find good vegetarian restaurants in cities like Lhasa and Shigatse. In small towns and villages, you can order vegetable noodles or dishes at local restaurants.

What can we eat in some remote areas such as at Mt.Everest & Mt.Kailash?

The food in some remote areas are very limited with less choice, you could only find some small restaurants and they serve noodles, fried rice and some simple dishes to order. For breakfast, they can make pancakes and omelets. So you better buy some food, milk and coffee etc in big cities in advance and bring along.

How much does it usually cost per person per day for food?

The cost of food is different in each region of Tibet. In the general cities like Lhasa and Shigatse, it will usually cost about USD10-USD15/person/day for Chinese, Tibetan or Nepal food, a little bit higher for western food but not much.

What kind of hotel do you provide in the trip?

Due to the rapid development of the tourism industry in Tibet recently years, the number of hotels & hostels level from the budget guesthouse to luxurious 5-star hotels have been increased, so, you have many choices on lodgings. And the hotels we provide have a good location and good reputations. But frankly speaking, the service qualities in Tibet are not the same as it in big cities such as New York, London, Beijing, Shanghai, etc.

Do hotels have hot water for showers 24 hours a day?

You will be able to enjoy a 24 hours hot shower at 3-5 star hotels we choose for you, but not guaranteed for the guesthouses accommodation.

Does the hotel room have access to internet?

This actually depends on the area, in most of our 3-star hotels and all 4-5 star hotels in major cities have access to the internet in a hotel room. But you could only find internet access in lobbies of most of guesthouse & 3-star hotel in the remote place, some even don't have it.

Can I book Tibet train by myself after I arrive in China?

Highly unlikely. Trains in China usually start to sell about 30 days in advance, and trains related to Tibet are always in high demands, and sold out very fast. Even a local Lhasa travel agency like Great Tibet Tour, has to buy the train tickets for our clients from scalpers at peak season.