As they nestle into spiritual life, on a soaring plateau with a Himalayan backdrop, the Tibetans live among their age-old stupas and their gold and white monasteries.
Despite their turbulent history, the Tibetans have held onto their age-old homeland. Today, it still carried the markings of an ancient religion and a deeply spiritual way of life. See it in the country’s first Buddhist monastery at Samye, an 8th century structure in dazzling green and gold. Or visit the historic home of the Dalai Lama, the Potala Palace, still awaiting the return of the leader. Though their way of life is changing, you can still see the yak herders in their fields, strangely juxtaposed with urban monks wielding mobile phones.
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Tibet travel FAQs
Most nationalities require a visa to visit Tibet.
In order to travel to Tibet, you’ll need a Chinese visa in advance plus a Tibet Entry Permit (TTB) and an Aliens’ Travel Permit (PSB). First, obtain a Chinese visa from your local consulate or embassy in your home country. Secondly, you’ll need to book your tour before applying for the TTB Permit, and your authorised travel agency must arrange the TTB Permit for you. Providing your Chinese visa, passport and travel itinerary and they will provide your TTB.
If traveling to some restricted places, you’ll also require an Aliens’ Travel Permit, which your travel agency will arrange for you.
It’s quite common for people to tip for services in Tibet. Tip your guides, drivers and other staff at the end of your tour. Here’s a rough guide to appropriate amounts:
- Guide: 55-85 RMB
- Driver: 40-55 RMB
- Hotel porter: 10-20 RMB
- Maid: 15-20 RMB
- Yak person on a trekking trip: 200-400 RMB
You’ll have no problem accessing internet in Lhasa, however service is unreliable across the rest of the country.
You’ll have mobile phone coverage in Lhasa but service is unreliable outside of the capital. Remember to activate global roaming with your provider if you wish to use your mobile while traveling.
The majority of toilets in Tibet are squat toilets, however you may have Western-style toilets at some hotels and touristy establishments. Soap and toilet paper aren’t always provided so you may like to carry some with you.
- Meal at Tibetan restaurant = 20 RMB
- Big mac = 16 RMB
- A beer = 10 RMB
Drinking tap water is not considered safe in Tibet. For environmental reasons, avoid buying bottled water and bring a bottle or canteen with you. Ask your leader where you can access filters to refill your supply, or carry your own purification tablets with you.
Credit cards are only accepted at a few high-end hotels in Lhasa and the Bank of China. Organised alternative payment methods before you travel.
ATMs are unreliable in Tibet, as they may not be internationally connected and have withdrawal limits. Prepare by withdrawing or converting currency from Beijing or your home country before you leave.
Yes. All peregrine passengers are required to purchase travel insurance prior to their trip. Your insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day.
For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/tibet/public-holidays