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Tibet Travel FAQs
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Tibet Travel Faqs

  • Differences of private Tibet tour and group Tibet tour ?

    Private Tour Features: 

    The tour is just for you without others

    Flexible dates to meet your time frame

    Itinerary is 100% customizable to meet your needs 

    Private vehicle and personal guide

    Price is higher but you will enjoy personal and flexible service


    Group Tour Features: 

    Fixed dates

    Fixed itinerary

    Shared vehicle and guide

    Good price to budget travelers

    Good chance to make friends during the tour

  • How much deposit requried for booking ?

    Usually 30% - 50% deposit is required for booking, but the exact deposit amount varies according to different groups. 


    Balance will be charged 30 days prior to your arrival. Or you can pay balance in RMB cash upon arrival on Day1 or Day2. We only accept RMB cash if you want to pay balance upon arrival, we do not accept USD cash payment in China


  • Can you tell me more about your group tours ?

    Our group tours features are as follow: 

    1) The tours are guaranteed departure

    2) The group size is 12 persons at maximum

    3) Various tour options from 4 days to 15 days 

    4) The tours are affordable price and valuable service

    5) If booking 90 days ahead, we can use your date to set up the tour and guarantee departure

    6) The more members you can bring to us, the better discount we can provide

  • What vehicle will you use in Tibet ?

    There are different tourist vehicles in Tibet for different group size:

    1-3 persons: we mainly use 4WD or 7 seats van 

    4-5 persons: we mainly use 7-9 seats van 

    6-8 persons: we mainly use 15 to 17 seats mini bus 

    9-15 persons: we mainly use 23-29 seats mini bus 


  • Vegetarian food in Tibet ?

    There are vegetarian restaurant options in Lhasa, and some options in Gyangtse and Shigatse. But for the Everest or other remote areas, there are limtied food options, usually will be noodles, you can bring some food on your own if traveling to those remote areas. 

  • What kind of meals can I expect in Tibet ?

    In China, we have some lunches and some special dinners included so as to make the sightseeing more convenient and enable you to have better experience. 


    In Tibet, the lunches and dinners are usually not included, but different types of restaurants are available with reasonable prices. The Tibet guide will give you some recommendations, so it is very convenient to you. 


    The average meal cost in China or Tibet is around RMB30-60=USD5-9/per person per meal. 

  • Do you use Tibetan guide or a Chinese guide ?

    All of our guides are local Tibetans and officially lisenced and good enlighs, they are professional and experienced, and know Tibet well.  


    Most of our drivers are also Tibetan with years of driving experience in Tibet area, but they do not speak english. 

  • Tips for applying the China Visa ?

    When applying China visa, please remember NOT to mention anything about your Tibet tour to the embassy, just tell them you are visiting China is fine, nothing related to Tibet.  Because the embassy will require you to present the Tibet travel permit before issuing the China visa, but the local government here needs visa copies for Tibet permit application, so this is very contradictory policy. A few clients did not follow our advice, they finally got the visa application rejected and had to cancel the trip. Please do remember this. 


    After the tour is booked, we can send you the Invitation Letter, in which you Tibet part tour will be replaced by a China tour so as to pass the visa application, just tell us your China arrival date + arrival city, China departure date + departure city, and send us your passport scanned copies, then we will be able to work out the invitation letter for you, you will pass the application smoothly, we are experienced on this.  Read More.

  • What can I do with Tibetan beggars ?

    Religious beggars are an accepted part of society in Tibet. Giving money or food to a pilgrim is considered an act of merit. Donations of RMB1 is appropriate. Please note: if the beggars are the old men and women who dress in shredded, bulky clothes, while the younger ones may have a monkey on a chain, it's a spectacle of great interest to the Tibetans. These beggars are professionals, having less meritorious intentions than religious pilgrims. Just wave them off as the locals do if you don't want give anything.

  • Is independent tour allowed in Tibet ?

    Independent travel without guide and driver is strictly prohibited in Tibet ever since the riots in March 2008. And ever since then Tibet will be closed annually in every March.


    You should book a tour with the local travel agency to arrange for the Tibet Travel Permit; otherwise you will not be able to enter Tibet. And Tibet travel permit is only granted to visitors who have booked a tour with local travel agency; it could not be sold without tour booking.


    In addition, all your travel behavior has to be under the accompany of the guide, it is no possible to travel without the guide’s accompany. If one travels without the guide and caught by policeman, not only the visitor, but also the tour guide and travel agent will be punished seriously and might be forbidden to run business in the future.  A case is that 10 years ago, a Germany visitor joined a group to Tibet, but he left the tour and hide in a monastery for a month long, the local policeman and travel agent took a lot of effort to find him, the tour guide from then was fired and forbidden to guide any longer, and the travel agent was fined with a huge sum of money.  So please take this seriously and follow the regulation. 

  • Is Tibet safe to travel ?

    Actually Tibet is a very safe area as it is Buddhist culture affected, people are usually friendly, honest and trustworthy. As a traveler, what you should be careful is pickpockets or bag snatching, not only in Tibet, but all over China and other parts of the world.


    It is suggested not to carry too much cash or valuable jewelry, and try to keep your bags in front of your body rather than carry then at the back.


    If you had any security in Tibet, please directly contact our tour guide, our guide on behalf of TravelChinaTibet.com will take suitable measures to solve the problems. Or you can contact your travel consultant at TCT to handle it.  

  • Money, currency, ATM in Tibet ?

    China and Tibet are using the same currency called RMB or CNY. 


    There are banks and ATM machines in Lhasa, Shigatse, Gyangtse, are some big cities or towns of Tibet area, but not in the remote areas such as Ngari and Everest, etc.  If you want to get money, you can either go to the bank for exchange, or withdraw from ATM. Some 4 to 5 star hotels have money exchange service as well. 

  • Altitude sickness and solutions

    High altitude sickness is a major difficulty of Tibet travel, but it is not as serious as you imagined. People react differently to the altitude. If you are planning a Tibet tour, it is advisable to have physical examination. Those who suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease or chest problems should seek medical advices before going to Tibet. Read More.

  • Do you provide travel insurance or I have to buy ?

    It is compulsory that travel company must have travel agencies' liability insurance, but this is the company level insurance and only compensate for important accidents caused by the travel company's fault or negligence. So traveling with TCT , you are required to buy your own travel insurance to cover the trip delay, trip cancellation, emergency evacuation, etc.  Read More.

  • Are children allowed to travel to Tibet ?

    Many parents concern about this question before planning a Tibet tour, as experienced Tibet travel agent, we can tell you that age is not a very strong factor to the high altitude sickness, there are many little kids going to Tibet with their parents, and mostly the altitude sickness happen on adults according to our year's experience, so people even said high altitude has less effect on kids.. But better go and ask your doctor for sure, having body examination before coming to Tibet. We do not suggest any baby less than 2 years old or any pregnant female to travel Tibet.  Usually speaking, kids of 5+ years old will be ok to travel to Tibet.

  • What to bring or pack for Tibet travel

    Of course you won't forget the camera, passport and visa. But what other important items you need to pack for Tibet travel? Here is a thoughtful collection of the must-have items to ensure you a safe and comfortable Tibet tour. Read More.

  • Better to take train or flight to Tibet ?

    We do not quite recommend visitors to take train to Tibet from Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Chongqing, becuase 3 reasons:


    1) The trains from these cities are usually 30-50 hour's ride, which is too long to many visitors


    2) It is a false concept that taking train to Tibet is good to acclimatize, because there is oxygen difussion all the way from Xining to Lhasa.  Also the train will pass 5000+ meters mountain range, some passengers might feel uncomfortable even there is oxygen diffusion.


    3) There is only basic medical treatment on the train, if anything happen, passengers could not get to hospital immediately for better medical treament.


    Wrong concept of Tibet Travel Travel

  • Differences of soft sleeper and hard sleeper on Tibet train ?

    Visitors might get miss-led by the word—HARD, actually hard sleepers on Tibet train is still soft, it is the 2nd class sleeper, comfortless is after only the soft sleeper. 


    1) Soft sleeper compartment has 4 sleepers inside, which are called Lower sleeper and Upper Sleeper. While hard Sleeper compartment has 6 sleepers inside, which are called Lower sleeper, Middle sleeper, Upper sleeper.  Soft sleeper compartment is slightly bigger space than hard sleeper compartment.


    2) The Soft sleepers are slightly wider and softer than Hard sleepers. As many foreign visitors are strong, so soft sleeper might be more comfortable.


    3) Soft sleeper berth has a door which could be locked and keep away the noise outside and give you more privacy. While hard sleepers usually do not have door, will be a bit noise and less privacy. But as the door in soft sleeper could be locked, so it might be a bit strange to some passengers especially female passenger sharing the compartment with other unknown males; While hard sleeper compartment is in an open area, give you less strange feelings.


    4) Each soft sleeper has a TV screen, while the hard sleeper does not have. 

  • How do we get the train and flight tickets ?

    If you have booked the train tickets with us

    1) We will send you the confirmation letter with the train booking code and other info in both English and Chinese language, so that you can get the tickets easily.

    2) You can get the train tickets from the train station by showing the booking code and your original passport. Please do remember to arrive the train station at least 1.5 hours to line up and get the tickets from the ticket counter. It can be busy especially in big cities of China.

    3) You can also get the train tickets from any authorized ticket office in China/Tibet, there are many authorized ticket offices in different cities of China, so you can get there and show your original passport and booking code to get the train tickets. You will be required to pay RMB5/per ticket in this way. 


    If you have booked the flight tickets with us

    We will send you the confirmation letter with the flight booking code, so that you can get the flight tickets at airport by showing you passport. 

  • How to get to Tibet ?

    Located at the roof of the world, Tibet is mysterious and remote from mainland China, but this wonderland is never lack of visitors, with the modern transportation of trains and flights, a lot of visitors from home and aboard rushed in to discover it is real culture and scenery. You may either take Train to Tibet, or take Flight to Tibet

  • How do I get my Tibet Travel Permit ?

    The Tibet permit usually will be applied 20 days prior to your arrival, and will be obtained 7-10 days prior to your arrival, then will be sent to you by email attachment or postage. 


    If you take flight to Tibet

    We will send the original permit to your hotel in China, also will send you the permit copies via email attachment so that you can take it for reference. You can get it from the hotel front desk when checking in. Please do confirm us when you. 


    If you take train to Tibet

    You will only need the permit copies, we will send the copies to you by email attachment, then you need to print it out TWICE, and use it for the train ride. 


    Note: 

    1) The Xian to Lhasa train is an exception, it requires original permit rather than permit copies.

    2) We do not do international postage, the permit is only posted to your hotel in China rather than any other places outside of China. 

  • Tibet Group Visa for coming from Nepal to Tibet

    Tibet Group Visa (TGV) is the ONLY visa you need for traveling from Kathmandu-Tibet-Kathmandu, or traveling from Kathmandu-Tibet-China, you do not have to apply any other China visa at your home country. 


    BUT if you traveling from Kathmandu-China without Tibet, you will need China Visa rather than this Tibet Group Visa. 


    Many travelers are still confused of the Tibet Group visa for travelling from Nepal to Tibet, as a local operator, we would like to share some simple but useful information with you, so as to make your trip planning easier. Read More.

  • Single-Entry Visa or Double-Entry Visa ?

    Tibet is considered as part of China, BUT Hong Kong is considered as an international stop: 


    Single Entry Visa for:  

    China-Tibet-China route

    Nepal-China route

    HK-China-Tibet-China route


    Double Entry Visa for: 

    HK-China-HK-China route


    Tibet Group Visa for: 

    Nepal-Tibet route

    Nepal-Tibet-China route

  • Weather & temperature for Tibet ?

    Please kindly check this link for daily temperature: www.timeanddate.com/weather/china/lhasa


    For Best time to visit Tibet, please check the link below:

    www.travelchinatibet.com/tibet-travel-guide/best-time-to-travel-tibet.html

China Travel Faqs

  • Do we need electric converter or adaptor ?

    Electricity in China is 220 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. This is twice the standard voltage than in North America and some Latin American countries which run on 110V 60Hz.


    The standard wall plug in most households in China has a grounding pin and two power conducing pins in a V-shape. If your device's electrical plug has a different shape than the one above, you may need an electrical adapter.


    An adapter does not change the voltage of the device, the converter does that. When buying an Electric Adapter for China pay attention that you are getting the one with the V-shape that will fit the Chinese socket. Most of the Universal sets will include it but double check, sometimes the sets are only US to Europe or US to UK adapters.


    Some sets also include the converter, some only the adapters, so make sure you buy what you need.

  • Can I buy sim card in China ?

    In China, GSM networks operated by China Mobile is the best so far, while CDMA network run by China Unicom is the second option, so if you have a dual band or tri band mobile phone or use COSMOTE card, then you can use your mobile phone in China, though any calls you make will be considered long-distance. A cheaper option is to buy GSM or CDMA SIM card. Our guides will help you to choose the right one you may need. 


    The following is how to dial international call from China: 

    00+country code + region code + phone number

    The country code for USA and Canada is 1, 44 for UK, 61 for Australia, 43 for Austria, 41 for Switzerland, 852 for Hong Kong, 39 for Italy, 31 for Holland, 64 for New Zealand, etc. For the other countries, please check the instruction book in the hotel room.

  • Can I pay by credit card ?

    Credit card payment via PayPal is acceptable, but the credit card fee is high, so it is expensive especially when the amount is huge. 


    If you are paying us a huge sum of money more than USD1500, we suggest you to pay via Western Union or regular bank transfer.  But if the amount is less than USD1500, you can pay via credit card via PayPal.


    The Western Union is fast and low transfer fee, we can get the payment in a few minutes. The regular bank transfer is also low transfer fee but takes 3-10 working days for us to get the money. 

  • Is it better for me to book the flights/trains?

    It is better for us to arrange the train or flight tickets for you, because the domestic flights in China frequently be cancelled or change timing, the updates will be sent to you via email, but Gmail is not able to use in China, or you do not always have access to emails while traveling, so you might miss these updates. While if we book for you, we will get the emails and cellphone message from the airline companies, and will inform you immediately and help you to negotiate with airline companies for alternative solutions. We do have a few groups missed the flights which they booked on their own. 

  • Do you arrange international flights ?

    We are booking the international flights from the same booking platform as you,  you will pay more if booking international flights with us as there is credit card fee or transfer fee involved. So we suggest you to book the international flights on your own, and we can do the China domestic flights/trains for you as we can get good price. 

  • What is double-entry visa for China ?

    Tibet is considered as part of China and a domestic stop, BUT Hong Kong is considered as an international stop:


    Single Entry Visa for: 

    1) China-Tibet-China route

    2) HK-China route

    3) HK-China-Tibet-China route

    4) HK-China-Tibet-Nepal route

    5) Nepal-China route


    Double Entry Visa for: 

    1) China-Tibet-Nepal-China route

    2) HK-China-Tibet-Nepal-China route

    3) HK-China-HK-China route


    Tibet Group Visa for:

    1) Nepal-Tibet-China route

  • How do I get China Visa ?

    There are 2 ways to get visa in your country: 


    1) Apply by yourself at the Chinese embassy in our near your city, we may send you the invitation letter to assist your application.

    2) Pay a local agent in your city to deal with the visa application for you. 

    Note: HK and Macau is consider to be an international stop, while Tibet is considered to be domestic stop. 


    Single entry visa is required for HK-China-Tibet-China route

    Double entry visa is required for HK-China-HK-China route. 

  • Tourist traps you should be aware of

    China is generally a safe country to visit as Chinese are friendly and the government cares about foreign visitor's safety and security very much. But there are still some typical tourist traps and important travel advices that you should be aware of.  Click here for more.

  • What are the public holidays in China ?

    The 3 major Chinese national “Golden Weeks” to avoid are: 


    Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year)

    This is the worst time to travel. The exact dates each year varies since it’s based on the Lunar Calendar, but it’s usually around late January to mid-Feb. Technically about 2 weeks but many Chinese will just get the first week off. Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional holidays, kind of the equivalent of Christmas in the West. A huge chunk of the population — from white collar to migrant worker — takes off work to travel back to their hometowns to spend time with their families. Most businesses shut down completely, so your options for eating and shopping also become severely limited in smaller towns. Of course, if you don’t mind the crowds, it can be lots of fun (festivals, street activity, etc).  But if you hate crowds and the incessant noise of firecrackers going off at all hours, I’d suggest earplugs and/or a lot of beer. 


    National Day (1st to 5th Oct) 

    A 5 days-long holiday that celebrates founding of People’s Republic. In particular, avoid Beijing sites (Forbidden City, which is next to the parades at Tiananmen Square, as well as the nearby Great Wall of China).


    Labor Day (1st to 3th May) 

    Until 2007, this was a week-long holiday but has since been scaled back to a long 3-day weekend.  So not as crazy as before but still definitely want to avoid being in transit during this time.

  • Weather & Climate for China Travel

    Please kindly check this link for more: www.timeanddate.com/weather/china

  • Best time to visit China ?

    China Travel Season Division:

    High season: April to May & Sept to Oct. 

    Shoulder season: June to Aug & November

    Low season: December to March


    Avoid National Holidays: 

    1) National Holiday (1st to 5th May,  1st to 5th Oct) 

    2) Spring Festival (Jan of Chinese Lunar Calendar) 


    The following is a reference table for tourists to prepare clothing on their trips.

    1) Spring: 10-22 centigrade, Western suits, jackets, sports coats, woolen jackets, long sleeve shirts and travel shoes.

    2) Summer: 22 centigrade and above, T-shirts, short sleeve shirts, skirts, sandals, caps, rain wear.

    3) Autumn: 10-22 centigrade, Western suits, jackets, sports coats, light woolen sweaters, rain wear and travel shoes.

    4) Winter: 10 centigrade or lower, overcoat, cotton clothes, lined coats. In very cold areas a cap, gloves and cotton-padded shoes are required.