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Tibet has always been known as 'The Roof of the World'. For millennia it has attracted and enthralled visitors, and touched them with the magic of its mysteries

Tibet (Tibet Autonomous Region) is situated in the southwest of China bordering the internal provinces of Xinjiang, Qinghai, Sichuan and Yunnan.

Externally it is bordered by India, Burma, Bhutan, Sikkim and Nepal. It covers a vast area of 120 sq km. (29,652 acres), standing the second after Xinjiang China. But it only owns the thinnest population of 2.6 million, more than 90% of which are the Tibetans themselves; other nationalities like Han, Hui, Mongol alsofound in the two biggest cities of Lhasa, Shigatse and other cities and towns. At the average altitude of over 4,000 m. (13,123 ft.), this region boasts of many huge mountains like Mt. Nyainqentanglha, Karakoram Mountains, Gangdise and Himalayas. The peculiar landscape gives rise to the cold and dry plateau climate in almost all of Tibet except some regions in the south and east like Nyingchi. Despite the adverse conditions, the year- round snow-clad highest mountains still exert a strong pull to mountaineers, adventurers and sightseers near and afar. Tibet is also magically endowed with many other natural wonders like the twin group of sacred mountain and holy lake - Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarova, the Heavenly Lake Namtso among others. It is also the cradle of many large rivers such as China's Yangtze River, Yellow River, Yarlong Tsangpo River and India's Indus and Ganges. Most geographical features are on a grand scale and one necessarily feels small and insignificant as one stands before the spectacular canyons, valleys, glaciers, and basins and so on in Tibet. Tibet is actually a land of natural treasures. A number of natural reserves within the region are the home to many rare and valuable wild animals and plants like lesser pandas, yaks, cranes and virgin cypress, spruces and snowdrops among others. The land also produces large amounts of minerals, water energy, wind energy, terrestrial heat and solar energy. Yangpachen is just the first research center for terrestrial heat in China

General Travelers Information
Best Season

The climate in highland Tibet belongs to the typical downy special climate. Climates are much different in different areas in Tibet and temperatures vary greatly within a single day.

Climate in southeastern Tibet (e.g. Nyingchi) is gentle and temperate with the average temperature of eight degrees; In western Tibet (e.g. Nakqu), the average temperature is below zero degree; While in Lhasa and the central part of Tibet, the climate is normal and nice for traveling. Visitors would not feel cold in winter nor hot in summer, especially from March to October, the best seasons for traveling. Most annual rainfall comes in the rainy season that starts from May to September, when the precipitation covers 90 percent of the whole year. Usually it rains at night in Lhasa, Shigatse and Chamdo area. The precipitations gradually decrease from 5000 millimeters in the lower part of southeast to just 50 in the northwest.

So in general the best time to travel in Tibet is between April and October, and peak season is from May to September. The best months are May, June, September or October as July and August are rainy months. Those who travel in their own car or on foot should avoid the rainy season especially when entering Tibet along the Sichuan-Tibet Highway, and the sections between Lhasa and Nyingchi and between Lhasa and Ngari. There will be mudslides, cave-ins and mire on certain sections of the road, blocking the passage of vehicles. However, if you are only planning several days in and around Lhasa and getting there by air. There will be no problem for you to travel at any time from April to October.

Travel Permit
All the tourist intend to travel in Tibet have to travel in a group and should have a travel permit before applying visa. The following documents require to apply for the permit:
  • a copy of your Passport;
  • a copy of your China visa (tourist visa);
  • Full names, gender, Date of Birth, Passport number, nationality, occupation
Altitude Sickness
How To Avoid Mountain Sickness
Some travelers will get mountain sickness when on the Tibetan plateau. We have some tips for you:
Before you go to Tibet
  • Seek advice from people who have similar experiences. The most important thing is that you should never be nervous or worried about your trip. Regard the trip to Tibet like a trip to any other cities. You should always be optimistic.
  • If you have respiratory problems, we advise you to postpone your trip till you are fully recovered.
  • A thorough physical examination is necessary. If you have problems like anemia or hypertension, or suffer from heart problems and other illness of lungs, liver or kidney, you should not go to Tibet.
  • You need to bring enough water or drinks and fruits. Snacks with high caloric content, like chocolate, will come in handy.
When you are in Tibet
  • Rest right after your arrival. You should not do anything strenuous on the first day. Brisk walking and running are not advised. We suggest that you do not smoke nor drink alcohol too. Do not eat too much for dinner.
  • It quite often happens that people feel short of breath. If it is not serious, please do not rely on oxygen equipment all the time so that you can acclimate yourself to the high altitude as early as possible.
  • Do not take showers or bathes too frequently especially on your first night in Tibet. This will help you avoid catching severe colds.
  • If you feel chilly or feel very uncomfortable, you need to tell your guide about this. You guide could send you to the best hospital available in the area

Currency Exchange
In Tibet, only US dollars can be accepted besides Chinese Yuan. Also shops that accept American currency are very limited and you might not be able to get a good deal for an exchange rate. Credit cards can only be used at some hotels. The Bank of China also accepts credit cards. ATM is not widely available. Exchanging your money to Chinese currency will be the best option for you, which can be done at the Bank of China.

As in the rest of China, Renminbi (RMB) is the legal currency in Tibet. Only the Bank of China offers foreign exchange services and facilities in Tibet and certain up market hotels (Lhasa Hotel, the former Holiday Inn, and Tibet Hotel). The Bank of China has a main office (0891-6835078) and several sub-branches in Lhasa, which all cash travelers' checks while only the main office offers cash advances on major credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, Diners Club and Amex). Its main office is located on Lingkhor Bei Lu 28, north of the Yak Statue and its hours of operation are 9:30 am -1pm and 3:30 - 6:00pm, Monday to Friday. Another convenient sub-branch lies on Beijing Dong Lu, between the Kirey Hotel and the Banak Shol Hotel. Its hours of operation are 9:30am-6:00pm, Monday to Friday, and 11am-3pm, Saturday and Sunday. The Bank of China Shigatse office, near the Shigatse Hotel, can provide travelers' checks exchange services also. Cash advances on credit cards are not available here. Zhangmu has two sub-branches also. Due to a lack of conversion outlets, visitors may have to change their extra RMB on the black market before their exit.
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