Here time stands still, seeped in the holy dictates of the spiritual leaders. The simplicity of life and the richness of culture can not but intrigue the visitor. And the tranquility of the place inspires the soul to be in communion with nature.
Here is a land that still preserves its mystique, while being invitingly transparent through its hospitality, friendliness of its people and its predominantly spiritual lifestyle.
Tibet was opened to tourism in 1985. Before this it avoided influence from the western world and developed its unique culture and religion independently. To see a place like Tibet now, before many modern changes take place, is a truly unique experience.
Its name the “Roof of the World” is no idle statement. The valley bottoms of Tibet are higher than the highest mountains elsewhere. Its snow covered plateau are the highest in the world. Apart from the Everest, which Tibetans see from the other side, many a mountain ranges are over 15000 feet.
Now you can fly right into Lhasa from Kathmandu, taking one of the world’s most dramatic flights across the Himalayan range. Lhasa (3650 Mts.), the capital lies in highest plateau in the world amid arid wilderness.
Traveling to Tibet is an incredible journey in which you can see the world’s highest mountains, travel on the world’s highest plains, meet nomadic Tibetan pilgrims, and walk amidst the burning butter lamps and chanting monks of Tibet’s ancient and legendary Buddhist monasteries. This is a wonderful and amazing trip. However if you are not up for a bit of adventure, or for accommodations and amenities that may be far from perfect, perhaps this trip is not for you or your trip should be limited within Lhasa only. “Cold and dusty” is the comment of many people who have visited Tibet. While the trip to Tibet is not easy it is well worth the effort. Even the most jaded traveler may feel like a neophyte tourist.
Many of the conditions described are still controlled by the Chinese government. The trip is considered “Luxurious” by Chinese standards, a definition with which you may not agree. Some travelers have been disappointed with the accommodations; Nonetheless, where one sleeps and eats breakfast for several days while on the road seems very trivial compared with the overall experience of traveling from Kathmandu, over the Tibetan plains to Lhasa. Even writing about the lack of hot and cold running water or flush toilets seems rather trite when the conditions tourists experience are far superior to local standards and hence, indeed luxurious. However, to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Most folks have better experiences when they know what to expect.
he best time of the year to visit the Himalayas for both tours & trekking is during spring(Feb, Mar, April) & autumn(Sept, Oct, Nov). Winter months, December & January are also good months for sight seeing tours & for low altitude treks marked by sunny days with clear skies & good mountain views. Monsoon(June, July, Aug) is usually marked by heavy rains. But this period is best for trekking in Mustang, Upper Dolpo, Manaslu & Tibet.
The best period to visit Tibet is from April to November. And for trekking/camping trips specially to Everest & Mt. Kailash the best period is from May-June & Sept-Oct.
Nepal – Visas for Nepal can be obtained from any Nepalese embassy or consulate abroad or on arrival at Kathmandu airport or any other land entry points. 60 days visa will be issued and cost USD 30. Those traveling onto Tibet, Bhutan or Sikkim should obtain single or double re-entry visas depending upon ones requirement. Single re-entry visa cost USD 25 & double re-entry visa cost USD 40.
Tibet – Since tourism in Tibet is restricted by the state visa for Tibet is issued only for group tours. At the moment the regulation calls for minimum 5 pax in a group to be eligible for visas. Once we receive your booking confirmation with deposit & passport details, we process your visa via Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) in Lhasa. We then submit your original passport to the Chinese Embassy once your visa is approved by TTB. Normal Tibet visa cost USD 30. And if visa is required to be issued in less than 3 days then is a visa rush charge of USD 30.
KATHMANDU TO LHASA ROAD
The journey from Kathmandu should be viewed as an adventure, not just a sightseeing bus tour. The road itself was poorly constructed and is prone to closure by landslides, particularly from June through September. It can be very dusty and some kind of facemask is a good idea to take along. As you drive to altitudes of over 17000 feet at some points, altitude sickness becomes a real possibility and most will feel some symptoms. You must make sure to drink plenty of fluids to help you acclimatize. The choice of hotels en route (except Lhasa) is extremely limited. Hotels are basic with showers, flush toilet, a small shop, a restaurant and the laundry facilities only. Food is not readily available en route until the stopover hotels are reached. We recommend you carry packed lunch from the hotels. We suggest you bring a canteen or water bottle with purification tablet or water filter pump and refill your bottles at every opportunity. Meals en route (until Lhasa) tend to be greasy and you may want to bring snacks or other foodstuff with you. We therefore suggest you to carry tinned food, biscuits, chocolates, cheese, drinking chocolate/coffee, soup cubes, instant noodles, vegetables, nuts and raisins, chewing gum, etc.
Depending on the trip grade & period, we give below a general list of recommended clothing & accessories.
Sun glass, Sun hat, suntan lotion, chopstick, comfortable walking shoes/boots, flash flight, utility knife, medical kit, windbreaker, rain coat/umbrella, few change of clothes, sleeping bags, small rucksack. In the cold months heavier clothing such as down jacket, thermal underwear, woolen sweaters are recommended.
We provide insurance coverage to all of our field trekking staffs. However, we do not have any insurance provision for trip participants. Hence we strongly recommend all our clients to get insured in their own home country that covers cancellation, accident, health, emergency evacuation & loss of or damage to baggage & personal effects.
Casual wear and comfortable walking shoes are the rule for Tibet. Be sure to bring warm clothing as nights and early mornings can be quite chilly to downright cold in winter months. Bring all your own film, medicine, cosmetics, personal toilet items, etc. as these are difficult if not impossible to obtain in Tibet. A small first aid kid is also a good idea, although our representatives also carry basic medical supplies.
China time is 2 hours and 15 minutes ahead of Nepal time in winter and 3 hours and 15 minutes in the summer.
As Lhasa lies at over 12000 feet, you are likely to experience some of the minor symptoms and discomfort of altitude sickness (headache, mild nausea, loss of appetite) until your body adjusts to the elevation. This can take from a few hours to a couple of days, depending on the individual. Take it lightly, but drink plenty of non-alcoholic liquids. Proper hydration is critical to acclimatization.
RISK AND LIABILITY
Satyam Tours and Travels Pvt. Ltd. will make every effort to make your journey very smooth and pleasant. However, all programs in Tibet are conducted strictly under the rules and regulations of the Tibet Tourism Bureau. Therefore, Satyam Tours and Travels or its Tibetan counterpart cannot be responsible for any change or alterations in the itinerary due to unavoidable circumstances such as landslide, road blockage, flood, snow, political unrest, cancellation of flights, delayed arrivals, sickness or accidents. Any extra cost incurred thereof shall be borne by the clients. It is most advisable all clients to have full insurance against medical and personal accidents. Cancellation insurance is also highly recommended.
Travelers checks and credit cards are difficult to exchange. US$ cash is best for all Tibet tours. The present rate of exchange is US$ 1 = Yuan 8.00 ( subject to change)
Departure tax when leaving China is 90 Yuan (about USD $11). Also, airport construction fee of 50 Yuan (about USD $6) per flight has been levied on all domestic flights. These fees must be paid in cash at the time.