Your position:Home >China Guide >

Tibet Tour InfoDetails

Tibet Tour Info

Tibet Tour Info

2019/3/5 18:16:59465 People viewed this article

Tibet, the Roof of the World and the Third Pole, is the biggest, highest and the youngest plateau in the world. The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is bounded by two mighty ranges, where Himalayan ranges consist of the world highest peak Mt. Everest situates from south to west and Thanggula ranges in the north.


Tibet is with the alpine terrain condition's severe, dry and continental climate, in strong winds, low humidity, a rarefied atmosphere and a huge fluctuation in annual and summer daytime temperature.


Mainly Tibet is divided into 7 regions: holy Lhasa, dramatic Shigatse, wild Ngari, embracing Shannan (Lhoka, Lhokha), watery Chamdo(Qamdo), picturesque Nyingchi and frigid Nakchu (Nagqu). 


The majestic Potala Palace in Lhasa is always the first attraction which most people plan to visit upon arrival, Shigaste amazed all people with the world’s highest mountain - Mt. Everest, the vast stretch of wild land with sacred Mt. Kailash and Manasarovar Lake in Ngari is the heaven of adventurers and explorers, Shannan boasts Yumbu Lakang, an ancient Palace of the Tibetan Kings and Tombs of Tibetan Kings, etc. 

Traveling from Mainland China to Tibet is not difficult. 

The 2 main ways to get from Mainland China to Tibet are by train or by flight.

All travelers going to Tibet MUST be on an organized tour.

Only a travel agency can arrange the Tibet Tour Permit and organized tour for you in Tibet.

You will need to get your own Chinese Tourist Visa BEFORE arriving in China.

Do not list Tibet on your Chinese visa application. 

Group travel to Tibet is not required. 

Contact a travel agency at least 1 month before you plan to go to Tibet.

We have been in the Tibet Tour Business since 1997. Tourists can either join in our tour groups at the affordable price or customize a Tibet tour to mostly meet your individual needs, interests, and budgets. We sell our ideas and conception rather than common-shared Tibet tours only. When designing, we think MORE of what foreigners really want to see and to know about Tibet and the people living there. When arranging, we help you travel the local way, eat the local way, and sleep the local way. You'll get as close to real Tibetan life as possible. You'll have the unsurpassed knowledge of a local guide, taking you out of the guidebooks and into a world you're waiting to discover. No matter if you travel as a family, a couple, alone, or in a group, with regular departure group trips or custom trips to all over Tibet except for the unopened area, Shanghai Elite Tours will always find a suitable and valuable travel deal for you. Start now to plan your Tibet tours with us!


Tibet Tour Permit: 

All foreign tourists who plan to visit Tibet should apply for the Tibet Tour Permit before they get to Tibet - it is not visa. Our company can help foreign tourist to apply for it.


In order to apply for the Tibet Tour Permit, the guide and hotel and driver and the detail itinerary totally should be arranged OK before you get into Tibet - we should submit these info to the Tibet Tourism Bureau. Now the application normally would take at least 17 Days. (It can only be issued within 10 days before departure.) And we also need the scanned copy or the photo copy of your passport and Chinese visa.


Normally it is no problem to get the Tibet Tour Permit if tourist can provide the necessary documents. It means we should submit the detail itinerary (include how and when the tourists get into and leave Tibet, On which day, the tourist will visit which places and which attractions, guide's and driver's name, hotel's name), the copy (scanned copy is better) of the passport and Chinese visa. That's all. (The Permit is not visa, it is only 2 sheets of paper with tourist's name and detail itinerary on it, so we do not need the original Passport of tourist. ). And if on your visa, the purpose you get into China is for work, I also need the Work Certificate in the paper with your company's head and your company's Stamp.


The Sample can be (Must be in Chinese):   


                                                        证    明

Your Name (性别:  ,生日: 年  月  日, 国籍: 护照号码: )系我公司员工,将于        年   月   日前往西藏旅游




                                                                                (company Name, and stamp) 




* But if you plan to visit Tibet from Nepal, the Tibet Tour Permit and Chinese Visa application procedure is:

1) Please give us the copy of the photo sheet of your passport at least 17 days before you arrival in Tibet.
We will apply for the Tibet Tour Permit and Invitation Letter of Team Visa for you toTibet Tourism Bureau in Lhasa.
2) After applying for the invitation letter OK, send a copy to our cooperation travel agency in Nepal.
3) After arriving in Kathmandu,  you will give the original passport the Nepalese travel agency for the group visa application. (Visa Application must be applied by a travel agency). Normally the local travl agency in Nepal can get the visa in the afternoon on the 3rd day.
4) Tourists can get into the Chinese Customs in Tibet without Tibet Tour Permit. But tourist can get out of the Chinese Customs only if the local tour guide with the original Tibet Tour Permit to meet the tourist at the exit of the Chinese Customs.
Some remarks on the Group Tour Visa issued in Nepal:
1. If you will get into Tibet from Nepal, you do not need to apply for the China Tour Visa in Aussie.
2. The local tour agency can also apply for the group tour visa only for one tourist.
3. We do not collect any payment for the China tour visa. You can give the China Tour Visa fee and the service fee to the local travel service in Nepal.
4. You do not neet to apply for Chinese tour visa at any other place. Normally the validity of the tour visa is 30 days. And the Chinese Tour Visa applied in Nepal can only allow tourist to visit other parts in China.


- The Tibet Tour Permit can only be issued within 10 days before your arrival at Tibet. 

- Tibet Tourism Bureau needs at least 17 days to handle the application issue.


But if the Tibet Tour Permit is applied for by our company for you, your Tibet Tour should be arranged by our company. It is because we should be fully responsible for the Tour Permit which is applied for by us.   


* Tibet Tour Itineraries 

There is no direct flight between Shanghai and Lhasa. Tourists should take the flight from Shanghai via Xi’an or Chengdu or Chongqing or Kunming to Lhasa. Although there is one so-called direct flight between Shanghai and Lhasa, the flight also stops in Xi’an for around one hour on the way between Shanghai and Lhasa (anyway, passenger in the flight can not leave the flight in Xi’an.).


Normally, in Tibet, tourist will visit:

1. Lhasa for 2 or 3 days to tour to visit 

1st Day: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street,

2nd Day: Sera Monastery, Norbulingka Garden, Tibet Museum.

3rd Day: Namtso Lake (The 2nd biggest lake in Tibet) - it is not a must place to visit in Tibet.  But it is also very beautiful and unique.


2. Shigatse for 2 days:

1st Day:  Lhasa-Yamdroktso Lake-Norjing Gang Sang Glacier Peak-Gyantse (Palkhor Chode Monastery including the Kumbum Stupa (the only survival with such distinctive structure and the thousands of art works )-Nying Chu Valley-Shigatse,

2nd Day:  Tour to Tashilhunpo Temple (2nd most important temple in Tibet) in Shigatse, drive from Shigatse to Lhasa.


And you can also add 2 more days to visit the Base Camp of Mt. Everest from Shigatse.  

Why we always suggest our tourists to visit Shigatse? 

It really costs a lot of money to visit Tibet. So to visit both Lhasa and Shigatse - the second biggest city in Tibet and the 2nd important Lamasery Monastery - Tashilhunpo Monastery which is located in the Shigatse would be a good idea.  In Tibet, there are two most important Lamas - Dalai and Panchan. Dalai's Monastery is in the Potala Palace in Tibet, Panchan's Seat Monastery is the Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse. 


On the way from Lhasa to Shigatse, you can also visit one of the 3rd Saint Lakes in Tibet - Yamdrok Lake, and one of the most important temples in Tibet - Palkhor Chode Monastery. Your car will pass the Karo La Pass ( 5050metres ) where you have your first high altitude adventure experience of Norjing Gang Sang glacier peak. You will also drive through Nying Chu Valley, passing local farming Tibetan villages to Shigatse. On the way back to Lhasa from Shigatse, you will drive along the famous Yalung Tsangpo River - the longest river in Tibet. We are sure tourists would find the scenery on the way is really amazing. 

Suggested Itinerary One: 

2 Days in Lhasa + 1 Day Lhasa-Yamdroktso Lake-Norjing Gang Sang Glacier Peak-Gyantse (Palkhor Chode Monastery with the Kumbum Stupa)-Shigatse + 1 Day Shigatse-Lhasa.


Totally 4 Days, plus the traffic getting to and leaving Tibet.


Attractions in the itinerary:

Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor, Drepung Monastery,Sera Monastery, Tibet Museum, Yamdroktso Lake, Palkhor Chode Monastery with the Kumbum Stupa, Tashilhunpo Monastery. Yarlung Tsangpo River, Lhasa River


Features of this Itinerary:
This is the typical Tibet Tour itinerary which offers the epitome of Tibet with some of the most impressive visions: snow-capped mountains and holy lakes, splendid monasteries and palaces, original villages and unsophisticated people. With the better road conditions and accommodations along the way, it is now the most popular route.


You will visit the 2 most important cities in Tibet: Lhasa and Shigatse.


Lhasa, literally meaning “Holy-Land”, is the heart and soul of Tibet, has history of more than 1,300 years. It rose to prominence as an important center of administrative power in the 7th century AD, when Songtsen Gampo, a local ruler in the Yarlung Valley, continued the task of unifying Tibet. Songtsen Gampo moved his capital to Lhasa and built a palace on the site that is now occupied by the Potala.


The fifth Dalai Lama also made Lhasa his capital. Supported by the Army of the first Emperor of Qing Dynasty in Beijing, 5th Dala Lama became the king for both monks and secular society in whole Tibet and moved to Potala Palace from Drepung Monastery.


Suggested Itinerary Two (with the Base Camp):

2 Days in Lhasa + 1 Day Lhasa-Yamdroktso Lake-Norjing Gang Sang Glacier Peak-Gyantse (Palkhor Chode Monastery with the Kumbum Stupa)-Shigatse + 1 Day Shigatse -Base Camp of Mt. Everest + 1 Day Mt. Everest-Shigatse + 1 Day Shigatse-Lhasa


Totally 6 Days, plus the traffic getting to and leaving Tibet.


Attractions in the itinerary: 

Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor, Drepung Monastery,Sera Monastery, Tibet Museum, Yamdroktso Lake, Palkhor Chode Monastery with the Kumbum Stupa, Tashilhunpo Monastery. Yarlung Tsangpo River, Lhasa River, Rongbuk Monastery and Base Camp to Mt. Everest 


Features of this Itinerary:

Beyond the features of the Itinerary One list above, this itinerary also includes the Base Camp to Mt. Everest. It offers tourists the opportunity to visit the highest monastery in the world, Rongbuk Monastery and the Base Camp for climbing Mt. Everest. It is a real challenge for tourist's body because the Base Camp is at the altitude of around 5200 m, just think Lhasa is only 3650m high. The accommodation condition there is kind of poor, no shower, no clean bedding, no clean toilet, yak may sleep outside of your window ... Maybe tourist would feel headache and stay awake for whole night at the Rongbuk Monastery or at the Base Camp, because lack of enough oxygen.


Some Notice for the Tibet Tour:  

The altitude of the cities and places in Tibet:

Lhasa: 3650 m 

Shigatse: 3800 m 

Base Camp: 5200 m 

Yamdroktso Lake: 4441 m (But tourist should pass the 5030 m high Karo La Pass to arrive at it from Lhasa.)

Namtso Lake: 4718 m (But tourist should pass the 5190 m high Laken La Pass to arrive at it from Lhasa.) 

Nyingchi: 3100 m


The High Plateau Reaction:

The High Plateau Sickness would happen on people who stay at the place over the altitude of 2000 m. It is very like the feeling of high fever (of course you have no high temperature, only the feeling alike.) The person can feel headache, hard breath, can not walk steadily, dry in nose, some time  (but only a few people)will vomit. Such kind of Symptoms may happen on the tourist when he get to a place over 3000m high. So keep warm, walk slowly, keeping relax, do not excited, do not drink liquor and do not smoke is very important. Of course sometimes it can be dangerous, but I never met any dangerous case until now. Normally only a few people will be so serious that it would affect the tour in Tibet (In fact, until now I never met any person who stop the tour in Tibet because of the high plateau disease.)


Please note that the Cold/Flu can be the fatal disease in the high altitude area. So please be sure do not take cold there.


When you just leave the flight in the Lhasa Airport, because the oxygen level in your blood has not changed so quickly, you still do not feel uncomfortable. But after several hours driving, when you arrive at Lhasa, I believe you will feel uncomfortable - say a little dizzy, can not breeze comfortably, have to walk slowly. Please do not very worry about it. It is the normal reaction for every person who gets to the high altitude area at first time. Just walk slowly, do no use more energy, have enough time to take rest. And we also suggest tourist does not take the shower at the first or second night if feel uncomfortable. Of course if you really feel not comfortable, you should go to local hospital.  

By the way, I do not suggest my customer to get to Tibet if she/he with (not confined to) the following diseases:

1) Organic heart disease, Remarkable arrhythmia, Hypertension(above 2nd phase), Various hematonosis and Cranial vascular disease,

2) Chronic respiratory system disease, Block the nature lung disease(above middle degree), such as Bronchial asthma, Bronchiectasia, Emphysema, Active pulmonary tuberculosis, Dust pulmonary tuberculosis,

3) Glycuresis(hasn't been controlled), Hysteria, Falling sickness, Schizophrenia.

4) Severe high fever, Severe infection of the upper respiratory tract. 

5) Once had been made a definite diagnosis of Plateau pneumochysis, Highland hydrocephalus, Highland hypertension, Highland heart disease, The highland erythrocyte increases by disease

6) Pregnant woman 

What to pack for Tibet Tour: 

Tourist can buy the oxygen pillow at hospital or at pharmacy before departure for Tibet and charge oxygen in Lhasa. Tourist can also buy oxygen bottles in Tibet. But I still have to say that do not hope it can be very helpful. In my experience, to keep warm, walk slowly, do not smoke and do not drink wine, be not very excited, keep relaxed are very important and useful. 


Please bring some high quality chocolate, high quality dried beef to Tibet. It is because they can give you more energy and make you recovered from the tired situation quickly. I once took the hiking into the Great Bend of the Yalu Tsangpo River to explore the deepest Grand Canyon in the world which is in the east end of Himalaya Mountain Range. I took the dried beef with pepper and chocolate when I was very tired. I felt the dried beef and chocolate are really the good food for me to got recovered from the exhausted situation.


And you can also bring some cucumber and tomato to Tibet. Cucumber and Tomato can give you more fluids and Vatamin C in Lhasa.


Some other issues to bring for the Tibet Tour:

Sunglass, sunscreen cream, thick cloth and trousers, scarf, hat, high quality gym shoesAnd Rhodiola rosea (红景天 in Chinese)

What medicine can I take to prevent the altitude sickness?

In order to prevent the altitude sickness, I suggest you can take some Rhodiola Rosea (in Chinese, it is called 红景天). But normally it is only effective for the person who takes it around 3 weeks before arriving at the plateau area. Tourists can buy it at the pharmacy in the big cities in mainland China. But because I am not a doctor, this suggestion is only made according to my experience. Maybe tourists should get to a traditional Chinese medicine hospital to consult a medical department doctor before taking Rhodiola Rosea.  


We met some cases before that tourist who took it in Shanghai before departure for Tibet got nose bleeding. It is because one of the function of Rhodiola Rosea is to invigorate blood circulation. The altitude of Shanghai is low. So the person got nose bled. But there are also many people said it is useless when they arrive at Tibet. 


So my other suggestion is:

In Tibet, please be sure to take goodrest, do not to be tired and strained, do not to be very excited (in my experience,when we met snow mountain the first time, maybe we will be very easy to get excited.), make us to be relaxed. Then normally you will be OK in the plateau area. 


More detail about Rhodiola Rosea (红景天 in Chinese) at Wikipeida:


At this web page, you can find:
Herbal medicine

In Russia and Scandinavia, R. rosea has been used for centuries to cope with the cold Siberian climate and stressful life. The plant has been used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is called hóng jǐng tiān (红景天). The medicine can be used to prevent altitude sickness


Health effects 

Research regarding R. rosea efficacy is contradictory. While some evidence suggests that the herb may be helpful for enhancing physical performance and alleviating mental fatigue, methodological flaws limit accurate assessment of efficacy. A rigorously-designed well reported RCT that minimizes bias is needed to determine true efficacy of R. rosea for fatigue.


R. rosea is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to cure, treat, or prevent any disease. In fact, the FDA has forcibly removed some products containing R. rosea from the market due to disputed claims that it treats cancer, anxiety, influenza, the common cold, bacterial infections, and migraines. 


What is the best season for tour in Tibet? 

In my idea (this is my experience, maybe not the same as the popular idea), the best season to visit Tibet is the May,Sep, Oct, April. Although the hottest tour period in Tibet is June, July and August, but in fact, it is just because it is during the summer holiday and there are some important festivals in Tibet. And it is also the warmest season in Tibet, but meanwhile, it is the rain season in Tibet. The weather in Tibet is influenced by the India Ocean, in summer, it is relatively wet. So there is much moisture in the valleys. Tourist maybe could not view the snow-capped mountains and scenery very clearly. And there are also debris flows in the highways there (in the Southeast of Tibet). And it is also very expensive during that summer period. So in my idea, maybe the spring, autumn, winter, say Oct, Nov or Apr (especially Oct) is better than summer. These years it is kind of rare to snow in winter in Tibet. - sometimes it could snow in summer. It is because in winter, it is very dry. But in summer, it is wet. Now in Tibet, winter is not very cold. So now there are more and more people plan to tour to Tibet in winter. I met a snow in Shigatse in the first half of May in 2005 when I first time visit Tibet. And my customer met a snow storm in the late of April in 1998 or 1999 (I forgot in which year.)  So although May and April is the best season to visit Tibet, maybe you will also meet snow.  But in winter, it is rare to meet snow there.


I also visited Tibet in the late Oct in 2008. I remember at that time, the highest temperature in Lhasa in 20C, lowest is 2C. So morning and night, it is kind of cold. But at noon, when it is sunshining, it can be hot. I visited the Great Canyon in Yalung Tsangpo River (the biggest Canyon in the world) at that time. It is also not hot and not wet and not very cold. The road destroyed by the debris flow in summer has been fixed.  So in my eye, I sincerely think Oct is the good season to visit Tibet.


Tibet winter climate

Tibet has a 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. Nagqu), 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. 


The following shows the temperatures from the highest to the lowest (Centigrades) in frequently-visited central Tibet.






Base Camp


6.8 to -10.2

5.7 to -13.1

7.6 to -9.0

7.9 to -5.3

4 to -17


9.2 to -3.9

8.0 to -9.5

9.9 to -5.9

9.8 to -2.7

4 to -15


12 to -3.2

11 to -5.4

12.9 to -2.4

13 to -0.1

7 to -12


15.7 to 0.9

15.5 to –0.7

16.9 to 1.3

16.5 to 3.2

10 to -5


19.7 to 5.1

19.5 to 3.4

20.4 to 5.2

18.8 to 6.8

15 to 0


22.5 to 9.2

22.1 to 7.6

22.9 to 8.9

20.9 to 10

17 to 5


21.7 to 9.9

21 to 8.7

22.5 to 10.1

22.1 to 11.2

16 to 8


20.7 to 9.4

19.6 to 8.1

21.5 to 9.5

22.1 to 10.7

16 to 6


19.6 to 7.6

18.7 to 5.8

20.5 to 7.6

20.3 to 9.2

17 to 2


16.4 to 1.4

15.2 to -1.2

17.1 to 1.8

17.2 to 4.9

12 to -7


11.6 to -5

10.7 to -8

12.4 to -4.1

12.9 to -0.7

7 to -12


7.7 to -9.1

7 to -12.3

8.7 to -7.9

9.6 to -4.5

4 to -15


15.3 to 0.8

14.5 to -1.4

15.5 to 1.3

15.9 to 3.6

10 to -5