Full Name: Tibet (Xizang)
Capital City: Lhasa
Area: 1,200,000 sq km; 463,320 sq miles
Time Zone: GMT/UTC +8 ()
Languages: Mandarin (official), Tibetan (other)
Religion: Buddhist, Bön faith, Daoist (Taoist), Christian, Muslim
Currency: Yuan Renminbi (Y)
Electricity: 220V 50Hz cycle
Electric Plug Details: European plug with two circular metal pins
Country Dialing Code: 86
Visa & Permits
A valid 10-year passport, duly endorsed with Indian visa, is required for travel to India.
At the time of accepting your booking we will send you the appropriate forms for obtaining a visa. You can also download the forms directly from the embassy websites. We are happy to arrange visas on your behalf for a service charge of £20 per person per visa(a higher charge of £35 is levied for visas requested within one month of departure). The visa fee for India is £30. You can also use the forms to obtain the visas directly.
High Commission of India
India House, Aldwych, London WC2B 4NA
Tel: +44 (0)891 44 45 44 (visa information)
+44 (0)20 7836 8484 (switchboard)
India visa information (including forms)
N.B. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 more months on the day the visa is stamped on it
Restricted Area Permits
Visits to certain areas in India, including Sikkim and many states in the North East, require special permits. Should these be applicable for your tour we will advise you on confirming your booking and assist in obtaining them.
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.
Tibet’s airlines mainly connect Lhasa and other major cities of China, and few more airports or air route for civil use within Tibet are available.
Telephone Number of Lhasa air ticket office: 0891-6833446
The military Airline (United Airline) provided one civil flight from Lhasa to Chengdu from Monday to Saturday, and the price is RMB1000, including airport construction fee. A flight (YI’er 76) for freight transport also carries passengers from Lhasa every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the price is RMB 800,including airport construction fee. The Military flight ticket office is located in the lobby of the No.2 Hotel of Tibet Military Region, Duosenge Street, Lhasa City.
For an idea of flight information, click here:
- Sichuan-Tibet Highway (Chengdu- Lhasa)
- Qinghai-Tibet Highway (Xining-Ge’ermu-Lhasa)
- Xinjiang-Tibet Highway (Yecheng-Burang)
- Yunnan-Tibet High Way (Xiaguan-Makam)
- Sino-Nepal Friendship Highway (Lhasa--Zhangmu Friendship Bridge-Kathmandu)
On October 15, 2005, the final rail was put in place along the bank of Lhasa River, marking the end of a history of transport without railways for Tibet, which covers one-eighth of China’s landmass. The railway which runs across the “the roof of the world” has been linked up.
It is 1,956 km from Xining to Lhasa. The first section, 814 km between Xining and Golmud, was laid in 1979 and opened to operate in 1984. The more recently-constructed railway starts from Golmud in Qinghai, passing through Nachitai, Wudaoliang, Tuotuo river, Yanshiping and the Tonglha Mountains. It then enters Tibet, going through Amdo, Nakqu, Damxung, Yambajan, and Nazi to Lhasa. This is considered to be the longest and highest highland railway in the world.
Transport within Tibet
Considering the features of Tibetan tour, the best way is to rent certain kind of vehicle.
In general, the prices for renting vehicles are as below (they may change according to seasons):
- Ordinary import cross-country vehicle: RMB3-3.50/km
- Luxury import cross-country vehicle: RMB3.50-4.50/km
- Mini bus for 20 persons: RMB5.50-6.50/km
Large bus for 40 persons: RMB5.50-6.50/km Besides, exploring and traveling in remote or depopulated areas, you’d better be equipped with a reserve car to secure rear service. On the one hand, for the transportation of food, tents and fuels; on the other hand, it may help to rescue when other cars are in danger.
In downtown Lhasa, there are many buses and all the tickets are sold for RMB2.00. It’s convenient to reach each scenic spot. Taxi drivers don’t like the automatic calculator to evaluate the cost and each ride will be charged with an average of RMB10. It will cost more if it’s a little bit far, but you can bargain with the driver.