Tibet is known as the roof of the world. It has great views to offer. From high peaked mountains to table top plateaus. Diverse culture and the wonderful people.
Facts about Tibet:
The total size of Tibet is 2.5 million square kilometers. The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) consists of U-Tsang and a small portion of Kham covering an area of 1.2 million square kilometers. Over fifty percent of the land is outside TAR.
Out of 6 million Tibetans; 3.3 million live outside the TAR. No of Chinese living in the region is undetermined. The Tibetan government is exiled and an estimate shows that Chinese outnumber Tibetans. Additionally, the no of Tibetans in exile is 120000.
Legal Status: Under Chinese Occupation.
Religion: Mainly Tibetan Buddhism with a small population of Bon, Islam, and Christianity.
Predominantly agriculture and animal husbandry sectors dominated the economy. The government, commerce, and the service sectors are predominantly occupied by Chinese.
Machu (Yellow River in China), Drichu (Yangtse in China), Senge Khabab (Indus in India), Phungchu (Arun in India), Gyalmo Ngulchu (The Salween in Burma) and Zachu (The Mekong in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos), Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra in India).
India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, East Turkestan (north of Tibet, not shown; also occupied by China – Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region), China
Average Altitude: 4,000 meters or 13,000 feet above sea level.
The Roof of the World:
Tibet is the highest plateau on earth. High raised mountains and splendid and lustrous lakes are the magnificent sights. Your chance to see plains with yaks and nomads’ tents and colorful flags draped on the high passes. Hike to some of the remote heritages and view high peaks like the north face of Everest. Some of the world’s extreme roads exist here. The scope for adventure is unlimited once you are able to get the permit.
The Tibetan People:
Some of the beverages and cuisine are going to leave a mark on you.Lhasa is famous for its beer and the salted or the yak-butter tea offered by monks in remote monasteries .You can enjoy the picnic with a herding family on the shores of a remote lake. People have lived in great hardship, owing to the political turmoil. However, they are very tolerant and always welcome visitors with an open heart and a smile on their face. You will definitely fall in love with the hospitality here.
A Higher Plain:
A photogenic Tibet is mainly known to be a spiritual realm. Magnificent monasteries, prayer halls of chanting monks, and remote Cliffside retreats stand as an evidence for this. Tibet’s pilgrims – from old ladies murmuring mantras in temples heavy with the aroma of juniper incense and yak butter Visitors prostrate themselves around Mt Kailash – also adds to the appeal. Level of devotion and faith is such that it is hard to believe that it belongs to the current age.
When to go and weather:
Low Season (Dec–Feb)
It will be very cold during winter so fewer people visit. You will have lesser crowds on the major attraction. Prices of tickets and hotels are almost discounted by 50% during the season.
Shoulder (Apr & Oct–Nov).
It is slightly better than the very colder weather of winter. Though this does not necessarily steep the count of travelers. The bright side is you still have a wider range of vehicles to choose from. Prices are 20% discounted compared to the high season.
High Season (May–Sep):
The warm weather aids travel, trekking and transport. Due to this prices are highest at this time of peaks between July and August. Booking in advance is advisable.
ATMs are available in Lhasa, Shigatse and few more towns. Credit cards can only be used in Lhasa. You can also bring US dollars and Euros.
Tipping is not generally practiced in Tibet. However you are free to tip your guide and driver, They may expect to assume all went well. Maybe 10$ to 15$ per day per person for the guide and $10 per day for the driver is reasonable.
Tibet can pose risks to your health associated with altitude. However, it is not a cause of major concern as rarely very few travelers may get adversely affected by altitude for very long. Greater risks are road accidents and dog bites.
Before you start travelling ensure you are enjoying a sound health. Make sure your dental health is fine when it comes to the long trip. For people wearing glasses, it is good to carry a spare along with the prescription.
Be sensible to rely on your own medical knowledge and supplies. Outside Lhasa and Shigatse their little scope for expert medical care. Carry along with you a well-stocked medical kit and knowledge on its usage.