Part of the beauty of travel lies in the spontaneity and the unexpected, though this sometimes means encountering a travel hiccup or two whether you’re a seasoned globetrotter or first-time traveller. That’s why we’ve shared 8 common travel mistakes and some precautionary measures you can take to make the most out of your trip to the Roof of the World:
Tibet’s geography is vast, and there are often misconceptions on which regions are considered part of Tibet. The region(s) you travel to can affect the type of travel documentation required as well as the months of the year that you can visit.
For example, Central Tibet offers beautiful views of peach blossoms in the springtime, but is closed to foreign travellers between February and March. For more on regional differences and what each geographic area has to offer, check out Tibetpedia!
While foreigners are able to travel independently through Kham and Amdo regions of Eastern Tibet, venturing into the T.A.R. (Tibetan Autonomous Region) will require all foreign visitors to have a Tibet Travel Permit and be accompanied by a licensed guide. It’s through your tour operator that you’ll acquire the travel documents necessary for your travels.
Foreigners visiting any Tibetan area will need to have a valid Chinese visa. A visa can typically be processed 2-3 months in advance of your trip, and usually takes 5 working days to be approved. However, visa application procedures currently vary from country to country, so consult your country’s Chinese consulate for full details.
For those visiting the T.A.R., additional travel permits are required, so be sure to factor this into your timeline when planning your trip. A Tibet Travel Permit (TTP) is to be obtained by your Chinese travel company and can take up to 4 weeks to process, but your visa needs to have been approved first. To avoid any travel permit-related stress, set aside ample time to process your permits!
Venturing to Tibet does take time, so remember to factor in how long it takes for you to make your way to the Roof of the World. Here are some of the ways you can get to Tibet:
Another common misconception is that Tibet travel is limited to April through October. Eastern Tibet, for example, is accessible year-round aside from certain roads and mountain passes. The time of year you visit will also influence the activities and experiences you include in your itinerary, so it does pay off to do some research on the activities and experiences you’re interested in.
Before your trip to Tibet, check the news for any changes that might affect you like weather updates, road closures, and travel advisories. Check for seasonal weather conditions so that you pack weather-appropriate clothes. It’s also helpful to have a backup plan in case things like unexpected weather affect your route.
Don’t forget to add acclimatization time into your itinerary when travelling to Tibet. After all, Tibet is called the Roof of the World! Ascend slowly and stay well rested, fed, and hydrated — this will help mitigate any discomforts that may come with travelling at a higher elevation. If you have any other concerns, talk to your doctor before you travel.
And finally — don’t forget the little details like preparing for any special dietary needs and preparing a few creature comforts to make your trip more enjoyable. Check with your bank to see if your payment card is accepted at foreign ATMs. Paying by debit/credit card is not widely available (even in bigger cities), so carrying local currency is always best.
While you can't always anticipate everything that will happen on a trip, keeping these tips in mind will help your trip go smoothly so you can focus on experiencing all that Tibet has to offer. We’re always here to help you make your dream trip a reality, so drop us a message and let's get planning!
While Tibet is known for its sweeping landscapes and awe-inspiring scenery, did you know that it also offers one of the most distinct and delicious cuisines? We’ve narrowed down a list of our top 5 Tibetan foods below that you’ve got to try!
The list of incredible sights and experiences found in Tibet goes on and on. Here are some sample itineraries we’ve created to help you make the most out of your trip to Central Tibet, depending on how much time you have.