High Altitude Sickness

When you’re mountain climbing, hiking, driving, or doing any other activity at a high altitude, your body may not get enough oxygen.The lack of oxygen can cause altitude sickness. Altitude sickness generally occurs at altitudes of 8,000 feet and above. People who aren’t accustomed to these heights are most vulnerable. Symptoms include headache and insomnia.
You shouldn’t take altitude sickness lightly. The condition can be dangerous. Altitude sickness is impossible to predict — anyone at a high elevation can get it.
An altitude over 2,500 meters (about 8000 feet) is usually defined as high altitude, which possibly affects health. Most places in Tibet are higher than this level, especially the north and west area of Tibet. And, a rapid ascent to some high-altitude areas in Tibet would results in altitude sickness – one of the biggest challenges. But it is not as difficult as you imagined if you get properly informed and prepared.
Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), is a pathological effect of high altitude on humans. AMS is common at high altitudes due to the hypoxic (low oxygen) environment. At elevations over 10,000 feet (3,048 meters), 75% of people would have mild symptoms, which does not interfere with normal activity. The symptoms of mild AMS include headache, nausea, fatigue and loss of appetite. AMS usually commence within six to ten hours after arriving at altitude.
However, altitude sickness can be very serious! Continuing to higher altitudes without proper acclimatization could develop into the more serious, even life-threatening conditions. There are high-altitude pulmonary oedema (HAPE) and high-altitude cerebral oedema (HACE).

If somehow you suffered from Altitude Sickness, then it is necessary for you to stop trekking, traveling and take a time to acclimatize your body. If you still did not recover with Altitude Sickness after taking a long rest, you need to visit a local medical post or return back to Lhasa with emergency rescue services. So it is recommended having adequate travel insurance during your trip to Tibet.

The following ways will help to treat Altitude Sickness:

Recognize the early symptoms of altitude sickness when you have them, and note that you might be the only person suffering from Altitude sickness in a group.
Never ascend to the new altitude for rest when you have symptoms of Altitude Sickness.
Descend to the lower altitude, if you are getting worst with the Altitude Sickness at the same altitude.
Medication and oxygen also help to prevent altitude sickness. Mild altitude sickness symptoms can be treated with proper medication. If medication and oxygen do not relieve the symptoms, go to a hospital or evacuate immediately to a safe altitude!
Oxygen can help you relieve the symptoms of altitude sickness, but please do not overuse it in Lhasa while your symptoms of altitude sickness are not serious. Most of our clients have more than 4 days itinerary covering Namtso(4800m), Everest Base Camp(5200m) etc, the oxygen treatment does not work at a higher altitude if they take too much at a lower altitude.
If you feel chilly or feel very uncomfortable, you need to tell your guide about this. You guide could send you to the best hospital available in the nearest area.
Tips: It is extremely important to know that all the medication may have side effects. Therefore, do consult with your doctor or pharmacist before buying or taking them. 

First Aid Kit:

Following are the essential ailments that afflict travelers. These things are necessary to carry along with while trekking to higher altitude zone. Trekking with groups, expeditions, and trekking to the isolated area will require a more comprehensive kit.
Bandage for sprains
Iodine capsules (Optional)
Anti-bacterial throat lozenges with antiseptic
Moleskin/Second skin
Antibiotic for diarrhea
Oral rehydration salts (norfloxacin or ciprofloxacin)
Diamox 250/500 mg
Gel hand cleaner
Diamox is generally useful for mild to moderate AMS.
Dosage: One 250 mg tablet two or three times a day
Dexamethasone is a very potent steroid used in HACE temporarily to facilitate descent. This drug improves the symptoms but does not help acclimatization. It is not recommended to ascend while still taking this drug even if one is symptom-free.
Dosage: 4 mg every 6 hours.
Nifedipine is useful in HAPE by lowering pressure in the pulmonary blood vessels and thereby decreasing fluid in the lungs. This drug also lowers blood pressure. Sildenafil (Viagra) is increasingly being used in treating HAPE.
Oxygen is very useful, particularly for HAPE.

Other Ways to Avoid Altitude Sickness in Tibet:

A. Drink plenty of water while traveling in Tibet. Eat light, high-carbohydrate meals for more energy and avoid alcohol so as to decrease the risk of dehydration.
B. In addition to the normal medications for traveling it is advisable to bring high altitude medication. Seek suggestions from your doctor.
C. Tell your guide quickly if you don’t feel well and follow the guide’s advice.
D. Other than that, Sunscreen, sunglasses, lip creams are recommended to protect your eyes and skin because the solar radiation strikes the earth with unusual intensity due to the high altitude and the thin atmosphere in Tibet.

Altitude sickness is a major problem when you are traveling in Tibet. And it is really necessary for you to study the causes, symptoms, and treatment of the attitude sickness before trekking and climbing in Tibet. Average of three peoples per year die due to the Altitude sickness.

While traveling in Tibet it is necessary to adjust your schedule for trekking above 3,000 meters. It is better if you climb no more than 400 meters per day when you are climbing above 3,000 meters. If you fail to allow time for adaptation, you may develop the symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). You can easily care it with a day’s rest or if ignored can lead to death. So before leaving for Tibet especially in higher altitude places, basic awareness of AMS is necessary for the safe trek.

Normal Acute Mountain Symptoms:

Following are the symptoms for normal acute mountain sickness that you should expect during your trekking in Tibet. Most of the trekkers will experience some or all of the given symptoms, no matter how slow they climb.
  • Periods of sleeplessness.
  • Need more sleep than normal often 10 hrs or more.
  • Occasionally loss of appetite.
  • Vivid, wild dreams at around 2500 – 3800 meters in altitude.
  • Periodic breathing.
  • Need to rest your breath frequently while trekking above 3500 meters.
  • Runny nose.
  • Dizziness and an increase in urination while moving to higher altitudes (this is a good sign).

Mild Acute Mountain Sickness Symptoms:

Following are the symptoms of mild acute mountain sickness. You may expect any one of the following symptoms to be getting altitude sickness.
  • Mild headache
  • Nausea dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Sleeplessness
  • Dry Raspy cough
  • Tired and fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hard to breath
  • Runny nose
  • Dangerous Acute Mountain Sickness:

Dangerous Acute Mountain Sickness

There is commonly two cases of dangerous acute mountain sickness. This altitude sickness causes to the brain and lung of the travelers.
The first High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) builds up fluid around the brain and expects the first five symptoms of mild and severe sickness. Normally, takes 1-2 days to build this sickness to the trekker leading to coma and unconsciousness and ultimately to the death within 12 hours.
At first sign, treatment is done with medication, oxygen, and descent. For this 4 – 8 mg of DexaMethasone is given as the first dose to victims and then 4 mg every six hours, then Diamox every 12 hours and 2 -4 lit/min oxygen. Descent is necessary but a portable altitude chamber bag will often be used first if available.
The second High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) is an accumulation of fluid in the lungs and is very serious altitude sickness. This sickness can lead to unconsciousness and death very quickly. By far only treatment available is oxygen at 4 lit/min but portable altitude chamber bag treatment can be a good substitute. If both are not available then descent can be lifesaving.

It is quite common that most people will suffer from High Altitude Sickness with different levels. Please also note that the High Altitude Sickness usually can heal itself by eventually acclimatizing your body to the altitude, air pressure and temperatures. Below are some useful tips about how to avoid Hight Altitude Sickness in Tibet:

1. Before you visit Tibet, ensure you are in good health. Avoid catching a cold before entering Tibet, for it is difficult to recover from a cold on high altitude and it might lead to more serious illnesses. Mentally adjust yourself to the forthcoming trip and don’t feel too nervous or worried.
2. In addition to the normal medications for traveling, like the Aspirin and Ibuprofen etc, it is advisable to bring high altitude medication. Some visitors take Diamox pills one day before you ascend to Lhasa. However, you’d better ask your doctor for suggestions.
3. Many visitors who have been to Tibet suggest flying to Xining (the capital city of Qinghai province) and then taking the train to Lhasa from there, instead of taking a direct flight up to Lhasa. Getting acclimatized in Qinghai can be a wise decision and will make a big positive change. For comparison, the elevation at Lake Qinghai is already 3200m compared with the 3700m at Lhasa that will greatly help when you arrive in Lhasa. Besides, you can have the opportunity to enjoy the unique high plateau scenery passing by the train windows.
4. Upon your arrival, just take a good rest, drink more water, and don’t take shower on the 1st day, usually, you will be fine in the following 2 days. It is better to spend the first two or three days at ease to get accustomed to the high altitude in Tibet. Lhasa lies considerably above the altitude at which one’s body begins to feel oxygen deficiency. Headaches, vomiting and heart palpitation are common ailments that appear in the first two or three days. That’s why most travel agencies do not arrange any activities for their guests on the first day upon arrival.
And whenever you feel a shortage of breath, just drink more water, or the dry air and evaporation of sweat may cause dehydration. Avoid alcohol as it may increase the risk of dehydration, and don’t smoke to prevent upper respiratory infection. Please don’t take shower at the first two days, for it is easy to catch a cold and make you feel exhausted.
5. Remember to take things a little slow when climbing stairs etc.
6. If you lack of oxygen, you can take the oxygen in the hotel, clinic or hospital. Oxygen canisters are easily available in Tibet and can be purchased from hotels. However, if you do not feel too bad, it is suggested to try to avoid take any oxygen and adapt to high altitude by yourself. Because there is still a long way to go, and if you quite depend on oxygen, you will find it harder to adapt to a higher altitude at Shigatse, Rongpu Monastery and Everest, which are above 3400m.

With the continuous efforts of Tibetan people and the financial and material help of other Chinese people, conditions of health facilities in Tibet have considerably improved in recent years. A complete network of hospitals, public health centers, clinics and other medical institutions at levels of province, city, county and township have long been well established. The population of doctors, dentists, nurses per 1,000 persons has grown to even larger than that of some other provinces in China. The professional quality of hospital personnel is also on the rise. Many of them have produced remarkable achievements in their fields. Medical equipment has developed greatly; some of it further advanced compared with many other places in the world. More medical infrastructures are provided to satisfy the needs of patients.

Where can I find quality Tibet Hospital if I am ill in Tibet tour?

The history of the Tibetan Traditional Hospital can be traced back to 1916. Named Mentsekhang in Tibetan, it began as a regional government teaching organ in which Tibetan doctors and astronomers were trained. In 1959, the government merged Mentsekhang with another medical college, which was formerly situated on the Chakpori Hill. In this way, the Tibetan Traditional Hospital and its associated Tibetan medicine factory were founded. The clinic of the hospital lies in the Barkhor Street , to the west of the Jokhang Temple.
Besides the Tibetan people’s own experience, the development of Tibetan traditional medical science has a close relationship with Chinese and Indian traditional medical science. The main diagnostic methods Tibetan doctors use today are almost the same as traditional Chinese medicine. In the seventh century, when the Princess Wencheng came to Tibet, she brought a Chinese medical book and Chinese doctors to the Tibetan People. The next Chinese Princess, Jincheng brought another medical book to Tibet and some more doctors as well. In the eighth century, a famous Tibetan doctor, Yutok Yonten Gonpo went to India to study Indian medicine. This knowledge greatly accelerated the development of Tibetan medical science. This doctor learned a lot from Chinese and Indian traditional medical science and incorporated his knowledge into the system of Tibetan medical science.
Numerous Thangkas , hanging on the walls of the hospital, contain the Tibetan medicinal knowledge in all of its aspects, from the beginning of Tibetan medicine to pictures of human anatomy, to methods of treatments, dietetics, acupuncture and so on. The medical Thangkas depict them with succinct pictures and brief words. This kind of Thangka is an important tool in the teaching of Tibetan medicine.
Tibetan medicine has drawn a great deal of attention from all over the world because of its striking effects on a variety of diseases, such as cranial vascular disease, chronic hepatitis, atrophic gastritis, hypertension, cardiac disease, and cerebral hemorrhage, to name a few. Large numbers of foreign experts and scholars come to Tibet each year to study and investigate Tibetan medicine. Some countries have even introduced Tibetan medicine to their home countries.

Hospitals in Lhasa

Like other hospitals, hospitals in Tibet are divided into several departments, such as the Medical Department, Surgical Department, Dental Department, Dermatology Department, and Department of Gynecology. Some hospitals mix Tibetan Medicine, Chinese Herbal Medicine and Western Medicine together with surprisingly good outcomes. Some hospitals feature in research on the unique functions of Tibetan Medicine.
Presently, in Lhasa hospital facilities include the People’s Hospital of TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region), the Second People’s Hospital of TAR, the People’s Hospital of Lhasa, and the General Hospital of Tibetan Military Region. Patients receive a warm reception and careful treatment in these hospitals. Hospital conditions in remote counties may not as good as those of Tibet and in mountainous areas; one may not access any medical service. Accordingly, tourists should take with them the necessary medicines.

Generally speaking, there are two categories of medicine used for high altitude illness, one is western medicine, and the other is Chinese traditional medicine. Western medicine can work fast to help eliminate some symptoms, such as headache and nausea, while Chinese traditional medicine can be used to adjust the organism of the human body. The Chinese traditional medicine can also help relieve and eliminate feebleness, sense of suppression in the chest, shortness of breath, palpitation, insomnia, dreaminess and other symptoms.

Western medicine:

Vitamins and nutrient substances are pretty good to help strengthen human’s immune system. And they are necessities if you want to travel to Tibet. Besides, you should take some cold medicine, anti-inflammatory and painkillers for an emergency. To some degree, they can also help to avoid high altitude illness by making your body stay in healthy.
For severe high altitude illness: Nifedipine tablets can be used for highland pulmonary edema and Dexamethasone can be used for highland cerebral edema.

Chinese traditional medicine:

Rhodiola rosea, lucid ganoderma, Codonopsis pilosula and American Ginseng all work well on preventing high altitude illness and you can choose to eat some of them. You can go to a drug store in Lhasa or somewhere else, and buy some Jingtian Honghua capsule, Rhodiola Compound Capsule and Gaoyuan’an, which are said to be very effective.


No, we do not charge any extra fees or fuel surcharges. The listed price is the price you pay. Including tax.

We understand that you may not have a printer handy when you’re traveling so it is not necessary to have a printed copy. However, we require that you show ID matching your reservation and also the Order # that is immediately emailed to you after you make your reservation.

Please contact us to get the latest information on your desired trip via service@challengers.vip


Wear whatever is comfortable. It is recommended to have a sturdy pair of broken-in trail shoes, boots, or sneakers. It is preferable to dress in layers and wear clothing that will wick away perspiration and keep you dry and comfortable

Not much, remember our trips are all inclusive. We do suggest you bring appropriate clothing to fit the season and a day pack to carry extra snacks and water.


You must call 72 hours ahead of your scheduled tour for a full refund. Within 72 hours you will assess a $35 termination fee. There are no refunds for cancellations within 24 hours of your tour, or if you decide not to show up.

Yes. Reservations are required for guaranteed spots on all tours. Reservations help us determine the number of guides we need to ensure that our groups remain manageable and enjoyable, and they allow us to notify you of changes to the tour due to weather or anything that could disturb the tours.

Some Useful Travel Tips

1. Best travel time to Lhasa

Located at the bottom of a basin at a high altitude and surrounded by mountains, Lhasa enjoys a mild climate free of unbearably cold winters and extremely hot summer. Its annual temperature is around 8 degrees centigrade. However, there is a great variation in temperature between day and night. Therefore, all year round is fit for travel to Lhasa. But the rainy months from June to September are the best travel time. It rains mostly at night while sunny in the day.

2. Dining in Lhasa

Regarding what to eat in Lhasa, all kinds of food including Tibetan cuisine, Sichuan cuisine, Nepalese and western style food can be enjoyed in Lhasa. Restaurants at all levels, such as Snowland Restaurant, Crazy Yak Saloon, Snow Deity Palace, are available here. For more details, please refer to Restaurants in Lhasa.

3. Shopping in Lhasa

Many tourists to Lhasa would like to buy some Tibetan souvenirs as gifts for their family members or friends. Various local products, such as Tibetan rugs or carpets, Tibetan incense, aweto, silver ornaments and Tangkar are quite popular with foreign tourists. These things can be found in Barkhor Street, Tangkar Studio and shops beside Tibetan Museum. For details, please go to shopping in Lhasa.

4. Money and Currency Exchange

It’s very convenient to draw cashes with credit cards and exchange currency for there are many branches of Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Agricultural Bank of China in Lhasa. Some of the bank branches are provided with ATM hooked up to networks. The office hours of the banks is from 9:00 to 12:00 am and 15:00 to 18:00 pm. If you withdraw money with credit cards, you’d better avoid Saturdays and Sundays.

Place for converting foreign currencies: 33 East Jinzhu Road Post code: 850000

5. Medical Service

Many medical service institutions are in Lhasa, such as People’s Hospital of Lhasa at 6 East Beijing Road, People’s Hospital of Tibet Autonomous Region on North Linkuo Road, Tibetan Hospital of the Autonomous Region at 26 Niangre Road, Tibetan Emergency Centre.

6. Transportation

Most tourists get to and away from Lhasa by train, by air or by bus. After the Qinghai-Tibet railway was put in service, lots of tourists choose train as their way to Lhasa for being attracted by the magical landscape along the railway. But by flights is still the easiest way to Lhasa Gonggar airport, which is 97 kilometers away from Lhasa City, with just few hours from China mainland or from Nepal. Travelling within Tibet, bus is one of tourists’ choices. Lhasa Long-distance Bus Station is at the intersection of Minzu Road and Jinzhuzhong Road.

7. Avoid High Altitude Sickness

High altitude sickness is the first thing that should be ware of when plan a trip to Lhasa. Our agency,Tibettravel.org, here give tourists to Lhasa some advice on how to avoid high altitude sickness by our rich experience in organizing Tibet trip.

The most effective way to avoid high altitude sickness is just to be optimistic. Before your trip to Lhasa, the most important thing is that you should never be nervous or worried about your trip. Regard it as any other trips. Besides, a thorough physical examination is recommended because tourists suffering from anemia, hypertension, heart troubles or illness of lungs, liver or kidney are not fit for the trip to Lhasa. If you have respiratory problems, you’d better to postpone your trip till you are completely recovered. In addition, bring enough water or drinks, fruits and snacks with high caloric content, like chocolate for fluid loss and energy consumption usually accompany the acclimatization process.

When you arrive at Lhasa, have a good rest immediately. Don’t do any strenuous activity and eat too much on the first day. Besides, keep away from cigarettes and alcohol. Frequent showers or bathes are not recommended for catching a severe cold will spoil your trip. One more thing, in order to adapt to the high altitude as early as possible, don’t rely on oxygen equipment all the time if you are not serious in short of breath.

8. Internet Access

Free Internet access is available at many hotels in Lhasa, such as Jardin Secret Hotel, Lhasa Sheraton Hotel, Brahmaputra Grand Hotel and Tibet Hotel. For more Internet access information in Hotels, please refer to Hotels in Lhasa.

9. Laundry Service

Laundry shops can be found on the streets in Lhasa, such as Jiejing Laundry on Jinzhu Xilu. Besides, many hotels in Lhasa provide laundry service/dry cleaning service, too, for example, Jardin Secret Hotel, Tibet Hotel and Century Grand Hotel. For more laundry information in hotels, please refer to Hotels in Lhasa.

10. Safety

Beware of pickpockets, a problem in Lhasa. They would wander through the throng and hit unsuspecting tourists in certain public areas, especially the Barkhor. In these areas, keep your bags and purses close to your sides, and wear your wallets in front instead of rear pockets.

At times, demonstrations, protests and mass gatherings do occur in major public areas. Avoid these situations as they can be dangerous. Certain diseases or illnesses can be dangerous in Lhasa. Consult a doctor a few months before departing to ensure having gotten the proper vaccinations and immunization.

11. Entertainment/night life

Compared with other cities in China, the night life in Lhasa is quite simple and low-key. Watching a Tibetan singing and dancing show, tasting snacks on the night market or drinking with friends in a decent bar are for your option.

It is absolutely worthwhile to watch a Tibetan singing and dancing show, also called Langma opera in Tibetan. Xinshiji Langma Hall is considered as an authentic and pleasurable place to do it for you can drink while enjoying the truly cultural show.

The most popular night market in Lhasa is Tianhai Night Market on the west suburb, where many stalls of snacks, fruits, and handicrafts are lined on the crowded and illuminated street at night. The goods there are generally more various and cheaper than those on the Barkhor Street.

A bar is a perfect place to meet friends from different places in the world and share travel stories with each other, or just sit quietly in a corner, drinking and listening to the music. For more information, please refer to Night Life in Lhasa.

12. Pilgrim Circuits in Lhasa

The representative place for pilgrim circuit in Lhasa is Barkhor Street, around the Jokhang Temple. This pilgrim circuit is followed clockwise round the periphery of the Jokhang. It is also a collection of crowded market, astounding jamboree, and Tibetan-style stock exchange.

13. Lhasa Day Tour

Lhasa is an ancient city with a history of 1400 years. It is home to the world’s highest palace, the holiest temples and meditation sites, and the simplest people. Not only rich in cultural and historic sites, but also natural attractions, Lhasa is undoubtedly a wonderful place for tourists to stay for a couple of days.

The Best Travel Time to Chamdo

Generally, Chamdo enjoys a warm and humid summer and windy and dry winter and spring. The best time to visit Chamdo is from April to May, or September to October. In early summer, grass becomes green, and wildflowers are blooming on the highland. In late fall, you will see a magnificent picture of the multi-color and splendid scenery, blue sky and clean water, mountains and rivers on the plateau. In other time, the motor road may be interrupted by the rain and heavy snowfall.

Dining in Chamdo

Food in Chamdo is dominated by Tibetan Cuisine and Sichuan Cuisine. Tibetan restaurants are less than those offering Chinese food and mostly located in the eastern part of Chamdo Town. In the east of Jinchuan Hotel, there are many good but cheap Chinese restaurants. Moreover, there is a collection of tasty Shaguo food (food cooked in an earthen pot) in the north of the square in front of Post Hotel.

Lodging in Chamdo

Hotels in Chamdo offer lodging conditions relatively lower than in most places of Tibet. Despite this, excellent lodging options of starred hotels are available Chamdo and Markham counties.

What to Pack

In winter, tourists should take enough heavy clothes to keep from the cold while in summer it is advisable to take some sweaters and woolen trousers. Besides, Take some medicines for daily use according to one’s health conditions, such as medicine for colds, diarrhea, sunburn and medicine against the oxygen deficit.


Laundry services are available in Chamdo, especially near hotels, such as Kangsheng Hotel.

Money and Currency Exchange

You can find branches of Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China and China Construction Bank in Chamdo Town, but foreign currency and checks are not acceptable here. Therefore, it is advisable to bring enough cash or open an account in China Post which has more branches than banks in Chamdo Region.

Post and Internet Access

China Post, China Telecom and China Mobile branches which can provide you postal and telephone services can be found in Chamdo Town. You can also find lots of internet cafes there through the internet connection may be slow.

Transportation in Chamdo

There are three national highways running across Chamdo area, the Sichuan-Tibet Highway from Chengdu to Lhasa ( both the northern route and the southern route), and the Yunnan-Tibet Highway from Kunming to Lhasa. So tourists can travel overland to Chamdo from Sichuan and Yunnan. What’s more, tourists can go to Chamdo by air. There are also buses shuttling between Chamdo Town and Lhasa and other places in Chamdo prefecture.

The Best Travel Time to Ngari

Ngari enjoys a mild summer with an average temperature from 9 to 22 degrees centigrade and 27.6 degrees centigrade as the highest on record. However, in winter it is extremely cold, with the lowest temperature on record is -44.6 degrees centigrade. Rainy days in Ngari often occur from July to early September, which inevitably makes transportation more troublesome. Therefore, the best time for traveling to Ngari is from May to early July or from September to October. One more thing you should keep in mind: although in August the temperature in the day may exceed 20 degrees centigrade, at night it may plummet to below zero. Sunblock, sunglasses as well as warm clothing are necessary, especially for a journey to the areas with an altitude over 5,000m.

Dining in Ngari

The food in Ngari belongs to the system of Chiang cuisine which tastes salty, light, fresh, sour and delicious, and can help people adapt themselves to the cold climate of the plateau as well. Although restaurants can be found in the village of Darchen and the lakeside village, dining in restaurants is somewhat unrealistic when you pay a visit to Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar due to the poor conditions along the way to Ngari.it is quite necessary to purchase instant food, such as honey, condensed milk, spices, ship biscuits, canned food, chocolate, fruits (apples), vegetables (such as carrots, cucumbers), drinking water, instant noodles, hams and so forth in Shiquanhe or Purang County beforehand. Do keep to a slow pace and never eat your fill as this will help to save energy and ease the effects of mountain sickness.

Lodging in Ngari

The standard of accommodation in Ngari is poor. Baths are only available in Shiquanhe Town. Hostels, rest houses can be found in the village of Darchen and the lakeside village as well. Temples also provide basic lodging facilities. However, for during the peak season and to allow for unexpected situations, tents and sleeping bags are worthy of consideration.

What to Pack

It is not advisable to carry all your belongings to worship the Sacred Mountain and the Holy Lake. Pack as little as possible, otherwise, you will be too exhausted to enjoy the scenery. Flashlights, matches, anti-cold electuaries, down coats and litter bags should be in your bag. If you want to liberate yourself from luggage, you can hire a porter who can be of great help. The porters usually assemble near hostels and rest houses.


The highway is the main way to Ngari. You also can take a plane from Lhasa to Ngari Kunsha Airport. However, from July to August is the rainy season. Rains could ruin the Xinjiang-Tibet Highway starting from Yecheng (Xinjiang) to Lhasa. During winter and spring (from late October or early November to early April), the Xinjiang-Tibet highway will be blocked by snow.

Money and Currency Exchange

In most towns and counties of Ngari you will find the Agricultural Bank of China and a post office where you can draw money.

Internet Access

Internet cafes have mushroomed at the town of Shiquanhe in recent years, but the charges are much higher than those in Lhasa and inland places.

The best travel time to Nagchu

Nagchu has an annual average temperature of -0.9°C to -3.3°C. From November to March, it is cold and dry. The area is exposed to violent sandstorm. From May to September, Nagqu is relatively warm and enjoys good weather. It is also the best time for visiting Nagchu.

Transportation in Nagchu

The highway from Lhasa to Nagqu is part of the Qinghai-Lhasa highway and the whole journey takes about 4 to 6 hours. Transportation networks in Nagqu are relatively complete and well-equipped. There are long-distance buses or coaches from Nagchu to Lhasa, Damxung, Golmud and other places of Tibet. You can also rent a car to get around.

Shopping in Nagchu

Special products in Nagqu mainly include jak, north Tibet sheep, ghee, dried meet, trachoma, aweto, caladium, snow lotus flower and a lot of ethnic handicrafts. You can find all the handicrafts on Gaoyuan Road, Nagqu Town.

Dining in Nagchu

The food in Nagchu is very basic and dominated by Sichuan-cuisine, Tibetan-cuisine. It does not cater to Western tastes, but it does provide enough caloric intake to keep a body warm and alive. If you’re worried about food, you can buy some favorite instant food before hitting Nagchu.

Lodging in Nagchu

Hotels in Nagchu offer you a clean and relatively comfortable place to stay just off the main road. However, many hotels in Nagchu do not have licenses to accommodate foreigners.

Dining in Tsedang, Restaurants

Different from the other areas of Tibet, food in Tsedang is dominated by Sichuan cuisine. The restaurants in Tsedang offering Sichuan cuisine can be seen everywhere. Of course, all kinds of Tibetan food can be found, too, such as sausages, Qingke (highland barley) wine, buttered tea, Yamdrok air-dried meat, cold yak tongue, steamed stuffed bun, all sorts of cakes and sweet tea, milk tea, sour milk.

Most restaurants in Lhokha are in Tsedang Town. Here we recommend some restaurants offering tasty dishes.


Across from PSB office, a clean place offer tasty snacks like Shaguo (Earthen pot) dumplings.

Tashi Restaurant

It belongs to Tashi Restaurant in Shigatse. It can offer Nepalese style food, such as pizza, curries and good breakfasts. English menu.

Restaurants Around Samye Monastery

Monastery Restaurant

The restaurant of Samye Monastery serves the simple food.

Friendship Snowland Restaurant

It is located at the Eastern gate of the moastery. Decent Chinese and Tibetan

Best Travel Time

Lhokha enjoys a moderate dry climate and distinctive four seasons. Its highest temperature, a little more than 20 degrees centigrade, lasts from June to August; while the lowest temperature may drop to 10 degrees centigrade below zero and usually occurs in December and January. Therefore, the best travel time for tourists is from June to August. You can wear the same amount of clothes as you do in Lhasa as the temperature is almost the same as that in Lhasa. However, the temperature between day and night varies greatly around 10 degrees centigrade, sometimes even reaching to over 20 degrees centigrade.

Public Transportation in Tsedang – Buses from Tsedang

Transportation in Tsedang has been greatly improved with the forming of a road network which is more than 3700 km long. The road network with Tsedang Town as the center connects 12 counties and extends to most villages. Tsedang is only 191 kilometers away from Lhasa. There are buses shuttling between Lhasa and Tsedang everyday.

Besides, Lhokha has the only international airport in Tibet, Gonggar Airport which is only 97 kilometers away from Lhasa and has flights to Chengdu, Beijing, Chongqing and Kathmandu. Thanks to the first bridge across the Yarlung Tsangpo River, transportation between Lhokha and Lhasa is tremendously ameliorated.

Lhokha’s Pilgrim Circuits

Lhoka is a famous pilgrim circuit destination south of Lhasa. Pilgrims travel there because of the many monasteries, holy lakes and sacred mountains. Pilgrims believe that everybody has a next life. They usually track clockwise around monasteries with prayer beads and wheels in hands and chanting some Buddhist sutras in a lower voice to pray a better afterlife.

The famous Holy Lake, Lhamo Latso in Lhokha is very popular among pilgrims because pilgrims believe that they can see visionary images of their future by looking at the lake intently in silence with deep devotion and reverence and by performing Buddhist rites.

Another pilgrim circuit destination in Lhokha is Yamdrok Yumtso Lake, one of the four holy lakes in Tibet and the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet. The lake is invested with special spiritual power.

Avoid High Altitude Sickness

Lhokha is located at an average altitude of around 3700m, altitude sickness easily occurs. As most travellers to Lhokha prefer to have a short stay in Lhasa for adapting to the high altitude. In this case, the chance to experience altitude sickness in Lhokha might reduce. The most effective way to avoid high altitude sickness is just to be optimistic. In addition, bring enough water or drinks, fruits and snacks with high caloric content, like chocolate for fluid loss and energy consumption usually accompany the acclimatization process. Taking a good rest is the most important.

Internet Access

Internet access is available at some hotels in Tsedang, such as Tsedang Hotel. For exact Internet access information in hotels, please refer to Hotels in Tsedang.


Some hotels in Tsedang provide laundry service/dry cleaning service, like Tsedang Snow Pigeon Hotel, Tsedang Hotel. For more laundry information in Hotels, please refer to Hotels in Tsedang.

Entertainment/night life

Referring to night life in Tsedang, Lhokha, Tibetan Opera and Choshio Dance are worth of enjoying. There are two schools of Tibetan Opera, white mask and blue mask. Tibetan Opera in Shigatse and Lhasa belongs to the blue mask school while the Tibetan Opera in Lhokha falls into the white mask school of opera. On the annual Shoton Festival, the performance always rank at the top.

Choshio Dance having a history over 1,000 years is a dance to frighten away devils and pray for good luck and harvest. This dance is quite popular in Lhokha and Shigatse. The dance was performed at the inauguration ceremony of the Samye Monastery and the wedding ceremony of Songtsen Gampo and Princess Wencheng.

Money and Currency Exchange

In Lhokha, it is not very convenient to exchange money and currency. Bank of China Shannan Branch at No. 21, Naidong Lu, Tsedang Town can meet your such demand. Besides, Tsedang Hotel also offers money and currency exchange.

Shopping in Lhokha/What to buy in Tsedang

There are no shopping malls in Lhokha, you can purchase what you need in the shopping centers in most of the local hotels. However, for the tourist souvenirs, there is a wide choice, including Yandrok air-dried meat made of beef or mutton stripped and air-dried in the Yamdrok lake area, Qiongjie jade articles feeling soft and gentle, Jiacha stone articles made of graphite, Zhanang knotting and textile, Jiedexiu apron with rich colors and durability, Tibetan incense in Minzhulin Monastery and so on. It’s advisable to purchase something with Tibet features as souvenir like a piece of Thangka, Pulu or tapestry, other choices like Tibet incense, Tibet drama mask, etc. All of these articles can be bargained. Actually, it is wise to purchase souvenirs at Barkhor Street in Lhasa for all Tibetan articles assemble along the street.

Nyingchi sits at a relatively high altitude and the temperature is comparatively low. It is quite dry and windy in spring and winter in Nyingchi. Generally speaking, the traveling season of Nyingchi starts from April to October, but May Day Holiday is the peak tourism time in China, so it is wise to avoid the Mayday for foreign travelers. One more thing you should pay attention to is that the temperature has a sharp difference between day and night in Nyingchi. You are highly advised to carry long sleeves, sweater, jackets, sunglasses, sun cap, sun blocking cream, lip cream, Aspirin, medicine for cold and digestion etc. The best tourist season: from April until October.
Transportation in Nyingchi

At present bus or car is the main means of transportation to enter Nyingchi. Tourists also can take a plane from Chengdu to Nyingchi. Some parts of Nyingchi are even only accessible on foot through most of the town and villages are well linked by highway networks. The best option for touring Nyingchi is to follow the route from Lhasa to Nyingchi for its best highway condition and gorgeous landscape.

Shopping in Nyingchi
The tourists can buy all the Tibetan daily life utensils in the shops opened by the Kangba People on the 500 meters long “Hong Kong Street” in Bayi which is a very important logistic center in the southeast of Tibet.
Dining in Nyingchi
Like most other parts of Tibet, the Sichuan Cuisines is the most popular. Sichuan restaurants are even ubiquitous. Small ones are cheaper while some more expensive and better one does offer fantastic Sichuan food. Good options are “the Tan Family’s Dish”, the “Sichuan Restaurant” in the eastern part of the Shenzhen Avenue and “the Red Mansion” opposite the public security office.
Money and Currency Exchange
Bayi, as the administrative center of Nyingchi, boasts the most advanced banking facilities and services in the region though; it has only two banks, the Construction Bank and the Agriculture Bank, but both have no ATMs. The postal saving here offers deposit-and-withdraw in different locations service, but you are still advised to carry cash. The foreign visitors should especially take note that they cannot exchange foreign currencies here.
Internet Access
Most parts of the Nyingchi prefecture have Internet cafes, even in the remote county of Bomi. The well-known Internet cafes in Bayi are “the Red Lantern”, “the Time Celebrities Club”, and “the Hongdu Teahouse Internet Café”.

As Shigatse is a remote place with high elevation, getting enough Shigatse travel advice will greatly help you to plan and finish a wonderful trip to Shigatse. By our several years of experience in organizing Tibet travel teams, here we share some useful information with you. The below advice on traveling Shigatse will give a general idea about the pleasant travel season in Shigatse, and the transportation, hotels, restaurants in Shigatse, etc.

Best Travel Time to Shigatse
Due to its high elevation, the climate of Shigatse is quite hard, with a temperature range from -25 degrees centigrade to 23 degrees centigrade and an average temperature of 6.3 degrees centigrade. The months from November to next March are usually accompanied by a quite low temperature while June and July are the rainy seasons of Shigatse. Then only a short period, from April to June, is considered as the best travel time to Shigatse.
Dining in Shigatse
As Shigatse is relatively remote, the dining in Shigatse is mainly limited to local Tibetan food, Sichuan cuisine and Nepalese dishes. Most of the restaurants in Shigatse, even the street restaurants and night markets, provide Tibetan dishes, Tibetan sausage, high-land barley wine and yak butter, beef and mutton, tongue of yak that served cold and dressed with sauce, tsampa, various kinds of cookies and sweet tea, milk tea, yoghurt, roasted sausage, dried meat, etc.
Shopping in Shigatse
Shigatse is a place where traditional crafts are well preserved. You can find many traditional and local handicrafts such as Tibetan knives and Tibetan carpets as well as gold, silver, and copper wares. You can find these unique souvenirs in markets, shops, and even street stalls. The market located opposite to the Tenzin Hotel is a good place for you to start. Clothing, handicrafts, religious vessels, carpets, knives, and many other commodities are sold in this market. Besides, the price here is quite reasonable. The gold, silver and copper wares in Shigatse are very famous. Many monasteries located in and outside Tibet order religious vessels from Shigatse Gold, Silver and Copper Crafts Factory every year. Even the holy Tashilhunpo Monastery purchases religious vessels from the factory. What’s more, the factory also makes rings, earrings, decorations, knives, chopsticks, pots, and bowls, etc.
A Tibetan knife is a necessity in Tibetan people’s daily life. The knives made in Lhatse County are always admired by both Tibetans and visitors. The scabbards are made of silver or copper and, decorated with images of dragons, phoenixes, tigers, lions, flowers, and so on. The knives are elegant and beautiful. In addition, the blades are very sharp!
Carpet is another feature of Shigatse. The traditional Tsang Rug in Gyangtse County is of the highest repute. The colorful carpets and rugs are considered to be among the Three Famous Carpets in the world. Now, more and more visitors prefer to purchase these unique and traditional carpets as keepsakes.
Entertainment in Shitgatse
Entertainment in Shitgatse might be very simple for this area is just far away from those place full of recreation spots. However, Shigatse is a land of singing and dancing. If you are lucky enough to just be on time of a local festival, you will have a chance to witness joyous performance given by local people. There are various festivals in Shigatse, such as Gtsang New Year (also called “Farmers’ New Year”) on the first day of November in Tibetan Calendar, Gyangtse Horse Racing Festival usually held in June, and Buddha unfolding festival that is one of the most important festivals in Shigatse. Besides, Shigatse is considered as the birthplace of Tibetan opera which is certainly a precious treasure of Shigatse. Therefore, you may find undiluted Tibetan opera here.
Public Transportation – Bus to Shigatse
About six decades ago, transportation in Shigatse was somewhat primitive, mainly relying on animals like yaks. However, this situation has gone forever. The transportation in and around Shigatse has been greatly improved. Shigatse even has become the transportation hub for central Tibet. There are three bus stations in Shigatse City, offering buses linking Shigatse to Lhasa and other places around Tibet. A lot of travelers take a bus from Lhasa to Shigatse by the Sino-Nepal Highway. You also can hire a jeep or taxi or other cross-area vehicles which is the easiest and most popular way. The fare depends on the car and your bargaining skills.
Shigatse’s Pilgrim Circuits
The pilgrim circuit around the well-known Tashilunpo Monastery is quite popular among pilgrims to Shigatse, Tibet. Shigatse kora is always full of pilgrims. Sakya Monastery is also a hot destination for pilgrims. This pilgrim circuit around the ruins of the ruins of the northern Sakya Monastery complex is very interesting.
Avoid High Altitude Sickness
As Shigatse is located at an average altitude around 4,000 meters, high altitude sickness easily occurs. As most travelers to Shigatse prefer to have a short stay in Lhasa for adapting to the high altitude. In this case, the chance to experience altitude sickness in Shigatse might reduce. The most effective way to avoid high altitude sickness is just to be optimistic. In addition, bring enough water or drinks, fruits and snacks with high caloric content, like chocolate for fluid loss and energy consumption usually accompany the acclimatization process. Above all, taking a good rest is the most important.
Money and Currency Exchange
In Shigatse, it is not very convenient to exchange money and currency. The branch of Bank of China in Middle Liberty Road and some hotels in Shigatse can convert foreign traveler’s checks and cash, and also can cash foreign credit cards into RMB.
China Construction Bank and Agricultural Bank of China also have established branches in Shigatse, while it is also advisable to open a postal saving card for convenience. In addition, there are ATMs in the Shigatse city and Lhatse, though not very convenient for the limit in quantity.
Mailing Items
The post office in Shigatse handles international letters and faxes but does not accept parcels.
Internet Access
On Shandong Lu of Shigatse City, there is internet access where there are about 20 PCs. Besides, internet access is available at some hotels in Shigatse. For exact Internet access information in hotels of Shigatse, please refer to Hotels in Shigatse.
Some hotels in Shigatse provide laundry service/dry cleaning service. For more laundry information in Hotels, please refer to Hotels in Shigatse.
Travel Permit
If you are planning to visit Sakya Monastery, the Mt. Everest and Rongbuk Monastery, you have to apply for a travel permit for these scenic spots are listed as closed areas in Tibet.

Tibet Travel Permit

We truly recommend that you’d better get the tickets 1-2 day prior to departure date at least, and don’t forget to bring your passport to the train station. If your schedule is too tight to get the tickets in advance, you must get the train tickets 2 hours in advance in case of emergency. Once we booked the train tickets, we will send you the ticketing reconfirmation codes with which you can get the tickets out from railway station ticketing hall. Meanwhile, you will need to provide the Tibet permits photocopies when you ask for the train tickets, and when you travel on the train, the railway police may check your permits documents.

Some travelers may frequently ask whether they can fly to Kathmandu without a tour guide accompany and permits at Lhasa airport.

You will have an immigration problem if without providing “Tibet Travel Permit”. All foreign travelers flying from Lhasa to Tibet who need to provide passports, China visa, Tibet permits (including entry permit and border defense permit). The airport custom authority will check all these documents however your Tibetan tour guide will help you show all these Tibet permits.

You should have a valid passport, a Chinese visa or Tibet Group Visa from Nepal and a Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) Permit. If you want to travel to places besides Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse, you will need Aliens’ Travel Permits (ATP). If you want to travel to some military sensitive areas such as Yunnan/Sichuan to Tibet overland and Mt. Kailash area, you will also need Military and Foreign Affairs Permit. If you want to go to Everest Base Camp or Mt. Kailash area, you will also need Border Defense Permit. For Everest base camp tour, foreign travelers should book the trip at least 15 working days before arrival date. But for Mt. Kailash pilgrimage, for Kham tours, foreign travelers should confirm the tour at least one month in advance to avoid any urgent situation.

Normally it will be easy for you to apply for a China tourist visa, “L” Visa. Most Chinese embassies and consulates will issue a standard 30-day, single entry tourist visa in three to five days. If you are lucky, some embassies may give you a 60 or 90-day visa. If you want more flexibility to enter and leave China for several times, most Chinese embassies will issue a double-entry or multiple entry visa. For those who work, study, or live temporarily in China, you need other related China visa such as “F” Visa, “X” Visa, “Z” and “M” Visa. We strongly suggest that you would better not mention any words of Tibet on your China visa application form due to its sensitive political condition. If you have any trouble applying for a China visa, we can help you apply and send you an electronic copy of The Tibet visa invitation letter to help you solve the problem. And we normally apply this visa invitation letter 1-3 months in advance. However, we do not receive clients as a congressman, journalist or military.

Since 2008 March 14th in Lhasa, it is regularly forbidden that foreign visitors come to travel in Tibet in every February and March. You should avoid these months and choose other time to travel to Tibet and normally from every April 5 foreigners begin to enter Lhasa (however try to postpone your trip around April 5 and it is generally no any problem).  We will keep it posted instantly on our website.

We need to return the permit to the Chinese government after the trip is over and foreign travelers are not permitted to keep the TTB. Your kind understanding is deeply appreciated.

Certainly not,  it is illegal per local provisions to accept your application. Even if you succeed by luck, it is not likely that you will have more pleasure with other agencies.

Normally our agency can obtain the Tibet TTB travel permit 10-30 days before the starting date of the trip. If you book the trip earlier, we can get the permit earlier. However, one month in advance is the earliest we can. If you are going to fly into Tibet from any airport in China, you will need the original permit to board the flights. We will send the original permit to you by EMS or Air-Express which takes 1-3 days within China and we need your exact post address such as your hotel or residence address in China (including contact person, contact phone number and the correct name under which the hotel booking is made). If you take the train to Lhasa from Chongqing, Xi’an, Lanzhou, you also need the original permit to get the ticket and we will send it to you by EMS or Air-Express as well. We suggest you take the train ticket in advance to avoid any urgency or unexpected situation. If you take the train from any other city’s station to Lhasa, you only need to have the photocopy of the permit and we will email you the electronic copy to you in advance. The police in Golmud station will check the permit so you should keep it safe. However, our local tour guide will collect your TTB permit after your arrival and guide will need to hold it for your whole trip in Tibet and return all Tibet travel permits to our agency after the trip.

You must have a Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) Permit. You are not allowed to apply this by yourself and this job can be handled by our company.  You need to send us clear scanned or photocopies of your valid passport date page and China Visa. No matter whether you hold “Z”, “F” or “Q” type China visa, or APEC visa, we can help you apply for permits smoothly.  We will need your specific schedule (including the entry and departure dates, means of transportation, cites you come from and leave for in China) to fill in the blanks on the permit, so we strongly suggest you arrange your travel schedule at least 15-30 days before the starting date of your trip in advance. As a professional Tibet travel agency, we can apply for the Tibet permit one month before the starting date to guarantee the whole process successful.

We do not suggest this kind of action because all procedures need time and strict inspection. But if you have any urgent situation and have only one week to prepare for everything needed for the Tibetan trip, we can help you with all the documents you need (Group Visa for entry from Kathmandu by flight, TTB Permit). But this can be only possible for city tours like visits to Lhasa (Lhasa, Namtso and Ganden etc short distance and fully open area), Lake Namtso, Lake Yamdrok, Gyantse and Shigatse.  If it is unlucky, you do not have to pay us a single dollar for this TOP urgent case.

To be responsible, our tour guide will keep your permit document safely during all your tours with us. We can give you the photocopy if you want but it is not necessary. If you want some free time in Lhasa, you can take the photocopy with you but we strongly suggest you join our many optional Tibet day tours packages because there are many local tour guides to share their knowledge and insights about Lhasa with you.

Tibet Boarder Defense travel Permit is needed if you want to travel to Everest Camp Base and Mt. Kailash area because those areas are close to India and Nepal. Our tour guide will apply it for you in Lhasa normally three weeks in advance and we need your photocopies of passport date page and China visa. Our tour guide will keep the permit for you.

Permits to visit places that are not declared open are known as Aliens’ Travel Permits (ATP). If you would like to travel to places besides Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse, you will need Aliens’ Travel Permits (ATP) issued by the Local Public Security Bureau (PSB). A single permit (with a group’s all name list) is normally issued to all the people who are traveling together and the permit just name one of them and states how many others are accompanying him. After you arrive, we need your original passport and visa to apply for the permit in Lhasa or Shigatse and it normally takes only 30 minutes to get this. Our Tibetan tour guide will apply and keep the permit for you.

Some military sensitive areas such as Yunnan/Sichuan to Tibet overland and Mt. Kailash area. Our local Tibet travel agency begins to apply for these permits normally 1 month in advance at least to avoid any urgent cases, because to apply these documents for long distance trips such as to Kailash or Sichuan/Yunnan to Tibet, we’d better confirm and begin different application process earlier to ensure the trip works smoothly and it is why normally these travelers fix their Tibet tour booking with us 1 month to half year in advance.

We can make sure that during the time of your schedule with us your TTB Permit will be valid. If you want to change your schedule, please let us know in advance. We need time and extra efforts to rearrange your tour. If you arrive Tibet earlier than your scheduled date, this will be an urgent situation and we will charge an extra service fee to reapply for your TTB permit. If you arrive later than your scheduled date, we can extend your trip for a few more days (normally 2-5 days) to help you finish the scheduled trip.

Travel agency in Tibet must prepare lots of work to apply for Tibet travel permits according to the permits schedule. If your trip is with Everest base camp, you’d better confirm a tour booking at least 15 days before arrival date, and if your trip covers Mt. Kailash, it is safer to confirm a tour booking at least 30 days before arrival date. For the easy cultural tour in and around Lhasa, you can even apply for permits 10 days in advance only.

Tibet travel permits application process:

  1.  confirm a full tour or minimum tour service with local Tibet travel agency per above time schedule. It is better to confirm earlier to avoid the urgent situation.
  2. Once local Tibet travel agency gets your passport copy and/or China visa photocopies, they can prepare to apply permits 1 month-45 days at most.
  3. Permits will be ready at least 1 week before your arrival date in Lhasa, we can get permits almost 20 days in advance.
  4. One permits got from Lhasa, the agency can send permits to your address in China, and it is not wise to send permits abroad. as the international express from Lhasa is too complicated and too risky.
  5. Then at least 2-3 days before your arrival date, you can get the Tibet travel permits and fly to Lhasa without any problem.

For more information and instructions need, please contact us by sending email to service@challengers.vip.

Tibetan Traditional Festivals

Shoton Festival Ceremony- Drepung Monastery Buddha Show

The painting of Buddha has long been considered as one concrete symbol of the Buddha. The Buddha painting in Drepung Monastery is unfolded on Shoton Festival unfolding ceremony was witnessed by thousands of believers, as well as many tourists. The Buddha exhibition  was accompanied with the reciting Buddhist scriptures and voices of longhorns, and with the presenting of white hada to the Sakyamuni Buddha. Now the place has become a worth-going tourist site.

Shoton(yoghurt) festival

“Shoton” in Tibetan means sour milk banquet. As Tibetan operas are performed and Buddha paintings are exhibited at this time, it is also called “Tibetan Opera Festival” or “Buddha Exhibition Festival”.

Shoton festival is the most important and attractive for the Tibetans with full of ethnic songs and dances along with famous Tibetan opera performing at Norbulingka Palace. Hundreds of thousands of Tibetan gather at Drepung, Sera monastery to see the famous Buddha Thangka.

Origination of Shoton festival: Tsongkapa master had initiated a rule on monks to concentrate on meditation in monasteries from April to June according to the Tibetan lunar calendar to avoid killings and earning demerits during those days. After finishing these days, the local Tibetan laymen use to serve them curds, perform Tibetan opera and will go for picnics and later strengthen to new festival in Tibet.

What you can observe during Shoton festival?

– Hundreds of Tibetan people gather at Drepung and Sera monastery with well ethnic dress up.

– Lamas carrying the giant Jampa Thangka and hanging on the foothill of Gebeiwotse mountain early in the morning.

– The sound of sutra bugle reverberating through the valley.

– Gaint hanged Jampa thangka at Drepung and Sera monastery.

– Tibetan opera performance at Norbulingka Palace.

– Wonderful yak racing and horsemanship display.

– Hundreds of journalist from all over the world.

– Sangsol(burning of Tuja leaves along with Tsampa and butter) at the whole cities.

– Crowded Tibetan peoples throwing White Khada on the giant Thangka.

Beginning on August 1 each year, the Nagchu Horse Racing Festival will last from 5 to 15 days. The festival here is the grandest of this kind throughout Tibet.

For ordinary Tibetan people, this festival is very important. Every year, people from all corners, eager to show off horsemanship skills, trade for tools and supplies, gather in Nagchu Town and build a “tent city” here. People dress in their finest clothes. Their finest horses are put in the best outfits. Thousands of people will participate in horse races, archery and horsemanship contests. For those who don’t contest, they can go for various folk activities and commodity fairs.

Nagchu grasslands grow best in August. This is the month with stiff winds and rain at night and bright sunshine during the day. On the north side of Nagchu, where there is a vast expanse of grassland, thousands of tents are built during the festival. The place is also the camping sites for tens of thousands of Nagchu herdsmen.

The Horse Racing festival opens with a grand opening ceremony. Then people will run for those recreational and trade activities of all kinds. The most exciting ones are the horseracing, yak races, tug-of-war contests, rock carrying challenges, sgor-gzhas (Tibetan group dances), and Tibetan operas perform.

Those who contest in the horse racing are dressed in traditional military attire. During the contests, they will display their best riding skills. The contests usually attract huge crowds of local people and pilgrims.

Traditionally, the Nagchu horse race festival is also important for horse-trading. People from all neighborhood will come here buy and sell their horses.

Tips of Nagchu Horse-Racing Festival

1. The sports will be classified into many categories: adults and children; shooting and horseracing, singing and dancing.

2. Actually, apart from Nagchu Horse-Racing Festival, May to Aug. is also the golden season for this prairie. At this time, the weather is mild and warm.

Shigatse is considered as the cradle of Tibetan Opera which is carried on and developed by professional Tibetan Opera teams as well as amateurs. If your trip to Shigatse without watching the traditional Tibetan Opera, it must be a great pity. Generally, the Tibetan Opera is essential on the program list of festivals in Shigatse. Besides, traditional folk dancing and singing is also essential for a festival in Shigatse, Tibet. Fortunately, you have the chance to appreciate the beautiful and bright folk dancing and singing in almost every corner of Shigatse. tibetan new year. There are many festivals in Shigatse prefecture which provide lots of chances for you to watch the traditional performances and make your trip in Shigatse great fun. Shigatse people will celebrate Gtsang New Year, also called “Farmers’ New Year”, on the first day of November in Tibetan Calendar, generally at the beginning of the first month according to the Gregorian calendar. It’s a great festival for farmers to share their harvest of a whole year’s hard work and celebrate the happiest moment of the whole year. Gtsang New Year in Tibetan calendar is deduced from the Buddhism calendar. It’s also an old festival based on husbandry activities. Activities during the festival are closely related to the husbandry. With lives of peasants becoming better off, people celebrate this festival more and more ceremoniously.

Another famous festival in Shigatse is Buddha Unfolding Festival with a long history of over five hundred years. Buddha unfolding festival is one of the most important festivals in Shigatse as well as a festival of Gtsang. Therefore, this festival is held in an extremely large scale that have given a great shock to people throughout the whole world.


The Buddha Unfolding Festival is celebrated in the majestic 600-year-old Tashilhunpo Monastery from the fourteenth to the sixteenth day of May in Tibetan calendar. If you are lucky enough to take part in this festival, your eyes will be filled by unimaginable giant Thangkas of Amitayus, Sakyamuni and Maitreya which cover over one thousands square kilometers. The Thangka will be displayed on the monastery’s Thangka Walls.

The Buddha Unfolding Festival in Tashilhunpo Monastery is also called a religious doctrines ceremony. During this festival, Buddhist monks in Tashilhunpo monastery participate in lots of religious activities like chanting sutras, turning prayer, and praying for rain. Meanwhile, thousands of pilgrims flock to the monastery to give their offerings to the Buddhas for the accumulation of their merits. In addition, some performances, such as religious dance ceremony and Tibetan operas will be put on to decorate the occasion.

Dharma Festival, a very well-known festival in Tibet began popular in Gyangtse, Shigatse, at the beginning. Dharma means horse race and archery in Tibetan. The Dharma Festival is still current in many places, the center of Gyangtse in particular. This festival used to be held in April with many activities, such as horse race, horsemanship, wrestling, Buddha exhibition, the performance of shaman’s trance dance and sacrificing and so on. Nowadays, the Dharma Festival is celebrated in June when Tibetan people can get a spare set of hands from farm work. Another Shigatse festival held in June is Linka Festival. In the past, Tibetan people had a custom of strolling about Linka, a beautiful place abundant with trees and flowers. People would walk outdoors during the first day to the fifteenth of May in the Tibetan Calendar. Gradually, Linka Festival is formed. But now this festival is held on the same day as the Children’s Day, the first day of June in the solar calendar, because Shigatse is so charming in June, with the sun shining comfortably and the breeze blowing softly. June is the best time for local people to enjoy the perfect natural sightseeing for the Shigatse land is covered by light green grass and the busiest time for farmers has passed. It is really a great chance for farmers to put their work aside and totally relax for a whole week.

Gyantse Dharma Festival is a very important festival in GyantseGyantse Horse Race Festival is another exciting moment for Gyangtse people, even all Tibet people. Horse race was an contest at the beginning. Now, it is just time to have fun for the Tibetan people. During Gyangtse Horse Race Festival, people carefully dress themselves and their best horse. Thousands of participants come together and show their excellence in horsemanship and archery. Besides, some people grasp this opportunity to exchange goods. This annual festival is usually held in June, with the grandest scene and largest scale in local.

It falls on 4th-11th day of the 1st Tibetan month in Tibetan Buddhism. The Great Prayer Festival was established by the Great Saint Lama Tsong Khapa (also known as Losang Drakpa) in 1409in Lhasa. All Tibet was invited to a two-week-long festival of prayer, auspicious rituals, teachings, and celebrations, from the first new moon until the full moon of the Lunar New Year. Many hundreds of thousands, perhaps more than a million, came from near and far. As the greatest religious festival in Tibet, thousands of monks, of the three main monasteries of Drepung, Sera and Ganden, gather for chanting prayers and performing religious rituals at the Jokhng Temple in Lhasa.


That time of the year was chosen because Lama Tsong Khapa firmly believed in the life story of the founder Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, told in the Indian Buddhist Sutra of the Wise and the Foolish called “Overcoming the Six Teachers: “Buddha was challenged by six rival teachers to a contest of miraculous performances. For many years, Buddha evaded their challenges, letting people believe that he was afraid of their magical powers, losing his royal patrons, and causing doubts and worries to grow among the people.
It is said that during that first Great Prayer Festival in 1409, all the people who gathered in Lhasa had visions of Buddhas and divine beings filling the sky. Everyone got into their most religious mood and spent the whole time as if on a spiritual retreat, praying, studying, making offerings, teaching, learning, and debating meaningful philosophical topics.
The noble tradition is preserved and is practiced in the same way to this day in most of the Gelug monasteries. On the full moon, the Day of Miracles is the most special day of the festival, when thousands of people, lay and ordained alike, come to pray, view the big butter sculptures, and make offerings to the Sangha.
The main purpose for the Festival is to pray for the long life of all the holy Gurus of all traditions, for the survival and spreading of the Dharma in the minds of all sentient beings, and for world peace. The communal prayers, offered with strong faith and devotion, help to overcome obstacles to peace and generate conducive conditions for everyone to live in harmony.
Traditonally from the New Year’s Day until the end of the Monlam, lay Tibetans would make merry. Pilgrims from all over Tibet would join the prayers, and make donations to the monks and nuns. Many other monasteries would hold special prayer sessions and perform religious rituals.

Losar is a festival in Tibetan Buddhism. The holiday is celebrated on various dates depending on location. The holiday is a new year’s festival, celebrated on the first day of the lunisolar Tibetan calendar, which corresponds to a date in February or March in the Gregorian calendar. In 2018, the new year commenced on the 16th of February and celebrations will run until the 18th of the same month. It also commenced the Year of the Male Earth Dog.

The variation of the festival in Nepal is called Lhochhar and is observed about eight weeks earlier than the Tibetan Losar.

Losar is celebrated for 15 days, with the main celebrations on the first three days. On the first day of Losar, a beverage called changkol is made from chhaang (a Tibetan cousin of beer). The second day of Losar is known as King’s Losar (gyalpo losar). Losar is traditionally preceded by the five-day practice of Vajrakilaya. Because the Uyghurs adopted the Chinese calendar, and the Mongols and Tibetans adopted the Uyghur calendar, Losar occurs near or on the same day as the Chinese New Year and the Mongolian New Year, but the traditions of Losar are unique to Tibet, and predate both Indian and Chinese influences. Originally, ancient celebrations of Losar occurred solely on the winter solstice, and was only moved to coincide with the Chinese and Mongolian New Year by a leader of the Gelug school of Buddhism.

Prior to the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1950, Losar began with a morning ritual ceremony at Namgyal Monastery, led by the Dalai Lama and other high-ranking lamas, with government officials participating, to honor the Dharmapala (dharma-protector) Palden Lhamo. After the Dalai Lama was exiled, many monasteries were dissolved during the Cultural Revolution. Since that time, Tibetan Buddhism practice in Tibet has been somewhat restored, and “Losar is now celebrated, though without the former ceremonies surrounding the person of the Dalai Lama.”

In Tibet, various customs are associated with the holiday:

Families prepare for Losar some days in advance by thoroughly cleaning their homes; decorating with fragrant flowers and their walls with auspicious signs painted in flour such as the sun, moon, or a reversed swastika; and preparing cedar, rhododendron, and juniper branches for burning as incense. Debts are settled, quarrels are resolved, new clothes are acquired, and special foods such as kapse (fried twists) are made. A favorite drink is chang (barley beer) which is served warm. Because the words “sheep’s head” and “beginning of the year” sound similar in Tibetan, it is customary to fashion a sheep’s head from colored butter as a decoration. Another traditional decoration that symbolizes a good harvest is the phyemar (“five-grain bucket”), a bucket with a wooden board that creates two vertical halves within. This bucket is filled with zanba (also known as tsamba, roasted qingke barley flour) and barley seeds, then decorated with barley ears and colored butter.

Losar customs in Bhutan are similar to, but distinct from, customs in neighboring Tibet. Modern celebration of the holiday began in Bhutan in 1637, when Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal commemorated the completion of the Punakha Dzong with an inaugural ceremony, in which “Bhutanese came from all over the country to bring offerings of produce from their various regions, a tradition that is still reflected in the wide variety of foods consumed during the ritual Losar meals.”[15] Traditional foods consumed on the occasion include sugarcane and green bananas, which are considered auspicious. In Bhutan, picnicking, dancing, singing, dart-playing, archery (see archery in Bhutan), and the giving of offerings are all traditions.

The Tibetan calendar is a lunisolar calendar. Losar is celebrated on the first through third days of the first lunar month.

Gregorian Year Year of Rabjung 60-year Cycle Tibetan Year Losar Date*** Gender, Element, and Animal
2008 rab byung 17 lo 22 2135 February 7 Male Earth Mouse/Rat**
2009 rab byung 17 lo 23 2136 February 25 Female Earth Ox
2010 rab byung 17 lo 24 2137 February 14 Male Iron Tiger
2011 rab byung 17 lo 25 2138 March 5 Female Iron Hare/Rabbit
2012 rab byung 17 lo 26 2139 February 22 Male Water Dragon
2013 rab byung 17 lo 27 2140 February 11 Female Water Snake
2014 rab byung 17 lo 28 2141 March 2 Male Wood Horse
2015 rab byung 17 lo 29 2142 February 18/19 Female Wood Sheep/Goat**
2016 rab byung 17 lo 30 2143 February 9  Male Fire Monkey
2017 rab byung 17 lo 31 2144 February 27 Female Fire Bird/Rooster
2018 rab byung 17 lo 32 2145 February 16 Male Earth Dog
2019 rab byung 17 lo 33 2146 February 5 Female Earth Pig/Boar
2020 rab byung 17 lo 34 2147 February 24 Male Iron Mouse/Rat


We do hike in the rain, snow, wind and any other weather conditions that nature decides to throw at us. After all, we’re going on adventures! If the weather is unsafe for any reason, the trip will be changed or postponed. You will be notified the week of your trip if there are changes due to weather.

Shigatse has a semi-arid, plateau temperate, monsoon climate. Temperatures range from a high of 23 C to a low of -25 C with an annual average temperature of 6.3 C. From November to April, the temperature is quite low and thus few travelers choose this time to visit there. June to July is considered the rainy season, but it only rains at night. Weather in daytime is quite good. In addition, April to June is the best time to visit Mt. Everest.

Due to its high elevation, the climate of Shigatse is quite harsh. It is often very dry, due to the long hours of sunshine. The ultraviolet radiation is quite strong and visitors should be prepared with a variety of sunscreens, sunglasses and lip-balms to protect them from the strong rays. Thus, the sunburn prevention lotions, sun blinkers (which are better if they can prevent the snow-blind) and lipsticks are quite necessary.
The temperature difference between the daytime and nighttime is extremely huge. During the day, especially at noon, the high temperature may cause sunstroke while the low temperature at night may contribute to people catching colds. Accordingly, warm and windproof clothes are highly recommended. Visitors should take the climate and location into consideration prior to traveling to Shigatse and medications for altitude sickness and cold remedies should be included in any travel kit.
Rainfall and Sunlight
You will not need to worry about much rainfall in summer, as it does not usually rain in Shigatse in mid-June. If it does, it almost rains at night. An umbrella should not be necessary. The average rainfall in June is only about 1 millimeter!

Best time to visit Shigatse

Summer is the best time to visit Shigatse Prefecture because the temperature is stable and cool. However, you still had better be prepared for swift changes in the weather. Winter can be too freezing.
What to wear?
Bring multiple layers of long-sleeved, warm clothes with you so you will be prepared for the changeable weather. The temperature at night is much lower than it is during the day.
Mount Everest Climate
Mount Everest’ North Base Camp is in the south of Shigatse Prefecture, sitting 5,200 meters above sea level. The weather at the base camp is typically very cold, with temperatures at the base camp often being below zero, although the sun can be very intense at that altitude.

Located at the transitional zone between cold and temperate zone and wet and monsoon region of subtropical zone, Chamdo enjoys a pleasant climate without extremely cold winter and unbearably hot summer. The average annual temperature of Chamdo is 7.6℃. The coldest month of a year is January with an average monthly temperature being -2.5℃, while the hottest month is July with average monthly temperature being 16.3℃.

The sunshine time of Chamdo is long and the sunlight is strong. Its daily temperature variation is large. The yearly temperature difference is relatively small, but the weather varies greatly from altitudes and regions and the rainfall is concentrated, which makes a distinctive dry season and wet season of this region. Tourists can travel to Chamdo via Sichuan-Tibet Highway or by air.

The best time to visit Lhasa or Tibet. Generally speaking, the best time to visit Lhasa is during months May, June, July, August and September when the average temperatures are perhaps a little cooler than preferred but still a pleasant 10°C / 50.0°F to 20°C / 68.0°F. If you don’t mind bringing a coat, you might also enjoy visiting Lhasa during February, March, April, October and November but average temperatures are fairly cool (between 0°C / 32.0°F and 10°C / 50.0°F). Here we share the Lhasa climate chart with monthly temperature for your reference.

See below for the average temperatures across the year in °C.

Month: Avg Temperature in °C Max Temperature in °C Min Temperature in °C
Jan -1.6 6.9 -10.1
Feb 1.1 9 -6.8
Mar 4.55 12.1 -3
Apr 8.25 15.6 0.9
May 12.15 19.3 5
Jun 16 22.7 9.3
Jul 16.1 22.1 10.1
Aug 15.25 21.1 9.4
Sep 13.6 19.7 7.5
Oct 8.8 16.3 1.3
Nov 3.15 11.2 -4.9
Dec -0.65 7.7 -9


This following table is for the average temperatures across the year in °F

Month: Avg Temperature in °F Max Temperature in °F Min Temperature in °F
Jan 29.1 44.4 13.8
Feb 34.0 48.2 19.8
Mar 40.2 53.8 26.6
Apr 46.9 60.1 33.6
May 53.9 66.7 41.0
Jun 60.8 72.9 48.7
Jul 61.0 71.8 50.2
Aug 59.5 70.0 48.9
Sep 56.5 67.5 45.5
Oct 47.8 61.3 34.3
Nov 37.7 52.2 23.2
Dec 30.8 45.9 15.8

For rainfall parameters:

Month: Total rainfall in MM Total rainfall in Inches Total number of rainy days Chances of rain
Jan 0.5 0.0 0.2 0.6%
Feb 0.7 0.0 0.2 0.7%
Mar 2 0.1 0.5 1.6%
Apr 5.2 0.2 1.3 4.3%
May 26.6 1.0 5.3 17.1%
Jun 72.3 2.8 9.6 32.0%
Jul 119.4 4.7 14.8 47.7%
Aug 122.6 4.8 15.3 49.4%
Sep 58.3 2.3 10 33.3%
Oct 10.2 0.4 2.3 7.4%
Nov 0.7 0.1 0.4 1.3%
Dec 1 0.0 0.2 0.6%