Tibet

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ShermansTravel experts rely on years of collective travel experience to bring you the best money-saving tips for your vacation. We take a discerning look at all the attraction passes, public transportation options, and other local bargains to make sure you get the most bang for your buck while traveling.

Tibet Money-Saving Tips

Weather wise

Layer up and wear sunscreen – the very dry climate of the Tibetan plateau, which averages a height of 13,000 feet above sea level, alternates between extremely hot (with unusually strong UV rays) and very cold – often within the same day.

Altitude adjustment

In any Tibetan travel itinerary, allow for a few days to recuperate from altitude-related illness. Only after full recovery can the marvels and delights of the region be fully appreciated.

Visas

Visitors require a Chinese visa and TAR entry permit to enter Tibet, making independent travel difficult. More permits are required to explore Tibet outside Lhasa. Strangely enough, it's easier to obtain these documents outside the TAR and China.

Language

Although Mandarin has been the official language of Tibet since the occupation, you’re likely to hear Tibetan spoken in monasteries, nunneries, temples and in Barkhor’s market stalls. Tashi Delek, a friendly greeting, is a useful phrase to remember.

Money

Make currency exchanges and credit card advances at the main branch of the Bank of China (west of the Potala Palace). The more convenient machine opposite Dunya on Beijing Road has a nasty habit of eating cards.

Comforts

If there are any foods or toiletries you absolutely can't live without (including chocolate, coffee, and shampoo) it's recommended that you bring them along. Feminine hygiene products are also not available in Tibet.

Politics

Tibet has a tumultuous history with Communist China, which has ruled the region since 1950. The Chinese have oppressed the religious customs, culture, and language of Tibet; and forced the former religious and political leader, the Dalai Lama, into exile.

The Dalai Lama

From exile in India, this charismatic spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists continues to fight for freedom for his homeland. Due to his fractured relationship with the Chinese government, in Tibet it is illegal to possess any books or photographs pertaining to him.

Support Tibetans

Many Han Chinese come to Lhasa seeking employment and often receive preference over equally talented Tibetans. To support Tibetans, buy in Tibetan stores, eat Tibetan food (most restaurants in Barkhor are Tibetan-run), and hire Tibetan tour agencies.

Tibetan Buddhism

No culture has been as deeply intertwined with Buddhism as Tibet. Since Buddhism first arrived in Tibet from India more than a thousand years ago, Tibetans have preserved, practiced and developed a form of esoteric Buddhism called Vajrayana (diamond vehicle).

Cuisine

Be sure to try some Tibetan Plateau cuisine. Basic snacks like momos (dumplings) are an innocuous way to dabble in local fare; yak meat and chang (strong alcohol served in a diesel container) are culinary ventures for more daring souls.

Compare Rates to Tibet






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