General Information About Tibet, The Roof of The World
Travel information about Tibet
There are two kinds of permits for visiting Tibet: one is Tibet Entry Permit, which is a must for all foreign tourists, and the other is Tibet Travel Permit, which make you accessible to the closed or restricted area of Tibet, such as The Mt. Everest.
Tibet Travel Permit, or Alliens’ Entry Permit is a certificate for foreigners to visit Tibet China. Foreigners who want to travel to Tibet must have the Tibet Permit to get into Tibet. The following is what Tibet Entry Permit look like:
If you want to take tours to the closed areas in Tibet, you have to get Tibet Travel Permit. The permit is issued by Foreign Affairs Section of Tibet Local Public Security Bureau (PSB). The following is what Tibet Travel Permit look like:
If you travel to Lhasa and Nagqu regions of Tibet, you don’t need Tibet Permit.
Currently traveling to the following areas of Tibet needs Travel Permit:
Tsetang: Samye Monastery, Tomb of Tibetan King, Changdruk Temple, Yumbulakhang
Shigatse: Sakya Monastery, The Mt. Everest, Rongbuk Monastery
Gyangtse: Pelkor Chode Monastery & Kubum Stupa
Basumtso lake in Nyingchi Region Chamdo Region
Weather in Tibet
From December to February
Very few people visit Tibet in winter, so you’ll have the place largely to yourself. Hotel prices and many entry tickets are discounted by up to 50%, but some restaurants close.
In April, October to November
The slightly colder weather means fewer travellers and a better range of 4WDs. Prices are 20% cheaper than during the high season.
From May to September
The warmest weather makes travel, trekking and transport easiest. Prices are at their highest, peaking in July and August. Book ahead during the 1 May and 1 October national holidays.
Please click here to check the weather report of Tibet.
Accommodation in Tibet
In Tibet, few major cities offer comfortable accommodations with modern amenities. Tibet itself a remote isolated high terrain include desert, grassland, lakes, mountains and rivers above 3500 metres.
In Lhasa, huge range of accommodation are available from Simple G.H. to four star deluxe accommodation, In shigatse, Gyantse & Tsedang offers up to three star standard level but there are only fewer.
Naylam, Tingri, Xegar, Dza Rongbuk Everest Base Camp, Lake Yamdruktso and in Lake Namtso Simple Guest Houses are available with minimum facilities.
Western Tibet, Nagri Prefecture and Mount Kailash region, west from Nayalam, Saga, Parang & Darchen guest houses are available but they are primitive and only dormitory beds are available in limited capacity.
During peak touristy season all Hotels and Guest Houses are overbooked by travel agency from Kathmandu and from China.
Meals in Tibet – Information about Tibet
Traditional Tibetan food consist mainly barley, meat and dairy products. Vegetables are scarce in the high altitude. Tsampa is the staple food of Tibetan people, which is consumed daily.
It is actually barley flour made from parched barley, unhusked and ground into fine flour. Put some flour with salted butter tea in a bowl, rotate the bowl with the left hand and mix the food with your fingers of your right hand, roll it into small lumps, then squeeze it into your mouth with your fingers. Other ingredients may also be added to add flavor.
Tibetan people eat Tsampa at every meal and bring it as instant food in travel. The salted butter tea is an indispensable Tsampa pal. Boiled tea is poured into a long cylindrical churn along with salt and yak butter. Vigorous churning makes the ingredients well blended and ready to serve.
Tibetan people drink it throughout the whole day. Yak butter is very important food for Tibetan people and it is separated from yak milk by hard churning. After butter is separated from milk, the residue becomes sour and can be made into milk curd which is a nice thirst quenchable and can be made into milk curd pastry with barley flour.
Yoghurt is important daily dairy for Tibetan people. The creamy milk produced by yak cow is superb. Tibetan nomads in the eastern Tibet manufacture their yoghurt in a special process. The milk is boiled first, after removed from stove, some old yogurt is added in. Yogurt will form in a few hours. Yogurt has been a Tibetan food for more than 1,000 years.
Dried beef and mutton stripe is also popular food in Tibet. In the winter, beef and mutton are cut into long stripes and hung in shaded place to be air-dried. The dried meat is crisp and tastes good and can be eaten raw since the chilliness in the winter has killed bacteria during the process.
Big joints of beef and mutton boiled with salt, ginger and spices are also popular food among Tibetans. They take the meat in hands and cut them with their knives. The guests will be treated with breasts and spareribs. If you are treated with a tail of white sheep, it means that you are deemed as their guest of honor.
Blood sausage, meat sausage, flour sausage and liver sausage are also favored by many Tibetans. Other food stuffs include Momo (Tibetan dumplings), Thenthuk (Tibetan noodles) and yak tongue.
Now in Tibet towns, Lhasa for example, Tibetan food is supplemented by Chinese food, mostly Sichuan food. Vegetables and fish become available in market. However, Tibetan people seldom eat fish due to their religion and custom.
Restaurants serving Tibetan food, Chinese food and even western food mushroom in the streets to accommodate tourists. Lhasa Hotel (former Holiday Inn)’s restaurant provides Chinese food, Indian food, Nepalese food and western food. Kailash, Tashi, Snowlands, Dunya (former Crazy Yak) and Makye Ame are popular among travelers also in Lhasa. Veggies may still have little choice in short seasons however.
Tibetans like drinking tea. Besides salted butter tea, sweet milk tea is another popular alternative. Hot boiling black tea filtered is decanted into a churn, and then fresh milk and sugar are added. Vigorous churning turns out a light reddish white drink.
There are many teashops in Lhasa serving the sweet milk tea. Tibetan barley beer, called Chang in Tibetan is popular among all Tibetans. The beer is mild, slightly sweet and sour and contains little alcohol. The beverage is worth trying. Soft drinks and beer are also available in Lhasa.
Culture in Tibet
Be it folk dance performances, Tibet culture is just amazing. Homing nature in bounty and with many hues of colorful lives, Tibet is simply a place to reckon with.
Tibet has everything for everyone. Rights from its rich and deep traditions, its deep-rooted cultural heritage makes it ever more significant and worthwhile. The wisdom, the knowledge about life, and harmony prevailing in Tibet is simply amazing.
You, in fact, get everything in Tibet for example tolerance, peaceful existence, and communal harmony. All this makes the culture of Tibet superbly rich and meaningful.
The simplicity of life, the spirituality of minds, high hospitable standards make this place grow with confidence. With rich customs and traditions, Tibet is something to offer for everyone.
Famous Tibetan Dances
One of the most stunning parts of Tibetan culture is its performing arts, which makes it ever more significant and worthwhile. As every Tibetan sings and dances, it makes this place filled with high cultural standards.
Whether it is music, drama, or dance, everything in Tibet is unimaginably impervious to western influence. Reflecting the cultural heritage of trans-Himalayan region, Tibet is just amazing.
Unlike other countries, the music and dance of Tibet is high on the entertainment front and most of the songs here are religious, reverberating the Buddhist ambiance on Tibetan culture.
If you hear the songs carefully, you will realize that the singing style of Tibetan’s is quite peculiar. In fact, the songs are sung from throat in a different way, which makes the singing style unique and captivating.
The sound echo in the valleys and can be heard making the valley of Tibet all the more captivating and mesmerizing.
As far as dancing is concerned, it is simply awesome. You can never run short of entertainment, especially when it comes to exquisite songs and dances of the region.
Religion in Tibet
Culture of every country is largely driven by the religion it follows. Similarly, Tibet is influenced by Buddhism and this is what makes it ever more peaceful and worthy of travel.
The most widely practiced religion, i.e. Buddhism is largely followed in Tibet. In the past, every family was expected to send at least one boy to monastery, however things have changed with passage of time. Even though the economic stability of Tibetans has increased, people hugely believe in religion.
Local Art – Information about Tibet
Art is probably one of the most visible forms of entertainment in Tibet. The Paintings and craft works are deeply religious and that is what makes everything in Tibet all the more significant and worthwhile.
The people of Tibet are inspired by almost all religious beliefs, Tantric influence, Mahayana Buddhist, Bon influence, making it resort to Tantric feeling.
You can always find amazing pieces of art works in the form of Thangka paintings thus being enriched with Tibetan Art and Crafts. Wood prints and cliff paintings are also used in the same. You can always buy them from any general store or from an art gallery in Tibet.
Whenever you pass by a big rock, look around it, you might invite yourself of possessing the most intricate and beautiful pieces of cliff painting on it. As we know that cliff paintings in Tibet are awesome, they offer great opportunity to enjoy the pre historic times of Tibet as well.