Locked away in its Himalayan fortress, Tibet has long exercised a siren’s hold on the imagination of the west. Situated on the Qinghai Mountain plateau, which stretches all the way from India in the south to central China in the north and east, it is a land of wild natural landscapes, obdurate cultures and a charmingly hospitable people.
Amongst the remote and rugged vistas of eastern Tibet lies one of the country’s most fascinating areas: a landscape characterised by high mountains, deep alpine gorges and spectacular fortress homes. This is Sichuan, heartlands of the Khampa warriors, whose equestrian skills are put to the test each year at the Litang Horse Festival. A rich gathering of nomads and mountain people, for several days around the beginning of August the grassy plains above Litang echo to sound of jangling horse-bells, thundering hooves and whooping cries, as the riders dressed in their traditional finery perform horseback acrobatics. Almost unknown to the outside world, this is a festival that has remained unchanged for centuries.
Elsewhere, the mountain monasteries and nomadic communities provide a unique insight into life on the high Tibetan Plateau, whilst a visit to the holy setting of Mount Kailash follows in the footsteps of the pilgrims who have endured this ritual for thousands of years. And in the capital, Lhasa, you can find the Potala Palace, one of the most iconic buildings in the world.
UK Passport holders require a visa to visit Tibet.
Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the end of your trip, and it must have at least one blank page for each visa required. Please ensure the passport details we hold for you are correct.
Please note it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct visa documentation when starting your trip. Country entry regulations can alter daily and it is always best to check with the relevant embassies for any changes.
If you prefer to organise the visa yourself this can be done through a visa company such as Travcour.
If you are travelling on a non-UK passport, please contact your nearest consulate/embassy for up to date visa information.
The best time to travel Tibet is between April and October, and peak season is from May to September, but July and August are rainy months.
Those who travel in their own car or on foot should avoid the rainy season especially when entering Tibet along the Sichuan-Tibet Highway, and the sections between Lhasa and Nyingchi and between Lhasa and Ngari. There will be mudslides on certain sections of the road, blocking the passage of vehicles.
However, if you are only planning several days in and around Lhasa and flying in then there will be no problem for you to travel at any time from April to October.
There are no mandatory immunisations for travellers to Tibet, although you should be up-to-date with Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio and Hepatitis A. We recommend you seek advice from your local GP or travel centre as to the correct immunisations and preventative treatments.
We also recommend:
• A dental check-up prior to travelling.
• You inform us of any pre-existing medical conditions or medication.
To be on the safe side you can also check here.
• Buy some prayer flags at the market in Lhasa and then you can hang them where the view inspires you en route
• Most monasteries sell nice artefacts or religious items which make good inexpensive souvenirs
• Wear comfortable shoes when visiting any monastery - there are always lots of steps to climb.
• When visiting Everest Base Camp, don't forget to carry your passport with you to show to the checkpoint guards.
• Although August is purportedly the wet season, there are lots of festivals taking place at this time which make it an interesting time to visit
• Avoid trying to cross the border with guide books in your bag - they will be confiscated