You can stay in Tibet as long as you wish. We provided tours of 20 days, 30 days, even 60 days to some clients before. But if you come to Tibet for a tour, not for work, you can stay as long as what your Tibet travel permit says. This is just like the visa validity. Furthermore, during your stay you have to tour with a travel agency. In another word, you cannot have long time free days. You can have only one or two days free and it must be in Lhasa city not the other cities or areas. And during the free day, the guide have to be with you.
Yes, you do need permits to go to Tibet. We can help you get these permits. There is a service charge (by the government) 0f 7-10 US dollars per person.
1) If you only go to Lhasa, a Tibet permit will be sufficient but, if you want to go further to the "unopened" areas, you also need an Alien's travel permit issued by the PSB of Tibet.
2)If you have not booked a tour, the travel agencies can not help you get the permits. No travel agency can provide "permit-only" service. Here is a note from Lonely Planet:
"Lhasa PSB will not issue travel permits to individuals and will direct you to a travel agency. Agencies can arrange a travel permit to almost anywhere but only if you book a Land Cruiser, driver and a guide."
It is impossible for a travel agency to SELL you a Tibet permit if you have not booked a tour with them. Do not "buy" a travel permit only or you may get in trouble!
3) Most people can obtain a Tibet permit through their travel agency except diplomats, journalists and government officials who should travel to Tibet under the arrangement by the Foreign Affairs Office of the Tibet Government.
4) If you want us to help you with your Tibet permits, you need to give us your information including: full name, gender, date of birth, passport number, nationality and occupation.
Tibet permits can be obtained in Hong Kong through the office of CITS Tibet.
2nd Floor of Yixing Mansion
118, Zhuang Road
Wangzi, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2922 1028
Office hours: Mo-Fri 9:00- 18:00, Sat 9:00- 13:00
Here are some suggestions:
1) Drink extra fluids. The dry air and evaporation of sweat may cause dehydration.
2) Avoid alcohol as it may increase the risk of dehydration, and don't smoke.
3) Avoid sedatives.
4) Avoid catching cold before entering Tibet.
5) Walk slowly, especially on the first day.
6) Take more deep breath;
7) Prepare an oxygen bag if you don't feel well on the first day;
8) And, get more advices from our local guide!
If you are to travel to Tibet, you are required to provide a doctor's certificate stating that you are fit to travel and your blood pressure and heart condition are normal in case that the very high altitude have the possible effects on you.
What is the weather like or climate in Tibet? What do you suggest we bring with us if we travel to Tibet?
In fact, the Tibetan climate is not as harsh as many people imagine it to be. It is suitable for travel to Tibet from April to the beginning of November, and the best time is August and September. But if you only stay in Lhasa, you can go there anytime of the year.
Sun radiation is extremely strong in Tibet. The sunlight in Lhasa is so intense that the city is called Sunlight City. The thin air can neither block off nor retain heat so that the temperature extremes can be met in daytime and the same night respectively in Tibet. However it is not impossible to visit the holy snow land. May, June and September are the tourism season in east Tibet.
Most annual rainfall comes in the rainy season that starts from June to September. Usually it rains at night in Lhasa, Shigatse and Chamdo area. The rainfall may block roads and make travel difficult but the scenery at the time will be the best.
Here is some more specific information in different areas:
Lhasa - Shigatse - Lhatse - Tingri - Nyalan: Along the Friendship highway is basically in good conditions year around. But from December to February, the thawed road could make some trouble. Try to avoid August - landslide could happen in the rainy season.
Mt. Everest Area: Early May and early October are the best time to visit Mt. Everest. Due to the clear weather, you have great chance to see Mt. Everest's true face (if you are lucky). From December to February, you'd better not to go to this area because it is too cold - except you are real Great Adventure People.
Ali (Mt.Kailash): Even without climate restrictions, this area is already inhospitable. Big rain and snow could make the journey worse. However, for those determined tourists, the appropriate time is May, June, July, September and October.
Eastern Tibet: Don't go to this area in July or August (the rainy season) because the rain could ruin the road, and make terrible landslides. In winter, the road could be frozen.
Northern Tibet: With the average altitude of 4,500m, this area offers very limited time for tourists. Summer (July to August) is the prime time to enjoy the great plain in northern Tibet.
For the clothing, we suggest casual attire style and layered clothing. In day time you may need only a T-shirt or at most a jacket, but at night you may need a coat. Down coat is necessary if you go beyond Lhasa and Shigatse to remote areas, the Everest Camp or further to Mount. Karlash.
Sun glasses, sun blocking cream, moisture scream are very necessary to be in your packing list.