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Tibet Travel FAQ
1. Do the travelers need the travel permits to visit Tibet?
2. What is the best timing for Tibet tours?
3. What is the best way to visit Tibet?
4. How to get to Tibet?
5. What to pack for Tibet tours?
6. What is the weather like in Tibet?
7. Do the travelers need travel insurances?
8. What medical preparations the travelers need to make before Tibet tours?
9. What is high altitude sickness?
10. How to avoid and treat the high altitude sickness?
11. Do the travelers need to ask the permissions before taking the photos of Tibetans?
12. Is it easy to get the cash money from ATMs in Tibet?
13. What are the commonly used phone numbers for emergency in Tibet?
14.Qinghai-Tibet Railway FAQ
1. Do the travelers need the travel permits to visit Tibet?                                                           Back Top

Except Chinese visas, the travelers (including those of Taiwan, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and other countries) need to obtain the Travel Permits issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau or other Tibet local authorities before entering Tibet. The permits are issued only to the travelers taking the individual and group tours operated by China-based tour operators. The tour operators can assist the travelers to obtain the travel permits. The following information is required for the Tibet Travel Permit applications, names in full, nationality, passport number, sex, date of birth and occupation. The normal application procedure for Tibet travel permits takes 3 -7 days.
2. What is the best timing for Tibet tours?                                                                                      Back Top

Generally speaking, the period from April to October is the best timing. However, traveling in a winter tour can still be pleasant because of saving your tour budgets and avoiding the tourist crowds.
3. What is the best way to visit Tibet?                                                                                              Back Top

At present, independent travels are strictly prohibited by Tibet local authorities. Traveling through Tibet need certain travel documents issued the local Tibet government. Without the assistances of the local tour operators, the travelers cannot obtain the required travel documents. In order to avoid the foreseeable difficulties aroused by independent travels in Tibet, taking the tours coordinated by the local tour operators should be good alternatives.

4.How to get to Tibet?                                                                                                                           Back Top

At present, Chengdu is the busiest air hub to getting into Lhasa, Tibet. The major commercial flight routings (Beijing/Lhasa, Chengdu/Lhasa, Xian/Lhasa and Kathmandu/Lhasa) are monopolized by Air China. If the travelers wish to reach Tibet by land, there are few available roads to Tibet from Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan and Nepal respectively. However, the conditions of most roads are not good and the rides are quite tough.
5. What to pack for Tibet tours?                                                                                                        Back Top

Sunglasses, sun lotions, chapped stick, hat, layered clothing and down-filled coat (the sun is very strong during the day but the temperature drops at night). Wear comfortable walking shoes. High-calorie snacks like cookies, chocolate and candies also should be packed in advance.
6. What is the weather like in Tibet?                                                                                                 Back Top

In southern and eastern Tibet, the Himalayas act as a barrier against the rain-bearing monsoons, with rainfall decreasing as heading north. There is no rain from mid-September to May. Temperatures can vary from below 40 F in the early morning and evening to 85 F at midday. In the spring, dust is a problem. For more precise weather information, please check http://weather.yahoo.com.
7. Do the travelers need travel insurances?                                                                                   Back Top

The travel insurances for Tibet tours are mandatory. Tibet tour packages offered by www.tibettravel.cn include the travelers insurances with an amount up to a maximum of USD36, 000/per person. However, the comprehensive travel insurances for Tibet tours purchased from the home countries are highly recommended because the bureaucratic China insurance companies always have the inactive responses to the emergencies. The comprehensive insurances purchased by the travelers shall offer coverage for trip cancellation, travel interruptions and delays, emergency medical and health expenses, lost baggage and more.
8. What medical preparations the travelers need to make before Tibet tours?                    Back Top

Most Tibet tours are not highly demanding physically. However, the travelers need to be in good conditions and able to walk up and down moderate hills on a daily basis. In some cases they may be a day or more away from modern medical facilities. So it is better for the travelers with a pre-existing heart and lung problems to consult the doctors before taking Tibet tours.

According to the scientific studies, high altitude sickness has nothing to do with the age, sex or state of fitness of the travelers and can affect anyone who travels to the areas with the elevation of over 10,000 feet. Consult the doctors for getting the prescribed medicines for the possible high altitude sickness.

9. What is high altitude sickness?                                                                                                     Back Top

High altitude sickness, also called mountain sickness, is a problem that occurs when people travel from lower elevations to about 8,000 feet or more above sea level. Serious types of altitude sickness include high-altitude pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs) and high-altitude cerebral edema (swelling of the brain). With altitude sickness, the travelers may first feel like having the flu or a hangover, with symptoms such as, headache, fatigue, appetite loss, nausea, insomnia and difficulty breathing during exercise.
10. How to avoid and treat the high altitude sickness?                                                                Back Top

1. Please try not to strain yourself and avoid excessive working before taking Tibet tours.
2. Take the prescribed medication before reaching Tibet and continue to take the medication upon arrival there.
3. Avoid drinking coffee or alcohol, and taking sleeping pills in the high altitude areas.
4. Drink plenty of water or tea.
5. Eat high-carbohydrate foods (rice, pasta, cereal) while avoiding fatty stuff.
6. Avoid active movements and try to relax in the first one or two days upon arrival at the high altitude areas.
7. Diamox® 125 mg. tablets taken twice a day is F.D.A. approved for prevention and treatment of A.M.S. Although it originally was released as a diuretic (water pill), it also helps you breath deeper and faster. This allows you to get more oxygen. Diamox is especially helpful with the sleeping problems and other symptoms of A.M.S. Avoid sleeping pills because they may cause shallow breathing at night and make it more difficult for your body to absorb oxygen while you sleep.
8. Use Oxygen to relieve symptoms.
9. If nothing else works, return to the areas with the lower elevation.

11.Do the travelers need to ask the permissions before taking the photos of Tibetans?  Back Top

It is always good to ask permission first. Tibetans are very friendly. However, it might arouse the upset feelings of local Tibetans by photo-taking without asking the permission first.
12. Is it easy to get the cash money from ATMs in Tibet?                                                           Back Top

Basically it is pretty hard to find ATMs in Tibet. The only place to get the cash money is from the local branches of Bank of China, Lhasa. For the sake of the convenience, it might be good to bring some cash money along the trip.

13. What are the commonly used phone numbers for emergency in Tibet?                         Back Top

The following phone calls can be directly made from any other telephones in Tibet once the emergency happens.
1. Police emergency: 110
2. Medical emergency: 120

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