Frequently asked questions about Tibet, organizing tours, what to know and how to prepare.
- About Tibet
- About Wonders of Tibet
- ATM, banks, cash, exchange
- Is it difficult to organize tour in Tibet?
- First day: what to expect
- Food in Tibet
- High altitude
- Hotels, guesthouses and amenities
- How to get to Tibet
- Medicine and hospitals
- Payment for the trip
- Political Situation
- Visa and Permits
Where is Tibet located?
What is Tibet famous for?
What is the altitude in Tibet?
What is Tibetan name for Tibet and Chinese name for Tibet?
Modern day Tibet, what are the changes?
What is the capital of Tibet?
Why should I go to Tibet?
About Wonders of Tibet
Is your company different from other travel agency?
We are one of the few agencies in Tibet that is owned by Tibetans. We work only with Tibetan drivers and try to arrange your stay in Tibetan owned hotels when possible.
We are striving to demonstrate the real life in Tibet, expose you to the rich culture and At the same time, we make your interests our priority during your visit.
How can I thank you if I had an outstandingly happy tour from your Agency?
First of all, we are happy that we could organize a great tour for you!
We would be happy to receive the feedback from you, it helps us and other tourists looking for an agency to organize their trip to Tibet.
Please, share you feedback on TripAdvisor, on our website. And spread the word around, recommend Wonders of Tibet to your family, relatives and friends.
ATM, banks, cash, exchange
Can I withdraw cash from the ATM?
Yes. You can withdraw money from the ATM of the ICBC bank in Lhasa. The is a 24 hour access to the ATM machines and there is a menu in English. However, sometimes ATM machines don’t work properly or don’t have enough cash. To avoid any issues, we advise having some cash with you as an alternative and a back up. When you travel outside of Lhasa, it might be difficult to find an ATM machine. We suggest taking enough money for your trip outside of Lhasa.
Can I exchange money in banks in Tibet?
Yes, you can exchange US Dollars in the Bank of China. Some branches of the Bank of China have special machines that can exchange currency. You need to bring your passport to use these machines. If the branch doesn’t have these machines, or the machines don’t work, you have to fill out forms and the bank workers will help you. Please, allow additional time for it (up to 30 minutes).
When you are traveling with our guides, they will take you to the bank and help you with the process.
What currencies other than Chinese currency, can be used in Tibet? Can I use my credit card and ATM card?
Only Chinese Yuan are accepted in Tibet as a payment method. Credit cards can sometimes be accepted, but there are only a few places that take credit cards, and they are mostly located in Lhasa. Cash payments remain the main payment method in Tibet, especially when you travel outside of the capital.
Is it difficult to organize tour in Tibet?
We know that it is one of the main concerns of people who want to visit Tibet.
In fact, it is very easy to organize your visit. There are only 3 simple steps:
- decide where would you like to go and which places to visit. Our destinations guide will help you with it.
- book you flight or train ticket. We will be happy to assist you with it too! You can find more information about this options here»
- apply for Chinese visa. Here you can find a complete guide.
We will take care of everything else. We will apply for your Tibet travel permit and send it to you, book hotels, transportation and everything else needed for your tour.
Upon your arrival to Tibet we will help you to get familiar with Tibet and it’s customs, assist you in locating great restaurants, advise you on what to do on your free time and help you with shopping.
First day: what to expect
No matter how much you’ve read or heard about Tibet, you will be truly impressed by the scenery, culture and people upon your arrival. Visiting Tibet is a unique experience, but don’t worry. Our guides will meet you at the airport or train station and they will give you all the necessary information about your stay.
Many visitors experience some mild effects of being at high altitude. We recommend drinking plenty of water, trying to get plenty of rest and sleep.
Food in Tibet
What are the most famous traditional dishes in Tibet?
Is food safe in Tibet?
Where can I buy some snacks?
Is it safe to drink water?
I am vegetarian, is it possible to find good vegetarian food?
Most of Tibetans are Buddhist and they are trying to eat vegetarian dishes during religion holidays. You can always find several delicious vegetarian options even in the small tea shops. Keep in mind, that generally you will have more options in big cities. In smaller towns the varieties can be limited to simple food, such as fried rice, vegetable noodles, vegetable momos (or dumplings), tomato and egg soup and yogurt.
We had many vegetarian tourists visiting Tibet and there was never a situation when they couldn’t order vegetarian food. On the contrary, Tibetans always respect your choice to avoid eating meat.
Hotels, guesthouses and amenities
How to get to Tibet
Medicine and hospitals
What should I bring with me if I travel to Tibet?
There are many items that visitors are recommended to take with them when they travel to Tibet. But here recommend some basic needs: First Aids with medical kids, hat or cap, sunglasses, sun-block lotion, etc. If you are photography lover, do not forget to bring your camera, SD cards and batteries.
Payment for the trip
What methods of payment do you accept?
We suggest to make a payment for the deposit using either bank transfer or PayPal. Detailed payment instructions will be provided to you by your personal travel adviser. You can find more information about payment methods here»
What is your payment policy?
In order to secure your tour we ask for a 30% of the tour cost to be made up front. You can pay the remaining cost of the tour when you arrive to Tibet. If you need to exchange money or to withdraw cash from the ATM, our guide will assist you in that.
What is your cancellation policy?
Should you need to cancel your tour or any portion thereof, your cancellation must be received in writing. Cancellation refunds will be calculated as of the cancellation date which will be effective on the date of receipt by Travel West China.
More than 30 days prior to departure: $50 per person
30 to 21 days prior to departure: $150 per person
20 to 11 days prior to departure: 30% of the tour price
10 to 5 days prior to departure: 50% of the tour price
5 to 0 days prior to departure or NO-SHOW travelers: 100% of the tour price
We are unable to refund any amount for unused services due to your early departure, late arrival, or missed days on tours once the trip commences.
How can I pay the balance?
You can pay the balance by cash upon your arrival in Lhasa. If you need information on how to exchange your currency, please refer to our suggestions».
Some tips on the Tibet tour:
Tibet is the highest plateau in the world or Roof the World. And the average altitude of Tibet is 3000m (9,850ft) from the sea level. Many visitors from low-altitude areas suffer from altitude sickness when they suddenly get in Tibet. But most people only suffer minor effects of altitude sickness, which include headache, loss of appetite, nausea and a tendency to have no energy until their bodies adjust to the high terrain. This adjustment can take anywhere from a few hours, and in rare cases, a few days. If visitors do some simple preparations before going to Tibet, most of the symptoms of altitude sickness can be avoided. Being healthy and in good shape before you arrive in Tibet will help greatly. It is also recommended that you talk to your local physician about Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) pills to help combat altitude sickness. Once arriving in Tibet, walk slowly and take deep breaths. If you haven’t bought AMS pills and still don’t feel better from the altitude sickness, you can buy a hong- jing-tian syrup for the altitude sickness which is available in Tibet. Your tour guide will be there to offer help and suggestions.
What are symptoms of Altitude Sickness?
– Hyperventilation (fast breathing)
– Shortness of breath during exertion
– Increased urination
– Altered breathing patterns at night
– Frequent nighttime awakening
– Strange dreams
Is it safe to travel to Tibet?
Visa and Permits
What should I keep in mind when applying for Chinese Visa?
When you are applying for Chinese visa, do not mention traveling in Tibet on the visa application form. Embassy officer may reject your application form. Fill some other places of china like Beijing, xi an, hangzhou, chengdu, chongqing, etc. It is legal to enter Tibet even if you haven’t mention Tibet in the visa application form.
Do I need a Chinese visa to go to Tibet?
All visitors travelling into China need visa. No Visa is required prior to enter Hong Kong. A Visa will be issued upon arrival. If you travel beyond Hong Kong, even for a few hours, you will need a China visa to enter China mainland.
Do US citizens need a visa for China?
Can I get Tibet permit without tour?
What is the cost of Tibet travel permit?
What documents do I need to Travel to Tibet?
You need to have a valid passport, a valid China visa and a Tibet travel permit. Tibet Travel Permit is the official document that allow foreign traveller to enter Tibet. It is issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau. Sometimes Tibet Travel Permit is also called Tibet Entry Permit or TTP permit. We will arrange TTP for you to travel in Tibet. The places which the traveller going to visit should be specified in Tibet Travel permit. So when the traveller booked the tour, we will apply for the Tibet permit according to the traveller’s tour. And if traveller wants to customize their own itinerary, travel agent should know your itinerary for the application of Tibet Travel Permit before you enter Tibet.
What should I provide you to obtain the Tibet Travel Permit?
You need to apply for the travel permit at least 10 to 15 days prior to your Tibet entry date. You should be prepared with all the information and documents before this period of time. You should provide us with the clear scanned copies of your passport and China visa, and the following information get the Tibet Travel Permit:
- Full name
- Date of Birth
- Passport number
The information you provided us should be exactly the same as in your passport.
I am working in China and what should I need to apply for the Tibet Travel Permit?
It depends on what type of Chinese visa you are holding.
- No additional documents are required for those tourists holding (L) visa
- A recommendation letter from your company and company’s seal is needed on the letter for those
tourists holding (F) visa.
- A recommendation letter from your company with company’s stamp on the letter and a scanned
copy of your work permit for those tourists holding (Z) visa.
- A recommendation letter from your school or university with their stamp (seal) on the letter and
a clear scanned copy of the student ID card for those tourists holding (X) visa.
How will you send the Tibet Travel Permit?
As soon as we get your Tibet Travel Permit (TTP). We will send your TTP through Express mail service (EMS). If you are taking flight you should provide us the clear address and the phone number of the hotel you are staying and going to stay or your home address or working place in
China. We will use Express Mail service (EMS) for delivery of your TTP. And you will get your TTP within 4 days. If you are taking Train, we will send you the copy of your original TTP through FAX or email at your convenience. You need scanned copy of your TTP at Train Station.
Can I travel independently in Tibet?
No. Independent tour is prohibited in Tibet. You should take part in an organized group or have the local tour operator to arrange tour in Tibet for you. Tourists traveling around Tibet should be accompany by tour guide and rented vehicle.
What is the weather like in Tibet?
The weather in Tibet varies with places in Tibet. Sun radiation is very strong in Tibet. Rainfall normally starts from June to September.
The best time to visit Tibet is from April to October. The best time to visit Mt. Everest is May and early October. From July till mid-October, it’s a peak season to visit Tibet.