5 Reasons to Travel to Tibet in Winter

Panorama of Himalayan mountains and Everest

As the weather in Tibet is getting cold in winter, many people prefer to postpone their visit until warmer months. That’s why the most popular time to visit Tibet is during summer. However, visiting in winter can be an interesting and unusual experience, and there are some benefits of coming during the winter months.

Below there are five reasons why you should visit Tibet in winter.  

1.Clear weather

Mount Everest and Rongbuk monastery in TibetWinter is the season that sees the least amount of precipitation in Tibet. The sky is almost always deep blue color without any clouds. There are usually no rains and no snow. That’s why it is the perfect time to enjoy the views of the peaks without any obstacles.

At the same time many areas in Tibet are actually not as cold as many people think they are. For example, if you visit Lhasa, the weather will be pleasant. The average temperature in Lhasa is about 0 ℃, with average maximum of 9 ℃ and average minimum -9 ℃. In addition, strong sunshine during daytime makes it feel even warmer.   

2. Vibrant colors are great for photography

The combination of clear weather, strong but warm sunlight and low oxygen level due to high altitude makes the colors in winter incredibly bright and vibrant. That’s why winter is the best time for photography. At the same time mountain peaks are almost never covered by the clouds. In addition, there are far less tourists, and it is easier to make a perfect shot.

3. Less tourists and more pilgrims

Nunnery by the Potala Palace
Nunnery by the Potala Palace

There are very few tourists visiting Tibet in December and January. In addition, there is usually no time limit for visiting Potala Palace in winter months. That means you will have more time and more freedom exploring the sacred sites.  

On the contrary, winter is very popular time for Tibetan pilgrims. Farmers and nomads from remote areas finally have time to travel to the capital and visit all the most important monasteries. The trade is booming as Tibetans are preparing for the New Year celebration. Tibetans come to the capital: some to sell their produce, others to buy necessary things.

4. Migrating birds

When the weather starts getting colder in Western parts of Tibet, many birds migrate to the Central Tibet to spend winter months there. Starting from November you can see migrating birds setting near Lhasa, Yamdrok Lake and Shigatse. You can see black-necked cranes, bar-headed goose and golden ducks among others. It is truly an amazing time for all nature-lovers!

5. Low prices

As winter is a less popular season among tourists, prices are lower than in summer months. It can make a bid difference for a budget traveler, especially if you join a group tour. 

Here you will find more ideas on how to travel to Tibet on a budget»

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