Tibet Travel Guide

Tibet Travel Guide, Plan the Best trip to Tibet

Nora Zheng
925 Words/4 Minutes, By Nora Zheng, Updated March 17, 2023

Tibet Autonomous Region, also known as the “Roof of the World” is located in China’s southwestern, bordered by Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and Qinghai Province to the north, Yunnan Province and Sichuan Province to the east and southeast, and Myanmar, India, Bhutan, Nepal and Kashmir to the south and west, with a national boundary of about 3,842 km.

Brief History

The Tibetan Empire (7th-9th centuries): Under the leadership of Songtsen Gampo, Tibet expanded its territory and became a powerful empire. Buddhism was introduced during this period and became a dominant religion in Tibet.

The fragmentation of Tibet (9th-13th centuries): After the collapse of the Tibetan Empire, Tibet was divided into various smaller kingdoms, each with its own ruler and culture.

The Yuan Dynasty (13th-14th centuries): Tibet became part of the Mongol Empire and was ruled by Mongol-appointed leaders. During this period, Tibetan Buddhism became more widespread and influential.

The Phagmodrupa Dynasty (14th-17th centuries): A local Tibetan ruler, Tai Situ Changchub Gyaltsen, established the Phagmodrupa Dynasty, which ruled Tibet for several centuries.

The Dalai Lamas (17th-20th centuries): The Fifth Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso, became the spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet in the 17th century. The Dalai Lama became an important figure in Tibetan Buddhism and played a significant role in the politics of Tibet until the Chinese invasion.

Why Tibet

Unique culture and history: Tibet has a rich cultural and religious history that is distinct from other regions in the world. Its unique blend of Buddhism, Bon, and traditional practices is fascinating to explore and learn about.

Stunning natural scenery: Tibet is home to some of the world's most breathtaking natural landscapes, including the Himalayan Mountains, the Tibetan Plateau, and numerous lakes and rivers.

Adventure and outdoor activities: For those who love adventure and outdoor activities, Tibet offers plenty of opportunities for trekking, hiking, mountaineering, and other outdoor pursuits.

Spiritual and religious pilgrimage: Tibet is considered a holy land by many Buddhists and is home to many important religious sites, such as the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and Mount Kailash. Many people choose to travel to Tibet for spiritual and religious reasons.

Unique local customs and lifestyle: The lifestyle and customs of the Tibetan people are unlike any other in the world. Visitors can learn about traditional Tibetan clothing, food, music, and dance, and experience the warmth and hospitality of the local people.

Attractions, what to visit

Nestled within the soaring Himalayan mountains and characterized by its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and spiritual significance, Tibet, also known as the "Roof of the World," boasts a plethora of attractions that captivate travelers from around the globe, including ancient temples and monasteries, breathtaking lakes and glaciers, picturesque valleys and meadows, and unique cultural experiences that offer a glimpse into the traditional way of life of its friendly and hospitable people.

Top attractions in Tibet >>

Local food and restaurants

Tibetan cuisine is known for its use of high altitude grown barley, yak meat, and butter tea. Some popular Tibetan dishes include momos (dumplings filled with meat or vegetables), thukpa (a noodle soup), and tsampa (roasted barley flour). Some famous restaurants in Tibet include "Tibet Kitchen" in Lhasa and "Tibet Family Restaurant" in Shigatse.

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Interesting hands-on cultural activities and outdoor adventures

Some top hands-on cultural activities and outdoor adventures to experience in Tibet include visiting ancient monasteries and temples such as the Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple, exploring local markets and trying traditional Tibetan food, trekking through stunning landscapes like the Everest Base Camp and the Mount Kailash Kora, participating in spiritual rituals like the Saga Dawa Festival and butter lamp offerings, and immersing oneself in the unique Tibetan way of life by staying with local families and learning about their traditions and customs.

Top activities and adventures in Tibet >>

Hotels in Tibet, where to stay

The St. Regis Lhasa Resort offers an unforgettable luxury experience with breathtaking views of the Himalayas, while the Shangri-La Hotel Lhasa provides a tranquil oasis in the heart of the city with world-class amenities and exceptional service, and the InterContinental Lhasa Paradise offers a mix of contemporary elegance and traditional Tibetan design elements, complete with a serene spa and stunning mountain views.

Top hotels in Tibet >>

Tibet weather, the best time to visit

The best time to visit Tibet is generally from May to October, during the warmer and drier months when temperatures are comfortable and the skies are clear, although visitors should be aware that temperatures can still drop significantly at night, and altitude sickness is a common concern due to Tibet's high elevation.

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How to plan the best Tibet itinerary

Embark on an unforgettable journey to Tibet, exploring the rich cultural heritage and breathtaking natural wonders of this ancient land, starting with a visit to the iconic Potala Palace in Lhasa before traveling through the majestic Himalayan mountains to experience the stunning beauty of Yamdrok Lake and Mt. Everest, and concluding with a visit to the mystical city of Shigatse and the historic Tashilhunpo Monastery.

Tibet travel itineraries >>

Nora Zheng

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