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Do's & Don'ts When Visiting Tibet

Time:04-09-2019 This Article is Composed by BudgetTibetTour

With unique culture and religion, Tibetans have different ways of behavior in many aspects. Be sure to respect local customs and traditions when traveling in Tibet. There is an old saying: "Sing the local songs when you get to a local place." So please keep in mind the following tips to make you behave well:

  • Remember not to step on threshold when entering the tent or house.
  • If you are asked to sit down, please cross your legs, do not stretch your legs forward and face your sole to others.
  • Take your hat off when entering a chapel. Do not touch or remove anything on an altar.
  • Always walk around monasteries, piles of Mani stones, pagodas and other religious structures in a clockwise direction. That you do not walk in a clockwise direction is considered to be a profane act by the Tibetans.
  • You should accept the gift with both hands. While presenting the gift you should bend your body forward and hold the gift higher than your head with both hands. While offering tea, wine or cigarette, you should offer them by both hands and any fingers do not tough inside of the bowl.
  • Do not touch, walk over or sit on any religious texts, objects or prayer flags in monasteries.
  • When the host presents you a cup of drink, you should dip your ring finger in the wine and flick the wine into the sky, in the air and to the ground respectively to express your respects to the heaven, the earth and the ancestors before sipping the wine. The host will fill the cup, and you take a sip of the wine again. After the host fills your cup again, you have to bottom it up.
  • Tibetan people do not eat horse, dog and donkey meats neither eat fish in some areas, so please respect their diet habits.
  • It is not polite to clap your palms and spit behind the Tibetan people.
  • Tibetan people stretch out their tongue to say hello to you. Also it is a courtesy to put their hands palm in front of breast.
  • Do not smoke in monasteries. Also, it is banned to touch the statue of Buddha and religious articles and take pictures of them. In addition, all should walk clockwise (not in the Bon temples).
  • Eagles are the sacred birds in the eyes of the Tibetan people. You should not drive them away or injure them. On the outskirts, you could not drive or disturb the sheep or cows with red, green or yellow cloth strips on.
  • Since more and more tourists are going to Tibet, more and more Tibetan people get used of seeing the western people with jeans, sun glasses and some of them with shorts (it is not appropriate to wear shorts in public or outdoors among the Tibetans.), the above rules are not obeyed so strictly as before. But we still suggest you take the above advices and travel to behave well.

Some Important Tips for Your Tibet Tour

Clothes and bags. Situated high above sea level, Tibet has fairly cold weather even in the summer. It is much colder at night than the daytime. In some areas, it even snows all through the year. Take warm clothes with you, such as sweaters and down garments, and if possible extra clothes. You may need them one day. Do not forget a pair of durable and comfortable shoes. As for bags, you'd better have a backpack and a waist bag. With a backpack, you can move more freely. In the waist bag, you can put important things, such as documents, money, and keys.

Daily articles. Hotels in some areas are very simple. You should take with you a cup, a small towel, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and slippers. It is not very convenient to wash clothes, so disposable underpants will help you a lot. An electric torch is also necessary as some hotels don't even have power at night and sometimes you may have to travel early in the morning.

Medicine. Almost every tourist will have mountain sickness on the plateau. Medicine to prevent and cure mountain sickness is indispensable. This kind of medicine in Tibet is very effective; you can also buy some after your arrival. Besides, it would be wise to bring medicine for cold, head ache, stomach ache, and insect bite and so on.

Skin care products. On the plateau, the wind is very strong, so is the solar radiation. It is very useful to take skin care products, such as lip balms, sun block, and skin creams. Sunglasses and hats can also protect you effectively from being exposed to the scorching sunlight. Please pay much attention to this advice. Many people just neglect it and are seriously burnt on the trip.

Cash. In Tibet, credit cards can only be used in big cities. Remember to bring some cash in different denominations. 

Others. You can take other personal articles as you like. For example, a camera or notebook to record your trip will ensure your travels are more memorable.

Some Notes for Your Tour in Tibet

  1. Do exercises to keep you fit before coming to Tibet.
  2. Avoid catching a cold before you enter to Tibet.
  3. Make sure you have a good sleep the night before you go to Lhasa.
  4. Remember to take some medicine anti high-altitude illness just in case. You can take some Aspirin or paracetamol - for pain or fever. Here is a Tibetan medicine named as Hong Jing Tian which is very useful. You can buy it in any city of China.
  5. After getting off your airplane in the airport, walk slowly, take some deep breath. Do not do anything severely.
  6. Ascend to higher altitude gradually. DO NOT ASCEND ANY HIGHER if you feel bad.
  7. When you taking the photos, do ask the permission first, it is forbidden to take photographs in most monasteries.
  8. You need to return the Tibet Travel Permit to our guide when you arrive in Lhasa since we have to give back it to Tibetan Tourism Bureau when your tour ends.
  9. Bring a warm Jacket since the temperature in EBC is around 0 centigrade at night.

Travelers' Questions Might Help

The questions raised by our past customers can help you get a more clear picture about tours to Tibet, read them or tell us your own questions please contract us, our specialists will reply you within 24 hours.

Ms. Pa*** from: Can I apply for the Chinese Group Visa if I travel only by myself alone?
October 16, 2019 12:26

I want to take the train from Lanzhou to Lhasa on the 12th of Nov. 2019 and need a permit for Tibet. I want to spend 5-6 days in Lhasa. I need to book a train ticket and accommodation I am a U.S. citizen and a solo traveler. My 4th time to China.

Please help!! I have had no success with other tour agencies.

Answered by Nancy
October 17, 2019 02:03

Dear Ms. Pa***,

Thanks very much for your inquiry. From your travel time, here we recommend one 6 days Exploration of Legendary Ancient Cities group tour to you, and we currently have one departure date on 14th of November. Taking train from Lanzhou to Lhasa will cost you about 24 hours, and we are happy to help you book train ticket. Please kindly note that there is no "permit-only" or "accommodation-only" service, foreign tourists are not allowed to travel Tibet alone, you have to book a pre-organized tour including guide, car, and hotel as well. As you are only one person, joining a group tour is the most economical way. We will prepare guide, car, accommodation, Tibet permit for you. Applying for Tibet Permit requires copy of your passport and Chinese visa, and it usually takes about 15-20 days, if you want to join our tour, please send copy of your passport and visa to us quickly. I will send detailed itinerary to your email, please check it. Best regards.

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