Shangri La', 'the Rooftop of the World' - locked away in its Himalayan fortress, Tibet has long exercised a siren's hold on the imagination of the West. Tibetans are used to hardship, and despite the disastrous Chinese occupation, they have managed to keep their culture and humour alive. Travel in Tibet comes with some ludicrous permit requirements. The present Chinese policy on individual tourism in Tibet seems to be one of extorting as much cash as possible from foreigners, but not so much as to scare them off completely.
Full country name: Tibet (Xizang)
Area: 1.2 million sq km
Population: 2.7 million
Language: Cantonese, Tibetan, Mandarin
Facts for the Traveler
Visas: All individuals entering Tibet must hold a passport valid for at least six months. Entering Tibet from Nepal or by air from another country requires a separate visa valid for Tibet from a Chinese embassy. You have to get a group visa (minimum of two people in a group and you must leave China with this person unless you can change the visa inside China), arranged by an agent and enter on a tour. Be aware that permit and visa regulations for Tibet may change every year, sometimes every month, and are notoriously hard to keep track of.
Time Zone: GMT/UTC +8
Dialling Code: 86
Electricity: 220V, 50Hz
Weights & measures: Metric
How to Go:
By Air: Kathmandu to Lhasa From April to October there are 2 flights a week available between the Kathmandu and Lhasa. Schedule air services fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa, and back every Tuesday and Saturdays. This flight last a little over one hour and gives you a panoramic view of the Himalayas.
By Land: Kathmandu to Lhasa, As with the Qinghai-Tibet Highway, the China-Nepal Friendship Highway is a popular route for travelers. This route brings you close to a number of famous sights, such as Shigatse, Gyantse, and the Everest Base Camp (Tingri).