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What You Need To Know Before You Travel To Tibet On A Budget

What You Need To Know Before You Travel To Tibet On A Budget

Over the years, Tibet has become an attractive destination for tourists. It is especially attractive for the adventurers and for those who want to find their inner peace. The massive trans-Himalayan mountain ranges surrounding the region provide a vast scope of adventurous hiking or trekking experiences.  

With an average altitude of 5,000 meters, with reduced oxygen in the air, Tibet is a unique country with unique people who will always welcome you with kindness.

But traveling to Tibet is not a very cheap option to spend your vacation. Also, there are some rules for foreign tourists that must be respected.

First, you can not travel in Tibet without a travel guide and private vehicle. You should book your tour with a travel agency and get a tour guide and organized transport.

Second, you will need some permits for entering Tibet, and also for visiting different regions in Tibet.

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First you need Tibet Travel Permit

Tibet Travel Permit is a must document if you want to enter Tibet, and you can't apply by yourself. The travel agency will arrange the permit on your behalf, and you will get the TTP during your check-in the hotel in China.

You can apply for other permits when you arrive in Lhasa, or your travel guide will do it for you.

It is therefore essential to book a trip to Tibet with a local travel agency. No one knows more about the rules and regulations from the local travel agents. I would advise you to browse tours to Tibet at a Chinese or Tibetan travel agency.

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How to travel to Tibet on a budget   

To go to Tibet on a budget, you'll need to know a few essential things. As a tour agent who traveled to Tibet so many times, I make a list to help the travelers how to go to Tibet cheaper.  When some of the travellers ask me how to plan their trip to Tibet on a budget, I show them the list that I made. So, it will be my pleasure to share the list and the tips with you.

Qinghai Tibet railway is one of the must-do things if you are traveling to Tibet on a budget.  The highest railway in the world and the most popular way to arrive in Tibet.

Thanks to the Tibet train, which is also known as the Qinghai-Tibet railway, many of nearby stations in China now are connected with Tibet.

Traveling with the Qinghai-Tibet railway has several advantages such as crossing Tibet Plateau, which offers fantastic enjoyable scenery. Also, traveling by train, you can have proper acclimatization, which is a crucial thing even if you visit only Lhasa in Tibet. The highest point that Qinghai Tibet train is reaching is around 5000 meters above sea level.

The ticket prices for Qinghai Tibet rain are one third or half of the plane price, depending on the class that you will choose to travel with.

Join the small group

You will need a tour guide in Tibet, and also a private vehicle, and that can cost you. If you want to travel to Tibet on a budget, the best way to save money is to join a small tour group and share the costs. The travel agencies are offering a Tibet tour with a small group with 6-8 people. Choosing to share the costs with other people will give you some advantages, such as meeting new people. Also, the communication with the tour guide and the group is better when the group is smaller, and the transportation is much better when you are few peoples.

There is an option to join a large group and reduce costs to a minimum, but it has several drawbacks. Traveling with a group larger than 30 people is much more difficult to travel or to communicate with the travel guide. And you will also be forced to move all along a firmly established route, which is not the case when you are traveling with a small group.

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Travel to Tibet at the right time

If you want to travel to Tibet on a budget, you should consider visiting in the offseason. When the tourists hear traveling to Tibet in the winter, they are terrified but believe me, it's not that scary. Having one of the Tibet Vacations in winter is an amazing experience when you visit Lhasa and nearby attractions, such as the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple,  Norbulingka, Sera Monastery, Barkhor Street, Ganden Monastery and Drepung Monastery.

Winter in Tibet starts in late October, and continue to February.  On this period there is a lot of sunshine, and the average temperature is around 10 to 18 degrees. In Lhasa, the day temperature is approximately 10 degrees, and at night the temperature drops around zero degrees.

The best part is that you can find accommodation for half price compared with prices in peak.


Lhasa has a variety of accommodation, from youth hostels, guesthouses and hotels. Staying in a hostel can be the most cost-effective, with necessary facilities provided. Also, if you choose to travel with a group, you can share your room and cut the cost and make your accommodation even cheaper. It doesn't matter if you go to Tibet on a budget or not, keep in mind that any accommodation in Tibet doesn't have the luxury. Even the star rating is different compared with accommodation in China, for example.

Economic hotels have better facilities and offer breakfast included. Also, the bathrooms in this type of accommodation are better than a guesthouse or a hostel.

Last words

Please remember that a cheap trip doesn’t necessarily mean a good trip. When you are looking for a package for Tibet, choose that one that has a reasonable price. Local travel agencies know local prices, so it's best to choose a package that is offered by a local travel agent.

An excellent tour guide will tell you all the tips on how to travel to Tibet on a budget. So, it is advisable to be careful when you are also choosing the tour guide for your journey.

Author Bio

Helen Wang from : I started my travel career in 2005. It not only

enriched my knowledge of tourism, but also inspired in me a love for traveling. Besides India,

Nepal, USA, European and China; I have traveled to most of Tibet, including Lhasa, Tsedang,

Gyantse, Shigatse, Everest Base Camp, Mount Kailash and so much more! I started working at

WindhorseTour as Travel Advisor when it first opened in 2006. It has been fun to help grow our

family - from specializing in Tibet travel to tours to now all over China.

Trigger Warning:  Stop Using it.

Trigger Warning: Stop Using it.

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