Tibet is another world. Although it is a province of China, also is an independent region in all rule. Tibetans want to live peacefully, to become independent, to have their own religion, the buddhism and to live since they have always lived. They have many conflicts with chinese government, because Han chinese, do not understand tibetans want to live isolated. And they do not understand why they are not glad because of have been annexed to China, with new infrastructures, communications and tourism that chinese government have provided to them. It is a conflict you can view reflected when you want to visit Tibet. A special permission is needed to enter.
TIBET SPECIAL PERMISSION
Much people ask themselves, what is this. For what is needed?, if it is necessary, if it is possible to visit Tibet without it. We told you our experience. People said to us, it was necessary to enter Tibet to travel in a organized group by an travel agency, to have taken steps to acquire the entrance permission and to remain a minimum of 3 days there. This is the permit
Our experience was that we contacted with an agency from Spain, and we booked a tour of three days in Lhasa, with the flight from Chengdu and the return to Beijing. Altogether, with the managements and the visits cost about 600 euros to each one (700 US dollars). The experience soon said to us, that this price is a little expensive. If you look for it by your own you can save money.We do not know if the permit is really necessary or not. They requested it in the airport when entering and to leave Lhasa.
However we knew people who have traveled in their own without the Tibet travel permit. The permission and the flight to Lhasa can be managed from Chengdu from several shelters (like Mix backpackers) by about 1900 yuanes (190 euros). The return ticket depends on where you want to return but the prices were about 100 euros for Chengdu. 200 for Xian and 300 for Beijing. The lodging in Lhasa is not díficil to obtain and there are enough inns and shelters.
We were scared because we thought that we were not going to be able to breathe or something thus. Lhasa is located to about 3700 meters of altitude. In the end the only symptoms were that I got dizzy a little the first day, but Inma did not feel anything. The third day we raised the Yam-drok lake, that is to about 5000 meters of height, and in addition to the spectacular views, we did not feel anything with respect to altitude sickness.
Here the height was just as the one of the Everest base camp. So, if you want to go there, it is possible with no problem with altitude sickness. Although if it is truth that is people who have commented to us that has hurt him the head, you feel nauseous, lost the appetite. Our travel agency published in Internet a set of advices, to avoid altitude sickness. How to avoid altitude sickness here
PLACES TO VISIT
Tibet and Lhasa do not have waste. In addition to Potala Palace, and other Buddhist monasteries and temples. We recommend two things to you.
- The market and the Zone of the Barkor: It is essential. It is the zone of old Lhasa. Where you will find a market with objects that you will not find in all China. It is necessary to consider that Lhasa is becoming more and more Chinese. And only 40 % of the inhabitants are tibetans. The rest is becoming a city of Chinese architecture with Han Chinese people. This zone is the one that better conserve old Lhasa spirit
- Nan-Tse Lake and Yam-drok lake: Visit a lake in the Himalayas is an experience that you do not have to lose. Incredible mountainous landscapes, 5000 meters of height with a turquish water lake. And form there you can view mountains with 7000 meters. Impressive. A pile of agencies by the zone of the Barkor and the SnowLand restaurant exists. It is possible to ask in several sites, because the prices vary much (it is always necessary to haggle). By about 100 euros you can go in rented car. We leave photos and interesting documents to you.
Tibet travel permit photo
Yam-drok lake guide
Guíadel mercado y la zona del Barkor
Guía de Lhasa y el Palacio de Potala