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Thread: Anyone been to Tibet?

  1. #1

    Default Anyone been to Tibet?

    Hey guys,

    i am organizing a trip to Tibet for about 2-3 weeks during July..
    I read in the guide book that the mountain syndrome is quite scary, headaches and vomitting for a few days. would like to hear about some experiences before really committing to the trip...

    anyway, is there any other places in China, along the way i could visit as well?
    doing a train travel from Guangzhou to Lhasa, and to Shanghai, and back to guang zhou.. should be like a backpacking photographic trip for me.. to experience culture, not so much on shopping/luxury...

    thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Anyone been to Tibet?

    Quote Originally Posted by yamcake View Post
    Hey guys,

    i am organizing a trip to Tibet for about 2-3 weeks during July..
    I read in the guide book that the mountain syndrome is quite scary, headaches and vomitting for a few days. would like to hear about some experiences before really committing to the trip...

    anyway, is there any other places in China, along the way i could visit as well?
    doing a train travel from Guangzhou to Lhasa, and to Shanghai, and back to guang zhou.. should be like a backpacking photographic trip for me.. to experience culture, not so much on shopping/luxury...

    thanks in advance!
    The AMS not that bad just need to take care when you reach Tibet and have good rest. Even if you hit by the AMS normally should recover in 3 days or less.

    If you go by train ride to Lhasa think you should not have problem as you increase the height gradually and remember no beer there , We flight straight into lhasa and to Nyangtri immediately and have beer with the local.

    Love the place would go back in late March this year.

  3. #3
    Member Lord Soth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone been to Tibet?

    I've been to Tibet before and came back safe and sound.

    Over there, you have to remember to move more slowly than you are accustomed to.

    Don't want to scare you but one of my fellow travellers of my tour group did not recover from high altitude sickness months after returning from that trip. We only found out when we bumped into his relative at the supermarket. There is therefore a degree of risk involved, this is something which all the tour agencies are trying to suppress and will never tell you.

    Even if you don't need it at the time, it is a good idea to spend CNY 20-25 for a bottle of compressed O2 and oxygenate yourself from time to time.

    I didn't use this but if you believe in the efficacy of Chinese TCM, they have herbs which can help you with altitude sickness. Such herbs (Hong Jing Tian) are available for sale in Singapore.

    Some other things to bring are high UV protection sunblock, sunglasses and a broad brimmed hat.

    Finally, remember to enjoy yourself as the scenery is simply fantastic. Too bad my D700 had not been produced the last time I went to Tibet.
    | Nikon D700; AF-S 14-24 f/2.8GED; AF 20 f/2.8D; AF 50 f/1.4D; SB400| Tamron AF 28-75 f/2.8 A09NII|

  4. #4

    Default Re: Anyone been to Tibet?

    cool!!!

    any ideas how to get around the place?

    i mean i know like Potala palace is in the city centre, very near to many hostel..
    but what about gg out of the Lhasa?

    got any places worth visiting? or can hire a private car to go around the place and the local will bring u around to nice places?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pablo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone been to Tibet?

    Hi,

    Coral and I went there last year.

    They have tablets there (seek it out from a guide if you can before you go) that helps get over the head ache quicker.

    I was OK about a day later (I also used a muscle relaxant ... BEER ... as per Hitch Hikers Guide to the Gallaxy ...hahahah).

    I would not worry too much, just look forward to what you will see. That also helps to get over the discomfort.

    Enjoy what you see and learn and enjoy some great food

    We went from Tibet to Nepal and then to Singapore.

    We never had any after effects from leaving Tibet.

    Have a great time (wish I was going too)
    Time, is an effortless construction :)

  6. #6
    Member Lord Soth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone been to Tibet?

    Quote Originally Posted by yamcake View Post
    cool!!!

    any ideas how to get around the place?

    i mean i know like Potala palace is in the city centre, very near to many hostel..
    but what about gg out of the Lhasa?

    got any places worth visiting? or can hire a private car to go around the place and the local will bring u around to nice places?
    I think that it is best that you hire an official tour guide for your trip.

    I was there about 2 years ago before the recent riots but even then, I noticed that the roads were heavily guarded by soldiers and police. There were very few vehicles on the roads of Lhasa. Due to political sensitivities, they restrict the movement of people.

    So for the least amount of hassle from the police and militia, get a local tour guide rather than roaming around on your own.

    The best picture spots are the remote monasteries out of town.
    | Nikon D700; AF-S 14-24 f/2.8GED; AF 20 f/2.8D; AF 50 f/1.4D; SB400| Tamron AF 28-75 f/2.8 A09NII|

  7. #7

    Default Re: Anyone been to Tibet?

    ic ic...

    the problem is i dont really like guided tours by big operators.. always trying to squeeze u dry.. although they are convenient..

    hmm maybe i'll look into getting a tour guide, from a local agency?

    will speaking Chinese be of any harm to you? it feels like the anit-chinese sentiments are quite strongly felt here, or is it just the western media publicity?

  8. #8
    Moderator ziploc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone been to Tibet?

    Actually beer is bad for acclimatisation, as it dehydrates. It is one of the things that I avoid when climbing mountains higher then 5000m. The key to proper acclimatisation is hydration, so remember to drink lots of water. Also, it is better to take a gradual road trip to Lhasa and then the train out from Lhasa rather then into, as the ascending is too rapid on the train. The rule of thumb is no more then 500m ascend per day. If needed, there is a medicine called "acetazolamide" that can help in acclimatisation. It is a prescription drug and to get it you'll need to see your GP for a prescription. There is also a Chinese medicine called "红景天" that you can try.

    Have fun!
    Last edited by ziploc; 21st January 2009 at 09:44 PM.

  9. #9
    Member Lord Soth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone been to Tibet?

    Quote Originally Posted by yamcake View Post
    ic ic...

    the problem is i dont really like guided tours by big operators.. always trying to squeeze u dry.. although they are convenient..

    hmm maybe i'll look into getting a tour guide, from a local agency?

    will speaking Chinese be of any harm to you? it feels like the anit-chinese sentiments are quite strongly felt here, or is it just the western media publicity?
    Local tour agencies are readily available from any major Chinese city, and I've been to most of the major Chinese cities (eg Chengdu, KunMing, Beijing, Shanghai....etc) of each province and seen such tours being offered there.

    Please be aware of the special "CHINA" standard if you want to go this route. Some local chinese agencies even conduct tours using non-aircon buses and sleep in 3 star Chinese standard (ie. international 2 star hotels with shared bathroom). So unless you are really on a tight budget and want to rough it out, this is the way to go.
    If you must insist on such a route, I suggest that you go for their "premium" tours as it will be the equivalent standard of a "normal" tour by other international tour agencies.

    Alternatively, you might want to try out a custom tour from this website at http://www.cits.net/

    As for speaking Chinese, no harm coz' most people can't speak Tibetan and even if you did, they can tell straight away that you aren't a local. As for the anti-chinese sentiments, the local Tibetans are quite accommodating to international tourists so you don't really have to worry about that.

    Oh yes, this is very important. Don't ever mention the words "DALAI LAMA" or discuss the Chinese politics (i.e. Chinese occupation vs Chinese Liberation) there. There are plenty of Chinese spies there and they are bloody obvious in their actions. These plainclothes clowns simply don't even care if you take their picture!!!
    | Nikon D700; AF-S 14-24 f/2.8GED; AF 20 f/2.8D; AF 50 f/1.4D; SB400| Tamron AF 28-75 f/2.8 A09NII|

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    Default Re: Anyone been to Tibet?

    Certain remote area can go as high as 4800m where you wanna go?
    Those place not too sure what star of hotel is available, but for sure the electricity sometime do get cut off for quite a long time, so no heater.

    We sleep inside the car under the stars.

    If you want to go out of lhasa you may need to get the PSB.
    Without the TTB you can't board the flight to Tibet with in PRC.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Anyone been to Tibet?

    been reading the lonely planet guide.. been quite excited.. hah..

    hmm thinking to hire a vehicle and a guide for around 6 days to bring us around... i think to monasteries outskirts of Lhasa and maybe if possible to Everest Base camp..

    As for the Tibet permit right, can we get it at a city in mainland china, say Cheng Du?
    So it means the tour agency will settle all the permit for me, if i buy from them?

    For me, the important thing is cost, i read the permit is 50yuen, but the agency will charge like 500yuen for it.. its quite expensive man.. and somemore i might need the Alien pass to the outskirts.. like quite troublesome eh...

    or is around Lhasa is good enough?

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    Default Re: Anyone been to Tibet?

    Quote Originally Posted by yamcake View Post
    As for the Tibet permit right, can we get it at a city in mainland china, say Cheng Du?
    You can get the TTB in Chengdu that is what I did but before I am in Chengdu I already have my permit issued. In your case no idea as time equal $$ unless you know in advance that you sure will get the permit issue to you in very short time, like on the spot but I not sure you want to pay that kind of $$.

    Good luck to you.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Anyone been to Tibet?

    Check out the festival. I believe there are a few major festivals that fall on the month of Aug as compared to the month of July.
    Example, Nakchu Horse Race Festival.

    Plan well and remember to travel out of the Lhasa city, if possible travel to the countryside, you will encounter simple, friendly and beautiful Tibetan who are not corrupted by $$.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Anyone been to Tibet?

    ya okokok...

    hmm aug cannot.. school start already.. hahah...
    hmm travel information on tibet is quite scarce..

    i read from tripadvisor that Free n Easy is not allowed in tibet anymore.
    You HAVE to book a tour, which is disgustingly expensive for foreigners... yucks!

    anyone can verify?
    Last edited by yamcake; 24th January 2009 at 09:25 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Anyone been to Tibet?

    Quote Originally Posted by yamcake View Post
    ya okokok...

    hmm aug cannot.. school start already.. hahah...
    hmm travel information on tibet is quite scarce..

    i read from tripadvisor that Free n Easy is not allowed in tibet anymore.
    You HAVE to book a tour, which is disgustingly expensive for foreigners... yucks!

    anyone can verify?
    There are a few ways out.
    Certain cities/region, you "might" need permit and tour guide, but then ahem....
    Remember, Tibet is a huge region.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Anyone been to Tibet?

    Quote Originally Posted by yamcake View Post
    ya okokok...

    hmm aug cannot.. school start already.. hahah...
    hmm travel information on tibet is quite scarce..

    i read from tripadvisor that Free n Easy is not allowed in tibet anymore.
    You HAVE to book a tour, which is disgustingly expensive for foreigners... yucks!

    anyone can verify?
    nope it depends how u/there define free and easy.

    Still I am visiting my tibet friend does that free and easy?

    if there is army base there in the region you visiting hmm.... you know what there mean.

    HTH

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