A staunchly Buddhist country for centuries, the huge Himalayan plateau of Tibet is now an autonomous province of China, with increasing Chinese influence over its running and infrastructure. Tibet's culture is unique and one of the big attractions of visiting the country. The Tibetan people's hospitality is legendary and many Tibetans find it a great honor to welcome guests into their homes. Tibet's distinctive communal cultures such as etiquette, dress, marriage and burial ceremonies are colorful, unique, and unforgettable.
Bound to the south by the Himalaya, to the west by the Karakorma and then to the north by the Kunlun and Altyn ranges, the Tibetan Plateau is one of the most isolated regions in the world. Four of the worlds highest mountains are found in the south of the country, straddling the border with Nepal. Overall, the country is about the size of Western Europe and has an average altitude of around 4,000m with many parts of the country well above 5,000m.
Tibet has similar seasons to China, but with lower temperatures due to the higher altitudes.
The winter season of November to March is very cold with temperatures as low as –2C in January. The summer months of May to September have warm days with strong sunshine but can still be cold at night. At higher altitudes, it remains cold all day long. There are a few regional variations within Tibet with the higher north and western areas being much colder than other regions. The main monsoon season lasts from mid-July until the end of September and can affect travel around parts of Tibet as the heavy rainfall can cause landslides blocking roads.
We advise you check your local consular advice for up to date security information before you travel. Tibet is a friendly and generally trouble free country with little crime affecting tourists. However, the borders can be closed with very little notice by the Chinese authorities, particularly around important anniversaries such as the Tibetan uprising on the 10th March. We generally advise avoiding planning to travel to Tibet during the whole of March to avoid disappointment.
There are no direct flights into Tibet from the UK or other Western cities. Flights are available from Kathmandu in Nepal and Chengdu in China.
Tibetan Buddhism >90%, Islam <10%, Others (trace).
|Dial code:||00 86|
|Area:||1,200,000 sq km|
|Elevation:||Lowest point: Lake Shuku 366m |
Highest point: Mt. Everest 8,850m
|Language:||Tibetan and other regional dialects, Mandarin Chinese is also used in government and business|
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