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Tibet General Information

Money Exchange (China or Tibet Currency)

Renminbi (RMB) is the basic unit is the Yuan. The exchange rate is about USD 1 = 8.278 CNY (approx.) however, the rate changes often. RMB notes are 1, 2, 5, 10, 20,  50, 100, 500, 1000 denominations. Visitors can exchange foreign currency at the foreign exchange counter at the airport upon arrival or at the border. You can exchange your foreign currency at your hotel, at Banks or your guide will help you to exchange your money.

If you are traveling in mainland China’s major cities, try to get your cash in small denominations: RMB100 and RMB50 bills are sometimes difficult to get it use in rural Tibet. If you don't like the idea of turning up at the border with no Chinese currency you can buy cash RMB from the Bank of China in large cities.

Banks/ATM/Credit Cards

Banks in Tibet/China, main city like Lhasa, Shigatese and Zhangmu are open Monday to Friday 9:30 am -1pm and 3:30pm-6:00pm,, Banks are closed on Saturday, Sunday and during government holiday. So, you are kindly requested to carry about few hundred US$ per person in cash over and above the tour cost to cover your extra expenses for main meals and others en route until Lhasa. If it is cash dollars, even local people help you to get them exchanged in Chinese Yuan.

Some cities in Tibet there are few ATM machines but it does not functional well every time. Credit cards and Travel cheques are very difficult to be cashed outside the banks especially outside Lhasa. Credit cards are accepted at the more expensive hotels in the large cities such as Lhasa and Shigatse. They may charge 3-4% extra service charge. Other than that, credit card acceptance is rare. This will undoubtedly change in the future but, right now, it means that you need to use cash for most transactions.

Food & Accommodation

 Even there are many Chinese/Tibetan restaurants in Zhangmu, Nyalam and Shegar, foods are comparatively ok than the past few years back and so if you are taking a tours to Lhasa some dry food items are recommended. You can also bring cup, spoon along with tea/instant soup as every guesthouse / hotel provides hot water in thermos. While you are in Shigatse and Lhasa all kind of foods are available. If you are taking trips outside, you should bring enough food as it is quite difficult to get in other parts of Tibet. 

Things to Bring

Personal Medicines:
Personal Medicines: recommended by your private doctor
Paracetamol, Aspirin: for pain or fever
Antibiotics: consider including these if you are traveling well off the beaten track.
Cold and flu tablets:  throat lozenges and nasal decongestant
Multivitamins: consider for long trips, when dietary vitamin intake may be inadequate
Others: Scissors, tweezers and thermometer

Personal Clothing & equipments

The temperature in Tibet during daytime is around 10-25°C in Lhasa, but the night temperature may reach 0°C and when visit the lake or mountain, passes down-jacket is needed. Try to dress in black or other heavy color clothes since the road out of Lhasa may be very dusty and dirty. The following are some we are suggested to bring for your tour in Tibet:

  • Maim luggage/ a day pack
  • Pants/trousers
  • Jacket-a fiber-pile type
  • Fleece/Sweater
  • Headwear- hat/cap
  • Scarf/dust mask
  • Mittens or gloves
  • Bandanna or handkerchief
  • Necessary under garments
  • Good quality sun glass
  • Shoe/Socks
  • Shirts/T-shirts/vests
  • Reading book, writing materials
  • Camera/Memory card/battery
  • Torch light/ Swiss knife
  • Poles for trekking
  • Water bottle

Custom & Duty

There is no prohibition on still and video cameras, tape recorders or radios as long as they are registered with a custom official. Printed matters considered unsuitable by the Chinese Government are prohibited, Customs regulations forbid the ex- port of art objects created prior to 1959 or souvenirs in amounts deemed to be excessive. 

Time Difference

Tibet time is 8 hours ahead in winter and 9 hours ahead in summer than the GMT, same as Beijing standard time and 2 hours 15 minute (winter)/ 3 hour 15 minute (summer) ahead of Nepal standard time i.e. +5.45 hours.  

Currency

The currency is the Chinese Yuan (ISO code CNY), divided into 10 Jiao or 100 Fen. However, money within China is called RMB (Ren Min Bi, people's money).

Notes are available in denominations of 100, 50, 10, 5, 2 and 1 yuan, 5, 2 and 1 jiao, and 5, 2, and 1 fen. Coins are 1 yuan, 5, 2 and 1 jiao, and 5, 2 and 1 fen.

Note: As with most currencies, there are counterfeits. Banknotes printed from 1990 have a metal thread woven into their fabric.

Office hours

Government offices are usually closed on SATURDAY afternoon and all day SUNDAY.

Best Time to Visit Tibet

The best time of year for overland tours in Tibet is from April to November and for treks and Mt. Kailash tour from April to the beginning of October. During the day a light shirt or jumper and lightweight pants will be suitable, but a warm fleece or down jacket is recommended for the evenings.

Between April-November the average temperature ranges form 15-25 degrees Celsius and the skies are generally clear and blue. From July to August though there can be the odd shower during the day. The nights, however, can be very cold and temperatures can drop below 0 degrees Celsius.

Tibet Climate

Travelers must be prepared for extremes in climate even in the middle of summer. A hot sunny day can turn cold and miserable in a matter of minutes, especially at higher elevations. Night temperatures at 4500m and above routinely fall below freezing even in July and August. At other times if the year it gets colder. In midwinter in north-western Tibet, minimum temperatures reach minus 40C. Yet Tibet is a study in contrasts, and in the summer months a scorching sun and hot blustery winds can make even the hardiest walker scurry for any available shade. Between the two extremes the Tibetan climate is ideal for walking - cool and dry - but always be prepared for the worst.

Please find out the temperature mention bellow

Month

Lhasa

(Max.C .- Min.C.)

Shigatse

(Max.C .- Min.C.)

Tsedang

(Max.C .- Min.C.)

Nyingchi

(Max.C .- Min.C.)

Mount Everest

(Max.C .- Min.C.)  

Jan

6.8    -10.2

5.7    -13.1

7.6      -9.0

7.9    -5.3

4         -17

Feb.

9.2    -3.9

8.0     -9.5

9.9      -5.9

9.8    -2.7

-4       -15

Mar.

12.0   -3.2

11.0   -5.4

12.9     -2.4

13.0     -0.1

7          -12

Apr.

15.7    0.9

15.5   -0.7

16.9     1.3

16.5     3.2

10        -5

May.

19.7    5.1

19.5    3.4

20.4     5.2

18.8     6.8

15        0

Jun.

22.5    9.2

22.1    7.6

22.9     8.9

20.9     10.0

17        5

Jul.

21.7    9.9

21.0    8.7

22.5     10.1

22.1     11.2

16        8

Aug.

20.7    9.4

19.6    8.1

21.5     9.5

22.1     10.7

16        6

Sep.

19.6    7.6

18.7    5.8

20.5     7.6

20.3     9.2

17        2

Oct.

16.4   1.4

15.2   -1.2

17.1     1.8

17.2     4.9

12        -7

Nov.

11.6   -5.0

10.7   -8.0

12.4     -4.1

12.9     -0.7

7          -12

Dec.

7.7   -9.1

7.0     -12.3

8.7       -7.9

9.6       -4.5

4          -15

Avg. temp.

    15.3

0.8     14.5

15.5     1.3

15.9     3.6

10        -5

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