Deciding what to pack for Tibet tour is not always easy, but do try to remember this principle: Pack the minimum! Always travel light especially if your tour involves climbing or trekking. Since Tibet is a high altitude, remote region the number of things required to carry is a lot more. Try to avoid carrying unnecessary items. Here we offer a packing list for Tibet trip.
Tibet Travel Permits & Chinese Visa
Your passport, Chinese visa and Tibet travel permits are the first and most travel essentials you need to remember!
Tibet Travel Permit
In addition to getting and applying for a Chinese Visa in your country to enter China, you also need to get Tibet Travel Permit (TTP) to enter Tibet. Without your Tibet Travel Permit you can’t enter the Tibetan region, you can’t even board the flight without the permit. You have to obtain the permit through a certified Tibet local travel agency.
The permit will be asked in airports, hotels, railway stations, and sometimes even attractions. If you are getting a new passport after applying for the TTP, you are required to bring your old passport.
If you are entering via Kathmandu, you can obtain Chinese Group Visa from the embassy in Kathmandu. You also need to apply for Alien’s Travel Permit if you are travelling to any place outside of Lhasa. This permit can be obtained after arriving at Lhasa. You guide will make arrangements for obtaining the permit.
Packing List for a General Tibet Tour
Cash and Credit Cards
Credit cards are not so popular in the whole Tibet area and only accepted in few big hotels in Lhasa and Shigatse. Remember to bring sufficient amount of money since ATMs are fewer in the more remote areas. Carrying a lot of cash in hand may seem dangerous especially while travelling, but worry not, it is quite safe to tour in Tibet.
Basic Travel Clothes in Traveling Tibet
• Casual attire is recommended. Bring cotton t-shirts for comfortable long distance travels.
• Warm clothing is a must to ensure a comfortable tour. You can count on experiencing the sudden onset of foul weather as well as temperature extremes while in Tibet.
• Wearing several layers of clothing that can be easily added or removed is the wise choice since temperatures may vary greatly within a single day.
• Other essentials to pack include four or five pairs of cotton or woolen underwear, four or five pairs of woolen socks, long sleeve cotton or lightweight wool shirts and T-shirts.
• Don't forget to bring along a warm hat as well as one or two pairs of warm mittens or gloves.
• Make sure you buy a quality thermal wear for nights, as nights tend to get really cold in Tibet even during summer.
Basic travel clothes for Tibet tour
Travel clothing you bring depends on which parts of Tibet you are visiting
• A windbreaker plus a sweater will work nicely for touring Lhasa in summer.
• A down coat is necessary for those who are traveling beyond Lhasa and Shigatse into more remote areas such as Everest Base Camp.
What to wear in Tibet also varies with season
• Tibet winter starts from November to next March, which is usually frigid, windy and icy. Down jackets, thermal cloth, warm sweaters and woolen pants are needed.
• Tibet summer is hot and rainy. Summer clothes and trousers are enough for the daytime. Down coats and jackets are still needed for nights. Frequent rainfall makes waterproof clothing and rain gear absolute necessities.
• During Tibet tourism peak season (April-May and September-October), T-shirts, overcoat and light winter cloth are fine.
Suitable Shoes for a Tibet Tour
Comfortable, sturdy sneakers, walking shoes, or hiking boots are also recommended.
Bags and Suitcases for a Tibet Tour
Big suitcases are not suggested. Backpacks make you move more freely. Just travel as light as you can. A big backpack, a smaller one and a belt bag are perfect for your Tibet tour. You can put all your belongings in the larger one and use the smaller one for daily activities. A belt bag or alike should be brought along to keep important certificates and travel documents safely with you at all times.
No need to take the big backpack with you everywhere, you can leave them at the hotel and carry the essentials for the day in a smaller backpack.
Medicines for a Tibet Tour
Preparing some medicines for a Tibet tour is necessary
• It is a good idea to take a good quality multivitamin to supplement your diet since a supply of vegetables and fruits may not be readily available.
• A first aid kit including aspirin, antibiotics and AMS medication is highly recommended.
• Bring medicines for altitude sickness before you start the trip from your physician. Even though altitude sickness medicines are available in Tibet, it is best to get the medicine prescribed by your physician.
Skin-care Products for Traveling in Tibet
Good quality sunscreen or sun block, a sunhat, sunglasses and lip balm are essential to protect you from sunburn that can occur easily at these high elevations.
Miscellaneous Items for a Tibet Tour
• All necessary toilet items including small packages of tissues and either a battery operated shaver or razor
• Plastic bags, a flashlight, extra batteries, sewing kit, lighter, and a pocket knife
• Camera with enough storage cards
• Candles may also be useful in these hostels.
• A sturdy padlock is needed since some of the rooms in the hostels located in the more remote areas do not come equipped with locks on the doors.
Special Items for a Tibet Everest Base Camp Tour (Trekking Equipment)
In addition to the above mentioned items, you need to bring the following if you are going for a trek like EBC trek. Although some trekking gear can be bought in Lhasa, it’s still highly recommended to make preparation in advance if you plan to Trek Tibet.
Tibet Everest Base Camp trekking equipment
• Portable oxygen bottles and oxygen bags. They can easily found in medical shops, hotels, and hospitals in Lhasa.
• Sleeping bags and mats. Make sure that the sleeping bags are waterproof.
• Tents and tarps. Make sure that the tents can protect you from the cold nights and are waterproof. If you are renting tents from Lhasa, double check the quality.
• Backpacks and pack liners. Make sure that the backpacks are lights and are waterproof.
• Water filter and hydration system.
• Make sure pack a lot of snacks that give a boost of energy like energy bars, chocolates, nuts. Take a lot of water; it is important to keep yourself hydrated.
• Stoves and cookware as it is less likely to find any place that serves hot food. You can’t just survive on energy bars and snacks.
• Walking sticks and trekking poles for ease of trekking.
• Headlamps and flashlights to see through the snow and low evening lights.
• First aid kits, random handy gear, navigation and Swiss army Knives, etc.
Special Items for Mount Kailash Kora
Located at the far west of Tibet, Mount Kailash is one of the most remote areas for tours in Tibet. Before you going to do the 3-day holy kora around Mount Kailash, you need to be well prepared.
Mount Kailash Kora Equipment
• Bring clothes that will keep you warm during the trek. Clothes like thermal wear, down jackets, mufflers, woollen hand gloves, socks, cotton t-shirts, comfortable shorts and pants are an absolute necessity.
• Wear comfortable trekking shoes, it is better if you use shoes that you used for sometime beforehand. You can also bring a pair sandals to use while resting in the evenings and night.
• To protect your skin against the strong UV sun rays, bring sun screen lotion, hats or umbrellas for shade and sunglasses with UV protection layer.
• Bring water resistant backpacks and raincoats as you might encounter mild showers in the afternoons if you are trekking during summer.
• Apart from your big backpack, bring a smaller backpack or a belt bag to carry essentials like wallets, passport, permits, medicines, torch, extra batteries for camera, etc.
• Bring necessary medications for altitude sickness, dehydration, and a small first aid kit for the trek.
There is really a lot to remember but if you forget something many of these items are available in Lhasa. Please contact us for more practical information.