As a Tour Operator to China since 1992, I travel each year to China checking new places to visit, inspecting hotels and restaurants as well as looking at new places and sites for my clients. I have been to Tibet a few years ago but with all the changes going on, I must go to Tibet more often. The new train to Lhasa is only one of the many changes. I took that train down the mountains to Chongqing where I boarded a new boat of the Century Line to sail the Yangtze River for the 7th time. Lhasa has changed a lot with new hotels, parks and growth. How it has affected the people and the city will be interesting to note. I try to experience everything when I am working in China so that I can recommend places for my clients to visit that aren’t always on the normal touristy list and are interesting to their particular interests. Part of every good tour is viewing the culture either in their homes or in their places of gathering. One needs to see the Potala Palace of course which is only open during the morning hours and there is a limit of so many people per day controlled by the number of tickets available. I also like visiting people in their homes which reveals much about their culture and the opportunity to visit with them through a guide who speaks the language. Tours to China is my business but the culture is my passion.
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Tibet has become more popular in the last few years probably due to the new train that goes there or the publicity it has received. Please be aware that a special permit is needed to visit Tibet and your Chinese Visa does not cover it. The permit can be obtained while in China but it is better to apply before you leave your country. Your tour operator can apply for you in advance as part of your tour. A clear copy of your passport photo page is required along with information as to your employment. You may be denied in some cases if you are a journalist or employed by what the government feels is a sensitive position. Tibet is at 10,000 feet above sea level and most people feel the altitude since you feel it instantly after getting off a pressurized plane. A local remedy in Lhasa is a mixture of brown sugar and ginger made into a tea with hot water. Upon arrival you normally will rest for several hours to adjust to the altitude. If you are taking the train, the train is pressurized as well. For more information on Travel in and to Tibet contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit our web site at www.interlakechinatours.com
25 YEARS EXPERIENCE OF Customized personal Tours to China and Tibet. Update: 2013
It now requires a minimum of 5 people in a group from the same country to enter Tibet with a permit. Less than 5 people will be denied a permit. (my wife and hiking buddy were denied in 2012 because there were only the tour of them. They hiked Sichuan province then were it was even better and no tourists in the mountains with Tibetan people living there.
As a Tour Operator to China, I travel to all parts of China to work directly with my Chinese associates to keep up on all the changes going on in China. The photos above are from a former trip showing the Potala Palace in Lhasa. The two Tibetans were my Sales Mgr. guide and his driver. We went to his home town of Shigatze about 5 hours from Lhasa. I enjoyed a visit to his home to meet his wife and mother seeing how they lived. We toured the Monastery there also. At about 10,000 feet above sea level the air is thin and the sun is very intense. I had left my hat in the car when we went into the Potala Palace not knowing we would be up on the roof which you can see in the photo above. I burned the top of my bald head after only being up there 20 minutes. Sun glasses and plenty of sun screen are needed when visiting there. One flies to Lhasa and arriving you feel the difference in altitude immediately and feel a bit light headed for a day or so. For more information about going to Tibet contact me directly at email@example.com and I will be glad to answer any questions you might have about going to Tibet. I have since been to Tibet and noted the many changes including the big increase in population in Lhasa as well as the new hotels and many restaurants