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Tibet Travel Tips

Tibet is the roof of the world with an average elevation of 4000 meters. You can have a hard time breathing in Tibet if you are not physically OK. Therefore, before planning your trip to Tibet, you need to consult your doctor on your health conditions. IslamiChina has summarized the following Tibet Muslim travel tips to our Muslim brothers and sisters to travel Tibet during a short period of time.

Tour Itinerary Planning

The capital city of Tibet Autonomous Region is Lhasa. For Muslim travelers, it is difficult to travel to cities outside Lhasa because they won’t be Halal restaurants available outside Lhasa. Four days and three nights tour of Lhasa is the best choice. You may choose to fly to Lhasa from Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Xian. As a matter of fact, flight from Chengdu to Lhasa has better discount. You may also choose to travel to Lhasa by train. Currently there are trains departing to Lhasa from Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Lanzhou and Xining. It is alway difficult to buy train tickets to Lhasa, therefore, you need to contact local travel agents long time ago for the booking of train tickets to Lhasa.


There is no Muslim hotel in Lhasa, you may choose to stay at international brand name hotels such as Sheraton, Hilton, Holiday Inns and dine at local Halal restaurants in Lhasa.

Halal Restaurants in Lhasa

The easiest way to find a Halal restaurant in China is to look for local mosque. Mosque is always located in the center of a Muslim community, no doubt, Halal restaurants can be found around Mosque serving local Halal food. In Lhasa, Halal restaurants are also located in other part of the city serving local Tibetan Halal cuisine and Xinjiang Uyghur Cuisine. Lanzhou Beef Noodles can also be found in many areas in Lhasa.

Mosques in Lhasa

The first mosque in Lhasa, Tibet was constructed during Qing Emperor Kangxi’s rein in 1716. It is located at Hebalin, Chengguan District of Lhasa and it is named Lhasa Great Mosque. When it was first built, it only covered an area of 200 square meters. It was enlarged in 1793 when many Muslim soldiers were stationed in Lhasa of Tibet. Two more mosques can be found at Gyangda Linka of Lhasa. Another mosque in Lhasa is named Small Mosque and it is located 200 meters southeast of Bakhor Street. Lhasa Small Mosque was built in 1920’s by Muslim businessmen from Kashmir and Nepal. The prayer room of Lhasa Small Mosque is only 130 square meters. Lhasa Small Mosque is typical of Tibetan Architecture. Two more mosques can be found at Gyangda Linka of Lhasa.

Tibet Travel Permit

Foreigners traveling to Tibet need a Tibet Travel Permit. IslamiChina will help to obtain this permit from the Chinese authority. As for Tibet Travel Permit, we need you to email us the photo copy of your passport and China Visa; meanwhile you need to inform us your profession or occupation. The latest regulation on Tibet Travel Permit is that you have to have at least five people traveling together in order to get the permit.

Health & Medical Matters

If you are traveling to Tibet, please be aware of Acute Mountain Sickness which is also called Altitude Sickness, is the biggest health risk to tourists in Tibet. An altitude over 3,000 meters (9,843 feet) is usually defined as high altitude and most places in Tibet are higher than this level (the average elevation in Tibet is 4000 meters above sea level). Symptoms of AMS include headache, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of appetite and disturbed sleep. Most people will experience one or more AMS symptoms upon their arrival in Tibet. The symptoms will usually gradually decrease in severity during acclimatization. Mild AMS usually will not interfere with mild activity. However AMS can be very serious, with the most serious symptoms being High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE), which can be fatal. Symptoms of HAPE include weakness, shortness of breath, even at rest, impending suffocation at night, and a persistent productive cough with white, watery, or frothy fluid. Symptoms of HACE may include headache, ataxia, weakness, hallucinations, psychotic behavior, coma and loss of memory. If you have records of heart, lung, other organ problems or anemia you should consult your doctor before making the decision to visit Tibet.

Money Exchange

You can exchange traveler's checks or cash at most banks, and most 5-star and 4-star hotels always have a money exchange counter. You can also get a cash advance on your credit card on ATM machine. The exchange rate all over China are the same fixed by Bank of China. To change money, you have to have your passport at hand. If you want to change money in a hotel, you usually have to be a guest there. Sometimes if you are not a guest in a hotel but need to change money there, you can just say a random room number, but this doesn't always work. Remember to keep the exchange slip well because you need this slip to change the Chinese Yuan back to your currency if you do have this need at the end of the tour. At present, the RMB is not exchangeable on the International market, so it is only usable within the country. So when you are changing money, don't change too much, because it is difficult to change back into other currencies. To change RMB back into your home currency, you must retain the exchange slips that are given to you at the bank or money exchange counter.

Last Updated on Friday, 28 June 2013 11:10