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The crux of knowing what take is knowing what to expect.
** Yes, this page needs updating! **
Being in the center of Asia, Tibet has very much a continental climate, with hot summers and extremely cold winters. Add to this a minimum altitude of around 3600m/12,000ft and crossing passes of over 5000m/16,500ft and you have an extreme range of climates.
These are mostly warm, but with a huge range in elevations you will experience all sorts of temperatures and quite possibly all sorts of weather. Strangely enough the first six times that I visited Gyantse it sunned, snowed, hailed and sleeted (each time)!
People say that it does not rain in Tibet, don't believe this. It doesn't rain often and usually it doesn't rain hard, normally only light drizzle, but it is not fine all the time. It can be extremely windy and cold on top of the high passes but you are travelling in good vehicles.
In Lhasa although the temperatures are mostly moderate during the day it can be very cold at night, requiring several layers or much better, a light down jacket to walk around. The wind at Everest BC can be very cold. At altitudes higher than Lhasa the nighttime temperatures will invariably be below zero centigrade.
Although it is mostly fine and sunny the day time temperatures rarely make it above zero centigrade. Evenings are extremely cold and he even to go outside for a short while you need gloves, a hat, thick warm pants and a good down jacket.
In Lhasa you will spend much of your time sightseeing and walking around the markets. Inside the gompas and palaces it can be dark, gloomy and sometimes cold; outside can be extremely bright, dry and hot in the sun.
Once you leave Lhasa you will be traveling by jeep for much of the time, with breaks for meals and sightseeing. The Landcruisers all have heaters and so are comfortably warm inside, although much of the time you will probably want to wear a light jacket. Normally at the top of passes the stop and have a look around, and conditions here can be extremely variable. It can be chilly but fine and sunny, it can be horribly cold and snowing.
At Rongbuk and Everest BC you will probably want to spend some time walking or at least being outside for the sunrise and sunset. It is cold! Have a thick, windproof jacket, gloves and a warm hat. I recommend a thermal top, if you already have, and light windproof pants but only if you like being outside and already have them.
Because of the altitude the air is mostly extremely dry, and dries your skin out and often leaves you with a runny nose for the whole trip. You should bring moisturizer for well cared for skins and also plenty of tissues. Bring a good sun hat and good sunscreen.
Your gear will usually be carried in the back of the Landcruiser, or occasionally on a roof rack. It will get dusty and thrown about a bit. If the border section of the road is washed out we hire porters to carry the gear across. A tough duffel bag or backpack is best, although almost anything will do.
Breakfast is included at the hotel in every style of trip that we run. However, the breakfasts are often very ordinary. For lunch and dinner we eat in the travelers and Chinese restaurants in Lhasa and in all other places eat in Chinese restaurants. The meals are generally OK but can seem monotonous often quite oily. So it is a good idea to take plenty of snacks. In Kathmandu you can buy a huge variety of chocolate bars but healthy snack foods are hard or impossible to find. In Lhasa there is a lagre, curious variety of Chinese snacks such as spicy prunes, sunflower seeds and wafer bars. If you are a fan of Clif or Power bars, etc, then bring these from home. Soft drinks are available everywhere.
There are ATM cash machines in Lhasa.
Dogs occasionally attack tourists, especially in Tingri, but can happen anywhere. If you are worried, carry a stone and don't hesitate to throw it hard, and if a dog is threatening, don't hold back and make sure you can get more ammunition.
Matthew Thornton writes:
"The Tingri dogs were an intelligent bunch. The sun was setting right on the horizon on the Friendship Highway towards Tingri, and I had just stepped foot on the road to take an amazing sunset shot of Cho Oyo and Everest when I heard a pack of dogs barking as if the world was going to end but could not see them. Turning round I could just make out the figures of about 15 dogs coming from out of the sun about 100 yards away, it's a classic fighter pilot technique so they must be well trained. The bastards made me blur my picture of Everest before armed only with my cunning and one stone I ran back to the hotel and struggled with the door lock. Turning round I realized I had been rescued by the fat, lame hotel dog who just lay in the way of the pack dogs and they wouldn't come close to him. Nice one!
This section needs some work.
We provide tents, a foam mattress each; all the cutlery and utensils, cooking pots, stoves; tables and stools, kitchen tent, dining tent and toilet tent; all the main meals but not trail snacks; and the best service we can manage.