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Best time to travel in Tibet

Tibet is in a high plateau, and it belongs to typical downy special climate. Climates are quite different in different areas of Tibet. The eastern Tibet which is at a lower elevation is warmer than western Tibet. In some mountain areas, you can experience four seasons in the same area. The weather in a day varies greatly, too. The night is cold while the day is warm. It spans 12-15 degrees centigrade in a single day.


Climate in southeastern Tibet including Nyingchi and Chamdo is balmy with an average temperature of eight degrees centigrade; while in western Tibet (Shigatse and Nagqu) is quite cold with an average temperature below zero degree.


However in the central area of Tibet, the climate of Lhasa and Tsedang is more favorable for traveling. Travelers can visit these two areas all year around.


From early April to late November is the pleasant time to visit all areas of Tibet. The late November to next March is good for paying a visit to Lhasa, Nyingchi or some cities having good accommodation with heating system, because it is too cold at night. For most visitors, the best time to travel Tibet is between April and October. The best months are May, June, September and October as July and August are rainy months.

Generally speaking, early April is the beginning of the travel season, which lasts to mid-June when a large number of Chinese travelers rush to Tibet for summer holiday. Late June to the end of the National Holiday is the peak travel season when some important festivals are held in Tibet, like Shoton Festival, Gyantse Dawa Festival and Nagqu Horse Riding Festival. After mid-October, Tibet turns to winter and as the number of visitor reduces greatly, more than half of the hotels are closed for poor reservation.


The best travel time depends on your travel requirement.


If you want an extremely cheap tour, go to Tibet in winter from December to next March. All the things are quite cheap; even the tourist sites offer 30-50% discount on entrance fee. Hotels are cheap, too. Compared with traveling in August, the cost of a winter tour is only 50%-60% of a summer tour. Because of the poor amount of visitors, visitors can be allowed to spend a whole day in the Potala Palace. Besides, monks are not busy and have enough spare time to chat with you.


If you like trekking, do it in May or September when the monsoon will never bother you and the weather is balmy and pleasant.


If you love Mt. Everest and want to see the clear face of it, try to avoid the rainfall season and foggy weather.


If you love to visit the grass land in north Tibet, do the tour in July when the flowers bloom in vast grassland and groups of yak and sheep, and Tibetan nomad tents spread all over the grassland.


Those who want to drive to Tibet through Sichuan-Tibet highway should avoid the rainy season. There will be mudslides, cave-ins and mire on certain sections of the road, blocking the passage of vehicles.

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