4 Things to Know Before You Travel to Tibet on a Budget
You always wanted to travel to Tibet, but your budget doesn’t allow it? Yes, going to Tibet can be quite expensive, but if you have proper information from local Tibet agencies, you can travel to Tibet in a cheap and worry free way.
In recent years, more tourists have decided to visit the “roof of the world” and feel the tranquility of the beautiful nature and peaceful lakes. Traveling to Tibet can cost you some money but keep in mind that you are contributing to the Tibetan tourism.
When we think of Tibet, first that it comes to our mind are beautiful monasteries, Mt.Everest, Mt, Kailash, Buddha Statues and stunning scenery. Well, that is true, Tibet is home for all these magnificent heritages and places.
But there is much more to see in Tibet.
Why traveling to Tibet is so expensive?
There are no luxury hotels in which to spend a little wealth, no luxury swimming pools or spa centers, nor branded stores. On the contrary, Tibet is a modest region, and also its people.
Then why traveling to Tibet can be so expensive?
The most expensive part of the trip to Tibet is traveling until you reach Lhasa. However, you will first have to land to a city in China, then go to Lhasa.
The price depends on what kind of adventure you want, but it also depends on how many days you want to stay in Tibet. There are Tibet tours and travels provided by travel agencies that last for 15 to 30 days, of course, those tours are more expensive.
Another reason that traveling to Tibet can be expensive is that independent travel is not allowed in Tibet. That means that you must book a tour with a travel agency.
In Tibet, there is something for everyone, both for those passionate adventurers and for those who want to feel the spirit of the Tibetan tradition.
I have some top useful tips on how to travel to Tibet on a budget, and still to be able to visit and see the most popular tourist attractions in Tibet.
1. Take a group tour instead of private
If you want to travel to Tibet with your small individual group, keep in mind that it will cost you more.
If you want to travel to Tibet on a budget, the best option is to join a small group that is usually formed by combining fellow travelers or small groups in one tour. If you do not want to join a large group and limit yourself to an inflexible program of such a group, you can join a small group tour to save money without sacrificing much flexibility and choosing the route.
Tour operators will offer you this option to share a trip with a small group of people, usually consisting of 6 to 8 people.
A small group is an ideal way to save money, but at the same time, an excellent opportunity to meet new people.
2. Take a train instead of Flight
Traveling by train is always a cost-effective way to travel to a specific destination. What makes it even more exciting is the train journey from China to Tibet is that you will be traveling with the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the highest railway in the world.
The train passes to the highest points that reach a height of up to 5000 meters above sea level. Pretty exciting, right?
The train has two types of sleeping cabins: Soft sleepers and Hard sleepers cabins.
The soft sleepers have four berths and doors that can be locked. Soft sleepers cabins have more privacy than hard sleepers cabins. Hard sleepers cabins are with six berths, and in this type of cabins, there is no door.
If you travel from Beijing to Lhasa by train, it will take you about 41 hours to arrive. It’s a lot of time, but it’s an excellent experience filled with views of the beautiful nature, and you will visit Tibet on a budget.
3. Visit Tibet in Low season
A low season is the best option to travel to Tibet on a budget. For many, traveling to Tibet in winter is inconceivable. They all first think of a harsh winter, with strong winds, or a snowstorm. Yes, Tibet has a cold winter, some parts are not available for a visit, but so many places can be visited even in winter. However, the seasonal temperature difference is not a significant variation.
The low season in Tibet can save you a lot of money. The main location for the winter months is Lhasa, where the daytime temperature is about 10 degrees, and the nighttime descends around zero.
This does not sound so terrible as you imagined, right?
The advantage of visiting Lhasa in winter is accommodation prices, which can be lowered to a full price as opposed to high season in summer. Also, in travel agencies, you can find arrangements at lower prices than seasonal ones.
Another benefit in the winter is that you can enjoy some of the Tibet Festivals such as the Butter Sculpture Exhibition, the Sera Bengqin Festival and the Spring Sowing Festival.
For your trip to Tibet to be in the budget, choose a cheaper accommodation option such as a hostel, a guest house or economy hotel.
The cost of accommodation in Tibet ranges from 10 to 25 dollars per night. If you want to travel to Tibet on a budget, choose a cheaper accommodation so that you will reduce costs.
In your room you will be only for overnight, then why would you pay a higher price if you only use the room to sleep. Most of the day you will spend in exploring and visiting locations throughout Tibet.
Most of the travel agencies have a list of several hotels and accommodation facilities in Tibet, so you will have the opportunity to choose one of them for your accommodation.
Traveling in Tibet can really cost you money, but with a previously well-planned plan, the right travel agent and a good travel guide, well-chosen options can make your trip to Tibet to be enjoyable and fit your travel pocket.
Choose the tour operator carefully, because only a good tour operator can tell you the best way to travel to Tibet on a budget. Their experience will contribute a lot to make your journey one of the best in your life.
Helen Wang’ from www.windhorsetour.com : I started my travel career in 2005. It not only enriched my knowledge of tourism, but also inspired in me a love for traveling. Besides India, Nepal, USA, European and China; I have traveled to most of Tibet, including Lhasa, Tsedang, Gyantse, Shigatse, Everest Base Camp, Mount Kailash and so much more! I started working at WindhorseTour as Travel Advisor when it first opened in 2006. It has been fun to help grow our family – from specializing in Tibet travel to tours to now all over China.