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tibet general information

Tibet remains one of the most interesting, remote and undeveloped part of the world, situated at an average elevation of 5000m (16500ft) above sea level. Its limited facilities for tourists are only now approaching a reasonable standard.

A trip to Tibet is not for the faint hearted; the traveling can be hard, adventurous and often unpredictable. Due to Tibet's high altitude travelers with a history of heart, lung or anemia problems should consult a doctor before considering a visit. 

Visitors should also understand before taking this trip that Tibet was only opened to tourism in recent years. The infrastructure of the Tourist industry is still very basic in the remote country. Please do not expect the standards you are accustomed to in the west. However, every effort will be made under the circumstances to ensure a smooth and pleasant trip. 

Tibetan, Religion groups
Like the Han Chinese (and almost all ethnic minorities of China), the Tibertans are classified as belonging to the Mongoloid family of peoples. They probably descended from nomadic tribes who migrated from the north and settled to sedentary cultivation of Tibet, s river valleys. About a quarter of Tibetans are still nomadic. There are considerable variatikons between regional groups of Tibetans.The most recognisable are the Khampas of eastern Tibet, Who are generally larger and a bit more rough – and –ready than other Tibetans and who wear read our black tassels in their long hair.Women from Amdo are especially conspicuous because of their elaborate braided hairstyles and jewellery.

There are pockets of other minority groups, such as the lhkopa(Lhoba) and Monpa, in the southesst of Tibet, who make up less than 1% of the total population.A more visible ethinic group are the Hui Muslims.Tibet,s original Msli inhabitansts were largely traders or butchers (a professsion that most Buddhists abhor),although the majority of recentmigransts are traders and restaurant owners from southern Gansu province.The Tibetans closest ethnic cousins are the Qiang, who now live mostly in Northern sichuan province. Tibetans are also closely related to the Sherpas of Nepal and the Ladakhis of India.

Population
China,s 1996 population survey put the population of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR)at 2.44 million, with a natural growth rate of 16.2% the highest in China. Figured are likely to be higher than this if Han immigrants and people,s Liberation Army (PLA)trokops stationed in Tibet(perhaps up to 200,000) are included.

Chinese figured for the population of Lhasa, indicate it is just over 87% Tibetan and just under 12% Han Chinese, a ration that stretches likely that somewhere in the vicinity of 50% of Lhasa,s Population is Han Chinese.

Merriage
arriages were traditionally arranged by the families involved, in consultation with a lama or shaman. Up until the Chinese invasion many Tibetan farming village’s practiced polyandry, when a woman married the eldest son of a family she also married his younger brothers (providing they did not become monks). The children of such marriages referred to all the brother as their father. The practice was aimed at easing the inheritance of family property (mainly the farming land) and avoiding the break- up of small plots.

Arts
Overall Tibetan art, with perhaps the exception of some folk crafts, is inspired by Buddhism. Wall hangings, paintings, architecture, literature, even dance all in some way or another attest to the influence of the Indian religion that found its most secure resting place in Tibet.

In same time, the arts of Tibet represent the synthesis of may influences. The Buddhist art and architecture of the Pala and Newari kingdoms of India and Nepal were an important early influence,as were the Buddhist cultures of Khotan and Kashmur. Newari influence is clearly cisible in the early woodcarvings of the Jokhang and Jashmiri influence in particularly strong in the murals of Tsaparang in western Tibet,. As China came to play and increasingly major role in Tibetan affairs, Chinese influences too were assimilated, as is clear at Shalu Monastery near Shigatse and in the Karma Gadri style prevalent in eastern Kham.A later, clearly Tibet. The use of color in art is decided purely by convention and rigid symbolism.

Clothing Accessories:
From Oct.-March warm clothes are required to fight the frostily cold and from April-September light clothes to shun the scorching heat. However a jacket and sweater are advised through out the years as the weather may unexpectedly changes at any time. The recommended items are: A domestic first aid kit; water purification tablets (mineral water can be bought as well) toilet and tissue papers, flashlight, sleeping bag, comfortable walking shoes, dust masks, utility knife, sun hat, sun glasses, suntan lotion and a limited number of clothes. 

Customs:
There is no prohibition on still and video cameras, tape recorders or radios as long as they are for personal use or if commercial use should be registered with a custom official. Printed matters considered unsuitable by the Chinese Government is prohibited. Customs regulations forbid the export of art objects created prior to 1959 or souvenirs in amounts deemed to be excessive. 

Food & drinks:
Tibet has only a handful of towns, and Tibetan cuisine is not exactly the most varied in the world. It is handy to carry anything that can be brewed with hot water. Instant coffee, drinking chocolate, tea (bags), soup cubes. Other food items worth considering are instant noodles, nuts and raisins, chocolate, dry foods and biscuits. 
Business Hours: Government offices are usually closed on Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday.

Currency:
RENMNBI, the people's money used by millions of Chinese everyday, circulates in notes of 1, 2,5,10 and 50 yuan; 1, 2 and 5 jiao; 1, 2 and 5 fen. There are also coins for 1, 2 and 5 fen. With the Chinese Currency, Renminbi, one yuan is divided into 10 jiao; into 10 Yen.

Airport:
Lhasa Gonggar Airport is approx. 96km away from Lhasa.
Air Ticket reconfirmation: Your guide will reconfirm the air ticket upon payment of RMB 30, which is reconfirmation fee charged by Air China. 

Health & Altitude Problems: 
Traveling in Tibet involves high altitude and can be strenuous. Clients with heart and lung problems or blood diseases should consult their doctor before booking the trip. Very often the cases of altitude sickness have been reported. Simple headache, fever, loss of appetite or stomach disorders can happen before the acclimatization. Advised, drink approx. 03 litres of water per day, do not strain yourself, move slowly, breathe deeply and take regular rests.

Airport Tax:
FOR KTM/LHASA SECTOR: US$ 22.00 Per Pax
FOR LXA/KTM SECTOR: US$ 12.00 Per Pax
Insurance Surcharge: US$5 Per Pax for one way

Flight Timings (Subject to change):

CA KTM/LXA: ETD: KTM 0950, ETA: LXA 1300 hrs (Local Time)
CA LXA/KTM : ETD: LXA 0950, ETA: KTM 0845 hrs (Local Time)

The above airfares, timings and airport tax are subject to change without prior notice, if revised.

KATHMANDU / LHASA / KATHMANDU flight OPERATES AS FOLLOWS:
JULY TO OCTOBER EVERY TUESDAYS & SATURDAYS AND THURSDAY
APRIL TO JUNE AND NOVEMBER EVERY TUESDAYS AND SATURDAYS
DECEMBER TO MARCH ONLY SATURDAYS (It is not a regular flight)

Tibetan Counterpart:
All the packages in Tibet will be handled by the Tibetan Counterpart and they will take over the arrangements immediately on landing at Gonggar Airport (Lhasa)/ After reaching Nepal/Tibet Border (Kodari), which includes transportation, Accommodation and services of their local
guide.

ROAD CONDITIONS:
Mostly un-paved roads within Tibet - due weather conditions road can be blocked sometimes by sudden floods, landslides or snow fall which we couldn’t able to know.