Join in Tibet group tour
During these few month it is difficult to get in Tibet from Lhasa. Because the government was stopped the business. So the best way is travel to Tibet from Kathmandu. If you want get the Tibet permmit and save money, you can join in the group tour. http://www.186996.net/plan/201208/20120826228.html
Be aware that you need to pay when you want to take photos or film inside the monasteries. Most of the time it will be 10 Yuan (1 €) per temple/chapel. But as there are more temples in a monastery you eventually could pay more money for taking photos/films than your entrance ticket.
At the Tashilhunpo monastery in Shigatse you even have to pay 75 Yuan for taking photos and 1500 Yuan (150 €) !!! for filming, and this was just for one temple.
Unique Suggestions: Make a choice of some temples with special objects that are worth the payment. Most temples look alike so you don't need to shoot them all.
You want to visit the Nam-Tso lake : home of the nomads who never seen a tourist before ;))
You read in your LP , rough guide,.. that Tibetan women sit down lift up their skirt and go to the toilet that way.
You also see women do that at Nam-Tso.... and you also see a little boy claiming his copyright once you took a photo of this "unique" local event.....
peace and quiet at Nam-Tso
We had high hopes for the beauty of the Nam-Tso lake we stayed there 1 night and beautiful it was.
My and my wife wanted to (romantic) watch the sunset at the lake.
Unfortunately a young girl decided to keep us company with her little goat until we took a picture of her (and her goat).
After the paying copyright we could enjoy our romantic experience at the lake.
Unique Suggestions: Don't be annoyed just pay the price and enjoy your day
The thanka swindle
Around the Jokhang it is crowded with souvenir shops.
In 1 of the bigger shop I watch someone buy a thanka , he asked for a container to ship it safely.
The sales person took then thanka under the counter and putted another thing in the container.
Came up , gift wrapped it all and gave it to that person.
I don't know what was in the container but definitely NOT what that person purchased .
SUV to EBC
Want to go to EBC? Shigatse is the farthest you can get to with public bus from Lhasa.
About renting a SUV - We talked to two travel agencies in Lhasa; One asked us for 8800 rmb per SUV that sits 5 passengers(including driver). The other quoted us 4500 rmb for the same! In both cases, the SUV can be split among 4 people to lower the cost pp.
Also, this is the time when we were asked about tibet permit (ttp) and "border permit" by both agencies. When we them we have neither, the expensive agency told us they can arrange the tibet travel permit(ttp) for us for 680 rmb and "border permit" for 320 rmb! The less expensive one told us we need to arrange our own ttp from tibet tourism beaureau in lhasa for 500rmb, with this ttp, this travel agency can get us the "border permit" for 60rmb.
Fellow travelers, good luck! May tourist traps be far from you :)
Paying for Photos in Monasteries
Having paid your entrance fee to get into the monasteries the enterprising monks will then charge you to take photos inside. Be warned, its not just one charge for taking a photo inside , its a separate charge in each of the major chapels.
Charges range from 10-20 yuan normally, but one place was charging 200 yuan. You can take as many photos as you like but if you visit a lot of monasteries it can add up.
Unique Suggestions: Use the monks as a source of change. Chances are you will have large denominations of Yuan, they have lots of small change and will change money for you so its easier to have money for tipping or buying a meal or drink
Fun Alternatives: A lot of the monasteries look a bit samey after a while so just pay to take photos in one and forget the inside of the rest, just take photos of the outside.
Railway once completed will change Lhasa forever!
I know many travellers are waiting for the railway link to Lhasa to be completed before going to Tibet. Please DON'T. The railway link will make the trip too easy for lots of tourist on local package tours. Lhasa will be changed forever.
If you want to see Tibet, see it as soon as possible.
Lhasa's Golden Yaks
Not a tourist trap, exactly....
The Chinese unveiled the Golden Yaks on May 26, 1991, the fortieth anniversary of Tibet’s “peaceful liberation.” The first words that pop to mind (mine anyway) upon seeing the bright yellow-gold statues are “gaudy” and “ostentatious.” Celebrations were held of the kind at which communist regimes seem to excel: martial law had to be invoked, monks and nuns restricted to their quarters, and foreign journalists banned. Even foreign tourists for whose benefit this silliness would seem to have been staged were confined to their hotels. Roadblocks were erected and thousands of police and soldiers deployed. After all, celebrating a “peaceful liberation” couldn’t be marred by demonstrations or other disturbances. The “celebrations” eventually ended but the Tibetans, of course, are stuck with the yaks.
Just in case you have a map, you can find the yaks where Yuan Lin Lu crosses the main boulevard, Beijing Zhong Lu, though why you would seek them out is beyond me.
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