Q&A on Tibet travel: scenic spots (I)

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What do you need to know when you come to Tibet for the first time? Here are some tips for the first-timers.

1.) Is it okay to set up a tent and camp out along the river in Lhasa?

A: Usually it's okay, just be sure that your tent and sleeping bag are able to withstand very low temperatures because night time in Lhasa is very cold.

2.) What is there to do in Nyingchi?

A: Nyingchi is known as "Switzerland in the East" and the natural scenery is very beautiful. The main scenic spots are Basum Co Lake, Namjagbarwa, the Yarlung Zangbo Canyon, Nanyigou Valley, Lulang, the thousand-year-old Xiuba fortress, the Taishao ancient city, and the Midui glacier.

This place is still home to the Monba, Deng people and Lhoba people, and you can experience their unique cultures.

3.) What should I do in the Ngari area?

A: The Ngari area is vast, where there is Mt. Gang Rinpoche, the sacred lake Mapham Yutso, the "ghost lake" Lannga Co, Pangong Tso Lake and Mt. Nemonanyi, all of which are sacred Tibetan pilgrimage sites. There is also the Zanda clay forest, the ruins of the Guge Kingdom, and the Rutog rock paintings.

4.) What's the best month to hike to Medog?

A: The best time would be from the end of August to the beginning of October. During this time the weather is comparatively good, there's not much rain, and hiking is relatively safe. From October to May it's very cold, the passes are sealed off by snow and it's easy to have an accident. June to the beginning of August is rainy season, which is also very dangerous.

5.) How do you get to Mt. Qomolangma from Lhasa?

A: Route 1: take the bus from Lhasa to Shigatse, from Shigatse take another bus or rent a car/driver to Tingri, where you can walk or ride a bike to Mt. Qomolangma.

Route 2: carpool with somebody direct from Lhasa, the fare for each person will be around 1,000 yuan.

Route 3: go with a tour group, the tour usually takes four days. For specifics please contact the tour agency.