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Tibet Trip

Micah,Your Tibet trip sounds like a real adventure! Your photos make it look spectacular. And I admire the fact that you did this independently, especially in the light of all the stuff I’ve read from various sources stating that this out of the question.How has the situation changed since your 2007 expedition, would you judge? Is it still feasible to do this just with two of you? I ask because a partner and I are also thinking of coming to Tibet in the next month, travelling independently, if possible, and taking in the Kailash trail as you did.You mention that you simply “hopped on a train to Lhasa” – where was this from? We’re looking at coming from Kathmandu. Do you know about access into the country from this side?Quite apart from the expense of an organised tour, one chief objection to coming to Tibet is all the money that one seems to be paying to the Chinese government just to get access to the country and certain areas within it – something I disagree with in principle. It seems you got round paying for certain permits – but were you continually “looking over your shoulders”? How much of a risk is one taking by doing this? (I have heard of foreigners being detained in certain regions such as Delingha). How much did you pay, in fact?I also very much object to the idea of being chaperoned by an official “Chinese-approved” guide – but I certainly wouldn’t object to hiring the services of a local guide. Could you recommend one?I’ve also read that one needs to have a fixed itinerary for every day that you’re in Tibet. I guess you didn’t do this! Were you ever asked to produce one?I see you camped for some of you time – how much did you use the tent? Is it possible to dispense with one on the Kailash trek, and simply stay in guesthouses and monasteries? You mentioned taking food – do they not provide any in those places?Lastly if you have any tips on what kit to pack – and what not to, seeing as we’d like to keep weight to a minimum – we’d very much appreciate it. (Quite like your friend’s idea of hiring a horse actually . . .)Cheers

micah
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The situation has changed

The situation has changed quite a bit since 2007 unfortunately for independent travelers. From what I hear it is no longer possible to do what I did and just buy your own ticket and hop on the train from Golmud up to Lhasa and although regulations seem to constantly change it seems it is not possible any longer to roam around relatively independently within Tibet as I did. Train only goes from the China side not Nepal by the way. Nepal has always been a more difficult way to enter Tibet. Even in 2007 you couldn’t cross from Nepal to Tibet without being on a tour and a group visa at that. So your chance of going from Kathmandu to Tibet these days independently if your not Chinese is probably non-existent. If you don’t want to do the all inclusive travel agent arranged tour then you could look at regions of Cultural Tibet that are not in the Tibet Autonomous Region. Portions of the Chinese provinces of Yunnan, Sichuan, Gansu, and Qinghai have very Tibetan regions that I believe you may still be able to visit relatively independently and free from permits. Many of these regions have a much higher concentration of Tibetans than places like Lhasa that have seen a huge influx of Chinese settlers, though of course they do not have the Potala Palace or Jokang Temple. Out side of China, Ladakh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh in India have culturally Tibetan Areas. In Nepal Dolpo, Upper Mustang, and Nar Phu areas (though all require special permits).As you are likely not going to be allowed to do you own independent traveling in Tibet much less trekking. Bringing a tent would not be necessary, if you opted for a trek the agency that provided your tour would also provide tents. By the way I didn’t take a tent on the Kailash trek and slept in monasteries, when I was a Kailash there wasn’t that much in the way of food but you could always get hot water to make noodle soup. But again this info is out of date plus irrelevant since you are unlikely to be allowed to do it these days with out an all inclusive tour.On clothing for the mountains and Himalayas I always recommend things you can layer because the weather can change so widely and suddenly. A water proof outer layer that can also be used to windbreaker in strong mountain winds is a good idea. A fleece is good because its warm plus it drys quickly when wet. Quick drying shirts and hiking/travel pants are good as well.have a good trip,Micah

Anonymous (not verified)
Good post about trekkking and

Good post about trekking and also nice information. 

Anonymous (not verified)
Wow!great job done by this

Wow!great job done by this blog.I like it so much and you share the information i alos liked this its really a sort of hapiness for me.I like this type of blog.Thanks for you sharing.

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