One of the most common questions asked from international travelers is when is the best time to travel to Tibet? Actually, it is difficult to answer this question because there are advantages and disadvantages in each season for travelers to Tibet. I can list them comparing different seasons in Tibet and hope it can help you decide when you have proper schedule.
In summer, it is the warmest season around the year in Tibet. The weather is mild and comfortable for travelers in most places while it is still snowy in the remote northern Tibet Plateau. Since the mild temperatures across the main Tibet, this is the most popular time to travel to Tibet. During this period, the demand for train and plane tickets far exceed than the supply. You need to book tickets early or seek help from a travel operator. Meanwhile, the tour, hotels and restaurant prices are higher in Lhasa comparing in the low season.
Summer is also the rainy season in Tibet. As Tibet located at the north side of the Himalaya, which block much rain from the Indian Ocean, there’s no much rain in Summer. Even if raining, it would stop in a few hours and the clouds get clear quickly.
It is the best time to visit nomad and enjoy the vast grasslands in Tibet. You can see yaks wondering in the grasslands and Tibetans living in their tents in the grasslands. They will change their seat every 3-4 months.
The rainy season always stops in the middle of September and the sky is very clear during this season. It is not warm as it was in summer, but if you bring appropriate cloth, it is still comfortable for you. In the remote places of Tibet, it’s still snowy and the weather is freezing. You can find snow-capped mountains as well as the green grasslands in the same place. During this period, you can also find nomad tents in the grasslands. It is the best time to go for a trek in Tibet.
Some people may think it is unbelievable to travel to Tibet in winter. Actually, winter is another great time to visit Tibet. With less rain, the sky is very clear and you can have a good visibility. The train and flight tickets are cheaper in the period, as it is the same with hotels and tour price. Actually, the weather is not cold as you imagine: Lhasa shares an average temperature about 9.5 degrees in the daytime and 0 degree at night which shares the same average temperature as Beijing, the capital of China. The Tibetan New Year is held in winter. You can find thousands of Tibetan pilgrims gather in Lhasa together to celebrate the most important festival in Tibet. It is the best time to learn Tibetan culture, custom, and emotion.
Tibet is closed to foreign travelers from the late of February to mid-March. March is sensitive for Tibetans. And all the required travel permits will not be issued until early April. Except for the closing time of Tibet, the spring is a great time to visit Tibet for the good visibility and fewer tourists. This is the best time to have the EBC trekking tour.