Sometimes called the roof of the world, mythical Tibet has captured the imaginations of travelers from all over the world. From the breathtaking allure of Lake Yamdrok to the much sought after base camp of Mount Everest, Tibet is a land of dramatic natural beauty and notable cultural monuments that will impress even the most seasoned travelers. Visiting Tibet is an unforgettable experience, and for many travelers, the trip begins with the question, “when is the best time to visit?”
Staying Out of the Rain
Avoiding rainy season is a high priority for many visitors interested in Tibet tours and travel because rain can limit the number and type of activities that are possible during the trip. Tibet’s rainy season typically begins between May and June, and it often stretches into September and even October. Visiting at the beginning or end of the rainy season is often ideal because it allows travelers to make the most of the summer sunshine, which melts the snow on high passes, enabling road travel throughout the region. While April may be a bit early for the snow melt, it is a beautiful time to see spring wildflowers, which extend into the warmer month of May. Conversely, visiting at the end of the rainy season — during September and October — promises stunning scenery covered in the rich hues of autumn foliage. Despite the rain, the summer season is also considered high season, and accommodation prices are highest during this time.
Visit During Winter
Travelers seeking a budget-friendly Tibetan vacation should consider the winter season, which boasts perks like cheap accommodations and lower tourist numbers. While heavy snow can close down high passes, the beauty of the snow falling in the Himalayas can be reason enough to visit during this time. Winter is also an excellent time to visit the iconic Potala Palace because fewer tourists means fewer restrictions on the number of visitors. Foreign travelers who plan to journey to Tibet in the winter should aim to travel in November or December; the Chinese government imposes bans on foreign visitors, so it is important to check current bans before planning to travel between January and April.
Go in Spring if You Want to Climb Everest
While Tibet has often been associated with Everest’s base camp, new restrictions have closed base camp from the Tibetan side, which was accessible by car. Climbers are still permitted to visit if they manage to obtain one of the 300 climbing permits issued each year. For travelers hoping to summit Everest on their trip, the best time for travel is a small window between April and May, after the snowfall and before the rainy season.
Visiting Tibet is, for many, a once in a lifetime trip, so it is important to make the most of it. For some, the whimsical beauty of flower-covered mountains is a dream come true, while for others, fewer crowds and the snow-capped majesty of the Himalayas is the perfect backdrop for a Tibetan adventure. The best time to visit Tibet depends on the traveler, and planning ahead guarantees an unforgettable experience.