Tibet

Mystical.  Ancient.  Spiritual

On a vast, high altitude plateau where the sky is always a deep iridescent blue from the thin air, lies Tibet, a land steeped in Buddhist lore, mythology and ancient knowledge.

For centuries it was impossible to penetrate it’s borders and thought of as the legendary Shangrila.  Now Tibet is a modern society with a mystical past that it is hoping, will shape the fabric of its future. 

Our role is to help you dig below the surface of modern-day Tibet. To reveal it's complex history lying crafted in the ancient buildings and monasteries, be able to gain your own personal insights from the fervent religious outpourings of a spiritual people and discover an inner peace in the breathtaking beauty of the landscapes sacred sights.

A mystical land in the clouds



Hidden by snow capped mountain ranges high above Nepal and Bhutan, Tibet - known as Bod to the locals - has always been a place of deep mystery.

Longingly spoken about but rarely visited, it was a destination only the bravest and hardiest souls were able to secretly access. 

Today, you can easily fly, drive or train into Tibet, but the mystery still remains. Hidden forces and powers are at work in the the air, the landscape and the dogma, which you might not necessarily be able to explain or understand, but you can intimately feel.

Mighty wind horses carry prayers and wishes from the colourful flags to the mountain gods. Intricately painted thangkas are full of symbolism and illusion to clarify the mind. Spinning prayer wheels constantly release prayers out to the world, purifying negative karma. 

The murmur of chanting and the ringing of temple bells fill the ears.   Swirling incense and juniper smoke lingers in the air.   Flickering butter lamps in dim chapels create dancing shadows, as monks lovingly attend to the altars and the pilgrims, in tears, make offerings to their deities.  

Nothing is a museum or acted out, everything is part of a living faith embraced in daily life.

Being able to take the time to slow down and sit with these mysterious forces when they arise, will help you see a little deeper into the wisdom of this land, perched high on the roof of the world.

At a glance

Capital

Lhasa

Main Language

Tibetan

Currency

Renminbi

Area

2.5 million Km2

Population

3.64 million

Main Religions

Buddhist

Climate

Dry

A mystical land in the clouds



Hidden by snow capped mountain ranges high above Nepal and Bhutan, Tibet - known as Bod to the locals - has always been a place of deep mystery.

Longingly spoken about but rarely visited, it was a destination only the bravest and hardiest souls were able to secretly access. 

Today, you can easily fly, drive or train into Tibet, but the mystery still remains. Hidden forces and powers are at work in the the air, the landscape and the dogma, which you might not necessarily be able to explain or understand, but you can intimately feel.

Mighty wind horses carry prayers and wishes from the colourful flags to the mountain gods. Intricately painted thangkas are full of symbolism and allusion to clarify the mind. Spinning prayer wheels constantly release prayers out to the world, purifying negative karma. 

The murmur of chanting and the ringing of temple bells fill the ears.   Swirling incense and juniper smoke lingers in the air.   Flickering butter lamps in dim chapels create dancing shadows, as monks lovingly attend to the altars and the pilgrims, in tears, make offerings to their deities.  

Nothing is a museum or acted out, everything is part of a living faith embraced in daily life.

Being able to take the time to slow down and sit with these mysterious forces when they arise, will help you see a little deeper into the wisdom of this land, perched high on the roof of the world.

At a glance

Capital

Lhasa

Main Language

Tibetan

Currency

Renminbi

Area

2.5 million Km2

Population

3.64 million

Climate

Dry

Main Religions

Buddhism

Around every corner 

you will find a new adventure


  • Trekking around the cosmic centre of the Buddhist and Hindu universe at Mt Kailesh
  • Accepting a local family's invite, to share stories and a bit of local gossip over butter tea and snacks
  • Tracing back 2,300 years of Tibetan medical history and wisdom at the prestigious House Of Medicine And Astrology
  • Viewing the incredible vibrancy and sharpness of everything around you, created by the thinner atmosphere 
  • Conquering altitude to stand face to face with Qomolangma (Mt Everest), proud and tall at the end of a remote, horseshoe valley.
  • Sitting with the monks as they actively debate philosophy with ritual hand slapping  
  • Gathering with pilgrims & nomads to view the annual unfurling of a 500 square metre painting of Sakyamuni Buddha
  • Gaining merit walking the Barkhor (Holy Road) with devotees who are chatting, praying even prostrating themselves the entire way.
  • Discovering the incredible architectural and religious wonders in over 1,000 rooms of the Potala Palace
  • Witnessing the sincere piety of everyday Tibetans, whenever you enter a sacred building or landscape

Travel Tibet your way


When you travel on any of our awe-inspiring Tibet group departures, you will be joining other like minded adventurers.

We keep group numbers small to make it easier for you to move around, interact and free up time for those wonderful unsuspected opportunities that allow you to enjoy a truly personal experience.

All you have to do is book and pack, the rest has been taken care of.

Let's get together and handcraft your dream Tibetan adventure, whether for yourself or your tribe.

Whether you know exactly what you want or would like us to point you in the right direction, we will make sure that you depart on the dates you choose, can travel the way you feel comfortable and get to experience the places that truely excite you.

We will support you the entire way, from your first enquiry at home to your local guides in the streets of mountains.

All our Himalayan journeys, group or personalised are sustainable and unique experiences, designed to fully immerse you in the local culture, invigorate your senses and ignite your creativity.

Let us help you experience the Himalayas from the inside.

Travel Tibet your way


When you travel on any of our awe-inspiring Tibet group departures, you will be joining other like minded adventurers.

We keep group numbers small to make it easier for you to move around, interact and free up time for those wonderful unsuspected opportunities that allow you to enjoy a truly personal experience.

All you have to do is book and pack, the rest has been taken care of.

Let's get together and handcraft your dream Tibetan adventure, whether for yourself or your tribe.

Whether you know exactly what you want or would like us to point you in the right direction, we will make sure that you depart on the dates you choose, can travel the way you feel comfortable and get to experience the places that truely excite you.

We will support you the entire way, from your first enquiry at home to your local guides in the streets of mountains.

All our Himalayan journeys, group or personalised are sustainable and unique experiences, designed to fully immerse you in the local culture, invigorate your senses and ignite your creativity.

Let us help you experience the Himalayas from the inside.

Some highlights


Lhasa

‘Place of the Gods’ (Lhasa), rests in a high, mountain fringed valley on the north bank of the Kyichu River, and has expanded into a mainly modern city. But head over to the original Tibetan quarter with its traditional buildings, winding alleys and ancient cultural sites and you will be transported back to Lhasa’s early days. If you can, allow a week here to gently roam and absorb the enlightened Buddhist energy.

Potala

During the 7th Century, King Songsten Gampo built a palace on Marpo Ri hill in Lhasa. In the 17th Century the 5th Dalai Lama decided to incorporate the existing palace into the foundations of a greater building, which is today's architectural wonder. The old religious and administrative home of Tibet, it is full of beautiful chapels ancient artworks and the gilded burial stupas of past Dalai Lamas.

Jokhang

Originally designed by Nepalese craftsmen in the 7th century to house a sacred Buddha image. Over time it quickly became the spiritual heart of the country and all Tibetans feel the need to make at least one pilgrimage there. The outpouring of devotion inside the temple is extremly moving and outside, pilgrims prostrating day and night have worn the large flagstone pavers concave.

Barkhor

The constant rattle from spinning prayer wheels competes with the clicking of rosaries counting off mantras, as devotees circumnavigate the Barkhor circuit around the Jokhang temple. These 1,300 year old streets, are where you will find the original look of Lhasa full of Tibetan culture, religion and art.

Tsetang

It is agreed by the myths and the scholars that Tsetang, lying in the Yarlong valley by the banks of the mighty Tsangpo river (Brahmaputra), is the birthplace of Tibetan civilisation. An area of natural beauty, full of history and ancient architectural sites. Yumbu Lhakhang, built 2,000 years ago as a fort for the Yarlong kings, is now a monastery and considered to be the oldest building in Tibet.

Shigatse

Tibet’s second largest city and home to Tashilhunpo monastery founded in 1447, seat of the Pancen Lama since the 17th century. It is the largest monastery in Tibet and is virtually unchanged. Wandering its busy, narrow, cobbled lanes and exploring its exquisite chapels, you’ll join pilgrims going about their devotions, and follow monks performing their daily chores and rituals, as they have done for centuries.

Khumbhum

Cocooned inside the ancient narrow walkways, roughly hewn stairs wind past an endless series of small chapels, evoking the distant past. Each chapel is decorated with statues of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, deities, and intricate wall paintings. You can clearly feel the powerful spirit left behind by monks and pilgrims, who over the centuries, have devoutly worshipped amongst the 100,000 gods and demons. 

Samye monastery

Founded in 775AD and considered to be the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet. At the time, many noble families were opposed to the idea of Buddhism and the original attempt to build the monastery failed, due to the demonic power of the ogress Srin Mo. Saint Padmasambhava was invited to help subdue her and eventually cut off her head. She is buried under the entire Tibetan plateau, her knee lies under Samye.

Yamdrok lake

One of the four sacred lakes of Tibet, everyone from the Dalai Lama to local villagers have made pilgrimages there. On the central island is a 16th century Nyingma temple known as the loneliest monastery in Tibet, with only three monks residing there. Established as a hermitage on the southern shore is Samding, the only community of monks and nuns to be led by a female incarnate lama.

Trekking

Trekking in Tibet can be all year round and regardless of the duration or difficulty level, involves high altitude. From journeys like the 4-5 day Ganden Monastery to Samye Monasatery, a full kora of Mt Kailash, 52kms over usually 3 days,with stunning alpine views, lakes, nomads, birds and wildlife. Joining pilgrims from around the world to perform  with an average altitude of almost 5,000m. To the spectacular Everest Advance Base Camp, 6,400m (21,000ft). Surrounded on all sides by hanging ice as you navigate your way thorugh the Rongpuk and Changste glaciers, this trek provides spectacular views of Qomolangma (Everest) - Goddess mother of the world, and the opportunity for you to get as close to the summit as any non-climber can reach.

Some highlights


Lhasa

‘Place of the Gods’ (Lhasa), rests in a high, mountain fringed valley on the north bank of the Kyichu River, and has expanded into a mainly modern city. But head over to the original Tibetan quarter with its traditional buildings, winding alleys and ancient cultural sites and you will be transported back to Lhasa’s early days. If you can, allow a week here to gently roam and absorb the enlightened Buddhist energy.

Potala

During the 7th Century, King Songsten Gampo built a palace on Marpo Ri hill in Lhasa. In the 17th Century the 5th Dalai Lama decided to incorporate the existing palace into the foundations of a greater building, which is today's architectural wonder. The old religious and administrative home of Tibet, it is full of beautiful chapels ancient artworks and the gilded burial stupas of past Dalai Lamas.

Jokhang

Originally designed by Nepalese craftsmen in the 7th century to house a sacred Buddha image. Over time it quickly became the spiritual heart of the country and all Tibetans feel the need to make at least one pilgrimage there. The outpouring of devotion inside the temple is extremly moving and outside, pilgrims prostrating day and night have worn the large flagstone pavers concave.

Barkhor

The constant rattle from spinning prayer wheels competes with the clicking of rosaries counting off mantras, as devotees circumnavigate the Barkhor circuit around the Jokhang temple. These 1,300 year old streets, are where you will find the original look of Lhasa full of Tibetan culture, religion and art.

Tsetang

It is agreed by the myths and the scholars that Tsetang, lying in the Yarlong valley by the banks of the mighty Tsangpo river (Brahmaputra), is the birthplace of Tibetan civilisation. An area of natural beauty, full of history and ancient architectural sites. Yumbu Lhakhang, built 2,000 years ago as a fort for the Yarlong kings, is now a monastery and considered to be the oldest building in Tibet.

Shigatse

Tibet’s second largest city and home to Tashilhunpo monastery founded in 1447, seat of the Pancen Lama since the 17th century. It is the largest monastery in Tibet and is virtually unchanged. Wandering its busy, narrow, cobbled lanes and exploring its exquisite chapels, you’ll join pilgrims going about their devotions, and follow monks performing their daily chores and rituals, as they have done for centuries.

Khumbhum

Cocooned inside the ancient narrow walkways, roughly hewn stairs wind past an endless series of small chapels, evoking the distant past. Each chapel is decorated with statues of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, deities, and intricate wall paintings. You can clearly feel the powerful spirit left behind by monks and pilgrims, who over the centuries, have devoutly worshipped amongst the 100,000 gods and demons. 

Samye monastery

Founded in 775AD and considered to be the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet. At the time, many noble families were opposed to the idea of Buddhism and the original attempt to build the monastery failed, due to the demonic power of the ogress Srin Mo. Saint Padmasambhava was invited to help subdue her and eventually cut off her head. She is buried under the entire Tibetan plateau, her knee lies under Samye.

Yamdrok lake

One of the four sacred lakes of Tibet, everyone from the Dalai Lama to local villagers have made pilgrimages there. On the central island is a 16th century Nyingma temple known as the loneliest monastery in Tibet, with only three monks residing there. Established as a hermitage on the southern shore is Samding, the only community of monks and nuns to be led by a female incarnate lama.

Trekking

Trekking in Tibet can be all year round and regardless of the duration or difficulty level, involves high altitude. From journeys like the 4-5 day Ganden Monastery to Samye Monasatery with stunning alpine views, lakes, nomads, birds and wildlife. A full kora of Mt Kailash, 52kms over 3 days with an average altitude of almost 5,000m, to the spectacular Everest Advance Base Camp, 6,400m (21,000ft).

When to go


Although referred to as ‘Land of Snows’, Tibet is actually dry most of the year round. With the surrounding mountains catching a lot of the rainfall, the plateau receives only around 18inches (460mm) per year and mainly at night during the summer months. 

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Autumn and Spring


Misses most of the summer rain and winter snow. Best season for trekking

Monsoon


High season. Warmer days and oxygen content at it's highest.  July/Aug. peak rainfall but it's not a lot and usually at night

Winter


Dryer and cold, pleasant in the cities. Treking routes are closed, many roads may be blocked. Best time for bird watching  

Quick facts


Geography

Earths highest tableland with an average elevation of 4,500m, the plateau of Tibet is bordered to the north by the Kunlun mountains and the west and south by the Himalayas. Geographically, it can be divided into three major parts. The east is heavily forested, the north is open grassland, home to the nomads and their flocks, and south and central is the agricultural region where all major Tibetan cities and towns are located.

Ethnicity

A large number of the Tibetan population are Tibetan. Some of the smaller ethnic groups include Monpa, Tamang, Qiang, Sherpa, and Lhoba, while in modern times, Han Chinese and Hui. In the vast and sparsely populated region of Kham, the early trading route between Tibet and China which is known for it’s wild nomadic people, there are over 14 culturally and linguistically distinct ethnic groups


Culture

Life in a remote and difficult landscape intertwined with their devout, philosophical buddhist view, continues to govern Tibetan culture, even as the outside world attempts to creep in. Remaining strong and adaptable, warm and quick humoured, the Tibetans are a calm race whose hospitality is legendary. Be prepared to recieve a spontaneous invite to their home, for butter tea and homemade treats.  


Food

Like their culture, food is used by Tibetens to thrive in the difficult climate. With little rainfall, instead of rice, grain crops are a staple, especially barley. Dairy is popular and meat is beef, mutton and yak. Vegetarian options are increasing especially in the delicious local dumplings, momos. Thick noodle thukpa soup, tsampa a dough made from roasted barley, and salty and rich butter tea are common everyday staples.

Arts & Crafts

Traditionally, Tibetan artwork was created in monasteries where the artists were anonymous and their work oriented towards Buddha, ritual objects and obtaining merit. Today it continues to permeate every facet of life on the plateau including thangka painting, sculpting, wood and stone carving, metal work, furniture design and textiles. And the scale ranges from tiny, silver amulet boxes worn around the neck, elaborate murals and frescoes to cliff painting.


Festivals

Tibetan festivals are often a mixture of religious worship, folklore and traditional cultural activities. Everyone dresses in their finest outfits to receive blessings from the monks as well as offer Khada (silk scarfs), butter for the lamps, incense, fruit, biscuits, money and grain. Then the celebrations kick in with food, singing, dancing, sports and games. Everything from opera and dancing to horse racing, picnics, tug-o-war and archery.