When is the best time to visit Tibet?
Covering around one eighth of the whole Chinese territory, Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) spans more than 9oo km from north to south, 2,000 km from west to east, with seven major cities and prefectures scattering at various latitudes. Different region have different climate and temperature, thus, the best time to tour Tibet also varies.
Best Time to Travel Lhasa - the Whole Year Round
Located in the north of the Himalayas, Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet, enjoys most sunny days throughout the year. It has a mild climate, neither too hot in summer nor too cold in winter. The highest temperature in Lhasa is 29℃, the lowest temperature is -12℃ and annual average temperature is around 7.4℃. The rainfalls mainly concentrate in summer (from July to September) and annual precipitation mounts up to 500 mm. And a total of over 3,000 sunshine hours make it known as “Sunshine City”.
Lhasa is a great summer resort for its warm days and cool nights. Snow melting away, clouds floating by, flowers blooming everywhere, just indulge yourself in this picturesque scenery. Another highlight in Tibet summer is Shoton Festival, during which you can appreciate Tibetan opera performance, Buddha exhibition show and other folk customs.
And many tourists hold that scenery in Lhasa reaches its peak at autumn. Reds, yellows, and purples interweave with each other. Just stepping on the soil of Tibet, you’ll lost yourself in the colorful world. Driving from Gongga Airport to Lhasa downtown is a good case in point.
Winter and spring are also available for you to visit Lhasa. You’ll encounter a swam of devoted pilgrims prostrating themselves in front of Jokhang Temple, and circling along Barkhor street, etc. It has become a great opportunity to explore the real Tibetan religious life. At the same time, slack season starts and you’ll get better discounts on all kinds of things, like Tibetan flights, accommodation, service charge and so forth.
Best Time to Hike Everest, Shigatse City - April to June
Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet, is 300 km away from Lhasa. At the altitude of 3,836 m, Shigatse has much longer sunshine hours than Lhasa, reaching up to 3,233. It’s not only the residence of Panchen Lhamas, but also the hub for Tibetan monasteries such as Tashilhunpo Monastery, Sakya Monastery, Shalu Monastery, etc. Traveling in Shigatse will deepen your understanding of Tibetan religious culture.
Mount Qomolangma is another big draw to tourists. Since winter left and rainy season hasn’t set in, April to June are the best months to trek EBC. Under the clear sky and stable weather, it’s more likely to catch panoramic view of Mount Everest.
Best Time for Nyingchi Tour- March to April
Nyingchi lies in the valley of southeastern Tibet, bordering Shannan, Lhasa, Nagqu, Chamdo, India and Burma. Nyingchi has an average altitude of 3,000 m and the lowest part is just 900 m above the sea level. Thus, it’s a good place for tourists to get used to the high altitude. And you can enjoy quite cozy climate in Nyingchi for it’s warm in winter and cool in summer. The average temperature is always above zero degree centigrade in winter and remains around twenty degrees centigrade in summer. Unique climatic conditions and natural environment make Nyinghci become the most pleasant place for people to live in Tibet.
Best time for traveling Nyingchi is from March to April. The landscape here is completely different from other parts of Tibet. All the beings come back to live, pink peaches and red azaleas spread across mountains. Snow-capped mountains, forest sea, crystal streams, and delicate architectures will present you a peaceful picture of Tibetan life.
Best Time to Visit Nagqu – May to September
Situated in the northern Tibet, Nagqu lies between the Tanggula Mountains and Nyainqêntanglha. It’s cold and dry, lack of oxygen. Climate in Nagqu becomes relatively warm from May to September. During this period, weather is stable and grass flourishes everywhere. One thing needs to mention is that Nagchu Horse Racing Festival. Flocks of Tibetans dress in unique costumes and gather together at this vast beautiful grassland to watch horsemanship, archery, Tibetan opera, Tibetan singing and dancing show, yak race and so on. Thousands of nomadic tents dot around the horse racing track, and an open market appears. Here you can buy some Tibetan handicrafts for your families and friends at very reasonable price.
Best Time to Trek Mt.Kailash, Ngari Prefecture – July to September
Sitting at the northwestern Tibet, Ngari Prefecture is the core area of Qiangtang Plateau with the lowest population density. Due to the harsh conditions, you are highly recommended to do Kailash trekking from July to September so as to avoid rainy season and chilly winter.
Best Time to Go for Shannan – June to August
You’ll experience more authentic Tibetan culture and ethnic customs in Shannan for it treasures numerous Tibet cultural and historic relics. Shannan has four distinct seasons and the best time for visiting is from June to August. The highest temperature is about 20℃.
Best Time for Visiting Chamdo – May, June and September
Located in the east of Tibet, Chamdo is famous for its red earth. May, June and September are always considered as the best month to appreciate Danxia scenery in Chamdo. As for other months, traffic will be blocked down by heavy rain and snow.
Generally speaking, the answer to when is the best time to visit Tibet depends on where you want to go, what you want to see and your travel budget. Please feel free to contact us for your personal Tibet tour.