Tibet is a beautiful area teeming with vibrant life, color, and fresh air! How can you enjoy the best of Tibet’s outdoor adventures? Here are six suggestions for enjoying the natural wonders of this special place when you visit Tibet.
1. Hike on the Roof of the World
If you’re interested in a trekking holiday, Tibet has much to offer! With the fantastic Himalayan mountains sprawled out before you, you can take your pick of fantastic hikes. Visiting the base camp of Mount Everest is always a special thing to do, allowing you to see this giant beast up-close and personal.
There are many other Tibet tours that cover trekking through different areas in high-altitude Tibet. Just make sure that you give yourself time to adjust and take it slow so as not to fall victim to altitude sickness. Try hiking from the Ganden Monastery to the Samye Monastery, or for a more advanced trek, take the trail from Lhasa all the way to the Northern Base Camp of Mount Everest.
2. Join the Pilgrimage Around Mt. Kailash
Hidden in the far western part of Tibet, you can join in on what thousands of pilgrims come to do every year in this sacred mountain. Held as holy by four different religions, the path that circles the base of Mount Kailash is never too full, but you will always meet interesting faces when traveling there.
No one is allowed to climb the mountain, however the trek around its base is still reasonably difficult. It runs 52 kilometers and rises to an incredible altitude of almost 5800 meters (yes, we’re still talking about the base!).
To attempt this trek, it’s recommended to go with a guide or a tour group. They will arrange transport from Kathmandu or Lhasa. The entrance fee is around 100 yuan.
3. Take a Bicycle Tour
Bicycling through Tibet is known as one of the most challenging cycling adventures known to man. If you are an avid cyclist and wish to push yourself to the limit, then cycling in Tibet is the place for you!
Of course, if you’re looking for an adventure that isn’t so intense, cycling is still a good option. Plan your trip well, or go with a cycling tour group to see the incredible Tibetan Plateau as never before. Be prepared in case of harsh weather conditions, and don’t forget to glance up every once and awhile and admire the incredible scenery surrounding you.
The best time to cycle through Tibet is between the months of May and October. Winter is a no-go.
4. Photographic Adventures
Beauty in nature abounds throughout Tibet, and what better way to remember your adventure than to keep incredible pictures as mementos for years to come!
Visiting places such as Mount Kailash, Lake Namtso, and the cultural centers of Kathmandu and Lhasa will give you incredible opportunities for photography of nature and of people in their native culture. At the end of your trip, you’ll have a whole stock of photos to add to your portfolio full of stunning scenery and vibrant colors.
5. See the Holy Lakes
There are many holy lakes in Tibet, but three are considered especially sacred. I recommend visiting all three of them if possible. Lake Yamdrok, Lake Namtso, and Lake Manasarovar are all innately beautiful freshwater lakes that shine crystal-clear in the (literally) breath-taking altitude. These lakes have been extremely well preserved and kept free of pollution, thus visiting them is a highlight of any Tibet adventure.
I especially recommend visiting Lake Namtso, also known as ‘Heavenly Lake’. Coming here, you will likely meet Tibetan pilgrims and monks coming to worship by the bright blue shores. It is absolutely one of the most beautiful sites in all of Tibet. The nearest town is Damxung, so plan to either visit from there or from Lhasa.
6. Witness Tibetan Festivals
Tibet is full of many wonderful traditions and cultural appeal. If you’re looking for outdoor activities, you’ll find that the majority of Tibetan festivals take place in the great expanse of nature.
For example, during the fourth month of the Tibetan lunar calendar, the Shoton Festival is celebrated. First, thousands of Buddhists come to the Drepung Monastery to see the unveiling of the Great Buddha. Later, an outdoor opera will be performed in Norbulingka Park in Lhasa. For an entire week different classical operas of Tibet are performed in open air in a beautiful display of culture. On the second day of the festival, you can see the yak race and different shows and competitions at the Lhasa Race course. It is a unique and fun experience.
Tibet truly is a place of wonders. This stunning creation is proof that natural beauty means more than modern conveniences. You will thoroughly enjoy your Tibetan adventure through the outdoors!
This is a guest contribution from Agness of Etramping.com
Having traveled around the world on a tight budget, this worldly-wise tramp has lived without a permanent home since 2011. She has worked abroad, funding her adventures while living simply enough to continue traveling and blogging. Although she has visited many parts of the world, Agness holds a special love for China and Tibet. She continues to document her travel experiences so as to help others reach their goals of seeing the world on a budget.