Tibet for Solo Travellers & Backpackers

As a solo destination:

Tibet is a hard but very rewarding country to travel to on your own. During the peak season there are many people visiting for hiking and courses on Buddhism so it is easy to meet people along the way and they are of the same like minded type which makes it even better!

This country is still in its early days of tourism so it would be advisable to go there before it is bombarded and accessorized with Western food and development. Tibetans are very friendly but cautious people, they will do you know harm and it is safe to travel around by yourself.

The Chinese government has made it very difficult to get individual visas but it is possible with perseverance. Tourist permits are a little harder to access without others as there are rules for each area of Tibet. Often this means they will only accept group visits to certain areas so you must team up with others that you meet in hotels to organize 2-3 days trips out of the city.

Accommodation for solo travellers:

There are very limited options in Tibet for accommodation and if you can share with a stranger, it would be advised, to keep costs down. In the city of Lhasa there are hotels from 5 star to 1 star (which are very basic hostel type rooms and not usually very clean but again, would be advised you if want to meet people).

For around 40-55 Yuan you can get a room (which is about £3-4). A lot of places also charge $1US to have a shower. As there are only a few hotels registered for non-Chinese people to stay in, room's book up very quickly in the high season. If you are looking for accommodation when traveling around Tibet there are usually huts or very basic 1 star hotels with cold showers outside and bathroom facilities are fairly unpleasant long drops. There are options to stay in Monasteries and Nunneries which are highly recommended if you want the truly cultural experience of monk life for example.

Budget for solo travellers:

Food is very cheap but basic. You are looking at £2-3 for a meal and a beer is only about .60p. Accommodation varies in price, you are looking at between 40-80 Yuan for your own room in a 1 star hotel in the city with cheaper options out of the city. Visa's are around $50.

Transport is usually in the form of jeeps and you can usually share with others, for example, $75 would include a 3 day four wheel drive and driver. Monasteries are cheap to enter, usually around £4.00 and they accept ISIC cards which halves the price.

As a budget solo traveler you would be looking at approximately $US20-30 a day.

Trips and activities for solos:

There are many activities to enjoy in Tibet, many of them you can do solo. Some of these include: visiting the monasteries, watching the monks debate, Buddhism courses, mediations, attending annual horse festival, walking through the markets, biking out into the Tibetan fields, cycling through Tibet (for the very adventurous), walking to Base camp of Mt Everest.

It is not usually possible to go on 2-3 day hikes or trips alone though as many area require group permits. This can be easily resolved if it is on your list of things to do as there are notice boards up in the hotels with other solo travelers making up jeep loads of people to go exploring for the day or even 3-4 days. This is a great way to meet people as they are most likely going to have a lot in common with you.

Tibet is an experience Not to be missed and traveling solo here gives you time to soak up the atmosphere and really find yourself as well as the option to meet others like yourself to go hiking or visiting monasteries with!

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