One of the frequently asked questions is---When is the best time to visit Tibet? Well, we would like to say that there are pro's and con's to each season. Here below is a list of the pro's and con's to help you making a decision.
High season marks the most popular times of the year for travel in Tibet, due to the weather, holiday periods or other reasons. Therefore hotels, airlines and travel agencies are heavily booked, and prices are higher than at other times. While should season is less busy booking but still good weather to travel, the slow season is cold weather but the best tour price in a year.
Travel Seasons of Tibet
High season: July to October.
Shoulder season: May to June.
Low season: November to April.
Note: Tibet will be annually closed to foreign visitors in March due to government restrictions, the reopen is usually in early April, so please kindly note this when planning a Tibet tour.
Season Division of Tibet
Spring (March, April, May)
According to the local government regulation that Tibet will be closed to foreign visitors in every March, this regulation has practiced ever since 2008. Local travel agents usually start to apply Travel Permits from early April. So if you are planning a Tibet tour, please avoid the entire March and come after the first week of April.
Besides the annual closure of the Tibet in March, the spring season is a good time to visit Tibet. The weather is generally clear until around mid to late May, and the peach blossom festival will be held annual from the end of March, which is a good chance for photographers.
Summer (June, July, Aug)
The summer season starts from June to August, which is the warmest time of a year, but in some areas over 4000m outside of Lhasa, such as Everest area will still be cold at night, but most places where travelers go to are mild and comfortable. The summer warm weather will attract a lot of visitors to come, so the train booking, tour booking, flight booking will be busy during these months, the total tour price will consequently high. Summer is also the rainy season, it will rain a few days each week in most regions but will not rain every day.
Summer is the best time to see the green grasslands and Tibetans living in their yak wool tents. Our suggestion is that if you do like warm weather, summer will be choice. If you do not mind cold weather, rest of the seasons will be much clearer sky.
If you are planning a train travel to Tibet, you’d better avoid these months, the shoulder season and low season is better for the travel agents to guarantee the tickets. If you could not change the timeframe to travel, better solutions are:
You can take train from Xining to Lhasa, Xining is the start point of the Qinghai Tibet Railway and also the start point of the high plateau views, it is better to book a soft sleeper or hard sleeper train from Xining to Lhasa, and what is more, staying in Xining (over 2000M) is better for you to acclimatize the high altitude.
You can consider to take a train out of Lhasa, the into-Lhasa train is hard to buy in Summer time, but the train out of Lhasa is a bit easier to book.
Autumn (September, October, November)
Autumn in our experience is the best time to visit Tibet. After the rainy season ends in mid-September, you will get more chances to see clearer sky and snow-capped mountains until early December. The temperature is comfortable to most of the people, and it is a good hiking time for hikers.
But please note that during the late Oct the weather will be a bit cool or cold, especially during the early morning and evening, so warm clothes are required for traveling in autumn time. Besides, please bring your sun-glasses, sun-cream, etc.
Winter ( December, January, February)
Some people may think winter is not good to travel Tibet, but my opinion is the let alone the lower tour price in winter time, winter’s weather is clear almost every day, so you will see gorgeous high plateau views clearly, and it is not as crowded as summer time. What is more important is that Losar (Tibetan New Year) is in winter time, thousands of Tibetan pilgrims will rush into Lhasa for pilgrimage. It is good opportunity for travelers especially photographers to create amazing mages.
For the most accurate weather forecast, please kindly check this link: http://weather.yahoo.com/china/tibet/lhasa-2144789/