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Travel Tips & Check list Nepal, Tibet & Bhutan

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Kathmandu Lhasa Flight (Air China) allows only 20 kg of checked in luggage and a piece of carry-on backpack on the plane.
Carry small, handy but safe backpack for your camera, wallet, passport, flight tickets, small first aid pack etc. It should fit in one wind sheeter or similar garment as well. Remember the temperature may very as we fly or drive to Tibet. Kathmandu is 1,350 m and Lhasa is 3,650 m and Paro is 2,250m.

Visas:
Apply for multi-entry Nepalese visa. You can get Nepal visa on arrival at the airport. Please bring few copies of passport size pictures (6 pieces). Don't get Chinese visa. Your Chinese visa will be cancelled while acquiring Tibet visa.

Altitude Sickness :
Little workout, jogging or other physical exercise at least a month before the trip will be helpful.
Avoid catching a cold or respiratory problem before entering Tibet.
Avoid brisk walking or running immediate after you arrival.
Drink more water. 4 liter a day is recommended.
Iron and vitamin C consumption helps to increase Hemoglobin to absorb more oxygen.
Diamox (Acetazolamize) could be taken as prophylactic as well.
Don't take shower on the first day.
Avoid alcohol and don't smoke.

Weather (Sept / Oct)
The temperature of Kathmandu will still be warm with cool morning and evening (15 – 30 degree centigrade). Dress up in layers so that you can peel off or put on clothes according to temperature. You have to expect the temperature in Bhutan about 5 degree less than Kathmandu. In Tibet the temperature will be about 10 degree less. You have to expect little rain in all three places around September. Prepare for harsh and cold weather in Tibet as we cross passes over 5,000 m. The temperature will fluctuate a lot. The sunlight has strong ultra-violet rays and its very windy particularly in the high passes. The air is very dry. Temperature drops if it rain or snow. It could also snow in Tibet in around end of Sept / Oct. It is best to be prepared for COLD weather, even though much of the time it will be quite comfortable.

Clothing
You will need warm clothes but don’t stuff your baggage with too many clothes as the baggage allowance is limited in the flights to Bhutan and Tibet. You can store your extra clothes in Kathmandu. For Tibet and Bhutan you need sleeping bag and warm jacket, thermal under wares, cap, and gloves.
Both men and women are encouraged to dress with legs and shoulders covered. Respecting the local custom please put on decent clothes while visiting monasteries and temples. People are very hospitable though. Because the temperature/weather can change quickly and often, the 'layering' system is excellent for travel. It is better to have several smaller layers that can be added and removed when necessary than to have one enormous heavy jacket.
Note: Put something comfortable for pit-stops while driving long distances. There are no toilets in may places along the trail.

Shoes:
It is very important to have a strong comfortable pair of boots. Even though there is no trekking, we have to walk around sightseeing places with steps and rough ground as well. Lightweight boots are fine. Carry sneakers or sleepers for lodges.

Medical supplies
Take an adequate supply of any prescription medication you use regularly, including inhalers for asthma. Carry your own medical kits with travel medicine. In Tibet you will not find any western medicines. Cities have got better facilities but we will stay in remote towns as well. Diamox (Acetazolamide) is the best preferred medicine for altitude sickness.
Water
Bottled waters are available everywhere along the journey.

Dos and Don'ts
In general people are hospitable and friendly. People have different ways to behavior in many aspects due to their unique culture and religion. But it would be nice to note down things to respect local custom.
* Don't take photos without permission.
* Some of the monasteries, temple are prohibited for photography and entrance as well. In some they charge extra for pictures.
* Don't talk the sensitive issues like politics & religion.
* Don't enter a monastery without permission.
* Don't touch the head of a Tibetan and Bhutanese.
* Don't step on the threshold when house or monastery.
* Take your hat off when entering a chapel.
* Walk around monasteries, temples and other religious structures in clockwise order with the exception of the Bon sites.

Go to Nepal Tibet Bhutan Travel Tips >

PACKING CHECKLIST
• 3 pairs of neat, loose pants
• 1 pair sweat pants or fleece pants (optional)
• 1 long, full skirt for women (optional)
• 3 long sleeve shirts
• 4-5 T-shirts
• 2 wool sweater or fleece
• 6 pairs of socks ("Smartwool" or "Thorlos" are both excellent)
• Underwear
• 1 pair shorts (Elephant bath and other moments)
• Bandanna or scarf
• Boots, can be lightweight but should be sturdy and comfortable
• Rain jacket (rain pants optional)
• Warm jacket (fleece or down)
• Long underwear (1 set, not cotton)
• Vest (optional)
• Sandals
• Hat(s)-it's a good idea to bring one warm hat and another for the sun
• Travel duffel bag or internal frame backpack
• Day pack
• Sleeping bag only for Tibet (Could be rented in Kathmandu as well)
• An adequate supply of any prescription medication
• Camera and film
• Good UV protection sunglasses
• Combination padlock
• Extra pair of eyeglasses or contacts and plenty of cleaning solution, if used
• Flashlight and batteries (power supply may be out for certain hours, They will operate generator in morning and evening)
• Luggage locks
• Small travel alarm clock
• Soap/toothbrush/toothpaste
• Sun block (at least SPF 15)
• Spiral notebook (small and medium sizes recommended)
• Study journal and pens
• Tampons and/or sanitary napkins
• Towel
• Water bottle (at least one liter, and be sure to check for leaks)
• Novels or other book (you can buy in Kathmandu as well)
• Swiss Army knife or multi-tool knife
• Vitamin supplements (available in Lhasa but of lower quality and dosage than those found in the US )
• Plastic bags in varying sizes ('zip-lock' bags are useful for storage in dusty/wet environments, plastic garbage bags are useful to protect sleeping bag, etc. from wet weather)
• Supply of "happy food" (favorite chocolate, trail-mix, candy etc especially for Tibet. You can buy in Kathmandu as well)


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