Alternate Text

Tibet & Nepal

Travel to earths' ''third pole'' for a breathtaking adventure!

Book from € 2,199.-
GROUP SIZE: 6-24 | 22 DAYS

Tibet & Nepal

  1. Can I exchange currency in Tibet?
  2. Can i withdraw money in Tibet?
  3. Is a sleeping bag necessary for Tibet?
  4. Is a visa required for Tibet?
  5. What clothing should i take to Tibet?
  6. What is the best time to travel to Tibet?
  7. What is the risk of altitude sickness in Tibet?

1. Can I exchange currency in Tibet?

Yes, you can. Euros for example can be easily exchanged at banks, exchange offices and sometimes at hotel receptions. This only applies to the larger towns however.

2. Can i withdraw money in Tibet?

Yes, in Lhasa and Shigatse, you can withdraw money at the Bank of China. Your debit card must have a cirrus logo.

3. Is a sleeping bag necessary for Tibet?

For our Tibet trips, you do not need sleeping bag. A sleeping bag liner is handy because although there will be enough blankets, sometimes they are not very clean and therefore a sleeping bag liner is a good idea.

4. Is a visa required for Tibet?

A permit is required for Tibet. This is arranged by Shoestring and is included in the tour price.

For the Tibet and Nepal (STN) trip, Please send a copy of your passport to us at info@shoestring.com no later than 4 weeks prior to departure*:

*The passport copy is also required in order to book your flight to Lhasa, again no later than 4 weeks beforehand. You should ensure that you have at least 6 months validity on your passport, beyond your intended return date.


For the China & Tibet (STI) trip, After receiving back your passport with a Chinese visa, we need an immediate copy of both your passport and your Chinese visa. These copies are required four weeks in advance of travel to Tibet. They are best emailed to us at the relevant address: info@shoestring.com

*You should ensure that your passport has at least a further 6 months validity beyond your return travel date.

5. What clothing should i take to Tibet?

Take plenty of layers of clothing that can be easily added or removed since temperatures in Tibet may vary greatly within a single day. The sun can get quite strong during the daytime, similarly at night it can get pretty cold. During the peak season (summer months), frequent rainfall makes waterproof clothing and raingear absolute musts.

6. What is the best time to travel to Tibet?

The best time to travel to Tibet is in spring, early summer and late autumn. July and August bring heavy rains and obscured views of the mountains.

7. What is the risk of altitude sickness in Tibet?

Altitude sickness occurs especially if staying above 3500 meters, something which in Tibet is frequently the case. This can be partially prevented by drinking plenty of water and calmly acclimatizing in Lhasa.

Altitude sickness is a reaction of the body to the increasingly low oxygen levels in the air. The main problem is the emergence of fluid accumulation in the lungs and/or brain. Altitude sickness is potentially life threatening. You should be alert to the symptoms yourself and of those with whom you are traveling. Before the symptoms are described, it is first important to note that  getting altitude sickness is not dependent on physical fitness routines or walking at high altitudes. Even experienced hikers can after many treks become susceptible. People under the age of thirty, who previously had altitude sickness and people with lung and heart problems are at greater risk. Those people who needlessly heighten the pace of the group are also putting themselves at greater risk.

There is a whole range of symptoms resulting from altitude sickness. Symptoms include nausea, headache, insomnia, dizziness, vomiting and headache that does not respond to aspirin. Enormous fatigue, shortness of breath or tightness without effort are all symptoms. With these symptoms you can slowly go up, but it is better just to wait until symptoms are gone. Symptoms suggestive of severe altitude sickness, whereby you should immediately descend are: foamy/spitty cough, blue lips and tongue, inability to lie flat, constricted consciousness. In this case descend to a lower area, take on more the oxygen and if possible, visit the hospital.
  1. Can I pre-book transfers and extra nights?
  2. Do I need a visa?
  3. Do I need vaccinations or malaria tablets?
  4. Do they cater for vegetarians in China?
  5. How are communications?
  6. How is accommodation arranged if I book alone?
  7. In what kind of accommodation do we sleep?
  8. Is China dangerous?
  9. Travel guides and maps
  10. What about my passport?
  11. What are other activities and sports could I do on this tour?
  12. What are the best festivals and when do they take place?
  13. What is the best time to travel?
  14. What is the electricity situation?
  15. What is the recommended currency for China?
  16. What kind of bag should I take?
  17. What kind of clothing and other stuff is practical to take?
  18. What kind of transportation is used?
  19. What local customs do I need to keep in mind?
  20. Whats is the time difference?

1. Can I pre-book transfers and extra nights?

Yes you can pre book transfers (arrival only) and extra nights with Shoestring.You can add this on your booking form.

2. Do I need a visa?

You are responsible for having a valid passport and visa when you travel. UK/EU passport holders currently require a visa for China but please click here to find out if unsure. Please then check your nearest Chinese embassy if you do need a visa. Make sure you inquire at least a month before departure if you need a visa so you do not run into time problems.

3. Do I need vaccinations or malaria tablets?

Please click here for questions regarding vaccinations and malaria tablets for this country and then contact your GPor a specialised health clinic to make an appointment to get your injections and pills. Please make sure that you arrange this at least six weeks before departure so you have time to complete a full program of injections. Two weeks should suffice for people who already have had a few vaccinations. You are responsible for having the right protection when going on tour.

4. Do they cater for vegetarians in China?

You will not have any problems finding dishes suitable for vegetarians.

5. How are communications?

Telephone communication within China is good and improving all the time. International Direct Dialling is available in most cities. Phone cards are widely available and calls can be made from post offices and hotels; phone booths on the streets are usually for local calls only. In hotels, local calls are generally free or cost only a nominal fee. Mobile phone networks are very advanced. Operators use GSM networks and have roaming agreements with most non-North American international operators. Internet cafes are available in most main towns and cities.

6. How is accommodation arranged if I book alone?

If you book alone you will share your room with a fellow traveller ( from the same sex when possible) unless you have booked a single room.

7. In what kind of accommodation do we sleep?

You will sleep at 2/3 star hotels in double rooms with twin beds.

8. Is China dangerous?

China is a reasonably safe country. There are hardly any acts of violence against foreigners. However, pickpocketing does occur frequently, especially in the larger towns and cities. You have to beware of this in busy places. Local buses, stations and squares are notorious. The standard guideline is to carry your passport, airline ticket and travellers cheques and most of your money under your clothing in a money belt. See to it that you have enough change for the day in an easily accessible place, so you won’t have to reach for your money belt in public. Never leave money or valuables behind in your hotel room.

 

9. Travel guides and maps

If you want to take a travel guide or map, we suggest you click on Lonely Planet.

10. What about my passport?

You need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months from the date of your departure. You are responsible for having a valid passport and visa when you travel.

11. What are other activities and sports could I do on this tour?

The main activity in China is shopping in its many markets, but in such a big country you will find the opportunity to go horse riding or take part in a huge variety of other interesting activities.

12. What are the best festivals and when do they take place?

China has 9 national holidays: 1st January (New Year), Chinese New Year in (this date varies each year and depends on the Chinese lunar calendar. For 2012 the date is 23rd January); 8th March (International Women’s Day); 1st May (Labour Day); 4th May (Youth Day); 1st June (Children’s Day); 1st July (the CCP’s Birthday, celebrating the founding of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921 in Shanghai); 1st August (anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army); 1st October (National Day - founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949).
Special ceremonies are held in Taoist and Buddhist temples on full moon and new moon days. It is fun to get an inside view of the festivities on such days. The Lantern Festival is especially colourful (Yuàxi-o Jié). It marks the end of the Chinese New Year season. People make paper lanterns and walk through the streets with them in the evening.

13. What is the best time to travel?

The best time to travel in China is from April to October. In the spring the fruit trees and meadows are in bloom. Later in the year the paddy fields are a deep green and in the autumn, when the nights get colder once more, it is harvest time and the rural areas buzz with activity. During all journeys you will experience sunshine, rain and cloudy patches. In the winter months it can get quite cold.

14. What is the electricity situation?

Please click here to check what voltage and plugs are in use in this country. You might also wish to consider taking a universal electric adaptor.

15. What is the recommended currency for China?

The currency used in China is the Renminbi Yuan (CNY). The Yuan is divided into 10 chiao/jiao or 100 fen. Make sure you exchange your leftover Yuan before returning home because this currency cannot be exchanged outside China's borders. Foreign cash can be exchanged in cities at the Bank of China. Banks are closed at the weekend. The larger hotels and the special 'Friendship Stores' designed for foreigners will accept most western currencies for purchases. Major credit cards are accepted in the main cities at various establishments, but outside the major cities acceptance is limited. ATMs are scarce outside the main cities.

16. What kind of bag should I take?

It is best to bring an overnight bag or rucksack, rather than a hard suitcase because this is awkward to transport from place to place. In addition, a small rucksack or shoulder bag will come in handy for daily use. To keep your money and valuables safe it is best to buy a thin money belt which you can wear under your clothes. Take care that your luggage is not too heavy; 20 kilograms is the maximum. At train stations you will have to carry your luggage to the train yourself.

17. What kind of clothing and other stuff is practical to take?

During the summer months most parts of China are stiflingly hot. In Yangshuo, for instance, it is wise to wear a shirt with long sleeves and a pair of trousers for protection against mosquitoes. It's better to bring along too little rather than too much. If there is anything missing you can usually buy it locally very cheaply. An umbrella and a light waterproof jacket could come in handy. The umbrella can protect you from the rain as well as the blazing sunshine. A sweater is certainly necessary in the spring and the autumn. A pair of good quality worn-in walking shoes with a good tread and a pair of sandals is all your feet will need. You will also need the following important things: sunglasses, suntan lotion, toiletries, a first-aid kit, head covering, photographic or film equipment, back-up batteries, a pocket torch, a pocket knife (don’t put this in your hand luggage during the flight), an alarm, pen and paper, books, a valid passport with a visa for China.

18. What kind of transportation is used?

As China is a huge country you will travel by air conditioned (mini)buses, night trains, boats and planes.

19. What local customs do I need to keep in mind?

Be aware of the deeply rooted Chinese idea that China and the Chinese are normal and the rest of the world is strange. Most Chinese are kind and curious with regard to foreigners. At best they consider us to be ‘different’, though the usual opinion is that we are ‘barbarians’. Neighbouring people learned from the Chinese, not the other way round. In the modern world, this mentality may not be very appropriate anymore, though is still largely present. According to western etiquette, a few local habits are downright distasteful. Chinese eating habits include loud slurping and belching. After a meal, the table and surrounding area is left in a chaotic and messy state with leftovers, chicken bones, fish bones etc. everywhere. It can also be hard to stomach the constant loud spitting that the Chinese dedicate themselves to so completely. There is also a lot of loud snorting and wretching. The best thing is just to be cheerful about it

20. Whats is the time difference?

Please check the world clock in order to find out the exact time difference 

  1. Can I pre-book transfers and extra nights?
  2. Do I need a visa?
  3. Do I need to take a mosquito net?
  4. Do I need vaccinations or malaria tablets?
  5. Do they cater for vegetarians in Nepal?
  6. How are communications in Nepal?
  7. How is accommodation arranged if I book alone?
  8. Is Nepal dangerous?
  9. What about my passport?
  10. What are the best festivals and when do they take place?
  11. What is the accommodation like?
  12. What is the best time to see wildlife?
  13. What is the best time to travel?
  14. What is the recommended currency for Nepal?
  15. What is the situation regarding electricity?
  16. What is the time difference?
  17. What kind of clothing and other stuff is practical to take?
  18. What kind of luggage should I take?
  19. What kind of transportation is used?
  20. What local customs do I need to keep in mind?
  21. What other activities and sports could I do?
  22. Which travel guides and maps?

1. Can I pre-book transfers and extra nights?

Yes you can pre-book transfers (arrival only) and extra nights with Shoestring. You can add these to your booking form.

2. Do I need a visa?

You are responsible for having a valid passport and visa when you travel. Please check the embassy if you need a visa for Nepal and check out the current situation by clicking here. At present, a visa is required for European citizens. Make sure you inquire at least a month before departure if you need a visa so you do not run into time problems.

For some of the trekking trips, a permit is required. This will be arranged onsite.

3. Do I need to take a mosquito net?

You may consider bringing a mosquito net but insect repellent is usually sufficient.

4. Do I need vaccinations or malaria tablets?

Please click here for questions regarding vaccinations and malaria tablets for this country and then contact your GP or a specialised health centre to make an appointment to get your injections and pills. Please make sure that you arrange this at least six weeks beofre your departure to allow time for a full program of injections. Two weeks should suffice for people who have already had a few vaccinations. You are responsible for having the right protection when going on tour.

5. Do they cater for vegetarians in Nepal?

Vegetarians will find that they are catered for adequately as the local cuisine is mainly made up of rice, porridge and a wide range of vegetable dishes. Much of the Nepalese population is Hindu and does not eat meat anyway.

6. How are communications in Nepal?

Mobile coverage in Nepal is variable. Internet facilities are available in hotels and in cafes in Kathmandu and Pokhara.

7. How is accommodation arranged if I book alone?

If you book alone you will share your room with a fellow traveller ( same sex when possible ) unless you have booked a single room.

8. Is Nepal dangerous?

Nepal is a relatively safe country, where people are friendly and honest. However, tourists in the cities are being increasingly targeted by pickpockets and thieves. Do not leave valuable items in your hotel rooms: either bring them with you or leave them in the hotel safe.

9. What about my passport?

You need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months from the date of departure. You are responsible for having a valid passport and visa when you travel.

10. What are the best festivals and when do they take place?

April/May: Bisket is the Nepalese New Year. Statues of Hindu gods are paraded through the cities on trailers, and everyone is given the day off.
September/October: Durga Puja or Dasain is the largest festival in Nepal. It lasts for about 10 days and is celebrated everywhere. It honours the victory of the goddess Durga over the buffalo-demon Mahisha. Kite-flying competitions are held, as are parades and processions in the valley.
End of October/November: Diwali or Tihar, the Festival of Light, is celebrated. Thousands of lights are lit, fireworks are set off, sweet treats are prepared and sand patterns are made outside the front door. This festival is held to welcome the god Rama back from his long exile in the jungle. The festival in honour of the goddess Lakshmi is held simultaneously.

11. What is the accommodation like?

We stay in hotels with en-suite facilities except during the trek when there will not be ensuite facilities.

12. What is the best time to see wildlife?

Chitwan National Park in the centre of Nepal is the best place to see wildlife (it has rhinos, tigers, crocodiles, parrots, an elephant breeding centre and much more). The best time to visit the park is from October to May.

13. What is the best time to travel?

The best time to visit Nepal depends on what you wish to do there. The best months for walking in the mountains are April, May, October and November. The weather is good during the day and the temperatures do not drop as rapidly during the night. After the monsoon, the air is clear, leaving the spectacular snow-covered mountain tops clearly visible. The monsoon season (July and August) is not suitable for hiking in the mountains, as the paths become muddy and slippery and the mountains become almost impossible to see. From October until the middle of March, it is dry and sunny. It can be cold during the night, but as soon as the sun comes up it quickly becomes pleasantly warm again.

14. What is the recommended currency for Nepal?

The Nepalese Rupee is the local currency in Nepal.There are getting more ATM's every year but you can also change foreign money in hotels, banks or at the airport.

15. What is the situation regarding electricity?

Please click here to check what voltage and plugs are in use in Nepal. You could also consider taking a universal electric plug adaptor.

16. What is the time difference?

Please check the world clock in order to find out the exact time difference 

17. What kind of clothing and other stuff is practical to take?

The clothing/equipment you need will of course depend on whether you are trekking or not. If you are, then the evening before the trek we suggest you fill a backpack (up to 7 kilos per person, including sleeping bag). This backpack will be carried by the porter during the trek (included in the price). You can then also take a small daypack each for small items such as camera, water bottle, jumper etc. The remainder of your baggage must be stored in the hotel in Kathmandu/Pokhara for your collection after the trek.

The list below shows what you will need for the trek, and whether the necessary equipment is for sale or for hire in Kathmandu/Pokhara. This is indicated by a S(for sale), and/or H(for hire):

Good, worn in, water-repellent or waterproof boots; Good hiking socks; Underwear; Long underwear / thermal underwear; long pants S; Shorts S; blouses or T-shirts S; Warm sweater (fleece) S; Windbreaker; Poncho / rainwear S/H; cap or hat against the sun S; hat/scarf /gloves against the cold S; Sunglasses; walking sticks S (in the mountains you can obtain for very little money bamboo canes to walk with. Sometimes you can find 'real' canes in Kathmandu/Pokhara for a bargain but they are generally very expensive); sleeping bag (with a -5 warmth factor) S/H; Small backpack for daily needs S; Water bottle S; Flashlight with spare batteries and bulb S; Small first aid kit; Toiletries S; Towel S; Biodegradable soap/shampoo; Earplugs; Toilet paper S; padlock S; Pen and paper; passport; a good book; possibly a pair of binoculars; altimeter; photographic equipment; games; enough Nepalese rupees in denominations of 100 and smaller.

18. What kind of luggage should I take?

Pack everything into a weekend bag or backpack, but do not use a hard suitcase, as this will prove difficult to transport. In addition, you should also bring a small backpack or shoulder bag for daily hand luggage. For storing valuables and important documents, we advise that you buy a thin money belt to be worn under your clothing. Do not bring too much baggage with you. Clothing in particular can be bought for next to nothing, so it is much better to bring too little than too much. More than 12 kg of luggage is rarely necessary and only hinders travel in Nepal.

19. What kind of transportation is used?

Transportation is in minibuses 

20. What local customs do I need to keep in mind?

There are many local customs in Nepal which can appear quite strange to Westerners.
For example: When visiting sacred sites, you must be bare-headed and barefoot, even if the site is little more than ruins. As long as you adhere to this rule, the faithful worshippers will not bother you, even during ceremonies. Women must be covered up to a certain degree. The bare minimum that women can wear is a blouse with short sleeves and a dress/skirt that covers the knees. The Nepalese greet each other simply with a namaste, which involves placing the palms of the hand together in front of the face and saying ‘Namastay’. Physical greetings, such as hugging or kissing are unusual to the Nepalese and are not appreciated by the locals.

21. What other activities and sports could I do?

You can visit the stupas and temples in Kathmandu, swim, row or walk around the beautiful mountain lake in Pokhara, climb the peaks of Annapurna South or search for rhinos and tigers in the Chitwan National Park.

22. Which travel guides and maps?

If you want to take a travel guide or map, we suggest you click on Lonely Planet.

Shoestring and third parties use cookies (and other techniques) to analyze the website, make it more user-friendly, offer social media and show relevant offers on and off the website. By using the site, you agree to this.