Even though November is among the slack season of Tibet tourism because of the cold weather, it is still a perfect time to travel to this land throughout the year.
Firstly, travelling in Tibet in November is money-saving. To promote the development of local tourism in winter, the government has carried out favorable policies for tourists, so this is a good chance for them to travel Tibet. For example, airline tickets and train tickets are much cheaper than other seasons during this period. Tourist attractions which are titled with “National AAA Level Scenic Spot” or levels above are free in winter, and as for the rest tourist attractions, travelers can get a discount of 50%. Besides, great discounts are also offered by hotels during this period. As a result, tourists can save at least half of the money if they go to Tibet in November.
Tibet in November
Secondly, weather during this period in Tibet is comfortable. November marks the end of autumn and the beginning of winter in Tibet. Even though the temperature can drop down to -5 degrees at nights, it is not that cold in the daytime because of the warm sunshine, ranging between 12 degrees to 15 degrees on average. Besides, the weather is mostly sunny during this period, so people don’t have to worry about the rainfall in November.
Thirdly, it is not that crowded in Tibet in November. Most of the tourists will chose warm places for travelling in winter, so Tibet remains rather tranquil in this cold month. For those who want a less crowded place for travelling, Tibet is a perfect choice.
Tibet is slowly getting into winter from autumn in November. The weather is getting cold, so you need to wear light down coats or fleece jackets even when you are in downtown Lhasa. Although Tibet is not as warm as it was in summer, the temperature is not very low. Most of the places such as Lhasa, Shigatse, Shannan and Nyingchi are suitable for travelling in October. And a normal winter coat will be enough to against the coldness during this period.
Welcome to Tibet in November
Just as what is mentioned before, people like to go to warm places for travelling in winter, and that’s especially true for Chinese people. Without the great amount of Chinese tourists, November has become a perfect time for foreigners to travel Tibet.
Tourists can not only enjoy the unique winter scenery of Tibet in Nonmember, but can also have a hot spring bath during this cold season. There are a lot of famous hot spring spots in Tibet, such as the Yangpachen Hot Spring, Dezhong Hot Spring, and Campo Hot Spring. Therefore, Tibet is also called “the holy land of hot spring”. Even though taking a hot spring bath can be beneficial, 30 minutes is the best for tourists. Otherwise, they can easily get altitude sickness if they stay too long in the water because of the low oxygen content.
The sky in winter is azure blue, the clouds are the whitest, rivers and lakes are the clearest, and the snow-covered mountains are the most shinning. When the sunlight is spreading all over the whole plateau, this holy land looks just like a paradise on earth.
November is the slack season of Lhasa tourism, so the city is not bustling during this time but quieter. Tourists don’t have to spend too much time on queuing up for ticket buying, so they are able to have more time to explore the mysterious religious culture in the Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple. Besides, they can also have a cup of butter tea in the tea houses and have casual talks with local people, which are the right way to spend their time in this holy city.
Located at an altitude of about 3,600 meters, Lhasa is a little bit cold in November. Temperature in the daytime is about 12 degrees on average, yet it can drop to -4 degrees at nights. The good news is that there is little rainfall during this cold season, so tourists are able to enjoy a lot the whole day and night.
In addition to the most popular Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple, tourists are also suggested to go to Sera Monastery and Drepung Monasterym, which are two of the three largest monasteries in Tibetan Buddhism. They can watch the monks debating with each other in the Sera Monastery.
In November, most of the tourists to Lhasa will choose to wear a sweater and winter coat plus a scarf to keep warm during the journey. If you are not cold-resistant, you can also put on one more hat. The wind is strong during this period, and a hat can effectively keep your head warm. In this case, you won’t get a headache because of being blew by the wind for a long time, and your journey can continue smoothly as well.
Temperature in Namtso in November is between -5 degrees to 11 degrees, with average rainfall of only 4 mm. Temperature differences between day and night are getting larger. The weather is mostly snowy and cloudy. When the snow is heavy, roads to the mountains of Namtso might be blocked. Tourists can walk along the Namtso Lake. Time permitted, they can stay there until the evening to have a look at the starry sky of Namtso, which is said to be the most beautiful scenery in China.
Those who have been to Namsto will feel that their souls are cleaned by the pure water of the lake. This is just a paradise that contains all kinds of blue in the world: dark blue, light blue, icy blue, milk-like blue...all of which are so charming and attracting.
After wondering the holy Namtso Lake, tourist must take a hot spring bath in Yangpachen. Temperature of the hot spring maintains at around 47 degrees. The hot springs in Yangpachen are the highest in the world. Tourists are able to see the snow-covered mountains while taking baths in Yangpachen. So the experience can be enjoyable and pleasant.
In the Chinese zodiac Year of Sheep, Tibetan people would make pilgrimages around Namtso Lake by walking around the lake circle after circle. They believe by doing this, their sins will be washed away. Therefore, tourists might see more pilgrims in the Year of Sheep than in other years.
Not only should you bring thermal clothes such as down coats, fleece jackets and sweaters, but should also bring equipment like gloves, hats, scarves and cold-weather masks to keep out the cold by the lakeside. The temperature will be lower than zero degree at nights. Therefore, we don’t suggest that you stay overnight in Namtso when you go there in November.
When other places of Tibet are entering in winter in November, it is still autumn in Nyingchi. When other places have already been decorated by yellow leaves, Nyingchi is much more colorful during this period. Most of the days are cool, with temperature reaching up to 17 degrees in the daytime. Rainy season has already gone, so there is no rainfall during this period, and tourists can have great fun in Nyingchi without being worried about the weather. They can go to visit Namcha Barwa, which is believed to be the most beautiful snow peak in China.
Mount Namcha Barwa
Although it is still autumn in Nyingchi in November, it is still necessary to bring thermal clothes such as light down coats, fleece jackets and sweaters when you go to Nyingchi during this period. The sunshine is still strong in November, so don’t forget to bring equipment like sunscreen, sunglasses and hats before the journey. Otherwise you might get a great tan during the journey.
Average temperature in Shannan in November is between 3 degrees and 13 degrees. As long as there is sunshine, it wouldn’t be very cold in the daytime. It barely rains but snows during this period in Shannan, so the weather is usually cold, dry and windy. While driving along the way from Lhasa to Shannan, tourists are able to see the beautiful scenery of yellow leaves on each side of the road.
The most famous tourists in Shannan is the Trandruk Temple, which is located in Tsedang Town, the political, cultural, and economic center of Shannan. Trandruk Temple is one of the earliest geomantic temples in Tibet. While visiting the temple, tourists need to keep several things in mind: firstly, hats should be taken off before entering the temple and smoking is forbidden in the temple; secondly, watching the objects in the temple is permitted, but touching Buddha statues and scriptures are prohibited; thirdly, walking in a counter-clockwise direction in some places of the temple is inappropriate, so tourists had better walk in a clockwise direction in the temple.
Shannan is getting cold in November, and the air is dry during this period. Therefore, in addition to thermal clothes, you also need to bring skin-moisturizing products to protect your skin. As there is huge temperature difference between day and night, you should bring both thin clothes and thick clothes to Shannan during this period. For example, you can wear long sleeves inside and put on a thick coat outside. In this case, no matter how the weather changes, you don’t need to worry about the weather at all.
Yamdrok Lake is located at a high altitude of 4,441 meters, about 840 meters higher than Lhasa. Yet temperature differences between the two places in November are not very large. The weather is still warm in early November and it barely rains during this period in Yamdrok. Since the middle of the month, temperature drops dramatically to below 0 degree, and that’s why the water of Yamdrok Lake begins to freeze during this period. The water of Yamdrok Lake is said to be the most sacred in the world and people can’t see the whole views of the lake from any places in Yamdrok.
The weather in Gyantse in November is not as cold as people think, with temperature reaching up to around 10 degrees. It is suggested to bring thermal clothes such as your fleece jackets, down coats and sweaters to against the cold and strong wind there. There is always strong sunshine in the daytime, so tourists need to bring sun-block equipment with them when they go to Gyantse during this period. Gyantse was a transfer city for people from Lhasa to Shigatse. With the development of transportation, people now are able to get to Shigatse from Lhasa directly. Therefore, Gyantse is less populated than it used to be.
However, as an ancient county in Tibet, Gyantse still possesses many tourist attractions which are worth a visit. Topping the list are the Gyantse Fortress, Kumbum Monastery, and Pala Manor, all of which are of great importance to the history of the county. Gyantse Fortress is a war site which had played an important role in the battle between the Tibetan people and the British invaders in 1904. Kumbum Monastery is the only temple where the three major sects of Tibetan Buddhism harmoniously get along with each other. And Pala Manor is the only well-preserved manor of ancient nobility in Tibet, showing two totally different life between the rich nobility and the poor slaves in ancient times.
Shigatse is the second largest city in Tibet, only behind the capital city Lhasa. In Tibetan Language, “Shigatse” means “fertile land”, which can be exactly used to describe the city. Because of the full sunshine and sufficient water supply, the agricultural industry of Shigatse is the most developed in Tibetan region. Therefore, Shigatse is also known as “the granary of Tibet”.
Shigatse famous for its world-class tourist attractions, among which the most famous one should be the Mt. Everest, which is highest mountain in the world. It is also an important transport hub for Tibet, because ports such as Gyirong Port, which link Tibet and Nepal are located in the region.
In November, Shigatse is as warm as Lhasa in the daytime, with temperature being 11 degrees on average. Yet it is colder than Lhasa at nights. Therefore, temperature difference between day and night in Shigatse is larger than that of Lhasa. So thermal clothes are necessary for a trip to Shigatse in November to against the coldness at nights.
The wind in Tibet is pretty strong in November, so the priority for a trip in Tibet during this period is to protect yourself from the wind. You can wear a hat and scarf to against the wind and keep warm, so that you won’t catch a cold. Or else you will probably get altitude sickness because of the cold.
EBC has already enter into winter in November, with average temperature ranging from-13 degrees to 8 degrees. It doesn’t rain very often during the period, but once it rains, the grounds will become icy. Weather in EBC in November is mostly dry and cold, with strong winds blowing the whole day. Without the blocking and refraction of the water vapor in the air, it is easy to get a clear view of Mt. Everest from EBC, making the month one of the best time to enjoy the view of Mt. Everest throughout the year.
The banner-shape clouds are marvelous spectacles of Mt. Everest. In most of the time, the clouds look like a banner fluttering in the wind. However, the shapes of the clouds are not always the same. Sometimes they look like waves roaring in the sea. Sometime they are just like the horses galloping on the battle field in ancient times. Different people have different opinions when they see the clouds, the answers are open. It is all up to people’s imagination.
The best choice of clothing for a trip to EBC in November is a down coat plus a fleece jacket. You can wear thermal under and a sweater inside and a down coat and fleece jacket outside to keep out the cold. If you still feel cold, you can put on a hat and a scarf. As the temperature is pretty low, you shouldn’t stay for a very long time outdoors in EBC. When you feel the weather is too cold to bear, you should go back to the car immediately.
Weather situation of Mt. Kailash in November is worse than other places in Tibet. Temperature at nights is between -20 degrees to -10 degrees. Even in the daytime, the highest temperature is lower than 0 degree. Similar to Shannan, it barely rains but snows during this period in Mt. Kailash. Sometimes the snow can be so heavy that roads to the mountains might be blocked. Therefore, November is not a great time for trekking or doing kora in Mt. Kailash. Tourists are suggested to go to the mountain from April to June and mid-September to early October, when the weather is comfortable and pleasant.
Tibetan people have the tradition of making pilgrimages in Mt. Kailash in the Chinese zodiac Year of Horse. They make pilgrimages by walking around the mountain circle after circle. It is said by walking one circle, people can wash away the sins of their whole life; walking ten circles, people can get rid of the 500-hundred years’ suffering in hell; walking one hundred circles, people can become a Buddha after their death. Therefore, in the Year of Horse, tourists can see countless pilgrims walking around the mountain.
Recommended choices of clothing for a trip to Mt. Kailash in November are thermal underwear and a woollen sweater plus a thermal fleece jacket. In addition, hats, scarves and cold-weather masks are also necessary. The clothes should be as light as possible, so that you won’t feel exhausted easily during the journey because of heavy clothes.
Lhasa and Kathmandu are just like twins for tourists. Those who go to Tibet must seize the chance to go to the exotic Nepali capital for a look. And those whose destination was originally Kathmandu also shouldn’t miss the chance to go to Lhasa to have a look. November is among the dry seasons of both Lhasa and Kathmandu. And weathers of the two places are sunny and dry, making November one of the best time to visit the two places. Therefore, tourists who choose to travel between the two places via overland during this period can enjoy a lot along the way.
The Sino-Nepal Highway, also known as the Friendship Highway, is believed to be one of the most unique and fantasy highways in the world. 8 out of the world’s 10 highest mountains are situated on the border between China and Nepal, and tourists are able to see at least 5 of them while driving along the Friendship Highway.
Gyirong Port is the last stop in China on the journey from Lhasa to Kathmandu. Tourists need to go through exit formalities before crossing the Resuo Bridge. Once getting into Nepal, tourists have to apply for their visas in the authority agency of the country. After that, they may begin their trip in Nepal by enjoying the lush and spectacular valleys and forests along the way from the border to Kathmandu. Tourists can get transfer service from Gyirong Port to Kathmandu offered by our company, and the fee is 60 USD/person.
Tips: For visitors who want to travel from Kathmandu to Lhasa via overland, they will have to apply for both the Tibet Permit and China Group Visa in Kathmandu. With the help of our staff, visitors can get their documents done quickly. One thing to remember is that visitors have to apply for the visa at the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu at least 3 days before their tour starts, as it will take 3 working days to finish the process. If possible, tourists are suggested to arrive to Kathmandu 5 days in advance to the day leaving for Tibet. So that they can have enough time to deal with their documents. After handing in the passports, out travel consultants will help you get all the details done.
Lhabab Duchen Festival, also known as Buddha Sakyamuni's Descent Day, is one of the four greatest Tibetan Buddhist festivals commemorating four events in the life of Sakyamuni, together with Losar Festival, Saga Dawa Festival, and Chokor Duchen Festival. It falls on the 22nd day of the ninth month of Tibetan lunar calendar.
Legend has it that after the birth of Sakyamuni, his month died and went to the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven, which is on the 33rd floor of heaven. So Sakyamuni was raised up by his aunt. At the age 41, when Sakyamuni had already become a venerable monk, he decided to go to the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven to give teachings to benefit the gods who were in the desire realms and to repay his mother’s kindness by liberating her from universal cycle of rebirth. His disciples wanted him to come back to earth so much that they tried to build a lot of statues of him and practiced harder on their religious belief. 90 days later, his duties were completed and Sakyamuni decided to go back to earth. After hearing the news, a god named Magmatron created a stairway made of gold, silver, and crystal for Sakyamuni, so that he could walk along the stairway and go back to earth directly. And the day when he came back from the heaven was created as the Lhabab Duchen Festival.
The event is considered to be one of the eight great deeds of the Buddha. And the festival is believed to be an auspicious day for good deeds, as people believe that the effects of all actions can be multiplied ten million times on this day. Therefore, people will seize any chances to help people when the festival comes.
Palden Lhamo Festival is a traditional Tibetan festival only celebrated in Lhasa. It falls on 15th day of the tenth month of Tibetan lunar calendar, a week later than the Lhabab Duchen Festival. Palden Lhamo is the name of a deity who has three eyes and a frog-like face. She has many roles: the principal protector of Buddhists and Buddhism, and the protector of Jokhang Temple.
It is said that when Jokhang Temple was under construction, local demons created disturbance in the temple to obstruct the construction. Then Palden Lhamo was sent to guarantee smooth work of the temple. Therefore, Palden Lhamo Festival was held to commentate her outstanding work for Jokhang Temple.
During the festival, a special statue of Palden Lhamo will be displayed to the public. And parades made up of people who dress up like Palden Lhamo can be seen in Barkhor Street. People will line up for hours to offer Khatak (white scarf) and barley wine to the Palden Lhamo at the Jokhang Temple. And they will also dance around bonfires and drink wine to celebrate the festival.
Palden Lhamol is also called “Women’s Festival” or “Fairy Festival”. Women will dress up with traditional clothes or their finest clothes on this day. During the festival, women can ask men for money and presents and men are meant to oblige women during the festival. And children can also ask money from their parents. Therefore, women and children are the happiest during Palden Lhamol Festival.
The most significant things that visitors must not forget to bring with them before getting to Tibet including passport, Tibet Travel Permit as well as Chinese Visa. Sufficient thermal clothes such as sweaters and fleece or down jackets are necessary for a trip to Tibet in such a cold season.
Sunshine in Tibet are always strong throughout the year. If you don’t want to get a great tan during the trip in Tibet, do bring with you sunglasses and sun protection equipment such as sun hats and High SPF sunscreen. Besides, skin cream, hand cream and lip balm are also necessary to against the dry weather during this period.
Winds in Tibet during this period can be strong. A woolly hat that can keep your head warm and to against the winds can be helpful. Gloves and scarfs are also useful in such windy days. Long underwear can be helpful when you go to places like EBC, Shannan, and other western areas. Besides, a pair of good boots are necessary for a trip to Tibet at any time of the year, because most of the grounds in Tibet are rough and stony. Socks that can keep your feet warm are also important.
Travelling in Tibet is an activity that requires much energy. Tourists can prepare some high-energy snacks in case their energy should be consumed. In addition, as the scenery in Tibet during this period is so beautiful that you should prepare as many batteries for your cameras as you can.
Tibet is located on the world’s highest plateau, so people are more likely to get altitude sickness when they arrive in Tibet, especially in such a cold season. And one interesting thing is that those who are in better health conditions are more likely to get altitude sickness than normal people. To avoid of such situation, visitors had better take Rhodiola 7 to 15 days in advance before they get to Tibet. Medicine like Rhodiola Compound Capsule and Gaoyuan’an that can relieve the symptoms of altitude sickness should also be prepared.
Even though weather in Tibet in November is cold, the month is still a good time to visit this holy land. Tourists are able to fully enjoy themselves in most of the areas, as there is always warm sunshine during the daytime. As for the cold evenings, most of the tourists have already lied on their comfortable beds in hotels. Therefore, there is no need to worry about the cold weather at nights.
For those whose budget is limited, November is a perfect time to go to Tibet, as they are able to save a lot of money by enjoying the discounts offered by airline companions, train stations, hotels, as well as most of the tourist attractions.
In addition to the most popular cities like Lhasa and Shigatse, tourists are highly suggested to go to the western mountainous areas to enjoy the stunning view of Mt. Everest clearly. This is also a good time to enjoy the scenery along the way from Lhasa to Kathmandu. For those who have missed the autumn of Tibet, they are suggested to go to Nyingchi, the only place in Tibet where the tail of autumn can be caught in this winter season.
What are you waiting for? Just move and prepare for the enjoyable Tibet tour in November!