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Bordered by Nepal on the South, Bhutan to east and India to east west, today the Autonomous Region of Tibet measures 2,600 km (1,625 miles) from east to west and 1,300 km (812 miles) north to south for a total area of 1,221,700 square km (471,900 square miles). The average elevation is 5,000 m (16,500 ft).
Tibet is cold in winter, cool in summer and generally dry, receiving only 45 cm. (18 inches) of rain or snow annually. Temperatures can differ greatly within a day, however, passing 29 C (85 F) in desert areas in summer, and plunging below 4 C (40 F) at night. The higher you go the colder it gets, of course, sunlight is extremely intense. Winds in winter are ferocious. Rainfall in Southern Tibet occurs intermittently between June and September, bringing moisture to barley fields and greenery to the valleys.
WHEN TO VISIT:
From March to October is the best period to travel to Tibet, when days are not too cold and the passes are clear of snow. Whereas for the festivals the best months are February, March and June-September. During the monsoon season June-September south of the Himalaya, Landslides can delay journeys through the mountains to Nepal.
The choice of entries and exits for Tibet has recently increased to include more international access to Lhasa. There are direct flight into Lhasa from Kathmandu Chengdu, Beijing (via Chengdu or direct ), Kunming and Xian. Apart from the Kathmandu-Lhasa flight, Nepal overland route to Lhasa has become a very popular. Another entry point to Tibet from West Nepal (Simikot) is also opened.
08 hours ahead of GMT. Note Tibet is linked to Beijing time so when you cross the border to Nepal the time change is considerable. Nepal is 5 hours and 45 minutes ahead of GMT.
Lhasa Gonggar Airport is 96 kms by old road & 55 km by new road away from Lhasa.
The airport departure tax at present included on ticket.
Currency in Tibet
As in the rest of China, Renminbi (RMB) is the legal currency in Tibet. Only the Bank of China offers foreign exchange services and facilities in Tibet and certain up market hotels (Lhasa Hotel, the former Holiday Inn, and Tibet Hotel). The Bank of China has a main office (0891-6835078) and several sub-branches in Lhasa, which all cash travelers' checks while only the main office offers cash advances on major credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, Diners Club and Amex). Its main office is located on Lingkhor Bei Lu 28, north of the Yak Statue and its hours of operation are 9:30 am -1pm and 3:30 - 6:00pm, Monday to Friday. Another convenient sub-branch lies on Beijing Dong Lu, between the Kirey Hotel and the Banak Shol Hotel. Its hours of operation are 9:30am-6:00pm, Monday to Friday, and 11am-3pm, Saturday and Sunday. The Bank of China Shigatse office, near the Shigatse Hotel, can provide travelers' checks exchange services also. Cash advances on credit cards are not available here. Zhangmu has two sub-branches .