Tibet is not among the 193 independent countries I have to visit to complete my dream of visiting all countries in the world. However, Tibet is one of the territories that feels most like an independent country and nothing like China at all. I have just visited Tibet for three nights and had an unforgettable experience thanks to Explore Tibet, which is recommended as the number one tour operator in the latest edition of the Lonely Planet book. Explore Tibet can arrange tours and the important Tibet permit, which you must apply for through them at least two weeks prior to arrival in the country. Yes, country. Despite not being a part of United Nations, Tibet is more of a country than many independent countries with their unique culture, and I can only hope it will someday become independent. Unfortunately, the only international flights are from Hong Kong or Kathmandu and most visitors arrives from “Mainland China”.
My experience with Explore Tibet began with the excellent communication by e-mail by Sonam and Kate, and the permit arranged in time for my visit. The experience in Tibet itself was excellent with pick up from the airport and guided tour of Tibet’s sights including the stunning Potala Palace and Lake Namtso in the following days. My problem with Tibet was limited to hotels. St. Regis and InterContinental was the worst two luxury hotels I have stayed in my travels, and you can read why on my Hotel Passion blog. Explore Tibet was a great company from beginning to end, and there is a reason Lonely Planet has them as their most recommended tour operator. Professional, friendly and fast service from beginning to end.
Arriving in Tibet
View from my room at the lovely Shangri-La hotel