Himalaya Travel Information

About The Mountains

The Himalaya is the globe’s mightiest chain of mountains. No other mountain range features peaks of 8,000 metres (26,000 feet). In the Himalaya there are 14 of such mountain tops and hundreds of peaks over 7,000 metres (23,000 feet) high. The mountain chain stretches along 2,700-kms (1,700 miles).

The Himalaya is the beginning of numerous great rivers of the Indian subcontinent, such as The Ganga and Yamuna which are inextricably entangled with local myths and legends. The Indus or Sindhu also originates in the trans-Himalayan Tibetan Plateau, as does the Brahmaputra.

Preparation

Ahead of your trip you ought to have a health check to find out that you are physically fit and to avoid altitude sickness. You should always keep a first aid box with you, with basic medicaments to treat headache, fever, constipation, burns, diarrhea, sore throat and coughing. Include patches and eye lotion and diuretic drugs.

Cold cream which you can use generously prior to the day’s walk also protects from dryness of your skin. Use river water for washing. Most importantly you should know the place you are travelling to and carefully research it on the Internet.

When To Go

The best time to visit Tibet and the Himalayas is in summer (June-July-August). Then you can enjoy an intense sunlight, hot temperature, local festivals and an amazing scenery. It is ice-cold in winter which lasts from October till May – not recommended. But…

Winter is when I was there and although very cold, averaging between -10C to 5C, it is bearable. It is particularly dry in Tibet so remaining warm is a matter of protecting yourself against the very cold air as opposed to being concerned with snow and ice. When moisture is present, it is much more difficult to stay warm because moisture speeds up heat transfer.

The bonus of being there in Winter is the lack of tourists! So if really want to escape Winter in Tibet is the best time.

More Himalaya travel tips….

Light-weight clothes are best between May and October and warm layered wear from November to April.

Essential items you should take with you are a fine quality backpack, with wide straps to hold, foam mattress, sleeping bag, a Swiss knife, good quality trekking shoes, a raincoat (also in summer), matchboxes, umbrella, a water bottle, disposable bags and a flashlight.

Getting There From Abroad

Your Himalaya travel could depart from various locations. Many travel by air to Kathmandu, Nepal and use this as their starting point. Nepal has connections with many destinations abroad.

Want to visit Tibet? There are frequent flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa, though the exact number of flights per week depends on the season. It’s slightly more than one hour and gives you a great view of the Himalaya mountains. Note that normally individual travelers can get neither a visa nor a plane ticket, which are solely available to members of organized groups.

Alternatives are direct flights between Chengdu in the Sichuan Province, and Lhasa. You can easily obtain an air ticket through a travel agent in Chengdu, China. There is also a 2-hour flight twice every week between Chongqing and Lhasa.

Practical China Travel Information

China travel tips – Useful information

Time difference: During the summertime it’s 7 hours later in China than it is in the UK. During winter time it’s 8 hours later in China.

Best time to travel: The best time to travel is during the months Aprtil through October. However, it’s best to avoid the first week of May and the first week of October. These are Chinese national holidays.

Language: Mandarin Chinese is spoken in most of China. However, countless dialects are also spoken. English is gaining popularity in China, but you still won’t find many people who speak English, especially in rural China. Bring along a Chinese pocket dictionary.

Currency: The official Chinese currency is known as the renminbi (‘peoples money’), RMB for short. The monetary unit is the Yuan. Hong Kong has its own currency – the Hong Kong Dollar. The Hong Kong Dollar is pegged to the American Dollar. It’s accepted in Guangzhou (Canton) and Shenzhen.

Tips: Tipping is customary for guides and drivers. They are generally reliant on tips for a large portion of their salaries. It’s not customary to tip in restaurants.

Visas: You’ll need a Chinese visa in order to travel in China. You’ll have to apply for your own visa at the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (CVASC). A single entry Chinese visa will cost you around £60. This is made up of a £30 visa fee, and a £30 processing fee.

Telephone calls: Phoning home during your China trip using your mobile usually isn’t a problem, but it can be a very costly affair. Internet Phone (IP) cards are the cheapest way to phone home. You can buy these cards at kiosks and hotels in larger cities. If you want to use your own mobile phone during your trip, it’s best to buy a prepaid sim card at a Chinese phone shop.

Internet: Nearly all parts of China offer Internet access. You’ll find more and more cafés and bars that offer mobile Internet in China.

Photography: The Chinese are usually honoured if you would like to take their picture. Don’t forget to ask their permission first though. Taking pictures or shooting a video at military sites in China is highly illegal. Many museums, palaces and temples also do not allow pictures to be taken or only allow you to take pictures for a fee. It’s best to always be on the look-out for the signs posted regarding photography and to be careful.

Voltage: Electricity in China is 220 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. It’s best to bring along a universal plug adaptor.

Hygiene: Using public bathrooms during your China trip will be quite an experience. The level of hygiene is commonly poor and you’ll have little privacy. Be sure to add toilet paper or tissues, anti-bacterial hand wipes and disinfectant to your China Travel Plan packing list.

Online Travel Guides Are Making An Impact With Travelers

Traveling to a new place needs lot of preparations. However, the first thing that should be done as a part of preparing for the travel is buying travel guides for the place. It is always good to consult more than one guide for traveling to be sure that the information that is furnished is correct. However, with time things have changed drastically and these guides have also taken a new shape and appearance. Online guides related to travel and tourism are available and you can gather all kinds of information regarding a destination. Many travelers and tourists also publish their travel experiences and travelogues online so that people can read them and get ideas or advice.

Travel guides become very important in places where there is a language problem barrier. In such countries, it is very important to have the right kinds of guides so that moving around becomes easy and convenient. Many guides also have some language help for tourists and some common terms and phrases are mentioned so that travelers can communicate the very important things without any problem in the new country. These kinds of assistance are also offered through the various online guides. There are translation facilities available on the internet as well that make things easier and convenient. Some of the online guides also have forums where travelers and tourists can interact with one another and share their experiences.

Online guides that help in traveling also provide complete and detailed information about a place, like the climatic conditions, the weather patterns, food habits, lifestyle, places of interest and similar things. Therefore planning the entire trip becomes extremely easy and convenient with such guides. In fact, the total program of the trip can be planned with the help of proper guides so that the whole trip remains smooth and hassle free. And when things are planned in advance, there are no additional tensions as well. Detailed planning for each day can be done. Guide books provide information regarding the various places of interest in the country and the ways to reach there. One can sort the most important places if there is time constraint.

Having the right kind of food is very important during a trip. Good guides will provide detailed information about the various restaurants and eateries that you will find in the city. The kind of cuisines that are served in the restaurants are also mentioned along with the direction and the opening hours of the restaurant. Apart from large and well known restaurants, information regarding general eateries is also provided in many guides. Apart from printed guides, online guides are also great sources of such information.

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