Travel from Singapore to Tibet: All You Need to Know
Travel from Singapore to Tibet: All You Need to Know

Many citizens of Singapore travel to Tibet every year. Here Tibet Travel Expert – Tibet Ctrip Travel Service Team provides you a thorough summary of all you need to know about travel from Singapore to Tibet.

Basics Info of Tibet

Name: Tibet Autonomous Region, referred to as Tibet
Location: on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in the frontier of the southwestern region of the People’s Republic of China
Capital: Lhasa.
Area: 474,300 square inches
International telephone area code: +86
ISO code: TIB
Population: 3.18 million (December 2014)
Currency: RMB

Travel Documents Needed to travel from Singapore to Tibet

Chinese Visa when entering from China:

Citizens of Singapore don’t need a Chinese visa to visit China including Tibet for a stay of less than 15 days; If you plan to stay longer than 15 days in China including Tibet, go to the China Visa Application Service Centre located at 80 Robinson Road, #16-01/02/02A. Call 6226 2358 or visit www.visaforchina.org. The Chinese Embassy does not directly accept ordinary visa applications. Fees vary according to nationality, visa type and processing times;

Chinese Group Visa when entering from Nepal:

Chinese group visa is not the same as Chinese visa. It is a sheet of paper used especially to allow foreigners to travel from Nepal to Tibet. It can only be done in Kathmandu and takes 3 full working days.

Tibet Permits:

all foreigners need Tibet Permits to enter and travel in Tibet including citizens of Singapore. Tibet Permits can only be applied and obtained by a local travel agency in Tibet after a tour is confirmed with duration and itinerary.

Transports from Singapore to Tibet

It is very easy and convenient to travel from Singapore to Tibet. There are many direct flights from Changi Airport in Singapore to many cities in mainland China, such as Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, etc. Then you can either fly to Tibet or take the Qinghai-Tibet train. Unlike other trains in China, the Tibet-related trains are always in high demand and difficult to book. If you have your mind set to take the train, please contact a local agency at least 1 month and a half earlier before your travel time.

For visitors flying to Nepal and then connecting to Lhasa, flights leave Changi Airport regularly and it is around a 5 hours flight. It is a little more expensive than Chengdu, at around US$1,100 per person. The flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa takes a little over an hour and can cost around US$280 per person.

Time difference between Singapore & Tibet

None. China actually straddles five time zones. From 1912 to 1949, each zone went by a different standard time. Now there is one unified standard time in China, including Tibet, which is the same as in Singapore.

Health Hints for Singapore Citizens in Tibet

Tibet poses some unique and particular risks to your health, mostly associated with altitude. There is no need to be overly worried: very few travellers are adversely affected by altitude for very long. Make sure you’re healthy before you start travelling. If you are going on a long trip, make sure your teeth are OK. If you wear glasses, take a spare pair and your prescription. Sensible travellers will rely on their own medical knowledge and supplies. Outside Lhasa and Shigatse there is very little in the way of expert medical care. Make sure you travel with a well-stocked medical kit and knowledge of how to use it.

Acute Mountain Sickness

Acute mountain sickness (AMS; also known as altitude sickness) is common at high elevations; relevant factors are the rate of ascent and individual susceptibility. The former is the major risk factor. On average, one tourist a year dies in Tibet from AMS. Any traveller who flies to where the elevation is around 3600m is likely to experience some symptoms of AMS.

With an increase in altitude, the human body needs time to develop physiological mechanisms to cope with the decreased oxygen. This process of acclimatisation is still not fully understood, but it is known to involve modifications to breathing patterns and heart rate induced by the autonomic nervous system, and an increase in the blood’s oxygen-carrying capabilities. These compensatory mechanisms usually take one to three days to develop at a particular altitude. You are unlikely to get AMS once you are acclimatised to a given height, but you can still get ill when you travel higher. If the ascent is too high and too fast, these compensatory reactions may not kick into gear fast enough.

Mild symptoms of AMS usually develop during the first 24 hours at altitude. These will generally disappear through acclimatisation in several hours to several days. Symptoms tend to be worse at night and include headache, dizziness, lethargy, loss of appetite, nausea, breathlessness and irritability. Difficulty sleeping is another common symptom, and many travellers have trouble for the first few days after arriving in Lhasa.

If you are driving to Tibet from Kathmandu, you will experience rapid altitude gain. An itinerary that takes you straight up to Everest Base Camp is unwise; plan to see it on your way back if possible. The best way to prevent AMS is to avoid rapid ascents to high altitudes. If you fly into Lhasa, take it easy for at least three days; this is enough for most travellers to get over any initial ill effects.

To Prevent AMS:

-Ascend slowly. Have frequent rest days, spending two to three nights at each rise of 1000m. If you reach a high altitude by trekking, acclimatisation takes place gradually and you are less likely to be affected than if you fly or drive directly to high altitude.

-Trekkers should bear in mind the climber’s adage of ‘climb high, sleep low’. It is always wise to sleep at a lower altitude than the greatest height that’s reached during the day.

-Once above 3000m, care should be taken not to increase the sleeping altitude by more than 400m per day.

-Drink extra fluids. Tibet’s mountain air is cold and dry, and moisture is lost as you breathe. Evaporation of sweat may occur unnoticed and result in dehydration.

-Avoid alcohol, as it may increase the risk of dehydration, and don’t smoke.

-Avoid sedatives.

-When trekking, take a day off to rest and acclimatise if feeling overtired. If you or anyone else in your party is having a tough time, make allowances for unscheduled stops.

-Don’t push yourself when climbing up to passes; rather, take plenty of breaks. You can usually get over the pass as easily tomorrow as you can today. Try to plan your itinerary so that long ascents can be divided into two or more days. Given the complexity and unknown variables involved with AMS and acclimatisation, trekkers should always err on the side of caution and ascend mountains slowly.

Personal Travel Insurance

We advise citizens of Singapore to purchase personal travel insurance in Singapore before your Tibet travel. It is not easy for foreigners to make a personal travel insurance claim in Tibet.

Basic Tibetan Language

Greetings

Hello — tashi deleg
Goodbye — kale shoo
Good night — sim-ja nan-go

Basics

Yes — la-yo-re
No — la-yo-ma-re
Thank you — thoo jaychay
You’re Welcome — kay-nang-gi-ma-ray
Sorry — gonad
I don’t understand — ha ko ma song
See you later: jay — la shong

Small Talk

What is your name — Khye-rang-gi ming-la ka-re re?
My name is — Nge ming-la / nga ming-la
Nice to meet you — Khye ran jel-ne ga-po joong
How are you? — Keh-rang ku-su de-bo yin-peh?
I am fine — La yin. Ngah sug-po –de-bo-yin

Food

I am hungry — Nga dhro-go-to-gi-du
I am thirsty — Khong-tso kha-kom-gi-du
Tea — Cha

I want some tea — Nga la cha go
Meat — Sha
Water — Chu
Restaurant — Sa-khang

Directions

Left — Yong-qang
Right — Yehang-qang
Go straight ahead — Ke-er-duom

A Few Other Handy Phrases

Do you speak English? — In-ji-ke shing-gi-yo-pe?
How much? — Ka tso ay?
I will take it — Nhi-geying
Hotel — Zhun-kangha
Gas station — Nong-lu-sah
Monastery — Kuong-bah
Hospital — men-khang
Market — Throm
Bank — Ngu-khang

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