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Top Five Outdoor Activities to Do in Tibet

November 12, 2013 Tour Operator No Comments Email Email

Given its geographic location in the far reaches of the globe, Tibet attracts visitors with its well-maintained traditions and splendid landscape. However, most travelers just think of ancient monasteries, devout pilgrims, snow-capped mountains or blue sky when it comes to visiting Tibet.

In fact, Tibet thrills cyclists, horse riders, mountaineers, white-water rafters and other outdoor enthusiasts with its unique type of topography.

1. TrekkinggI_60039_bike-tibet

Despite many well paved roads, most areas in Tibet still remain remote and inaccessible by vehicles. Trekking is the best way for travelers to explore those rarely visited places. Trekking in Tibet is always full of surprises. The altitude, weather and the rugged terrain present significant challenges, but the spectacular views of high mountain passes, deep valleys, ancient monasteries, mysterious meditation caves, tranquil villages and nomadic lands will make the trip unforgettable.

Since Tibet is a spiritual center for Buddhists, popular trekking routes usually start from one holy site and end at another, such as a trek from Ganden Monastery to Samye Monastery. A pilgrimage trek may also cycle around a scared mountain or lake, like Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar in western Tibet. The treks not only provide travelers with stunning sights, but also rich cultural experiences.

2. Cycling

Tibet is a paradise for cycling as well as trekking. Every year, thousands of cyclists flock to Lhasa along one of the five existing highways, Sichuan-Tibet Highway, Yunnan-Tibet Highway, Qinghai-Tibet Highway, Xinjiang-Tibet Highway and Sino-Nepal Highway. The former four roads are mainly popular among Chinese cyclists, while Sino-Nepal Highway, also called Friendship Highway, connecting two Himalayan kingdoms, is the most popular route among foreigners because it covers hot tourist destinations of Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse, Everest Base Camp and Kathmandu.

Cycling from Lhasa to Kathmandu is voted as one of the best bike tours in the world. Cyclists bike across the Himalayas after constant challenges of breathlessness and zigzagging mountain passes. Riders can enjoy both cultural and natural tourist sites.

3. Horse Riding

Agriculture and animal husbandry are the leading industries in Tibet since ancient times. Horses play a significant role in transportation in Tibet, especially in nomadic areas. Over time, a unique culture of horse has been formed in Tibet. For example, the year of horse in Tibetan calendar is considered as a holy year. Horse race is an indispensable game to celebrate grand events. Horse racing festivals are also held in different areas on the Tibetan Plateau every year. Therefore, enjoying a horse ride is a perfect way to experience local life and culture.

4. Rafting

Tibetan Plateau is home to the most important rivers in Asia, such as Ganges, Indus, Sutlej, Brahmaputra, Mekong and the Yangtze River. It is just two hours’ drive from Lhasa City to reach the branches of these rivers Regular rains swell the rivers in summer, offering great opportunities for white-water rafters. A half-day or full day rafting will make a trip in Tibet more interesting.

5. Mountaineering

Tibet is also home to some of the world’s highest mountains. Several of them are on the list of the top ten. These mountains attract both professional and amateur mountaineers. The most well-known is Mount Everest at 8,844 meters above sea level, the highest on earth. Every May is the best time to climb Mt. Everest. Mountaineers from all over the world gather at the foot of the mountain, waiting for favorable weather to conquer the peak. However, untrained people are advised not to climb the mountain because it is life-risking. A trip to Everest Base Camp is actually the best option for ordinary travelers.

Source from Tibet Travel ORG (, the top online travel agency specializing in Tibet tour services.

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