A Lot of “Tibetan” Travel Agencies are not Tibetan
Travelers to Tibet are increasingly aware of the need to support the Tibetan economy and culture by hiring Tibetan-owned travel companies and local Tibetan guides.
Unfortunately, there has been very little information online to help you find dependable agencies truly owned and run by Tibetans.
If you Google “tibet travel” or something similar, you will get a whole bunch of Chinese-owned companies trying hard to look Tibetan. We understand that in Lhasa it is common even for Chinese guides to pretend they are Tibetan, or “half” Tibetan.
The online Tibet travel discussion forums are full of requests for reliable companies, but these requests very rarely receive a clear answer. All too often, the people who answer are travel companies pretending to be unbiased travelers! Many are not, but it becomes hard to know who to trust.
From your home country, while you are planning your trip, it’s almost impossible to sift the real thing from the fakes, and there are a lot of fakes out there.
So how can you find a travel agent that is
both truly Tibetan and dependable?
It’s simple, use our free Tibet Travel Service here >>
We researched this issue for a long time, both to help you find trustworthy Tibetan travel companies, and also to help support the honest, hard-working Tibetan-owned travel agencies.
- YoWangdu’s travel service is free, easy and ethical.
- We match you with excellent, trustworthy Tibet travel agents, who plan your travel in Tibet (not including international flights).
- We only work with agents who are either Tibetan themselves or deeply committed to supporting the local Tibetan economy and culture.
A NOTE ABOUT COSTS: Travel in Tibet is quite expensive, no matter which agent you use, and we work only with very reliable, well-respected agents, which means that we don’t really offer budget travel. For the “deluxe” option below, you can count on between $250 and $400 US Dollars a day, per person. For the “standard” option, it will be more like $150 to $250 US Dollars a day per person. The lower end is usually for larger groups. (These costs are for general planning only and are only approximations. The costs do not include the air fare to get to Tibet.)
SOLO TRAVELERS: Our agents prefer to work with groups of at least two persons. Individuals wishing to travel alone should know that the cost of travel for solo travelers is basically as expensive as it is for two people. Unfortunately, we cannot make groups for you. You will need to form a group of two or more on your own before you sign up for the trip. We are actively working on this, and one day soon we hope to better accommodate solo travelers!
LAKES AND MOUNTAINS TOUR: For a spectacular 12-Day overland journey from Lhasa to the Nepal border via Namtso Lake and Mount Everest, fill out the Lakes and Mountains Travel service form here: http://www.yowangdu.com/tibet_travel/tibet-travel-service-lakes-and-mountains.html
INDIAN NATIONALS ON PILGRIMAGE TO KAILASH: We are sorry, but you need to use a specific travel agent for this purpose and our agents are not allowed to help.
We’ll get back to you with a referral for a good agent for your journey, and the agent then contacts you and takes it from there :-)
Of course, please ask a lot of questions to any agency you decide to work with, and if you need more advice, jump on the Tibet discussion forums from Lonely Planet or TripAdvisor and start asking folks there what they think.
DISCLAIMER: YoWangdu makes every effort to find you superb, trustworthy travel agents, but we can’t and don’t guarantee the services provided by these agents. We are not part of any agreements or contracts you may make with the travel agents and we have no responsibility for any loss or damage of any nature that may result due to your agreements with the agencies, or for any aspect of your trip to Tibet.
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By Lobsang Wangdu