Booking Hotels

In this post we show you how to book your hotels for your trip to Tibet. There are two separate pieces you’ll need to do: booking a hotel or hotels in mainland China on your way in and out of Tibet, and booking hotels inside Tibet. (Tibet, in this case, refers just to the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR), not to the non-TAR Tibetan regions of Kham and Amdo.)

Booking Hotels

Part 1: Booking hotels in mainland China

Most travelers will need to book a hotel in mainland China on the way in and out of Tibet. Usually, the Tibetan travel agents are only handling the Tibet portion of your journey so you’ll be doing this on your own. Fear not, it’s not a big deal, and many common booking services can help you find and book a good hotel in the Chinese city or cities you will be staying. Here’s a partial list:

Note that we recommend that travelers stay in Xining for a couple of nights to acclimatize. Here are some recommendations from our Tibetan-owned agents, for clean, reasonably priced hotels.

Hotels in Xining

Yahe Garden Hotel

No.334-8# Qiyi Road Xining Qinghai.
Phone: 0971 8211188
Prices around 268 RMB to 360 RMB per night

Mandal Youth Hostel

41 Nang Xiaojie NingZhiyan.Qingyafu 2E
Phone: 0971 5229053
(Our agent’s comments: This is a new hostel, which is much better then Lete Youth Hostel [a popular spot, around 200 CNY per night]. But there is no private bathroom, every three rooms uses one bathroom. I like this hostel very much.)

Sanwant Hotel

Prices around 600 CNY per room per night)


  • Check your change and cancellation policies of whatever organization or service you book your hotels through.
  • No matter where you book, check the reviews on TripAdvisor or something similar before you buy. You can get some great tips there, too.

Part 2: Booking hotels in Tibet

Our recommendation here is to ask what hotels your Tibetan agent will use in each Tibetan city you will be in, and then look up reviews for them online, at TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet forums, or similar. (Sometimes, the names they give you will be spelled differently than what is on online. In that case, ask the agent to send you the TripAdvisor link for that hotel, which they should be able to provide for you.)

If you would like us to recommend an agent for you, click this link and fill out the form at the bottom of the post >>

As always, we strongly recommend patronizing Tibetan-owned hotels whenever possible. Specifically ask your agent for Tibetan-owned hotels. Our partner agents will all give Tibetan-owned hotels whenever possible. (Unless you ask for 5 star hotels, as there are no Tibetan-owned 5 star hotels.)

Tibetan-owned Hotels in Lhasa
(in alphabetical order)

  • Gorkha hotel
  • Dekhang hotel
  • Gangyen hotel
  • Kyichu hotel
  • New Mandala hotel
  • Tashi Takye hotel
  • Yak hotel

We prefer the Kyichu in Lhasa, because of the nice garden, but note that it is a little pricey, and you want to be sure that you don’t get one of the older rooms. We’ve also stayed at the Dekhang, and loved it, though it is a little walk to the main Barkhor area. We’ve stayed too at the Yak, and it was fine and well-located, but we were sure to get one of the better rooms.


  • Before you sign in to a room at any hotel, ask to see the room and be sure it is okay before you check in.
  • Check your change and cancellation policies of whatever organization or service you book your hotels through.

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