Eventhough the weather is colder in winter, it s highly recommend to travel to Tibet in Winter as there are many festivals going on in Tibet during winter. Besides, Lhasa city is full of local Pilgrims, coming from different parts of Tibet including far east and north east of Tibet, known as Amdo and Kham, driving thousands of km distance to reach Lhasa from their home town.
The Winter period in Tibet is from Mid November until Mid February. Many people think that Tibet is extremely cold during winter time but in reality, Central Tibet where Lhasa, Tsetang, Gyantse and Shigatse places are warmer than Europe and most parts of US and England as Tibet shines beautiful sun light entire winter. Eventhough it is reported by weather forecast as minus 5-10, it is still warm during day time when there is beautiful sun light. You can wear warm thick jacket and under wear during evening and morning time if you walk around.
Travel to Tibet in winter gives you more authentic experience since you will meet lots of Tibetan locals coming from different regions of Tibet including, Amdo and Kham, the far eastern and north eastern Tibet. Many of them come by prostrating to Lhasa which takes several months to reach Lhasa . You will also see more Tibetan traditional festivals and some of the most famous religious festivals including Ganden Ngamchoe. Ganden Ngamchoe is the death anniversary of Tsongkapa, the founder of the Yellow hat school, dates back to the 15th century. Tsongkapa was born in Amdo, north eastern Tibet, known as Qinghai where Kumbum monastery in Ziling which is the capital city of Qinghai province. Tsongkapa traveled to Lhasa on foot at the distance of thousands Km and studied different schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Finally he founded Gelukpa or Yello Hat School and wrote a great scripture called “ the stages to the path of the enlightenment ). Tsongkapa was also the first Ganden Throned king and after his death till now, there are over 100 Ganden Thoroned kings. Tsongkapa had thousands of students and his great teachings of stages to the path of the enlightenment spread not only all over Tibet but also in Mongolia and most of the monasteries in Tibet were transformed into Gelukpa school during that time. The first Dalai lama and Penchen lama also became the most famous disciples of Tsongkapa therefore when Tsongpa was passed away, the entire nation respected and decided to hold 25th of the October of Tibetan lunar Calendar as the death anniversary and displayed thousands of butter lamps both inside and outside the temples, monasteries, Palaces, residential places to pay homage to the great master Tsongkapa. Although this anniversary festival has been more than 600 hundred years history, there are still thousands of thousands Tibetans from different regions, gathered in Lhasa, and take a pilgrimage around Jokang temple on Ganden Ngamchoe or death anniversary of Tsongkapa to pay their deepest homage and respect to the great master of Tsongkapa and at the same time, pray for the well being of all sentient beings in front of the Jokang temple.
Travel to Tibet in Winter also gives you an opportunity to save a big amount of money as you will get 30-40% discount on hotels, transportation, entry fees and flights. At the same time, you will see more local people and much less tourists comparing to the summer time. The tour destinations that Tibet Shambhala Adventure would like to recommend you is to fly from Chengdu to Nyingtri, the eastern forest region of Tibet which is just 2900mts above sea level and it is full of forest and less dried so it is a very good beginning to acclimatize to the altitude, slowly driving up to Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet, enjoy the most beautiful rich culture of Tibet, then travel to Tsetang, the cradle of Tibet and then further to the closer western Tibet through beautiful Yamdrok lake, Karola glacier, Gyantse, Shigatse and then back to Lhasa. In all those recommended places, you will get good conditioned 4**** hotels with good facility of heating system, attached shower, nice breakfast.Get more details about Tibet Winter Tour.