I’m travelling to China, Tibet and Nepal next April and was wondering if anyone has any hints for me. I’m doing a tour which runs from Beijing to Kathmandu overland and the Tibet part goes from Lhasa down the friendship Hwy into Nepal. I’m staying in basic hotels and monasteries – no camping.
Now, do I need to bring any sleeping bags and warm gear? I’m thinking that as I am staying in a lot of monasteries it will get cold at night. I’m bringing the walking boots (I think I’ll need them not only for the great wall of China but generally for walking around).
Can anyone tell me how cold it will actually be at that time of year? I hear that April is one of the best times to see Mt Everest. Any other hints or tips would be appreciated.
Oh, and if anyone could tell me the best way to bring money (ie. travellers cheques, cash, eftpos or credit card) that would be appreciated.
Can't speak for Tibet, but have been to China in June & the weather was warm. I suspect that it's like the northern US as far as climate. Likely cooler, especially higher elevations. Kathmandu I've been to in March, I think it was. Daytime was OK but chilly if the sun wasn't out. Nights were very cool - jacket weather. Never experienced staying in monasteries, but as we found out in Kathmandu, there was no heat in the room (we snuggled together in one twin bed...). Walking boots are a good choice, though don't get any that are too heavy or clumsy. The Great Wall is not that difficult as far as walking - clumsy boots might be more of a hindrance than a help on the steep parts where the steps are half the size of your foot. Sturdy, in-between walking boots, or light weight hiking shoes, or even sneakers with good tread are plenty.
Hope this helps - have fun!
Are you taking the new train from Beijing to Lhasa?
oh - as far as money goes, you should bring all of those. many places in china have atms, yet smaller cities do not. get your yuan in beijing with an atm card and get enough to last you in china. i don't think money changers are prevalent in china, so it may be harder than it should to get dollars or euros changed. we had trouble getting cash in the smaller cities ( 2million or less ) but no problems in the main tourist cities. kathmandu is full of atms...don't know about lhasa but i expect there are plenty of atms. traveler's check may not be that useful, but bring some anyway as you never know...
Thanks very much for that. I’m not taking the new train, I’m flying from Chengdu to Lhasa, but the rest is overland with local transport and trains.
This is my first experience of these types of countries as in South America I could find money changers EVERYWHERE. I’m confused as to how people feel safe carrying around loads of cash!! I think I might bring my atm card for Beijing, Kathmandu and Bangkok (visiting on the way home). The rest will have to be cash!!
I have hiking boots which are well worn in and very comfortable. They are a little heavy to carry but fine once on.
Thanks very much for your help.
it's really difficult to work out when is the best time of year to go.....i've been having the same problems. what's a good time in one country can be a bad time in another. from what i've figured out, summer can be hellish in china, as can winter so spring/autumn are a good time to go. as for tibet, summer is best but even in summer the temperatures can drop at night. i'm going this autumn and will be taking sleeping bag and some thermals!
I can only speak for Nepal as this is the only country I've been to on your list. April is indeed a good time to visit, the monsoon season starts in May and it's gets very hot and uncomfortably humid. You will need some warm stuff most of the year for it gets quite cold in the mountains during night even if the day is very hot. In April the air can get hazy so you won't be able to see the mountains as clearly as you would during the Winter.
You'll have no problem finding somewhere to change money in Kathmandu or Pokhara but outside the big cities you'll run into problems. Thankfully you won't need that much money while trekking for the basic stuff is quite cheap. But ensure that you have small bills with you as very often they can't give you change for large bills along the trekking routes.
I hope this helps. Any more questions just ask.