Himalaya Travel Information

About The Mountains

The Himalaya is the globe’s mightiest chain of mountains. No other mountain range features peaks of 8,000 metres (26,000 feet). In the Himalaya there are 14 of such mountain tops and hundreds of peaks over 7,000 metres (23,000 feet) high. The mountain chain stretches along 2,700-kms (1,700 miles).

The Himalaya is the beginning of numerous great rivers of the Indian subcontinent, such as The Ganga and Yamuna which are inextricably entangled with local myths and legends. The Indus or Sindhu also originates in the trans-Himalayan Tibetan Plateau, as does the Brahmaputra.

Preparation

Ahead of your trip you ought to have a health check to find out that you are physically fit and to avoid altitude sickness. You should always keep a first aid box with you, with basic medicaments to treat headache, fever, constipation, burns, diarrhea, sore throat and coughing. Include patches and eye lotion and diuretic drugs.

Cold cream which you can use generously prior to the day’s walk also protects from dryness of your skin. Use river water for washing. Most importantly you should know the place you are travelling to and carefully research it on the Internet.

When To Go

The best time to visit Tibet and the Himalayas is in summer (June-July-August). Then you can enjoy an intense sunlight, hot temperature, local festivals and an amazing scenery. It is ice-cold in winter which lasts from October till May – not recommended. But…

Winter is when I was there and although very cold, averaging between -10C to 5C, it is bearable. It is particularly dry in Tibet so remaining warm is a matter of protecting yourself against the very cold air as opposed to being concerned with snow and ice. When moisture is present, it is much more difficult to stay warm because moisture speeds up heat transfer.

The bonus of being there in Winter is the lack of tourists! So if really want to escape Winter in Tibet is the best time.

More Himalaya travel tips….

Light-weight clothes are best between May and October and warm layered wear from November to April.

Essential items you should take with you are a fine quality backpack, with wide straps to hold, foam mattress, sleeping bag, a Swiss knife, good quality trekking shoes, a raincoat (also in summer), matchboxes, umbrella, a water bottle, disposable bags and a flashlight.

Getting There From Abroad

Your Himalaya travel could depart from various locations. Many travel by air to Kathmandu, Nepal and use this as their starting point. Nepal has connections with many destinations abroad.

Want to visit Tibet? There are frequent flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa, though the exact number of flights per week depends on the season. It’s slightly more than one hour and gives you a great view of the Himalaya mountains. Note that normally individual travelers can get neither a visa nor a plane ticket, which are solely available to members of organized groups.

Alternatives are direct flights between Chengdu in the Sichuan Province, and Lhasa. You can easily obtain an air ticket through a travel agent in Chengdu, China. There is also a 2-hour flight twice every week between Chongqing and Lhasa.