Explore Tibet
Explore Tibet
5
City Tours • Cultural Tours • 4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours • Eco Tours • Private Tours
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12:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Explore Tibet is the leading local Tibetan owned tour company that provides authentic Tibet private tours for different interests and needs. We are native Tibetan and based in Lhasa, we have profound knowledge of our culture, religion and tradition to provide you an insight Tibet experiences. As being a local Tibetan tour operator, we are specialized on customizing private tours and day tours on the Tibetan plateau, the beautiful landscape and pristine nature will provide you a meaningful experiences. Being a local Tibetan tour company, just competing the cost and neglecting the cultural and environmental destruction is not our culture, we always prioritize our customer services by using experienced local Tibetan guides and high safety record drivers, using local services and encourage local business is the core value of our exist. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about Tibet tours and travel permit regulation. WE WELCOME YOU TO VISIT OUR COUNTRY.
Lhasa, Tibet, China

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

5.0
720 reviews
Excellent
651
Very good
54
Average
6
Poor
7
Terrible
2

Catherine L
Bangkok, Thailand13 contributions
Oct 2016 • Family
Visiting Tibet is a dream for so many but it can feel daunting to actually get yourself there and arrange everything. The courteous and patient Samdup at Explore Tibet took the stress out and ensured everything worked out, including an amazing visit to EBC for my husband and daughter and a solo off-the-beaten-track visit to a cave of a 14th C teacher for me. We felt in safe and friendly hands throughout. We were a bit distressed not to get soft sleeper berths on train from Xining (none allocated on our date of travel), but actually hard sleeper berths worked out just fine as long as a youngster takes top shelf! Mid-late October is a perfect time for viewing the mountains but not too cold at night in Lhasa. Very potent memories, our hotel just off Barkhor in maze of streets of old quarter. It was good to know that Explore Tibet is authentically Tibetan owned and run. Perfect family adventure for teens.
Written October 27, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Catherine, Thanks for taking your valuable time to share your amazing reviews on this page. I really much appreciate that you had a good time with us and your guide Namgyal and Gyaltsen. I am sure your family had a mixed experience in Tibet by visiting separately to EBC and spiritual place. And that’s the main aim that our company do for our customers. And it’s indeed a great pleasure to know that you had the authentic experience in Tibet with us. Sorry that you didn’t had chance to experience the soft sleeper beds in the train. Wishing you and your families a wonderful year ahead. Best Regard Samdup from Explore Tibet
Written January 15, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

MichalGiersson
Warsaw, Poland7 contributions
May 2014 • Couples
Thanks guys for unforgetable experience. Tibet's absolutely amazing and you people do a great job. 5 star tour agency. Sherry should get a pay rise:) All the best. Michal & Maria.
Written May 19, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Michal & Maria Thank you very much for your review and it is our pleasure to know that you had a great time in Tibet with us. Also thanks for your special concern to our sales Sherry and her amazing work. wish you both have a nice day
Written June 26, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

louellastarr
San Clemente, CA30 contributions
Oct 2016 • Solo
It was a pleasure to get to know the Tibetan people....starting with my trekking crew. Guide Tenpa was so helpful in his knowledge of the culture and traditions of this beautiful place. The tour of the monasteries was fascinating especially the Potala...very impressive!
The EBC trek which took us to different villages was a way to enjoy the countryside full of wonderful things to see and how the Tibetans live their lives from day to day. I can't say enough how organized and friendly this company that I was lucky to sign up with.
And once again I want to wholeheartedly thank Tenpa, our driver Norbu and cook, Kadden for a great job!! Will not hesitate to recommend Explore Tibet, Samdup and his team for a successful tour.I wish them all the best!!

Lou from California, USA
Written October 30, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Louella, Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience on this page, I am sure you had a challenging trek with our guide Tenpa. I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed your stayed with us and it’s always our main goal to make trips a memorable for all our customers. And your husband’s exchanged emails during your trip was so amazing and wishing you all a wonderful time ahead. Best Regard Samdup from Explore Tibet
Written January 15, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Vanilla_n_Pepper
1 contribution
Apr 2017 • Couples
We are avid readers of TA, and always consult reviews before selecting accommodation and tours on our travels. We’ve never felt compelled to write reviews, as our trips are usually pleasant, bordering on the mediocre at worst. This time it was different, and we feel obliged to share our experiences, so TA members can decide for themselves, whether to engage this agency (OR NOT)!

We were on a private tour with Explore Tibet covering Lhasa and surrounds around mid-April. Our initial enquiries were dealt with in a friendly, professional manner by their travel consultant, Mia. This encouraged us to go ahead and book the tour, even though their prices were the highest amongst other agencies we enquired with. We figured it’d be worth the extra money for a great tour and professional service. Plus we wanted to support a local Tibetan business. How wrong we were.

It started to go downhill once we met up with the guide, whom we shall call Mr. G. We don’t see the point of reliving every minute detail of the ugly experience, but suffice to say, a significant portion of our angst stemmed from our experiences with Mr G., who was i) Disinterested/disengaged (e.g. We were often left waiting, as he was more keen on chatting with the driver, acquaintances and anyone else really, except us), ii) Unprofessional and dismissive (e.g. Instead of offering oxygen tanks for our altitude sickness, as advertised by the agency, he mockingly asked how much ours cost when we brought along complimentary ones from the hotel), iii) Overall just a poor guide (e.g. He was only able to regurgitate what had been printed on signs at sites of attraction, and told us to ‘Google it’ when we asked for more information), and the list goes on (endlessly, really).

Funnily enough, the agency actually contacted us to request we put up a ‘good review’ on TA, as the ‘market is very competitive’. When we explained we actually did not have a good experience and why, Explore Tibet’s customer service manager, Mr. S., then started quibbling – variously asking us to give Mr. G a second chance, denouncing him as an unqualified guide, threatening to terminate his contract, and so on. In our opinion, we had invested good time and money on a tour ruined by an unprofessional, inapt guide. Nothing would ‘undo’ this experience, which was now getting compounded by further adverse experiences with Mr. S.

We also pointed out that when Mr. G is working for Explore Tibet, he represents the face of the agency, and is ‘flying the flag’ for Explore Tibet as well as Tibet itself as a tourist destination. Oftentimes, he is the first and only point of real-life contact for clients, and therefore, it is the agency’s responsibility to ensure the level of guide services, through rigorous training and/or quality control checks, especially if they wish to garner positive reviews. This stance seemingly fell on deaf ears, as it was followed by a poorly veiled attempt to ‘bribe’ us against putting up an unfavourable TA review (Mr. S made no attempts to deny this by the way), via a USD100 refund (half of which had apparently been deducted from Mr. G’s wages). By this point, we’d simply had enough, and so we rejected their offer, and made a request for Mr. S to stop contacting us. Bafflingly, this was met with ‘Hope everything is clear to you if not then please don’t hesitate to ask me. Have a great time there.’

Enough said.
Written June 7, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Vanilla Tashi Delek! This is Sonam Jamphel, the general manager of Explore Tibet replying your review. First of all thank you very much for your detailed feedback, before i go into the further explanation for your dissatisfaction, i am very sorry for not able to present you a pleasant experiences and also thank you very much for your concern of supporting local Tibetan company. As you mentioned, it is really important to provide an unbiased review to readers and i think it is also very important to present the full image of the tour start from the beginning to end. As being a Tibetan company, we always consider that we are not just the company but we also have a great responsibility for being the faces of Tibetans and Tibetan company, so within our Tibetan team, we have built our service standard and always trying to improve it. We invite all our clients at the office in the beginning of the tour and our customer service manager Samdup meet in person, then give the trip orientation and try to hear from the clients if they have any issues, so then we can solve the problems right from the tour beginning, because we think it is very sad if we don't know the problem that our clients have, so on April 18th noon, when you came to our office and met with Samdup, but i am very regret you just told everything is perfect and said you were enjoying the tour, if you were not happy with guide Gelek, i wish you have raise that issue at that time and we would change the guide for you. Then also to make sure all our clients have what they expected and reduce the complaints after the tour, we specially provide a mobile phone with local SIM card to easier contact with our Tripadvisor and customer manager, on your second day of the arrival which is also on April 18th, Mia called you through that phone at 2:30pm and you also told you had no problem. To improve our services, we collect client's valuable suggestions bu providing a feedback end of the tour, but sadly we haven't heard any complaint from you on that feedback form too. Therefore honestly speaking, we really don't know you have such issues and we were failed to hear your inner voices even we tried different times, we just knew that you were not happy with the guide after your returned home. We really wish you could have gave us the opportunity to make it right when it was not late, but we are really very sorry that we couldn't make it. As your tour was only 3 days, from April 17th to 19th, i was not able to meet you in person, usually i tried my best to meet every clients and hear the experiences in person, but i was out of the office during that period. Another important thing that i want to clarify is about the refund USD100, we really feel very sorry for the bad experiences but we knew it after your tour finished, so it is just to pay our apologize than nothing other means, i think you were confused and take it in the wrong way. Through out the whole email conversation, we tried to hear you really problem, so that we learn for the future, but we never mention a single word on Tripadvisor review on the email, even we encourage you to write the unbiased review and not personal. Little bit about guide Gelek, he is 40 years and grown up in Tibet, he had more than 12 years of guiding experiences and have very rich knowledge of our culture and history, his work experiences and knowledge have received good honors from our previous clients. If you want to referrals from clients that he took in the past years, please contact me at Sonam@exploretibet.com and i am happy to provide further information. Thanks for taking your time to read through wish you have a nice day With best regard Sonam Jamphel
Written June 9, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Boris L
Sarasota, FL200 contributions
Apr 2014 • Friends
If you are looking for a agency that will get you from point A to point B as promised, safely, for a reasonable price, without doing anything out of the ordinary, this is the agency for you. On the other hand, if you want a once in a lifetime unique experience, different then just a generic tour, then i suggest you spend some time and talk to some of the smaller local firms.

I went during the offseason, and i talked to some great small firms, but they are small so they didn't have any group trips during the days i needed, so i went with this big firm because it was easier to get a trip during the dates i wanted. I went on the 8 day Lhasa, EBC to Nepal trip. Here's my review

POSITIVE:
** They were very safe, they delivered on everything they promised, minus a few minor mistakes that all big firms make. They showed up on time, got us good hotels where possible and the price of the tour, at $1,100 was i felt reasonable
** Sherry, the sales rep, was great! She replied very quickly to all my emails, gave me her skype so i could chat with her, and then even came by in Lhasa to hang out with us in the evening. She was the only passionate, excited employee i met at this agency
** They are locals and you should support the locals! When you get to Tibet, you will see how poor they are and their struggles, so its good to know you are using a local agency with all local employees.

NEGATIVES:
** its one of the biggest local agencies. You are one of many many customers at any given time, so don't expect to feel like they are family. They have a Operations group, a sales team, many guides and managers. So small mistakes do happen as you get lost in the shuffle.
** don't buy the train ticket through them. They took a $130 ticket and added their own $50 fee!! Most other agencies will get it for you at a much lower service charge
** they have completely generic itineraries. If you go on the internet and look at small firms, they each have their own unique itinerary, trying to make the trip unique and special. Not so with this agency, its the basics, they do the same trip as all the chinese owned agencies do, stop at all the correct places, check, check, check. but you won't see anything off the beaten track here. you will see all the same attractions with crowds of tourists.
** The guides: I think the tour guide, who stays with you the whole trip, is what really makes a trip special. This is such a exotic land, that its hard to understand without the guide. The guide we had, Gaysen (sp?) (and i think all of their guides are the same, from same group of friends) was doing this job, NOT because he loved to show his nation to visitors, NOT because he was passionate about the culture or the people, but because he needed to earn money. He pretty much told us this, that this was the only way for him to make decent money until he could open his own business, and the owner, his friend gave him this job. He walked us through the monasteries, as he was obligated to do, did the basic explanation that he was obligated to do, but that's it, we had to pry information out of him, by badgering him with lots of question. There is such amazing long history here, and we saw other tour guides around us giving excited tours all around, but our guide was just going through the motions, doing the minimum he had to. He was honest, he told us that many of the monasteries were "Fake" (meaning rebuilt after they were destroyed decades ago) but still while the buildings may not be original, the history is and we missed on many great stories. Its not very exciting to tour places when the guide is so pessimistic and uninterested in the sites. Most of the things we learned, we did on our own, or by overhearing the other guides as they walked by. sad.

Overall, you are in safe hands with Explore-Tibet. But i would recommend you at least check out the smaller firms like Snowlion tours, Tibetian Guide, and others.

One more tip: While it takes lots of time and permit to go to the main part of Tibet (Lhasa, etc), the far eastern part is wide open, and is now part of other chinese provinces. We took local buses from Chengdu and made our way up to Xining (to catch the train to Lhasa) and that was the best part of the trip. We got to see big monasteries, small local tibetian towns, and you can do it all on your own without the issues faced in main Tibet. For this, i have to thank SnowLion tours, even though i didn't book anything with them, the owner there helped me plan my route and was very helpful throughout.....must be a great agency!
Written May 13, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear clients Thanks for sharing your experiences, we do value your reviews and had a meeting with guide and driver soon after we received your review, so there are some points that is not matching with what our guide and driver said, so i sent you a detail explanation and apology email. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions and i am very happy to receive your reply
Written May 27, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Chay G
Alice Springs, Australia29 contributions
Oct 2017 • Couples
We were extremely disappointed with the service from Explore Tibet. We encountered the following problems before and after our 8 Day EBC trip:
1. Before arriving, there were errors with our travel permit. We had to constantly contact them to get the documents. We eventually did but another couple on our trip didn't and were stranded overnight (at their own expense) in Chengdu.
2. We were told we could have a private tour for the cost of the group tour. When we arrived, we found out there were 8 other people on the trip with us. No one thought to update us beforehand.
3. The guide was extremely rude to us. He would get angry and shout at the whole bus. On the first day, he told us he "didn't care" about individuals, only "the majority". "This is a tour for the majority, not the minority". 
4. On our arrival at Lhasa, the guide told us Everest Base Camp is CLOSED and no one could go there since August! He said we would go near instead. When we complained, the guide was rude to us. When we called the office, they said EBC was open (it wasn't) and we could go (we never did). The office said the guide was miscommunicating but they never did anything to fix it.
5. They constantly deleted things from the itinerary without warning. We never went to several monasteries in Lhasa and we never got to trek at/bear EBC.
6. Despite what the itinerary says, the trip is mostly driving - and the driver was appalling - on several occasions we skipped the lunch stop just to make it on time but we still arrived really late. For example on the day we were to stay near the EBC (because it was closed do couldn't actually go to it), we arrived at the hotel at 6:30pm, then left the next morning at 8am, only to arrive at 6pm again.
7. Hidden extras - they tried to make us pay for breakfast even though our itinerary said it was included. Tried to make you pay for shuttle bus to airport even though itinerary says it is included.
8. Despite us forewarning them that we were vegetarian, we were taken to restaurants where we could only eat plain rice - strange given that vegetarian food is very common in Tibet.
9. All the Explore Tibet buses travel together so really it is like being on a tour with 60 people - not the small group sizes they promise!
Overall it was incredibly disappointing. I would not recommend them at all, they cannot communicate or solve problems. Moreover, to sell a tour to EBC even though you know it is closed, is at best dishonest and at worst, theft.
Written November 16, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JustinSullivan
Melbourne, Australia20 contributions
Oct 2016 • Couples
My wife and I did the 6 day cultural tour with Explore Tibet in October 2016. We are young (30) and usually independent travelers so we initially had hesitations about joining a group tour. Given this was the only way of getting into Tibet at the time, we chose Explore Tibet as they offered competitively priced tours and advertised local Tibetan guides and staff.
The tour itself was amazing and we really got a great insight into Tibet. We visited several beautiful monasteries and the amazing Potala Palace. The road trip section of the itinerary was also great fun, helped by the fact that we were in a small group of only 5 friendly and interesting people. Our local guide Norbu was very patient and kind, spoke great English, always listened and answered our questions and happily shared his wealth of knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism and Tibets history.
Our driver Gesar was friendly and a good driver.
The booking process was also easy - we initially contacted Explore Tibet via email and always received emails back promptly from Sherry. Sherry was very helpful in booking our tour and all our permits, as well as our train tickets into Tibet from Xining.
We would highly recommend doing a tour in Tibet with Explore Tibet. Thanks for an amazing experience!
Written October 29, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michelino
Hawaii33 contributions
Dec 2014 • Solo
Thanks to Explore Tibet, I was finally able to visit Lhasa after having dreamed of it for so long. Sherry did a great job of answering all my questions, booking flights and organising my permit at the last minute. And Gyaltsen was a really friendly, knowledgeable and patient guide, who always put my wishes first. My only regret is that I wasn't able to stay for more than 5 days! But I'll be back for sure. In the meantime, I have the most wonderful memories to feast on. I can whole-heartedly recommend Explore Tibet!
Written January 15, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Sir Thank you very much for your review and it is our pleasure that we could help you to bring your dream alive, it is our priority over the past some 12 years and we are proud that we helped many travelers like you to make their dream alive. Thank you very much and have a nice day Best Regard Sonam Jamphel
Written April 6, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mai Sky
Hoi An, Vietnam37 contributions
Nov 2013 • Friends
We went on a group of 6, searching through at least 10 travel agencies before we choose to go with Explore Tibet. Samdup - our sales agent at the time strike me at the most honest sales guy I've talked to. We chose to go in November, and the first response I received from him was, it's not the good time to go, weather might be very cold ... whereas the other travel agent simply didn't mention it.

This is the truly authentic Tibetan travel agent, the service was fantastic, more than what we expected.

The guide was young, energetic and fun to be around. I definitely recommended Explore Tibet to anyone who's planning their trip to Tibet
Written February 3, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Mai Thank you very much for your unbiased review for our trips and services, your feedback reflects our core value and we will keep it up. With Best Regard Sonam
Written February 10, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

TravellinS0L0
Peterborough, Canada3 contributions
Aug 2013 • Solo
I really enjoyed my tour in Tibet. Tashi Delek Tibet :) I took the Everest Base Camp tour and there was only myself and two other people in my tour. There were a few small set backs and due to timing we were forced to miss a few things but nothing we really badly wanted to see. The guides and driver were extremely friendly and knew everything about the area. Be wary though be elevation sickness can be a fierce beast! Had lots of time to relax and go at the pace that was good for us.Really had an amazing time!! <3
Written February 3, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Client Thanks for sharing your experiences and we are pleased that you had an amazing time in Tibet with us. Wish you and your family have a wonderful day! Best Regard Sonam
Written March 1, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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