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which travel company is good for tibet travel?

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which travel company is good for tibet travel?

I'm heading to Lhasa/Tibet in May. Currently exploring some options with the tour company called Visit Tibet Travel and Tour Co. (visittibet.com/wwwroot/webfolder/Tibet.asp). Can't seem to find any reviews about them other than their online feedback forms. Anybody have any experience with them (good or bad)? Any other highly recommended agencies for the budget-conscious traveler? Thanks.

1. Re: which travel company is good for tibet travel?

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Removed on: 7:45 am, November 16, 2010
hong kong
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2. Re: which travel company is good for tibet travel?

Remember that the Tibet tour company needs to be able to supply you with your Tibet permit.

Travel in Tibet is expensive because each group needs a guide and their own transport. If you are a group of one, then you have to pay for the guide and private transport yourself. If you are in a group of 4, or more, you share the cost.

Spinn cafe in Lhasa have a good FAQ of tour costs. http://www.cafespinn.com/en/tibet/

manchester
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3. Re: which travel company is good for tibet travel?

We just came back from Tibet and used a company called Spinn cafe . They were really good , replied to all our enquiries quickly and were reasonably priced,. We had a brilliant Tibetan guide and can't speak highly enough of them.

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Removed on: 3:05 am, October 09, 2010
Santa Fe, New Mexico
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5. Re: which travel company is good for tibet travel?

AVOID: Tibetan Expeditions, also goes by Asian Footsteps, or may have changed their name since my trip in February of 2010 due to too many complaints. The woman in charge is Catherine Spence. Any trip that she arranges, AVOID.

Dishonest, overpriced, rip-off, completely stressful experience for what to bring as well as transit practicalities. This should have been the relaxing trip of a lifetime, especially when organized through a costly tour company. Instead, Catherine Spence made sure our time in Tibet was nothing but a headache.

False advertising of type of hotels:

This company was much more expensive than the rest at $1,500 USD per person, plus airfares. They promised better accommodations for the price, which in winter was important. Promised heat and running water and electricity in the hotels, which was met in only 1 or 2 hotels out of 7 for the trip from Lhasa to Everest and back. The rest of the time we were in places that were freezing cold, dark, no light, dirty, no water for drinking or washing or the toilet, no heat, and no electricity.

Inadequate list of supplies:

We were advised specifically that due to better accommodations we would not need our own sleeping bags, toilet paper, water thermoses, or flashlights. If we had not gone ahead and packed these items anyway, I don't know how we would have survived the trip.

Terrible flight coordination and dangerous border crossing:

We specifically and repeatedly requested our return flights into Macau or Hong Kong, or early enough at night to cross the mainland China border and get back to our hotel in Macau. Instead, we were flown into the eastern mainland late at night and promised many shuttles to Macau would await. Sure enough, the shuttle desk was closed for the night, all taxis refused to take us the long drive to the border, and a random teenager finally agreed to drive us the hour+ drive for a whopping $300 USD (bad situation anyway for 2 women traveling alone). We made it across the border in a maze of dirty underground tunnels, following the teenager's friend as there was no signage, staff, or help, and arrived only 5 minutes before the Chinese government closed the border it for the night. (Our arrival to Chengdu and Lhasa had been no better, with a very stressful Chinese ferry experience and improper travel vouchers provided by Catherine Spence from Macau. No ferries options were available for our late return, either.)

Questionable ethics for payment:

Catherine Spence would only accept cash payment. But, the Chinese ATM would only release the equivalent of a few hundred dollars USD per day. We had to make daily trips to the ATM to retrieve the small amounts while in Chengdu and Lhasa, and finally go to the Chinese bank for a money order to carry the unheard of sum of $4,000 USD in cash to her. She suggested she would accept Paypal or credit card via Paypal for another $400.

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