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Excellent organization and very memorable trip

Ms. Zeng from Tibet discovery did really excellent job when organizing the trip. The local guide... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
ivaylov510
,
Dallas, Texas
Lhasa and Namtso 5 day from Chengdu

Chengdu to Lhasa and Namtso Lake. The tour arranged with Tibet Discovery worked very well for me... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
gdi45
,
Istanbul, Turkey
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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Ms. Zeng from Tibet discovery did really excellent job when organizing the trip. The local guide Dan was very knowledgeable and always there to help. The trip was truly amazing and memorable experience.

If you want to visit Tibet, I really recommend you to use the service of Tibet Discovery and Ms. Zeng as trip organizer.

Date of experience: October 2019
Thank ivaylov510
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Chengdu to Lhasa and Namtso Lake.
The tour arranged with Tibet Discovery worked very well for me and my specific itinerary.
Wendy from Tibet Discovery was very quick to reply to my emails, I believe always within 24 hours, often sooner. Due to work commitments I had to book with very little time before my trip and they managed to get it done in 2 days less than the advertised minimum time, perhaps I was lucky or perhaps they moved some mountains to make it happen… I will never know, but had they have met their advertised time I would not have been able to visit Tibet. My specific itinerary meant it had to be booked as a private tour (tour guide and driver), which I was a little uncomfortable about in case I found the guide to be difficult to understand, or we just didn’t get on, however everything went well, my guide was a friendly and open young man of my own age (30ish) with very good English who was very informative and able to answer and query I had about what I saw.
The tour was 5 days (1 Chengdu – Xining by plane and Xining to Lhasa by overnight train, 2 Lhasa hotel transfer and relaxation/acclimatisation , 3 Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, & Barkhor Street, 4 Namtso Lake, 5 Transfer to Lhasa airport and flight back to Chengdu.
I have travelled to China twice before with little to no Chinese language, once with a friend going Hong Kong to Beijing overland for about 1 month. It was very nice this time to not have to worry about booking different flights and working out connections as this was all arranged by Tibet Discovery.
Tibet Discovery did suggest that with my limited time I might be better to visit things closer at hand to Lhasa than Namtso lake, as the 1 day tour there did take all day, and reached high altitude to which I had little time to acclimatise. Personally I wanted to see the beauty of the natural areas of the region, the highland plains, the mountain passes, and having seen photos of Namtso wished to stand on its shore myself. The 1 day trip there certainly provided this, although it is worth noting the train travels the same way as the road (for at a guess 2 hours drive) so if you have got the train in and been looking out of the window you will be seeing pretty much the same things for a few hours outside of Lhasa.
As a smoker I was (in my case) happy to find it was possible to smoke on the train between carriages where ash trays were provided for part of the trip. At I think Golmud (which we got to at 10pm) the ash trays were removed and smoking was not allowed from that point onwards, I suspect due to the altitude and oxygenation of the carriages (this was fine by me) At the first stop of the morning I joined others who had rushed onto the platform to swiftly inhale half a cigarette in the circa 2 minutes before the whistle blew and the train pulled out again.
I was aware of and concerned by altitude sickness, and with this in mind took with my some medication to lessen its effect if needed. In the end I did not need to use any of the medication. I stayed hydrated, and although I did consume some alcohol I was careful about how much I drank (if you do go to Lhasa try the Tibetan Barley Wine, a sweet creamy drink that went down very well) I did smoke throughout the trip but less than normal, at home I could jog up 2 flights of stair and be breathing heavier a minute later but otherwise be unaffected, In Lhasa jogging up 2 flights I could take 3 further steps and then be panting for breath. The only other effect of altitude I noted was slight pressure in the head occasionally, perhaps like the beginning of a headache but never becoming painful just a sensation of pressure that was enough to notice.
There is a small restaurant/eaterie just inside the Monastery (door on the left) at Namtso which although basic was very tasty and cooked on a small wood fired stove in the middle of the room. Butter Tea is something I would recommend trying but not after a heavy meal as I did…. For me it was just too heavy and buttery, however my guide had mentioned that it would normally be drunk in the morning, in part to help protect the lips and stop them from chapping in the harsh climate, I can confirm for the following 2 days my lips were noticeably soft and I can imagine no way that they could have chapped!

Date of experience: September 2019
1  Thank gdi45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2019

Overall we had great experience with Tibet Discovery. Guides were attentive and knowledgeable, flexible. I find it was a good value for the price.
Our tour was very intense with couple of glitches because of delayed flight and Tibet visa, but otherwise was very well arranged. Our trip coordinator Lily Xu was excellent and always kept in touch. Highly recommend.

Date of experience: October 2019
1  Thank Angela M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2019

Overall we found the Tibet Discovery to be a good value for the price. Other than one glitch with the Tibet visas, the trip went smoothly. The initial stop was Shanghai and we were met promptly at the airport and driven to our hotel. The Sunrise on the Bund was older but remodeled, comfortable, clean and had a very good breakfast buffet. Tours around Shanghai by Lily were group tours which entailed a lot of hotel stops but we got a good feel for the city. The trip to the Zhujiajiao water town was a nice way to see the suburbs and try some local street food.

The glitch was that our Tibet visas were delivered to the hotel but not to us personally. We asked our guides repeatedly about their delivery but they were only responsible for their day trip, not anything else related to the larger tour. Finally we were told that the visas would be at the airport. Naturally they weren't and we were denied boarding on our 6:45 AM flight to Lhasa. We called Jack our tour agent and he booked us on a flight later in the day and we returned to the hotel. The visas were with the concierge but under the wrong room so they were never delivered. After some give and take the tour company split the extra cost of the tickets and we made it to Lhasa late in the evening.

I can't say enough about our guide (Tensing) and driver (Soonam) in Tibet. We had booked a small group tour but there were no other customers so we had a private tour in a good sized Hyundai van with plenty of room to stretch out. Tensing was exceptionally knowledgeable about Buddhism and the history of the monasteries that we visited. They were very helpful with the adaptation to the altitude (Lhasa 11,995 ft), Shigatse (12,615 ft) and Everest Base Camp (17,065 ft). They recommended a herbal supplement that really helped and arranged an oxygen tank in Shigatse for the Everest trip that really helped my wife, who had pneumonia two years ago. Even though we live at 7300 ft, the altitude is tough.

Shangbala Hotel in Lhasa was just fine. Comfy bed and a decent breakfast. Not a luxury hotel but quite nice for the price and in a good location. The Gesar hotel in Shigatse had problems with plumbing, toilet paper and noise but was sleepable. There is a new hotel at the property but we were booked in an old wing. It has an elaborate breakfast buffet but is almost entirely Chinese dinner banquet food. We had trouble finding something palatable for early morning. Lack of appetite at altitude is a very real problem.

Given that we spent 8 days in Tibet and much of that on the road, we couldn't have asked for more enjoyable companions. Good humor mixed with in-depth knowledge of the country and its culture. We would highly recommend both driver and guide.

A couple of words on trip preparation: Chinese visas for Americans are expensive and time consuming so start early. The visa fee is $140 US but by the time you go through a service it is over $500 for two. Be aware that the quoted trip price does NOT include return fare from Lhasa to Shanghai, only the outbound fare. It is another $1000 for the return. However, this is not bad considering quoted fares from Shanghai to Lhasa, which were more than twice the price of the flight from the US to Shanghai.

Summary. A pretty good deal for the price and a willingness to fix problems as they arose. One suggestion would be for more communication among guides and the tour company. It appears that the guides are independent contractors and only responsible for their part of the tour. More team work would help avoid problems. We would use again.

Date of experience: September 2019
2  Thank Dennis H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2019

During August 2019 we were glad to visit one of our much exciting location - Tibet.

Our trip was well customized and prepared by Ms.Tracy Tan. She arranged each part of the trip from arranging the permit, local flights from Chengdu and providing the best local guides. It was managed very professionally at reasonable prices. Tracy was well coordinating with us from the start to the end in a place that was new to us. The itinerary and selection of hotels were great. She also provided us tips for managing the climate.

She made the trip an easy and memorable one for us.

Simon

Date of experience: August 2019
1  Thank SimonTravelsTheGlobe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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