We were on tour with Tibet Native Travel in April 2017. We found this local agency through the Internet und couldn’t have taken a better choice. We absolutely recommend Tibet Native Travel.
For our `private Tour’ as a couple a Group Visa was necessary. A partner agency of Tibet Native in Kathmandu, Nepal – our first stop for the purpose of acclimatization – succeeded in organizing an urgent visa within two days; we only had Sunday and Monday available.
We planned our tour program with our agency with Mail and WhatsApp individually in advance. We chose to have 2,5 days for acclimatization in Lhasa (3600 m), what was extremely supportive for us, and – in contrary to the usual group tours – only one sight a day, in order to have enough time to relax and get used to the height.
Our driver and guide were both native Tibetans. Whenever possible they met our specific wishes and enabled many experiences, not possible in a Bus Group Tour. They answered all our questions, so we were able to learn a lot. During our common time we had not only a great atmosphere in the car, it also felt more and more like some kind of friendship with our companions. At the end our guide invited us for lunch into his house – an amazing experience for that we are very gracious.
On our tour to Gyantse we enjoyed the view to Yamdrok Lake and continued to the Everest Base Camp. For us it was very important to stay two nights in Shekar (4400 m) – because the experiences of other travelers, staying with their tour operators in Rongbuk/Base Camp on 5200m in a tent were sufficiently deterrent.
Tibet Native Tours had booked for us, except in the huge cities Lhasa and Shigatse (where we slept in upper class hotels) always the best possible local accommodation (what doesn’t necessarily include warm water or heating for the room (in Shekar only the mattress was heatet). As a traveler it is important to have realistic expectations in rural areas. Everywhere in Tibet beds are relatively hard and food variety is sometimes limited – we were lucky to have a guide with an excellent local knowledge, connections and insider tips, e.g. helping us to figure out the menu. We especially enjoyed the Tibetan traditional cuisine – that was also safe for us to eat. After returning from Shigatse to Lhasa we continued our trip with our guide and driver to Nam Tso Lake – usually only a goal for chinese Tour Buses.
Beside the deep insights into the religion and culture we especially liked the journey to Gyantse, passing Yamdrok Lake and the Everest Region, where we enjoyed a magnificent view (April is a good month for a clear view). The frozen holy Lake Nam Tso was very beautiful, too – experiences that were possible only with many kilometers by car.
About our agency we especially appreciate that Sonam Gyatso, the manager of Tibet Native Tours, was available around the clock. (Please consider, e.g. contacting form Germany, the time difference of 6 hours, otherwise he will answer you in the middle of his night in between a few minutes).
Coming back to Lhasa we heard about an Australian Tourist arriving in Lhasa with altitude sickness, who was immediately brought to hospital by Sonam Gyatso/Tibet Native Travel personally, where she was cared for overnight. That felt very safe and couldn’t be any better.
For future trips in the chinese autonomous region Tibet we well book 100% Tibet Native Travel.
Thank you Sonam and Lhakpa for making possible our unique adventures!
Eva (from Freiburg, Germany)