Exploring ethnic Tibet independently is a challenge. With the 'land of snows' having some of the wildest and roughest road routes in high Asia, motoring, mountain-biking and trekking options are all given due attention in this new edition. High quality, numerous maps set this guide apart from other guides on Tibet and the trekking section has been expanded to include more on the main treks, including Everest Base Camp, Genden to Samye, Namtso trek and Kailiash region treks.
Particular attention has been paid to the Amdo and Kham regions, not usually covered in guidebooks. Political and cultural issues make Tibet a sensitive destination for Westerners, so Michael Buckley's authoritative advice includes guidelines on cultural etiquette, local customs, and travelling with minimum impact on the culture and environment. The chapter on language includes a section covering Tibetan script.
"The most thumbed of all my books on Tibet [...] A must-read."
– Michael Palin
"An authoritative guidebook which gives one a genuine feel for the Tibet of today [...] I strongly recommend this guide."
– Tibet Society
Introduction vii PART ONE GENERAL INFORMATION 1 Chapter 1 Background Information 3 Geography 3, Climate 5, Natural history 9, History and politics 11, Economy and resources 15, People 20, Language 24, Tibetan Buddhism 25, Mythology and the arts 34, Saving Tibetan culture 35 Chapter 2 Practical Information 42 When to visit 42, Highlights 43, Touring strategy 45, Trip design/itineraries 47, Tour operators 53, Red tape 55, Getting there and away 59, What to take 70, Money and pricing 73, Budgeting 75, Getting around 76, Accommodation 78, Eating and drinking 79, Shopping 82, Entertainment 83, Photography 83, Media and communications 84, Cultural etiquette 87, Dealing with officialdom 90, Travelling positively 98 Chapter 3 Health and Safety 99 Before you go 99, Common health and safety problems in Tibet 103, Chinese medical facilities 111, Medevac crews 112, Risky situations and evacuation 112, Safety and security 113, Women travellers 113, Disabled travellers 114, Travelling with children 114, Gay travellers 114 PART TWO THE GUIDE 115 Chapter 4 Lhasa 117 Secrets of the city 117, Getting there and away 120, Getting around 120, Pre-arranged tour agencies 122, Permits and paperwork 123, Where to stay 124, Where to eat 133, Entertainment and nightlife 135, Shopping 136, Other practicalities 138, What to see 141, Outskirts of Lhasa 162 Chapter 5 Exploring Central Tibet 167 North of Lhasa 167, Yarlung Valley 177 Chapter 6 Lhasa to Kathmandu 187 Th e greatest road route in High Asia 187, Gyantse 193, Shigatse 200, Shigatse to Tingri 209, Tingri 215, Tingri to Kathmandu 217 Chapter 7 Star Treks 223 High-altitude forays to Everest, Kailash and beyond 223, Trekking in the Everest region 224, Shishapangma base-camp trek 234, West Tibet 235, Ali and the Guge Kingdom 239, Th e Kailash region 244 Chapter 8 East Tibet, Kham and Amdo 251 East Tibet, within the TAR 251, Kham and Amdo: Tibet outside the TAR 257 Chapter 9 The Tibetan World 293 Tibet in exile 293, Tibetan kingdoms and fiefdoms 297 Appendix 1 Fauna Extraordinary 307 Appendix 2 Language and Useful Gestures 312 Appendix 3 Glossary 326 Appendix 4 Further Information 330 Index 348
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Michael Buckley is an experienced adventure traveller and author. He has explored Central Asia extensively.