Tibet Travel in December

In December, Tibet is in winter, and Tibet travel is in the slow season as well. Towards the end of the year, the number of domestic tourists to Tibet also dropped sharply. Because foreign tourists usually have Christmas holiday, so there are still many foreign tourists in December.

Tibet Weather Feature in December

Tibet in December begins to enter into the severe winter, with temperature getting much colder all across the region. In December, Tibet is in the dry season, with less rainfall, occasional snow and more sunny days. At this time, the temperature in Tibet is relatively low, but the main travel destinations such as Lhasa, Shigatse, Mount Everest, Yamdrok Lake, Nyingchi and so on will not be too cold during the day, but much colder at night. During the daytime, when it is sunny, the temperature is around 0-15℃, while the temperature in rainy and snowy days is relatively low, around 0-5℃. Temperatures at night are generally below 5℃.

Read More: Tibet Travel Weather and Climate in December

What to Wear in Tibet in December

Going to Tibet in December, thickened down jacket and fleece outdoor jacket are necessities. You should also wear thermal underwear and sweater underneath. 

What to Wear in Lhasa in December

The temperature of Lhasa in December ranges from 0℃ to 15℃. Lhasa is known as the city of sunshine, with abundant sunshine all the year round. Many locals and tourists enjoy the sunshine in the city on the sunny days in winter. In December in Lhasa, you need to wear a sweater and a down jacket during the day. Knit hats or scarves can also keep you warm and protect you from the sun. On rainy and snowy days when the temperature will be lower, you need to wear a thicker down jacket, and try to zipper well. In addition, it is suggested that tourists who plan to go to Tibet in winter prepare a hat, especially for those who are afraid of cold.

What to Wear in Shigatse in December

Travel to Shigatse, if you are just visiting Tashilhunpo Monastery, sweater with fleecy outdoor jacket or down jacket is enough to keep out the cold. Besides, try to avoid outdoor activities at night.

What to Wear at Everest Base Camp in December

In December, the temperature at Everest Base Camp is 2-10℃ during the day, and -10℃ at night, with a large temperature difference between day and night. You should wear thick, wind-proof and warm outdoor jacket and down jacket. To prevent snow blindness, sunglasses are also a must. Scarves, gloves and hats are suitable for those who are afraid of cold.

What to Do in Tibet in December

December is the off-season for Tibet tourism. Air tickets to and from Tibet will be much cheaper than the peak season. Train tickets in and out Tibet along the Qinghai-Tibet railway are also easy to buy. There are few tourists at various attractions in Tibet. Touists have no need to queue or limit the time to visit the Potala Palace. Apart from part of the snow mountain and holy lake landscape, Tibet tourism is mainly based on cultural landscape. When travelling to Tibet in winter, it is suitable to stroll among the monasteries and temples and bask, also suitable for viewing the world’s highest peak at Everest Base Camp. Travel to Tibet in December, if you have adequate protection against the cold, you can still take pictures of starry sky at night, the night scene of Potala Palace, and the sunrise and sunset of Mount Everest. Otherwise, you should not take outdoor activities at night.

Things to Do in Lhasa in December

Lhasa is the first stop for most tourists to visit Tibet. There are many cultural landscapes, and various monasteries and palaces are the essence of Lhasa travel. The cultural landscape is almost unaffected by the weather and suitable for all seasons. In winter, Lhasa attracts some tourists to Tibet in the off-season because of few people and good weather. In December, it is sunny in Tibet with occasional rain and snow. Generally, rain and snow do not last for a long time and do not affect the tourists’ visit. If you visit Lhasa in December, you can visit the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery and other palaces and monasteries. 

Namtso Lake in December

In December, the major holy lakes in Tibet are frozen, and Namtso Lake is one of the few attractions in Tibet that cannot be visited in winter because the road is often blocked by snow.

Things to Do in Shigatse in December

In December, sightseeing in Shigatse city is also dominated by cultural landscape, mainly the Tashilhunpo Monastery. Shigatse is bleak and solemn in December. Yamdrok Lake is the most famous scenic spot on the way from Lhasa to Shigates. The altitude at Yamdrok Lake is higher, the wind is relatively strong, and the temperature will be much lower. When traveling through alpine areas such as the Yamdrok and Karola Glacier, be sure to take precautions to keep warm.

Visiting Mount Everest in December

Travel to Tibet in winter, Everest Base Camp as usual open to visit, the road from Lhasa to Mount Everest is rarely affected by the wind and snow. Everest base camp in December is very quiet, with few tourists. The number of tourists arriving by bus every day is only a few dozen. In December, the Everest base camp is sunny, with more cloudless days. So most tourists can see the whole Mount Everest. Even in the distance on the Jiawula mountain pass, you can also see snow mountains over 8000 meters above sea level, and the outline of Mount Everest is particularly clear as well.

Notes: Tents at the Everest base camp area have been evacuated in December because of lower temperatures and fewer visitors. Visitors who want to watch the sunrise and sunset of Mount Everest can choose to stay at the Rongbuk Monastery, which is still the best place to watch Mount Everest.

Mount Kailash in December

The snow is getting heavier at Mount Kailash area and the daily average temperature drops to -20℃. Even in the daytime, the temperature can fall below zero. The road to Mount Kailash is closed in December due to heavy snow and high mountain passage, so tourists cannot trek around the Mount Kailash kora route until March or April. If you want to experience hiking at the Mount Kailash, you can come here in late spring or early fall.

Tsongkhapa Butter Lamp Festival

Tsongkhapa Butter Lamp Festival is celebrated to commemorate the death, or “Parinirvana” of Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. On the 25th of October in the Tibetan calendar, commonly in December of the Gregorian calendar, Tibetans light large quantities of buttery lanterns on altars outside temples throughout the region. When night falls, all the local window sills are decorated with flashing lanterns, and always in odd number.

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