Tibet Travel in January

January is the winter of the year, and preparations have begun across China for the New Year’s eve. At this time, not many Chinese tourists choose to visit Tibet in January. The Tibetan New Year may also come in January. The time of the Tibetan New Year is different every year, but it is basically in January or February of the Gregorian calendar. At the scheduled time, the Tibetan New Year will be celebrated in various cities and prefectures in Tibet, especially Lhasa. If you want to experience the Tibetan New Year, you can know the time of Tibetan New Year in advance and make preparations.

Tibet Weather Features in January

In January, the key words of Tibet weather are sunny, dry and windy, large temperature difference between day and night.

  • Tibet is located in the plateau, and the sun there is unbridled. In January, it is hard to see the traces of rain and snow in Tibet. Especially near the New Year, the festival atmosphere in Tibet is strong, and the presence of sunshine makes Tibet even more sacred. Whenever you travel to Tibet, sun protection is a must for your skin. Even if it is in winter, Tibet’s ultraviolet ray is also powerful.
  • Because it is the dry season in January, there is not much vegetation in Tibet except the Nyingchi in the southeast of Tibet, and the wind is like a wild horse. You can feel the frightening wind when getting out of the urban areas, especially at lakeside, with the help of the water, the wind blowing more vigorously. When traveling to Tibet in January, whether visiting monasteries and palaces or visiting snow-capped mountains and lakes, wind protection means cold protection. Especially the wind proof for head, a woolen hat is a good windproof equipment. Some tourists will suffer from headache and dizziness because their head is blown by the strong wind for too long, which is not conducive to the relief of high altitude reaction. Therefore, the head in Tibet in winter should be protected against cold and wind. It’s also important to drink plenty of water and moisturize your skin.
  • When travelling to Tibet in January, temperatures in most scenic areas will not be too cold, and are all within the range that human body can bear. In the daytime, the temperature is between 0-15℃, while at night, the temperature is very low, reaching -15℃, the temperature difference is more than 20℃. Therefore, in January, it is advised to reduce early morning, evening and night out and activities, so as not to catch a cold and affect other itinerary.

Read More: Tibet Travel Weather and Climate in January

What to Wear in January

What to Wear in Lhasa in January

Lhasa is known as the city of sunshine, because the sunshine duration is more than 8 hours every day. Even in the cold winter, Lhasa has about 10 hours of daylight every day.  In January, the temperature in Lhasa ranges from -10℃ to around 15℃, with a large temperature difference between day and night. And the temperature difference is also large between the sunny days and cloudy days. 

In January, sweaters and fleece winter jackets will suffice in sunny Lhasa. While in cloudy Lhasa, you need to wear an extra thermal underwear, wrapped tightly, so as not to take advantage of the cold. If it’s in early morning or late afternoon, remember to keep your feet warm. Generally speaking, Lhasa in January is less populated and relatively warm, which is suitable for experiencing the daily life of Lhasa people. Tourists can drink tea, chat with them, bask in the sun to enjoy the leisure life of the holy city.

What to Wear in Shigatse in January

In January, Shigatse was a much quieter city. As the center of Tsang, Shigatse is a transit point for many visitors to Everest base camp. Since there are no tent hotels at Everest base camp in January, staying in Shigatse and then go to Everest Base Camp for admiring Mount Everest  has become a popular choice for tourists. In January, the temperature of Shigatse is not much different from that of Lhasa, But it will be relatively colder than Lhasa in the early morning and evening. It is suggested to reduce activities during early morning and evening.

From Lhasa to Shigatse, you will pass the Gangbala Mountain Pass at an altitude of 5,190 meters, and once again enjoy the famous holy lake Yamdrok. Since Namtso Lake is often blocked by snow in winter, Yamdrok Lake is almost a must-see for tourists to Lhasa in winter. The lake is very blue and purer in winter. Although the scenery is good, do not stay for too long, especially near the lake. Because although the Yamdrok Lake is close enough to touch, the wind is really strong. Please wear a hat and scarf to prevent wind before getting off the bus. Wind protection is a top priority when visiting the lake in January.

What to Wear at Everest Base Camp in January

Everest base camp is in the off-season in January. There are relatively few tourists to visit Mount Everest. in addition to the low temperature, January is really an excellent time to enjoy Mount Everest. There are almost 25 days in January tourists can see the whole picture of Mount Everest. This is the envy of the tourists who come to Mount Everest in summer. When you come to Mount Everest in summer, you have half the chance to see only part of Mount Everest, or you can’t even see it at all.

In January, temperatures at Everest base camp range from -15℃ to 5℃ in the daytime and below -5℃ at night. Therefore, most winter visitors to Everest base camp will choose to stay in Tingri county, 100 kilometers away from Everest base camp, and then choose to visit Everest in the afternoon when the sun is the strongest, so as to avoid the cold of Everest. Some tourists will stay at Rongbuk Monastery for overnight, which is 4 kilometers away from the base camp, in order not to leave any regrets.

When you go to Everest base camp in January, you should wear more, it is suggested to wear thermal underwear, thermal sweaters, thick and fleecy outdoor jacket/thickened down jacket. In addition, warm hat, scarf and gloves are also recommended for the trip to Everest. In the alpine region of Everest, it is better to wear more than less. Try to reduce outdoor activity time, indoor and car can effectively prevent the wind.

What to Do in Tibet in January

January is a good time to visit Lhasa and Shigatse, both in terms of weather and temperature. In Lhasa and Shigatse, the highest temperature in January can reach 18℃, which is much higher than that of Chengdu and Shanghai at the same latitude. The warm sunshine makes Lhasa and Shigatse the best choice for winter tourism in Tibet.

Things to Do in Lhasa and Shigatse

Basking in Barkhor street and chatting with friends in sweet tea house are the most comfortable life for Tibetan people and the best way to travel in Lhasa. A visit to the Sera monastery to see a debate, a visit to the Drepung monastery to see the ancient frescoes, and a visit to the outskirts of Lhasa to climb a mountain and look down on the whole city are all suitable ways to visit Tibet in January. You can also go to Everest base camp in Shigatse to enjoy the spectacular views of Mount Everest, and visit Tashilhunpo Monastery on route. 

Recommended Attractions

Experience Tibetan New Year (Losar)

Tibet New Year is the traditional festival of Tibetan People, however, the calculation method of the Tibetan New Year is different from the lunar Chinese New Year. The Tibetan New Year may also come in January, like the 2019 Tibet New Year was around January 5, 2019. However, the time of the Tibetan New Year is different every year, basically in January or February of the Gregorian calendar. If you want to experience the Tibetan New Year, you can know the time of Tibetan New Year in advance and make preparations.

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