Tibet Travel Weather and Climate in January

Tibet Weather and Climate in January

Average Minimum Temperature (℃): -12 
Average Maximum Temperature (℃): 13 
Tibet Average Temperature (℃): 1 
Average Precipitation/Rainfall (mm): 1 
Wet Days (>0.1mm): 0 
Relative Humidity (%): 45 
(Overall Tibet weather in January)

When you travel to Tibet, January is the peak of the winter weather in Tibet, and while some areas of Tibet experience extreme cold and heavy snow, most of the plateau is a little warmer than many imagined. It is generally dry and windy, with large temperature difference between day and night. Daytimes can be as warm as 13 degrees, with temperatures at night dropping to as low as -12 degrees. But with bright sunny days and clear skies, the cold is not as intense as it could be, and traveling in the area in January is pleasant.

What to Wear for a January Tibet Travel

For the temperature extremes due to changing altitudes and the nightly temperature drop, dress in layers with a coat, trousers, and long underwear. The UV radiation is intense, so a sun hat and sunglasses help. Many hotels and restaurants don’t have central heating, so you might need to wear your coat even inside. Wear a heavy coat and gloves in the higher areas.

Useful Travel Tips for your Tibet Travel in January

  • There are some medications for altitude sickness available, but you should consult your own doctor before you take them, and it is not recommended.
  • Tibet Travel Permit: This permit is issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau and is required for all international travelers heading for Tibet. You need to apply for this permit one month prior to your arrival in Tibet as this permit takes some time to get ready and you need to produce the original copy of this permit at the Airport before you board the flight. 
  • Oxygen levels are much lower in Tibet, so most people get altitude sickness. Cardiovascular conditions are exacerbated, so for the best experience, seek health advice before going and acclimate before exertion or going higher than Lhasa. 
  • There are good reasons to visit Tibet in January. The cold and the desire to return home to visit during the Chinese New Year keeps most Chinese travelers away in January. Even during the Chinese New Year, there is only a small increase of Chinese tourism.

Things to see and do at Tibet in January

Tibet travel: The Nagchu prefecture north of Lhasa and the Ngari prefecture (Kailash area) in far west Tibet are extremely cold in the winter and are probably best visited at other times. Vehicular travel along the Friendship Highway to the southern border is generally possible.

Shigatse (3,900 meters): It is a good time to see the highlights in Shigatse. The average high temperature in Shigatse in the daytime is 7 °C (44 °F), and the average nightly low is -12 °C (10 °F). The city is seven hours from Everest.

Tashilhunpo Monastery: This big red brick monastery in Shigatse sits against a rugged high mountain that makes for beautiful photographs, with grey rocks and blue and white sky. It was once a town in itself for 5,000 monks. There are dorm rooms, temples, and assembly halls.

Experience Tibetan New Year (Losar)

Losar: Across Tibet, depending on the year, you might see Tibetans celebrating their new year holidays according to their calendar at the temples and in the towns. Tibetans have their own traditional new year holiday festivities and worship. Their new year day is often within three days of the Chinese New Year, but on some years, it is weeks off.

Tibet Weather and Climate by Month

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