April is one of the few months when it’s most suitable to tour Mount Everest. As the second month of spring, frozen Namtso starts melting and becomes approachable; wild peach trees in Nyingchi are in full bloom. April is a month of refreshing vigor and vitality.
Temperature: Nyingchi, the southeast prefecture is still the warmest region of Tibet in April, where the average high can be around 17℃ and the average low has reached above 0℃. The central Tibet including Lhasa and Shigatse sees an average high of around 16℃,and average low of around 1℃. Ngari is still the coldest region in Tibet, and not suitable for visiting the holy mountain Mount Kailash in April, when the temperature can still be down to -13℃. The northern part of Tibet Nagqu including Lake Namtso is warmer and the long period of road block from heavy snow comes to an end in April and is available to be visited again.
Season features: rare chance of rain or wind, arid, warm in the daytime and chilly at night.
Packing essentials: light weight clothing such as down coats to attain body heat, layered clothing for removing when it gets warm at noon; sunglasses, sunscreen to protect skin and eyes from strong solar rays, moisturizer to protect skin from arid air, etc.
Either you’re traveling to Tibet in April or planning your trip in April, this is the time to save budget for Tibet Trip. Let’s have a quick view of where we can reduce travel expenses.
Book discount flights into or out of Lhasa in early April on your own or with help from a tour operator. You may purchase discounted tickets on the online booking websites such as Qunar.com, Ctrip.com, etc. or the official websites of airlines.
Train tickets: The booking system of China Railway is open one month in advance before the date of journey. If you are going to buy the tickets on your own, do it once the booking system is available. If you have to buy it in a last minute and unfortunately find out that there is no available seat or sleeper shown in the system, you can contact a Tibet tour operator, a Tibet travel agency or a train ticket agent for help, and get the tickets by paying extra booking service fee.
Budget Accommodation in Tibet: besides the accommodation of luxury class, comfortable class, there are many family-run hotels and backpacker hostels coming at a good price and still cozy and clean. For solo travelers, a bunk in a dorm room ranges from 50RMB to 80RMB, per night; a budget standard room for two persons at the price of around 100RMB can be easily found in Lhasa town or major tourism cities such as Shigatse or Nyingchi. There are less likely to find backpacker hostels that are legal to receive foreign tourists in smaller towns, but hotels in remote places, are usually at affordable prices in April. In China, you can use, Booking.com, Qunar.com, Ctrip.com, and Airbnb to book accommodation in various classes.
China Tibet Train
Mid-April sees the Start of Good Time to Tour Mount Everest
Middle April and later on is believed the suitable time to sightsee Mount Everest, because it is arid and rarely snows. Days after middle April are often clear and sunny. There is high chance to have a clear panoramic view of the whole mountain body and the peak during this time.
The average temperature of Mount Everest area in April is -10℃ to 6℃. It can still be freezing cold, but the clear night sky with millions of stars makes it worth enduring the one-night coldness. The abatement of wind is weakening in April and May, and the wind speed is decreasing as well during April, making the sightseeing and mountaineering both more pleasant to do.
Extra packing for Everest: mountaineering shoes, disposable panties, disposable wipes, high calorie snacks.
Special permits needed to tour Everest: Border Permit and Tibet Travel Permit. The latter is only required to be applied for by tourists holding foreign passports. Tibet Travel Permit is issued by Tourism Bureau of Tibet and can be processed with the help of authorized tour operators and travel agencies.
Namtso in Ice Gown
The long “closure” period of Namtso tour ends in March. From December to March, due to heavy snows, the roads from Lhasa to Namtso often confronts necessary block. In April, the weather with rare snow ensures the road from Lhasa to Namtso in stable and safe condition. It is just the beginning of Namtso’s tourism season. The lake is till ice covered and won’t melt completely until May. It may fail you if you hope to see blue running lake water, but the image of glacier-like lake, with frozen bizarre shapes of “icebergs”, “ice swords” and “ice waves” might atone you in a different way.
Namtso Lake in late April
Note: for environmental protection reason, the accommodation facilities in Tashi Island in Namtso Scenic Spot have been removed in April, 2019, and very unlikely to be reestablished again. Tourists who need to stay overnight after the day trip at Namtso can lodge in Damxung county, 56km east of the lake.
Kind reminder: with the altitude of 4,718m, Namtso is 1,000m higher than where Lhasa is located. Though you may have stayed a few days acclimatizing in Lhasa, you should take it easy in Namtso. You’d better walk as if you have all the time in the world instead of running, jumping or fast walking though the pretty nature landscape may excite you to do so.
When the first phase of peach blossoms luminates the quiet valley of Nyang River, the breath of mountains and fields are as if releasing the sweet fragrance. The image of soft pink of flowering trees, and the tender green sprouts of spring trees, and the elegant yet mighty Mount Namcha Barwa at the background, is just a soft esthetical stirring. Nyingchi is an atypical existence amid Tibet’s tourist cities. It is culturally intimate with the rest of Tibet, while as to the natural landscape, Nyingchi is delicate and exquisite with the evergreen forests, colorful meadow, running rivers, and flowers, in comparison with the typical beauty of Tibet being bold and unconstrained. A phenomenon of Nyingchi tourism industry is that this region is far more famous among ethnic Han Chinese groups within China and from overseas, rather than renowned among western tourists.
Note: If you plan to see the blooming wild peach blossoms, please try to visit between March and mid-April; If you are also fond of alpine plants such as azalea or pretty blue poppy, you are suggested to come and explore in May and June.
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