When is the best time to come?
Spring is still cold in Tibet and you can still expect snow then. Except for the two first weeks of May, Spring is not a touristic time and is a good time to visit historical places outside of the busy high season periods. It is usually not authorized to travel to Tibetan areas during the month of March.
In U-Tsang (Central Tibet), the weather is usually warm from the beginning of June to the end of September, and in Kham and Amdo (eastern Tibet) where the places reach above 3,500m the weather is still cold in June and September. The temperatures can go down if it’s raining or if the sky is very cloudy. When there are no clouds the sky has a beautiful deep blue and the sun is very strong, it’s important to have good UV protection from the sun (hat, sunglasses and sunblock are highly recommended). In summer you need to be prepared to have both hot and sunny days, and chilly and rainy days.
Although July and August are considered to be the ‘rainy season’ in Tibet, it also happens that June and September also has rain.
From the beginning of June to mid July the grasslands are covered with flowers, and in July there are many local festivals throughout Kham and Amdo.
It is an incredibly beautiful time to experience the changes of colors in the grasslands, which occur at end of August through to the beginning of September – from green to yellow, and then again in Spring – from yellow to green.
In U-Tsang (Central Tibet), September is warm and a bit less touristic than July and August. October is also not so cold.
In Kham and Amdo (eastern Tibet), September has a fairly cold climate when above 3,000m altitude and at this level October is very cold.
As you can imagine winter is cold in all Tibetan areas.
If you are not afraid of the cold, discovering Tibet in winter can also be an incredibly wonderful experience, especially after the Tibetan New Year (Losar) when pilgrims go to monasteries and partake in the Monlam Festival (Great Prayer Festival), events which are highly celebrated across Tibet.