To help photographers planning their Tibet Photography Tours, Tibet Travel Expert service shares Tibet travel tips for photographers.
Tibet is filled with glacier, snow-topped mountains, rugged wilderness, yak-spotted grasslands, farming villages, nomadic communities, ancient monasteries, and above all Tibetans who often seen in their traditional clothes spinning their prayer wheels or prostrating along holy sites. No wonder Tibet is one of the favourite travel destinations for photographers around the world. To help photographers planning their Tibet Photography Tours, Tibet Travel Expert service shares here a thorough sum-up of Tibet travel tips for photographers.
Travel Documents Needed for Tibet Photography Tours
Foreign travellers need an additional travel document called Tibet Travel Permit to enter and travel Tibet besides Chinese Visa. Without it, you cannot board train or flight to Tibet, even you have already train or flight tickets booked and paid for.
Tibet Travel Permit can only be applied by a local Tibet travel agency on your behalf at Tibet Tourism Bureau. Your travel route in Tibet will be printed on it as well as the transit cities to/from Tibet. To visit the regions outside Lhasa city, such as Everest Base Camp, Mt Kailash, Nyingtri… more permits will be needed. As an experienced local Tibet travel agent, Tibet Travel Expert service will take care of them all after a tour is confirmed of booking, allowing you a worry-free Tibet Photography Tours.
If you plan to start your Tibet photography tour from Nepal instead of mainland China. You will need a special Chinese visa besides Tibet Entry Permit. It is called Chinese Group Visa, which can only be obtained in Kathmandu with your original passport, and it takes three full working days.
How to Get to Tibet for Tibet Photography Tours
Travelers can either take train or flight to Tibet via mainland China. Traveler can also take the nonstop flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa or to travel overland from Kathmandu to Lhasa via Gyirong Port.
Getting to Tibet by air is the most convenient way. The best flight line for photographers us from Kathmandu to Lhasa, during which you can bird-view the Himalaya ranges. Getting to Tibet by train is also a good choice for photographers. You can enjoy the fascinating landscape of Qinghai-Tibet plateau. With a little luck you may also see some wild animals during the train ride, such as Tibetan antelopes and Tibetan wild donkeys, while the train pass through Hoh xi, the isolated region in the northwest of Qinghai-Tibet plateau. After the train enters the Northern Tibetan grassland, the vast green grassland with yaks will show you a lively picture of the Tibetan nomadic lives.
Of course, the most scenic one would be to travel overland from Kathmandu to Lhasa via Gyirong port. Tucked away from the rest of the world, the Gyirong Valley is one of the last great bastions of exploration available to those who wish to venture into true Tibet. Gyirong valley’s skies look down upon an area almost untouched by man, yet vast and beautiful in its natural splendor.
Camera Gears to Prepare for Tibet Photography Tours
- If you are more interested in monasteries, valleys, and streets, you are suggested to use the wide-angle lens (16-35mm; 14-24mm).
- If you are more interested in humanistic photography, Canon/Nikon EF35mm f1.4mm is sufficient
- If you are more interested in nature, i.e. vast grassland or endless mountain ranges, you are suggested to use the telephoto lens (70-200mm, f2.8), which can better help you capture the view of Tibet.
You are suggested to bring some spare batteries and compact flash cards for your camera because there are so many things to record on a Tibet Photography Tour and it is not always easy to charge your camera especially at the remoter parts of Tibet.
No matter what lens you use, you need to buy a good UV lens, because there is too much ultraviolet light in Tibet. If you don’t use UV mirror, the color contrast may be smaller. It is not necessary to use CPL (Circular-Polarizing Filters) for the sky itself is already dark blue in Tibet plateau.
The external flash is not quite necessary for a Tibet photography tour since it is forbidden to use it in most monasteries.
Taboos for Tibet Photography Tours
1. Check with your local Tibetan guide before taking photos inside a chapel of any monastery in Tibet. Some of the chapels are forbidden to take photos and some you need to pay extra fee to take photos.
2. If you want to take photos of local Tibetan people, especially children and women, please first ask permission respectfully and politely.
3. Yaks and Tibetan mastiffs which are colourfully dressed at scenic spots in Tibet, are often charged to take photos with.
4. If you meet aggressive person(s) asking for money when you are taking photos in public places, refuse to do so and ask your Tibetan guide for help. Don’t engage with them.
Tibet Travel Expert service is experienced in arranging Tibet Photography Tours for photography-lovers around the world. Not only we are qualified to obtain all kinds of Tibet permits for foreign travelers, we also know about what attractions and itineraries in Tibet to recommend to photography-lovers. If you are one of the photography-lovers ready to explore Tibetan plateau, please feel free to get in touch with us via email, firstname.lastname@example.org.