My wife (Chinese) and I (non-Chinese) will travel to Tibet this summer.
We are interested in visiting the largest cities of Lhasa and Xigatse, plus Qamdo in eastern Tibet, not necessarily all on the same trip. How to find a reliable tour agency, since I as a non-Chinese am required to sign up with one?
Recommendations based on personal experience welcome.
We are interested in standard sights, as well as getting off the beaten path.
The Yarlong Tsangpo River, reputed to be deeper than Tiger Leaping Gorge, is also of interest to us.
If you have not already done so check out Shanghai and Beijing expat websites, lonely planet and international travel blogs. In addition to asking here
I went with two American friends several years ago. We took the train from Beijing. We were not impressed with that, so we flew back. My friends brought a drug from the US called "Diamox" which helped us become acclimated to the high altitude. None of us got sick, but it was still hard going up steps like those at Potala Palace (which was awesome). Our guide took us to a base camp for Mt. Everest and we stayed over night. The air was thin to begin with, but several of us sleeping in a tent sealed off from the cold (yet fresh) air was hard. Burning Yak dung for heat also used up the precious oxygen. I awoke at night with difficulty breathing - a bit scary - and I started to hallucinate a bit. All in all, we had a great time, though. I loved the Yak meat and local food, but my friends broke down and ate at Dicos.
I just sent a WeChat message to a friend in Chengdu. She runs a Tibetan tour agency out of Chengdu and is a Tibetan native.
I sent her this link so look for replies.
Check out email@example.com
AlPage48 has the right idea or city anyways. Chengdu is the real gateway for Tibet, so try asking sites like www.gochengdoo.com/en/forums/all and travel agencies there. Even hostels in Chengdu have a decent amount of Tibet info.