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Tavel FAQ

 

Here is a collection of questions we receive frequently. If you can´t find your issue or question here we are more than happy if you contact us directly.

What kind of food will be served on a trip?

Food is a very important part of traveling and experiencing a foreign culture.
Therefore, we like to frequent smaller, local restaurants instead of large touristy ones.
In every area where we travel to there are local Chinese, Tibetan or southeast Asian specialties to discover. A wide range of flavors and tastes are best enjoyed in a traditional surrounding, and best made by the people who invented regional dishes.
On our expeditions we take our mobile kitchen where we cook a mix of tasty Western and Chinese dishes. Here cooking enthusiasts have the option to take kitchen knife and stirring spoon and prepare their favorite dish.
Breakfasts are mainly western inspired and include bread, jams, coffee and tea.

Do I need to worry about altitude sickness?

Before going on one of our adventures in high altitude areas such as Tibet or Karakorum you should get advice from a trusted physician. The first day in high altitude is always an acclimatization day to get your body adjusted to the higher altitude. Well adjusted we will then start the trip.
There is reliable medication like Acetazolamide (Diamox) against high altitude sickness, which you can take beforehand to avoid symptoms. This preventive medicine has to be prescribed by a physician. On all of our high altitude tours our team will take
bottled oxygen in case of need. Real, life threatening, altitude sickness can only be obtained 7000 meters above sea level. Since we do not travel in that high altitude this risk does not concern us.

What means “family friendly”?

“Family friendly” means that you are not only welcome to bring your children, but that the tour is “family approved” by us. The tour guide has experience in dealing with children and is making the tour not only fun for you, but also for your kids.
Plenty of activities and real life experience such as playing football with Tibetan kids or riding a horse on a farm in Laos will be remembered by your children long after you have returned home. Children always enjoy a home stay [see: “What can I expect from a home stay?”] since they have a lot of freedom as they play along with the local kids in a natural surrounding.
But our “family friendly” discovery tours are also fun for adults. Seldomly an adventurous person stops wanting to discover the unusual just because of having kids.
We offer therefore unique trips where you and your kids get an off-the-beaten-track experience.

Our “family friendly” itineraries are, of course, not only for people with children, but for everybody who likes it a bit more relaxed.

Do my kids get a discount?

Children traveling with one or both of their parents do get a discount of 10% until the age of six, as long as they stay together with their parents in one room in an extra bed.

How often do we stay in camps on expeditions?

As a simple rule-of-thumb we offer a balanced mix between nights we camp and stay in tents and overnight stays in guesthouses or hotels. Some expeditions are leading us through more remote areas, therefore camping is essential and not every second night can be spent in a hotel.
Every expedition is unique and we can afford a great deal of flexibility which depends on your preferences, as well as on weather conditions and other external factors.

Do I need a special insurance for traveling with tibetmoto?

Health insurance
When buying a travel insurance, you are not only buying some service that can help you when in need, you’re also buying peace of mind – for you, while you travel, and also for your family and friends back home.
There is a perception among many travelers to Asia, that medical care is relatively cheap. While it is true that basic health care in Asia can be cheap, you will be happy to have insurance if repatriation or long hospital stays are needed. For your own safety, and since some of our trips lead into remote areas, we make it mandatory that you bring a health insurance of your choosing along.

Vehicle insurance
For the time in which you are self-driving one of our vehicles [motorbikes / 4×4] you are being held responsible for any damage inflicted by you. We suggest therefore strongly to book one of our insurance packages which cover damages.

How experiences do I have to be for self-drive travel [4WD / Motorbike]?

You should have a driving license for the vehicle you are intending to drive and at least two years of on the road experience. On our motorcycle tours a good physical condition and experience in long hour touring is essential. Self-driving a 4WD is generally more relaxed since you can take turns with others, or let our driver drive.

How to get a Tibet permit / a visa for China?

You generally have to apply for a Chinese visa at the Chinese embassy or consulate, or an out-sourced company like “Visa for China” [www.visaforchina.com] in your home country or country of residence. After booking an adventure with us we supply you with plenty of “application” material which should make you application process rather easy. Chinese tourist visa are valid for 3 month after being issued and allow you a stay in China between 30 and 90 days. Visas can be extended in China for a small fee at a Public Security Bureau [PSB] for another 30 days, two times.
When applying for a visa you generally do not inform the Chinese authority that you are intending to travel to Tibet. Some cases have been made public in where a Chinese visa has been refused because of the intended destination Tibet. After receiving your Chinese visa you will supply us with a scanned copy and we arrange all necessary Tibet permits. You do not need to worry about or work on the permit(s) yourself in order to obtain them.

Do I need a Chinese driving license?

In order to obtain a Chinese driving license the only thing you will have to do is to scan your domestic driving license and send it to us via email. With that we arrange temporary Chinese driving license which allows you to self-drive a vehicle during the time you travel with us in China, Tibet or beyond.

Will every tour take place exactly as described in the tour itinerary?

All our itineraries give you a good overview what you will experience and discover when booking with tibetmoto. The itineraries are nevertheless best understood if they are seen as a suggestion rather than as a 100% planned and a thousand times done way of traveling. We like to keep every tour, every adventure, every trip unique and special. We are proud to say that we have never done a trip two times exactly the same way. Our team does not like to offer mainstream tourism tours, and we believe that people enjoy their time best when they have freedom and possibilities to choose from. Freedom and flexibility are very good ingredients to cook an exceptional discovery or adventure, to meet unusual people and visit off-the-beaten-track places.

How does camp life look like on expeditions?

After arriving at the camp ground we pitch up the tents, our team will set up the mobile kitchen, the electricity generator is being started and we can think of having a cold beer. All supplies and the luggage is carried by our supply truck. We do not have always pre-chosen camp grounds which are always frequented by us, since every expedition is different. Depending on the time in the afternoon we start looking for “the perfect spot”. Perfect spots have a water source such as a river or a lake and a flat piece of land for the tents. Some spots we use more frequently since they are so perfect that the location is hard to beat. Camping together with nomads offers an opportunity to experience their way of live, culture and habits. Sitting in the evening together in a nomad tent somewhere on the Tibetan grassland and listening to Tibetan nomads` songs is a truly genuine experience.
Dinner is being served in a large dining tent where we have tables and chairs to comfortably sit together, eat and drink. The separate, smaller, sleeping tents are designed to accommodate each two people, but if you choose the “single room” option (you will find that option below each expedition itinerary) you will have your own tent. Our tents are army tents where you can almost stand upright. The sleeping “hard wear” is a foldable army field bed, which puts your body about knee height away from the ground. We provide you with the entire hard wear, plus blankets and insulation mats. The only item you should bring along is your personal sleeping bag. If you don´t want to bring your sleeping bag all the way to China we can provide you with a new sleeping bag for a reasonable price.

What can I expect from a home stay?

A home stay is an opportunity to get access into another culture by joining the host family for dinner and breakfast and sleep under their roof, as their guest. Most families live together in a several generation house, from children to old grandparents. A lot of home stays are semi-farms with at least a few cattle such as chicken and cows around the house. Often are fields attached where family member go to work after breakfast. Here, local family and work life can be experienced as it is instead of “only” observing it from the outside.
We believe that joining a home stay is on of the best ways to get in touch which what surrounds you in a foreign country.

Why is the company called “tibetmoto”?

We started our first tours back in 2010 in the Tibetan areas in north Yunnan, Sichuan and Tibet. From the beginning we offered tours both with motorbikes and 4×4´s. Since 2010 a lot has happened and tibetmoto became a success story. Tibetmoto now operates trips throughout Tibet, China, Myanmar, Laos, Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan, but our roots lay in Tibet, and a lot of our team members are Tibetans. Therefore the first part of the word is Tibet, the second coming from the German word “Motor” [meaning: engine]; traveling throughout Tibet with any kind of motorized vehicle, which enables you to travel off-the-beaten-track to special destinations.

 

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