While I will sometimes take a day tour or a tour to see a particular sight, I am not a fan of multi-day tours.  However, it is the only way to visit Tibet.  Based on Trip Advisor reviews, we used Tibet Vista.

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Pros:

They were very responsive and helpful before the trip.  I was able to make adjustments to our plan (after I messed up our plane tickets).

We were in Nepal over a holiday and also had limited time in Kathmandu to work with the company for our Tibet Visa.  I was also very nervous about handing over my passport while traveling and not having it with me around Nepal.  The company followed through on everything they said.  A representative met us at our hotel on a Sunday morning during a holiday to collect our paperwork.  The company kept in touch with me while in country during the visa process.  Our passports and visa were ready to pick up when and where agreed.

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Payment was not a big thing.  Obviously we paid for our trip but only had to pay a deposit up front.  We paid for the visas once in Nepal and didn’t pay the balance of our trip until we were in Tibet.  This always makes me feel better.

We were picked up in Tibet at the airport as promised and taken to our hotel.

Our tour groups were small.

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Cons:

We had a different tour guide every day. This led to last minute changes in schedules that did not reflect our agreed to itinerary, the guide often not knowing who did what the day before or who was with who, and a repeat of information.  Two of our three guides were often on their cell phones and did not provide particularly good tours.

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When the schedules were changed, none of the guides provided that information in advance so the group could make the appropriate changes.  As an example, one day we didn’t have lunch and we walked to the first several sights but were not told this until after we had left for the day.

The tour days were very short, about 9 am to 3 or 4 pm, without any advice or guidance on other things to do or go (even when asked).

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Our hotel was a large industrial tour hotel.  It was so chilly I slept in my sleeping bag and the breakfast was the worst I have ever had – EVER.

Overall assessment: Our travel documents were in order, we got in and out of Tibet and we were able to see Potala Palace – which were the most important things.   Everything before we arrived in Tibet was outstanding.  Once in Tibet the organization and guides were mediocre at best. I won’t be using them again for Bhutan which also requires a tour.

 

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