In the time of chimpanzees I was a monkey (mwissa) wrote in tibetanculture,
In the time of chimpanzees I was a monkey

TRAVELERS, I need advice!

My name is Melissa, I live in St. Louis, Missouri, and this is my first post.

My best friend and I are planning to travel to Tibet and Nepal in March or May of next year.

I am very curious about the culture and travel etiquette for these countries. I know a little, but not very much about the customs and I would love to hear from the people who have lived there, traveled there, visited there, know a lot about the country and how possible it would be for two American women (one, mainly me, having a very expensive camera for photography) to make their way through these countries safely.

I know that there is turmoil with the Chinese government and some parts of Tibet are very heavily occupied by the Chinese. I also know that there are some dishonest guides that can steal what you have and leave you stranded (I also hear the Sherpas (sp?) are very kind and honest and are the best guides but cost more. I know that there are some issues with altitude and what not, but I am a photographer and lover of exotic places and cultures. I am very respectful, and would love to learn about the country and it's history and religion.

So, here are my questions for our planned trip.

How safe is it actually for two American women to trek there alone?
Where should we fly into?
How long would it take to travel from say, Lhasa to Katmandu, Nepal?
Is that possible?
In Tibet and Nepal, where is the best places to travel to too actually see the country and how lives are lived there? I don't want to go just for the scenery and photography, I want to see the people.
What are some customs and general rules among the natives there that most travelers wouldn't know?
What kind of vaccination and restrictions will have to deal with in order to travel safely?

Thank you so much for any advice.
I really have a strong curiosity for this country and would love to see it first hand and experience it for all it's beauty and wonder.
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