Tibet weather & when to go: December

December overview

One of Tibet’s quirks is that even in winter, due to the high altitude, it usually feels a lot warmer than it actually is. Those pesky UV rays easily penetrate the thin air though, so hats and sunglasses are essential. It can be a good idea to visit Tibet in December, if you can cope with temperatures that average -9°C to 9°C, and much lower after nightfall.

Very Good
Not Advised

Annual overview

  Best   Good
  Mixed   Poor
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

December's weather in detail

Many parts of the country will be out of reach due to heavy snow closing off the roads. Lake Namtso will be covered in ice, while trekking around Mount Kailash would be hazardous. Some intrepid souls do make it out to see Mount Everest at this time of year, but it can get as cold as -20°C in that region, so most won’t stay for long.

In the capital, Lhasa, it is quite pleasant (positively mild), and of course most religious sites remain open during December. That’s also the case in Shigatse, which is slightly colder but still perfectly manageable. Later in the month, monasteries across Tibet mark the death of Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelugpa order, with dancing and processions.

Our recommended journeys

Tibet may not be the easiest place in the world to reach but it is well worth the effort. Give us two weeks of your time and you’ll be rewarded with an unforgettable experience to an extraordinary, mystical region.

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Key Festivals & Religious Ceremonies

 Tsongkhapa Butter Lamp Festival

Celebrating the parinirvana of Tsongkhapa, founder of the Buddhist Gelug Sect, twinkling yak butter lamps decorate homes and temple altars across Tibet.

⟵ November

January ⟶

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