May is an ideal month of the year to visit Tibet, with ideal springtime weather that is dry, sunny and cool. Sunblock and sunglasses are naturally vital wherever you are. Average daytime temperatures up here on the roof of the world vary from 5°C to 19°C across the country, with Lhasa really earning its reputation as ‘the sunlit city’. The slopes around the capital are covered with green trees and beautiful wild flowers, especially rhododendrons, and the famous Barkhor Street around Jokhang Temple is full of life.
This is one of the best months for admiring the imposing Mount Everest, as the skies are amazingly clear, although average rainfall is edging up slightly in a sign of what’s to come later in the year. Trekking near Mount Kailash is a fantastic idea in May, as is joining the pilgrims on the kora around this sacred peak during the Saga Dawa Festival.
Touring Tibet’s scenic Holy Lakes, such as Namtso and Yamdrok, is another good option in May, as by this point the steep mountain passes are clear, and the ice has completely thawed. One slight downside: you can expect to see plenty of coaches on the road, as Tibet is a very popular destination for Chinese tourists during May.
Trekking across the ‘roof of the world’ in Tibet, at an average elevation of 4,500m, is and adventure hard to beat. It’s not the easiest destination to get to, but the unparalleled rush of standing in one of Earth’s rawest landscapes is like nothing else.