Cultural Considerations:Be aware that your cultural values may differ fromthose of locals.
Making the extra effort to respect local customs and cultural differences willenhance your interactions with locals during your time in Tibet and contribute tobuilding mutual respect between locals and tourists.
Many tourists ignore these cultural norms and can be seen in towns and villageswearing shorts and revealing summer attire: while it may be comfortable, it isnot appropriate especially when visiting monasteries.
Don’t be shy to inform other tourists of the proper dress for monasteries; perhaps they are not aware of the cultural considerations and etiquette.
Some enterprising locals may ask for payment for photos.
Photography is prohibited in places such as inside some monasteries, at skyburial sites and around military bases.
Handing out sweets or pens to kids also leads to a very unhealthy local – touristinteraction where local kids see tourists as a source of free handouts.
Visiting Monasteries: Most monasteries welcome visitors.
The larger urban monasteries will be set up to recieve tourists and entrancefees will likely be in place.
During certain times of the year some Eastern Tibetan monasteries may notaccept visitors if it is retreat time.
Central Tibet has no restrictions on women entering monasteries althoughcertain protector chapels may be off limits to women.
Visiting monasteries is often one of the most fascinating experiences oftravelers‘ time in Tibet.
When entering monasteries it is appropriate to wear modest clothing: longpants and shirts or tops that are not revealing.
It is not common to be able to stay overnight in monasteries in Central Tibet.
Monasteries are not hotels and monks are often going out of their way to putyou up for the night.
If you do have the opportunity to stay in a local house it is appropriate to offera small payment for food and lodging.
In the T.A.R. foreigners generally aren’t allowed to stay in local residences butin Eastern Tibet you’ll find wonderful homestays tastefully set up for bed andbreakfast accommodations.
Support the local economy by eating and shopping in local restaurants andstores.
Many of the larger shops that sell Thankas, carpets and jewellery may not beTibetan owned although will have some Tibetan employees.
If you need to be able to receive more frequent phone calls, purchasing a localSIM card for your unlocked phone would be the best option.