All of the staff at Explore Tibet are local Tibetans with many years of traveling experience. Many of them have received trainings in ecotourism sponsored by the esteemed Columbia University.
Jamphel: “Our guides are familiar with the most beautiful Tibetan trekking routes and are experienced in high-altitude trekking. Most importantly, as native Tibetans, they have deeply ingrained knowledge of Tibetan culture, tradition, religion and history. In our trips, our guests have the opportunity to experience the life of Tibetans, learn about their daily routines and customs. Travels may take you through ancient monasteries, nomadic lands and stunning landscapes of the Tibetan plateau. This makes for an unparalleled experience of Tibet’s unique environment and its rich traditions!”
Pioneering as a Responsible Tourism company in Tibet
Jamphel: “Being a local travel company, we have a particular responsibility to introduce the practices of Responsible Tourism in Tibet. Our rich culture, indigenous tradition and unpolluted environment are the core values of preservation, so that future generations can enjoy the essence of what Tibet represents. Though our influence is limited, we are proud to be one of the first local companies that implement the practices of Responsible Tourism in Tibet.
- Our guides and staff attend annual Eco-tourism trainings supported by Columbia University. These trainings enrich our staff with knowledge and Responsible Tourism awareness.
- We employ local Tibetans as guides, drivers, cooks and porters for all the trips that we operate.
- We provide fair wage to our staff and hirers.
- All our tours and activities are customized by knowing the local culture and our clientele’s needs.
- We encourage the native culture by using local owned hotels, family run guesthouses, restaurants and handicraft shops while retaining the respect we have for our clients’ needs.
- We encourage the local economic development by designing tours that travel through small villages and using their services and products.
- We teach precise information to our clients about etiquette and social norms, thereby preventing unintentional negative situations.
- We reduce our impact by leading our trips in small groups, minimizing our carbon footprint.
- While we are traveling, we decrease the waste produced by practicing the principles of leave no trace including respecting wildlife and leaving what we find.
Being a local tour operator, I am personally pleased to practice the knowledge of Responsible Tourism as we are dedicated to relying upon native people and using local services to encourage the local economic development.”
Jamphel: “We have set up a horse trek destination with the small village known as Chusang. We use the village horses for the horse trekking and local horse men. We also bought two horses for a poor family in the village. They are using the horses for their work and also to make some business.”
Jamphel: “We organized a cleaning project at the holy caves of Drak Yerpa. In the morning some of the staff from Explore Tibet travelled to Drak Yerpa and cleaned the area. Then we also placed three wooden boards at three important spots around the sites asking visitors not to litter and take their garbage with them.
All the cost of the day is facilitated by the company and we are hoping to bring more projects like that in the future. Though a day or two is not enough to clean an area totally, but we think building awareness is very important and such influences will grow in our society.”
Needed: a barley roaster
Jamphel: “We also coordinated a donation of a barley roaster to a local community. As the project coordinator, we connected the donors (Cristian and Renate) with the project beneficiaries (the villages of Lhakang Township) in order to carry out the project through our understanding of the local situation and customs.
After we received the funds from the donor, one of our field staff visited the village and met with village heads, including Pasang, to discuss how and when the project could be completed. Then we ordered the roaster from a local Tibetan family-owned equipment shop. They met our requirements and delivered the roaster to Lhakang. The villagers constructed a house for the roaster. We decided to hand over the administration responsibility to the township, which will take care of the roaster as public property, giving every family the right to use it by paying small management fees to the township for maintenance and upkeep.”
Me and some of the staff have joined annual Eco-tourism Trainings in 2008, 2009 and 2010, conducted by Columbia University. I have also participated in the Ecotourism Conference in Shangrila in 2011. In 2011, we have hosted the Ecotourism training in Lhasa and most of our local staff got trainings in Ecotourism, customer services and first aid practices.
I have also attended several trainings on the topic of human resources, how to build small business and project management.
In 2014 with help of a student group from Hong Kong part of our staff and me did a clean up program at Darkyerpa, and we put up sign reminding visitors to respect the environment and leave no trace.
I went to USA on Eco Tourism Study Exchange program in May 2015.
We hosted a training program in 2015 in Lhasa focussing on staff training in First Aid, waste management, leave no trace and leadership. We also hosted a training teaching the Eco Travel Collective members the skills of video editing.
We don’t had any substantial in-house training so far, but we create the opportunity among our guides and other crew to have internal discussions on how to improve their awareness on eco-tourism practices and customer services.
Sonam Jamphel - founderI am Tibetan born and grew up in Tibet, but did not truly discover the beauty of my country until I explored its wonders with my guests in the past years. The more I traveled, the more I came to love the land that I call home. The task of educating our guests inspired me to study our ancient culture, traditions, religion and history through both books and the elders of my village. In my experiences, I have explored almost every corner of Tibet. Through interaction with natives and visitors alike, I have a deep appreciation of the needs of travelers who visit Tibet. The accumulation of all of these experiences resulted in my founding Explore Tibet to provide authentic Tibetan experiences through the culture and landscape that make up this magical country.
Samdup Gyal - Sales personSamdup Gyal was born in a small and humble nomad family in Amdo (far eastern Tibet). He also got opportunities to participate in Ecotourism trainings to improve our knowledge of eco-friendly and sustainable tourism.
With more than 5 years guiding experiences, he is very kind and knowledgeable about Tibetan culture and tradition, he also received excellent feedbacks from many of customers that he took.
Kalsang Namgyal - Travel consultantKalsang Namgyal was born in Lhasa, Tibet and grew up in foreign country. He received bachelor’s degree of Business Administration there. In 2006, he came back to Tibet and started his job, working as a Tibet Tour Guide till 2013. In 2008, he worked at Lamsang Language School as an English Teacher. Then in 2009, he obtained China National Guide License from Tibet Tourism Bureau with necessary and proper guide trainings. Meanwhile, he also took series of Examinations held by Tibet Tourism Bureau.
After 8 years of various experiences as a guide and especially as a local Tibetan, he learned so much about Tibetan Buddhism, culture & traditions by himself and from elder people. During those 8 years he led various groups to different areas in and outside Tibet. Moreover, in 2010 he attended Eco-Tourism trainings and that really built his knowledge on sustainable and eco-friendly tourism, hence he is now well educated about preservation of nature while leading tours.
He is very knowledgeable in all sorts of histories, spirits, culture and religion as a guide and as a Tibetan. He always spares no efforts to learn more about Tibetan culture & Buddhism from elders or through books so that he is able to answer all the questions of honorable clients. Moreover, he is a language master who speaks fluent Tibetan, English, Hindi and Chinese.Until now there are so many excellence reviews and recommendations from past clients about Kalsang due to his well service and knowledge about Tibet and its people.
Namiha - Travel consultantI am Namlha and I was born in Labrang, Amdo region of Tibet. I obtained my bachelor's degree of Commerce. After completing my bachelor degree, I worked in a local Travel agent almost for 2 years. I have won the best girl award when I was in school and had two years school prefect experience and very punctual in nature. I love to listen to various types of songs and especially Tibetan songs. I am a good dancer both (western and Tibetan). My personal ideology or motto is “Give respect and get respect”. Ever since as a kid I was very friendly with all and would be there to help anyone if it’s under my ability. One should love his or her job and I am doing exactly the same and I love what I am doing and feel pleasure to be part of this Explore Tibet family.
I have joined Explore Tibet early this year and it is my great opportunity to work in this Tibetan tour company, I love the work as well as the brothers and sisters in the team, who always extend their helping hands.
Tibet is an exotic place where you can explore things which you have never encountered in your entire life. I would glad to help those who would love to explore because Tibet is worth spending some time and gain an extraordinary experiences that you will remember forever.
One of my best habit is to interact with people through text and imparting information. Catch me on Explore Tibet and together we will make your dream come true.
Tse - Tour guideI shouldered responsibility as a school prefect for several years and won the School Environment Club Membership certificate, rewarding my participation in environmental protection at the school. Later I did my Bachelor of Arts (BA) and took some basic computer courses too.
I am specailly interested in Tibetan cultural dances and songs, so I have also participated our school dance and performance club.
Guiding tours is my profession, as well as my passion. I have 6 years of experiences in guiding tours with varying size and character, ranging from easy city tours to trekking adventures. It is my pleasure to share our culture, history, tradition and religion which learned from our ancestors and experienced since our childhood. This is one of the main reasons why I love my work. My knowledge about my country and my extensive travels with western tourists enable me to offer authentic experiences for our esteemed customers. It is my pleasure to share our culture and tradition with all friends coming from different parts of the world. Being part of Explore Tibet, I appreciate the initiation of Responsible Tourism for the welfare of our society and our environment as a whole.
My words to our customers: “I will make you feel like home even though you are far away from your own home. Come with us to explore our Tibet and enjoy the authentic experiences.”
Nyima - LogisticsNyima Dolma, 29 years old. She was born in the capital city of Tibet in a humble family. Since from child, she was very interested in learning English and step by step she learned English from different private schools in and around Lhasa. After middle school at the government school at Shol, she was able to find different kinds of works.
Due to her rapid improvement on English language, she continues her efforts to improve her English and Chinese at the same time. She also spent a year in Beijing working at a jewelry shop at Lidu hotel to improve her Chinese and to improve her personal economy as well.
For several years, she worked as a receptionist in Kailash hotel, Traffic hotel and Thangka hotel in Lhasa city and in 2013, she also attends for the hotel management training held by Tibet Tourism Bureau where she was certified as English speaking receptionist. So right now she is able to speak and write both English and Chinese.
Now she is working at Explore Tibet, responsible for permit paper work preparation and hotel booking.
Namgyal - guideNamgyal is a knowledgeable tour guide who was born in Lhasa and having deep Tibetan cultural background, since from his childhood, he was very kind and showing deep interest in Tibetan Buddhism, so that later he got great opportunity to study Buddhism philosophy for more than 2 years. Then later he studied English in some private language school for more than 7 years. From 2005, he work as tour guide and he was pleased to share our Tibetan culture and tradition to the clients that coming from all corners of the world, over the years of leading all kinds of groups and guiding for different types of trips, he improve not only his communication skills but also his services attitude and problem solving strategy, he was never satisfied with what he learnt about Tibetan history, religion and culture to share with his clients, so whenever he got any opportunity to interact with elders and other knowledgeable people, he use his full effort to learn more about the Tibet and Tibetan that he can share with our customers.
He was certified as tour guide and obtains his China National certificate from the Tibet tourism bureau, then attend annual tour guide trainings organized by the tourism bureau.
In past years, his hardworking and knowledgeable explanations are always rewarded with excellent feedbacks from our clients
Sherry - Travel consultantSherry obtained her bachelor's degree of Arts from Sichuan International Studies University in Chengdu. From the year 2009 to 2012, she has been studying English as major. Besides, she had strong interest in learning this language since middle school. Thus a good English skill is one of her advantages. After graduation from college with passing the highest test for English major in grade 8 (TEM8), she started her career in English education and training, and received consistent high praise both from her leaders and students.
After one year’s working as an English tutor for internship, she was thinking of not only improving herself in professional skills but also of broadening her horizon, so she went to Tibet, the place her heart has been yearning for with three great travelers from Australia. Later, the affection of Tibetan culture and the glory of its natural environment persuaded her to stay in this holy city and fortunately, she earned the chance to study at Explore Tibet, the local Tibetan owned travel agency based in Lhasa, and finally became a sales of this company. She has learned a lot about Tibet in all round ways with knowledge training and traveling with other tourists from all over the world.
Mia - Travel ConsultantMy name is Mia and I am 25 years old, born in Sichuan province. I obtained the bachelor's degree of Arts from Sichuan International Studies University in Chengdu, from 2009 to 2012, I have been studying English as major. During the University, I decided to improve her overall quality as the goal, to the full development of self - direction, establish a correct outlook on life, values and World-outlook.
I like reading books, especially about Tibetan culture and history. From July 2012, I worked as a librarian in a university in Sichuan province, during my two years of work at the Library, I spend most of the time for reading and exploring through different books, I was totally engaged by some Tibetan books that gave me a insightful impression of Tibet and its people, since then I started to love Tibetan people and its mysterious culture.
By a chance, I got an opportunity to work at Explore Tibet for part time as social media writer, and this is the my first time to know this local Tibetan company, then in 2012, I decided to travel this long dreaming destination and explored the mystical Tibet, the blue sky, rich culture and smiling faces were my first impression of Tibet and that memory last for ever. I am sure that most of you would have the same impression like mine.
The affection of Tibetan culture and the glory of its natural environment persuaded me to stay in this Holy city of Lhasa, later I applied for full time job at Explore Tibet and it is my great honor to work with such an enthiusaistic Tibetan team, specially I love my work and colleagues who are my best teachers that tell me true story of Tibet and its people, I love this authentic and learning environment at Explore Tibet, working at Explore Tibet is not only a job, but also a learning and enjoyment...
Tenpa Tenzin - GuideTenpa is from Minyag region of Kham(far eastern part of Tibet plateau). Currently he lives in Kangding (Dartse Do) and well experienced in traveling in the Kham region. In the past 6 years he travelled almost every place in the Kham region and know these places very well.
It is very important to have a knowledgeable and experienced tour guide to show the wide and culturally rich region of far eastern Tibet, which also called as Kham, so Tenpa is one of best guide in region who knows both local tradition as well as the western prospective.
Tsetan Namgyal - GuideTsetan Namgyal was born in Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet. From his childhood he is very keen to learn more about Tibetan culture and tradition, and he specially valued Tibetan language and always love to learn from elders.
Later in 2007, he received China National Tour guide license and started to be a tour guide, his open and frankly nature has contribute him to learn from his clients and shares his knowledge of Tibetan culture and history to the clients.
Tashi - DriverTashi is was born in Phenbu County which is only 100km north of Lhasa. He also received his driving license at his early 20s and at that time drove trucks for construction site. Then, in 2005 he bought a second-hand Land cruiser to work with travel companies. He is familiar with the roads and conditions throughout Tibet. Besides his experienced driving skill, his humble and polite personality deserves good reviews from many of our previous clients.
Tenzin - DriverTenzin was born in Tolung County which is adjacent to Lhasa. Driving in Tibet is very challenging and requires great skill and a good river. Tenzin obtained his advanced driving skills from his father who was one of first batch driver that transport tourist by trucks in early 90s.
Damdul - driverDriver Damdul was born in 1962, in Meldrogonkar County of center Tibet, nearby Lhasa. Now he is 52 years old. He has been driving since from the year of 1986. In 2001,
he obtained the Tourism Driving License which enabled him to drive for tour groups in Tibet. Moreover, he is well experienced in driving, especially he knows the road condition in Tibet very well. With years of driving experience for travelers from all over the world, he can take good care of them and if some travelers feel uncomfortable, he will know where to drive for lower altitude. He is one of the best and skillful drivers from our team. Besides, he is very polite and humble with good personality. He received so many excellent reviews and was rewarded on taking care of our clients while they were not feeling well at Everest Base Camp. Even though he is 52 years old, his spirit for his driving career is very young at heart which made him a hard working person. Damdul worked at Explore Tibet for years and received dozens of good reviews from our previous clients for his polite and professional service attitude as well as his safe driving skill, therefore we is listed as one of the top grading drivers at our company.