Q. Is the mobile network available on the Kailash Mansarovar yatra route and during Mt. Kailash Parikrama?
When taking the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra via the Nepal route, there are two more countries other than India, involved in the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra which are Nepal and Tibet- the autonomous region of China.
When we go for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra by Helicopter package from Lucknow, our second-night stay is in Nepalganj and our third-night stay is in Simikot in Nepal part. At both places, WiFi is available with slow bandwidth and limited user access.
When we go for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra by Road package from Kathmandu, we stay 3 nights in Kathmandu (2 nights while going and 1 night while returning) and 2 nights in Syabrubesi (1 night while going and 1 night while returning) for which you may require a local Nepali Sim Card which is easily available at Kathmandu Airport or any mobile shop in Kathmandu. The Nepali Sim card of Ncell will cost you roughly 500 INR for which you will get a talk time of Rs. 200 and calling India will cost 3 NPR (2 INR) per minute. You can take international roaming for your Indian telecom service provider but it will cost you much higher.
When we enter Tibet for the Kailash Mansarovar tour, we find excellent mobile connectivity at most of the places even during Mount Kailash Parikrama. China Telecom is the leading operator of mobile connectivity in the Tibet region of Kailash Mansarovar Trip. Many-a-times pilgrims the Kailash pilgrims face problems in the activation of local sim cards, thus it is advisable if you really need a mobile connection then get international roaming activated on your Indian Simcard.
Q. Can I carry my Indian Mobile connection on Kailash Yatra for calling and internet purposes?
Yes, you can carry your Indian Mobile connection with international roaming activated for calling and internet purposes. Indian Telecom providers majorly have two types of plan- one is the per day charges plan and the other is the plan for around 10 days on a certain cost which generally includes no incoming call charges, approx 100 minutes free outgoing charges and some mobile data. It is better to get international roaming activated for Tibet part while going for Kailash Mansarovar Trek. There are other options such as Matrix also available for international roaming but one needs to deeply analyse the charges for each option and then choose the plan wisely while going on the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
Q. Do I need to buy a Nepali or Chinese sim card for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra? What is the procedure for the same? How much does it cost?
If you are taking the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra by Heli package, then buying a Nepali sim is optional. But if you are taking the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra by Road Package, then it is recommended to buy a local Nepali sim card.
As far as Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet, China region is concerned, it is advisable to get international roaming activated to constantly stay in touch. Buying a Chinese sim is not advisable because we have witnessed several issues related to its activation. We cannot follow up on these issues as we are not staying at one place for more than one night.
If you wish to take a Nepali or Chinese sim card, you can tell the tour guide or can buy it yourself from the local market. The Nepali Sim card of Ncell will cost you roughly 500 INR for which you will get a talk time of Rs. 200 and calling India will cost 3 NPR (2 INR). The Tibet Sim card of China Telecom will cost you roughly 1,000 INR and you will get only incoming calls and no outgoing calls.
Q. Which company's sim card works in Tibet?
Most of the Indian sim cards work during the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra with international roaming activated. We have seen Indian telecom companies such as Airtel, JIO, VI, etc with international roaming as well as other local operators - China Telecom work in the Tibet region.
Q. Does Whatsapp & Facebook work in Tibet?
Since Tibet is a region under China’s control and Whatsapp & Facebook are banned in China, these apps won’t be working in Tibet as well. However, you can try using Whatsapp & Facebook through VPN which changes your location, thus the apps start working. But it is advisable to not use them and follow the Law of the Land.
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