Could you give me some advice on what the best tour company is to visit Nepal/Tibet (including Mount Kailash) with? Would appreciate any help/advice. Are they issuing visas for Tibet now? Tracy, via email
Entering Tibet does not come without complications, as political issues make both entry into and travel within Tibet far from straightforward.
To get your entry permit from the Tibetan Tourism Bureau you can apply via specialised travel agents. You must travel as part of an organised tour during your trip.
At this stage, I must point out that the situation is constantly changing and there are varying reports about the ease of receiving entry permits.
You should also note that the Chinese authorities can restrict access to Tibet at any time, so you need to be prepared for your plans to change at the last minute.
My advice would be to use a tour company for both the Nepal and Tibet elements of your trip combined. G Adventures, Intrepid and World Expeditions all offer tours which include both Nepal and Tibet.
Including Mount Kailash in your trip will make it more expensive, as it is not on the traditional tourist route between Lhasa and Kathmandu.
But if you don’t mind missing out, a cheaper option would be to opt for G Adventures’ 14-day ‘High Road to Tibet’ tour, which doesn’t include Mount Kailash, but does take you from Lhasa to Kathmandu via Everest Base Camp and Tibetan cities Gyantse and Shigatse.
I am visiting Lisbon for seven days in March for the city’s fashion week, Moda Lisboa, and need to find a nice budget hotel – any recommendations? Also, are there any good day trips from the city? Amy, via email
If you are looking for great budget accommodation, Lisbon has plenty of options. Oasis Lisboa is a funky hostel, close to the lively Bairro Alto nightlife quarter, which offers double rooms from £47pn or a dorm bed for as little as £15.
They throw in a movie library, free breakfast, wifi, laundry service and much more. Alternatively, Brown’s Apartments offer an affordable self-catering option (around £71pn) in the heart of Baixa.
For a great day trip, try the nearby historical town of Sintra.
A Unesco World Heritage site, just 17 miles northwest of Lisbon, it can be reached by train from central Lisbon’s Rossio station in 40 minutes.
Sintra’s appeal is in its unusual historical buildings.
In the centre of the town is the Palácio National de Sintra, one of the best preserved medieval palaces in Portugal – its twin chimneys hark back to Moorish days and the bird-themed interior is equally impressive.
Also visit the park and palace of Pena just south of Sintra, where tropical plants and lakes surround a Prussian fantasy-style palace.
Don’t visit Sintra on a Wednesday as the palace and a number of shops and restaurants are closed.
Other week days will be quieter than at the weekend.
Lonely Planet’s Laura Lindsay will give you the benefit of her infinite wisdom if you email a question to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your question is answered, you’ll win a Lonely Planet guide of your choice.