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To Tibet from Shanghai

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I would be grateful for some advice on joining a tour to Tibet once I am in China. My travelling companions will be leaving me in Shanghai at the beginning of November. From here I want to get myself to Lhasa for 4 or 5 days and then back to Shanghai for my flight back to the U.S. The American tour companies I've called seem to specialize only in Yangtze R. cruises and sightseeing trips for more than 10 days. From what I understand, I need to be part of a tour group to enter Tibet with the least trouble. Do you suggest waiting until I get to China to look for flights, guides, hotel, tour package? or continue to look for a package from here? Any advice or recommendations are greatly appreciated.

I am very excited about my first trip to China, and I cannot imagine missing Tibet.

Thank you!

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