Why Travel to Tibet
China holds 1.4 billion people and 56 different groups, the majority is Han Chinese, which takes for 92% of the total population, rest of 55 ethnic minority groups takes only 8% of the total population. While among all minority groups in China, Tibet is certainly one of the top destination in many people’s travel list. With the name the "Roof of the World" , Tibet is a snow covered plateau with highest altitude in the world, naturally speaking, there are majestic Everest, holy Mountain Kailash, sacred lakes such as Yamdrok Lake, Namtso Lake, Lake Manasarovar, etc. Culturally speaking Tibet owns mysterious Tibetan Buddhism and unique Tibetan culture, also trying local Tibetan food is a unforgettable experience.
How to Travel to Tibet
There are multiple ways to travel around Tibet, by flight to Tibet, by train to Tibet, drive your own vehicle to Tibet or rent vehicle in Tibet. In this article we want to focus on info of driving your own vehicle around Tibet.
Self Driving Routes to Tibet
If you are driving your own vehicle to Tibet, you may consider going from Western Sichuan to Tibet (Kham Tibet region), Qinghai to Tibet (Amdo Tibet region), Xinjiang to Tibet, Yunnan to Tibet.
Why Self Driving to Tibet
For those who want to explore more about Tibetan regions and get closer to the snow-caped peaks of Himalayas, self-driving journey will meet your standard properly, it will take you to visit the remote/hidden Tibetan villages/ towns, the majestic Everest and amazing highland lakes, grassland and wild animals. Which is hard to experience for those travelers who are taking a regular tour.
How to Organize Self Driving to Tibet
It is expensive and complicated, not possible for you to do it alone, you need to find a agent to get various permits for you, and the travel agent will arrange a guide accompanying you throughout the trip. Here is a detailed article telling you step by step of how to organize the trip, hope it helps your planning:
Mark Wiens and Travel China Tibet spent 9 days traveling around Tibet to taste some of the local Tibetan cuisine.
Trying the local cuisine is an important part of any travel experience. There’s no better way to learn about Tibetan culture than by tasting authentic Tibetan dishes and learning about the history and significance of their food.
To bring our travelers a new perspective on Tibet travel and food, TCT has teamed up with Mark Wiens, a world traveler who makes amazing food and travel videos on YouTube. Mark has a talent for seeking out the interesting and unique foods of different cultures. This special Tibet food tour has been captured on photo and video. Mark will be releasing a series of Tibet food videos on his YouTube channel: Migrationology with Mark Wiens.
Please check out Mark's Tibet videos! Here are the links to Mark’s Video on his YouTube Channel:
Significance of the Project
Tibet has a colorful and charming culture and history. As the region continues to develop changes in the way of life of the local Tibetans are inevitable. Our goal was to capture and document some of the traditions in Tibetan food culture that have remained unchanged for centuries. In the process we ate many tastey dishes and met some wonderful people.
How to Find Out More
How to Join a Tibet Food Tour
If you have any questions about joining a Tibet Food Tour or about Tibet travel, please reach out to us. You may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a message on Facebook or Instagram. One of our travel advisors will happily assist you.
Our Other Tibet Tours
Food tours are only one of the many types of tours that we offer. We have a variety of tours such as spiritual, meditation, family, adventure, senior, biking, and hiking tours. For travelers who are looking for a different kind of travel experience please share your ideas and travel plans with us. We specialize in custom tours for Tibet, China, Bhutan, and Nepal. We can definitely help you arrange an itinerary based on your interests.
We also offer a wide range of join in group tours for our budget travelers and custom tours for travelers who want the most flexibility. You can also check out the itineraries for our most popular Tibet Group Tours and Private Tibet Tours.
Please contact us at any time if you help with your Tibet travel plans.
We hope to see you in Tibet!
The Tibet Travel Permit, is also called the Tibet Permit or TTP or Tibet Visa. We suggest NOT to call it a Tibet Visa because there are also the China Visa and Tibet Group Visa (TGV). Since there are already various visas, using this term may cause confusion, so we simply call it the Tibet Permit or TTP.
Getting a Tibet Travel Permit (TTP) is required for all foreigners traveling to Tibet. We have been helping thousands of travelers from all over the world apply for their permits for free when they sign up with us for a custom or group Tibet tour. There are no service charges or hidden costs for this service when planning a Tibet trip with us. Follow the 3 easy steps below to get your guaranteed Tibet Travel Permit with us.
Tibet Travel Permit in 3 Easy Steps
Step 1: Plan and book your Tibet tour with us
Step 2: Email us a copy of your passport and Chinese Visa
Step 3: We submit your application and get you the approved Tibet Travel Permit
It really is that simple! Learn more by watching our YouTube video on How to Get a Tibet Travel Permit.
What Does a Tibet Travel Permit Look Like?
The Tibet Travel Permit consists of 2 pages. The first page contains the tour group number, tour dates, itinerary, and name of the tour operator. The second page contains the number of travelers in the group, name of each member, gender, nationality, passport number, and date of birth. Travelers must have both pages for the permit to be valid.
Tibet Travel Permit Page 1, Tour Information:
Tibet Travel Permit Page 2, Traveler Information:
When to Apply for the Tibet Travel Permit
Ideally, you should email us a copy of your passport and Chinese Visa (if you are entering Tibet from Mainland China) at least 15 days before your trip starts. Once we receive these documents from you, out staff will fill out the application and submit it to the Tibet Tourism Bureau in Lhasa for processing.
Tibet Travel Permit if Entering Tibet from Nepal
If you are planning to enter Tibet from Nepal, you will need a Tibet Travel Permit (TTP) + Tibet Group Visa (TGV). Tibet Travel Permit will be applied by us in Tibet and our guide will hold the original permit waiting for you at Lhasa airport for pickup, you do not need to have the Tibet Travel Permit for flight boarding from Kathmandu to Lhasa, what you need to do is bring the TGV for the flight.
Tibet Group Visa is a single entry visa valid for up to 30 days and allows you to travel from Nepal to Tibet and then onwards to Mainland China. Since it is a group visa, it means group action, if you are a group of 2 or more persons, you need to enter Tibet and depart Tibet/China together on same date and same flight, if you enter or depart at different date/flight, please make sure you tell us beforhand, so that we can apply TGV seperately for you. This is very important, if we do not seperate the TGV, you will NOT be able to board on the flight.
Tibet Travel Permit cost is included in all of our tour packages, but TGV cost is not included, it takes at least 3 working days to apply it, our Nepal office worker will help you to apply with your original passport, you can just pay the TGV cost to our worker in Kathmandu, please click here to check more about TGV application limits and cost details.
Important Note: Please DO NOT apply for a Chinese Visa in your country if you decide to travel from Nepal to Tibet. The TGV is enough to cover your Nepal-Tibet route, or Nepal-Tibet-China route. If you have a China visa already, it will be automatically cancelled when apply for TGV at the Chinese embassy located in Kathmandu.
Book and plan your Tibet Tour with us.
Email us a copy of your passport.
We submit your application for the Tibet Travel Permit and Invitation Letter from the Tibet Tourism Bureau.
We apply for your Tibet Border Pass
When you are in Nepal our agent will help you apply for the Tibet Group Visa. This process takes 3 full business days.
Find out more by reading our article: Tibet Group Visa
Getting Your Original Tibet Travel Permit
If you take a flight from a city in Mainland China to Tibet, you will need to show the original Tibet Travel Permit during airport check in. Or if you take the Tibet Train from Xian, Lanzhou, or Chongqing you will also need the original permit to board the train. We will deliver the original Tibet Travel Permit to your hotel or address in Mainland China. In some cases we may have one of our staff deliver it to you.
If you board the Tibet Train from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, or Xining you will only need a copy of the permit. We will email you a copy of the permit. Print out 2 copies of the permit beforehand. The train station staff will check your permit before you board and after you arrive at the train station in Lhasa. Your tour guide will be waiting for you at the Lhasa train station with your original permit.
If you travel from Nepal to Tibet, you only need a copy of the Tibet Travel Permit. We will email you a copy of the permit and you can print out a copy. You will need to have the original Tibet Group Visa and a copy of the border pass. Your tour guide will meet you at the airport (or at the border if you enter Tibet by land) and have the original Tibet Travel Permit and Tibet Border Pass for you.
How to Connect With Us
We always strive to make things as easy for you as possible, so take advantage of our services and we can help you apply for your Tibet Travel Permit, other necessary permits, and organize your tour. You can get in touch with us by sending us an email to email@example.com or submitting your questions online through our website
Many travelers are still confused of the visa for travelling from Nepal to Tibet, as a local operator, we would like to share some simple but useful information with you, so as to make your trip planning easier.
What is the Tibet Group Visa (TGV)
Tibet Group Visa, also called TGV, is a special visa granted to foreign visitors who travel from Nepal to Tibet, visitors only need to have this Tibet Group Visa for Nepal-Tibet route, and Nepal-Tibet-China route, NO other visa is required.
It is the ONLY visa for Nepal to Tibet Route
If you are travelling from Katmandu to Tibet (overland or by plane), you will need a Tibet Travel Permit (TTP) + Tibet Group Visa (TGV). Tibet Travel Permit will be applied by us in Tibet and our guide will hold the original permit waiting for you at Lhasa airport for pickup, you do not need to have the Tibet Travel Permit for flight boarding from Kathmandu to Lhasa, what you need to show at airport is the TGV.
Please DO NOT apply for Chinese Visa in your country if you travel from Nepal to Tibet, the TGV is the only visa to cover your Nepal-Tibet route, or Nepal-Tibet-China route. If you have a China visa already, it will be automatically cancelled when apply for TGV in Chinese embassy located in Kathmandu.
Since it is a group visa, it means group action, if you are a group of 2 or more persons, you need to enter Tibet and depart Tibet/China together on same date and same flight, if you enter or depart at different date/flight, please make sure you tell us beforhand, so that we can apply TGV seperately for you. This is very important, if we do not seperate the TGV, you will NOT be able to board on the flight.
Who can NOT get TGV
The following countries have to apply China Visa & Tibet Group Visa in their own respective country.
If any client who has traveled to following RED marked countries for more than 2 weeks , they will NOT able to get Tibet Group Visa.
What we need to apply TGV ?
After you book the Tibet tour with us, you will need to send us your passport copy by email attachment. Meanwhile, you need to provide the following information, then our Nepal office worker will start the TGV application.
Kathmandu arrival date + Tibet arrival date
Tibet departure date
If you also plan to travel further to mainland China after Tibet, you will need to specify all the Chinese cities in your visiting list, and the date you fly home from last Chinese city, all these will be written on the TGV.
How to get TGV ?
Send us your passport copy by email, then we will use your passport copy to apply for TGV invitation letter in Tibet.
Once the invitation letter is obtained, Tibet travel agent forward the invitation letter to the Nepal agent.
Our Nepal agent worker will meet you at your Kathmandu hotel, then you will give your originall passport + 2 passport size photo + TGV cost to our worker, and fill in the TGV form.
Our Nepal worker will forward the invitation letter to the Chinese embassy for visa preparation
At least 3 working days later Nepal agent worker will return to your hotel and give you the TGV + passport back.
Next day after you have the TGV, you can board on the flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa, our Lhasa guide will hold the Tibet Travel Permit and wait for you at the Lhasa airport.
The Chinese embassy in Kathmandu only works from Monday to Friday and do NOT work during public holidays and weekends. So please kindly check with us beforehand to see of your stay in Nepal is ok to apply TGV
You will also be required to forward 2 passport size photos (the photos must be 28mm-wide, 33mm-long) at the embassy (you may bring 2 photos from home or just simply take instant photos in Kathmandu) Please do check with us beforehand for the photos issue, we will send you the photo taking guide by email or Whatsapp.
Different Types of Tibet Group Visa (TGV)
Days Required: 5 working days
1) If you give us your original passport in Monday morning, then we can get TGV and passport back to you in Friday noon time
2) If you give us your original passport in Tuesday morning, then we can get TGV and passport back to you next Monday noon time
3) If you give the us original passport in Wednesday morning, then we can get TGV and passport back to you in next Monday noon time
4) If you give us your original passport in Thursday morning, then we can get TGV and passport back to you in next Wednesday noon time
5) If you give the us original passport in Friday morning, then we can get TGV and passport back to you in next Wednesday noon time
6) If you give us your original passport in Saturday morning, then we can get TGV and passport back to you next Friday noon time
7) If you give us your original passport in Sunday morning, then we can get TGV and passport back to you in next Friday noon time
*Semi Urgent Application:
Days Required: 3 working days
1) If you give us your original passport in Monday morning, then we can get TGV and passport back to you in Wednesday noon time
2) If you give the us original passport in Tuesday morning, then we can get TGV and passport back to you in Thursday noon time
3) If you give the us original passport in Wednesday morning, then we can get TGV and passport back to you in Friday noon time
4) If you give the us original passport in Tursday morning, then we can get TGV and passport back to you in next Monday noon time
5) If you give the us original passport in Friday morning, then we can get TGV and passport back to you in next Tuesday noon time
6) If you give the us original passport in Saturday morning, then we can get TGV and passport back to you in next Wednesday noon time
7) If you give the us original passport in Sunday morning, then we can get TGV and passport back to you in next Wednesday noon time
Reference Holidays for Embassy:
During following holiday times, the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu will not accept TGV application, please kindly note.
Jan: New year from 1st to 3rd Jan
Feb: Spring Festival from 15th-21th Feb.
March: no holiday
April: 5th, 6th, 7th, 30th
May: Labor Festival from 1st to 5th May
June: Dragon Boating Festival on 18th June
July: no holiday
August: no holiday
Sept: Middle Autumn Festival on 24th Sept
Oct: National Holiday from 1st to 8th Oct
Nov: no holiday
Dec: no holiday
Special Note for Kathmandu to Lhasa flight
The flight shuttling between Kathmandu and Lhasa is only daily departure in certain months, if you plan to book any flight beforehand, please DO check the flight availability and the date with us beforehand.
How to book flights to Tibet
We actually book online as you, but booking via us you have to pay booking fee, which will turn out to be more expensive than the price you can get online, so we suggest you to book flights on your own to save money. Please do NOT book flights via airline company's official website, because these official websites need Tibet permit for flight booking, but we are not able to get Tibet permit until 10-20 days before the tour. We suggest you to book the flights via special booking platforms, you can use credit card and accumulate points or miles if booking on your own. There are various booking platforms and not Tibet permit required to book flights. Here are some recommendations, or you can search more in your country. www.expedia.com, www.skyscanner.net, www.chinatraveldepot.com/, www.chinatour.net/flight/
TravelChinaTibet.com Can Help!
If you are planning to visit Tibet, then you will need to apply for a Tibet Travel Permit(TTP). Here at TravelChinaTibet.com (TCT) we have helped thousands of travelers successfully get their Tibet Travel Permit approved! You can submit your Tibet Visa Application online with us and we will take care of the rest.
What is a Tibet Travel Permit?
The Tibet Travel Permit is probably the most important document that you will need to get into Tibet. It is officially the Tibet Travel Permit, but you may have also seen the terms Tibet Visa, Tibet Entry Permit, or TTB Permit being used. This permit is issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau, so it is also referred to as the TTB permit. This document is required by the Tibetan government for all foreign visitors to enter Lhasa and travel around Tibet. Chinese citizens including Hong Kong and Macau Residents are not required to have this permit. Travelers will need to present this permit before boarding any trains or flights bound for Tibet.
This may not be the only permit that you need to visit Tibet if you plan to travel outside the Lhasa area. Visitors who wish to travel to restricted areas, such as Mount Everest or Mount Kailash, will require additional permits.
What are the Other Types of Tibet Permits & Tibet Visas?
We will give you a brief introduction to the different types of Tibet Permits and Visas, but we help our travelers arrange all the necessary permits and visas based on their itinerary, so you don’t have to worry about figuring out which ones you will need for your Tibet trip.
Tibet Travel Permit (TTP)
This is the most important document of your Tibet trip. The Tibet Travel Permit is required for all foreign visitors to enter and travel around Tibet. We help all of our travelers arrange for their Tibet Travel Permits for free.
Tibet Group Visa (TGV)
Tibet Group Visa (TGV) is a supplementary document of Tibet Travel Permit and ONLY required if you are traveling from Nepal to Tibet. It will be arranged by our company and our Nepal office. Click for more.
Alien's Travel Permit (ATP or PSB Permit)
The Alien’s Travel Permit is ONLY required for traveling to some restricted areas of Tibet. We will help you apply for the Alien’s Travel Permit if your itinerary requires it.
The Military Permit is ONLY required for traveling to some restricted areas such as the Nagari area. We will submit the application on your behalf if it is required for your Tibet itinerary.
Tibet Travel Permit Online Application Process
When you travel with us here at TravelChinaTibet.com applying for your Tibet Travel Permit is actually quite simple.
Here are the 3 Easy Steps to Getting Your Tibet Travel Permit.
1. Submit your travel dates and travel plans to us online.
2. Confirm your Tibet Tour with us.
3. Email us a copy of your travel documents (Passport and Chinese Visa.)
It is s as simple as that. We will take care of the rest.
Local Tibetan government regulations require that all foreign travelers arrange a tour with an Authorized Tibet Travel Agency like TravelChinaTibet.com. All Tibet Travel Permit Applications must be submitted through the travel agency because individual applications are not accepted.
How Much Does the Tibet Travel Permit Cost?
We do not charge any service fees for your Tibet Permit Application, so it is actually free when you arrange and book your Tibet tour with us. According to the Tibet local regulations the travel agency is only allowed to apply for the Tibet Travel Permit on behalf of travelers who have already booked a tour. The Tibet Travel Permit cannot be purchased by independent travelers who do not book a tour with a local Tibet travel agency.
How Do I Get the Actual Tibet Travel Permit?
If You Are Flying from China to Tibet
We will deliver your original Tibet Travel Permit to the hotel you will be staying at before you take the flight to Lhasa. When you check in to hotel you can get the permit from the front counter. In some cases we will have one of our local tour guides or staff give you the permit directly. You are required to show the original Tibet Travel Permit for boarding the flight to Lhasa.
If You Are Taking the Train from China to Tibet
If you take the train from a city in Mainland China to Tibet you will only need a copy of the Tibet Travel Permit, so we will scan and email you a copy. Prepare at least 2 copies of the permit for boarding the Tibet Train. The permit will be checked when you board the train and also when you arrive in Lhasa. Your local Tibetan tour guide will be waiting for you at the train station with your original Tibet Travel Permit.
Exception: You will need to have the original Tibet Travel Permit if you board the Tibet Train from Xi’an, Chongqing, or Lanzhou. In this case we will deliver the original permit to the hotel you will be staying at prior to boarding the Tibet Train or have one of our local tour guides give it to you directly.
If You Are Coming From Nepal to Tibet (by Flight or Overland)
If you enter Tibet from Nepal your Tibet Travel Permit will be forwarded to our Nepal office for processing of your Tibet Group Visa. You will need to have the Tibet Group Visa to enter Tibet from Nepal by flight or by overland.
What Visas Are Required For My Tibet Travel?
For Visitors Who Are Entering Tibet from Mainland China
Travelers who enter Tibet from Mainland China will need to have a Chinese Visa. The Chinese Visa will allow you to enter Mainland China and is required for the application of your Tibet Travel Permit. You should apply for a Chinese Visa at the Chinese Embassy in your home country about 8 weeks prior to your trip.
There are 2 major visa types of Chinese Visas for Tibet travel, which are the“L” and “Z” types.
Ø “L” Type Visa: This is also called a Tourist Visa. This is the most popular visa type among travelers.
Ø “Z” Type Visa: This is also called a Work Visa. This is for people who work and reside in China. If you have a Z type visa, you will need to get a employment verification document from your employer. This document should be printed on company letter heat and contain the company stamp seal, your full name as it appears in your passport, passport number, and the date you started to working for this company. We will send you a sample document for reference after you arrange a tour with us.
For Visitors Who Are Entering Tibet from Nepal
For travelers who enter Tibet from Nepal, please do NOT apply for a Chinese Visa from your home country as it will be useless and a waste of your time and money. Instead you will need a Tibet Group Visa. We will help you apply for the Tibet Group Visa once you arrive in Nepal. We will arrange for one of our Nepal staff members to help you submit the application.
Documents Required for Different Types of Visa Holders
Different types of Chinese Visa holders are required to provide different documents for the Tibet Travel Permit application.
See details below:
Visa Type: L
Purpose of visit: sightseeing, travel, tours.
Ø Passport copy
Ø Chinese Visa copy
Visa Type: Z
Purpose of visit: employment, commercial activities.
Ø Passport copy
Ø Chinese Visa copy
Ø Employment Verification Document from the company
Visa Type: D
Purpose: Permanent residence
Ø Passport Copy
Ø Chinese Visa Copy
Ø Work Permit
Ø Residence Permit
Visa Type: X1/X2
Purpose of visit: Students.
Ø Passport Copy
Ø Chinese Visa Copy
Ø Student Verification Document from your school.
Visa Type: C
Purpose: Crew member or motor vehicle driver
Ø Passport copy
Ø Chinese Visa copy
Ø Employment Verification Document from your company.
Visa Type: F (This type of visa holder may not be able to get a Tibet Travel Permit through a travel agency.)
Purpose of visit: Invited groups with the purpose of study, exchange, trade, etc.
Ø Passport Copy
Ø Chinese Visa Copy
Ø Employment or Student Verification Document from your company or school.
Note: If you are invited by a government agency, we will not be able to accept your application directly. You will need to contact the government agency to get special permission for traveling to Tibet.
Visa Type: M
Purpose of visit: Commerce & Trade.
Ø Passport Copy
Ø Chinese Visa Copy
Ø Employment Verification Document from your company.
Visa Type: Tibet Group Visa
Purpose of visit: This is ONLY required for visitors who are entering Tibet from Nepal.
Ø Passport copy
Ø 3 passport sized photos.
Note: You do NOT need to apply for a Chinese Visa if you are entering Tibet from Nepal. You will need the Tibet Group Visa. You can just send us a copy of your passport for the Tibet Travel Permit application. Once your permit is approved we will forward it to our Nepal office for processing of your Tibet Group Visa. When you arrive in Nepal please have your original passport and 3 passport photos ready. Our Nepal staff will meet with you and help you submit the application for the Tibet Group Visa to the Chinese Embassy in Nepal.
Group Visa for Traveling from Nepal to Tibet
After you book your Tibet tour, we will start the application process for your Tibet Travel Permit. We will submit the application to the Tibet Tourism Bureau, who will issue your Tibet Travel Permit and an Invitation Letter. We will forward both documents to our office in Nepal and we will start the Tibet Group Visa application process. After you arrive in Nepal our Nepal staff will help you submit the Tibet Group Visa application along with your original passport and 3 passport photos to the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu.
Cost for the Tibet GROUP VISA:
Please Note: Fees listed below are for your reference only and are subject to change by the Chinese Embassy in Nepal.
Americans: $175+30 service fee
Romanians: $90+30 service fee
Serbians: $85+30 service fee
Others countries: $85+30 service fee
Pakistan/Albania/Bosiand/Horzeguvina/Micronesia/Maldives: $26+30 service fee
Who CAN'T Apply for a Tibet Travel Permit?
F Type Visa Holders
“F” Type Visa holders such as Journalists and Diplomats can NOT get the Tibet Travel Permit through a local Tibet agency due to local government regulations. Please do NOT apply for this type of Chinese Visa if you want to visit Tibet.
Indian Pilgrimage Groups traveling to Nagari area (Mt. Kailash) have to go through special local operators for a pilgrim tour. There are only 4 travel agencies who are authorized to handle Indian Pilgrimage Groups. We are not one of them.
Do NOT Mention Tibet to the Chinese Embassy When Applying for Your Chinese Visa
Tibet is politically sensitive area of China. It has many strict regulations. Please do NOT mention anything about your Tibet tour to the Chinese Embassy, otherwise your China visa application will be rejected. Some travelers who did not follow this advice had their Chinese Visa applications denied, so please kindly take this seriously. After you make a deposit for your Tibet tour, we will send you an Invitation Letter with our company letter head and company stamp to submit with your application to assist in getting your Chinese Visa approved. Do not list Tibet as one of the destinations in your application. The Tibet portion of your itinerary in the invitation letter will be replaced by other destinations in Mainland China.
You may feel a bit uncomfortable about this procedure, but please be assured that this is a work around for a contradictory policy that is place that will prevent you from getting your Chinese Visa if you mention Tibet as a destination. Let us explain. If you list Tibet as a destination, the Chinese Embassy will ask you to submit a copy of your Tibet Travel Permit with the application. However in order to get a Tibet Travel Permit you first need to have a valid Chinese Visa. As you can see these policies are contradictory and travelers would never be able to get their Chinese Visa or Tibet Travel Permit. The Chinese government allows travelers to change their itinerary and travel destinations after the Chinese Visa is approved, so you don’t have to worry about doing anything that is not allowed.
You need to apply for a multiple entry visa if you enter and exit China more than once. Tibet is considered a domestic stop. Please note that, Hong Kong and Macau are considered to be international stops, so if you travel from China to Hong Kong and then back to China, you will need a multiple-entry visa.
Visa Free Policy
Visitors from Singapore, Brunei and Japan enjoy 15 days visa free for business, sightseeing, visiting relatives and friends or transit.
Visiting Tibet Is Easy When You Go With TCT!
Send us your travel dates and travel plans online. We can help with your Tibet Travel Permit application and Tibet tour itinerary.
There is a new policy issued by government at the end of Dec 2018
Due to environmental protection sake, EBC has been closed to visitors and the furthest position visitors can get to is Rongbuk Monastery, this Monastery is 2km away from the original EBC tourist tent site. The government will move the tents to be around Rongbuk Monastery---2km backward from the original EBC tent site, and will also copy the Everest Height Monument to fulfill visitor's wish of taking photos. So it is actually not too much affect to visitors, but we need to let you know beforehand. See pictures as follow.
There are 2 different visas for Tibet travel, namely China Visa for China to Tibet route, Tibet Group Visa for Nepal to Tibet route. Many people could not figure out these 2 visas, here let TCT explain to you in details.
Visa for Nepal to Tibet
You do not need China visa, but need to spend 3 working days in Kathmandu to get Tibet Group Visa(TGV).
Please firstly confirm your dates with us before booking any flights to and out of Kathmandu, otherwise it might be problem.
We also need to know which destination you fly to after Tibet trip, because the destination name will be listed in permit and not changeable
We need you Kathmandu hotel name, address, phone number, so that our Nepal worker can get to your hotel to apply TGV for you.
The TGV fee is NOT included, you need to pay our Nepal operator in cash + 2 passport size photos for TGV application.
Please install Whatsapp in your phone, so that we can make a group chat to include you, us and our Nepal operator, so that 3 parties can get in touch with each other online to figure things out.
Visa for China to Tibet
You need to apply China visa in your country beforehand WITHOUT mentioning Tibet, click here for details.
You can send us passport for booking first, and visa can be later when you have it.
If the Chinese embassy in your country needs invitation letter from us, please do advise, so that we can send it to you. We need your China arrival date + arrival city name , China departure date + departure city name to make this letter.
We need to know from which Chinese city you take flight/train to Lhasa, and which city you will go to after Tibet, these city names will be written on Tibet permit and NOT changeable, you can only enter Tibet or depart from Tibet from the fixed cities.
If you take flight to Lhasa, you need to stay one night in China so that we can post the permit to your hotel there, you need the permit for the flight boarding to Lhasa, we can NOT post the permit abroad.
If you take train to Lhasa, we will send you the Tibet permit 4-15 days beforehand, which you need to print TWICE for the train boarding.
The Gyirong border is just open at the end of Aug 2017, many visitors want to travel overland between TIbet and Nepal, but which route is the best? Let our experts tell you more.
Overland from Kathmandu to Everest or Lhasa
If you come from Kathmandu to Tibet overland, it will be a bit risky or dangerous, becuase Kathmandu is only 1370m in elevation, then you will get to Gyirong border (2600m) for 1 night only, and then suddenly get to Everest base camp(5200m), you will not have enough time to acclimatize before reaching the highest 5200m elevation, and worse is there is almost NO medical facility around at Everest base camp, which will be really dangerous unless you are really fit.
Overland from Kathmandu to Mt. Kailash
For those who want to do Kathmandu to Mt.Kailash overland tour, it is same dangerous, the altitude in Kathmandu is quite low and Mt. Kailash area is 4000+ meters, it will not be any medical facility during the 3 days mount Kailash pilgrimage trek, so it is always better to start the trip from Lhasa and reach mount Kailash gradually.
What is the Safest Way
The safest way is to do Lhasa to Kathmnadu overland tour, which is more reasonable route for altitude acclimatization, firstly spend 3 or more nights in Lhasa(3600m) for acclimatization, then going higher to Shigatse(3900m) for another night, then reach Everest(5200), after that to Gyirong border(2600m) for 1 night, and next day reach Kathmandu(1370m). So overall speaking, it is better to fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa first, and taking overland tour to Everest or Mount Kailash, finally reaches Kathmandu. Or you can simply fly from Kathmandu to Tibet, then after the tour fly back to Kathmandu.
Here we have 2 sample itineraries for your reference, it could be tailor made to make it longer or shorter, hope this helps your planning.
Many travelers are not very clear of the local regulations in Tibet, here TCT will tell you more about the facts and regulations of Tibet travel.
1) Can i just buy Tibet permit from you and then travel Tibet on our own?
Government's regulation----Tibet permit can only be issued for those visitors who have already booked the tour with local agents. Only Chinese and HK citizens can travel Tibet without Tibet permit, but they still need other permits if going to Everest or certain places outside of Lhasa. You can NOT just buy Tibet permit from the Tibet agent without tour booking, otherwise the agent will be seriously punished or might be bankrupted. Tibet is very different from China other places of the world.
2) Do i still need to pay for a guide during my free days in Tibet?
Government's regulation----Even during free days in Tibet, a guide is also need to be arranged. Even though visitors do not wish the guide to show up or accompany them in their free days, but the agents still have to arrange a guide in case of anything unexpected---For example: some groups might have spy or terrorist inside, some visitors always try to visit some monasteries without guide, some try to talk to the monks for sensitive topics, or hang a anti-government flag on a mountain top or important sqaure, or try to escape from the group and stay with the monks to learn Buddhism, etc. All these behaviors are NOT allowed in Tibet.
Some agents ignore this regulation as they think most of travelers will just walk around for shopping only and will not be doing anything against government's rules, but if anything really happened, it will be really big trouble to the agent. The government will also question the guide, if the agent did not arrange guide in free days, then no guide dares to stand out to carry on the responsibility, because the guide might lose his/her license forever. But if the agent did pay to arrange the guide in free days, it will be less responsibility to the agent. That is why a guide needs to be arrange even during free days.
Free Day Guide Fee
The free day guide fee is as follow, please kindly check and decide if you really need free days.
If you do not need the guide's accompany in free days, the guide fee is USD46/per day
If you need the guide's accompany in free days, the guide fee is USD62/per day.
There is a case in this June that----One Indian traveler got lost on the scheduled airport drop-off day, the policemen found him one day later and got to know that Indian traveler went up to a mountain top for meditation, and he said the god told him to stay and meditate. Even this case is not the agent's fault, but the agent was still seriously punished by government. So please do remember----NEVER try to visit any monastery/temple/park without guide's accompany, the consequence could be serious.
3) Can i get to airport/train station on my own without guide?
Same reason as stated above, it is not allowed to take taxi or airport bus on your own to airport/train station, it has to be accompanied by the guide. For our Tibet group tours, there will a 3 free airport/train station transfers at different timming, but if you want to get to airport/train station at different timing, you will need to pay for a private guided transfer at price around RMB400=USD63/per time to airport, and RMB300=USD47/per time to train station.
Generally speaking, China domestic trains start to check in 15-30 minutes before departure. Train stations are large and busy especially in big cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xian, etc; it takes a while to get the tickets from the counter and find your train. Therefore, it is advisable to arrive at the rail station at least 60 minutes before departure, and during spring festival or other Chinese national holidays, you’d better to arrive 2 hours earlier.
Here are some basic steps for train boarding.
Usually the travel agent will book the ticket for you online, and send you the booking code. You need to get to the train station at least 1.5 hours early and line up at the ticket counter to get the train tickets by showing the original passport + booking code. Please do remember this.
If you are boarding a train to Tibet, the travel agent will send you the Tibet Travel Permit beforehand, which you need to print out TWICE for boarding the train.
The train offers some food and drinks, but you may also prepare some drinks, fruits, snacks, etc for the long train ride.
Step 1 Security Check
Which you will be requested to show your ticket and passport when entering the rail station. There are security checks (including X-ray luggage checks) at the entrance of each railway station, where your baggage will be checked.
Step 2 Find the right waiting room
After the security check, you should check from the electronic screen and find out the right waiting room to go. In some big cities, departure information is in both Chinese and English, while some other cities may only show Chinese, but do not worry, you could always get the help from the train station staffs or other passengers, or simply find your train by yourselves according to train info shown on your ticket. Note: One waiting room usually will be used by a few trains rather than just one.
Step 3 Passing the ticket gate and get into the platform
In most cases, check-in starts 30 minutes before the train's departure. But sometimes G, C & D trains may start check in 15-20 minutes. When your train starts the check-in process, you should stand in a queue and go through the ticket barrier. At the barrier you need to show your ticket and passport.
Step 4 Board a train compartment correctly
There is specific compartment and seat number on you train ticket. You are required to board a train from the certain compartment and take the certain seat according to your ticket.
There is boiled water supply in each Tibet train. The water will not be ready for drinking until the temperature is up to 100℃, but as it is hard to boil the water on high altitude place, so the Tibet train has created new water supply facility, which water will be fully boiled at 70℃, these measures guarantee passengers to have clean drinking water. And the Shanghai to Lhasa train has water purifying system, so water is drinkable even not full boiled.
The water tank is usually located between 2 cars, serving hot water 24 hours in a day. You will need to bring your own container for getting the water, but please be careful of the hot water as the train is moving. You may also contact the train attendants for hot water supply, they can bring it to you at 08:00-18:00 in a day. Tip: Hot water is also available at Sink Area on Tibet train for cleaning or washing something, but the hot water at sink area is usually undrinkable.
There is unlimited access to boiling water from a tap in the hall on all Tibet trains so instant noodles, instant oatmeal, tea and anything else that just requires hot water are good things to pack with you (you can also buy instant noodles on board).
Electricity in China is 220 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. This is twice the standard voltage than in North America and some Latin American countries which run on 110V 60Hz.
The standard wall plug in most households in China has a grounding pin and two power conducing pins in a V-shape. If your device's electrical plug has a different shape than the one above, you may need an electrical adapter.
An adapter does not change the voltage of the device, the converter does that. When buying an Electric Adapter for China pay attention that you are getting the one with the V-shape that will fit the Chinese socket. Most of the Universal sets will include it but double check, sometimes the sets are only US to Europe or US to UK adapters.
Some sets also include the converter, some only the adapters, so make sure you buy what you need.
In China, GSM networks operated by China Mobile is the best so far, while CDMA network run by China Unicom is the second option, so if you have a dual band or tri band mobile phone or use COSMOTE card, then you can use your mobile phone in China, though any calls you make will be considered long-distance. A cheaper option is to buy GSM or CDMA SIM card. Our guides will help you to choose the right one you may need.
The following is how to dial international call from China:
00+country code + region code + phone number
The country code for USA and Canada is 1, 44 for UK, 61 for Australia, 43 for Austria, 41 for Switzerland, 852 for Hong Kong, 39 for Italy, 31 for Holland, 64 for New Zealand, etc. For the other countries, please check the instruction book in the hotel room.
Credit card payment via PayPal is acceptable, but the credit card fee is high, so it is expensive especially when the amount is huge.
If you are paying us a huge sum of money more than USD1500, we suggest you to pay via Western Union or regular bank transfer. But if the amount is less than USD1500, you can pay via credit card via PayPal.
The Western Union is fast and low transfer fee, we can get the payment in a few minutes. The regular bank transfer is also low transfer fee but takes 3-10 working days for us to get the money.
It is better for us to arrange the train or flight tickets for you, because the domestic flights in China frequently be cancelled or change timing, the updates will be sent to you via email, but Gmail is not able to use in China, or you do not always have access to emails while traveling, so you might miss these updates. While if we book for you, we will get the emails and cellphone message from the airline companies, and will inform you immediately and help you to negotiate with airline companies for alternative solutions. We do have a few groups missed the flights which they booked on their own.
We are booking the international flights from the same booking platform as you, you will pay more if booking international flights with us as there is credit card fee or transfer fee involved. So we suggest you to book the international flights on your own, and we can do the China domestic flights/trains for you as we can get good price.
Tibet is considered as part of China and a domestic stop, BUT Hong Kong is considered as an international stop:
Single Entry Visa for:
1) China-Tibet-China route
2) HK-China route
3) HK-China-Tibet-China route
4) HK-China-Tibet-Nepal route
5) Nepal-China route
Double Entry Visa for:
1) China-Tibet-Nepal-China route
2) HK-China-Tibet-Nepal-China route
3) HK-China-HK-China route
Tibet Group Visa for:
1) Nepal-Tibet-China route
There are 2 ways to get visa in your country:
1) Apply by yourself at the Chinese embassy in our near your city, we may send you the invitation letter to assist your application.
2) Pay a local agent in your city to deal with the visa application for you.
Note: HK and Macau is consider to be an international stop, while Tibet is considered to be domestic stop.
Single entry visa is required for HK-China-Tibet-China route
Double entry visa is required for HK-China-HK-China route.
China is generally a safe country to visit as Chinese are friendly and the government cares about foreign visitor's safety and security very much. But there are still some typical tourist traps and important travel advices that you should be aware of. Click here for more.
The 3 major Chinese national “Golden Weeks” to avoid are:
Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year)
This is the worst time to travel. The exact dates each year varies since it’s based on the Lunar Calendar, but it’s usually around late January to mid-Feb. Technically about 2 weeks but many Chinese will just get the first week off. Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional holidays, kind of the equivalent of Christmas in the West. A huge chunk of the population — from white collar to migrant worker — takes off work to travel back to their hometowns to spend time with their families. Most businesses shut down completely, so your options for eating and shopping also become severely limited in smaller towns. Of course, if you don’t mind the crowds, it can be lots of fun (festivals, street activity, etc). But if you hate crowds and the incessant noise of firecrackers going off at all hours, I’d suggest earplugs and/or a lot of beer.
National Day (1st to 5th Oct)
A 5 days-long holiday that celebrates founding of People’s Republic. In particular, avoid Beijing sites (Forbidden City, which is next to the parades at Tiananmen Square, as well as the nearby Great Wall of China).
Labor Day (1st to 3th May)
Until 2007, this was a week-long holiday but has since been scaled back to a long 3-day weekend. So not as crazy as before but still definitely want to avoid being in transit during this time.
Please kindly check this link for more: www.timeanddate.com/weather/china
China Travel Season Division:
High season: April to May & Sept to Oct.
Shoulder season: June to Aug & November
Low season: December to March
Avoid National Holidays:
1) National Holiday (1st to 5th May, 1st to 5th Oct)
2) Spring Festival (Jan of Chinese Lunar Calendar)
The following is a reference table for tourists to prepare clothing on their trips.
Spring: 10-22 centigrade, Western suits, jackets, sports coats, woolen jackets, long sleeve shirts and travel shoes.
Summer: 22 centigrade and above, T-shirts, short sleeve shirts, skirts, sandals, caps, rain wear.
Autumn: 10-22 centigrade, Western suits, jackets, sports coats, light woolen sweaters, rain wear and travel shoes.
Winter: 10 centigrade or lower, overcoat, cotton clothes, lined coats. In very cold areas a cap, gloves and cotton-padded shoes are required.