For all tourists who want to travel to Tibet, you should have a valid passport, a Chinese visa or Tibet Group Visa from Nepal and a Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) Permit. If you want to travel to places besides Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse, you will need Aliens’ Travel Permits (ATP). If you want to travel to some military sensitive areas such as Yunnan/Sichuan to Tibet overland and Mt. Kailash area, you will also need Military and Foreign Affairs Permit. If you want to go to Everest Base Camp or Mt. Kailash area, you will also need Border Defense Permit. For Everest base camp tour, foreign travelers should book the trip at least 15 working days before arrival date. But for Mt. Kailash pilgrimage, Kham tours, foreign travelers should confirm the tour at least one month in advance to avoid any urgent situation.
Take a look at the Tibet Travel Permits for early April, 2017 (Kailash tour, April 15 arrival date)
This is a common question about Tibet travel permits and Tibet visa. Well, you need a Tibet Group Visa. However, you cannot apply this by yourself. We will send an electronic copy of visa invitation letter to our local travel agency in Kathmandu and they will apply this for you. There is no need to apply for an individual China Visa in your country if you decide to travel to Tibet from Nepal because the Chinese Embassy will cancel your China Visa when you receive your Tibet Group Visa.
To all foreign tourists who want to travel to Tibet, you must have a Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) Permit. You are not allowed to apply this by yourself, so we will help you get this. You need to send us clear scanned or photo copies of your valid passport date page and China Visa. No matter whether you hold “Z”, “F” or “Q” type China visa, or APEC visa, we can help you apply permits smoothly. We will need your specific schedule (including the entry and departure dates, means of transportation, cites you come from and leave for in China) to fill in the blanks on the permit, so we strongly suggest you arrange your travel schedule at least 15-30 days before the starting date of your trip in advance. As a professional Tibet travel agency, we can apply for the Tibet permit one month before the starting date to guarantee the whole process successful.
Normally our Tibet travel agency can obtain the Tibet TTB travel permit 10-30 days before the starting date of the trip. If you book the trip earlier, we can get the permit earlier. However one month in advance is the earliest we can. If you are going to fly into Tibet from any airport in China, you will need the original permit to board the flights. We will send the original permit to you by EMS or Air-Express which takes 1-3 days within China and we need your exact post address such as your hotel or residence address in China (including contact person, contact phone number and the correct name under which the hotel booking is made). If you take the train to Lhasa from Chongqing, Xi’an, Lanzhou, you also need the original permit to get the ticket and we will send it to you by EMS or Air-Express as well. We suggest you take the train ticket in advance to avoid any urgency or unexpected situation. If you take the train from any other city’s station to Lhasa, you only need to have the photocopy of the permit and we will email you the electronic copy to you in advance. The police in Golmud station will check the permit so you should keep it safe. However, our local tour guide will collect your TTB permit after your arrival and guide will need to hold it for your whole trip in Tibet and return all Tibet travel permits to our agency after the trip.
How long can my Tibet travel permits be valid? and can I have the permits valid as long as I wish? The answer is “YES”. As a well-experienced and responsible Tibet travel agency, we can guarantee that during the time of your schedule with us your TTB Permit will be valid. If you want to change your schedule, please let us know in advance. We need time and extra efforts to rearrange your tour. If you arrive Tibet earlier than your scheduled date, this will be an urgent situation and we will charge extra service fee to reapply for your TTB permit. If you arrive later than your scheduled date, we can extend your trip for a few more days (normally 2-5 days) to help you finish the scheduled trip.
Our Tibet travel agency suggest you get to the departure point city train station around 2 hours before your departure hour and be sure you have the paper tickets in hand at least 2 hours before train leaves (we suggest our clients get tickets printed out days in advance). There are so many people waiting in line, so you may need some time to check into the train.
As many people mill more or less have Mountain Sickness, you should not run, leap or use your body heavily when you first come to Tibet because Mountain Sickness will not occur instantly when you arrive. It usually happen some time later. And you should stay hydrated because acclimatization is often accompanied by fluid loss. Avoid tobacco, alcohol and other depressant drugs. Prepare some AMS pills such as “Diamox” during the trip in case of strong symptoms.
For more details about a comfortable Tibet tour, contact our local Tibet tour agency now.
Tibet travel tips about the altitudes during Tibet travel. In Lhasa, the altitude is not very high, usually 3,658 meters (12,001 feet). The altitude is lower in Qamdo and Nyingchi for 3,202 meters (10,515 feet) and 3,000 meters (9,843 feet). On the way to the Everest Base Camp, the altitude will rise, it is 3,836 meters (12,585 feet) in Shigatse, 4,300 meters (14,108 feet) in Tingri, 4,040 meters (13,255 feet) in Gyantse and 5,380 meters (17,600 feet) in Everest Base Camp. Close to Mount. Kailash, in Darchen, the altitude is 4,575 meters (15,010 feet) but the altitude will rise at 5,210 meters (17,093 meters) in Dira-puk and 4,810 meters (15,781 feet) in Zutul-puk. In Dolma La, the altitude can be 5,570 meters (18,274).
Normally we do not suggest you drink any alcohol in the first or second day tour in Tibet because you need time to adjust to the high altitude. But if your body feels good and you really want to taste it in the following days, you can have a little bit. The Tibet highland barley wine is a light wine, with a low spirit of 8%. As you know, to have a Tibet highland tour, it is not always easy and only when your health situation is quite good, you may try some light alcoholic staff.
This is a common question that each traveler to Tibet should ask himself or herself before book a tour. Right now there are many Tibet tour websites. Normally Tibetan owned and Tibet based travel agencies have poor internet promotion skills than those few top ranking Chinese tour websites. Currently only 1 or 2 websites arranged more than 70% of the foreign travelers to Tibet each year. And the typical features of these websites included points below:
- They put some Tibetan people’s name on their websites as their TripAdvisor, writing blogs, answering questions, explaining client’s reviews on TripAdvisor review, frankly who knows they are Tibetan or Han Chinese or not.
- They spend big money on google advertisement to attract more than 60% of the total Tibet tour inquiries.
- They have the most departures for the 8 days Everest Group tours and each of their tours has 12 pax and even more but on their websites they only put the pax of Number “8”. These are downgraded Tibet travel services, eg. the Ganggyan Hotel is very basic (only good point is good location), if the group size goes to 12 pax, the net cost per person goes down sharply and travelers are raped off on prices. As insider’s point of view, those tours net cost could be as low as 450-500 USD per person at most. But each of the traveler paid more than double.
- The travel advisors are not based in Lhasa, but in Chengdu or somewhere in Guilin, or Xi’an.
- These websites are famous for fixed departure groups tours.
So if you really want to support a Lhasa based reliable Tibet travel agency, never choose any websites as explained above.
Well you should choose a local reliable Tibet travel agency with less or “0” google Ads spending?
The answer to this question is very simple:
- Each small travel agencies (especially the few Tibetan owned) focused more on Tibet travel service quality and the service is very individual and personal.
- The travel advisors are based in Lhasa, and know what is going on everyday in Tibet.
- With the decrease of the transport cost in Tibet, 4-6 or 8 pax really small size Tibet Everest group tour is with much higher quality.
- For private Tibet tour, normally Tibetan local travel websites sell sky high or very high prices than agency like Tibet Ctrip Travel Service or Tibet Travel Expert Service.
Why you should choose and book with Lhasa based and experienced agency who sells fairly lower prices?
- Everyone knows that, many overseas organizers or individual Tibetan culture or food related websites also sell tours to Tibet. These prices are of course the highest because they are not based in Lhasa and they would get high commission from the sells prices to local.
- There are only few agencies who still focus more on service quality and at the same time sell fairly lower prices. Tibet Ctrip Travel Service (another name is Tibet Travel Expert Service) is such one Lhasa based travel agency and tour operator.
Which kind of websites you should not trust when you book a Tibet tour?
- They claim the Tibet travel permits are “FREE” but they do not offer you permits without booking a tour. It means there must be tourists traps, at least it is not honest.
- The sites who claim the permits can be as expensive as US$200-300 USD per person. This is fake and sky high price for permits services.
Should you have any questions, please contact with our agency by email to or online Tibet tour inquiry.
Viator is world famous and has huge traveler’s internet traffic and it is a sub-company to TripAdvisor. To some points of view, it is easy and convenient to book with Viator directly. However as local Tibet tour agent and tour operator, we know the price is very sensitive to overseas clients. You know, the Viator platform takes more nearly 20% or above from their online sales price, and there is no way for a local Tibet travel agency to provide high quality services even without profit. But a funny point is, right now a few famous travel websites do sell lots of cheap Tibet tours on Viator because of their big size group tours, they can still generate huge profit, that is why we do not recommend you to book with these sites. As you may know, Tibet travel cost is already much higher than most advanced countries. You’d better try your best to find local reliable Tibet travel agency websites and find your ideal tour products you really want.
Can you Recommend Reputable Tibet Travel Agency in Lhasa with Better Prices? This is a very common questions about Tibet travel. When you search information on TripAdvisor or google, you will easily find lots of local Tibet travel websites. Many of them are not registered tour companies at all. And many of them got many nice reviews and recommendations on TripAdvisor. More over, the famous lonely planet Tibet travel guide books also favored and picked many local travel websites. All of This looks awesome, but be careful, every agency is competing and trying to improve Tibetan travel services from every aspect. I wish you do not only consider reputation but also find a nice offer. This should be the core. In this internet transparent world, do you still want to spend too much money for the same or very identical Tibet travel itinerary and service? If so, please make more and save more money for the “Sky High local Tibet tour prices” or “Sky High Overseas Tibet tour prices”. For more details, you are welcome to contact our local Tibet travel agency now.
How to get Tibet travel permit?
Many foreign travelers often tell us that: some travel agencies say the Tibet travel permit is totally free. Well as local Tibet travel agency, we want to tell you that, this is their promotional words and it is not free at all. This is a tourist trap and they do not offer your permits only services. They must sell you something before they can apply Tibet travel permits. And few other agencies may tell you that the permit service fee is around RMB 1500-2000, this is sky high price and this is not true as well. So for Tibet permits only, there are lots of rumors. Here lets state it clear that travel agency in Tibet must prepare lots of work to apply Tibet travel permits according to the permits schedule. If your trip is with Everest base camp, you d better confirm a tour booking at least 15 days before arrival date, and if your trip covers Mt. Kailash, it is safer to confirm a tour booking at least 30 days before arrival date. For easy cultural tour in and around Lhasa, you can even apply permits 10 days in advance only. Here below we will share how to get the Tibet travel permits.
Tibet travel permits application process:
- confirm a full tour or minimum tour service with local Tibet travel agency per above time schedule. It is better to confirm earlier to avoid urgent situation.
- Once local Tibet travel agency gets your passport copy and/or China visa photo copies, they can prepare to apply permits 1 month-45 days at most.
- Permits will be ready at least 1 weeks before your arrival date in Lhasa, as experienced Tibet travel agency, we get permits almost 20 days in advance.
- One permits got from Lhasa, agency can send permits to your address in China, and it is not wise to send permits abroad. as the international express from Lhasa is too complicated and too risky.
- Then at least 2-3 days before your arrival date, you can get the Tibet travel permits and fly to Lhasa without any problem.
Tony authored this article and any further details, you are welcome to contact our local Tibet travel agency now.
Your one-stop shop for finding the best flights from Bangkok to Lhasa. Lhasa based travel agency Tibet Travel Expert Service has more than 15 years experiences organizing Thailand travelers to Tibet. And we can help you find the cheaper airfare for flying to Tibet from BKK, Thailand. However there is no direct flight between Tibet and Thailand. The suggested flight route will be BKK-KMG-LXA, BKK-CTU-LXA, BKK-Guangzhou-Lhasa, or sometimes the airfare for flight between BKK and Kathmandu is also cheap. However the 70 mins flight between Kathmandu and Tibet is expensive. We suggest you enter Tibet via China. Please check out more information for travelling to Tibet from Bangkok,Thailand.
Travel information for Bangkok, Thailand to Lhasa
Bangkok, Thailand is 1263 miles from Lhasa
Koh Samui, Thailand – Koh Samui is the most popular connection for one stop flights between Bangkok, Thailand and Lhasa
This is a common question by Vietnamese travelers to Tibet. However there is no direct flight from Hanoi to Tibet. So you have to connect via a city in Nepal or China, like Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai or Chengdu. Read further about Vietnamese travel to Tibet.
吉隆玻-成都：亚洲航空 D7326 (18：15-22：40)
吉隆玻-西安：亚洲航空 D7346 (18：15-23：15)
2019年最新西藏旅游资讯：西藏位于中国边陲的一个特殊敏感地区，鉴于民族传统、文化古迹和生态环境保护以及政治和历史原因，同时也因西藏的交通状况、旅游设施及接待能力，中国国务院规定非中国公民身份持有者，即外国旅游客人，台湾游客及海外华人（香港、澳门居民持中国特区护照或回乡证者除外），在进入西藏旅游前，必须办理由西藏自治区旅游局[Tibet Tourism Bureau-TTB]签发的“外国人入藏旅游批准函”，同时，也规定外国记者和外交官不能以旅游者身份进藏。根据国家旅游局2018年最新规定，外国旅游者，台湾游客和海外华人（香港、澳门居民持中国特区护照或回乡证者除外）在藏期间不允许自助旅游，必须有组织、有计划地组团旅游。以下是针对马来西亚游客到西藏旅行的有关证件办理流程。
2018年最新西藏旅游政策发布。西藏位于中国边陲的一个特殊敏感地区，鉴于民族传统、文化古迹和生态环境保护以及政治和历史原因，同时也因西藏的交通状况、旅游设施及接待能力，中国国务院规定非中国公民身份持有者，即外国旅游客人，台湾游客及海外华人（香港、澳门居民持中国特区护照或回乡证者除外），在进入西藏旅游前，必须办理由西藏自治区旅游局[Tibet Tourism Bureau-TTB]签发的“外国人入藏旅游批准函”，同时，也规定外国记者和外交官不能以旅游者身份进藏。根据国家旅游局2018年最新规定，外国旅游者，台湾游客和海外华人（香港、澳门居民持中国特区护照或回乡证者除外）在藏期间不允许自助旅游，必须有组织、有计划地组团旅游。以下是针对马来西亚游客到西藏旅行的有关证件办理流程。
Well there is flight from Hangzhou and Lhasa with a stop in Mianyang city, Sichuan province, or at Dazhou, Chongqing. From Hangzhou to Lhasa, however, there is no direct train yet. You can consider to take the train via Xi’ning. From Hangzhou you can easily get to Shanghai or Xi’an or Xi’ning and then from here, you can fly or take the train to Lhasa. For more details, please read further on how to travel to Lhasa, Tibet.
Foreign Tibet travelers frequently asked that whether they can fly to Kathmandu without a tour guide accompany and permits at Lhasa airport. The answer to this question is that: You will have Immigration problem if without providing “Tibet Travel Permit”. As you know, all foreign travelers flying from Lhasa to Tibet after Tibet travel, they need to provide passports, China visa, Tibet permits (including entry permit and border defense permit). The airport custom authority will check all these Tibet travel permits documents, however your Tibetan tour guide will help you show all these Tibet permits.
People begin to ask that “When is Tibet closed for foreign travelers in 2017?”, Well as usual, Tibet Travel Permit is applicable for all foreign travelers who entering into Tibet during Feb.20 to March 31, 2017.However for foreign travellers entering into Tibet before Feb.20 2017, they need to leave Tibet before Feb.25. And Tibet travel has been reopen on April 1, 2017. So far there is no official news of Tibet closure.
Tibet closure every year is a common practice in Tibet since the March 14, 2008 issues in Lhasa. However ever year (except 2008), all foreign travelers (except for Norway People) can still in Tibet without any hassles if they book the trip with Reliable Tibet travel agency in Lhasa.
Below are common questions and answers from local Tibet travel agency regarding how to travel from Bhutan or India to Tibet.
1) Do you have to get a tour service for Lhasa?
Answer: For Lhasa or Tibet tour, you can book minimum tour service such as Tibet permits/visa, day tour guide, and you can book all the other things by yourself. Normally people post here just to show their business or website with screen name and you’d better do more research on your own.
2) How do you travel from Bhutan to Lhasa, since I hear the border is closed between Bhutan and China? I’ve read that you must go from Paro to either Kathmandu or Delhi and from there you can take a connecting flight to Lhasa.
Answer: The best way is to go via Kathmandu, Nepal. There is flight between Paro and KTM. It is not possible right now via Delhi.
3) Are there issues with Americans traveling to Lhasa? Are there issues traveling from Bhutan to Lhasa?
Answer: Absolutely “No” right now. Tibet welcome USA travelers, no matter which city you fly from to Lhasa, it is fine, just be sure you have necessary Tibet travel permits documents.
4) How long does it need to travel in Tibet?
Answer: Tibet is huge land and people normally choose 3-4 days to 2 weeks to cover most highlights of Lhasa, Tibet.
Hope information above helps little bit. For more information about Tibet tour, you are welcome to submit one inquiry here.
Updated on April 24, 2017: Do I have to find Malaysian travelling companions to travel Tibet? In my group, do we have to have the same nationality? Some travelers from Malaysia still ask this question. However since 2 years ago, the Tibet travel permits restriction on the same nationality is already cancelled. Now different foreign nationality travelers can travel together in Tibet. This is a favorable policy so far in Tibet tourism. We wish more and more travelers can travel together, sharing the group tour cost.
Tibet Alien’s travel permits are for foreign travelers to travel in the not fully open regions in Tibet. And these places refer to Tsetang (such as Samye Monastery, Mindrolin Monastery, etc), Mt. Everest Base Camp, Saga, Payang, Mt. Kailash, Lake Manasarovar, Guge Kingdom Ruins, and Lake Draksumtso in east Tibet (Nyingchi prefecture). We apply these permits in local “Public Security Bureau“, so that is why this permit has another name of “PSB permit”. If your travel includes Lake Draksumtso and if you leave Lhasa for this sightseeing and Nyingchi is your last stop, we will need to apply this permit in Lhasa.
Is Taxi expensive in Lhasa, Tibet?
Like most taxi in cities in China, taxi transfer is cheap. Normally it costs just few US Dollars per transfer. And it is good for short transportation (no more than 20 km), for transfer between Lhasa city and airport, the cheaper way is to go by airline shuttle bus.
It is easy to hail a taxi on the street in the city. Usually, it only costs CNY10-15 to travel in town by taxi.
|Flag-down Rate for First 3km (2mi)||CNY10|
|Fare between 3-8km (2-5mi)||CNY2/km|
|Fare between 8-11km (5-7mi)||CNY1/km|
|Fare beyond 11km (7mi)||CNY1 per 500m (550yd)|
Reference Taxi Fare:
To Drepung Monastery: around CNY 50
To Jokhang Temple: around CNY10
To Sera Monastery: around CNY30
Pedicabs are unique vehicles to get around downtown. A pedicab can carry two people and generally costs RMB 4 to 7. It is a more time-consuming journey than traveling by minibus but is an interesting and popular way to see downtown area.
If your schedule and health permit, riding a bike is another pleasurable way to look around the city. Bikes can be rented from many hostels along Barkhor Street. Generally, the rental for an ordinary bike is RMB 2 per hour and RMB 20 per day; for a mountain bike it is RMB 3 per hour and RMB 30 per day.
西藏在中国西南边陲，位于一个特殊敏感地区，鉴于民族传统、文化古迹和生态环境保护以及政治和历史原因，同时也因西藏的交通状况、旅游设施及接待能力，中国国务院规定非中国公民身份持有者，即外国旅游客人，台湾游客及海外华人（香港、澳门居民持中国特区护照或回乡证者除外），在进入西藏旅游前，必须办理由西藏自治区旅游局[Tibet Tourism Bureau-TTB]签发的“外国人入藏旅游批准函”，同时，也规定外国记者和外交官不能以旅游者身份进藏。根据国家旅游局2018年最新规定，外国旅游者，台湾游客和海外华人（香港、澳门居民持中国特区护照或回乡证者除外）在藏期间不允许自助旅游，必须有组织、有计划地组团旅游。以下是针对新加坡和马来西亚游客到西藏旅行的有关证件办理流程。
- 外国人旅行证：如果旅客的目的地含有西藏日喀则珠峰地区，阿里地区，山南 和林芝巴松错地区，需要办理这个文件