Top 15 Tibet Travel FAQs-Well Explained

Top Tibet Travel FAQs #1  What documents do I have to take for going to and travelling in Tibet?
For all foreign travelers travelling to Tibet (from China or Nepal)

Individual Passport — valid for 6 months.
Chinese Visa (from China to Tibet) — you can apply it in a Chinese Embassy or through your local visa agency. Tibet Travel Expert can apply the Visa Official invitation letter and send to you the photo copies for you to apply in Chinese embassy in your country.

Tibet Group Visa (from Nepal to Tibet) — to be applied in Chinese Consulate in Kathmandu, Nepal. Tibet Travel Expert Can help you apply this Visa.

Tibet  Tourism Bureau Permit (TTB) — The Tibet Tourism Bureau issues this permit here in Lhasa and this is a must needed document for foreigners entering Tibet from China. If you enter Tibet from Nepal, you do not need original TTB but guide must hold it to pick you up and hold it for your whole trip in Tibet.

Some people who wish to travel to certain areas in Tibet must also obtain:

Alien’s Travel Permit (ATP) — You need this permit when you travel to Tsetang, Everest, Payang-Saga-Kailash-Guge Kingdom, Lake Draksumtso.
Military Permit — You need this special permit when you travel to some militarily sensitive areas such as West Tibet (Kailash, Lake Manasarovar, Guge Kingdom, North Grand Tibet, Sichuan/Yunnan Tibet by overland.

Foreign Affairs Permit — You need this special permit when you travel to some militarily sensitive areas such as West Tibet (Kailash, Lake Manasarovar, Guge Kingdom, North Grand Tibet, Sichuan/Yunnan Tibet by overland.

China Border Defense Permit — You need this special permit when you travel to Mt. Everest, the borders between India and Tibet, West Tibet.
As a Lhasa based legal travel company, Tibet Travel Expert Agency is able to apply all necessary Tibet Travel documents if you book a Tibet tour with us. Please keep in mind that there is possible further detailed requirement concerning China visa category such as business, tourist, student visa, and China residence visa, nationality, occupation. Anyhow if you are not journalist, or holding public passport, we can help you apply all necessary Tibet travel permits easily.

Top Tibet Travel FAQs #2 How early shall I need to confirm the Tibet travel permits service with your agency?

To guarantee you can enter Tibet without any delay per your confirmed schedule, you need to bare in mind the important procedures as below:

a) If you enter Tibet from China and your travel destination does not include Mt. Everest, Kailash, Sichuan/Tibet overland or Yunnan/Tibet Overland, the deadline date for you to email us your passport photo copies and China visa photo copies is 10 working days before you arrival. And we submit the Tibet Entry permits (TTB) application urgently and can send to your hotel, living or working address in China 2-3 days before your arrival. So you can take this original permit to fly to Lhasa from any cities in China (or by train from Chongqing, Xi’an and Lanzhou). However if you take train from other cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xi’ning, or Chengdu, we will just need to send you the permits photo copies via email, and you can print it out for train travel.

b) If you enter Tibet from Nepal and travel to places the same as above, the deadline date for you to send passport photo copies is 10 days before arrival.

c) If you plan to travel to Mt. Everest, the deadline date for you to confirm is 15 working days before your arrival date.

d) If you travel to Mt. Kailash, or Sichuan-Tibet, Yunnan-Tibet by overland, you need to confirm the permits application at least 30 days before your arrival date.

Top Tibet Travel FAQs #3  Can I confirm the permits with your agency earlier according to the above schedule but decide to book a tour little bit later but at least 1 week before our arrival?

This is a common question and absolutely it is no problem. To ensure you can travel to Tibet on time without any permits urgent process hassles, you can confirm permits booking earlier. And then you can choose your suitable Tibet tour at least one week before arrival. If you travel to Mt. Kailash, you do need to make a decision as earlier as possible. Lets say one month in advance. However if your travel places does not include Everest, Kailash, Sichuan/Yunnan to Tibet by overland, you can book the easy tours even 5 days before your arrival date in Lhasa.

Top Tibet Travel FAQs #4  Can I travel in Tibet individually, or must I be part of a tour group?
All foreign travelers must have a guide, and/or a driver when you travel outside of Lhasa. And when you visit Potala Palace, You also need a tour guide. But you do not have to join a group if you want to travel with a private guide and/or driver. This means one person can take a private tour which includes a guide, and/or a driver if you need. However to join a group tour, your trip will be much cheaper.

Top Tibet Travel FAQs #5  How should I choose a reliable Tibet travel Agency?

The answer depends on the following points:

a) You’d better not pay sky high namely “Tibetan” or “Local” price. For E.g, what price we understand is a sky high price are: 1050 USD for 8 days Everest group tour, 2000 USD for 2 weeks to 16 days Kailash EBC group tour, and 500 USD for a Lhasa city tour.

b) Namtso Lake overnight stay in dry and cold season of April, May, September is not acceptable.

c) Be sure your guide is Tibetan and in most cases the driver is also Tibetan, this is not enough, and be sure your Tibetan guide is handpicked by reputable Tibet travel agency on TripAdvisor or other unbiased resources.

d) How flexible can you choose your holiday schedule.To travel in Tibet with more schedule flexibility is what you need to consider. It will be better if you can have many options when you select a tour which you really want.

e) Be sure that you can choose your own accommodation especially when in Lhasa.

f) And you can choose to have a couple of free days in Lhasa, to have a good rest before any tour sightseeing activity. For example you can have 1 or 2 days totally free in Lhasa, and then choose one well designed daily group tours in or near Lhasa city.

g) You can just book the 3 nights 4 days Everest Group tour or the 9 nights 10 days Kailash EBC group tour separately.

Top Tibet Travel FAQs #6   When is the better season to easy travel to Tibet?

Normally the spring, Summer and Autumn are better because it is warmer and sunnier. However the winter travel has its advantages. If your travel time is short and only want to see to Lhasa and other lower altitude destinations such as Tsetang, Gyantse and Shigatse. It is really good because the prices are lower. Further more Tibet is less crowded.

Top Tibet Travel FAQs # 7  When is better season to plan a Tibet trekking adventure?

From April 20 to middle of June, and from the end of August till middle of October is good time to do a trekking in Tibet. However different trekking trails has different best time. The Ganden to Samye trekking best season is April 20 to June 10, while the Old Tingri to Everest Base Camp best season is middle May to middle of June, and middle August to end of September. However the Tsurphu to Yangpachen trekking is easier and more season friendly. You can choose this one from April 10 to Oct.15.

Top Tibet Travel FAQs #8  When is not good to plan a tour of Tibet?

March is a politically sensitive month, and there are usually travel and visit restrictions, so it is better to avoid it. From July 1 to August 31, a plenty of Chinese travelers swarm into Tibet in this summer vacation. Things are touristy and costly. For instance, the Potala ticketing and the Qinghai Tibet train ticketing can become too busy and you may have to pay sky high service fee. You understand this.

Top Tibet Travel FAQs #9   Is altitude sickness a big problem?
General speaking, most healthy people experience altitude sickness for the first couple of days in Lhasa. This mountain sickness can occur for people who do not get well acclimated when travelling above about 2,400 meters (8,000 feet). Lhasa sits at a heady 3,650 meters (11,500 feet), and it is one of the lower altitude destinations in Tibet.

You might feel sick and get headaches until you are acclimated. We advise that before the trip you do aerobic exercise such as jogging. Get into shape and eat well before you go. Also, consult a physician.

It will make your transition easier to spend time in high altitude areas for a day or two. Many of our Tibet tours will give you some time to acclimatize in Lhasa.

As local professional Tibet travel agency, we aim to make your tour as enjoyable as possible. Tell us any medical concerns you have and we will do our best to advise and accommodate your needs on a tour.

Top Tibet Travel FAQs #10  Which parts of Tibet are not fully open areas which require special travel permits?
Tsetang: Samye Monastery, Tomb of Tibetan King, Changdruk Temple, Yumbulakhang, Shadrak
Shigatse: Sakya Monastery, Mt. Everest, Rongbuk Monastery
Gyantse: Pelkor Chode Monastery & Kunbum