How to travel to Tibet from China? This is a most prominent questions many Travelers has, while planing in visiting Tibet. I hope post of mine would help travelers to make an informed decision in planing your Tibet tour a head.
How to travel to Tibet from China?
There are two popular travel routes for getting into Tibet; Entering Tibet from Nepal and travel to Tibet from China.
Out of these two route, here are the reasons, why it is easier and less time consuming in Travel to Tibet from China.
- It is more economical and straight forward in this travel route.
- From china there are trains available to Lhasa from all the major cities.
- You can easily get into Tibet without any additions paper work in China.
- You can take a transit flight to Tibet, with out wasting a single day in China.
- It is easier for your travel agency in Lhasa to make Tibet travel permit.
Here is the details of why it is easier and more convenient in travel to Tibet from China
Its more economical and straight forward
You do not necessarily need to stop for a day in China. In case of Nepal, you will need to at least stay for three days to get Chinese Visa in Nepal. Remember this, if you are entering into Tibet from Nepal. Travelers must get a group visa from Chinese embassy in Nepal. Your visa, if you may have, it would be revoke. In order to get the Chinese visa, you will need another three days in Nepal.
There are only two travel option from Nepal to Lhasa in general. but at the time of writing there are only one option that is a flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa, which is very expensive. where as from china you have more travel options to Lhasa, Tibet.
From china there is a train available to Lhasa from all the major cities
There are trains available to Lhasa from all the major cities in China. The train journey from Xinning and Chengdu would cost about a 120 USD per person. Train rides can take you to all the beautiful wildness of Tibet high land.
If you are traveling in train to Tibet. this could also save you from the night mare of last minute rust in permit delivery. You only need a copy of permit to show at the train station. you do not need the original permit. it can help save you some money in the process.
You can easily get into Tibet with out any addition paper work in China
After your travel agency complete making your Tibet travel permit. If you are traveling into Tibet from China, there is on additional paper. where as if you are coming from Nepal, you will need to get Chinese group visa.
Only thing you will need to do is to fill a form for the train journey.
You can a transit flight to Tibet, with out wasting a single day in China
Traveling from China, can help traveler a lots of time. travelers need not necessarily have to get out of the Airport premise. Your travel agency can help sending some one to deliver your permit to you at the air while you wait to board into Tibet flight. but it comes with an extra service charge for the delivery person.
I do always recommend my clients to take a transit in Chengdu, as the city has large Tibetan Community and it is always easier to be able to find some one help deliver the permit. But most of the time branch manager would have some one in the office to deliver.
It is easier for your travel agency to make your Tibet travel permit
Your travel agency do not necessarily need to send you a visa invitation, if you are coming from China. Making visa invitation, it self takes equal numbers of days as it takes to make a tibet entrance permit. and it a double work for us and even more confusing for the travelers.
Every tour operators and travel agency in Lhasa, always recommend traveler not to mention about travelers plan to visit Tibet. If travelers can get the visa without having to proof anything about the China Visit, it saves a lots of days and works.
But some times authorities in Chinese embassy would ask the traveler to submit the Details tour itineraries, flight and other tickets, or hotel reservation in China to prove travelers plan in China.
In such case, you will need to tell about your plans to visit Tibet. and if you do. They ask you to get a visa invitation from the travel agency in Lhasa. There are many travel website telling as if like Tibet travel agency could not make a visa invitation. Thats an out dated information. Travel agency can send travelers a visa in invitations every where in the world, but the travel agency has to have you passport copy and itinerary to make visa invitations. Please remember this, Visa invitation for Tibet has to be sign and approve by the Tibet tourism bureau. and it takes about 15 to 20 days.
Points to remember in travel to Tibet from China
If coming by flight
- You will need a original Tibet travel permit to board the flight to Lhasa and tibet permits are not suppose to send any where outside the domestic jurisdiction of China. Which means your travel agency will have some one to deliver the permit to you at the transit airport
- I would suggest every one to try to take transit in Chengdu. its more convenient for you and for your travel agency.
- Please try to send the visa and passport copy a month a head of your actual tour date. your agency need a window period of three to five days to ship your permit to the city of transit and arrange some one to deliver your permit to you.
- Once upon receiving your permit. Please check for the name and passport number of every group member. some times people do makes mistake in delivering the permit to right person. which could lead to havoc.
If coming by train
- Please check if your arriving city has a train available to Tibet
- Please ask you travel agency to book for you train ticket some months in advance. it is very hard to get train in peak season. Hence you will need to book the tour at least two month prior or so
- You do not need the original permit, but you will need to have a copy of permit handy.
- Your travel agency will send you a ticket purchase number and you will have to go to the ticket counter at the train station to get your train ticket with you permit copy and the passport. Some times, some officers might ask you to show them the original Tibet travel permit. In such case, just go to the next counter to get the ticket. Those officers could be new.
click here to read about the train to Tibet
Over all things to Consider in travel to Tibet from china
- Gmail doesn’t work in China, have an addition mail account to able your travel agency to send the permit in Last minute, If incase. i would recommend using either hotmail or yahoo.
- If possible try to have we chat install on your phone. we chat is a Chinese version of whats app and its very handy. whats app also works in China
- Have the contact number of your tour operator handy.
- Always check the second page of your permit for the names and passport number upon receiving it.
In order to understand why travel to Tibet from China is better, i think it would be nice if i would write some thing about travel to Tibet from Nepal
- You will need to get Chinese group Visa for Entering into Tibet.
- Your Chinese visa, which you might have would be revoked.
- You need to wait for another three to five business days to get the Chinese visa
- Travel agency in Tibet will have to send you visa invitation to Nepal
- Only travel options available in flight and the overland journey. both could cost way more money the train
you can read here about
how to travel to Tibet from China and Nepal
read his latest post on China Tibet travel tips