Tibet Travel permits
Tibet permit or Tibet Travel permit is often misjudged by many of our clients as the only permit required to travel in Tibet. Yes, it is the prime permit paper in Tibet, but it has its own limitations. Tibet travel permit is often referred as Tibet visa or Tibet entry permit. There is few number of permit you will need to make, it will differ base upon your itinerary. But you don’t have to get confuse for the permit as you service provider should have a good idea what is a need for which. But the travel agencies can only make the permit for all travelers except for the Government officials, journalist, and diplomats. If you are in these categories, you will have to contact the Foreign Affairs Office in Tibet. Read here about the Visa policy of Peoples republic of china.
How need Tibet entrance permits: Followings are the categories of travelers, how has to apply and carry the Tibet permits or Tibet travel permits while traveling in Tibet.
- Anyone, who holds a foreign passport, or, in other words, non-Chinese passport holders. Ethical Chinese from overseas, who do not have a Chinese passport. Visitors from Taiwan, who might not have valid Identity card of China. Citizens from Hong Kong and Macau, how hold; home visiting certificates, SAR passport and travel permit to and from Hong Kong and Macau do not need Tibet travel permits. click here to read more about Tibet travel permit Applying for Tibet travel Permit
- After you have confirmed the tour itinerary, you will have to send some among of the tour price as the initial deposit. It is important for your service provider to show the bank transfer receipt while making you tour permit. Once having sent you to deposit, you will be also asked to send your service provider a clear scan copy of your passport and Chinese Visa (If you are coming from Chinese cities like Chengdu). But please keep this in mind. Clear copies mean every letter and your photo should be clear visible and readable. We often find clients sending very less visible copies and this only delays the processing time.
- The document requires for processing your permit differ from the types of visa you holds.
If yours is X (student Visa), you will need to send them a letter from your school stating you are their official student, with your passport and visa copy. the letter from your school must include your passport number, nationality, and your full name.
If yours is F (Business Visa) you will need a letter from your inviting company stating your full name, passport number, nationality and position with the company.
If yours is Z (Work Visa) or residential permit, you will need a letter from your employer stating that you are officially employee to the company.
If yours is L (tourist visa) there is no other documents require to send to your travel agency beside the visa and passport copy.
processing Tibet travel permit normally takes about 3 to 5 days. processing the military permit and foreign affair permit may take up to two weeks. If you are entering from other provinces of china, your travel permit will be Posted to you. You will need an original copy of the permit, only if you are taking flights to Lhasa. In train travel, the printed copy from email will do.
read more about Tibet tourism update from here.
Getting into Tibet
There is two main route for the traveling into Tibet; entering into Tibet from Nepal and travel from China to Tibet.
If you are planning to travel Tibet from Nepal. Travelers should obtain group Visa from the Chinese embassy in Nepal. The Visa, you might have obtained from your home country is of no used on this route. Normally it takes three business days for the group Visa process.
There are two ways to enter from Nepal. One is by taking an overland journey from Kathmandu to Tibet. and another one is by taking flight from Nepal to Lhasa. The only international flight to Tibet. There is daily flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa during the peak tourist season and four times a week during the low season; Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
If you are entering from other provinces of China, there are three options to choose from; Overland journey in tourist cab, train journey and flight to Lhasa. click here to read more.
I always advise all my clients to take a train from other provinces of China. It has its own benefits. If you take the train journey to Lhasa. You will get gradually acclimatize to the high altitude as progressing in altitude. Another reason is you will get the best option to explore the north Chang-Thang region and enjoy to natural scenic of Tibetan plateau. You will need a printed copy of your Tibet permit to board the train.
Another option is by taking over land cab drive from Yunnan, it is a very good option if you have enough budget and time to do so. It is even better than the train journey as your journey will be more rooted to the local communities and great mobility to take detours and even stop at some breathtaking views from time to time. It is advisable to have all the originals permits necessary for the trip.
The last option is taking the flight. it is fast and very convenient. But I always ask my clients, What is in the air? just clear blue sky and it’s same every way. usually, I don’t recommend this means to transport to the client unless there has limited time for Tibet travel and tours. you will need the original copy of your Tibet travel permit.
If you are only staying in Lhasa, your travel agency doesn’t necessarily have to arrange you the private Vehicle for you. You can use public transportation inside the city.
If you are traveling outside Lhasa city you must need a tourist cab arrange for you by your travel agency. Your travel agency will arrange you a cab as per your group size. but remember to check your cab has letter L for the third letter on its number plate.
Another Tibet travel regulation is that no foreigner are allowed to travel in Tibet without a tour guide. Due to increasing demands for the guide, nowadays there are many inexperienced guides in Tibet. Many of them can’t even speak understandable English. It is highly recommended for the travelers to have a guide recommended by your friends and family members, how might have traveled to Tibet.
Nowadays experienced and fluent English speaking guides are highly valued in the market. All of our guides are our long time friends and we are very confident about their capabilities in handling the group with the utmost professionalism. I would suggest you consider in choosing the guides of local origin for the knowledgeable and might want to consider the efficiency speaking in English.
You should specifically mention what monastery and historical site are your interest in visiting while preparing you itinerary. Usually, Tibet tour agency would include all the entry fees to the site of the places in your itinerary. but to be sure about it, it is better if you do ask if it is included.
Deposit and cancellation fee
The most travel agency has a very good deposit and cancellation policies. For us, the initials deposit the clients need to pay is 20% of the tour price. We need to show a bank transfer slip while applying for your travel permit.
If you decide, you don’t want to travel after wiring the initial deposit. We will refund the initial deposit. But it will differ as to when you will notify us. If you tell a month prior to your actual tour date, we will refund after deducting the wire transfer fees charged by the bank and transport fee to the bank. If you notify within one month of the actual plan date we will refund you 80% for we should have already booked you car and the guide. If you will notify within a week or after start making your travel permit, we will refund only 60% of your initial deposit.