[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >
Can I (a foreigner) travel to Tibet?
Tibet Autonomous Region is one special province-level entity of China, which is also a hot tourism destination both at home and abroad. According to statistics, Tibet has received over 270,000 overseas tourists in the last 2018. Clearly, foreigners complying with related regulations and laws are allowed to travel to Tibet, on condition that, you hold required documents and have Tibet tour organized by a licensed local travel agency.
Do I need a visa or permit to visit Tibet?
A Chinese Visa is only the first condition for traveling to Tibet for foreigners. To visit Tibet, Non-Chinese passport holders and Taiwaneses must obtain a Tibet Visa (it is officially called Tibet Entry Permit), which is needed when taking train or flight to Tibet. Extra permits will be demanded for further trip to certain areas.
Most Popular Tibet Tours:
As a autonomous region in southwest of China, Tibet has special need for protection of its distinctive ethnic traditions, cultural heritages and econogical environment. Thus, China National Tourism Administration sets special entry regulations in Tibet diferent from most mainland cities, that is, no independent aliens’ travel is allowed, foreigners, no matter how many tourists there are, must take Tibet tour covering hotel, transportation, travel itinerary organized by authorized local travel agencies (such as China Discovery), and obtain Tibet Visa and other required permits, though already get a Chinese Tourist Visa (L Visa).
The Tibet Visa, also called Tibet Entry Permit, TTB Permit, Tibet Tourist/Travel Visa, is a obligatory and foremost permit issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) for aliens’ visit of Tibet. It applies to US, Canadian, UK, Australian citizens, and has no instriction on nationality, group size. Only licensed local travel agency can apply it and foreigner can NOT apply by themseves. Holding it, you can visit Lhasa, Namtso, Shigatse, Gyantse, Mount Everest, Mount Kailash, and else destinations in Tibet. Without the permit you can NOT board the train or flight to enter Tibet.
Pleasure ensure your Chinese Visa and Tibet Visa are well prepared before going to Tibet.
Individual foreign nationals are not allowed to apply for Tibet Visa, and you must entrust a authorized local travel agency to do the application before departure. We, China Discovery has planed many worry-free Tibet tours for our foreign clients. With our help, you will get the Tibet Visa or other necessary permits fast and easily.
Below are the required information or documents you shall provide to us:
● Send us your scan copy/fax of Chinese Visa and passport;
● Give detailed address (maybe hotle location) to receive your Tiget Visa;
Note: Though the documents needed is quite simple, you shall provide us to at least 20 days in advance for application, to avoid any delay of your travel plan.
Personal application won’t be accepted, only authorized travel agency, like China Discovery can submit application on behalf of foreign tourists. With your vailid passport and Chinese Visa, proposed travel schedules accompanied by local guide, driver, you only need to provide required materials to us, and then wait for a certain period to get the Tibet Visa.
Step-by-Step Application Procedure of Tibet Visa
Know about the application processes in the following:
1. Contact a China or Tibet travel agency, e.g. China Discovery, book an interesed Tibet tour with us and make detailed travel itinerary;
2. Hire a local tour guide and driver, confirm travel details for every day during the Tibet trip (we will help you arrange all);
3. Pay the deposit by PayPal or banck transfer to the agency;
4. Provide us above mentioned scan copyies of your Chinese Visa & passport at least 20 days ahead of your trip;
5. We will submit your application to Tibet Tourism Bureau;
6. Give us a address in China to recerive your Tibet Visa;
7. We will express the permit to your hotel in China (not Tibet), or let tour guide give it to you at a train station or airport in other cities in China.
Special Notes: Please check carefully to make sure the Anti-counterfeiting Code is attached on the top right of the Tibet Visa. If it’s fallen or lost, see if it’s in the envelope, otherwise the visa will become invalid, and you can’t get on a Tibet train or flight.
Tibet Visa is free of charge by the Tibet Tourism Burea, which is well-marked in the Tibet Visa in both English and Chinese. However, all foreign visitors have to book Tibet tours with a local travel agency, and the registered tour operator will apply Tibet Visa included in the pre-booked tour. Foreigners can’t apply the visa on your own or merely let the agency apply without booking a tour.
Exploration Nepal and Tibet together is a very popular route for international travelers to view different Himalayan landscapes and experience local culture. However, if you travel to Tibet from Nepal, whether by overland driving or take Kathmandu-Lhasa Flight, you must apply for a Tibet Group Visa (namely Chinese Tourist Group Visa) from Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, plus a Tibet Visa from Tibet Tourism Bureau. (Attention: The Chinese Visa you have got in your home country is not valid for Tibet entry from Nepal.)
The embassy as well as the bureau only accept application of licensed local travel agencies. Currently, Tibet Group Visa is issued to foreign tour groups with at least 5 members. It is a single - entry Chinese Visa with a duration of stay up to 30 days. And it requires all group members travel as a whole team, enter Tibet and exit China via the same port, at the same time and travel with a same itinerary.
Application Procedure: book a tour from China Discovery first --> send copy of passport & Chinese Visa (to apply Tibet Visa) --> (with our help) fill in Group Visa application form, prepare original passport, passport-size photo, pay visa fees and service charges --> we submit to Chinese Embassy in Nepal --> mail the issued Group Visa to your hotel/ pick it in our Nepal office by yourself.
Processing Time: regular service - about 5 working days; urgent service - about 3 working days.
Cost and Fees: US citizen - $140; Canadian citizen - $85; Nepalli citizen - $27; Others - $51.
Top Tibet Nepal Tour Packages:
Indian passport holders have two ways to visit Tibet. One is, like other nationals, regular tourists (not going to Mt. Kailash & Lake Manasarovar) join in ordinary group tour organzied local travel agency, apply Chinese Tourist Visa and Tibet Visa if entering Tibet from mainland China, or apply Group Visa and Tibet Visa if getting to Tibet from Nepal.
The second is for special pilgrims visiting Tibet destinations including Mt. Kailash or Lake Manasarovar. Individual pilgrimage to Mount Kailash or Manasarovar is strictly forbidden. Indian pilgrims have to join in offical organized pilgrimage tour group by Indian government through complicated formalities. So far, China Discoevry couldn’t arrange such special visit. The best choice is to contact a Indian travel agency, consult related details.
Classic Tibet Tour including Mt.Kailash:
After arrival in Tibet, if you plan to visit farther areas beyond Lhasa, more Tibet permits are required, such as Aliens’ Travel Permit (PSB Permit)- visit unopend areas like (Sakya Monastery, Mount Everest, Rongbuk Monastery in) Shigatse, Shannan, (Basumtso, Pomi, Ranwu Lake in) Nyingchi, (Mt. Kailash, Lake Manasarovar in) Ngari, Chamdo; Military Permit - visit Nyingchi, Ngari, Chamdo and eastern Tibet; Border Pass - visit Shigatse, Ngari, Nyingchi, (Gyirong Port) China-Nepal Border, etc.
Permits for Mount Everest: Tibet Visa, Aliens’ Travel Permit, Tibet Border Pass.
Permits for Mount Kailash: Tibet Visa, Aliens’ Travel Permit, Tibet Border Pass, Military Permit.
Don’t worry, China Discovery will help you apply and get all the Tibet permits needed to make sure you enjoy smooth tour to Lhasa, Mount Everest, Mt. Kailash, and else places in Tibet.
The holy land Tibet is one of the top popular destinations in China. Besides the breathtaking natural scenery, snow-covered mountains, grassland, pure sky and sunshine, Tibet also offers unique architectures, lovely people, venerable Tibetan Buddhist culture, which you will marvel at and be touched deeply.
At present, you can get to Tibet by experiencing the world wonder - Qinghai Tibet Train from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xian, Xianing in mainland China or taking Kathmandu-Lhasa Flight or cross-border drive via Gyirong Port from Nepal.
China Discovery is a professional and experienced travel companion who offers high-value and worry-free tours for you. We not only design ideal itinerary covering sightseeing, dining, transfer and hotel, but also can provide any visa support and help you need to travel to Tibet and China.
You may choose from our most popular China Tibet tours, or just contact us, tell your interests and travel plans, we could customize a perfect trip as you like.
Top 3 tours chosen by most customers to explore China in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.
Lhasa City & Suburb
Lhasa / Gyangtse / Shigatse/ Everest
Lhasa / Gyangtse / Shigatse / Everest / Gyirong / Kathmandu
Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once enquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.Customize a Trip
[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening now! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >