Tibet is a dreamy place to travel to due to its attractive landscapes and mysterious cultures. However, Tibet is a special destination as there’re many travel restrictions and regulations. Can you travel to Tibet? Before visiting Tibet, you should know there’re some necessary documents to take such as Tibet Travel Permit. The most convenient thing is to find a travel agency to arrange everything for you beforehand. Here we have sorted out the top 10 restrictions and regulations when planning your Tibet trip.
You Can Only Enter Tibet via Mainland China or Nepal
There’s only one international flight route connecting Tibet with the outside world, Kathmandu to Lhasa flight. International travelers can fly directly to Lhasa Gongga Airport (at 3,658 meters) from the Tribhuvan International Airport (at 1,400 meters) in Kathmandu. Direct flights between Nepal and Tibet are operated by Air China and Sichuan Airlines. The flight takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach 609 kilometers.
Besides Kathmandu to Lhasa flights, international travelers also can enter Tibet from mainland China. There are many direct flights to Lhasa from major cities, such as Chengdu, Chongqing, Xi’an, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, and Xining. If travelers prefer a train tour to Tibet, they can go to the major starting cities of the Tibet trains, like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, and Chongqing. All of the above-mentioned Tibet trains will pass through Xi’an, Lanzhou, Xining, Golmud, and Lhasa. Therefore, it is very convenient to take the train to Lhasa from mainland China.
Traveling to Tibet from Mainland China – China Visa Is Required
International travelers who visit Tibet from mainland China generally need to apply for a China Visa, normally an L visa (tourist China visa). But there’s a Visa-free policy for three countries, Singapore, Japan and Brunei, which citizens can stay in China for 15 days and enjoy visa-free.
If you are holding other types of China visas, additional certification documents are required to apply for your Tibet entry permit.
Tibet Entry Permit Is Required for Tibet Tours
To visit Tibet, international tourists must obtain a Tibet Travel Permit issued by the Tourism Bureau of the Tibet Autonomous Region(also known as TTB permit). In principle, only Tibet travel agencies are qualified to apply for the entry permit and organize Tibet tours for foreign tourists. It’s said that there were offices in Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu that could apply for a Tibet entry permit but now those offices have been canceled. So the only way to get a Tibet Travel Permit is to work with a reliable Tibet travel agency like Great Tibet Tour.
Only with the entry permit can you purchase air tickets and train tickets by yourselves, and travel to Tibet. By the way, before you board your flight/train to Tibet, you need to take your Tibet Travel Permit expressed by your Tibet travel agency or a copy of the TTB permit by email.
The Tibet Travel Permit is not allowed to bring out of China. Your tour guide will collect it when you arrive in Tibet, and hand back it to the Tourism Bureau after your Tibet tour.