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Tibet - Travel Information

Gongkhar Airport is the main gate way to Lhasa. Chamdo airport and Nyangchu airport also provide air access into Tibet but are not very reliable because of bad weather.

From/to Kathmandu: From July till September Air China has daily flight from/to Kathmandu. During the low season there is only one flight per week (December till February).Contact us at info@himalayantrekkers.com for flight details and fares.

From/to Chengdu: There are 2 flights from Chengdu daily. This connection offers a better connection into Tibet as Chengdu is connected with many cities such as Seoul, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Other connections are proposed for near future.

By Train

The Qinghai-Tibet (Qingzang) Railway connects rest of the mainland with Lhasa. Operation of this railway started in 2006. The Journey from Beijing to Lhasa is 2 days/48 hours. Besides Beijing there is rail connection between Lhasa and cities like Xining, Lanzhou, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing and Chengdu.

By Road

There are 5 road routes common with tourist to enter into Lhasa, Tibet.

  1. The overland drive over Arniko highway from Kathmandu to Lhasa or vice versa is very popular.
  2. From northern Tibet the Lhasa-Ghemdu Highway provides an easy access. After construction of the railway alongside the road this route is used very less.
  3. If you wish to see Kham then the road from Chengdu is best option but the road is not good in many places.
  4. From Kashgar (Kashi) in Xinjiang province. This road offers a glimpse of Mount Kailash as well.
  5. From Northwest India: the highway over the Nathu La pass from Sikkim in India is not opened yet for foreigners but is supposed to open very soon. This is a part of the historic silk route.

Contact us at info@himalayantrekkers.com for more details about access into Tibet from different routes.

Tibet Entry Procedures

Adventure Mission Nepal always works for the comfort and satisfaction of the valuable clients. We assist you will all our knowledge and resources to make your trip into Tibet a life time journey. There are things you should know and pay attention before you start your trip to Tibet with us.

1. Tibet travel and overview.

  • Tibet Tourism policies keep on changing even sometimes without prior notice. Sometimes foreigners are not allowed at all and all the frontiers are closed. AMN always advices its clients to have a insurance policy covering things for cancellation of the trip. If the trip is cancelled without commencing we refund the amount you paid after deducting only the expenses if any during processing your visa.
  • A visa of Mainland china is not good enough to travel into Tibet. You need to issue a separate Tibet Travel Permit for entry into Tibet.
  • It is very difficult to extend visa once you enter into Tibet so it is better to have a clear planning of time and Budget before you start.
  • The Permit for travelling into Tibet must be issued 3 weeks prior to you arrival in Tibet. Adventure Mission Nepal will do all necessary procedures to acquire permit to Tibet on your behalf. The permit is checked during entry and exit and also sometime during the trip in the hotels or sightseeing places.
  • Passports applying for the Tibet Permit must have 6 months validity at least. If the passport has less validity it will not be entertained for a visa processing. Besides that you need three passport size photographs for processing the Tibet travel permit.
  • You should not be in possession of any religious documents of Tibetan, especially related to the Dalai Lama. You might not be allowed to enter into Tibet if you are found with anything such as those.
  • Adventure mission Nepal doesn’t hold the rights to process travel permits for diplomats, journalists, professional media photographers, and government officials so if you fall under one of these category the visa must be processed through the Foreign Affairs Department. Contact us at info@himalayantrekkers.com for visa processing of above mentioned personnel. Go to Top

2. Travelling from Nepal to Tibet.

  • We advise you to take Chinese visa in Nepal even if there is a Chinese Ambasssy/consulate in your country if you are applying for Tibet Visa.
  • It is better to have the Chinese visa and the Nepalese visa in the same visa so make sure you have the same passport while applying the both the cases.
  • The Group visa form for Tibet includes the names, nationality (should be same as per the recent rule for all group members), date of birth, passport number and occupation with the specific dates of entry and exit.
  • A copy of final itinerary is required to be attached with your visa application so we advise you to finalize the places and dates before hand as you can’t make changes after the visa arrives.
  • Even though the special permit for Tibet travel and be obtained with your passport photocopy, we need your original passport to apply for the visa of China, which will be collected by representative of AMN after your arrival.
  • The final decision for visa is taken by Tibet Tourism bureau but Adventure mission Nepal will try to its level best to obtain the visa for Tibet.
  • It usually takes 5 working days to obtain visa for Tibet but you can apply for an urgent visa after paying express fee.
  • If  you want to enter mainland China after visit to Tibet you can do it if you visa has duration but all the flight members must have the same flight to apply for this otherwise you can let us know to process for individual visa.

3. Entering Tibet from mainland China.

  • If you want to visit Tibet via mainland China you can apply for your China visa in your respective country and then AMN will process for your Tibet Visa from China.
  • The Tibet visa cannot be delivered by freight or Cargo as per the Chinese government regulation. You can provide us your hotel address in China and we will drop your Tibet travel permit on the location you have provided. In case you are flying from any Chinese city to Lhasa then give us the details of your flight so that our staffs can handover the Permit to you outside of the transit point.
  • Every foreign passport holder (including the Taiwanese and Non-Chinese ID card holders) need special permit to Visit Tibet. People from Hongkong and Taiwan also don’t need visa for travelling to Tibet.
  • You should register yourself with the Chinese police within 24 hours of your arrival. In case you are staying in a hotel the hotel staff will do it for you but if you are staying with a family then register yourself to the nearest police station. You will be fined if you don’t do so. You should also be in possession of your passport with Chinese visa al along your journey.
  • The rules and regulation regarding Tibet travel change a lot with the change in political conditions. Please contact our Tibet specialist for the latest update about travel regulations at info@himalayantrekkers.com

Travel within Tibet and Transportation

Travelling within Tibet can be done by trekking on foot or by jeeps that are arranged by AMN. There is a train service which started recently from Lhasa via Golmud to other cities of Tibet. You can also ride bikes into Tibet from Nepal or India with special permits. There are intercity flights between Tibet and China and within Tibet as well but many are seasonal.

Using SUV is the best way to travel because of the road conditions but small cars and vans can be used in good roads depending on the group size. If your group is very large we provide large buses. We suggest you to travel to Tibet and use SUV, 3-4 people on each for better experience.Go to Top

Money & Exchange

Chinese Yuan or Renmibi (people’s money) is the money used in Tibet. You can exchange money at the Bank of China or it’s authorized when you are in Tibet. 1 USD is equivalent to approximately 6 RMB. It is better to have local money while travelling to Tibet as credit cards are accepted in very limited places.

Accommodation in Tibet

Most of the big towns of Tibet such as Lhasa, Gyantse, Tsedang, and Shigatse have different options of accommodation ranging from budget hotels with basic facilities to 4 star luxury hotels. In small town and villages the hotels are basic and sometimes with just a kitchen and a dormitory style rooms with people having to share with other travel companions. Tibet is for adventure not for luxury, if you have this in mind you won’t be surprised to see the remote nature of Tibet.

Guides

Guides in Tibet are not very fluent in English but we try to find the best among them.  If you are travelling as a big group or want to join a fixed departure trip  you can have a tour leader from Nepal who is experienced about Tibet and its heritages and fluent in English or language of your choice (German, Spanish, French).

Food

The one good thing about Chinese coming into Tibet is they brought some good descent restaurant otherwise in Tibet the food choice is limited to barley, meat (mutton or yak) and dairy products, with very few spices or vegetables. The Chinese ethnic group Hui has some restaurant in Tibet which are cleaner because the Hui people are Muslim and strictly follow the Halal food laws.  You can figure them out with the Green Muslim flag sign. If you are camping we provide quality food prepared by our camping crew.Go to Top

Photography

It is wise to take consult your guide regarding places where you can take photographs. Places such as airports, bridges and government establishments are areas where you might not be allowed to take pictures. You might get fined or even get your cameras seized if you are caught photographing restricted areas. Most of the temples and monasteries allow photography but some might ask for a fee for using Camera inside the premises. Tibetans are shy in nature so don’t like being photographed but taking permission might help.

Communication

Cell phone network coverage is getting wider in Tibet nowadays. Even the nomads can be seen riding motorbikes and carrying cell phones. You can get sim cards in many places around Lhasa and other big cities. Cyber café’s with telephone and internet services are available even in small towns and villages. WI-FI is common in big hotels only; the small ones might charge you for using this service.

Altitude Sickness or Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

All of Tibet is in High altitude zone more than 4000m from sea level. Most of the travelers suffer from mild symptoms. Some mild symptoms include headache, breathlessness, fever, a loss of appetite, unrest, stomach disorder but once you start getting  acclimatized  the symptoms will go away. Proper acclimatization is very important so you must spend few nights in the towns before going up in the high passes. Use of Diamox and check up by a physician is advised if you have any doubts. Contact our trekking specialist for queries about high altitude sickness at info@himalayantrekkers.com.Go to Top

Tipping

Tibet has tipping culture and drivers and guides are happy to receive tips. You can tip as you wish and for restaurants you can tip 10% of your total bill amount.

Risk and Liabilities

AMN tries its best to operate trips smoothly and without any discomfort to our valuable guests but many things is not under our control and most of the things are controlled by the Chinese authority. Weather in Tibet is also not predictable. AMN and its partner agencies will not be responsible in change of travel programs due to Political reasons and weather conditions.  AMN and its partner in Tibet will not be for cancellations because of sickness of the guest before arrival, no show or cancellation of Flight. We recommend you to have a comprehensive insurance which cover cancellation, rescue and other unseen incidents.

Women Travelers

Tibet is free of caste system and sexual discrimination. Even the womens have the same right and in some cases are dominant than males in the society. Tibetans are friendly and help people in need so there are no special precautions to be taken but it is wise to be safe as personal experiences can be different.

Senior Travelers

We feel very proud for being able to provide a nice travelling experience of Tibet for senior travelers. The hotels, guides and drivers AMN uses are well aware of the need of senior travelers. By tradition Tibetans show great respect to their elders and with guests they are very careful and respectful. Medical attention and supply of medicine is easily available in places where we operate trips for senior citizens.

Travel with Children

Tibet offers limited entertainment for children. Children travelers are always immediately accepted by local kids and their families and in the process make new friends advise to consult with pediatrician before planning a trip to Tibet, to avoid any altitude related sickness for your child.Go to Top