Yes, all foreigners traveling to the Tibet Autonomous Region must have everything arranged in advance before arriving in Lhasa. All foreigners are required to have travel permits and a tour guide. If traveling outside of Lhasa, all foreign travelers are also required to have a private vehicle with a driver. Foreigners are not permitted to use public transportation. Independent travel is not allowed.
Yes, all foreign travelers in Tibet must have a guide with them, even in Lhasa. While in Lhasa, your guide will accompany you to one or two places each day and then leave you to explore the city on your own. Of course, if you want to have your guide longer, that is fine too. On tours outside of Lhasa, your guide will accompany you in the vehicle to answer any questions you might have on the area. At each destination, your guide will help you to check in to your hotel, assist you in ordering food and show you the main attractions. You will still have plenty of time in each destination to explore on your own without your guide.
No, not at all. Foreigners are allowed to travel solo, but still have to arrange everything through a travel agency. Most people prefer to travel with a small group of 3 or 4 people in order to share the price of the vehicle rental, but you are more than welcome to travel by yourself as well…
Most people traveling to Tibet arrive on a Chinese tourist (L) visa. Tourist visas are easy to get and can be obtained from your local Chinese consulate or embassy. It is also possible to visit Tibet on a resident permit (Z), student visa (X) or a business visa (F). We cannot process permits for people holding a journalist visa. If you have a resident, student or business visa, we will need an official letter from your school or business that lists your full name, nationality, age and passport number. The letter also needs to state that you are officially a student at the university or that you are an official employee of your company.
In addition to a Chinese visa, each traveler to Tibet also needs a Tibet Travel Permit which is issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau. If you travel outside of Lhasa, you will also need an Alien Travel Permit which is issued through the Public Security Bureau (PSB). A Foreign Affairs Permit and a Military Permit are needed if you plan to travel to the far western or far eastern regions of Tibet. We will arrange all necessary permits for your journey in Tibet.
Absolutely not! If you list Tibet as one of your destinations, you will most likely be denied a Chinese tourist visa. Simply list a few main cities in China on the application form. You are completely free to visit destinations that you did not list on your application form, including Tibet.
Yes, in fact all travel to Tibet must be arranged in advance. It is no longer possible to arrive in Lhasa and then arrange a tour. Before you will be allowed to board the train or flight to Lhasa, you will need to prove that you have your travel permit and a tour arranged.
Contact us a few weeks before you plan to arrive in Lhasa. If you already know the route you want to travel in Tibet, that’s great! If not, we can help you to customize the perfect tour. In order to arrange your travel permits in advance, we will need for you to email us a copy or image of your passport and Chinese visa. This information will only be used to process your travel permits.
Yes, you can stay at any hotel that is authorized to host foreigners. During the high season, hotels in Lhasa are full so it is best to make reservations in advance. Very few hotels in Tibet have websites or make reservations in advance. If there is a specific hotel you want to stay at, let us know and we can make the reservation for you. We partner with many hotels across Tibet where we are able to get a corporate discount. Chances are, we can get a better price on a hotel than what you would be able to get.
Yes, you can eat at any restaurant you would like. Lhasa has many excellent restaurants to choose from and has great cuisine from Nepal, India, America, Europe and of course, the best Tibetan food in the world! Feel free to ask your guide for a restaurant recommendation.
The railway to Lhasa opened in July 2006. There are now trains to Lhasa originating in Xining, Lanzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Train tickets during the summer high season can be difficult to obtain. In addition, several cities in China have flights to Lhasa, including Beijing, Chengdu, Xi’an and Guangzhou. The Lhasa airport is connected internationally only to Kathmandu, Nepal. You can also travel overland to Tibet from Nepal.
Yes, through our local partner in Kathmandu, we can arrange tours to Tibet originating in Nepal. We can arrange overland tours from Nepal as well as air tickets from Kathmandu to Lhasa.
Absolutely! We encourage our customers to research Tibet and design an itinerary that takes them to all of the places that they want to see. Our office staff, who are all Tibetans, have many years experience working in tourism and can work with you to create your own unique itinerary.
The most popular time is from June through early October. During this time, Tibet is its warmest. However, Tibet can actually be visited all year round. The low season months from December until February bring tens of thousands of Buddhist pilgrims to Lhasa making it a great time to visit. Though far northern and far western Tibet can be affected by heavy snowfall, the areas from Lhasa to the Nepal border are rarely affected by heavy snow.
No, the only reason you will need a sleeping bag is if you plan to trek and camp. Otherwise, all hotels and guesthouses offer clean sheets and plenty of blankets.
Yes, there are several outdoor stores in Lhasa that rent out and sell quality gear and equipment.
Yes, definitely. The average elevation of the Tibetan Plateau is over 4000m. When you arrive in Lhasa, it is best to take it easy the first day or two and not over exert yourself. Drink plenty of water and try and avoid alcohol. If needed, small oxygen tanks are widely available in Lhasa.
All of our itineraries are designed with acclimatization in mind. All of our routes ascend as slowly as possible in order to reduce the chance of a serious altitude related illness.
Though we are not the largest company around, we are among the most experienced around. Our office managers have been working in tourism in Tibet for over 15 years and know all areas of Tibet well. We can work with you to create the perfect itinerary suited specifically for you.
Unlike many travel agencies that arrange tours to Tibet, we are not based in Beijing, Chengdu or Shanghai. We are based right in the heart of Lhasa, less than a 1 minute walk from Barkhor Square. All of our office staff, guides and drivers are Tibetans who are intimately familiar with Tibetan culture, language and religion. This gives us an advantage over most companies arranging travel to Tibet.
Our company is not out just to make money. Our goal is to give back to as many poor Tibetan communities as possible. Several of our office staff are from remote, poor villages at the base of the Himalaya Mountains. A portion from each tour goes towards projects that we carry out in these communities.
Lastly, you should use our company because we genuinely care about our customers. We love getting to know our customers as they sit and drink tea with us in our office! Our mission is to provide top quality tours of Tibet by making it as easy as possible, as affordable as possible and by treating each customer like they are a close member of our family.
Of course! We are here to make your time in Tibet as memorable and amazing as possible. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.