Located in the west of China, Tibet is a hot tourist destination for most travelers in the world. Crowned as the Roof of the World, the natural scenery in Tibet is attractive and beautiful. Here, you can enjoy the crystal-like lakes, grand mountains, mysterious monasteries, and boundless grasslands, etc. However, owing to the sensitive political background, there are many restrictions for foreigners to travel to Tibet. For example, they are not allowed to travel to Tibet alone, and they must join a Tibet tour group organized by a local Tibetan tour company. What’s more, they must hold the Tibet Visa/Tibet Travel Permit before entering the border of Tibet. Today, I’d like to share some information about Tibet Visa/Tibet Travel Permit.
Tibet Visa is also called Tibet Travel Permit which is issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau. According to the law, Tibet Visa can only be applied by a local Tibetan tour operator which authorized by Tibet Tourism Bureau. The process of the application is very complex. So, you should contact a Tibet tour agent in advance. Before they help you apply for the permit, you should confirm the tour date, tour group number, tour itinerary, number of travelers, and travel agency. Because all the information will be printed on this visa. Once it is issued, it is very hard to revise it. Or, costs you extra money and time to change it.
As the primary visa for foreign travelers who plan to have a tour in Tibet, Tibet visa plays an important role during the trip. No matter you take a train to Tibet or take a flight to Tibet, you should show this permit. Without Tibet Travel Permit, you are not allowed to board the transport. When you arrive in Lhasa, you are required to show this permit before checking in the local hotels. During your trip to Tibet, you need to show it when you visit Tibetan attractions.
Because a foreigner has no right to apply for the Tibet Travel Permit, you should book a Tibetan owned company and ask them for help. So what kind of document do they need? I’ll explain it in detail. For travelers who are not Chinese passport holders, they should send their personal information such as Chinese visa, the photo image of your passport information page to the consultant at least twenty days early. Then, all the work will be done by your travel agency. As soon as the issuance of Tibet Visa, your tour company will deliver it to your hotel immediately. Sometimes, you will receive your Tibet Travel Permit at the train station or airport if you don’t stay overnight in other China cities.
Besides the Tibet Visa, there are some extra permits you also need to apply for, such as Aliens’ Travel Permit and Military Entry Permit. Aliens’ Travel Permit is needed when you travel to the following places, such as Shannan Prefecture, including Samye Monastery, Tomb of Tibetan King, Trundruk Monastery, Yumbulakhang; Mt. Everest Area, including Everest Base Camp, Rongbuk Monastery, Sakya Monastery; Shigatse Prefecture, including Pelkor Chode Monastery and Kubum Stupa; Ngari Prefecture, including Mt. Kailash, Lake Manasarovar, Tsaparang; Ningchi Prefecture, including Basum-tso, Pomi, Rawo-tso, Chamdo, Riwoche, Tengchen, etc.
Military Entry Permit is needed when you travel to Mt.Kailash and Manasarovar in Ngari, Nyingchi, Nagqu, etc.