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How Foreign Visitors Can Travel in Tibet - From Tibet Entry Permit to Top Sights

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

When you come across this blog, I believe Tibet is undoubtedly holding a special place in your heart, and perhaps even your next destination. Beyond its breathtaking natural landscapes, from snowy peaks to tranquil lakes, lush forests to winding valleys, Tibet boasts unique and cherished wildlife, as well as distinctive cultural treasures and cuisine. Additionally, Tibet is home to distinctive Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and devoted followers, infusing the land with an air of mystery and sanctity.

Today's blog is all about venturing into the captivating land of Tibet. We're diving deep into a topic that's essential for anyone planning to explore Tibet – how foreign visitors can make their way through this incredible region. From understanding what the Tibet Entry Permit is, to highlighting some of the stunning places you just can't miss once you're there, we're here to guide you every step of the way.

What is Tibet Entry Permit and How To Get It

As a foreign traveller, obtaining a Chinese visa and Tibet Entry Permit marks the initial steps for your Tibet journey. While you are likely familiar with the Chinese visa process, in this blog, I'll specifically introduce the Tibet Entry Permit.

The Tibet Entry Permit, also known as the Tibet Travel Permit, is an official document issued by the Chinese government that allows foreign visitors to enter and travel within the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) of China. It is a mandatory requirement for all non-Chinese citizens who wish to visit Tibet.

How to Get Tibet Entry Permit

What Documents Are Required

How to Travel in Tibit

Foreigners travelling to Tibet need to apply for the Tibet Entry Permit through a local Tibetan travel agency in order to visit the region.

I recommend contacting a travel agency for the Tibet Entry Permit application at least 20 days prior to your departure.

To process the Tibet Entry Permit, it's important to first confirm your travel dates and itinerary. Then, provide clear photographs or scanned copies of the passport's main page and visa page.

Currently, foreign visitors cannot travel to Tibet independently and must sign up with a travel agency.

Obtaining the Tibet Entry Permit involves applying through a registered travel agency that specializes in Tibet tours. The agency will handle the application process on your behalf, including submitting the necessary documents to the appropriate authorities. It's important to plan ahead and apply for the permit well in advance of your travel dates to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey to Tibet.

The Tibet Entry Permit and Chinese visa are essential documents for your trip. However, if your itinerary includes visits to certain restricted areas, you will also need to apply for the Foreigner's Travel Permit and Military Area Entry Permit. Please double check your itinerary with the travel agency to ensure a smooth process.

How to Enter Tibet

Getting to Tibet can be done by train and flight.

By train: The Qinghai-Tibet Railway, one of the highest railways in the world, connects several major Chinese cities to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.

By flight: Flying to Tibet is a quicker option, especially if you're traveling from distant cities or have limited time.

It is important to remember that you must have the Tibet Entry Permit to enter the region.

Consider the potential effects of altitude sickness when traveling to Tibet and take necessary precautions. It's advisable to consult with your travel agency or medical professionals before your journey.

Six Must-Visit Tibetan Destinations

  • The Potala Palace:A universally renowned sanctuary. Please schedule your visit a week in advance.

  • Lake Namtso:Often referred to as the 'Heavenly Lake' .

  • Mount Everest:The Earth's highest peak, where breathtaking vistas and daring exploits await.

  • Yamdrok Lake:A gem nestled amidst Tibet's rugged beauty.

  • Gang Rinpoche:Revered by the Tibetan people as the heart of the world, offers a spiritual journey amidst Tibet's majestic landscapes.

  • Tashilhunpo: The biggest temple in Tibet, many successive Panchen Lama Lingta Palace.

Previous Routes (For Reference Only)

Route 1: 9 Days Adventurous Pilgrimage Route (Tibet + Nepal)

Route 2: 10 Days In-Depth Tibet Travel (Lhasa + Everest Base Camp + Lake Namtso)

Route 3: 6 Days Breath-Taking Tibet Immersive Journey (Lhasa + Shigatse + Zolmo Lungma)

Please note that this itinerary is provided for reference purposes. Feel free to get in touch with us for a personalized itinerary tailored to your preferred departure date and preferences.


Get in touch with us to explore more iconic Tibet itineraries:

  • Tailor-made routes, Private tours or Group tours - Your choice.

  • Three-star or four-star foreign-friendly hotels with private bathrooms, cleanliness, comfort, and WiFi.

  • Outstanding bilingual local Tibetan guides + Drivers with over 5 years of experience navigating the Tibetan plateau, ensuring safety.

  • Complimentary airport transfers.

  • Free Tibet Entry Permit application service.

The Potala Palace Beneath the Sky
Potala Palace

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