How to Tour Tibet
For foreigners to travel Tibet, not only you need China Visa to be applied back home by yourself but also Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit (TTP) which will be applied by us for you here in Lhasa.
There are 3 kinds of Tibet Permits: Tibet Travel Permit(TTP), Aliens' Travel Permit, & Military Permit. Tibet Travel Permit(TTP) is a must-have to any foreigners. Aliens' Travel Permit & Military Permit, may or may not needed, depends on your itinerary in Tibet.
Tibet Travel Permit(TTP)
Tibet Travel Permit(TTP), some call it Tibet Visa which is not precisely accurate but you get the point, is a travel document issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau, requested for all foreign travellers besides China Visa in order to enter Tibet. Without Tibet Travel Permit(TTP) you wont be able to board the flight or train to Lhasa even you have a valid flight or train ticket booked and paid. Tibet Travel Permit(TTP) can only be obtained via a travel agency for foreigner tourists with a prearranged tour of confirmed itinerary & travel duration. For diplomats, journalists and government officials, travel agency isn’t sufficient; you have to go through Tibet Foreign Affairs Office by yourself.
Based on your itinerary in Tibet, Tibet Travel Permit(TTP) has to be applied abt 10~30 days in advance. The more complicated of the itinerary, the longer it takes. eg. if you would only visit Lhasa, abt 10-day in advance shall do; if you were to visit Mt Everest, abt 16-day in advance; if Ngari, abt 30-day in advance.
Aliens' Travel Permit
Alien’s Travel Permit is issued by the Public Security Bureau(PSB), requested if you wanna travel other parts of Tibet besides the centre region around Lhasa, eg. Mt Everest, Tsetang, Nyingtri, etc.
Alien’s Travel Permit is to be applied after you arrived in Tibet, at Lhasa, Shigatse, or Tsetang depends on the difference of itineraries. Guide will collect your original passport and Tibet Travel Permit(TTP), and have it applied in abt an hour. Your presence is not required.
Sensitive border areas – such as Mt Kailash, the road to Kashgar and the Nyingtri region of eastern Tibet – also require a military permit. Military Permit has to be applied abt 30-day in advance.
For remote places such as Yarlung Tsangpo forges in southeastern Tibet, the roads through Lhoka south of Gyantse or for any border area, you may not be able to get Military Permit. Regions can close at short notice and often changes. Pls contact us directly for up-to-date info.
Full pages of a valid passport copy with wordings at the bottom included.
◆CHINA VISA copy
Full pages of a valid China Visa copy with wordings at the bottom included. It can be provided a bit later, since we can start the process of Tibet Permit application without China Visa first;
Except L-Visa (tourist visa), any other types of China Visas need an additional stamped paper in Mandarin from your school/company in China, in which your full name, passport No., position, company add & tel, etc. should be stated;
Pls not to mention Tibet travel while apply China Visa back home. For China Embassy requests Tibet Permits to be presented first, but here we have to have China Visa first in order to apply Tibet Permit. It’s a bureaucracy error between different government departments. For more details pls contact our experienced tour consultants;
◆LAST STOP before Tibet
This is extremely important. Generally referred as『The Entry City of Tibet』. It will be printed on your Tibet Permit making this said city the only one you can enter Tibet from, and it will be checked at the airport or railway.
There is a common mistake made over entry city which is a bit confusing. For example, if you were to fly from Beijing to Lhasa ---
Flight: Beijing-Lhasa via Chengdu, CA4112
A direct flight with stopover but only 1 flight no., then entry city shall be Beijing.
Flight: Beijing-Chongqing, MU2865
Flight: Chongqing-Lhasa, PN6391
A combined flights with 2 flight no., then entry city shall be Chongqing, even you booked the flights together.
◆NEXT STOP after Tibet
Generally referred as『The Departure City of Tibet』. Not as important and will not be checked so thorough, except you will to fly to Kathmandu, Nepal, then it has to be absolutely accurate on Tibet Permit.
It will be printed on your Tibet Permit as well. We need to know your former job if currently unemployed or retired. Journalists & government can’t travel with tour agencies, but need contact Foreign Affair for your Tibet tour. Any damage caused by false or inaccurate info tourist provided, will be at travellers’ own expense.
If you are to enter Tibet from Nepal, the formality with required documents are slightly different, pls click to check: Enter Tibet from Nepal