How to Travel in Tibet

Tibet is such a spectacular place that there are too many things for you to explore. For those who are wondering how to travel Tibet, here we provide detailed information for the visitors to optimize your time in Tibet, including the practical information and some travel tips. It is very important to find out how to travel in Tibet, especially when you are a foreigner, because foreign tourists have some special restrictions in Tibet tour. 

1. Travel Documents

Chinese VISA – Entering Tibet, you need a valid Chinese VISA and you can apply it through your Chinese embassy in your home country.

Tibet Travel PermitIt is issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau and must be applied to through a Tibetan travel agency.

Military Permit – If you are planning to travel to some military sensitive areas of Tibet like Ngari, Nyingchi, and Nagqu, a Military Permit is required.

If your goal is Mt. Everest, the additional permits are also required.

Frontier Pass – It is required for visiting Mt. Everest, Mt. Everest Base Camp, Mt. Kailash, and if you are entering Tibet through the Zhangmu border.

Alien Travel Permit – The Aliens’ Travel Permit, issued by the Public Security Bureau, is a necessary for your travel to Mount Everest which can be applied at the Foreign Affairs Office in either Lhasa or Shigatse.

Mountaineering License – If you’re planning to climb Mount Everest, a Mountaineering License issued by Tibet Mountaineering Association (TMA) is needed.

2. Best Time to Visit Tibet

The high season to visit Tibet is from May to October. Usually Tibet travel will be closed from February and March for the Tibet New Year. It is not open year round and the chances to visit Tibet are limited. It is not uncommon for Tibet to arbitrarily close its doors to foreign tourists without warning.

3. Travel Tibet Independantly

Since 2008, Tibet has become a tourist destination that cannot be traveled to independently. Now, all travelers to Tibet must book their tours through a registered Tibetan travel agency. You cannot book a ticket to Lhasa and go it on your own. Travel to Tibet is highly regulated and it is actually illegal for foreigners to use public transportation outside of Lhasa. So you must tour Tibet accompanied by a tour guide. 

4. Keep Healthy

Make sure you are in great health prior to your travels, or you may get altitude sickness. Those who get a cold are advised not to enter Tibet at all. High altitude sickness is the biggest risk for travelers to Tibet. Besides altitude sickness, strong radiation and dry air are also big risk to travelers’ health. So drink enough water, eat more fruit and vegetables to replenish the water that the body loses. In addition, skin care becomes very important and necessary for you. The most popular skin care products in Tibet are fresh cream, yogurt, herbal juice, flower juice, honey, etc. More about Keep Healthy in Tibet

5. Safety in Tibet

When you travel in Tibet, you never travel alone, even if you travel solo. All foreign visitors to Tibet must have a guide, driver and private vehicle and book a trip through a registered travel agency. Tibetans are devout Buddhists, and crime in general is rare, especially outside the cities. Overall Tibet is a safe place where you will meet friendly, honest and trustworthy people. Tibet suffered some political turmoil in the past, however, political strife and problems are generally rare. If you follow the rules. When you take pictures, ask your tour guide about what can be shot and what cannot. The place you should be careful about is the religious place, where it is not allowed to take pictures, because it does not respect their deities. 

6. Best Places to Travel in Tibet

The Roof of the World is often thought of as a mysterious and inaccessible destination. It attracts millions of travelers each year to admire its world-topping natural beauty and old religious culture. Below are the top attractions of Tibet tour.

The Potala Palace — Palace of Art

Jokhang Temple — The Spiritual Center of Tibet

Namtso Lake — Heavenly Lake

Yamdrok Lake — Sacred Lake

Mt. Everest Base Camp — Get Close to the Top of the World

Mt Kailash — Breathtaking Remote Pilgrimage Site

Tashilhunpo Monastery — The Largest Monastery in Tibet