Most importantly, all travelers traveling in Tibet are kindly requested to bear in mind that Tibet being extremely remote isolated by the most formidable Himalayas ranges, remains still one of the most captivating but least developed parts in the world. With its very short history of tourism (just about 12 years), the facilities for tourists although being upgraded are still at basic and limited scale. So, the visitors are requested not have high expectation in terms of facilities in Tibet. You can rather take this tour as an adventure from every point of view. However, we will always put all our efforts to make your journey as pleasant as possible.
Traveling in Tibet is an adventure involving high altitude and could be strenuous. So far, most visitors have only minor effects from the altitude. However, we advise especially the guests with known heart or lungs or blood diseases to consult their doctor before traveling. Mild headache, fever, loss of appetite or stomach disorder can take place before acclimatization. Our advice: Drink 4 ltr of water minimum a day. Do not exhaust yourself of much and breathe deep and take rest more than usual. Bottled water is available in each hotel where you have overnight and in the restaurant en route where you have your lunch.
As Tibet tours get opened mainly during the monsoon time; there are high chances of landslides mostly in the Nepalese part (also in the early part in Tibet). In case of landslides, to over cross them and the gap in between, extra vehicle with porters may have to be arranged. In that case, you are kindly requested to contribute nominal charges for porters and vehicle, ranging from Rs. 200 to 300 per person. We wish there will be no hassles as such.
By Air: So far, there are two direct flights between Lhasa and Kathmandu, run by Sichuan Airline and Air China. The best thing about flying to Tibet from Nepal is the stunning bird’s-eye view of the Himalayas including Mt. Everest, the world’s highest peak.
By Road:This is the most common way to enter Tibet. Thanks to many cheap direct international flights to Kathmandu, many tourists find it convenient to fly to Kathmandu then enter Tibet via land. However, if you are already in Nepal, you can enter Tibet via Kerung, Simikot and Kodari borders.
Note that the Simikot border is used mostly by travelers wishing to tour/trek Kailash. There are plenty of cars, vans, buses that frequent the Kerung border.
Travelling to Tibet requires a Chinese visa and a Tibet Travel Permit which can both be obtained in Kathmandu with the help of a travel company (Tibet via Nepal). A valid visa for China is not the same as a Tibet Travel Permit. Those with a Chinese tourist visa will still need to apply for a Tibet travel permit. The permit is still required for foreign travelers travelling to Tibet from mainland China. To acquire the permit you need to book a guide for your entire trip and pre-arrange private transport for trips outside Lhasa. The trip outside Lhasa also requires additional permits which are arranged by the company you are travelling with.
Tibet is a remote location, and if you become seriously injured or very sick, you may need to be evacuated by air. Under these circumstances, you don’t want to be without adequate health insurance. Be sure your policy covers evacuation.
May to September is the most popular season to visit Tibet. The weather is warm with clear skies. The snow/ice starts melting from April clearing the blocked roads and making it easier for you to visit various Tibetan townships. However, since this is the peak season, the prices are at their highest. If you want to save around 20% of your money you can visit Tibet in either April or between October to November. The weather is cold but there are not a lot of tourists visiting so you get more options for hotels and vehicles.
The lowest tourist season in Tibet is winter (Dec–Feb). The weather is very cold but you have all the attractions to yourself. The hotels and transport are considerably cheaper which means you can get hotels and vehicles in half the price you would pay during the peak tourist season.
If you are entering Tibet from Kathmandu, you should get your Chinese visa from the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu (regardless of whether you already have a Chinese visa issued in your country). Please note that if you have already got a Chinese visa at your home country, it will be cancelled and fresh visa will be issued in Kathmandu. So do not apply for a Chinese visa until you reach to Kathmandu and avoid waste of money (in the case you enter Tibet from Nepal).
However if you are entering Tibet form mainland China or Honking, get your Chinese visa in advance. You are required to hold a valid Chinese visa (issued by a Chinese Embassy and stamped in your individual passport), as well as a valid passport to enter Tibet (at least six months valid). When applying for a Chinese visa at your home country, it is better not mentioning that you intend to visit Tibet.
In order to get Chinese visa in Kathmandu, please send us your clear passport copy and other details like your profession to us at least 15 days in advance. We will get Tibet Travel Permit (TTB permit or commonly called Invitation letter to travel to Tibet from the Tibet Travel Bureau - TTB). Once you arrive to Kathmandu, we apply for your Chinese visa along with your original passport and TTB permit. You will get a group visa (it will be not stamped in your individual passport but will be in a sheet of paper).
Very important: The visa days in the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu is Monday, Wednesday and Friday (and visa can be collected the same day upon payment of urgent fees – USD 85 for European passports and USD 175for US passports ). In order not to waste your time in Kathmandu, make it such that you arrive to Kathmandu either Sunday or Tuesday or Thursday so that you can get visa the next day and fly to Tibet the day after. (Except in main season, the flights to Lhasa from Kathmandu are generally operated on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings and almost always get packed).
There are two different permits required to travel to Tibet
1. The entry permit (TTB permit, equivalent of a visa for Tibet, required to enter Tibet region of China. A Chinese visa and Tibet entry permit are both required to enter Tibet). You need to show this to the authorities in airport or surface entry points.
2. The Alien travel permit (PSB permit) which is required to travel restricted areas in Tibet. In practice you need PSB permit to travel any regions outside Lhasa. Different PSB permits are required to travel to different parts of Tibet. PSB permits are issued by local police authorities called Public Security Bureau (PSB). How to get the travel permits?
You send us the following details exactly as in your passport at least 15 days before the trip date.
Please note that mentioning your true profession is important as journalists, government officials, political personnel and diplomats may require more complicated procedures in order to be issued a permit. We do not process for them nor would we be liable if travel permits are not issued at the last moment because you belong to this category of profession but do not inform us in time. Please note that neither we nor any travel agency will / can sell "permit-only" service. One must buy the tour package to obtain it.