There are several permits required to visit Tibet. Tibet Entry Permit, issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau, is the most important one, which has to be obtained before your trip because you must have it to take your flight/train to Tibet. To get the permit, you have to book a Tibet tour with us, and send us your passport and Chinese visa about 20 days in advance, and then let us apply for the permit (all Tibet permits can only be applied by travel agency). All persons traveling to Tibet must hold a passport valid for at least six months. If you enter Tibet from China, your Chinese visa must be valid. Only travelers with a tourist visa (not a business, residence or study visa) are allowed to enter Tibet. Entering Tibet via Nepal, either through the "Kerung border" or by plane, requires a separate Tibet visa, issued by the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu (this type of visas is usually valid for 30 to 60 days and the time to obtain is usually 3-4 days). If you travel to other prefectures like Shigatse, Nyingchi, Shannan, etc, you also have to obtain an Alien Travel Permit. If you travel to Mount Everest, you have to obtain a Border Permit. (Mountain Sherpa Trekking & Expeditions, with office in Lhasa, has always kept up with the latest news on Tibet Permits. Traveling with us, all your permits are guaranteed as long as you are qualified to the requirements.)
2. When is the best time to go to Tibet?
Normally speaking, months from May to October are suggested. Mostly the warmest, greenest and most crowded time is in the summer, a time when festivals tend to be held. It’s also rainy season in Tibet, especially July and August, when rain falls mostly at night but when clouds can obscure mountain views. Autumn and spring season are colder but have clearer views and fewer crowds. Winter is definitely cold but offers excellent local atmosphere in and near Lhasa. During November to march, Namtso Lake is mostly frozen, and not suitable for travel.
3. High Altitude Sickness
The average altitude of Tibet is about 4000 meters above the sea level (Lhasa: 3700m; EBC: 5200m; Namtso: 4718m). You may suffer a bit from High Altitude Sickness in the beginning days of your Tibet trip if you haven’t had rich high plateau travel experience. But don’t worry too much, the high altitude can be acclimatized usually in 2~3 days. Our suggestion is to take a physical examination and get suggestions from your doctor, and also bring some medicines to prevent from High Altitude Sickness before your trip. While in Tibet, you should keep warm all the time, avoid strenuous activities, drink more water and eat more vegetables and carbohydrates. You’d better not take showers during the first two days after your arrival at Tibet. If you don’t feel well, get help from your tour guide or go to the hospital without any delay.
4. How to Go to Tibet
Basically you have two options – flight and train if you travel Tibet via China. Currently, you can take a flight to Lhasa from Beijing (4.5hrs), Xian(3.7hrs),Chengdu(2.5hrs),Chongqing(3hrs), Kuming(3hrs), etc. Among all these cities, Chengdu and Xian have more frequent flights to Lhasa.
You can also go to Tibet via Nepal and Kathmandu. Nepal has a direct connection flight to Lhasa from Kathmandu. If you a train travel, you can take a train to from Beijing (40.5hrs), Xian (32hrs), Chengdu (43hrs), Shanghai (47hrs), Chongqing (42hrs), Lanzhou (25hrs), Xining (22hrs), Guangzhou (54hrs).
5. Packing and Wearing Ideas
Firstly you can’t forget your passport and Chinese Visa. A large backpack and a smaller one are recommended (the smaller one can be used for daily activities). Also bring the necessary medicine you need. Other stuffs like sunglasses, snow glasses, hats, lip balm, sun block are recommended.
As for wearing, you are suggested to dress in layers (both thin and thick jackets). Down jacket is necessary in spring and autumn. A pair of durable and comfy shoes i