Located in the west of China, Tibet Autonomous Region is a hot tourist destination for travelers in the world. Because of the sensitive political reasons, there are lots of restrictions for foreigners to travel to Tibet. Not like other areas in China, foreigners are required to have some certain permits like Tibet Travel Permit. If you want to get to some remote places outside Lhasa, you should also have the permits like Aliens’ Travel Permit and Military Permit. Here I’d like to share some useful information about permits in Tibet.
Any foreigners without Chinese passports must have Tibet Travel Permit which issued by the Tibetan Tourism Bureau. If you come from Hong Kong and Macau, you just need to hold the Chinese SAR passports and Home Return Permits. At present, based on the rules of the Chinese government, tourists from Taiwan cannot travel to Tibet. Unlike China visa, you cannot apply for Tibet Travel Permit by yourself. This permit is only can be arranged by a local travel agency. Thus, before setting foot in the Roof of the World, you should book a local travel agency which can handle your permits in Tibet, such as the Great Tibet Tour. Besides that, international visitors are not allowed to travel to Tibet alone. So they must join a group tour organized by Tibetan owned tour operators. And the private tour guide and private vehicles are also needed when you are in Tibet.
Before you authorize your tour agency to apply for your Tibet Travel Permit, you should send your personal information to the tour operator. The process of the Tibet Travel Permit is complex and always takes more than tens days. Don’t worry, everything will be arranged well by your travel agency. You just need to give them your personal information such as Chinese Visa and passport copies in advance. Then, your agency will help you apply for it. After the issuance of this permit, they will send it to your hotel as soon as possible. If you are working in China or study in China, you should be proved by your company or school. Journalists, government officers, and professional film/photography team, etc. won’t be able to travel Tibet through a travel agency.
Tibet Travel Permit plays an important role for foreigners. Without this permit, you aren’t able to board the train or flight heading to Tibet, check in the hotel, enter attractions in Tibet, etc.
Besides of the Tibet Travel Permit, you should apply for some other permits like Aliens’ Travel Permit and Military Permit when you going to remote Tibetan places.
Aliens’ Travel Permit is needed in some remote areas such as Samye Monastery, Tomb of Tibetan King, Trundruk Monastery, Yumbulakhang, Sakya Monastery, Mt. Everest, Rongbuk Monastery, Pelkor Chode Monastery, Kubum Stupa, Mt. Kailash, Lake Manasarovar, Tsaparang, Years, Basum-tso, Pomi, Rawo-tso, Chamdo, Riwoche, Tengchen, etc. Military Permit is needed in some remote areas such as Mt.Kailash, Manasarovar in Ngari, Nyingchi, Nagqu, etc. When applying for the two permits, Tibet Travel Permit and your personal information are needed.