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19 Days Ganden EBC Kailash Guge Kingdom Grand Pilgrimage
Based on 359 Reviews
This 19 days Tibet grand journey covers around 4000 km beautiful landscape. The itinerary itself sets it apart from any other regular Kailash tours. Travelers have very leisured travel pace to get to high altitude gradually. After two days in Lhasa, you will try light half day hiking near Ganden Monastery to test your body. And the ongoing trip till Mt. Everest base camp offers you overnight stop at Tsetang (the altitude here is lower than Lhasa), Gyantse, Sakya, etc and this will ensure every traveler will have a comfortable journey. Our warmhearted Tibetan guides and drivers will travel with you like a family and fellow friends. We are sure your 19 days in Tibet will be a very short time and value rewarding experiences. Contact us now for early booking offer.
Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate
Group Size Small Group
Tibet Local Guide travel service provides pure Tibetan guides and drivers for any journey of Tibet. You will have a very leisured and comfortable itinerary will ensure every travelers have the maximum time to get well acclimatized to our land’s high altitude. Once you have a happy mood, the leisured trip will be become a big adventurous journey, since almost all our travelers can feel much better after 4-6 days slow trip before going to Mt. Everest and the far western Grand Tibet.
Here below is the outline itinerary.
- Lhasa arrival [3650m].
- Lhasa sightseeing: Jokhang & Ramoche Temples, Sera Monastery.
- Lhasa sightseeing: Potala & Norbulingka Palaces.
- Ganden Monastery hike day trip [100Km, 3840m].
- Lhasa – Tsedang [180km, 3575m]: Traduk Temple, Yumbulagang Palace, Samye Monastery.
- Tsedang – Gyantse [310Km, 3980m]: Yamdrok-tso lake, Karo-la glacier, Palcho Monastery.
- Gyantse – Shigatse – Sakya [240Km, 4300m]: Tashilhumpo & Sakya Monasteries.
- Sakya – Mt. Everest North Face [235Km, 5000m].
- Rongbuk – Saga [300Km, 4490m]
- Saga – Darchen [490Km, 4670m]
- Mt. Kailash Kora [52Km, max. altitude 5630m]
- Kailash Kora
- Kailash Kora
- Darchen – Guge Kingdom [250Km, 3740m]
- Zanda – Manasarovar Lake [275Km, 4600m]
- Manasarovar lake – Saga [500 km]
- Saga– Shigatse [280Km]
- Shigatse – Lhasa [272Km, 3650m]
- Tibet departure.
- All necessary Tibet travel permits documents
- All entrace fees as described in the itinerary above
- Accommodation in shared room basis with breakfast described in the itinerary above.
- Experienced Tibetan guide in Tibet (English language).
- Transportation in Tibet (Airport / train station group pick up & drop off).
- Driver and guide’s food and accommodation.
- Vehicle fuel, tools and vehicle repairs (if necessary).
- Porters / yaks to carry baggage during Mt. Kailash Kora (horse riding available for additional cost)
- Oxygen tank & bottled mineral water available in the group vehicle.
- China VISA
- Plane or train tickets in / out of Tibet.
- Breakfast at Saga and Zanda hotels
- Meals, drinks and any other personal expenses.
- Horse for personal use during Kailash Kora (must be used by 1 people only).
- Extra expenses incurred due to unexpected natural events (delays, road washouts, snowfall…)
- Tips to guides and driver, but this totally depend on you.
Lhasa arrival (3650 m), Airport/train station pick up transfer
Upon arrival in Lhasa you will be welcomed by your English-speaking Tibetan Guide and Tibetan Driver who will bring you to your hotel. Acclimatization to high altitude: please, drink lots of water and take plenty of rest in order to minimize altitude sickness.
Overnight at Shambhala Palace or House of Shambhala Hotel, which is a Tibetan style hotel located in Lhasa city center (Barkhor)
Lhasa Highlight Sightseeing: Ramoche & Jokhang Temple-Sera Monastery
We begin visiting Ramoche Temple, built in honor of the image of Jowo Rinpoche that Chinese princess Wencheng brought by marrying Songtsen Gampo, the first king of Buddhist doctrine and who unified the Tibetan empire in the 7th century. Thereafter, we continue with Jokhang Temple, the most sacred monastery in Tibet. It was also founded in the 7th century by Songtsen Gampo. Later you can explore the surrounding Barkhor old quarter and spend time walking around Jokhang Temple following pilgrims from all over the Tibetan plateau. In the afternoon we go to Sera Monastery, one of three great universities of Gelugpa Sect. We will attend the debating session of the monks.
Overnight at Shambhala Palace or House of Shambhala Heritage Hotel
Lhasa Highlight Sightseeing- Potala Palace-Norbulingka Palace
Today we visit the beautiful Potala and Norbulingka Palaces. Potala winter palace was built in the 17th century by the fifth Dalai Lama. Provides amazing views of the entire city and houses the private quarters of the Dalai Lama, numerous grand state rooms and chapels. Norbulingka Palace is the summer palace of the Dalai Lama, built in the 18th century by the seventh Dalai Lama. It’s tradition to do picnic in its beautiful garden and perform opera dances during Shoton Festival (August-September).
Overnight at Shambhala Palace or House of Shambhala Hotel
Lhasa (drive) to Ganden Monastery & warm-up hike day trip (100Km)
In the morning we visit Ganden Monastery, 50 km from Lhasa. It is the main seat of the Gelug Sect and was founded by Tsongkhapa in 1409. It’s placed in the top of a hill in the Kyichu valley. We hike for some hours in the surroundings to improve our acclimatization to high altitude.
Overnight at Shambhala Palace or House of Shambhala Heritage Hotel
Lhasa – Samye Monastery– Tsedang (180km, 3575m)
Adventure starts: We will we drive South-East to reach the Yarlung Valley – in the heart of Tibet and the cradle of Tibetan civilization. Today we will visit the region where the ancient Tibetan kings unified Tibet in the 7th century. Our first stop along the way will be Tsedang – the fourth city in importance of Tibet – to visit the Yumbulagang Palace which dominates the valley from the top of a hill. It is considered as the first construction of Tibet and resembles a medieval fortress. Then we will go to Samye Monastery (8th century), the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet, and with its particular architecture forms a gigantic mandala following the structure of the universe according to Buddhist cosmology. If the time available allows, we will also visit the Temple of Traduk today.
Overnight at Tsedang Hotel
Tsedang –Lake Yamdrok-Karola Glacier - Gyantse (310Km, 3980m)
Early breakfast and drive West to Tsang region: First we cross Kampa-la Pass [4797m] and then Karo-la Pass [5050m], where Mt. Noijin Kangsang [7206m] glacier lies near the road. In the middle, we enjoy the unreal turquoise waters of holy lake Yamdrok-Tso. Then we stop in Gyantse town, where we visit the considered best tibetan art paintings in Kumbum Stupa inside Pelkor Chode Monastery. Also from here, we admire the majestic Gyantse Dzong (fortress) overlooking the valley.
Overnight at Yeti Hotel or similar
Gyantse – Shigatse –Tashilhunpo Monastery- Sakya (240Km, 4300m)
In the morning we drive North-West to reach second largest city in Tibet. We visit Tashilhunpo Monastery, built in the 15th century by the first Dalai Lama. Nowadays seat of the Panchen Lama, the second highest figure in the Tibetan Buddhist hierarchy. We recommend to do Kora around Tashilhunpo Monastery. We have incredible panorama view of the valley and impressive Dzong (fortress). Also, you can walk around local market. Back to the Friendship Highway, we continue to Sakya Monastery; the principal seat of Sakyapa Sect founded in 1073 and one of four major Schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Its powerful abbots governed Tibet during the whole of the 13th century until they were eclipsed by the rise of the Gelukpa Sect. Its Mongolian architecture is different from that of temples we seen before.
Overnight at Yuan Mansion Hotel
Sakya – Shegar Town - Rongphu Monastery Mt. Everest North Face (235Km, 5000m)
Exciting day today: we reach one of the major highlights of our trip, near Mt. Everest North Base Camp [5200m]. The journey involves crossing the high pass of Gyatso La [5220m] and the opportunitty to view Mt. Everest and the Himalayas for the first time. From New Tingri we continue driving towards Rongbuk Monastery, located at the foot of the Everest and the highest monastery in the world. During the journey we enjoy amazing views of several peaks like Makalu, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, and Mount Everest from the top of the Pang-la pass [5150m]. Overnight at tourist camp site located in Rongbuk; a few Kilometer from the real EBC and from where we have direct views of Mt. Everest (Qomolangma). Since 2018 tourist are not allowed to visit EBC used by climbing expeditions.
Overnight at guesthouse tent (dorm bed without bathroom). Sleeping bag is recommended.
Rongbuk – Peikutso Lake - Saga Scenic Drive (300Km, 4490m)
If you would like start early your day, enjoy sunrise with Everest peak views in the horizon [8848m]. After breakfast we visit Rongbuk Monastery where we will take last look at Mt. Everest North Face and then we drive North West crossing high passes with enchanting views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks like Cho Oyu and Shishapangma and wild Peikutso lake.
Overnight at MuLinSen hotel or similar
Saga – Zhongba - Payang - Darchen Overland adventure (490Km, 4670m)
Today early morning we enter in the semi-nomadic regions of Tibet’s far west. We will enjoy the authentic Tibetan landscapes during this long drive journey through the biggest and highest plateau in the world. We follow Yarlung Tsampo river West (also called Brahmaputra in India) until the little city of Darchen, at the foot Mount Kailash, where we will get ready for the trek.
Overnight at Himalaya Kailash Hotel
Mt. Kailash Trek Day 1: Darchen – Dira-Puk Monastery (5050m) 20 km, 5-6 hours
We begin the Mt. Kailash Pilgrimage in the clockwise direction. 4km into the path, we reach the height of 4790m and the first prostration point that marks the first views of Mt. Kailash’s southern façade. The next important landmark is Tarboche flagpole (4750m), where the main rituals of Saga Dawa Full Moon Festival takes place here every year. You can pay visit to the nearby Chorten Kangnyi and Sky-Burial Site Of The 84 Mahasiddhas. Coming up next is Chuku Monastery (4820m), where you can find a revered marble statue inside. After some break time when you can take in more views, we will head towards the second prostration point, where you see prayers flags and views of the west side of Mt Kailash. The second Buddha footprint is a short distance ahead. There are several trails to reach our final destination of the day: Dira-Puk Monastery (5080m). It faces the north side of Mt. Kailash, and also provides viewpoints for peaks in other direction. Overnight stay at guesthouse (dorm bed without bathroom) near Dira-Puk Monastery. Overnight at guesthouse dorm bed without bathroom during trekking (2 nights). Sleeping bag is recommended.
Mt. Kailash Trek Day 2: Dira-Puk Monastery – Zuthul-Puk Monastery (4790m) 18 km, 6-8 hours
We continue on the main Kora path towards the east. We pass through Kangkyam Glacier and Jarok Donkhang (5210m) meadowland. A short distance above is Shivatsal (5330m). Pilgrims go through a symbolic death here and are reborn at Drolma-la (5630m), which is half an hour away. After some rest and refreshments, we soon arrive at lake Gauri Kund. We gradually descent to the grand valley of Lha-chu, and begin a long journey in the grassland. The day concludes at Zuthul-Puk Monastery. Overnight stay at guesthouse (dorm bed without bathroom) near Zuthul-Puk Monastery. Overnight at guesthouse dorm bed without bathroom during trekking (2 nights). Sleeping bag is recommended.
Mt. Kailash Trek Day 3: Zuthul-Puk Monastery- Darchen (4670 m) 14 km, 3-4 hours
We follow the river and then climbs the Gold & Red Cliffs. Pilgrims search for holy stones on these cliff walls. We will see prayer flags across the river, and Lake Rakshas Tal in the far distance. After reaching the fourth prostration point, the final walk back to Darchen is quite easy. Overnight stay in Darchen. Overnight at Himalaya Kailash Hotel
Drive from Darchen hotel – Guge Kingdom Photography Journey (250Km, 3740m)
We have a long day drive along rough road where we will enjoy beautiful views of the unique landscapes until we finally reach the oasis town of Zanda. We explore Tholing monastery and Tsaparang citadelle. Tholing, which was once the most important monastic complex in western Tibet, is a awesome sight. Below stands the first capital of Guge whilst the skyline comprises a vast sweep of the Ladakh Himalaya. Guge’s later capital at Tsaparang is of even greater significance in the history of Buddhist art, its fantastic wall murals displaying evidence of close links with Ladakh and Kashmir. We will rediscover the cave dwellings, secret twisting paths tunnels linking the palaces.
Overnight at Gu Ge Hotel or similar.
Tholing Monastery– Lake Manasarovar (Mapam Yumtso lake 275Km, 4600m)
Today we begin the end of your Tibetan journey through the most sacred Buddhist monasteries and greatest mountains on earth. After breakfast we drive back until lake Manasarovar (Mapam Yumtso in tibetan language), one of the three most sacred lakes in Tibet. Hindus believe that whoever bathes in it will clean all their sins and provide good karma. Before, we make a short detour to Tirthapuri, place where pilgrims traditionally come to bathe in their hot springs after completing the kora of Mt. Kailash.
Overnight at guesthouse (dorm bed without bathroom). Sleeping bag is recommended.
Lake Manasarovar-Saga County Overland Driving (about 460 km)
In the morning we enjoy sunrise at the beautiful holy waters of Lake Manasarovar. You may carry some of the holy lake’s water, and then we will head backward to Saga, around 460 km. We will arrive around 4-5 pm, depends on how much time we spend o the way.Overnight at MuLinSen hotel or similar.
Saga County - Shigatse City Overland Journey (around 480 km, 3900m)
Return to Shigatse from Saga. Overnight at Gesar Hotel 4 star newly built building.
Shigatse (3900 m) – Lhasa (272Km, 3650m, about 4-5 hours safe journey back)
Our last day of our tibetan traverse goes along the Yarlung Tsampo (Brahmaputra) River. This is the most direct route to Lhasa and part of the Friendship Highway. Free time in Lhasa.
Overnight at Shambhala Palace or House of Shambhala Heritage Hotel.
Tibet Final departure (Guide / driver will send you to airport or station for final departure)
Enjoy your last hours in Tibet exploring Lhasa by your own until your guide and driver meet you at the hotel to transfer you to the airport. End of our services.
Monks debate is characteristic of Sera Monastery
When you book a Kailash tour, to book with Lhasa local Tibet travel agency is necessary.
Plan an unbeatable tour to Tibet? Contact with Tibet local guide now by firstname.lastname@example.org
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Accommodation in Tibet
Tibet, as a slowly developing tourism region in far west China, is an under developed economy zone. The tourism infrastructure standard in Tibet is very basic. Even though there are more and more higher category international standard hotels coming up, with St. Regis or Shangri-La or Intercontinental Hotel as example, while, the most accommodation in Tibet is still poor. The facilities, conditions and services of hotels in Lhasa and other places in Tibet are not as good as you would expect from a hotel with this rating in other cities of China. However, comparatively, we well select some accommodations in different areas of Tibet which are better than the most with the same level.
Comparatively speaking, when you travel in Lhasa, Shigatse and Nyingchi you can expect more hotel options with more comfort. But when you go to other parts of Tibet, you will have less options and poor hotel condition. For example, when you stay in Saga county, the township of Sang Sang, Zhongba or Payang, and even at the famous destination of Mt. Everest base camp, the holy Lake Manasarovar, the guesthouses sometimes are not clean, and quite possibly there is no power for few hours a day, and there is not always with running water available, the toilet facility may not function well. Because of the water and power issue, many of these accommodations do not provide breakfasts at all.
Here is a lit of our hotel options for this grand journey
- House of Shambhala/Shambhala Palace
- Lhasa Thangka hotel
- Shambala Hotel or similar
Tsetang: Tsetang Hotel
Gyantse: Yeti Hotel
- Gesar Hotel
- Tashichota Hotel
- Yuan Fu Hotel
Rongphu/Everest base camp:
- Rongphu guesthouse
- Everest base camp
- The grand Hotel of western post
- MuLinSen Hotel
- Himalaya Kailash Hotel
- Gu Ge Hotel or similar
- Dorm bed for other areas in guesthouse
Please be advised that, since group tour schedule and itinerary is very much fixed, travelers do not have personal choice because if you stay far out of town or from our departure location, it may be very inconvenient to meet you on time at the specific location and this may infect other group members.
However, when you have more than 4 people upon booking, you can customize your trip to a private trip and we can offer you much more hotel options with our best local prices.
House of Shambhala
How can I get my Tibet Travel Permit?
It is critical to book your Tibet tour with a local travel agency like “Tibet local Guide travel service” for smooth travel permit application. Photo copy of your passport and the China visa copies are required for applying Tibet permits.
Please note that you will have to show the original permit in hand while asking for boarding pass and security checking in for flight to Lhasa or Copy of it while boarding the Train to Lhasa. However, Chongqing, Xi’an and Lanzhou railway station may also check original permits.
We will send it to your hotel in your flight departure city in China. While in urgent cases, we can send our permits delivery person to drop it to you at any China domestic airport if you just have few hours transit flight stop.
We do not send your Tibet permits to your home country, because permits come out regularly only 1 week to 2 weeks prior to your arrival date, and Tibet post companies have no efficiencies for handling international package delivery, so it is not trustworthy and not reliable to send your permits to your home county.
For more details of Tibet travel permits, you can email to email@example.com for instant Tibet local policy update.
What are the differences between travelling to Tibet from Nepal and entering Tibet from other Parts of China?
Foreign travelers have only two possible ways of getting to Tibet, one is from Nepal to Tibet by air or overland, while the other is from mainland city in China by train, air or car. Here below are the major differences.
- If you travel to Tibet from other provinces of China, you will need a valid China visa which allows you to travel, work or study in China, with this visa you can come to Tibet (but journalist, diplomats, public government service people, military persons and reporters, etc. must travel via Chinese government specified authorities, in most cases, these people are not allowed in), any Tibet travel agencies here in Tibet do not organize tours for those people whose jobs are listed as above. And the regular China visa categories are “L” tour visa, “Z” or “M” “Q” visa etc.
- Foreign travelers from a few countries such as Singapore and Japan may not need a China visa for specific period of time, in this case, these travelers can get Tibet entry permits without China visa. But please be noted that, you need to double check with your local china consulate to assure how long you can travel in China without a visa.
- Once you can travel in China legally, you can also get Tibet entry permits from local Tibet travel agency like us easily.
- To apply travel permits for foreign travelers entering Tibet from a city in China, none-restricted occupation travelers need to provide valid passport, valid China visa at least 2-3 weeks prior to arrival date to Tibet, and different travel destination in Tibet may require you to provide these documents even 30-40 days prior to arrival date because of many more complicated permits application process. These destinations are Kailash, North-loop-the Grand of Tibet, east Tibet bordering Kham (Sichuan province).
- Foreign travelers entering Tibet from mainland China can choose flight, train or overland driving. All the trains to Tibet will go through Xi’ning, Qinghai province, while the popular driving route is from Chengdu and Shangri-La or Kashgar or Xi’ning. The most picturesque driving adventure is between Tibet and Sichuan or Yunnan.
- If you enter Tibet from Nepal, you can go only by air from Kathmandu to Lhasa or by overland driving via Gyirong port or Purang (Taklakot) border, these are the only open borders between Nepal and Tibet. Currently the Indian-Tibet Sino border is not open for public.
- All foreign travelers from Nepal to Tibet must have 3 working days in Kathmandu to wait for the “Tibet Group Visa” prior to departure date for Tibet. This A4 size Tibet group visa (actually it is a china visa) document paper can only be issued through a registered travel agency in Kathmandu, but the important point is: any registered travel agency in Nepal has to obtain an official visa invitation letter photo copy issued from Tibet tourism Bureau here in Lhasa. To get this visa letter, a local Tibet travel agency like us can apply together with the Tibet permits around 2-5 weeks before visitor’s arrival in Tibet. So, travelers only need to bear in mind that, they do not apply any visa or permits by themselves, they just need to provide passport photo copies to Tibet based agency like us and we will handle all the rest.
- There is no train between Nepal and Tibet however. Kathmandu-Lhasa airfare is more expensive than via Chengdu, Chongqing, or Xi’an city in most cases.
- The overland driving between Kathmandu to Tibet border Gyirong is time consuming. The overall short distance may take around 10-15 hours especially in rainy seasons of July and August.
- No matter you enter Tibet from Nepal or mainland China, valid China visa (or Tibet group visa from Nepal) and Tibet permits are mandatory. And different permits are for different travel itineraries and specified schedule.
- When you fly from a city in China to Lhasa, original permits will be needed, however, if you fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa, you only need Tibet group visa for flight checking in(our Tibetan tour guide will take original permits to pick you up)
What documents do I have to send to you to secure all necessary Tibet Travel permits?
A short document list as below:
- Photocopies of valid passports data page for all travelers.
- Photocopies of valid China visa.
- Working certificate or student Id card copies if you do not hold “L” China visa but Z or F type of China visa.
- Marriage certificate or relatives’ statement with signature if you hold Q category China visa.
While booking your Tibet tour, we would like you to send us the copy of your Passport and China Visa for every member of the group. The copy of passport should be the same one you will be using to get your Chinese visa. If you renew your passports, but the China via is on the expired passport, please provide both passports photo copies.
If your visa is not the “L” category, i.e., tour category china visa, you will need to provide us the additional supporting document such as student certificates, resident and Work Permit and so on.
Please provide passport copies at least 2-4 weeks before arrival date. For Tibet tour without Kailash, eastern Tibet, North-loop Grand Tibet, we can accept urgent tour booking 2 weeks before your arrival date, but if your trip covers the places mentioned here, you’d better send us your passport photo copies 4 weeks to 5 weeks in advance at least, most of our Kailash travelers provide us passport copies half year in advance. And they can provide China visa copies 1 month in advance.
If you travel to Tibet from Nepal, we will only need your valid passport copies. Yet, we will have to apply for the Chinese Group Visa from the Chinese Embassy in Nepal.
Can I apply for Tibet Travel permit or Tibet group visa by ourselves?Definitely No, you cannot apply for Tibet travel permit or Tibet group visa directly. Tibet Travel Permit is only issued by Tibet Tourism Administration in Lhasa, together with other Chinese authorities such as military office, and foreign affairs office, national security office, public security bureau, etc. Therefore, an only local registered travel agency based in Lhasa can help you apply for it. Hence it is impossible for you to apply permits by yourself, and you will have to book your Tibet tour directly or indirectly with a local travel agency in Lhasa.
What is the Tibet travel documents list so I can check before coming?
During your traveling in Tibet, the three main primary documents are passports, China visa (or Tibet group visa) and Tibet entry permits. Different tour destination will need further document such as military permits, foreign affairs border passing permit, alien’s travel permits,
- Valid Passports.
- Valid China visa (for entering from China);
- Tibet group visa (for entering from Nepal);
- Tibet entry travel permits for all Tibet tours;
- Alien’s travel permits for trip covering Everest. Tsetang (Samye monastery), Kailash and north-loop Grand Tibet, eastern Tibet such as Draksumtso lake;
- Foreign affairs permit (policy keeps changing on this section)
- Border defense passing allowance permit (trip between Nepal and Tibet)
- Military permits.
Can a foreigner travel Tibet without travel permit?
Definitely No. it is not possible to travel to and in Tibet without a Tibet travel permit. No international travelers can visit in Tibet autonomous region of China without Tibet travel permit. It is mandatory for all the foreign nationals to get this permit prior to your arrival in Tibet. Only a local Tibet travel agency here in Tibet can help you make this document in Lhasa.
At all the entry and exit point to Tibet, the authority people will check the permit, passport, and Visa.
Can I have a few days as my own free time in Lhasa without hiring a guide?
Definitely Yes. it is possible but your activity is very limited. You can have some days free time in Lhasa to walk around, and do your shopping, try some local food, drink tea, coffee, and spend your leisure time, etc., BUT never enter a tourist attraction if without a tour guide. Furthermore, you cannot leave Lhasa for any other places in Tibet individually, especially when there is no tour guide and a licensed tour vehicle. You cannot extend further since there are many permits and identity checking points for exiting Lhasa.
How can I apply for a Chinese visa from my home country?
You can apply it through the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in your country. Tibet local guide travel service team strongly recommend applying it without mentioning about your travel plan to Tibet. Your application might get rejected as Tibet is a sensitive region of China. We helped many foreign travelers providing China tour itinerary references together with their own flights booking references, hotel booking references, etc., they can normally get China visa without any hassles.
If you do mention your trip covers Tibet, we will have to apply and send the Chinese Visa Invitation from Tibet Tourism Bureau office here in Lhasa. For this, you will need to go to the Chinese Embassy, not the consulate to apply China visa. The Visa invitation will only address to Embassy, not to the consulate. So, we suggest you try to avoid complicated and time-consuming process but choose the simplified and workable process. However, China visa application is beyond our Tibet travel agency, and policy keeps changing due to many factors such as political climate, international relationship, etc., please consult with your local visa agent for more information.
For your reference, the Visa invitation letter can be only applied after Tibet permits application approval. Therefore, you will have to book the tour with us and send us the Passport copies to start making the permit at least 2-3 months beforehand. Please remember, we can never complete the Permit process without the copy of your China visa. So, you will have to email your passport copies to us as soon as you get it.
For what kind of Tibet tour do I need additional permits?
Technically Tibet entry permit is enough to go if you are only visiting the Lhasa Prefecture. If you are visiting other prefectures in Tibet, you will need the additional permit depending on the region you will be visiting.
The military permit is required if you are traveling to Mount Kailash, traveling overland from and to Xinjiang and traveling overland to and from Yunnan and Sichuan.
Alien’s Travel Permit (ATP) is needed if you are visiting from Lhasa to other prefectures in Tibet. Therefore, Mount Kailash in Ngari prefecture, Mount Everest in Shigatse prefecture, Samye Monastery in Lhoka prefecture and Nyingchi prefecture.
Additionally, there is another permit called Borders Permit. You will require it if you are traveling to any border region and arriving from Nepal to Tibet by flight.
But you will not need to worry about it all. Experienced Tibet travel agency in Lhasa will know which permits are required as per the tour itinerary.
How long does it take to apply our Tibet travel permit?
The duration of the Tibet travel permit application process varies from 2 weeks to 4 weeks prior to your arrival date. The authorities do not accept very early permits application submission. Sometimes those people in authority slow down the process without prior notice and all agents have to wait. As professional and experienced Tibet local travel agency and tour operator, “Tibet Local Guide travel service” team always suggest foreign travelers book Lhasa tour at least 3 weeks before arrival date, and book Kailash tours or other restricted regional tours at least 4-6 weeks prior to arrival date. To submit permits application for any Tibet tours around 4 weeks in advance can ensure on time application. If you have urgent booking, please talk with our consultants and see if it is doable or not, and urgent handling cost may occur. Every year, we did help some travelers for last minute Tibet tour booking.
Do I need multiple entry China visa to continue with china tour after Tibet?
Definitely No, Tibet is a part of China, called TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region of China) , single entry China visa or the Tibet group visa can allow your China tour after Tibet. BUT, please remember that, if you hold Tibet group visa (entering Tibet from Nepal) but want to travel to China after Tibet, you will need to hold individual pieces of the group visa to travel individually in China by yourself; while if you travel with the name listed group members together, all people can hold one “Group visa paper documents) since all are travelling together. Otherwise you will get issues when checking in hotel in China. Since 2019, most hotels in China need passengers to have face scanning and ID and or passports registry to check in a hotel room. Most travel agencies in Tibet do not know this, especially many agencies out of Tibet do not have this kind of experiences.
Do you provide Tibet Permit only service?
No, we don’t sell Tibet Permit service only since it is illegal. No agent is allowed to sell the Tibet Travel Permit. Even though on the permits itself, it says free and no commission fee, the permits application process and responsibility of managing foreign traveler’s travel in Tibet is strictly regulated. Tibet permits application is locally and lawful per the China local rules in Tibet for foreign travelers to ensure Tibet long run development, we have to obey the local rules and respect local policy regulations. So do not just book a permit only service, as local experienced Tibet travel agency, we can organize your trip with your maximum free time in Lhasa, meanwhile, not requesting you to hire a guide all the time. This is good for LHASA tours, if your trip covers places out of Lhasa, you will need to book tour including guide, driver and car at least.
Furthermore, we are only allowed to apply the permit when we provide Tibet tour service, which includes professional tour guide, tourist licensed vehicle with a driver and/or hotel accommodation.
All Tibet travel permits application is submitted by local registered travel agencies here in Lhasa, Tibet. No matter the agency is Han Chinese registered or Tibetan registered, if there is legal tourism license, permits can be applied. However, an agency like “Tibet Local Guide Travel Service” official name is Tibet Norpel Lin Travel service has many years experiences with focus on serving only foreign travelers, we can provide hassles free permits and quality Tibet tour services. It is one-stop shop Tibet tour solution with better local prices.
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