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21 Days Tibet Ngari Loop with Mt Kailash Kora Tour
Based on 359 Reviews
This is really BIG trip! It is for photographers and adventurers! We will take you to wild and touch the untouched scenery. You can not imagine how many natural wonders Tibet may offer, well this trip absolutely suits to those people who are looking for different experiences. Based in Lhasa, Tibet local guide travel service team will customize this BIG journey even further. However this Tibet photographic adventure tour is only suitable for a group of fellow friends with the very similar interests and enough time and not too tight budget. Contact us now for big discount though, up to 10% discount is upon customization inquiry.
Vacation Style Holiday TypeDiscovery, Guided Tours, Trekking
Activity Level Tough
Group Size Medium Group
This Ngari Loop tour goes through the remote west Tibet passing huge salt lakes and valleys of nomadic herders, as well as marmots, blue sheep, wild asses and antelope. And you will challenge the 3 days spiritual trekking around the holiest mountain in the world, the majestic Mt. Kailash.
All necessary Tibet Travel Permits documents;
All entrance ticket fees for all tourist sites listed in the itinerary;
Meals as specified in the itinerary;
Local tour Transfers, 8-24 seats comfortable Tourist Vehicle according to Group Size.;
Knowledgeable English-speaking Tibetan local tour guide shared in your group;
Comfortable Hotel Accommodations;
Service Charge & Government Taxes;
The above tour price does not include single room supplement. If you are a solo traveler, you need to share one room with another tourist (same sex in most cases); if you prefer to stay in one room by yourself, you will have to pay the single room supplement. And the exact price depends on market fluctuation in high and off season of Tibet tour. For the exact price, please refer to your travel consultant.
Arrangements include planning, handling, operational and communication charges.
Welcome Dinner in local restaurant when group members meet in Lhasa
Free Airport shuttle transfer between Lhasa Gongar airport and Hotel on designated time.
Group tours only include a welcome dinner after your arrival in Tibet.
Tibet Handy Map
Drinking water Provided during the trip;
Tourist accident/casualty insurance.
International flight to and out of China;
Domestic flight/train to and out of Lhasa. (We can provide you the domestic flight/train ticket booking service at the BEST discount price, please contact us our travel experts for the details.)
Lunches and dinners are not included, please pay on site by yourself.; usually it costs about USD3-15 per person for one meal in TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region).
Tips and gratitude to the guide and driver. If you are satisfied with their service, you may consider tipping them at an amount you find it suitable.
Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks (please do the best to avoid the alcoholic beverages during your Tibet trip), optional tour activities, etc.
Arrive in Lhasa (3680m), airport/train station pick up transfer, rest for altitude acclimatization
This is the first day that you enter Tibet. Your guide will greet you at the airport or railway station and transfer you to the lovely hotel. It usually takes around 1.5 hours to drive from Lhasa Airport to downtown Lhasa and takes about 20mins from Lhasa Railway Station. Tourists could have a look at Yarlung Tsangpo River, the largest and longest river in Tibet on their way to the hotel. After check-in, you can have a good rest first. And if you feel like to go out, you can wander around the city. But just remember that don’t take too much stuff, try to go with a light pack. Meanwhile, drink some more water. It’s really useful to get acclimatized to the high altitude.
Stay overnight in Lhasa
Lhasa City Highlight Attractions: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Streets
In the morning our guide will meet you at the hotel and first take you to visit the famous Potala Palace, the cardinal landmark of Tibet and the masterpiece of Tibetan architecture, it was first built by 33rd King Songtsen Gangpo in the 7th century and rebuilt later in the 17th century by 5th Dalai Lama, now it is a museum and world heritage site.
In the afternoon, we will go to visit Jokhang Temple in the center of the old Lhasa city. Jokhang Temple is one of the most sacred temples in all over Tibet and it is always bustling with earnest local pilgrims since from early days. After that you will take a walk around the Barkhor street which is the one of the most devotional circuit as well as a crowded central market of Lhasa, Barkhor Street is located in the old area of Lhasa City Tibet, it is a very ancient round street surrounding the Jokhang Temple and the locals are always proud of it. As a symbol of Lhasa, it is also a must-see place for visitors.
Lhasa City Highlight Attractions: Norbulingka, Drepung Monastery
In the morning, we will go to visit Norbulingka. Norbulingka park is considered the premier park of all such horticultural parks in similar ethnic settings in Tibet. During the summer and autumn months, the parks in Tibet including the Norbulingka, become hubs of entertainment with dancing, singing, music and festivities. The park is where the annual Sho Dun or ’Yoghurt Festival’ is held.
In the afternoon, you are heading to Drepung monastery, which means Monastery of Collecting Rice in the Tibetan language. It’s a white magnificent construction that looks also like a pile of rice in the distance. Drepung monastery is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery, where lived more than 10 thousand monks before Tibet liberation.
Lhasa - Yamdrok Lake-Karola Glacier -Pelkor Monastery -Gyantse - Shigatse
From Lhasa to Gyantse is about 264km, en route you will pass by Khamba-la Pass (4794m), and with the huge massif of Mt Nojin Kangtsang (7191m) at far distance in view. Then head to Shigatse via the fertile Nyangchu Valley, a wide agricultural plain where colorfully decorated yaks and horses are used by Tibetan farmers to till the land.
Shigatse - Tingri - Rongphu Monastery - Everest Base Camp
Tibet has a serious rule about speed-limit. Though from Shigatse to Everest region is only abt 350km or so, the no-more-than-40km/hr regulation, and the many road checks dotted on the way, really slow us down. So be prepared to spend around 10~12h on the road including meal time. The upside is the view along the way is superb. Get your camera ready. Also, prepare some snacks with you to bring along.
If it’s summer time (usually May~Oct), we will stay overnight at Everest Tent Camp; if winter time (usually Nov~Apr), we will stay at Rongbuk Monastery’s guesthouse. Both places have but dorm bed lodging available. Both places you can see the glorious Everest sunset if the weather is good.
Sunrise Of Everest Peak-Everest Base Camp - Saga(about 460K)
From EBC to Saga is about 460km, a hard-drive of about 10~12hr. The sprawling truck-up town of Saga is the last of any size on your tour to Mt Kailash, cherish it – have a lavish meal and take a long hot shower, of which you have to do without for the following days.
Saga - Zhongba - Sand Dunes - Hor Qu - Lake Manasarovar
Saga to Zhongba, 145km, there are several ruined monasteries along this stretch.
Zhongba to Paryang, 101km, a photogenic section of sand dunes, lake and mountains kicks in 60km from Zhongba. About 23km before Paryang you crest a 4780m pass and drop past more spectacular dunes to Paryang. Photos taken along this route can often get stepped, streams, desert dunes and snow-capped mountains in the same shot.
Paryang to Hor Qu, 223km, this route is a pleasant 4h-drive along the spin of the Himalaya, passing through yellow steppe, with craggy, snow capped peaks looming to the south when the weather is clear. There is a tricky section of sandy road 12km west of Paryang but all the major river crossings now have bridges.
At the Mayum-la(5220m), the road crosses from the drainage basin of Yarlung Tsangpo to that of the Sutlej, as you cross from Shigatse to Ngari prefectures. Your first magic views of Mt Kailash come into view approximately 90km after Mayum-la, just before the town of Hor Qu(4620m).
From Hor Qu, it’s 22km to the crossroads settlement and checkpoint of Barkha. Manasarovar comes right after.
Blue Hole Lake Manasarovar - Darchen - Foothills Of Mt. Kailash
After sightseeing the sapphire-blue holy Lake Manasarovar, head to Darchen, nested in the foothills of Mt Kailash.
Mt Kailash Kora①: Western Edge Of Darchen - Chuku Monastery -Dirapuk Monastery
The kora path begins on the western edge of Darchen. Quickly leaving all traces of the village behind, you head westward across the Batkha plain, a sandy expanse speckled with greenery like a massive camouflage jacket. To the north, the east-west ridge blocks your view of Mt Kailash, but to the southeast are clear views of huge Gurla Mandata(7728m). Api and other peaks in Nepal are visible to the south, while look to the southwest for the twin, sharp humps of Kamet(7756m) in India.
Only 4km from Darchen the trail climbs up over the southwest end of the ridge to reach a cairn at 4790m. the cairn is bedecked with prayer flags and marks the first views of Mt Kailash’s southern face, the first of the kora’s four prostration points.
Very quickly the trail bends around to the north and enters the barren Lha-chu Valley. The valley is so open at this point you can see ahead to the tall Tarboche flagpole(4750) in the distance, one of the most significant sites for Saga Dawa Festival.
Just west of Tarboche is the ‘two-legged’ Chorten Kangnyi. It’s an auspicious act for pilgrims to walk through the small chorten’s archway. A short climb above Tarchorten to the east is the sky-burial site of the 84 mahasiddhas(Tantric practitioners who reached a high level of awareness). The first of the kora’s three Buddha footprints is here, but hard to find. The views of the valley are superb from here.
Beyond Tarboche the valley narrows dramatically at an area called Sershong. You can begin to get clear shots of Mt Kailash now, standing to attention above the eastern ridge.
Chuku Monastery(4820m), founded in the 13th century by Gotsangpa Gompo Pel, a Kagyupa-order master, is perched high above the valley floor on the hillside to the west. It bends so secretively into its rocky background you may not able notice it’s there.
From the Chuku it’s abt 3hrs to Dir-puk Monastery. Take your time between this stretch for it has some of the best scenery of the entire kora. High sedimentary faces, wonderfully puckered and dented, and chiseled into shapes that seem alive, hem you in on both sides. When the weather is warmer there’s even the occasional ribbon of water tumbling down the slopes from hundreds of meters high. Along the route, you will find the second prostration point, with its prayer flags and clear view of the east side of Mt Kailash. 30mins later, just past a tea tent selling the usual drinks and snakes, look for the second Buddha footprint, and a carving of the god Tamdrin, a wrathful horse-headed deity, on a black stone smeared with eons of yak butter. From the rock, the trail starts to clim and heads northeast toward Dira-puk Monastery.
Dira-puk(Lhalung Dira) Monastery(5080m) sits in a superb location on the hillside north of the Lha-chu. It directly faces the astonishing north face of Mt Kailash, which from this angle appears as a massive, jet-black slab of granite ornamented with alabaster-white strips of snow. Three lesser mountains are arrayed in front of Mt Kailash: Chana Dorie to the west, Jampelyang to the east and Chenresig in the center.
Mt Kailash Kora②: Dirapuk Monastery- Jarok Donkhang - Drolmala - Zutulpuk Monasetery
No doubt when you wake in the morning and step outside you’ll want to revel in the glory of your surroundings. Mt Kailash’s dramatic black face dominates the skyline, while the middle slopes echo with the moans of yaks.
The main kora path heads off to the east, crossing the Lha-chu by bridge and then climbs on to a moraine to meet the trail on the east bank. The long ascent up the Drolma-chu Valley that will eventually lead to the Drolma-la has begun.
Less than an hour along is the meadow at Jarok Donkhang(5210m). Near Jarok Donkhang a trail branches off to the southeast, leading over the snow-covered Khando Sanglam-la. Also nearby, Polung Glacier descends from the east ridge off the north face of Mt Kailash, down through the Polung Valley between Chenresig and Jampelyang.
Only a short distance above Jarok Donkhang, is the rocky expanse of Shiva-tsal(5330m). Pilgrims are supposed to undergo a symbolic death at this point, entering in the realm of the Lord of the Deas, until the reach the top of the Drolma-la and are reborn again. It is customary to leave sth behind at Shiva-tsal, an item of clothing, a drop of blood or a lock of hair, to represent the act of leaving this life behind.
After Shiva-tsal the trail mercifully flattens for a time and proceeds along a glacial ridge. There are a number of interesting sights ahead, such as the sin-testing stone of Bardo Trang(a flat boulder that pilgrims are supposed to squeeze under to measure their sinfulness).
Abt 30mins from Shiva-tsal the trail turns eastward for the final ascent. Allow around an hour for the 200m climb to the top of the Drolma-la(5640m). After a few false summits, the rocky pass is reached. The great cubic Drolma Do(Drolma’s Rock) that marks the top is barely visible behind an enormous number of prayer flags.
Weather permitting, most pilgrims and trekkers pause at the pass for a rest and refreshment before starting the steep descent. Almost immediately, Gauri Kund(5608m), the Lake of Compassion.
It takes approximately an hour to make the long and steep 400m descent to the grassy banks of the Lham-chu Khir. En route there is a much-revered footprint of Milarepa. When the trail reaches the valley, you may find nomad tents and a teahouse selling drinks and noodles. A huge rock topped by the kora’s third Buddha footprint stands nearby.
About 30 mins south, a valley comes down from the Khando Sanglam-la to join the western trail. This valley provides the only glimpse of Mt Kailash’s eastern or crystal face. The kora’s third prostration point is at the valley mouth.
Grassy fields start to appear alongside the river. A couple of hours from the third Buddha footprint a side valley enters from the left. From here on the river changes name to the Dzong-chu, translated as ‘Fortress River’.
Soon you will see Zutul-puk Monastery(4820m). The miracle cave that gives the monastery its name is at the back of the main hall. Milarepa’s footprint and handprint can still be seen today.
Mt Kailash Kora③: Zutulpuk Monastery – Darchen; Drive Darchen - Tirthapuri - Moincer;
From Zutul-puk Monastery the trail follows the river closely for an hour or so then climbs above the river and enters the lovely Gold & Red Cliffs, a narrow canyon whose walls are stained purple, cobalt and rust.
When the canyon narrows look for holes gouged into the cliff walls. These are not natural but made by pilgrims looking for holy stones. Also look for prayer flags festooned across the river, and in the far distance the blue waters of lake Raksas Tal.
Where the trail emerges onto the Barkha plain, close to the fourth prostration point, Gurla Mandata is again visible in the distance. It’s now an easy 1hr walk back to Darchen along a dirt road.
Your driver will be waiting for you at Darchen. Transfer to Tirthapuri for hot springs bathing, then transfer to Moincer for the night.
Moincer - Zanda(3760m) -Thöling Monastery(About 8hr-drive)
It’s abt 8hr-drive from Moincer to Zanda, though the distance is only abt 243km. it’s 65km along a paved road from Darchen to Moincer, and then anther 50km from there to the army base at Ba’er, where the road branches south. The 122km from Ba’er to Zanda takes 4hrs of winding up and down fantastically eroded gorges and gullies. Zanda(3760m), Zhada or Tsamda, is the bland, one-street town that has been built up alongside Thöling Monastery.
Zanda - Tsaparang - Valley Of Langchen Tsangpo - Elephant river - Zanda
Tsaparang is abt 18km west of Zanda, in the valley of Langchen Tsangpo, Sutlej River, the ’elephant river’, which rises west of Manasarovar and continues over the border with India into Ladakh and finally Pakistan.
Zanda - Lalung-la Pass(5330m) - Ali(Gar) - Rutok
Drive from Zanda to Rutok today, abt 132km, passing Lalung-la Pass (5330m) and Ali (Gar), the capital town of Ngari Prefecture.
Rutok - Lovely Turquoise Pangongtso - Ali - Gegye(4520m)
About 8km north of Rutok Xian, the road hits the east end of lovely turquoise Pangongtso (4241m). After sightseeing here, head to Gegye (4520m).
Gegye - Dreamy Blur Of Lake And Sky Along the Road - Gertse
It’s an 8hr-drive from Gegye to Gertse. The initial landscape is a dreamy blur of lake and sky, cut by salt rings and brooding mountains of rust, mustard, turmeric and green barley.
Gertse -Beautiful Valleys Along The Way - Lake Dung-tso - Lake Dawa-tso - Tsochen
Drive from Gertse to Tsochen, which is abt 257km, 7hrs-ish, on the way you will see some small lakes, today pass beautiful valleys one after another and turquoise water lake Dung-tso and Dawa-tso are the highlights of the day.
Tsochen - Songma-la Pass(5500m) - Lake Tagyel-tso - Raka
Drive from Tsochen to Raka, along the valley, pass Songma-la pass (5500m), then you will see Tagyel-tso, and other small lakes. Raka is situated on the junction of the road with Northern road to Ali or Mt Kailash.
Raka - Sangsang - Lhatse - Sakya Monastery - Shigatse
In the morning trace the road back to Lhatse via Sangsang, then further south back to Shigatse. En route, we will detour to Sakya Monastery.
Shigatse -Beautiful and Splendid View Of Plateau Views - Lhasa
We will depart today from your hotel in Shigatse around 08:00 am. The rode condition is pretty good but because of the speed-limit, we will spend about 6hrs on the road
Departure From Lhasa, transfer to Airport/Railway Station for next destination
Your tour ends today. Our guide and driver will collect you from your hotel to transfer to Lhasa Airport/Railway Station for your next destination
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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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