Tibet Travel Information
Traveler should bring with him a passport with validity of no less than six months. Make sure that it has plenty blank pages for visas, entry and re-entry stamps and extensions. Loosing passport in Tibet will be very difficult, as you have to go to Beijing to get new one.
VISA – TRAVEL PERMIT
Travelers require a special group visa / permit to enter into Tibet. The visa processing is initiated only after you book a trip with us. Original passport has to be submitted while taking visa / permit at the Chinese Embassy in Nepal. After you book trip with us, we process your visa/ permit at Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu before your arrival. Normally, Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu opens on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 09:30 am to 11 am. Tibet-bound traveler has to pay visa fee according to his or her Nationality as the visa fee varies according to it.
TIBET TRAVEL PERMIT
Along with the visa, tourists need to get a travel permit to travel into Tibet provided by the Tibet Tourism Board (TTB). The cost of TTB varies depending on the destination you would go. You will also need a permit if you wish to go to the Everest Base Camp. To apply for the TTB permit you will need a passport that is valid for at least six months.
Two kinds of permits are issued for traveling in Tibet. The TTB permit which is an equivalent of a visa for Tibet and the Alien Travel Permit i.e. PSB permit (Public Security Bureau permit) which is for visiting into the restricted areas in Tibet
TIBET VISA FEES:
Normal (5 days) Top Urgent (Same Day)
American Passport Holder USD 164 USD 198
Other Nationality USD 80 USD 114
The Chinese/Tibet visa you get in Kathmandu is a “group visa” and is not entered in travelers’ passports but on a separate sheet of paper - be it one person or a group consisting of two or more persons. In order to do this we will need a copy of your passport at least 20 days prior to the commencement of your trip, followed by your actual passport five days before the visa issuing days. If you are entering via mainland China you have to obtain Chinese visa from you home country. Visa regulation in Tibet keep changing please ask us for latest Tibet visa information.
VISA & ENTRY PROCEDURE
These are subject to change and depend on whether you join the trip in Kathmandu or China. If you are joining the trip in Kathmandu you will need a multiple entry visa for Nepal which can be obtained either from your nearest Nepalese consulate or on arrival in Nepal.
☼ IMPORTANT NOTE TO BE CONSIDERED:
Do not apply for the Chinese visa in your country if you are intending to travel to Tibet via Kathmandu (Nepal). If apply for the Chinese visa in your country prior to arrival in Kathmandu, it will automatically cancel when we get the Tibet visa here in Kathmandu.
ARRIVING IN LHASA VIA MAINLAND CHINA:
If you plan to arrive in Lhasa via mainland China, you need to apply Chinese visa from the Chinese Embassy in your country. Once you have the Chinese visa, you will need to scan the visa and email it to us along with the copy of your passport for Tibet Permit processing. Both the documents should be clear and readable otherwise it will be rejected by the Tibet Travel Bureau in Tibet (TTB). Please keep in mind that you will not be eligible for the Tibet Travelling Permit without the Chinese visa. After having Tibet Permit and Chinese visa you will be allowed to enter Tibet from the mainland China otherwise not. When your Tibet permit is issued, you can collect it from anywhere in mainland China where you are supposed to arrive with an extra charge of USD 40 for courier.
ARRIVING TIBET VIA KATHMANDU OR GO OVERLAND VIA ZHANGMU OR SIMIKOT BOARDER:
If you are flying to Lhasa via Kathmandu or go overland via Zhangmu or Simikot border, you will need to arrive in Kathmandu at least 3 days earlier before your entry into Tibet as your original passport is needed at the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu while issuing Visa / Permit.
China time is 2 hours and 15 minutes ahead of Nepal time.
GUIDE AND FOOD
During your trip in Tibet you will be accompanied by a knowledgeable Tibetan guide who will not only act as an interpreter but will also provide a valuable insight into the Tibetan way of life.
In Lhasa there are some good hotels and restaurants that provide Tibetan, Chinese and Western foods to the travelers. These restaurants also serve Tibetan tea (salted butter tea), sweet milk tea, black tea, Tibetan barley beer, soft drinks, canned beer and imported wine, whisky and local beverage. Elsewhere along the route, accommodation will be in the best available hotels. Meals will either be in the hotel or at a restaurant of your choice (where available). Whilst on the road, lunch will be at one of the many Chinese tea shops along the way which generally serve a variety of noodle and vegetable dishes and meat where available.
Renminbi (RMB) is the legal currency in Tibet. US dollars will also be accepted besides Chinese Yuan. Cash foreign currency can be exchanged at the Bank of China in Lhasa and other Cities. But only the main offices of Bank of China accept travel Cheque. You can exchange money into RMB according to the exchange rate of that day with your valid passport. If you want to visit remote areas in Tibet, you are advised to have enough RMB with you along with some US$. Local currency can be re- converted to the US$ at the said banks when you leave Tibet / China.
Declare money and other valuable items like; jewelry and electronic goods while entering and also at exit. Any curios must be declared with proper receipt which is only provided by Government Shop when leaving the country.
BEST TIME TO VISIT TIBET
The best time for overland tours in Tibet is from April to November and for treks and Mt. Kailash tour is from April to October.
HOW TO REACH?
BY AIR: If you wish to reach Tibet by air, you can do so from Kathmandu to Lhasa. The flight lasts a little over one hour providing you the panoramic views of the majestic Himalayas.
BY ROAD: If you wish to travel to Tibet by land, you can do so by driving from Kathmandu to Zhangmu, The newly constructed Qinghai -Tibet Highway gives you an opportunity to enjoy the China - Nepal Friendship. As we move to into Tibet we pass through a number of famous sights, such as Nyalam, Shigatse, Gyantse etc. The route is full of picturesque scenes and breathtaking views.
WEATRHER AND CLOTTHING
Geographically, Tibet lies beyond the trans-Himalayas region and therefore will have a minimal rainfall (Only 450 millimeters OR 18 inches) occurring monsoon between July and September. Because of its high altitude, Tibet is some what cold. Temperature differential between the day and night is very great. The daytime temperatures are actually quite mild. Mid-day temperatures in this region could rise as high as 22 degrees Celsius with evening temperatures as low as 5 to 10 degrees OR below zero. Between April and November the average temperature ranges form 15-25 degrees Celsius and the skies are generally clear and blue. From July to August though there can be the odd shower during the day. The nights, however, can be very cold and temperatures can drop below 0 degrees Celsius. Winter is not too bad because of its long sun shine time though the night is quite cold with temperature dropping below 0.
Spring (March-May) is cold, dry and windy therefore, a wind proof jacket and woolen sweaters and other warm fleece layers are necessary along with other regular cloths.
Summer (June-August) is cold but hot at noon therefore, shirts, pants or skirts along with some warm jackets will be fine.
Autumn (September-November) is cold and dry therefore Jackets and sweaters are necessary along with regular cloths.
Winter (December-February) is frigid and very dry therefore, needs warm pullover, down jacket, woolen sweaters, scarves and gloves are necessary along with other cloths.
Traveler needs to pay minimum US$ 350 per person as deposit for permit and visa processing in advance. The rest payment must be made upon arrival in Kathmandu before trip departures. We accept cash US$, Euro or any other convertible currencies. We also accept payment by a major credit card, visa, master card but the clients have to bear the service charges levied by bank while processing the payment.
TRANSPORTATION IN TIBET
We use best Land cruiser 4WDs (Toyota 4500) for clients as these vehicles are extremely reliable and make the journey very comfortable. And, there will be a truck for carrying luggage and trekking OR climbing equipments.
The road between Kathmandu and Nyalam is not that good and can be disrupted during monsoon season because of landslide. If it rains heavily, the road between Shigatse and Gyantse, on the way to Kailash can be flooded as well. If it happens we have to detour via Northern Highway otherwise, we drive by Southern Highway via Gyantse and Yamdrok Lake which involves the crossing of a high pass called ”Karo – La (5010m).
LANDSLIDE AND EXTRA CHARGE
We will put all our efforts to make your journey smooth and pleasant. However, during the monsoon season while crossing the Tibet-Nepal border if there is a landslide or road blockade you need to pay extra cost to hire porter & additional transport.
HEALTH ISSUES / ALTITUDE SICKNESS
Travellers having good health condition will have possibly no difficulties for traveling to Tibet though they should be well aware of altitude sickness. But people having asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, epilepsy and cardiac problems should seek a doctor’s approval before embarking on this journey as the trip in Tibet involves high altitude thus can be strenuous. As for altitude sickness is not a problem if you recognize it at an early stage and follow the some basic guidelines to prevent it. Simple headache, fever, loss of appetite or stomach disorders can happen initially but will disappear if you give your body enough time for acclimatization. Altitude sickness also known as AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) if not treated when symptoms appear can lead to death OR ruin your entire trek/tour. As altitude gains, especially above 3,000 m, the air becomes thinner and creates certain difficulties for the human body. Your strength and physical fitness make no difference here though the acclimatization rate will differ from person to person. Acclimatization of body to the high altitude can take from just a few hours to few days as well. Thus, the only way to prevent from getting AMS here is to give ones body enough time to adjust to high altitude. Those who ascend too high too fast can be victims of Acute Mountain Sickness. Therefore, to minimize its risk or to happen, we recommend you to follow the following guidelines:
01. Drink adequate fluids. Try to drink 3 to 4 litres of liquid a day at altitude above 4000m. The mountain air is dry and cold so moisture is lost when you breathe. Evaporation of sweat may occur unnoticed and results in dehydration.
02. Learn to recognize the basic symptoms of AMS: like; headache, nausea, loss of appetite, sleeplessness at night. The only best way to cure AMS is not to climb higher with AMS symptom until it completely disappears.
03. Never ascend higher with AMS symptoms. Descend to lower elevation if necessary.
04. Do not expect everyone in your group to acclimatize at the same rate as acclimatization time differs from person to person. .
05. Accept the fact that you can not go very high if you have a limited time.
06. Eat light but high-carbohydrate meals for more energy.
07. Avoid alcohol as it may increase the risk of dehydration, and don't smoke.
08. Don't push yourself when climbing up to passes, rather take plenty of breaks.
09. Avoid catching cold
10. Obey the order of tour / trek leader if he / she deems necessary to ask anyone suffering from AMS to descend.
MEDICINE USE FOR HIGH ALTITUDE SICKNESS
Medications that may be used to prevent or treat the symptoms of severe high-altitude illness include Acetazolamide (Brand Name: Diamox, Dazamide), Dexamethasone (Brand Name: Decadron) and Nifedipine (Brand Name: Adalat, Nifedical, Procardia).
WHO SHOULD BE EXTRA CAREFUL?
CHILDREN: Children’s bodies are not fully developed and will have a hard time facing the low oxygen count and atmospheric pressure. Parents or guardians should be extra careful about their children while visiting Tibet.
PEOPLE WITH HEART AND LUNG DISEASES: People with heart and lungs disease are urged to be extra careful about their health condition when it comes to high altitude sickness. If not taken care carefully high altitude sickness can be fatal to the patients.
For trek, we carry a medical kit with standard prescribed medicines with diamox for AMS which you can use on your own risk. We do not take any medical liability since our staffs are not qualified to prescribe medicines. We also provide an oxygen cylinder with mask and Gamow bag (portable altitude chamber) for Mt. Kailash Tour. All travellers are requested to bring their own first aid kit as well along with personal medicines and supplies recommended by their personal doctor.
For any loss arising from your change, unless reconfirmed by us, you should be responsible for this kind of loss yourself. We have no responsibility for any change caused by weather, airliner service, natural calamities OR any incidents that are beyond our control. If any extra cost arises resulting from such changes, the clients will have to bear such cost themselves.
TERMS AND CONDITION
We make every effort that we can to make your journey smooth and pleasant as much as possible. However, please keep in mind that all programs in Tibet are strictly conducted under the rules and regulations of the Tibet Tourism Bureau. Therefore, neither Nepal travel agent nor its Tibet Agent shall be responsible for any changes due to unavoidable circumstances or change in government policy: Due to Government restriction, landslide, road blockage, flooding, snowfall, political disturbances, flight cancellation, illnesses etc. in such cases any additional costs that are a result of such circumstances will have to be born by the clients themselves therefore, we highly advise our clients to have a full insurance against medical, trip cancellation and personal accident risk etc.