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Around Tibet Tour, Access Tibet Tour, 西藏客,西藏当地的环游西藏最大的网络品牌:环藏假期

Tibet Travel Permits

All foreigners going to Tibet must have their travel arranged through a travel agency before arriving in Lhasa. The days of arriving in Lhasa and putting together a trip to Everest Base Camp or Mt. Kailash are long over. Everything now has to be arranged in advance. All foreigners must have travel permits, a tour guide and a private vehicle and driver (if you are only staying in Lhasa, no private vehicle is required). Absolutely no independent travel is allowed in Tibet. Any rumor you may have heard that foreigners can travel on their own in Tibet is not true.

You should contact a travel agency at least 4 to 6 weeks before you plan to arrive in Lhasa. For journeys to Kailash and Western Tibet, I recommend contacting a travel agency at least 2 months in advance. This will give you enough time to finalize your travel plans and for the agency to apply for your travel permits. You will need to have a specific itinerary listed on your travel permit. Major changes to your itinerary will not be allowed after your permits have been issued. Travel agencies can arrange your permits for you in advance before you arrive in China to minimize the amount of time you have to wait.

The first permit that all foreigners need to obtain is a Tibet travel Permit which is only issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau. You cannot get this permit from a Chinese embassy or consulate. A Tibet Travel Permit is NOT a visa and is not placed in your passport. It is a 2 paper form that lists your full name, nationality, age, passport number and your travel route while in Tibet. It will have the seal of the Tibet Tourism Bureau on the front page and the license number of the travel agency who is arranging your tour. This permit is arranged by the travel agency that is organizing your tour. You will NOT need to personally get this permit as the travel agency you use will get it for you.

The next permit that you may need, depending on which areas you plan to travel to, is an Alien Travel Permit which is arranged by the Public Security Bureau (a branch of the police that deals with foreigners). If you plan on traveling outside of the Lhasa-Shigatse area you will need one of these permits. If you need this permit, the travel agency you are using will take care of it for you. Travel agencies are kept up-to-date on travel regulations and will know if the places you are planning to go to will require an Alien Travel Permit or not. The most common way of getting this permit is in Shigatse. If you need this permit, your guide will take your passport and apply for the Alien Travel Permit for you once you arrive in Shigatse.

The third permit that you may need is a Military Permit. If you plan on traveling to Mt. Kailash, overland to Kashgar or to Nyingtri or Chamdo prefectures, you will need a Military Permit. This permit is needed because the Tibet Autonomous Region borders some sensitive and disputed areas of India. This permit is issued in Lhasa by the military authority. Again, your travel agency will know if you need this or not and will apply for the permit for you.

Another permit that is sometimes needed in highly restricted areas of Tibet is a Foreign Affairs Permit. Like the above permits, your travel agency will arrange this for you if you need it.

**Remember, you don’t need to worry about which permits you need or don’t need! The travel agency you use will know all of the current travel regulations and will know which permits are required for your travel route. It is the travel agency’s responsibility to apply for these permits for you. All you have to do is supply your travel route and the agency will take care of the rest of the details.

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