As in any country across the world, a person traveling to Tibet would require a Tibet tour permit. The entry and road permits to travel across Tibet work much the same way as in any other country, and have different kind of permits depending upon the reason for your travel.
First and foremost, you need to remember that tour permits take some time to process and get delivered to the traveler or the applicant. So, in case you are planning on a trip to Tibet for whatever reason, either to go on a packaged trip or a tour or climb the Everest through Tibet, you need to avail the Tibet travel permit.
The Tibet travel permit to Tibet for a normal standard Tibet tour takes around 15 days to process all the necessary Tibet travel permit and the Tibet travel permit for a restrict area Tibet tour takes 25-30 days finish all the necessary Tibet travel permits. So, keeping a time frame of around 20-30 days before traveling to Tibet is the best possible ways to ensure you have your permit in hand long before you start traveling to Tibet. To make your Tibet travel permit, you need to provide a valid passport and china visa copies, the travel agencies and tour operators in Tibet will not book your trip packages unless you provide them all. At the same time, you also need to provide them an exact travel date to Tibet and with a final confirmed Tibet tour program before processing Tibet travel permit.
Hence, a permit is the first thing to apply for and can be done through the Tibet tourism bureau. However, the permit will also ask for details such as the tour date, your itinerary and the tour operator detail too. An identity is a mandatory document to travel even when the permit has come through.
Now, there are certain areas which are restricted and come with different permit requirements. The restricted areas or tours include:
• Mount Kailash tour
• Eastern Tibet tour
• Kham trekking and some more
These tours might need you to make more than one permit. You need to also get permission from the foreign affairs office and Military Lhasa head office and so on, before you are allowed to travel to Tibet on these permits and to these restricted areas.
For the unrestricted areas, such as the Shigatse, Lhasa city and so on, Tibet entry permit, road permit and alien’s permits are required. There is a list of restricted tours and the required permits for these areas are always better to check with your local Travel agent. Alternatively, you can also approach a tour operator who is going to organize the tour within Tibet to arrange the permit for you or help you with the forms.
A local tour operator, with an experience of arranging such travel permits and treks across the country, will be aware of what needs to be filled where and what permits are required. Even for restricted travels, there are different government offices to approach and a local tour operator will have access to them all. Also, since they will be arranging the treks and tours for you when you are in the country, it will make it easier for them to arrange all permits necessary for your travels.
There are two entries to Tibet, one from mainland China, where you need to show the Tibet tour permit at the boarding gate, and so you would need the permit in hand when you board the flight from mainland China to Tibet. The entry through Nepal will allow you to travel through the country and the permit can be shown at the entry gate of Tibet, where your tour guide will be waiting for you but you need to apply the China visa from the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu and will get group visa to enter Tibet and nowadays, you need to wait for three working days in Kathmandu for the visa so you need to think well before deciding to come to Tibet from Kathmandu as you need to wait for a pretty long time there for the visa.
Whichever way you prefer, the Tibet tour permit is a mandatory requirement and needs to be obtained well before you start your travel to this beautiful country. Plan your applications well in advance or let the tour operators do the job for you to enjoy a stress-free trip to the rooftop of the world!