Permits to Tibet
Apr 23, 2005 11:08
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I will be traveling around China with a "Return Home Permit" -
the type issued to Hong Kong & Macau residents. It generally
gives us residential and travel rights in China... but i'm not sure
what the implications of this in Tibet are.

No doubt I will still need to obtain a permit, but does anyone
know if it would be any easier to obtain one with the 'return
home permit'? Would I be able to get a permit to get me into
Tibet from Kunming with one of these do you reckon? Or would I
still have to enter through the 'normal' way (Golmud / Chengdu)
and pay the almost extortional fee charged to foreigners?

Apr 28, 2005 16:51
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Yeah it's no doubt you need a Tibet Travel permit, so that the air company can issue the air ticket for you.

Not only Golmud & Chengdu are the normal way to enter Tibet. You can travel from Kunming to Diqing (Shangri-La), then fly into Lhasa(be adviced that there are no direct flights from Kunming to Lhasa).

Other cities like Beijing, Xian, Chongqing and Guangzhou have direct flight to Lhasa.

The most convenient way for you to obtain a Tibet permit is to book the air ticket to Lhasa from a travel agency, then they may handle the permit for you.
Feb 26, 2006 08:38
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I am planning to travel overland to Tibet (not by flight). Since I live in Hanoi, Vietnam, I would like to travel to Kunming and then to Tibet.

How can I get the permit from Hanoi or Kunminh? Do you have any recommendation for a good travel agency to handle this request?

Feb 26, 2006 20:39
  • RITA
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One of the regulations of CNTA is that people holding a foreign country passport needs to obtain a permit to visit Tibet, and only the registered travel agencies are authorised to apply Permits for their clients. But I have this question: how the backpackers handle their Permits?
Feb 26, 2006 20:44
  • MAY001
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hi Rita,
Foreign backpackers are not allowed to enter Tibet now.
Feb 26, 2006 20:46
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I must tell my friends this bad news!
Feb 26, 2006 20:49
  • MAY001
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But they can go via agency!
Feb 26, 2006 23:11
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Thanks,May!!!Very useful information.
Oct 14, 2007 04:47
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this is not true, I am Australian and went to Lhasa in July 2007 and stayed for 2 months (recently)

if you go via Kathmandu and other countries, it is controlled and you must be part of a group

it is best to go to Lhasa via Chengdu. To travel to Lhasa, you need a permit just to arrive at the airport or trainstation, YOU CAN STAY IN LHASA CITY as long as your chinese visa allows.

I used an agency in the chinese mainland, they made it very difficult for me and charged me $200AUS per day just to be in Lhasa..... Then tried to bully, frighten and threaten me out once the 7 days were up.

I found quite a few Tibetan Travel agents in Lhasa.... these are the best people to contact for permits..

have an amazing time!!!

Jan 23, 2010 20:53
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Back in 2007, pre-Olympics, travel to Tibet was less restrictive.

Since starting this thread, I went to Tibet in Oct 2009 and believe the situation is much the same at present. That is, no individual travel to Tibet is allowed (therefore no backpacking) and that TTB permits are only issued as part of a tour. Therefore you cannot just buy a ticket to Lhasa and obtain a TTB - you must arrange an entire itinerary through an agency who will then sort you out a TTB and/or any transportation you may be required depending where you want to go.

That said, I did feel it's possible to get around this. If you arrange a "tour" to Lhasa only, therefore not requiring transportation and driver (and saving money), then once there you can try to find alternative transportation to other areas not part of your original itinerary. This is possible, but note you are still not allowed on public transportation so will still need to arrange for car+driver - only you might be able to share with others then and save cost.

Hong Kong visitors with a "home return permit", contrary to another reply above, are NOT required to get a TTB and can go directly to Lhasa and/or other parts of Tibet. Note that HK / Macau citizens are treated as locals for classification purpose which means that, if entering the border area near Nepal, it is necessary to apply for a "border permit" in Lhasa first.
Jan 24, 2010 21:48
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I totally recommend Travel China Guide. They can arrange anything! Well they have for me <g>
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