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Top things to know before visiting Tibet(I)

Publish Time: 2018-10-25 Author: From: China Tibet Online

Tibet is a very unique location for tourists to Asia, sitting at the roof of the world on the world’s highest plateau. For thousands of years, Tibet was an isolated region, with very few visitors from the western world until the middle of the 18th century. After a long period of isolation in the high Himalayas, Tibet was opened for tourism in the 1980s, and the stunning beauty of this unique region became known throughout the tourist industry. A strange and mysterious land, Tibet is the main Himalayan kingdom in Asia, with the world’s highest mountains fringing its western and southern borders. One of the biggest attractions of the plateau, most literally, is Mount Qomolangma, the world’s highest mountain, which sits right on the Tibetan border with Nepal.

 

The world’s highest plateau, Tibet has an average elevation of more than 4,800 meters, which can be something of an issue with international tourists suffering from high altitude sickness. After more than 1,300 years of Buddhism in Tibet, the people are mostly devout Buddhists, and Tibetan Buddhism is one of the most unique forms of the religion in the world. Aside from the region having some of the most sacred Buddhist sites in the world, such as Mount Kailash, the religion is so integrated into Tibetan culture that it pervades every part of the Tibetans’ daily life.  This unique Buddhist culture is one of the main reasons for Tibet travel which became popular with western tourists in the early days of Tibetan tourism, when there was less red tape to get into the region. 
Can I Travel Alone to Tibet?  
Independent travel in Tibet is prohibited, and while you may not be able to travel to the region without an organized tour, you can travel solo on your tour, with just your tour guide and driver. 
Getting into Tibet requires several permits and passes, depending on where you are going in the region, which can only be obtained from the various government departments in Lhasa by the tour operators. Various tours exist for the region, and we have a wide selection of tours that can suit almost any tourist’s requirements, as well as private tours that you can decide where you are going. 
What Travel Documents are Needed to Enter Tibet?  
Before you even book your trip to Tibet with us, you will need to obtain the first of the documents you will need to get into Tibet, the Chinese Entry Visa (unless you are entering from Nepal). As a region of China, the Chinese Entry Visa is required for all travelers entering China to get to Tibet. For travelers entering Tibet from Nepal, a Group Tourist Visa is issued once you arrive in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.  
The Chinese Entry Visa can be obtained from any Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, and normally takes just three days to process your visa application. China does not have a Visa on Arrival Service, so all visas must be obtained before leaving your home country. 
The visa is also needed to obtain your main entry document for Tibet, the Tibet Travel Permit. Required for entry to Tibet and travel in the area of the Tibet's capital, Lhasa, this cannot be obtained personally, and once you have booked your tour, we will make the application on your behalf from the Tibet Tourist Bureau in Lhasa. The processing of the application requires scanned copies of your passport and visa, and can take from 15-20 days to process, which means you need to book your tour well in advance of your required travel dates.

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