Hey, has anyone travelled to the Tibet? I need some information, I know foreigners need a special entrance permission, how to get it? Do I really need a guide a tour and private transport there? How expensive is travelling to the Tibet? Thanks
I'm not aware of any changes on procedure since this thread:
Northern Sichuan is also very Tibetan, without the need for special permits eg Labrang Monastery.
Good advice from Ocean. Go to Litang, highest town in the world. The journey itself, through Tibetan countryside is worth it.
My family and I got back from a trip to Tibet three weeks ago.
Yes, you need a Tibet Permit; yes, you need a tour guide or you are not allowed to get in to any of the tourist sites (monasteries).
We used Tibetctrip.com.
They were fantastic, and the cheapest out of all the Tibet tour agents I emailed.
In order to get the permit, you need to arrange a tour with a travel company, then pay a portion of the fee (the rest of the money is due when you arrive in Tibet). Once you have paid the fee, the tour company will organize your permit for you, then mail it out to you.
You need the permit in hand in order to get on a flight to Tibet. We had to show our permit to about 3 different security people BEFORE we boarded our flight in Shangri-La to Lhasa.
Then once we landed in Lhasa, we had to show it to two other security people to get out of the airport. The permit is very important!
There are a lot of checkpoints where you have to show your permit if you travel outside of Lhasa.
If you plan to go to Rongbuk Monastery to see Everest, you have to get an additional permit in Shigatse BEFORE you can start driving out that way; our guide was able to get that permit pretty easily for us.
Tourwise: We told Tibetctrip what we wanted to do/see and they gave us the best tour option.
Our driver and guide were very cool and they were very flexible with us since we had 5 kids in tow.
We decided to go in the Winter since it was cheapest, and had the best chance to see Everest (which we did. So incredible!!).
Since you are a single person, you probably wouldn't want to do a private tour like we did.
There are plenty of group tours that you can join, and joining a group tour is cheaper.
You could contact TibetCtrip on WeChat at 'TibetTravelExpert' and they could help you get an idea of how much a tour could cost.
Tony and Marc speak great English and they are very upfront and straightforward.
We were referred to their company by a professor at Yunnan University who uses TibetCtrip when he has to do research in Tibet so we trusted that we would get what we paid for. Good luck!
Lots of crap restrictions, huh?
@Ishmael We were able to see everything we wanted so it wasn't a big deal to us.
It felt like any other guided tour we have been on in any other country.
The checkpoints were a breeze because we just stayed in the van while our tour guide got our materials checked; it would only be about a 5-10 minute wait so it wasn't a big deal.
We maybe had one checkpoint a day that we had to stop at from our journey to Shigatse, Tingri, Everest, and the same ones on the way back.
The checkpoints probably take longer in the Summer since there are tons of tourists.
We didn't see any other non-Chinese tourists outside of Lhasa so we had no waits anywhere.
Our tour guide was fantastic and became a friend so we didn't mind having him along with us, telling us all the information that we wanted to know about Tibet and its culture, and tell us where the best places to eat were.
It is okay to wander Lhasa and the other towns on your own; it is only the monasteries and major sites that you need to be accompanied by your tour guide, which is a plus anyway since the guide know all the information on any given site. The guide and driver don't have to be with you constantly, just to get you from place to place (outside of Lhasa), and in to the sites.
It was really a phenomenal trip!
I definitely recommend.
Thanks for the info Brein