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February 02, 2007


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Steeve Stavri

I planned to have a visit with my family to that place but I am afraid with possibilities of being lost. So, do you have tour guides who can help us explore and see the beautiful places there?


Eddie, yes I am aware of all the current travel regulations. This website is no longer maintained as I have switched to a new website: http://www.thelandofsnows.com/.

Yes, all 5 people that are in a group must enter and exit the TAR together. It is not possible for members of the group to continue to stay on after the tour is over. In order to do that, you would need to then arrange for a second tour and you would still need to be with a group of 5 people.


Hi Losang (I'm guessing this is your name =D correct me if I'm wrong), thanks for the insightful article. Rather unfortunately (and as I'm sure you're aware), with the new, revised rule, non-Chinese passport holders must travel in a group of at least 5 people of the same nationality. Does this mean - not unlike the Chinese group visa - that the 5 people must also exit TAR together?

tour in nepal

Really fantastic post loved to read them all. thanks

Dominique Neuhofer

What a fascinating place and such beautiful photos .I ahve posted your link on my site.Thank you for compiling so many informations. Cheers!


John....You will have to travel using a private vehicle with a driver. It is not possible to travel using public buses in Tibet.


Branden, if you hold a Chinese passport, you do not need to be part of an organized tour.

All foreign travelers need to be part of an organized tour.....even if they are traveling with Chinese passport holders. There are NO exceptions for foreign travelers.


Thank you for the post.

I have a question about the permits. I am living abroad but I have a Chinese passport. Would I need a permit and a tour to visit Lhasa? What if I had a foreign friend with me, would they have to be on a tour?



Ian...Nope. All travel in the Tibet Autonomous Region must be arranged through a travel agency and must include travel permits, a tour guide, a private vehicle and a driver (vehicle and driver required even if you plan to cycle). There are NO exceptions.



Sorry, but there is no way you will be able to board a flight or train to Lhasa without being on a tour. Keep in mind that if you are just planning on being in Lhasa, all your official tour requires is a Tibet Travel Permit and a tour guide. No private vehicle or driver is required.

I am not sure where you heard that no tour was required. Perhaps you were reading posts from people who went to Tibet prior to 2008. Having lived and worked in tourism in Tibet for nearly 10 years, I can assure you that you absolutely need to be part of an organized tour in order to go to the TAR.

John Polo

Hello, thank you for a very informative site.
I have done some research regarding travelling to Lhasa from China by train. It seems that many people have done this without being on an "official tour". I also see some agencies offering the Tibet Travel Permit on its own (for around 700RMB). Being averse to organised tours, and only wanting to spend a few days in Lhasa, are there any problems going the Permit only route?


Is is possible to travel independently from Lhasa to Kathmandu (by bicycle)?


Gokhan, if you carry a passport which is given a visa on arrival for China (such as Singapore, Mongolia, etc) you still need a permit to go to the Tibet Autonomous Region and you will still have to book a complete tour that includes a guide, vehicle and driver. If you book a roundtrip flight from Lhasa-Kathmandu-Lhasa, then you will have to arrange 2 separate tours of Tibet, which means you will be spending A LOT of money. Your permit is not valid for a "double entry" of Tibet. You will need to arrange 2 completely separate tours.



I have an official passport which I don't need to take visa for China. My question is if I get the permit for visiting Tibet, would it be problem to having round trip lhasa- kathmandu?



Hello, I'm in China on a six month tourist visa. I want to visit Tibet for a few days and I know I need to book a tour for the permit. My question is, when I return to China, do I need a new visa? I only had a single entry, which was used when I entered China, so if I go to Tibet, would I need another visa to re-enter China. Any info would help. Thank you

Mike Marvin

I just want to take the train from Beijing to Lhasa (I'm a train buff) and then fly from Lhasa to Katmandu. How complicated is this now (July 22, 2011)? I'm traveling totally by myself, white male, 66 years old.


Adam....Not possible. All foreign travelers are required to have a guide within the Tibet Autonomous Region, including Lhasa.



hi, was wondering if it is possible to explore Lhasa without a guide.


thanks for total information ,a am glad to face in your post


Michael, yes the best way to get to Kham from Lhasa would be to fly to Chengdu and then head west.


Great site ! You recommend somewhere here to travel through Kham to experience perhaps less diluted Tibetan culture. How would you recommend one should get to Kham after finishing a tour in Lhasa ? Fly to Chengdu and then backtrack west ? Thanks. M.


John....You will have to travel using a private vehicle with a driver. It is not possible to travel using public buses in Tibet.

john transcom

Hi there i am thinking a trip to Tibet from china but i want to travel with bus or 4WD to katmandu is that possible?I am traveling alone.

Rich Beal

hi thank you for your help thats a real pain. i will have to re think a new route thankyou again


Rich, since March 2010 the overland route from Zhongdian to Lhasa has been closed to foreign travelers (as has the overland route from Chengdu to Lhasa). No official statement has been given why this route is closed and no date has been given on when or if this route will open this year.

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