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May 22, 2009

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a traveller

Everybody loves to travel. For many people it may be a hobby, for others, it may be for leisure purpose and get a break from their daily routine lives.

Alex

Thanx a lot for your post!
I found nearly all info I need

Alex

Losang

Andreas,

Thank you for your post. I appreciate hearing your thoughts. This post is based on thorough research both in Nepal, Tibet and China of the situation based on the revised travel regulations from the past 6 to 8 months. I also just returned from Nepal 2 weeks ago and contacted travel agencies there in person regarding the situation.

I get emails nearly every week from people asking me who to extend their 15 day visa because the local PSB in China has told them they are unable to extend or split it. In the past (prior to March 2008) this was very easy to do, but since March 2008 it is much different and very difficult or even impossible to do so.

I have prices from dozens of agencies across China, Tibet and Nepal and 95% of the time the tours from Nepal into Tibet are the most expensive of the three.

Losing your residence permit when trying to cross the border into Nepal is a reality. I have been on a Chinese residence visa for over 7 years and when I recently tried to go from Kathmandu back overland into Tibet, I was told by the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu that I would have my residence permit canceled and was told I could only enter into Tibet with a group Chinese visa.

I asked several agencies in Kathmandu how long it would take to arrange a tour to Tibet and was never told it would take only a few days. I was always told it would take at least a week (actually only a few places said it would take a week....others said up to 10 days).

On top of the research I have done, plenty of people on travel forums for Tibet, such as Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree forum, confirm what I have written above.

Again, I appreciate your post. I am not going to go as far as you and say that you are wrong (again, my information comes from 7+ years of living in Tibet and from thorough research from travel agencies in China, Tibet and Nepal), but a lot of the information you have listed is quite different than what I was told. I am not sure when you did your trip, but travel regulations for Tibet change frequently and perhaps you traveled at a time when things were a bit more relaxed.

Thanks.

Andreas Maser

Hi Lobsang,

I generally like you blog, but this time, by chance having just travelled to Tibet through Kathmandu and back enquired there as well in China, I am somewhat dissapointed by your biased and slighty wrong informations this time.

You can make your tour easily in 3 business days also in Kathmandu, we did so our friends. We arrived Sunday and left tuesday for Lhasa. If you arrive wrong day, you have to add 1 extra day to that. That's it. You get permit confirmed by chinese Embassy every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It takes one day for that. So if you arrive monday morning you might go to Tibet the very next day.

For any tour you make to Tibe, you have first to apply in Lhasa TTB, and only then you get permit. In kathmandu the embassy need only see original passport for one day and one filled form.

Also that it costs more from nepal to Tibet was not my experience. Most China agents rely on Lhasa agents and even Lhasa agents where quite higher than our Nepal based Agent.

To split from our group in Tbet, we had no problem as we had same tour but 2 permits issued.

Also we got a 22 day Permit for Tibet, but that one itself is not extendible as no any is currently extendile once issued and you in Tibet.

Also you do not loose your Chinese visa if you have travel plan to go further into China like we did. You need however tell it beforehand. Otherwise if you do not travel to China itself, you do not need any Chinese Visa.

I do not think there is any big difference form arranging your trip from Kathmandu or from Chengdu.

Thanks,

Andreas Maser

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