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September 12, 2010


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Nah Bohdi

I considered venturing illegally, but I wouldn't stay in "hotels" or any of that nonsense...I would have trekked by mountain trails and visited only VERY small, VERY remote towns for food. Having read this makes me glad I at the very least wouldn't have harmed the locals. By doing it that way I could always say "I dunno, I'm lost, thought this was India, derp derp." Having been to SE Asia I know all about Passports to stay in hotels. If you cant get in legally, then you have to be HARD CORE and extremely self sufficient.


UG88....Who is making political statements???


Save your political statements for demonstrations in front of the Chinese Embassy in your home country. Tibetan freedom will come when all Chinese are free.


Lots of Ghosts.....Even if you sneak off into Tibet on your own, you can still risk getting others in trouble. If you stay at a hotel, you could cause the hotel workers to get in trouble because you entered illegally and stayed at their hotel. The hotel owners (especially in far eastern and far western Tibet) may not know that foreigners are required to have an organized tour. If you arrive and stay there on your own and you are caught, I guarantee that the police will go to that hotel and could possibly give them a fine for letting you stay there....even though the hotel staff were unaware they were breaking the law.

So unless you plan to enter illegally and camp high up in the mountains and not go to any town, I can't see how you would not be causing trouble.

Also, with the many checkpoints across Tibet, you chances of success are extremely small traveling on your own without a tour.


what about if you sneaked into tibet off your own accord, would the person getting in trouble just be yourself - seeing as you have not gone through any sort of travel agency - would sneaking in have any negative effect on anybody other than yourself.


K....yes, I understand. I get emails almost on a daily basis asking me how to enter the TAR illegally! Some people will never learn!


I live in Gyalthang and am continually shocked by the sheer number of foreign travelers who I've met there (and in other Tibetan areas) who ask what I think about trying to sneak into the TAR illegally, or to go into "closed" areas, etc..... thinking they can just flout the rules by using some kind of clout as foreigners.


Aimee...Thanks for your comment. The bottom line in Tibet is that when foreigners do something illegal, it is the local Tibetan people who suffer. The agency will always get the fine because, according to the Chinese, they should have "made sure their customers didn't get out of line". It was the same in the situation I wrote about. The foreigners got away with being rude and breaking the law, while the local Tibetan business owner had to suffer the consequences. Fortunately, my Tibetan friends did not lose their business license, which would have put dozens of Tibetans out of a job.


I'm so sorry your friends had this terrible experience. Why any foreigner thinks s/he can flout Chinese authority and get away with it is beyond me. Maybe your friend had no choice, but I would have left the group to deal with the authorities.


I fully agree with the comment Tashi posted!
The warning is clear and I hope from now on you all are spared from such unnecessary problems.


Hiker....Thanks for your comment.

I have lived and worked in Tibet for nearly 10 years and know literally dozens of travel agencies that arrange the route from Xining-Lhasa-Everest-Nepal border. When i owned my own agency, I arranged this trip at least once a week on average. Feel free to send me an email for a recommendation on which travel agency to use.


I feel sorry for what happened to your friend and his agency. And your post is very helpful to prevent other travellers from "even thinking about it". What you might want to add is, how to do "it" right: The trip from Xining via Lhasa to Kathmandu is a very attractive journey. With most travel agencies, you can only book one leg of it and they will return you to your origin. I would be very interested in tour offers, that fully legal, with all permits offer the Xining-Lhasa-Kathmandu land route.


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. One way to make your travel memorable and enjoyable is by being accompanied by some of your family members, especially children.


Do you post on the Thorn Tree? This should be up there!


Most foreign travelers going to Tibet understand the rules and have a great trip without any problems. However, every once in a while, a group of selfish travelers go to Tibet and cause huge problems for the locals. This problems definitely caused huge headaches to my friends company in Lhasa.


Sorry to hear about what happened. I hope at least in the end that these foreigners get some sort of fine or punishment. The government should not place the blame on local agencies but instead on these selfish people who exploit the system. Afterall; they are the ones who signed the original letters as they joined and should be held responsible as adults.


Hi, hope you're doing fine even with these kind of brainless tourists. I'm glad I've stumbled upon your interesting blog, I'll be back to learn more about fascinating Tibet. Thanks for sharing thoughts and advices.


I am extremely sorry for your friends!
I think you should have named these people , at least by country of origin!

Sad, but disrespectful people, selfish people, are sometimes also among those who love to travel with respect and decency!

I am glad your friends were not charged at the end!,

Account Deleted

I do agree.

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