Can I Travel to Tibet? Top Concerns on Visiting Tibet or Not
As there are many restrictions on visiting Tibet, many tourists are not quite sure if they can travel to Tibet. And these questions come up often, like does the Tibet permit apply to me? Do I need to have a good health? Is there an age limit? etc. Here in this guide we will help to clear your confusions before you can make a smooth journey to the roof of the world.
Is Tibet Travel Permit Available for Me?
As is well-known, the Tibet Travel Permit is a must for every international tourist to visit Tibet. So one of the most frequently asked questions about travel to Tibet is whether they can get the Tibet Travel Permit.
Currently, Tibet Travel Permit is available to most countries that established diplomatic ties with China, including US, Canada, UK, Germany, and even Bhutan and Norway etc. For tourists from these countries, the applications for Tibet Travel Permits are issued without any problems. If you are not sure of being able to get a Tibet permit, just contact us for inquires.
Tibet Travel Permit
Applying for the Tibet Travel Permit is relatively simple, and can be done with ease. The first step towards getting your Tibet Travel Permit is to get in touch with a tour operator like us, since it cannot be obtained by individuals. Once you have discussed your requirements and decided on your tour package, you can book your tour and we will make the application for the permit on your behalf.
The permit application requires photocopies of your passport and Chinese Entry Visa, which will be used for obtaining the permit. Once obtained, we will send the permit to your address in mainland China ready for your journey to the roof of the world.
For those entering through Nepal, the Tibet Travel Permit is still applied for by your tour operator. Since travelers entering through Nepal have a Group Tourist Visa instead of the normal tourist visa for China, the permit is issued prior to getting the visa, which is obtained through the tour operator once you arrive in Kathmandu, on your behalf.
Do I Need a Good Physical Condition to Travel to Tibet?
Physical condition is something many people believe is a deciding factors in travel to Tibet. While you should be able to walk around and be relatively fit, there is no need to be in the peak of physical health. And many people coming to Tibet are ordinary travelers who are not perfect specimens of fitness.
Fitness is relative in Tibet, and while there is indeed some physical exertion involved just being in the higher altitude of the plateau, it is more important to be healthy when visiting the region. Health is a major concern in regard to altitude sickness.
Physical health is quite important when you travel in Tibet
While there is no knowing who will get it and who will not, having an illness such as a cold or flu can increase the risk of altitude sickness dramatically. It is one of the reasons that travelers are advised not to take a shower for the first day or two, as wet hair in the cold climate can cause colds, especially if you are not yet acclimatized.
Besides, trekking in Tibet or Mountain Everest climbing does require a good degree of physical fitness. If you are planning a trek in the region it is a good idea to maintain a training schedule for several months before traveling if you have never been trekking in high altitudes before. Trekking along some of the routes in Tibet is arduous and exhausting, and a good level of fitness is required at high altitudes.
Is There any Age Limit to Travel to Tibet?
While it might be considered an unsuitable location for older travelers and children, Tibet has actually seen both kids as young as four and the oldest traveler aged 82 to tour the region, with Tibet Vista. The senior traveler even traveled to Everest Base Camp, at an altitude of 5,200 meters.
Age is just a number in Tibet, and there is no restriction on age when traveling to the region. As long as you are physically fit enough to manage to get around unaided (or with crutches, stick or wheelchair), then there is nothing stopping you from taking a tour of Tibet.
There is no strict restriction on age when traveling to Tibet
Tibet tours are all in private vehicles with a driver and tour guide. And while there is some fair amount of walking involved to get to places like the Potala Palace (up 300 meters of steps to get to the top), or to walk around the kora of the Jokhang Temple, these are things that can be done at your pace, and do not require you to be a young and fit person to achieve them.
However, it is not advisable to bring small children under four, especially babies, to the plateau. The risks of altitude sickness are higher in very small children, and with babies there is an even greater risk.
Add to that the fact that a baby cannot tell you how they are feeling, and often young children cannot properly describe the symptoms of altitude sickness they are having, then it can be very hard to know if they are being affected or not. To be safe, it is best to leave a Tibet visit with kids until they are at least 5 or 6 years old.
Is It Safe to Travel to Tibet?
Overall, Tibet is a safe place, with very little in the way of crime. Majority of the crimes in Tibet are minor offenses of pick pocketing and bag snatching. And while tourists are often the targets of these opportunists, careful precautions to prevent pickpockets can ensure that you will not become a victim.
Try to avoid being out too late at night, and avoid walking alone down dark alleys in unfamiliar streets. If you need to use an ATM, stay away from street-facing machines, and choose those in more secure areas such as bank lobbies and shopping centers.
Since foreign tourists have a guide for the duration of your tours, it is useful to have the guide with you when you wandering around alone, or in the evenings. And our tour guides are all local Tibetans, being responsible and kind-hearted, and will not only introduce local history and culture, but also take care of the safety of our clients.
Can I Travel to Tibet Individually?
Independent travel in Tibet is not permitted without a guide, private vehicle, and driver. However, if you have these from a reputable and registered tour operator such as Tibet Vista, then you can, technically travel individually, just not independently. However, this is a very expensive way to travel, since you will be paying for the full cost of the driver, vehicle, fuel, and guide for the whole trip.
Our local guide picked up the client who booked our tours in Tibet
One of the most popular ways to travel in Tibet recently is with an organized group tour. Group tours from Tibet Vista are available for any size group of people expected in your party. Or you can join in our pre-arranged group tours, where you can join other people who want to travel as a group through Tibet.
Our join-in tours cover all kinds of different tour itineraries across the region. These join-in tours are not only a good way to save money on the cost of the tour, but are a great way to meet and get to know new people, often from many different countries, who share the same interests in Tibet as you.
Can I Travel to Tibet If I Have Vaccinated for Covid-19?
At present, Tibet is open to expats in mainland China, since the Covid-19 pandemic are well controlled across the region and other parts of China. So foreign expats living in mainland China now are able to travel to Tibet.
However, before you go, you need to obtain a proof of negative Nucleic acid test, Green Health code, and proof of your residence in China, in addition to the necessary Tibet Travel Permit. And even if you have received vaccination, you still need to prepare these documents to guarantee your trip to the plateau.
On the other hand, for global tourists, you are still need to wait for a better situation. And we will keep an eye on Tibet travel news and policies, and will inform you as soon as the land is fully reopened to international travelers.
For most tourists, the physical condition and age are not the limiting factors for visiting Tibet. More importantly, you need to obtain the Tibet Travel Permit and related documents as required. Since during your trip in Tibet, you will always be accompanied by a tour guide, it is quite safe for you to tour Tibet. If you still have questions about travel to Tibet, just contact us and our professional travel consultant will get back to you promptly.