FAQs of travelling to Tibet for foreigners
As the roof of the world and a pure land on the earth, Tibet is a popular tourist destination in the world. Every year, thousands of foreigners flock to Tibet to explore its time-honored unique culture and enjoy the stunning scenery on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Here are some FAQs for foreigners to travel to Tibet.
1. Are there any restrictions on foreign tourists to visit Tibet?
There are some special requirements for foreign travelers to Tibet. Firstly, foreign tourists to Tibet must be organized by travel agencies, with confirmed routes. Secondly, a Tibet Travel Permit issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau is indispensable. The Tibet Travel Permit must be obtained before they head to Tibet. What's more, foreigners are not allowed to travel alone in Tibet by their own, even with the travel permit. They must be accompanied by a licensed tour guide.
2. Which areas in Tibet need border passes? Who needs a border pass when traveling to Tibet? How to apply a Tibet border pass?
Since many places in Tibet are in the border areas or haven't been entirely opened to travellers, tourists must apply for border passes if they want to enter the following areas.
Shigatse Area: Zhongba county, Saga county, Nylam county (Zham), Tingri County, Kangma county, Yadong county, Gampa county, Dinggye county, Gyirong county.
Lhokha Area: Cona county, Lhongzi county, Lhodak county, Nanggarze county.
Nyingtri Area: Mailing county, Nang county, Zayul county, Medog county.
Ngari Area: Purang county, Zhada county, Rutog county, Gar county.
Domestic citizens (including Hong Kong and Macao citizens) must apply for border passes if they want to enter these areas. Otherwise, they will be turned down.
For Chinese citizens who have valid passports, which have been endorsed with overseas visa, they don't have to apply for border passes. The procedure of Tibet border pass is the same as that of other border passes in China. People can apply for it with their Identification Cards at the police station where they keep their household registration. We suggest you get a certification of travel at the Tibet Tourism Bureau before applying for a border pass in case some police stations may reject your application.