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China Expat: All You Need to Know about Travel Restriction in Tibet 2021

May,09 2021 BY Lobsang Tsering 0 COMMENTS

For expats living in mainland China, there is the good news that Tibet tour is available from May 9th, 2021. Considering the new health situation worldwide, it is recommended to get a detailed understanding of the travel policies and restrictions before you depart for Tibet. Read this passage to know the details.

1. Tibet Travel Permit is required to enter Tibet

First of all, you need to obtain a Tibet Travel Permit before you head to Tibet. Also known as Tibet Visa, the Tibet Travel Permit is a must for all foreigners, including expats living in mainland China, to enter Tibet. Without it, you will not be allowed to board the train or flight to Lhasa.

How to get a Tibet travel permit for China expats

According to the local policy, individual application of Tibet Travel Permit is not allowed. Therefore, you need to contact a local travel agency to apply for it on your behalf. Luckily, as the local leading tour operator, we can help to guarantee your Tibet Travel Permit. Here is the simple steps for the permit application:

Step 1: First book your Tibet tour with us and confirm your travel itinerary and tour dates.
Step 2: Then send the copies of your Chinese Visa and passport, as well as other documents, to us to apply for the permit.
Step 3: We will submit the permit application to the Tibet Tourism Bureau.
Step 4: After it gets issued, we will immediately deliver the permit to your address in mainland China.

Tibet Travel Permit SampleTibet Travel Permit is also required for expats in China to visit Tibet.

It is suggested to mail your documents to us at least 20 days before your tour departure date, in case there will be more procedures when situations change.

What documents are needed to apply for the Tibet Travel Permit

Expats in China usually have already obtained the work visa (also called Z visa) or residence permit. In this case, you still need to get the Tibet Travel Permit to visit Tibet. To apply for the Tibet permit, you need to prepare the following documents:

a. Your Chinese Visa (or residence permit);
b. Your passport which is valid for at least 6 months
c. A working certificate by your company, if you are working in mainland China;
d. An admission certificate if you are a student studying in mainland China.

2. New document requirement under Covid-19 prevention

Tibet is currently a very safe place to visit, compared to the health situation in other places of the globe. This is attributed to the effective epidemic prevention measures taken in the local. So whether you are a Chinese or a foreigner, it is important for you to consciously follow the local policies when you travel to Tibet.

For all tourists departing from mainland China, you are required to prepare the Green Health Code and 14-day Dynamic Trip Record, both being QR code. You can register on the applet in your app of Alipay or Wechat to apply for the codes.

Besides, depending on the situation, you may also need to prepare a negative nucleic acid test report within 3 days or 7 days. We will continue to update the latest policy and restrictions on epidemic prevention, and keep you informed of any changes.

3. Extra permits are needed when travelling beyond Lhasa

The Tibet Travel Permit can only allow foreign tourists to visit Lhasa and its surrounding places like Namtso Lake. If you want to explore remote places beyond Lhasa, you will also need to get other documents.

For example, if you want to visit Mount Everest region, you will also need to obtain the Aliens’ Travel Permit. And if plan to go for Mount Kailash trekking, you should also prepare the Military Travel Permit and Foreign Affair Permit. But no worries, just like Tibet Travel Permit, you tour operator will help to apply for all these permits before your trip.

One thing should be noted, not all places in Tibet are open to foreign tourists at presents. So, it is recommended to check your tour itinerary with your travel consultant in advance.

4. Independent travel in Tibet is not allowed

As a foreigner to visit Tibet, you are required to join in a tour group organized by a local travel agency. But the group can be any number of tourists. This means, solo foreign travelers can join in a private tour, with only your tour guide and driver.

Throughout your stay in Tibet, you need to be accompanied by a local tour guide. Only when in Lhasa, you may stroll around the city or visit a restaurant without your guide present. But you cannot visit any tourist attraction on your own.

5. You can travel to Tibet with your Chinese friends or relatives

Many expats in China have inquired us the question: can I visit Tibet with my Chinese friends or relatives? The answer is definitely yes. You can make a journey to Tibet together with other Chinese citizens. The only precondition is that, you still need to comply with all the local travel policies and restrictions on foreigners.

Travel to Tibet with Chinese FriendsYou can visit Tibet together with your Chinese friends or relatives.

Don’t think it getting complicated. You just need to go through the Tibet permit application, tour group booking, and more other procedures as usual. And we can always help you to handle all of these to ensure you a worry-free Tibet tour with your beloved ones.

6. Journalists and diplomats cannot travel to Tibet as ordinary tourists

Tibet welcomes foreigners from all walks of life. But if you are a journalist or a diplomat, you cannot travel to Tibet as an ordinary tourist. No travel agency can handle your tour in Tibet, or help to apply for your Tibet Travel Permit. You have to be approved by the China Foreign Affairs Office to visit Tibet.

7. Some Tibet attractions will be closed in winter season

Tibet in winter is extremely cold, and many places of the land are covered with heavy snow. Therefore, for the sake of safety, some high-altitude attractions like Mount Kailash and Namtso Lake will be closed for a period of time in winter.

For tourists planning to take a winter trip in Tibet, you can still visit many other wonderful places, like Lhasa city, great monasteries in central Tibet, beautiful Yamdrok Lake etc. Actually, winter is an ideal time to visit Lhasa, since there is warm weather and abundant sunshine at this time.

Besides, you can also go to visit Mount Everest, where the view of summit tends to be more clear in winter time. Just pay attention to keep warm and take measures on preventing altitude sickness.

8. Permission is needed to climb Mount Everest

For ordinary tourists that go for a Mount Everest tour, the Everest Base Camp (EBC) is generally the final destination. And if you want to ascend to higher places than EBC (5200m), you need to get additional permission.

Everest Base Camp TourMost travelers can only reach the Everest Base Camp when visit the Mount Everest.

If you want to climb the Mount Everest from Tibetan side, you will have to apply for Mountaineering License issued by Tibet Mountaineering Association. You will also need the permission from the General Administration of Sport of China. And each climber needs a Sherpa guide.

9. There is no age limit to visit Tibet, but be careful

There is no restriction on age to travel to Tibet. But if you are going to bring your kids or elderly parents to Tibet, you should pay extra attention.

The elderly (especially for those over 65 years old) tends to have a worse physic condition. And once they suffer from altitude sickness, they may be caught in serious situation. And if your kids are too young like only 3 or 4 years old, and cannot communicate properly with you, you may be not informed timely when they are not feeling well.

Of course, it mainly depends on the physical condition that whether one can go to Tibet or not. People with cardiovascular disease, serious diabetes, heavy cold, recent major surgery, or pregnant women, are not recommended to visit Tibet. It is best to ask your doctor before you make the decision.


Kinds of travel restrictions seem to make a Tibet tour troublesome. But it actually helps you to ensure an orderly and safe journey in Tibet. And we provide one-package services for expats living in mainland China, making your trip easier and worry-free. Start booking your Tibet tour with us now, and get prepared for your lifetime journey to the holy land!

Lobsang Tsering

About the Author - Lobsang Tsering

I am a tour guide in Tibet an was Born in Kham Tibet, I am the father of 2 little girls, bachelor's degree. I have more than 7-years experience of being a tour guide in Tibet. I am a warm, friendly, knowledgeable and attractive guy.

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