Frequently Asked Questions

Tibet is situated on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau with an average altitude of above 4000m. Tibet Autonomous Region lies in the southwest of China and in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It is bounded to the north by Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Qinghai Province, to the east by Sichuan Province, to the southeast by Yunnan Province, to the south and west by these countries: Burma, India, Bhutan, Sikkim and Nepal. The region covers an area of around 1.22 million km2, which accounts for 12.8% of the total of China. The unspoiled alpine scenery and pervasive Tibetan Buddhism atmosphere and easy access to its neighboring country Nepal make Tibet rank high of the travel bucket list. Its distinct topography and geographical location allow it to share the world’s grandest mountaineering and trekking resource with its neighbor country Nepal.

Tibet  Standard Time ( IST ) is 0800 hours (6 hours) ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+8).


All foreigners except citizens of China (including Hong Kong, and Macau), are required to obtain a visa and special permit before traveling to Tibet. In addition to the visa, it is necessary to obtain the "Tibet Travel Permit" for travelling in Tibet.

A)  Passport

B) China visa or Tibet Group visa

C) Tibet Travel Permit (TTB)

D) Alien's Travel Permit (ATP/also called PSB permit)


There are overall four documents required for foreign tourists who want to travel freely in Tibet.

* One is the Chinese Visa, which you can apply for in Chinese Embassy in your country (If you go to Tibet via mainland China). Please be aware that: if you enter Tibet from Nepal, no China visa but Tibet Group visa is needed.

*One is Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit (TTB), which you have to obtain in order to enter Tibet. This is for Entry to Tibet.

*One is the Alien's Travel Permit (PSB) when you are planning to travel to the 'unopened' areas in Tibet.

*The other ones include Military Permit, Foreign affairs permit, etc, which you have to obtain if you are planning to travel to some military sensitive areas.



  • Passport


All who intend to enter Tibet must hold at least 6 months valid passport.


  • China Visa or Tibet Group Visa

To enter Tibet via Mainland China, firstly you need to apply China visa for entry to China

Tibet is part of China, under the Chinese Central Government's Sovereignty. Thus to travel from China to Tibet, you have to obtain a China Visa at first stage before all are followed up. Visas for individual travel in China are very easy to get from most Chinese embassies. Most Chinese embassies and consulates will issue a standard 30-day, single entry tourist visa in three to five working days (an 'L' Visa means travel). If you are lucky, some embassies abroad may give you a 60 or even 90days. But in Hong Kong it is very easy to get a 90 day visa; most agencies can arrange it in one day. If you want more flexibility to enter and leave China several times, most Chinese embassies will issue a double-entry visa. Well, for those who are to work, study or live temporarily in China, you may need the other related China Visa such as "F" Visa, "X" Visa or "Z" Visa, etc. All these kind of visa holders can travel in Tibet with the Tibet entry permits and other travel permits which can be obtained by local travel agency in Tibet with strict and serious procedure.

You can enter Tibet by mainland China, there are flights to Lhasa form different cities of China or you may enter by train to Lhasa. Air China operates weekly flight from KATHMANDU to (LHASA & CHENGDU) every Saturday Jan to March then every Saturday & Tuesday March to June. July - October every day depending upon the weather conditions. The 55 minutes flight offers spectacular views of the Himalayas and the southern Tibetan plateau.

An approach that has great appeal for hardy and adventurous travelers is to enter or leave Tibet by road. Nominally, organized tours must be arranged before you enter Tibet. Moreover to get into Tibet from outside Tibet from Kathmandu. However, you should apply for the permit and Visa in Kathmandu at Chinese Embassy. In case you have already applied the permit in your home land the permit will be invalid.

Since the country extends high altitude, it is often hard to predict the weather. It is cold mostly. Lhasa and around it is cool, sunny day during the day time but evening, night and morning will be cold. Need to bring warm enough clothes.

Spring and summer are considered to be the best seasons in Tibet. Mostly April – September is the best month to travel in Tibet. Oct – Nov is also considered as travel month in Tibet but some of the places like Mt. Kailash region might have much snowfall those months.

To travel to Tibet, you'll need:

Passport — valid for 6 months.
Chinese Visa — you can apply for one from a Chinese Embassy or through China Highlights.
Tibet Entry Permit — it is issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau and is a must for foreigners entering Tibet.

Some people who wish to travel to certain areas in Tibet must also obtain:
  • Travel Permit — it is required when you are planning to travel to closed areas in Tibet. These are issued after you arrive in Tibet.
  • Military Permit — it is obtained to travel to some militarily sensitive areas.
Yes. For those who book tours with, we will arrange for the travel permit. The permit is checked and issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB) for free and is usually issued two weeks prior to your entry to the region.
You can travel single in Tibet. You will get an independent guide and driver throughout your tour. Usually we don’t combine groups as we respect the privacy of each individual.
However, if you are travelling in a group, all the members must tour within the same group. You may apply for a group visa from us (minimum of two people in a group and you must leave China with this person unless you can change the visa inside China).
In general, most healthy people will experience altitude sickness for at least two days. High altitude sickness is also called mountain sickness. It can occur when people who are not acclimated travel above about 2,400 meters (8,000 feet). Lhasa sits at a heady 3,650 meters (11,500 feet), and it is one of the lower altitude destinations in Tibet.

You might feel sick and get headaches until you are acclimated. We advise that before the trip you do aerobic exercise such as jogging. Get into shape and eat well before you go. Also, consult a physician.

It will make your transition easier to spend time in high altitude areas for a day or two. Some of our China tours are designed to give you some time to acclimatize at medium altitude. At China Highlights we aim to make your tour as enjoyable as possible. Tell us any medical concerns you have and we will do our best to advise and accommodate your needs on a tour.

You may find it helpful to read one of our staff's personal mountain sickness experience, which also recounts the various altitude reactions of her tour group.
Most tourists who stay with their tour and avoid getting involved in the politics of the country, will not experience problems.
  • Clothes: Warm clothes are needed even in summer as the day-night temperature drop is big. A thick coat is essential if you go to the Everest.
  • Sunglasses are really important.
  • Sunscreen
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Altitude sickness medicine
  • A good camera

The US dollar is the most widely accepted currency. Chinese RMB notes come in RMB. 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 25, 50, 100, 500, 1000 denominations. Foreign currencies must be exchanged only through banks or authorized money exchangers. Our Tibetan guide will help you change your money. You can use ATM facilities in Lhasa. You are advised to bring Cash USD, your own travelers Cheques can be changed in Bank.

In Tibet, it is compulsory for all the travelers to visit everywhere accompanied with the guide.

We use modern, well-located hotels in Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse and other major cities in Tibet and other small town will be best available.

Tips is not compulsory but most clients want to give something to their guide and driver as a gratitude. It is not necessary to tip the hotels but if you want to tip your guide and driver than an average of US$10/day for your guide and about US$7/day for your driver should be a good reward. You can even make it lesser, it is all up to you.

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