Tibet Visa Information
All tourists visiting Tibet requires valid China visa & a special Alien Travel Permit, which they can obtain only by joining tours organized by recognized travel agencies. Those who arrive in Kathmandu with a Chinese visa issued by Chinese Consulates outside of Kathmandu will find it useless for entry into Tibet.
There is no minimum group size requirement for traveling into Tibet. As long as one is traveling in an organized tour visa will be issued for even individuals. Please note Tibet visa regulations often change & hence given information may not be true at the time when you travel.
Diplomatic passport holders must get clearance from Beijing for travel into Tibet, which often takes long time. It is advisable to travel on non-diplomatic passports, if you have one.
We require at least 7 days notice to process your Tibet visa via Lhasa & at least 4 days in Kathmandu for the Chinese Embassy to handle your passport. Consular section of the Chinese Embassy is open for business between 10-12 am on Monday, Wednesday & Friday only. Visa can also be issued in less than 3 days upon payment of visa rush fees. Normal group visa fee is USD 28 & visa rush fee is another USD 17. For USA nationals the group visa fee is USD 42.
Those entering via Mainland China must pay a handling charge of USD 25 to our China agent for handling Tibet permits, booking & issuing flight tickets.
60 days Nepal visa is readily available at the Tribhuvan International Airport or any other land entry points on payment of USD 30 visa fee. However, tourists transiting through Kathmandu & spending less than 3 days are now issued with gratis visas. Also nationals of SAARC countries & Peoples Republic of China are no longer required to pay visa fees.
Getting Tibet from Nepal
By Surface or Land
Nepal is the best transit point to go to Tibet. The nearest Tibetan border town Zhangmu is 113 km from Kathmandu and is accessible by mere 4 hours drive. On continueing along the friendship highway for 5 days, you will reach Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.The involves crossing of several high altitude passes and rewards you with pectacular views of Himalayas including Mt. Everest. You will encounter with numerous nomadic yak herders en route. Tashilunbo monastery-the principal seat of Panchen Lama in Xiagtse, Kumbum Stupa in Gyantse and Yamdrok Tso( Lake) are the highlights of this overland adventures.
Zhangmu is also the entry and exit point of Tibet for those who are taking a 15 days Mount Kailash and Manasarovara trip. Sher is another point of entry in Western Tibet which is accessible after 6 days trekking from Simikot of Nepal. The route is also used by Mount Kailash visitors.
Kathmandu is connected with Lhasa by Air also. China Airlines operates flights between Kathmandu and Lhasa every Saturday and Tuesday. Depending on the tourist season, additional flight is operated on Thursday as well.
From Mainland China
There are regular flights to Lhasa from Beijing, Chengdu and Xi'an.
Golmud is connected with Lhasa by Qinghai-Tibet Highway. Lhasa has also surface connection with Sichuan and Yunan provinces in the east and by Xinjiang-Tibet Highway in the west.
You can travel to Tibet throughout the year but mid July through to the end of September is the best period. The temperature varies sharply from the south grassland to north plateau. The south is warm and rainy. Most rain falls during May to September. It is warm from June to August. The coldest months are from December to February and crossing over the passes becomes almost impossible. Below given is a table of average temperature, rainfall and sunshine hours in Tibet.
Janaury -13 to 09 0.2 251
Feburary -12 to 10 0.5 226
March -05 to 13 2 241
April 01 to 16 - -