Tibet is Open Again to Travel – How to do the tour in 2023
Tibet, a region in China with a rich cultural heritage and stunning landscapes, has recently reopened for travel without quarantine requirements. This is excellent news for those who have been looking forward to exploring the beauty of Tibet.
After a long wait, China opened its borders entirely to foreign visitors. Since March 15, 2023, anyone with a valid Chinese visa can now enter the country without having to apply for a new one, including those who have previously applied for a visa before March 28, 2020.
This implies that non-resident visitors shall be allowed to enter China only after furnishing a negative PCR test result, conducted 48 hours before departure, and shall not be subjected to any mandatory quarantine upon arrival. However, the initial cohort of tourists expected to visit Tibet is most likely to comprise expatriates from China, as travelers from mainland China can gain entry into Tibet via train or flight without being obliged to furnish a negative PCR test result or health code. After obtaining the requisite Tibet Permit, visitors can explore the region as they prefer.
This is a significant move by the Chinese government and is set to impact the country’s economy. For the past year, China has been grappling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has significantly impacted its tourism industry. With the reopening of the borders, the country hopes to attract visitors.
From Adversity to Opportunity: China’s Resilience in Promoting Winter Tourism in Tibet Amidst the Pandemic
Despite the prevalence of COVID-19 cases, China remains undeterred in its winter tourism campaign within the Tibet Autonomous Region. Recently, the Chinese government announced the reopening of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, which is considered the main attraction for tourists. The Potala Palace, renowned for its ancient architecture, houses over 100,000 cultural artifacts and serves as the winter residence of the Dalai Lamas.
The historic Potala Palace has recently resumed accepting visitors as of January 3, 2023, following a closure of over four months in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Per the official announcement issued by the Potala Palace administration, complimentary admission will be available until March 15, with necessary reservations to be made using a dedicated mobile application a day before the scheduled visit. This promotion allows visitors to explore the palace’s treasures at no cost.
Notwithstanding, all visitors must present valid identification cards as a mandatory requirement for entry to the Potala Palace.
Understanding the Tibet Travel Permit
For those planning a trip to Tibet, there are a few essential things to remember. The first is the need for a Tibet Travel Permit. This permit is required for all foreign travelers to Tibet and can only be obtained through a certified travel agency. It is important to note that independent travel is not allowed in Tibet, and travelers must go on an organized tour provided by a certified travel agent who will also provide the Tibet Permit. We recommend starting your tour planning now but entering Tibet after April 1, 2023.
This official document comprises two pages, each serving a specific purpose. The first page contains details about the tourist, while the second page outlines the approved route for the traveler. It is important to note that upon approval of the itinerary by the Tibetan Tourist Bureau, the visitor is only authorized to access the specific locations listed in the itinerary. This stringent requirement ensures compliance with travel regulations to Tibet, promoting a safe and enjoyable experience for all involved.
Types of Tibet Travel Permits
1. Alien’s Travel Permit
The issuance of Alien Travel Permits, commonly called PSB Permits, falls under the purview of Tibet’s Public Security Bureau (PSB). These permits are a coveted commodity among avid thrill-seekers seeking to embark on expeditions to the untapped regions of Tibet, including the awe-inspiring Everest Base Camp in Shigatse and the culturally rich Samye Monastery located in Tsedang.
2. Foreign Affairs Permit
If you want to journey to the remote and fragile areas of Mt. Kailash and Eastern Tibet, acquiring a Foreign Affairs Permit and a Military Travel Permit is crucial. These permits are granted by the Foreign Affairs Office located in Lhasa and are critical for ensuring the well-being and security of travelers. On the other hand, if you plan a trip to the historically significant Tholing and Tsaparang sites in Western Tibet, you must obtain visas from the Cultural Antiquities Department. These visas are necessary for gaining access to the cultural treasures and relics of Western Tibet and are an essential component of any travel itinerary in that region.
3. Military Travel Permit
Military Permits are essential to access certain remote and military-sensitive regions in Tibet. The Military Office in Lhasa is the leading authority responsible for issuing these permits, which are mandatory for areas like Mt. Kailash and the eastern territories of the autonomous region. It is important to note that without these permits, entry into Tibet’s Ngari, Nyingchi, and Chamdo regions is prohibited. Therefore, obtaining Military Permits is crucial for those wishing to explore these areas and experience Tibet’s unique culture and natural beauty.
Tibet travel permit from Kathmandu
Nepal serves as an exceptional access point to the mysterious realm of Tibet, allowing voyagers to immerse themselves in the region’s time-honored customs and breathtaking scenery without necessitating a different Chinese visa. To gain entry to Tibet from Nepal, aspiring visitors must procure a Chinese Group Visa through the Chinese Embassy in Nepal, the only nation where this visa can be obtained.
As your trusted travel advisor for Tibet, we are pleased to extend our support in facilitating your acquisition of the essential permit for your upcoming Nepal Tibet Tour. Kindly refer to the attached link to obtain further details about this matter.
Will visitors to Tibet in 2023 be required to undergo PCR testing and comply with health codes?
The latest travel policy for Tibet, effective from 2023, has brought about significant changes that will undoubtedly ease traveling to Tibet. With the new travel policy, tourists will no longer be required to provide health certificates like the Green Health Code and evidence of a negative nucleic acid test.
This welcome development will streamline the travel procedure, facilitating the commencement of tourist expeditions to Tibet. The new policy means that tourists will no longer have to undergo the rigorous process of obtaining health certificates and spending days in quarantine.
This move aligns with the Chinese government’s efforts to promote tourism in Tibet and attract more visitors to the region.
Tibet Travel Option for Spring 2023
Tour During Saga Dawa Festival 2023
From May 28 to June 11, 2023, we invite you on a lifetime journey to the sacred Mount Kailash during the revered Saga Dawa festival. This remarkable tour provides an extraordinary opportunity to witness the grandeur of the Himalayas and experience the vibrant culture of Tibet.
The Saga Dawa festival, also known as the “Festival of the Buddha,” is celebrated annually on the full moon day of the fourth month of the Tibetan lunar calendar. This festival is considered one of the most significant celebrations in Tibet as it commemorates the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and passing into Nirvana. Pilgrims from all over Tibet, India, and worldwide travel to Kailash to participate in the festivities.
Peach Blossom Tour: Lhasa to Nyingchi
Embark on an 8-day cultural odyssey through the enchanting vistas of Tibet. Commencing on April 1, 2023, the Peach Blossom Tour is an ideal blend of experiential learning and natural exploration. The journey commences from the picturesque city of Lhasa, the bustling capital of Tibet, where one can bask in the allure of the iconic Potala Palace, the 7th century Jokhang Temple, and the serene Sera and Drepung Monasteries.
The voyage continues with a delightful drive through the eastern region of Tibet towards the breathtaking Nyingchi, renowned for its panoramic landscapes. The verdant slopes of the mountains, the glistening rivers and lakes, and the kaleidoscopic hues of the peach blossoms create a mesmerizing ambiance, offering travelers an unforgettable vacation. Join us on the Peach Blossom Tour and experience the unrivaled allure of Tibet.
Shoton Festival 2023
Immerse yourself in Tibet’s rich cultural and religious heritage at the 2023 Shoton Festival from August 14 to August 22, 2023. This revered Buddhist festival is a unique opportunity to engage with the locals and participate in vibrant festivities.
The Shoton Festival, also known as the Yogurt Festival, is a revered celebration held in August, drawing pilgrims from every corner of Tibet. Experience the pinnacle of this grand occasion as we bear witness to the most significant events and ceremonies, granting a profound insight into the essence of this revered cultural tradition.