Tibet is now open for travel, and for foreign tourists living in China, you can get the required documents to take a trip to this holy land. If you are planning a Tibet tour, read this article to know the latest Tibet travel restrictions, how to travel to Tibet in 2022, and more useful insider tips!
Who Can Travel to Tibet? Latest Updates
Tibet is open to China expats in 2022
The good news here is that: for expats living in mainland China, you are now able to travel to Tibet. Tibet has been reopened to China expats since May of last year. And until now, we have already arranged several tours for our foreign clients in mainland to visit Tibet.
While for overseas tourists, since you cannot get a Chinese tourist visa at the moment, you cannot enter mainland China to travel to Tibet. The situation keeps changing, and we believe that one day you can go freely to Tibet when all things get better.
One of our groups has visited Mt. Everest recently in April.
Latest updates: No COVID case or risk area in your province
Within China, the travel restrictions are not set in stone. Outbreaks of COVID-19 cases have emerged in different places one after another, and different provinces and autonomous regions including Tibet have responded accordingly with travel restrictions.
Currently, only tourists from provinces without COVID-19 case or risk areas can visit Tibet. That means, if the province you currently live have medium or high risk areas, or if you have travelled to other risk areas, you will not allowed to get a Tibet Travel Permit.
The travel restrictions and requirements will be adjusted when the COVID situation changes subsequently. Follow us to catch up on the latest updates.
Is It Safe to Travel to Tibet Now?
Tibet is safe under Covid-19
Tibet is completely safe now, and there are no cases or risk areas across the whole region. As of the date of this update (May 19, 2022), the cumulative number of confirmed cases throughout the Tibetan Autonomous Region is only one. There have been no new COVID cases in Tibet in the last 28 months.
Tibet is now Covid-free and safe to travel.
Unlike other places in mainland China, Tibet is vast and sparsely populated. The environment is relatively oxygen deficient, and the strong ultra violet lights make it difficult for viruses to spread. Therefore, for those who want to go on a trip while avoid crowds at the same time, Tibet is a good choice.
Tibet is safe to travel for most tourists
The local society of Tibet is quite safe and stable, even better than in many cities in the mainland. Even for solo females, you can find that Tibet is a safe place to travel. Also, most Tibetans are devout Buddhists who are humble and kind, welcoming foreign visitors.
When we touring Tibet, we just need to pay attention to local customs and taboos, and respect the religious beliefs of local Tibetans. This will make our journey smoother and more enjoyable.
Local Tibetans are devout Buddhist believers and friendly to others.
In the mean time, you should also be aware of the natural disasters that may occur. Most of the travel itineraries in Tibet are well developed and rarely dangerous. Only when you take some unconventional routes, such as the Sichuan-Tibet overland route, you may encounter landslides or mudslides in rainy season. Just pay attention to the weather conditions before you depart.
How to Travel to Tibet in 2022?
1. You need to obtain a Tibet Travel Permit
No matter you are expats now living in other Chinese cities, or tourists from overseas, you are required to get the Tibet Travel Permit before entering Tibet. But the process to get yourself a Tibet Travel Permit is not that difficult as you may think.
First, you need to tell us your travel plan and make a confirmation of your itinerary, and book your Tibet tour with us. The Tibet Permit cannot be applied through individual, and a complete itinerary should also be made before the application, as it will be written on the paper page.
Then, send us the copies of your passport and Chinese Visa, which will be used for the permit application. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months. And for expats in China, you should also provide your school enrollment certificate or working certificate.
We can help to get Tibet Travel Permit on your behalf.
After that, we will do the rest. We will submit your documents to the Tibet Tourism Bureau in Lhasa. Normally after 8 or 9 working days, we will get the issued Tibet Travel Permit from the bureau. Then we will immediately deliver it to your address or hotel in mainland China.
2. You need to secure Covid-19 documents
Besides the Tibet Travel Permit, you should also prepare the health certificates that are required based on the pandemic precautions. And these documents include:
* Negative nucleic acid test report or proof
* Green health code
* Green arrow code without * on it.
The nucleic acid testing is usually required to be done within 48 hours prior to your Tibet entry. The time taken to issue the nucleic acid report varies from hospital to hospital, so you’d better figure it out in advance.
As for Green Health Code and Green Arrow Code, both are accessed on Wechat or Ailpay apps of your phone. As long as you haven’t travelled to risk areas, your health codes will be automatically be in green color.
3. You need to join in a tour
Travelling alone in Tibet is not feasible, and you need to join in an organized tour with a registered Tibet tour operator or travel agency, like us.
You cannot visit local attraction if you are not accompanied with a local guide. Also, when you go to distant places outside Lhasa, there are no public transport available for you. And We will arrange the tour guide, driver and private vehicle for you, after you book the tour through us.
You can join a small group tour of ours to travel to Tibet.
But the choice is yours to decide to join in a group tour or private tour. Our Small Group Tours have fixed departure dates, the best local prices, and the most tourist-friendly service as well. From classic 4-day Lhasa city tour to 15-day Mount Kailash tour, our itineraries cover the most popular routes for Tibet travel.
Usually, a group tour will be sufficient for most people. While if you want professional travel guru to tailor your Tibet trip, we can also meet your demands. We have a team of excellent Tibet travel consultants that can make your Tibet tour be like no other!
4. You can choose to take a Tibet train or flight to Lhasa
Flight and Tibet train are the main ways for most foreign tourists to get to Tibet. It is quite convenient to get to Tibet by air, since most major cities in mainland China offer direct or non-stop flights to Lhasa. Among them, Chengdu, as one of the closest cities to Lhasa, has the most frequent daily flights to the plateau.
Although it could be more expensive by taking a flight to Tibet, you can book in advance to get some discounted fare tickets. When booking the flight, your passport number will be required. And also, your Tibet Travel Permit will be needed when you check in at the airport.
Trains are also popular among tourists, especially those who have long holidays and are interested in the breathtaking Qinghai-Tibet Railway. The Tibet train also depart from major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Xining, Chongqing, Chengdu etc. And the train from Xining to Lhasa offer the shortest ride, and depart most frequently as well.
Taking Tibet train is one of major ways to get to Tibet.
And during the pandemic period, you will also need to show your health certificates like green health code, and sometimes even negative nucleic acid test report, no matter you take a train or flight. And flight cancellations will also become more likely. So it is suggested to keep in touch with us, to get informed with the latest situation.
5. You can travel with your Chinese friends or relatives
If you have Chinese friends or relatives who are going to Tibet, you can travel with them. But you still need to obtain the Tibet Travel Permit, and be in a tour group organized by a local travel agency, as a foreign tourist to Tibet.
The best suggestion is joining a private tour that only include you and your friends or relatives. In this way, you can freely choose your own itinerary, and enjoy your quality travel time alone with each other.
Travelling to Tibet is now possible for expats in China, as long as the local travel requirements are followed. Although it seems difficult and complicated to plan a Tibet tour as this moment, we will try our best to help you. We can help to handle the Tibet Travel Permit, the flight or train ticket to Tibet, as well as arrange all other things you need for a smooth trip to Tibet. Just contact us for any idea or question you have.