Tibet (Autonomous Region of China), the “Rooftop of the World” was opened to tourism in 1985. Before this it avoided influence from the western world and developed its unique culture and religion independently within the country. The infrastructure of the tourist industry is still very basic in the remote parts of this unique country. However, every effort will be made under the circumstance to ensure a smooth & pleasant trip. Traveling overland between Kathmandu and Lhasa is an incredible journey in which you can see the world’s highest mountains, travel on the world’s highest plain, meet nomadic Tibetan pilgrims and walk amidst the burning butter lamps and chanting monks of Tibet’s ancient and legendary Buddhist monasteries. However accommodations, amenities and facilities that may be far from perfect and your expectation, but trip to Tibet is well worth the effort providing you an opportunity to be adventure lovers.
The best time to visit Tibet is April to October, and November to March. July and August are considered as rainy months. The best months are May, June, September or October. Normally, we recommend warm clothing for the trip to Tibet as nights and early mornings can be quite chilly and windy cold in winter months, November to April.
The overland from Kathmandu to Lhasa or from Lhasa to Kathmandu is probably the best known overland itinerary. The road distance of roughly 1000 km is full of stunning views from the subtropical climate of the southside of the Himalayas to passing Everest and other 8000 m peaks. Altitude sickness is a real issue , since you sleep higher than Lhasa from the very first night until arriving in Lhasa. En route are many important cultural and religious sites and monasteries.
It is only one flight flying between Tibet Lhasa Gongar Airport and Kathmandu, Nepal operated by Air China airline. Lhasa has no international air-connection with any country in the world other than Nepal (Kathmandu). The flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa or return originally start from Chengdu to Kathmandu with a stop over in Lhasa.
All tourists visiting Tibet requires special Alien Travel Permit which they obtain only by joining tours organized by recognized Travel Agencies. Those who arrive in Kathmandu with a Chinese visa issued by embassies in their countries will find it useless for entry into Tibet.
Require at least 5 working days to process your Tibet visa in Kathmandu for the Chinese Embassy to handle your original passport under normal visa fee. Chinese Embassy working hours are from 10:00 hrs to 11:00 hrs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Basic Requirements on Visa Application:
All applicants should provide the following basic documents:
- The original passport with at least six-month validity and two blank visa pages, one photocopy of the passport page containing the personal particulars.
- Truly completed and signed Visa Application Form.
- One recent passport-photo size color photograph of the applicant.
Visa Fee (effective from April 2009):
Nationality Normal (5 working day) Urgent (3 working day) Top Urgent (same day) For US Nationality US$ 142 US$ 164 US$ 198 For Other Nationality US$ 58 US$ 80 US$ 114 For Nepalese Rs. 2750 Rs. 4450 Rs. 5350
- Visa application could be delivered to the Consular Section of the Embassy either by the applicant or the entrusted travel agencies. Visa application by mail is not accepted.
- If necessary, the applicant may be required to take an interview.
- Usually, it takes four working days to issue the visa. If the visa is needed earlier, additional urgent fee will be charged.
- To provide false information, use fake documents, or fail to fill the visa application form truly and completely may result in the refusal of the visa.