Foreigners only need Chinese Visa to visit Beijing, Shanghai or other cities in China, but going to Tibet is very different. Although most places in Tibet are open to foreigners, the Chamdo Region and some of the frontier areas are restricted. To travel to those areas, they must have Tibet Travel Permit issued by the government of the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR). If they want to visit border areas like Mount Everest and Mount Kailash, they must have an additional permission from other government agencies of the TAR, such as the foreign affairs office, the public security department, the armed forces frontier corps and the military region.

All these can be entrusted to a travel agency. Even so, it is sometimes not easy, as the Tibet visa policy and requirements keep changing. Travelers always wonder whether they can successfully secure the Permit. Therefore, we are giving some suggestions below. Hopefully, they can help people better understand the Tibet visa policies and the Travel Permit application procedures.


Weather & Climate


Geographically Tibet plateau is known as roof of the world or third pole of the earth, with average altitude of 4950m above the sea, the Tibet plateau is bounded by two mighty ranges, where Himalayan range consist of the world highest peak Mt. Everest situates from south to west and Thanggula ranges in the north, alpine terrain conditions severe, dry and continental climate in Tibet, with strong winds, low humidity, a rarified atmosphere and a huge fluctuation in annual and summer daytime temperature. The Tibetan plateau is exposed to an unhampered cool arctic air from the north; while the southern tropical and equatorial air masses barely penetrate the Himalayan barrier into Central Asia. The strong heating of the earth surface during the summer months and the freezing in winter produces clear seasonal variations in atmospheric circulation and enhances the role of local centers of atmospheric activity.

The atmosphere is severely dry for nine months of the year, and average annual snowfall is only 18 inches, due to the rain shadow effect. Western passes receive small amounts of fresh snow each year but remain travels-able all year round. Low temperatures are prevalent throughout the western regions, where bleak desolation is unrelieved by any vegetation beyond the size of low bushes, and where wind sweeps unchecked across vast expanses of arid plain. The Indian monsoon exerts some influence on eastern Tibet. Northern Tibet is subject to high temperatures in the summer and intense cold in the winter.