2012 PERMIT SITUATION UPDATE
Replies: 856 - Last Post: Nov 27, 2013 1:10 AM Last Post By: inocuo
Apr 12, 2012 3:54 AM
45@flipside1971 - Congratulations and happy travels in Tibet!
When I travelled last year I was going first with three Irish people, then with three Singaporeans, then with some Brits and when we left it was only me and a Canadian.
It would be nice to share some more details about your trip, so that other travellers know what to expect. Like how much you paid, how many days will you spend in Tibet and what places are you going to visit... How many people will be in your group? Did you buy your train ticket by yourself at the station or did the agent insist on buying it for you?
Whatever details that may put other travellers in a better position when choosing an agency or trip.
Apr 12, 2012 1:09 PM
the agency I'm dealing with said that they got all permits applied during the first week and mid April so far, some groups with two people as well.
he's confident to get mine even he's aware that you can not be sure at 100%.
it might be possible that I will get my permit one day after my arrival in china. in any cases it seems like it will be tight and I'll have to shorten my trip of one or two days in tibet (maybe not).
Apr 13, 2012 5:07 AM
47I booked my train ticket from Beijing - Lhasa weeks ago and paid a deposit on my Tibet tour to start it on 17th April. I plan to meet my friend in Lhasa on 17th April. I am British,she is American. I arrived in Beijing today. I still have no permit due to the rules mentioned here. I am hoping it changes by the time my train is due to depart Beijing at 20:08 on 15th April.
Are there any British travellers in Beijing now waiting for their permits to Tibet and travelling at the same time as me? (I will re-post on a separate thread).
Thanks for this thread, very informative.
Apr 13, 2012 7:08 AM
48spink - your fellow travelers don't need to be in Beijjing. They can meet you anywhere along the way. You just need to plan to travel together within Tibet.
Edited by: everbrite
Apr 13, 2012 11:52 AM
49An agency confirmed today that members of a group have to be of the same nationality. When I asked them to look into my itinerary (4-5 weeks) and give me a quote they said that they are currently only applying for permits up to two weeks as they are not certain that permits will granted for a longer duration...
Grateful for any updates (also re for which duration permits are granted)
Apr 13, 2012 6:31 PM
50I heard from my agent in Tibet today. Denied a permit again. They tried to put us with similar nationalities. Denied again. Agent will try again on Monday but say the situation may not change until May. Its just great, thanks China.
Apr 14, 2012 3:57 AM
Apr 14, 2012 9:24 AM
52Last update on this before I hopefully move onto a different forum.
For somewhere that was proving such a headache to get to, Lhasa appears surprisingly full of travellers. There were two other sets of European/American/Australasian people on my train, one pair and one group. I spoke to the pair. They were travelling as a pair and not joining a group when they got there. They were from the same nationality. A fellow Brit I spoke to this morning had been here since April 6, having been to Everest and back. He said there were originally 20 in his group, but only 5 got permits. His group was completely mixed, with a variety of European nationalities and an Australian. As I said before, I thought there were three in my group. There are actually 16, so it looks like what happened was my agency applied for a permit for me and two other Brits, applied for permits for other nationalities separately (possibly applying for them in groups of two or three from the same nationality too) and they are now lumping us all in together now we are here. Someone who was waiting for the ok in Xining while I was there is now here too. My guide today said it is still the case that people have to be in a group of two or more from the same nationality. He says recently, it has not been possible to travel in a group of one.
One massive word of advice though. If you get your permits and get the train, make at least THREE copies of the permit. My one copy was taken at the entrance to Xining train station by a policeman who said he needed it and wouldn't let me in without it. When I tried to board the train, they asked for my permit. It took at least 20minutes to persuade them to let me on, dragging them round the station to look for the policeman. When I got off in Lhasa, they would not have let me into the city had I not remembered I had downloaded my permit as an email attachment to my email, so I showed that to the policeman at the other end. If I had had three copies, none of these problems would have occurred. Another traveller said today that he was stopped and held at Lhasa train station even though he had a copy of his permit, because his guide was not there to meet him. He had to summon the guide before the police would let him through.
Things are turning round, but they are still fraught with difficulties....
Apr 14, 2012 9:30 AM
Apr 14, 2012 9:35 AM
Apr 14, 2012 2:08 PM
55Hi again - this is maybe a stupid question but can you try again to get a permit if the initial request has been rejected or does this minimise the chances to get a permit. I don't have the feeling that my agency wants to try unless they are quite certain that the permit would get approved.
I want to go there mid September so I guess there is still some time...
Apr 14, 2012 6:14 PM
Apr 15, 2012 7:34 AM
Apr 15, 2012 8:37 AM
58Thanks all for this really helpful info. I'm due to depart Beijing on Thursday 19th April on the train to Lhasa with a group from Intrepid. Up to last Friday the group still dont have their Tibet permit and I think at this stage that I wont know if we're going to be able to go until I physically arrive in China. Really frustrating situation as I can only get a refund if a cancel BEFORE I go, but if I go and we cant get the permit then the alternate itinerary is likely to be an overland through China (which I've already done and have no interest in doing again - I booked this trip purely to go to TAR).
Really appreciate any further updates from anyone on the ground dealing with the application process in the next day or 2. Our group will be max 12 and afaik there are no US or Canadian citizens in the group (they appear to be the nationalities having the most difficulty obtaining permits). I also know the last Intrepid group all got in with the exception of one pax.
Keeping fingers & toes crossed for all of you in the same situation as me...
Edited by: intrepudtraveller
Apr 15, 2012 2:58 PM
59Regarding the "all people must be of the same nationality" rule, how difficult does the permit get for someone that doesn't come from the UK, Western Europe or US/Canada, countries which I think are the more common among travelers bound to Tibet?
I'm from Brazil and I guess there will be low chances of having another Brazilian willing to go to Tibet at the same period (mid-May) and by the same agency (unless agencies exchange pax in order to form a single-nationality group).
Has the rule changed or is it likely to change for trips due to May?
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