2012 PERMIT SITUATION UPDATE
Replies: 856 - Last Post: Nov 27, 2013 1:10 AM Last Post By: inocuo
May 9, 2012 3:06 AM
105I've been in touch with someone from http://www.traveltibetguide.com. They said they can arrange me a private 4 day tour for 5000 rmb ($750), and will try and get some other people to join the tour. Or I can join their 8 day Mt Everest tour for the same price, with shared accommodations etc. But this doesn't include airfare. I am looking for a trip inside China, my contract will have ended at the end of June and I want to do about a week or two week's travel within the country, as I may not be able to leave and re-enter to get my flight home (must be out of China for work to pay). I might just have to hit up the silk road areas instead with these prices :(
May 9, 2012 5:13 AM
106I have just been told by agent in Lhasa that the rules have now changed and a permit can only be issued to a group of 4 ( minimum ) . these people must be of same nationality and travel on the same trip. i have booked a trip to enter Lhasa on 17th July traveling across to Nepal border- leaving Tibet on 27th july. As there are only two of us, I need to team up with two more people- British. the trip is booked with Tibet highland tours. If anyone is interested, please let me know and I can give you more details. thanks
May 9, 2012 1:00 PM
107Hi, I would like to thank everyone, especially everbrite for the brilliant information in this branch. Organising a trip to Tibet is tricky as I am learning and information like this is proving invaluable. I'm hoping to travel to Lhasa from Beijing, probably via Xining (for ease of acquiring a soft sleeper train ticket) and arriving in Lhasa on the 16th August. I hope to take in some of the Shoton festival on the 17th, do a short tour of Lhasa and then travel overland to Nepal via EBC as part of a private tour.
As I'm a solo traveler from the uk, I'm hoping to find 3 more British traveling companions to help make this trip happen. I am flexible and open to suggestions / advice. Please see my post for more information......
May 9, 2012 3:32 PM
I'm just back today from a trip to TAR with Intrepid. We got the train from Beijing to Lhasa and these are the details:
We were one group of 12 and split as 9 Australians, 2 English and 1 Irish (me). We had a total of 3 separate permits, one per nationality (so I had my own permit) - there was noone else on this permit except me. We needed multiple multiple copies of the documentations as these were checked several times every day and copies were often retained. Our permits were only granted the morning we were due to leave Beijing so we almost did not get our train tickets, and similar to earlier posts, when we did, we ended up getting random bunks in different carraiges (but who cares once you get in right?) Most of the groups we met in TAR were similar to ours or bigger but we also met an American travelling on his own with a driver and guide, he had flown into Lhasa from Beijing in mid-April. We also met some groups of 2 people. It does bear in mind that Intrepid are an international and long-running travel company so are likely to have excellent connections but dont lose the faith because people are still getting into the Region.
One thing I will also call out though for people going in from Nepal or coming out into Nepal - in the last 2 weeks there have been a number of landslides in and around the Zhangmu (Kodari) border region. A GAP group 2 hours behind us (literally) ended up having to turn around and drive all the way back to Lhasa and fly to KTM to get out, and last we heard our driver is still waiting in Zhangmu (a full week later) for the road to clear to drive back. So might be worth also checking out on the road status for the next week before you book anything out of Nepal.
May 9, 2012 6:16 PM
109#110 Thanks for the first hand info. However keep in mind that the permit rules changed since your trip - so the likelihood of anyone getting a 1 person permit (or any permit under 4 persons) as of this week is pretty close to zero. The 4pax minimum group size of same nationality is very much still in force......
May 10, 2012 12:32 AM
110My heart sank when I just got this permit info from tibet highlands tours. I am a solo US traveler who was planning to go from Shanghai to Lhasa by train (June 25th or so) and then overland to Kathmandu, before returning to China for general exploration through July 13th or so before returning to Shanghai and home. I planned to be in Lhasa until about June 30 or so and then travel to Kathmandu from there. It now sounds like I'll have to change my plans drastically. Any suggestions? Are there any other US travelers out there who may be up for forming a group of four to apply for the permit and overland trip? I was planning on traveling solo in Tibet, but that looks like it's out.
May 10, 2012 12:54 AM
111Dheling - my advise is to be flexible about your dates and the idea of going solo. Contact as many agencies as you can find. There are some lists I posted in this thread and elsewhere of reliable companies. Don't give up hope as thereIdre still 6 weeks before the end of June and things can change quickly.
Consider reversing your plans and exploring china and then departing through Tibet to Nepal. And always have a plan B when traveling in this part of the world.
May 10, 2012 10:10 AM
112Thank you very much for the advice, Ruth.
I'm reevaluating, and will try to keep a number of options and potential itineraries open. I like traveling solo, even though I'm not good at the language at all, so I may just plan one trip without Tibet at all...Szechuan, Yunan and others. I'm also interested in visiting the sacred Buddhist mountains, so maybe this trip will be for that.
May 10, 2012 11:29 PM
113The island dispute (based on China and Phillapines claiming sovereignty of the same islands in the South China sea) is just part of the current political paranoia in China right now. It has absolutely nothing to do with Tibet directly. There are a series of quite serious geo-political (and domestic) issues going on right now including Chen the blind activist situation, Bo Xilai affair etc. All these events threaten the Chinese govt. in some way. (and it is no coincidence that this is all happen this year)
This year Communist Party will elect the new leadership (Xi Jinping will most likely replace Hu) this means that all government jobs are reassessed - and new leaders chosen. This leads to a total dog eat dog situation in every govt. office in China. Promotions are based on increasing productivity (positive stats) and ensuring no political problems in your area of responsibility. (ie - being a good party member and not screwing up in any way!)
The most likely explanation for the current ridiculous rules from the TTB is that the TTB leadership and other govt. departments with influence on the TTB are terrified of any kind of political trouble taking place in Tibet in the lead up to the National Party Congress in Beijing in October. In the past, small groups of foreigners have been responsible for political "incidents" in Tibet. (such as the EBC protest in 2008). So its very likely that the TTB is simply making it incredibly difficult for small groups of foreigners to enter Tibet. This greatly reduces the "political risk" of something taking place and a TTB manger being held responsible (as they allow all foreigners into Tibet through the permit system and are thus accountable in the eyes of the govt.)
if this observation/assessment turns out to be correct - then it is quite possible that this rule (4pax of same nationality) may not change this summer.....
May 11, 2012 12:31 AM
May 11, 2012 3:15 AM
Thanks to you for share an important information about Tibet Travel Permit. I have a plan to travel in tibet on september and overland to kathmandu (2person - Indonesia). I did a discussion with some of travel agent and almost get the final one. Travel agent also will find another two person to complete 4 person in a tour. A few days ago i remind them regarding a new issue about the 4 person should have a same nationality. Recently it is true but for august and september they're not sure right now. I and my friends are looking for who want to join us on this trip. Are there any other Indonesian travelers out there who may be up for forming a group of four to apply for the permit and overland trip?
May 11, 2012 3:33 AM
116Pease posts requests for travel companions to Tibet on the Travel Companions branch NOT on this thread.
May 11, 2012 9:03 PM
Who can give me the right information on how many working days it takes to obtain ALL the necesarry permits for a trip from the Nepali border to Western Tibet (Mnt. Kailash) and ending in Lhasa? One travel company is telling me it will take 20 days, but on this thread I have been reading information from 2-3 days or a minimum of 10 days. Also I've read here that applications can not even be submitted to the TTB more than 10 days before the departure for your trip... Does anybody have the right and current information on this??
Furthemore, I was curious if there are already some people that tried to apply for the permits with groups of at least 4 passport copies of the same nationalities, e.g. 4 German, 4 Spanish, 4 American passports.... and than afterwards when applying for the Groupvisa or at the time of entering China/Tibet not all the people on the permit being present? In other words... using your friends passports (that just stay back home) to obtain the permits and once the permits are obtained travelling into Tibet without them... any experiences in this already?
Edited by: theviking83
May 12, 2012 12:24 AM
May 12, 2012 12:31 AM
119ALL to my total dismay, Iast week I was told it very hard to get TTB permit for entry to Lhasa its a minimum 4 four people same nationality and best to wait until June ( I can only go 20 may 10 days ) - tibettravel.org - they were correct. Unfortunately I checked and found a travel agency in Lhasa Access Tibet tour (also called http://www.holytibettour.com) whom told me as they were a Tibet company they could get us a permit for single travellers on a scheduled tour in 3 days and deliver the permit to our Guangzhou hotel but we must pay immediately - us fools we did. They informed us today they cannot and will return our company ( almost USD 2000) but lets see if they do, I did google and indeed there is allot of compliants about this company. The forum is correct you cannot get entry visa unless minimum 4 same nationality same prebooked tour and in may no approval likely
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