2012 PERMIT SITUATION UPDATE
Replies: 834 - Last Post: May 14, 2013 1:30 PM Last Post By: scoodly
Mar 14, 2012 11:33 PM
Thanks for the replies, can you recommend an agent for my Tibet tour, I would need train tickets then a tour Lahasa-EBC into Kathmandu. Alsowhat city in China is the least amount of time train ride from China to Lhasa? I plan to fly to anywhere in China from Guilin to catch the train to Lhasa.
Edited by: ual902
Mar 15, 2012 3:50 AM
16Tibet based agencies
Other companies commonly suggested on this forum include (listed alphabetically):
Tibet Highland Tours
Travel Wild Tibet
Be very careful with the names. There are lots of similarities which are different companies. For example, there is a Budget Tibet Tour has a decent reputation, but Tibet Budget does not.
I believe that the easiest city close to Lhasa to which you can fly and then take the train is probably Xining. Golmud is closer but I am not sure that it would be easy to fly there.
Mar 15, 2012 2:10 PM
17What about contacting Hostels that I will use on hostelworld.com can they book me train tickets, tours and permits for Tibet?.
Mar 15, 2012 3:29 PM
18Some hostels like Sims and Mix can but most aren't travel agencies and don't have the connections in Lhasa to get the permit.
Mar 17, 2012 5:56 PM
19Thanks for all the Info, now that I started doing research on Tibet travel I found out you MUST be with a tour Agency and I am getting quoted by many agencies around $1000 USD for Lhasa-KTM, my question is how do I meet other like minded Tibet travelers to join their tours besides posting on Lonely Planet? are there agencies that specialize in groups as to lower the costs for the travelers? can I meet other travelers in Chengdu Hostels who would want to share tours to Tibet to lower the costs? I think it is expensive and boring to be with one driver \ Guide for 7 or 8 days.
Mar 17, 2012 6:29 PM
Mar 18, 2012 8:14 AM
So, if it opens April 2, as you say is most likely at present (and I know that could be subject to change, before anybody says), one agency has previously offered me a tour starting in Lhasa on April 6. That now looks impossible doesn't it? The train from Xining takes 24 hours so I'd need my permit back by early April 5 at the absolute latest, which surely can't be done, even if the agency is well connected.
If that's the case, what is the best date to aim for (in terms of a start date for a tour, starting in Lhasa), based on how long it usually takes to get a permit, assuming it takes the time you predict. I'm not going to book anything until the last minute, but it helps to know what is possible/likely.
I've also been offered one starting on April 13, but I would like to go earlier than that if possible.
Mar 18, 2012 4:44 PM
22I am not sure that you need the original permit to take the train. You might want to ask this question separately. If you don't need the original permit, then you should be able to get a copy by the 5th to take the train if the agency is well connected. Why not ask the agency? I doubt that they are planning trips that they believe won't be possible.
Mar 20, 2012 1:03 AM
Mar 20, 2012 3:20 AM
24Thanks. Maybe you're right, but everything that was offered was done so before the start of March. All the agencies were just hedging their bets, hoping it would be open, but without any real knowledge. That is possibly why some wouldn't give me an early April start date. My guess is they will stick with the tours they have offered, if Tibet is open in time. If it isn't open, the tours will be cancelled. People who have already paid a deposit are, as a result, living on a knife edge. That is why I was waiting until it became clearer when it would actually reopen.
Thanks inocuo. If anyone else gets any news please post asap. Thanks.
Looks like I won't enter China for a couple of days anyway as the Irkeshtam pass is closed (or at least the approach roads through Kyrgystan are anyway, due to yesterday's really heavy snow. That means I should have enough time even if I have to take a later tour. Fingers crossed.
Mar 23, 2012 7:46 PM
Mar 26, 2012 12:01 PM
26Nothing official has been said regarding the reopening of the Tibet Autonomous Region, however, early rumors out of Lhasa suggest that there could be an announcement sometime this week.
Mar 29, 2012 6:44 AM
27Hi all, Tibet is opened now, Tibet Tourism Bureau is issuing permits, you can entry Tibet start from April 1st. May all have a enjoyable and safe journey to Tibet.
Mar 29, 2012 7:39 AM
Mar 31, 2012 5:37 AM
29I really cannot imagine how one could "sneak" into Tibet without a permit. There are frequent checks and the army guys did not seem very easy-going. My group visa said Bulgaria (my citizenship) only in English and not in Chinese and it looked like none of these guys (including the conductors on the train) knew what country that was and how to write it in Chinese in their papers. That alone gave me a lot of suspicious looks and delays. If you are found without a permit in Tibet, you will probably be deported and never allowed to enter China again.
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