Tibet is an autonomous region of China. So the Chinese government regulates tourism in Tibet to minimize the adverse effects of tourism upon its fragile environment, culture, and politics. All visitors to Tibet must travel with an authorized tour operator or its overseas representatives with a prepaid and pre-planned itinerary, equipped with necessary permits and a Chinese visa.
You will be assigned a licensed guide to accompany you throughout the tour. Independent traveling, backpacking, or hitching is considered a serious offense of the laws, and you invite a lot of legal and financial troubles if they arrest you for the same. There are two kinds of permits for traveling in Tibet: The Entry Permit (TTB permit) and the Alien's Travel Permit (PSB permit). The permits are part of the tour package. No tour operators offer you the permit only service.
TTB Permit - Tibet Entry Permit
You must produce TTB permit or Entry permits when you check in Lhasa bound flight or at the port of entry. While entering Tibet overland, besides the TTB permit, the guide must be holding PSB -Alien's Travel Permit and numerous other permits needed for different regions.
PSB Permit - Alien's Travel Permit
If you want to go further to the "unopened" areas out of Lhasa, you need an Alien's travel permit issued by the Public Security Bureau (PSB) of Tibet. It is called "Alien's Travel Permit" or "PSB permit."
Traveling Tibet via mainland Chinese Cities
If you plan to go to Tibet via mainland Chinese cities, you need to obtain a Chinese visa on your own first and provide us a copy of the visa (at least a month before your travel begins) so that we can apply Tibetan permits for you. We will apply for the permits for you in Lhasa. We will deliver the original copy of the entry permit to your hotel or contact point in the gateway city such as Beijing, Chengdu, etc. Chinese regulation does not permit producing copies of the permit or shipping out of the country, and actually, we will not have time enough to do so. You need to present the original permit to check-in the Lhasa bound flight.
Traveling to Tibet via Nepal
If you are entering Tibet via Nepal (by flight or overland), the Chinese Tibet tourism regulation requires that we apply for your group visa in the Chinese embassy of Kathmandu!!! Our local office in Lhasa obtains Group Visa Invitation for you, and we will need to submit your original passport and invitation document to the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu. Normal visa processing requires three working days, but with an additional rush fee, we can collect passport and group visas the same day evening after 5 pm.
In principle, a group visa is valid for the period of trip you book through us, but we can try to add a few days extra if you wish to extend your trip to mainland China.
The remaining validity of your passport must be a minimum of 6 months beyond the last day of your trip. Make sure you are not running out of blank visa pages. If you are a diplomat or journalist, we will not be able to obtain a permit for you.