Tibet is a dream land for many of us, which isn’t an exception for overseas guests either. However, in comparison with Chinese residents, foreigners who intend to visit Tibet for traveling need to apply for Tibet Travel Permit. You may wonder what Tibet Travel Permit is and why foreigners have to apply for this to enter Tibet. And who are the other particular groups of people that need to get such a permit excluding foreigners?
Tibet Travel Permit
It is out of the necessity to preserve the unique ethnic traditions and culture relics and to conserve the ecological environment of Tibet, that Chinese government has made a regulation that people without Chinese IDs, inclusive of tourists from another country, tourists from Taiwan or Overseas Chinese (who holds passports of another country), have to apply for “the permit issued for foreigners who want to enter Tibet for touring” , known worldly as “Tibet Travel Permit” issued by the Tourism Bureau of Tibet Autonomous Region. Meanwhile, foreigners with occupancies as journalists, diplomats or government officials shall travel to Tibet through Foreign Affairs Bureau.
The only legal way for foreign tourists to travel in Tibet is through a travel agency. They have to present Tibet Travel Permit when boarding an airplane or train to Tibet. There is also a specific provision that foreigners should not travel on their own freely but in a group accompanied by tour guides during the entire stay in Lhasa.
The answer is negative. Foreign tourists can only travel in the range of the itinerary listed on the Tibet Travel Permit they hold and with the companionship of tour guides.
Citizens from Hong Kong and Macao holding passport of China Special Administrative Region，can visit Tibet without Tibet Travel Permit if they have got Mainland Travel Permit with them.