Visa Regulations for Tibet

Posted by Crooked Compass

Dubbed "the Roof of the World", Tibet is home to some of the most incredible wonders the world has to offer. This autonomous region of China shares its southern border with the magnificent Himalayas mountain range and is also home of the Tibetan Plateau - which covers nearly a quarter of China! Tibet is a top contender for many bucket lists but getting in can be tricky. Changes to the visa regulations were announced just this week so be sure you are up to date when planning your trip. 

Tibetan Monk with prayer beads
Tibetan Monk with prayer beads

Extra Day Require to Process Visa

To gain access to Tibet and all of the natural beauty it has to offer requires a visa from the Chinese Embassy who has just indicated a change in the visa process. If you are planning to enter Tibet via Nepal the Chinese Embassy now requires your original passport for three full working days for visa processing. Previously this process only required two days to complete, but with higher demand in recent years, the Chinese Embassy has extended the processing time to three full working days. This means you now must spend at least four nights in Kathmandu before flying into Lhasa. Nepal has plenty to offer to fill in your time.

Remote monastery in Tibet
Remote monastery in Tibet

Don't arrive on the weekend!

Now that it takes three full working days (four nights) to process your visa at the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu, if your plans are to get reach Tibet as quickly as you can, then be sure not to arrive to Nepal on a weekend - the Chinese Embassy will not accept visa applications on a Saturday or Sunday. The Chinese Embassy has also stated that all visa applications must be submitted before 11 am in order for the visa process to be completed by the afternoon of the third day.

Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet
Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet

Discover more of Tibet

Now that you are ready to visit Tibet and are up to date with all the visa regulations, then why not get ready for your next adventure with these impressive sites:

 

Drak Yangdzom

The cave complex of Drak Yangdzom is sure to be an experience you will never forget! Climb into the mouth of these sacred caves using a wood and yak hide ladder before cramping into a slippery shute and being dragged by your feet by a nun into the inner sanctum, the sacred cave of a Himalayan saint.

Yamdrok Lake

Yamdrok Lake or Yamdrok Tso is a must see if it is your first time to Tibet! Providing some of the most beautiful scenery that Tibet has to offer, Yamdrok Tso is one of three holy lakes in Tibet and is surrounded by snow-capped mountains. With an altitude of almost 15,000 feet, this lake provides one of the most picturesque locations in all of Tibet with its raw natural beauty. Whilst the lake is rife with aquatic life and surrounded by wildflowers, Yamdrok Tso is also an important place of pilgrimage; its waters are believed to hold powers of rejuvenation and longevity.

Turquoise waters of Yamdrok Lake, Tibet
Turquoise waters of Yamdrok Lake, Tibet

Samye Monastery

Built in the 8th century, Samye Monastery is said to be the first Buddhist monastery built in all of Tibet and was the location of the 'great debate' held between Indian Buddhists and Chinese Buddhists in 792-794AD. Samye Monastery is laid out in the shape of a giant mandala, with the main temple representing the legendary Mount Meru in the centre. The other buildings surrounding the temple are placed in the corners and cardinal points, representing the four continents and other features of tantric Buddhist cosmology. There are several chapels you can walk through on the upper levels of the monastery and if you are lucky, you might even be allowed to view the former living quarters of the Dalai Lama!

Samye Monastery, Tibet
Samye Monastery, Tibet

For more information on our small group tours in Tibet, click here.