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.
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.
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.
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:
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 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.
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!
For more information on our small group tours in Tibet, click here.
This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
Suggested preparation : At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake aerobic exercise (this may include jogging, cycling or fast walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. It is also advised to walk on variable terrain and in variable weather conditions. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week is recommended and for adventures which involve paddling and kayaking, it is important to gain confidence and rhythm rather than speed prior to departure.
This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.