How to Get Tibet Permit for Your Hong Kong Tibet Tour
Generally speaking, there is no need for Hong Kong residences to get a Tibet travel permit to visit Tibet. But for other citizens who decide to take a Tibet tour from Hong Kong, they need to apply for the Tibet Travel Permit in advance.
How to visit Tibet with a Home Return Permit for Hong Kong tourist? How to visit Tibet with other passports from Hong Kong? Here we are going to show you the detailed information on how to prepare the documents for your Hong Kong Tibet Tour.
What is Tibet Travel Permit
Known as either the Tibet Travel Permit or the Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit, this single document is the most important permit you need in order to get into and around Tibet. The permit is issued for travel into Tibet by the Tibet Tourism Bureau in Lhasa, and without it, you will not even be able to buy tickets for the trains or flights to Lhasa. And it is not just a simple procedure to get one, though it is relatively easy.
The permit has been a requirement for international travelers to Tibet, and can only be applied for once you have booked your tour of the region with a registered Tibet tour operator. What’s more, even after you have booked the tour, you cannot make the application yourself; it has to be done by the tour operator.
Tibet Travel Documents for Hong Kong Citizens
For those residents of Hong Kong with a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport, the Tibet Travel Permit is NOT required to get to Tibet. As Hong Kong passport holders are Chinese citizens resident in the former British colony, they can travel around China, in any part of the country, with only a Home Return Permit. Also known as the “Mainland Travel Permit”, this document is required for all Hong Kong passport holders for them to travel into and around China. The permit is issued only to Chinese nationals that are residents of Hong Kong as the main travel document to enter mainland China.
While the Tibet Travel Permit and Alien’s Travel Permit are not needed to travel around Tibet for Hong Kong citizens, there is one required document that they will need for Tibet. The Frontier Pass is required for Hong Kong tourists in Tibet that will be traveling in the areas of the Chinese borders with Nepal, India, and Bhutan, and all tourists are required to have one. Even mainland Chinese tourists in Tibet are required to have the Frontier Pass, which can be applied for in Lhasa before leaving for the border regions, especially Mount Everest Base Camp and Mount Kailash.
Tibet Travel Permit for Foreign Tourists Enter Tibet from Hong Kong
For all other travelers to Tibet from Hong Kong, the Tibet Travel Permit is the main requirement in order to board the trains and flights to Lhasa and to get into and around Tibet.
How to apply for Tibet Travel Permit from Hong Kong?
In order to get a Tibet Travel Permit from Hong Kong as a non-Chinese national, you will need to first book a Tibet tour with a registered Tibet tour operator, who will make the application on your behalf.
Once you have decided on the tour that you will take, then you will need to send a scanned copy of your passport and Chinese Entry Visa, so that we can make the application on your behalf.
Once we have the scanned copy of your passport and visa, we will make the application for the Tibet Travel Permit with the Tibet Tourism Bureau in Lhasa.
How far in advance should I apply for the permit?
It is advisable to book your trip at least 30 days in advance of your desired dates of travel to Tibet, to ensure that all of the permits that are required can be obtained in time for your tour in Tibet.
If the Tibet Travel Permit is not approved and delivered prior to the date you will travel to Tibet, you will not be able to board the trains or flights to Lhasa.
How long does it take to issue the permit?
The Tibet Travel Permit can take up to 20 days to process, though it rarely actually takes this long, even in the height of summer when hundreds of thousands of permit applications are being processed.
However, to be sure, it is best to have at least 20 to 25 days allowing the permit to be approved, sent to us, and then forwarded to your hotel in China or Hong Kong.
How can I get the permit?
If you are traveling to Lhasa by Tibet train, you will be able to use a scanned copy of the permit to show to the station staff to get your tickets and board the train. In this case, we can send a copy of the permit by email for you to download and print to show the station staff.
However, for those that are flying to Lhasa, you will need to have the original document, and it can take up to 4-5 days to courier the original permit to your location in China.
Make sure you have got the Chinese Visa before applying for the permit
It is important that you obtain the Chinese Entry Visa before booking your trip with us and making the application for the Tibet Travel Permit. Since there is no Visa On Arrival in China, you need to apply for your Chinese Visa in your home country, or through the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu if you plan to enter Tibet from Nepal.
How to Get to Tibet from Hong Kong
If you are entering China to get to Tibet from Hong Kong, then it is useful to know how to get to Lhasa from this Special Administrative Region. There are also a few things to take into consideration when traveling to Tibet from Hong Kong.
Hong Kong to Tibet Flight
The quickest way to get to Tibet by air from Hong Kong is to fly to one of the closer cities in China first, such as Chongqing or Chengdu, and then get the flight from there to Lhasa. Flights leave Hong Kong International Airport daily for both destinations, and there are daily connecting flights to Lhasa to make the trip as short as possible.
Flights to Chengdu take around 2 hours 50 minutes flying direct, leaving Hong Kong between 10:25am and 8:30pm. From Chengdu, flights to Lhasa take around two and a half hours. The total travel time, excluding connections, is around 5 hours 20 minutes. Direct flights from Hong Kong to Chongqing take around 2 hours 40 minutes, leaving at 8:20am and the last departing at 8:50pm. Flights to Lhasa take around 2 hours 50 minutes.
Hong Kong to Tibet Train
There is no direct train from Hong Kong to Lhasa. To travel to Lhasa via Guangzhou, you need to take the train from Hong Kong’s Kowloon Tong Station to Guangzhou. The train to Guangzhou takes just four hours to get to Guangzhou East Station, and from there you will have to take a Subway Line 2 to Guangzhou South Station, where the train for Tibet leaves. The Guangzhou Tibet train departs at 11:45 am daily to Lhasa, and the trip takes around 53 hours. Tickets for the soft sleeper berths on the train cost from US$ 228, while the hard sleeper berths start at around US$ 134.
To get to Lhasa from Hong Kong via Chengdu, you will need to take a flight to Chengdu International Airport, and then take the train from Chengdu to Lhasa. The flight from Hong Kong to Chengdu takes around 2 hours 50 minutes.
The train runs from Chengdu Railway Station, and the hard sleeper berths cost around US$ 103, while the soft sleeper berths start from US$ 165. The train leaves Chengdu at 2:48 pm every other day, taking around 43 hours to arrive on the morning of the third day.
>> See Our popular 13 Days Hong Kong Chengdu Tibet Tour with Tibet Train Experience
Pay Attention to Altitude Sickness
Altitude sickness can be a problem when traveling to Tibet from lower altitudes, especially when traveling by air. When taking the train or flight to Lhasa, you will not be able to acclimatize at an intermediate elevation before heading up to the plateau. Therefore, you should know the symptoms of altitude sickness,and be aware of when you are suffering from it. Most people traveling to Tibet experience some altitude sickness on arrival in Lhasa, which usually abates after 1-2 days of acclimatization, resting while you are spending the first days of your tour seeing the sights of Lhasa.
For Hong Kong residents with a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport and a Home Return Permit, they can simply visit Tibet without the Tibet Travel Permit.
However, for other travelers visiting Tibet from Hong Kong with other passports, they need to apply for the Tibet Travel Permit for entering Tibet.
To get the Tibet Travel Permit, you need to book a full Tibet travel service with us, including the tour arrangement, the local guide and the local vehicles, etc.
It is suggested to apply for your Tibet permit at least 20 days before your tour start. Once your permit is issued, we will deliver it to you so that you can get onboard the flight or the train to Tibet with the permit.
Besides the travel documents required for your Hong Kong Tibet tour,there are also some other things you need to know, such as how to get to Tibet from Hong Kong and how to release the altitude sickness while arrive in Tibet from Hong Kong.
For more detailed answers to your questions, please feel free to leave your comment below, or contact us. Our professional travel expert will get back to you within 24 hours.
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