Home  »  Tibet Travel Guide  »  Tibet Travel Tips  »  Travel to Tibet from UK

Travel to Tibet from UK

For the visitors travel to Tibet from UK, you need fly to mainland China or Nepal, and then take the train or flight to Lhasa with your Tibet travel permit. If you fly to mainland China, you may firstly hold a national passport and Chinese Visa (preferably 'Tourist Visa' or 'Type-L Visa'), and then take the train or flight to Lhasa with Tibet Travel Permit. Another option is landed in Nepal first, and then enter Tibet visa Nepal. In such condition, you may apply for 'Chinese Group Tourist Visa' from Chinese embassy were located at Katmandu, Nepal. Of course, Tibet Travel Permit is essential.

For visitors to Tibet from the UK, it is the journey of a lifetime, and is much like a trip to another world. Set far apart from the U.K., in distance as well as in culture, Tibet is a stunning land of high mountains, beautiful scenery, and captivating lakes. Set on the high plateau to the north of the Himalayas, this spectacular region is an autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China, and requires some pretty careful planning in organizing the trip.

However, there is one way that you can make sure the planning of your Tibet tour goes without a hitch. With the ease of travel in the modern world, getting to visit the real monasteries of Tibet is even easier. As a senior Tibet travel agency, Travel Tibet China dedicate to provide you all sorts of Tibet travel service. We provide a local Tibetan guide, private vehicle, and driver for your entire trip. Moreover, this is required in Tibet now, as independent travel is prohibited. If Tibet sounds like the place you want to be, then there is no better time to visit than now.

The following is the travel strategies from UK to Lhasa, hopefully it would find you some help.

How to Travel from UK to Tibet

Travel to Tibet from the UK(United Kingdom) of Great Britain and Northern Ireland requires you to travel almost halfway around the world. A trip of more than 7,000 miles to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, you can choose from either Nepal or China as your initial destination.

Ways 1: Via Mainland China

There are two ways to get to Tibet from China, by train or by flight.

If you choose to fly, you can get a flight to Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xian, Kunming, Shangri-La, Xining, Nanjing, or Xiamen. The closest city in China to Hong Kong that provides flight to Lhasa is Guangzhou, which can be reached easily by flight or train. On average, flights to Tibet from China take between two and six hours, and cost anywhere from UK£420.

There is also the option to take a train to Tibet, and this is often the most popular option for tourists. Trains run daily from seven gateway cities across China, which are: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Lanzhou, Xining, Chengdu, and Chongqing. All the trains from the rest of China have to pass through Xining, in Qinghai Province, which is the start of the famous Qinghai Tibet Railway, the highest railway in the world. Costs vary from city to city for the tickets, and there are several classes of ticket you can get, although it is preferable to have sleeping compartments, as the train takes a long time to cross the plateau. From Xining, the train only takes 22 hours to get to Lhasa, but from Guangzhou, the longest trip, it takes 55 hours, so you are on the train for three days and two nights.

Ways 2: UK - Katmandu - Lhasa

All the flights from UK to Katmandu, Nepal request transit, cost about USD 500.00, the whole journey costs 13 hours. From Nepal to Tibet is also a very popular choice, currently, there’s no train to enter Tibet from Katmandu. But you may enter into Tibet via Gyilong Port, which is the Sino - Tibet border, a very good choice for international tourists. Or you may take the direct flight to reach to Tibet.

The flight from Katmandu to Lhasa

Katmandu is the only venue which has direct flight to Lhasa. To fly from Katmandu to Lhasa, the full price costs about USD 275.00, with short distance of 600km and takes about 1.5 hours. There are two flights each day: CA 408 (12:10 - 16:00) and 3U8720 (11:30 - 15:10), you may wish to check the direct flight detail in advance.

From Katmandu to Lhasa via overland road trip

Compare with flight, overland road trip is more popular. If needed, our Nepalese coworkers can accompany you to Gyirong Port which nowadays called the border of Sino – Nepal. After you cross the border, you may find the Tibetan guider is waiting for you. Of course you may wish to rent a car from Katmandu to reach to Gyirong Port all by yourself. Due to the raising of the altitude, you shall stay in Gyirong county to get adjust the environment, and progressively move to the north to visit tiny, EBC and Shigatse, and eventually reach to Lhasa. The classic travel route abounds with epic vista of Himalayan peaks, holy Buddhist monasteries and sacred alpine lakes… Besides, you may explore the Tibetan exotic life and culture through unlimited chances to meet them.

Tibet Travel Permit Application

Enter from mainland China

From mainland China to Lhasa, you need to provide Tibet Travel Permit and valid passport. Therefore, you need to send us the scan format of your valid passport and visa 30 days in advance, if your visa is not Type-L, besides the mentioned scanned files, you also have to provide an Employment Certificate and Invitation Letter. Generally, Tibet Travel Permit can be issued 7-10 days in advance. If take the Tibet train, we shall send the scanned Tibet Travel Permit into your e-mail box, you only need to print it out before boarding the train, you may board the train via the hard-copy of the Tibet Travel Permit. If you go to Tibet by flight, we shall send the original file to your transit, city (can be one of the major city in mainland China), and hand it to you personally. With the Permit you are allowed to board the flight.

Enter from Nepal

From Nepal to enter Tibet request Chinese Group Tourist Visa (if enter from Nepal, even if you hold Chinese Visa, it’s invalid, must go to the Chinese embassy were located in Katmandu to apply a group visa for enter Tibet). Our travel agency can assist you to apply all the requested certificates. For those entering from Nepal, only need to provide scanned passport file, we shall arrange the group visa invitation letter in advance and send to our Nepalese co-worker. Once you reached to Katmandu, our co-worker shall assist you to get the Group Tourist Visa.

Chinese Entry Visa

The visa for entry into China is applied for easiest through the Chinese Embassy in London, or one of the Consular offices around the country. Consulates exist in Edinburgh, Manchester, and Belfast, and can be visited to obtain the visa instead of going to the Embassy in London.

The cost of the Chinese visa is normally UK£30 for a 30-day, single-entry visa, which is valid for three months from the date of issue. While it is a good idea to book the trip in advance, make sure that your visa does not run out before you travel.

Group Tourist Visa

The Group Tourist Visa is the version of the Chinese visa that you will get if you travel to Tibet through Nepal. Whilst it does say “group”, the visa can be applied for an individual who has a booked tour in Tibet. This is applied for by your tour operator, so travelling through Nepal actually makes it easier to get the documents sorted, as you will not have to apply for the visa before you leave. And since British citizens can use the Visa On Arrival service to enter Nepal (costing around UK£21), there is no need to make any visa application before leaving the U.K. However, you should bring the visa fee in US dollars, as Pounds Sterling is not accepted at immigration. The visa fee in dollars is $30.

The application through the tour operator requires your original passport, as well as your Tibet Travel Permit, so you will need to be in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, at least 5 working days before your planned date of travel. The application process takes three days, so if your visa is applied for on Monday morning, it will be available for the tour operator to collect on Wednesday lunchtime.

Tibet Travel Permit

No matter you enter Tibet from mainland China or Nepal, you need to apply for the Tibet Travel Permit before you go. This is obtained by your tour operator before you enter Tibet, and requires your scanned passport and two photos to apply. The Tibet Visa, as it is sometimes known, is required to travel into and around Tibet, and must be carried at all times. You will not be able to cross the border or board a train or flight to Tibet without it.