Home  »  Tibet Travel Guide  »  Tibet Travel Advice  »  How to Travel to Tibet from US

How to Travel to Tibet from US

Why Go To Tibet

Travelling from America to Tibet is easy. All you need to do is firstly fly from the US to major Chinese cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, etc. Then after you obtain your Tibet permit delivered to your hotel by us, you are on your way to either take Tibet train or domestic flight to Lhasa. Another option is to access Tibet from Nepal, due to its proximity to Tibet. In this case, Tibet permit and Group tourist visa are needed. And you may choose to take non-stop flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa or enjoy the epic Kathmandu to Lhasa overland trip. As a prestigious Tibet tour operator, we offer you a variety of Tibet tours covering China, Tibet and Nepal. Check the adventurous Tibet tours and the useful US to Tibet travel guide below.

In total, more than a million Americans travel to Tibet for tourism every year, and the biggest attraction for U.S. citizens is the mighty heights of Mount Everest. Spring and fall are the most popular times for American travel to Tibet, as this is the best time for travel to Everest Base Camp (EBC).

Tibet is a region in conflict. To the Chinese, Tibet is an autonomous region part of their country, but to Tibetans, they are (and hope to become again someday) an independent country. The details of this clash are subjective, depending on who you ask, but since China's invasion into Tibet in the 1950s, Tibet has never been the same. Since then, assimilation has been heavily resisted, the Dalai Lama – Tibet's spiritual and political leader – has gone into exile (and has remained so for about 50 years) and locals continue to cling tight to a culture that has been systematically fading away for decades. Some Tibetans have gone to extremes to get the world to notice, and people have been listening.

Part of Tibet's draw is no doubt seeped in its political struggles, but the region is so much more than its conflict with China. Beyond the history and the headlines lies a beautiful land rich with culture and natural splendor unlike anywhere else in the globe. Tibet lies on the highest plateau in the world, earning it the nickname "the roof of the world." Here, you'll find the highest everything, including mountains (Everest is here), lakes, roads, railways (the Qinghai-Tibet Railway) and even post offices (found at Mount Everest Base Camp). This altitude dictates Tibet's day to day, but not as much as its namesake religion. Tibetan Buddhism is the foundation of Tibetan culture, and locals' dedication to their faith is nothing short of inspiring. Observing this spiritual devotion is tantamount to understanding Tibet and its people. So while here, don't interject what you know but seek out what you may not and you'll surely be, as the Buddhists themselves say, enlightened.

Tibet Travel Permit Application for American Tourists

Just like other international visitors, Americans need to obtain a Chinese visa before being able to get their permit for Tibet. Visas can be applied for through the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. Then you need to book a tour with us, and you are expected to send your scanned photos of your passport and Chines Visa page and your photos to us for Tibet Permit application. As long you book our Tibet tour, we can help you get it For Free. Later after we get your Tibet permit, we will send it back by express to your hotel in China. Now, just tell us your travel date, activities and preferences, our travel consultants will work with you to customize your Tibet tour.

How to Get to Tibet from US

Getting to Tibet from U.S. can be done in one of two ways. You can get flights to mainland China or to Nepal, and enter from either Kathmandu from Nepal or from any of several gateway cities in China. Flights to China and Nepal run daily from several U.S. airports, including Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, New Jersey, Miami, Tampa, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Dallas, Michigan, Chicago, Mississippi, Denver, Salt Lake City, and Phoenix.

Airlines operate a variety of classes for tickets, and depending on your requirements, cost can vary greatly. It is best to search around for the best priced tickets using the online comparison websites to get the best deals. For many travelers to China from the U.S., stopping in Hong Kong first is the best option, as there are less connections for Hong Kong from the U.S. than for China. On average, flights to Hong Kong from the western seaboard of the United States can cost as little as US$ 600, or as much as three thousand dollars. From Hong Kong you can get flights to any city of your choice for your journey to Lhasa.

From US to Tibet via mainland China

Travel to Tibet from mainland China can also be done in one of two ways for American citizens. Flights leave several of the major cities across China on a daily basis, and include airports in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Chongqing, Kangding, and Xining, to name a few. Prices can vary greatly, depending on the city of departure, and the cheapest option for flights is from Chengdu, Chongqing, Kangding, and Xining.

There are also Tibet trains that traverse the plateau along the Qinghai Tibet Railway, which depart from seven gateway cities across China. Taking between 22 hours and 55 hours to complete the journeys, the trains are an adventure in themselves, and are the most popular form of transport to Tibet. Trains leave daily or every other day from Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Lanzhou, and Xining, and several travel through Xi’an on the way to Lhasa. All trains must pass through Xining, the start of the Qinghai Tibet Railway, the closest point to Lhasa on the Chinese rail network.