Mount Everest is the world’s highest mountain with at peak situated at 8848 meters above sea level. The international border between China and Nepal runs across the precise summit point. It attracts numerous tourists from all over the world as well as swarms of experienced mountaineers that attempt to climb its summit every year.
The best time to visit Mt. Everest for travelers is from April to May and September to October. Most of them choose to start off from Lhasa and then drive all the way to the Everest Base Camp (elevation 5200 meters). Gyantse and Shigatse are two other cities in this area of Tibet that have a distinct culture with a unique history. Visitors to the Everest Base Camp could also visit Yamdroktso Lake, Karola Glacier and Tashilhunpo Monastery along the way. After a visit to Mt. Everest, travelers can either return to Lhasa or move on westward to Nepal.
Ascending Mt. Everest via Tibet is a lifetime dream for every mountaineer, since the north route in Tibet is far more challenging than the south one in Nepal. Every April and May, mountaineers from all over the world gather together at the EBC to prepare for their tough ascent to the peak of Mt. Everest.
Throughout our website it is noted that all foreign travelers to Tibet will need to obtain various types of permits depending upon the purposes of the travel and the areas to be visited. With a trip to Mt. Everest by way of Tibet, at least three types of special permits will be required because Everest is located in China’s border area with Nepal.
The first permit required is the Tibet Travel Permit, which would be issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau, but it has to be applied for through a Tibet travel agency. The application documents vary according to the type Chinese Visa that you have. The application procedure normally takes 7 days or so, but as this permit will need to be delivered to travelers before they even enter Tibet, it would be best for travelers to provide the necessary documentation at least 10 to 15 days before the tour begins. You will be asked to show this valid permit before boarding a train or a plane traveling into Tibet. Travel agencies will charge a service fee for the Tibet Travel Permit application.
The second permit that will be required is called a Frontier Pass, which can be applied for through the Armed Police Tibet Frontier Corps in Lhasa. Without this paper, foreign travelers will not be allowed to go to Mt. Everest or Nepal via the Zhangmu Border. Even if you fly to Kathmandu from Lhasa, you will be required to show the pass at the airport. The application procedure takes around 1 to 1 and a half hours. The documents needed to apply are:
The third permit that will be required is the Aliens’ Travel Permit, issued by the Public Security Bureau at a cost of 50 Chinese Yuan. If you do not have this permit, you will not even be able to reach the Everest Base Camp. You can apply for the Aliens’ Travel Permit at the Foreign Affairs Office in either Lhasa or Shigatse. In general we recommend applying for this permit at the office in Shigatse as it is the closest office to Mt. Everest. This permit procedure also takes around one to one and a half hours. The documents required for this permit are as follows: 1. The original copy of your Tibet Travel Permit
2. An original copy of your passport
3. An original copy of your tour guide’s certificate
4. Your Frontier Pass
5. Your tour itinerary
If you wish to visit any places higher up on Mt. Everest than the Everest Base Camp, such as hiking up to the Advanced Base Camp (ABC, at an elevation of 6500 meters), the Rongpuk Glacier, etc., you will be required to apply for another permit, which is a Mountaineering License issued by the Tibet Mountaineering Association. You will also be required to have a professional climbing coordinator accompanying you on your hike. If you plan to climb no higher than the ABC, a local Tibet travel agency can make the arrangements for you; however, if you wish to climb higher than the ABC, you must arrange your services through the Tibet Mountaineering Association.
As an experienced Tibet travel agency, Travel Tibet China provides a one-stop service for all of the aforementioned permits. We just need your passport and your China visa information. If you are planning a trip to Mt. Everest, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you will all of your Tibet travel needs.
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