How to Visit Tibet: An Insider’s Guide


If it’s your dream to visit Tibet — to have an amazing, authentic experience in the Land of Snows, support the Tibetan people, and get home safe — you’re in the right place.

2020 Coronavirus Note: Foreign travel to Tibet is currently suspended. Get most recent updates on the current situation in Tibet and of Tibet travel on our Tibet Travel Advisory page.

We’re Lobsang Wangdu and Yolanda O’Bannon, a Tibetan-American couple, and your Tibet travel experts. We’ll show you exactly how to visit Tibet — get your visa and permits, find a reliable agency, choose either the “sky” train or a flight, and avoid getting altitude sickness in the breathtaking heart of the Himalayas. Equally important, we offer you practical guidance about Tibetan food and Buddhism, to help you travel with respect and a deeper understanding.

Explore the page below for all your Tibet travel basics. And if you want to shortcut the process, and get step-by-step Tibet travel planning help, you can sign up now for instant access to our free online Tibet Travel Planner.

Top Tibet Tours

Tibet at a Glance

  • Lhasa: The fabled “place of the gods” holds many of the cultural and spiritual treasures of Tibet, including the twin hearts of the Tibetan world, the Jokhang Temple and the Potala Palace.
  • Mt. Kailash: Joining Tibetan pilgrims on the three-day route around this most sacred of Asia’s mountains is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
  • Everest Base Camp: The best views of breathtaking Mt. Everest are from the Tibet side, and you don’t need to trek to get there.
  • Shigatse: Walking the scenic kora path above the great Tashilumpo Monastery is a quintessentially Tibetan experience.
  • Kham/Amdo: Outside the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) are some of the most beautiful, culturally preserved areas of Tibet, in the Kham and Amdo regions. No special permit is needed for travel in these areas.

Planning to Visit Tibet

  • Where is Tibet? To put it simply, Tibet sits in the heart of Asia, right between India and China. A geographically spectacular area, the Tibetan Plateau is surrounded by range upon range of extreme high-altitude mountains which provide the sources for many of Asia’s great rivers.
  • What is the Tibetan Autonomous Region? (TAR) You may wonder why sometimes “Tibet” is referred to as the “Tibetan Autonomous Region (T.A.R.).” Actually, they are quite different things. In this post we will explain the difference, and at the end of the post let you know the main points you need to grasp for travel purposes.
  • Best 100 Tibet Travel Tips An easy-to-use collection of all the very best tips we’ve gathered over the years.
  • Tibet Travel Information: A to Z Collections of in-depth information on Tibet travel topics, plus guidance on where to start.

Updated on March 29, 2020. First published on December 30, 2018.

Your Tibet travel advisors, Lobsang and Yolanda

Most people who want to go to Tibet don't know how to get there or who to trust for help. We’re Lobsang Wangdu and Yolanda O’Bannon, and we help make Tibet travel more simple, safe and ethical so you can feel peace of mind about your trip. Learn more about us and YoWangdu here.