Nowadays, there are many backpacker fans in the world, who are obsessed with traveling alone with a cost as low as possible. They are chasing after the charming of solving all the problems during the trip alone, to open their mind, steel their will, and learn true knowledge in practice. Tibet, a mysterious destination, no doubt to have a fatal attraction for them. They are dreaming of discovering its secrets all alone.
So, many people asked, could a foreigner travel to Tibet alone?
Unfortunately, I have to say, the answer is no. Due to the special situation of Tibet, China government has set a series of strict regulations to define the behaviors of foreigners when traveling in Tibet Autonomous Region. One of those is foreigners cannot travel in Tibet alone but must be accompanied by a tour guide. Therefore, even the most strong solo traveler has to accept that traveling to Tibet alone is impossible.
But, how to travel to Tibet if you are a solo traveler?
Here is the way.
1. Make a tour plan in advance, at least 20 days prior your tour starts.
Search online, and find some useful tips for Tibet travel. Then, see what attractions you are interested. Coupled with your schedule, have an outline of your Tibet tour.
2. Compared 2 or 3 Tibet travel agencies and engaged with one.
Google “Tibet tour”, you can get serval Tibet travel agencies on the internet. Check their websites and the tour packages they are selling. For a solo traveler, the best option is to join a budget small group tour to lower the cost. Most of the group tour packages that the big Tibet tour companies offer are similar, only with a little difference on hotels, departure dates. So, you can compare the group tour packages and the price. Then choose one fits your schedule and budget, and book it from an agency you trust the most eventually.
Please make sure that you engaged with a local Tibet tour company which can help you save money without subcontracting to others.
3. Send them your passport copy and China Visa to let them apply for the Tibet Travel Permit.
Usually, the Tibet agent will make all the necessary permit for free as long as you book a tour from them. Tibet Travel Permit is a basic paper for foreigners to enter Tibet, which needs your passport and China Visa copy to apply. There is another common permit called Aliens’ Travel Permit, which is for foreigners visiting Mt. Everest Base Camp. But this is to issue when you get to Shigatse, takes about 30 minutes on the spot.
You don’t need to apply for the China Visa in your country if you choose traveling to Tibet from Nepal. You have to obtain the China Group Visa in Kathmandu with the help of a Nepali agent. Your Tibet tour agent usually has a Nepali partner who can assist you to get the visa, which costs a little service fee.
4. Prepare for your Tibet tour
Your travel consultant will give you a packing list for helping you prepare the must stuff, such as winter clothes, anti-burn articles, etc. Do follow the suggestion and make sure you get everything you need before your departure for your Tibet travel.
Try to keep your body in good and have a good rest before traveling to Tibet, which is very important to avoid the high-altitude sickness, or at least reduce the harm of it.