Planning a Tibet Tour in 2013
Tibet is on our list of Five Recommended China Tourist Destinations for 2013, and our predictions of a relaxation of entry regulations were correct. Our advice is still to apply early and have alternative plans.
Tibet was closed again for most of February and March 2013 for the politically sensitive time of Tibetan New Year, including the time of the Monlam Prayer Festival and the Butter Lamp Festival. Winter is not a recommended time for visiting Tibet anyway because of the harsh weather conditions.
Tibet's summer time is a "sea of festivals", with thangka unrollings, horse races on the grasslands, and other significant Tibetan Buddhist events. See more on Tibetan Festivals and Tibet festival dates for 2013.
Tibet Entry Permit Policy
Tibet's Entry Permit requirements are to be relaxed from April 25th, 2013, allowing groups of any size and nationality to enter Tibet, but a Tibet Entry Permit is still required. If you travel with China Highlights we will make all necessary arrangements for the Entry Permit.
The only things that may inconvenience your Tibet plans now is a lack of train tickets or plane tickets at the peak times, the Alien Travel Permit for remoter areas, or a doctor's assessment saying you should not go high-altitude areas.
Tibetan Alternatives — like Tibet, but more offbeat
The reality is that there is still some difficulty in touring Tibet. Though it is becoming much easier in 2013, flights/trains are limited, remoter parts of Tibet, like Shigatse, require an Alien Travel Permit, and altitude sickness may be an issue. Therefore it is worth considering our alternative tour options.
Provinces bordering Tibet (Qinghai, Sichuan, and Yunnan) have many of the attractions Tibet does. The following places will be less-crowded, less high (less risk of altitude sickness), and less expensive.
Sichuan Province may not have Mount Everest, but Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture does have Mount Gongga, the most easterly 7,000m+ peak in the world, and a beautiful scenic area in Hailuogou Forest Park, to appreciate it from.
See our most popular Tibet tour for inspiration: Four-Day Essence Tour of Lhasa
- Tips for Traveling in Tibet
- Top Things to Do in Tibet
- Check Out the Most Popular Tours of Tibet
- Tibet Entry and Travel Permits
I updated this article on April 10, 2014
See all my travel articles
Questions and Answers About Planning a Tibet Tour in 2013
Hi Paula, we are more than happy to help arrange this tour for you. In order to quote the exact price, please kindly let me know:
1. How many people will be traveling with you?
2. When to start the tour?
3. What is your entering and departing city?
4. Do you need us to include a tour in Chengdu for the 12-14 days?
5. Class of hotel you would like to stay in: 3/4/5 star?
After your further information, I will send you a detailed itinerary, okay?Whitney Liao replied on 2013-05-06
- Send your inquiry before Apr. 30, 2014, and we will email you a $25 coupon.
- The coupon is valid till Dec. 31, 2014, for paying tour packages worth $250 or up.
- The coupon cannot be used for paying flight tickets, train tickets, hotel rooms and day trips.