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Permit for Tibet

Does anyone know if I can get a permit for Tibet in Kunming, or can I get one from any Chinese Embassy???

by Patrick Brown at 2006-06-22 07:48:37 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Bangkok , Thailand | Bookmark | | Report spam→


There is no such thing as a Tibet permit. This is just a simple tax you pay for when booking your air ticket or bus trip into Tibet. You can fly from Kunming to Lhasa, and when you purchase your ticket you’ll notice that it costs more than it should, that is the Tibet tax or permit. The travel agency will also run a passport check to make sure you are not black listed. (ie. free tibet protestor)

If you would like to enter Tibet overland from Yunnan province without the assistance of a tourism company, it can be done. There are no individual permits given out, but you can give it a go on your own and keep a low profile; and pay the odd small bribe every now and then if a police officer catches you some place that you are not supposed to go. Feel free to contact me personally to discuss your route, if needed. I have a fair amount of experience in the region and I can let you know specifically where police look for western folks who decide to skip the tax.



by Ryan Pyle | 22 Jun 2006 08:06 | Shanghai, China | | Report spam→
cheers, I’ll get back to you on the areas I’m thinking of traveling too. Again it’s for the wildlife trade book. I was thinking of going to Lhasa by road from Kunming but the cost I was quoted wasn’t cheep, 16,000 RMB, then flying back. Does this sound about right to you?


by Patrick Brown | 22 Jun 2006 08:06 | Bangkok, Thailand | | Report spam→

That does sound about right. A trip from Kunming to Lhasa by road would take 7-10 days. The price you were quoted most likely includes a 4x wheel drive and an English speaking driver. It’s an expensive part of the world. I can advise you from my past experience, I have gone in the hard way, on buses and without permits……it’s more of an adventure than a work trip. Meaning that you’re so exhausted by the bus rides and the dodging the police that finding the right time and right places to shoot just never seem to come up. That doesn’t mean you can’t make great pictures, but if you want to settle in and get some serious work done, that means you need a vehical and in Tibet that means big dollars. The best opition I can suggest is share the cost of the trip with a few other people. Your quote of 16,000rmb should be for the total trip – find 4 people and your down to 4000rmb.


by Ryan Pyle | 22 Jun 2006 08:06 | Shanghai, China | | Report spam→

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Patrick Brown, Photographer Patrick Brown
Bangkok , Thailand
Ryan Pyle, Photographer Ryan Pyle
Shanghai , China ( PVG )


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