Travel to Tibet Information
Virtually all of the Tibetan autonomous region, much of Qinghai and
Xinjiang, and parts of Sichuan, Yunnan, and Gansu are above 13,000 feet
(4,000 meters) in altitude. Some main roads in Tibet, Qinghai, and
Xinjiang go above 17,000 feet (5,200 meters), where available oxygen is
only half of that at sea level.
Conditions in Tibet are primitive, and travel
there can be particularly arduous. Medical facilities are practically
nonexistent. Many otherwise healthy visitors to the high altitude areas
may suffer severe headaches, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath,
or dry cough. These symptoms usually disappear after a few days of
However, if symptoms persist, sufferers should descend to a
lower altitude, or seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
Visitors with respiratory or cardiac problems should avoid such high
altitudes. Consult a physician before making the trip.
Tibet Entry/Exit Requirements
Permits are required to visit Tibet as well as many remote
areas not normally open to foreigners. Travel arrangements to Tibet can
be made from outside of China, but once in China, travelers wishing to
visit Tibet must join a group, which can be arranged by almost any
Chinese travel agency. The travel agency will arrange for the necessary
permits and collect any fees.
The Chinese Government requires foreigners (including U.S.
citizens) wishing to visit Tibet to apply in advance for approval from
the Tourist Administration of the Tibetan Autonomous Region.
More information is available from the Chinese Embassy or one
of the Chinese consulates in the United States, or while in China, from
the U.S. Embassy or nearest U.S. Consulate General. (The U.S. Embassy
and consulates addresses are listed at the end of this pamphlet.)
Recently, some Americans with long-term Chinese visas have experienced
difficulty obtaining permits to visit Tibet.
Tibet Travel Articles
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