The Comprehensive Guide to the Aliens Travel Permit for Tibet
Embarking on a journey to the mystic lands of Tibet is a dream for many travellers. However, the Aliens Travel Permit is a required document for Tibet Travel. Especially into the heart of Tibet’s ‘unopened’ territories. This guide serves as an essential primer for adventurers looking to uncover the full spectrum of Tibet’s cultural and natural beauty, ensuring that the dream of Tibetan exploration does not falter in the absence of proper documentation.
Understanding the Aliens Travel Permit
The Aliens Travel Permit, or “PSB Permit,” acts as a gateway for foreign nationals desiring to explore the regions of Tibet that lie outside the well-trodden path of Lhasa. Issued by the Public Security Bureau (PSB) of Tibet, this permit is a mandatory document for accessing Tibet’s diverse prefectures. It’s a testament to the government’s approach to regulating travel and ensuring the safety of its visitors and the sanctity of its lands.
Eligibility for the Aliens Travel Permit
Who Needs the Permit?
Foreign tourists are the primary candidates for the Aliens Travel Permit. Unlike diplomats, journalists, and government officials who have to navigate through the bureaucracy of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Tibet Government, the everyday traveller can procure this permit through a more streamlined process.
The Simplified Application Process
How to Apply for Aliens’ Travel Permit?
The ease of applying for an Aliens’ Travel Permit adds to its appeal. The process begins upon your arrival in Lhasa. Travellers are only required to present their passports alongside their Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit to a local tour guide, who will manage the application process. The procedure is swift, generally taking a few hours, with a fee of 50 yuan per person.
Where to Apply for the Permit?
While registered travel agencies primarily arrange the permit as part of organized tours, travellers can also directly apply at the Public Security Bureau offices in various Tibetan prefectures. This flexibility ensures that visitors can secure their permits with relative ease, regardless of their location within Tibet.
Regions That Require the Aliens Travel Permit
Unlocking the Closed Regions
While the urban heart of Lhasa and the expansive Nagqu region welcome travellers without restriction, other areas are not as accessible. To step foot in these regions, the Aliens Travel Permit is non-negotiable:
- Tsetang County: A region steeped in history, home to Samye Monastery, the Tomb of the Tibetan King, Yumbulakhang Palace, etc.
- Shigatse: Known for its spiritual significance, housing the Sakya Monastery, Mt. Everest Base Camp, Rongbuk Monastery, etc.
- Gyangtse: Pelkor Monastery, and Kubum Stupa, stand as testaments to the region’s rich architectural heritage.
- Nyingchi Region: Nyingchi is the naturalist’s paradise, featuring the picturesque Basumtso Lake, Pomi, Rawotso Lake, etc.
- Ngari Region: This is the adventurer’s frontier, boasting the revered Mt. Kailash, Mansarovar Lake, Guge, Ruthok and Further etc.
- Chamdo Region: Chamdo offers a glimpse into the heart of Tibetan culture, with locations such as Chamdo, Riwoche, Tengchan, etc.
By securing the Aliens Travel Permit, the doors to these unique and culturally rich regions are open to you, granting you the opportunity to experience the full splendour of Tibet.
In conclusion, the Aliens Travel Permit is not merely a regulatory formality; it is a key that unlocks the most secluded treasures of Tibet. For those who seek to wander through the corridors of Tibetan monasteries, ascend the summit near Everest Base Camp, or gaze upon the pristine waters of Mansarovar Lake, this permit is essential. As a traveller, if you arm yourself with the Aliens Travel Permit and stay well-informed, you can ensure a smooth and memorable Tibetan journey.
Other Required Permits along with Aliens Travel Permit for Your Journey
Travellers from all over the globe come to Tibet for its stunning landscapes and spiritual richness, yet you must obtain several permits due to its special geopolitical conditions to explore the region completely. In addition to the Aliens’ Travel Permit, there are other documents that you may need to secure before embarking on your Tibetan adventure.
Before you can even think about the Aliens’ Travel Permit, you’ll need the Tibet Travel Permit (TTP). This is required for all foreign travellers and is issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau. Without this permit, you won’t be able to board a flight or train to Tibet.
If you’re heading into military-sensitive regions like Ngari, Nyingchi, or areas near international borders, you’ll need to secure a Military Area Permit. This is in addition to the TTP and the Aliens’ Travel Permit.
Foreign Affairs Permit
If your journey extends into areas that require special permission from the Foreign Affairs office, such as the border areas near Mount Everest, you’ll need to obtain a Foreign Affairs Permit.
FAQs for Traveling in Tibet
Q: Can I travel independently in Tibet with these permits?
- A: No, independent travel in Tibet is not permitted. You must be part of a guided tour with a registered travel agency that will help you in obtaining all necessary permits.
Q: How long does it take to obtain these permits?
- A: It’s best to apply for the permits at least 15-20 days before your trip. The Tibet Travel Permit takes the longest, while the Aliens’ Travel Permit can be obtained in a few hours once you are in Lhasa.
Q: Are these permits required for all regions of Tibet?
- A: The Tibet Travel Permit is required for entry into Tibet. The Aliens’ Travel Permit is needed for areas outside of Lhasa, while the Military Area and Foreign Affairs permits are for specific restricted areas.
Q: Can I apply for these permits online?
- A: No, you cannot apply for these permits as an individual traveller. A registered Tibetan travel agency will handle the application process for you once you’ve booked a tour with them.
Q: How much do these permits cost?
- A: Costs can vary. The Tibet Travel Permit is usually included in the cost of your tour package, while the Aliens’ Travel Permit costs around 50 yuan. Additional fees apply for the Military Area and Foreign Affairs permits.
Q: What documents do I need to provide for permit applications?
- A: You will need to provide a scanned copy of your passport, a Chinese visa, and sometimes additional information such as a detailed itinerary, your occupation, and your reason for visiting.
Q: Can my travel agency apply for these permits without my passport?
- A: Travel agencies require a scanned copy of your passport to apply for the permits. However, you must carry your actual passport with you during your travels in Tibet.
Q: Are there any age restrictions for obtaining these permits?
- A: There are no specific age restrictions for obtaining these permits. However, travellers should be in good health due to the high altitude and remote conditions in many parts of Tibet.
Understanding and obtaining the necessary travel documents is crucial for a hassle-free experience in Tibet. The Aliens’ Travel Permit, alongside the Tibet Travel Permit, Military Area Permit, and Foreign Affairs Permit, form a suite of documents that, while complex, serve to protect both the traveller and the unique cultural and environmental heritage of Tibet. With the right permits and a sense of adventure, the ancient wonders and spiritual sanctuaries of this Himalayan region await.