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How to travel in Tibet from Macao

What documentation do tourists from Hong Kong and Macau need to prepare when travelling to Tibet?

Hong Kong and Macau tourists who possess a Home Return Permit are required to carry the permit during their trip to Tibet, provided that it is within the validity period. The Home Return Permit is also known as the “Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macau Residents”.

It is worth noting that it is advisable to have a permit with a longer validity period. Otherwise, it may cause inconvenience if you plan to visit more scenic spots or travel to other places during your Tibet tour, but the validity period is insufficient, requiring you to reapply.

guangdong Lhasa Flight

There is only one flight a day from Guangzhou to Lhasa, and China Southern Airlines CZ3463 (08: 25-14: 30) departs from Baiyun International Airport T2.

The train from Guangzhou to Lhasa departs every day, Z264 (11: 45-16: 19), which lasts 52 hours and 34 minutes. Since there is only one train per day, it is difficult to buy tickets in the tourist season. Check with your travel consultant in advance 

Is it necessary for tourists from Hong Kong and Macau to obtain a Tibet entry permit when visiting Tibet?

Tourists from Hong Kong and Macau who possess a Home Return Permit are not required to obtain a Tibet Entry Permit when visiting Tibet, unlike tourists who hold foreign passports, who must apply for a Tibet Entry Permit.

Therefore, tourists who hold foreign passports and have resided in Hong Kong/Macau for an extended period must apply for a Tibet entry permit to visit Tibet, similar to foreign visitors.

Can tourists from Hong Kong and Macau visit Tibet independently?

Tourists from Hong Kong and Macau who have a Home Return Permit can explore Tibet independently, just like tourists from mainland China. Alternatively, they can choose to enter Tibet via National Highway 318 by land, which is similar to mainland tourists.

You can rent a car or drive on your own, without requiring a tour guide. The only difference is that you must stay in a hotel with a “foreign-related license” to provide a more comfortable environment for tourists from Hong Kong and Macau.

Tourists who visit Tibet with foreign passports can only travel in groups and cannot travel independently. However, they can form a group with multiple people, and the customized Tibet travel route will be arranged by the Tibet Organization Agency.

Is it mandatory for tourists from Hong Kong and Macau to hire a tour guide?

No, it is not mandatory. Only tourists from Taiwan and other countries are required to have a tour guide. However, if there is at least one tourist from Taiwan or a foreign country in a group of Hong Kong and Macau tourists, they must be accompanied by a tour guide for the entire trip.

What is the process for Hong Kong and Macao tourists to obtain a Border Permit?

Tourists from Hong Kong and Macao are treated the same as mainland visitors. If they plan to visit remote areas in Tibet, such as the base camp of Mount Everest and the Ngari region, they must obtain a Tibet Border Permit Document. This certificate cannot be obtained in Hong Kong or Macao. Instead, they must entrust a local travel agency in Tibet to apply for the specific certificate. This process can be complicated, but if they book our Tibet travel service, we can provide free assistance in obtaining the certificate.

Are there any traffic-related issues that Hong Kong and Macao tourists should be aware of?

Tourists from Hong Kong and Macao can travel normally with their Home Return Permit, but they must have their certificate checked manually. If they take the train, the staff will also manually check their documents before boarding. Even with the Home Return Permit, the information cannot be scanned automatically, so staff members must input it manually. Therefore, Hong Kong and Macao tourists should remember to pick up paper tickets in advance when taking the train.

Will Hong Kong and Macao tourists encounter any difficulties while staying in Tibet?

No, tourists from Hong Kong and Macao who visit Tibet must stay in foreign-related and star-rated hotels, register at the front desk for relevant procedures, and report to the Public Security Bureau for filing. If they make a reservation through an online hotel platform, they should check the “Applicable to Hong Kong/Macao people” option. It is recommended that they call the hotel before booking to confirm whether they can check-in. Hotel policies can change, and failure to confirm in advance may result in inconvenience upon arrival.

How should Hong Kong and Macao tourists handle security checks while travelling in Tibet?

There are numerous security checks, and tourists from Hong Kong and Macao must bring their residence permit with them, as this is more convenient than the Home Return Permit. After passing the security check, they can swipe their permit directly without the need for slow registration.

What safety measures should tourists from Hong Kong and Macao take when visiting Tibet?

  1. Given the high altitude of Tibet, temperatures are likely to be lower than those at the same latitude in Chengdu. Wind gusts can be strong, especially in certain passes and lakesides, causing temperatures to plummet. Even during the hottest season of July and August, temperatures can still be low in the higher areas. Therefore, it is essential to pack windproof and cold-resistant clothing.
  2. Photography is not permitted inside many temples in Tibet. When taking pictures of monks or Tibetans, it is important to seek their consent beforehand; otherwise, it may be perceived as impolite.
  3. To avoid catching a cold prior to entering Tibet, refrain from smoking and drinking. Individuals with high blood pressure, heart disease, and asthma are not permitted to visit Tibet. Rhodiola rosea can be taken upon arrival as it can alleviate high fever.
  4. it is crucial to maintain a positive and optimistic attitude and build self-confidence to reduce the physical discomfort caused by altitude sickness.
  5. Prior to entering the plateau, it is recommended to avoid overworking and recharge one’s batteries through sufficient rest. Smoking and drinking are prohibited to prevent upper respiratory tract infections. American ginseng can be taken to enhance the body’s resistance to hypoxia. If one has a respiratory infection, it is advisable to recover before entering the plateau.
  6. Upon arrival at the plateau, individuals may experience hypoxic symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest tightness, and dyspnea. However, this does not necessarily indicate an inability to adapt to the plateau. With proper self-care, such symptoms can generally improve or disappear within 2 to 4 days.
  7. The ultraviolet rays in Tibet are extremely strong. It is recommended to avoid exposing bare skin, as it may cause tanning or even sunburn. Regardless of the season or weather, sunscreen is essential. Wearing sunscreen clothing, hats, and sleeves is highly recommended.
  8. The climate in Tibet is dry, so it is advisable to apply lip balm and use a mini humidifier at night.
  9. If travelling by train, it is best to bring slippers for added comfort.
  10. It is important to care for the environment and travel in a civilized manner by carrying garbage bags and disposing of waste responsibly.

About the author

The Tibetan Travel website's creator, hailing from Lhasa, is a cultural enthusiast. They promote responsible tourism, connecting the world to Tibet's beauty and heritage. Awards recognize their contribution.

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