Friday, May 14, 2010

Travel Permit for the Tibet Autonomous Region

We're planning a trip to Tibet in June. Here's an excerpt from the travel permit we must sign to keep the Chinese government happy. My favorite part is that I'm not allowed to "disrupt the peace and prosperity of Tibet."
  • All foreign tourists receiving a permit for the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) through SnowLion Tours and our Lhasa partners must read and agree to the clauses provided in this agreement before applying for a permit.We cannot process permits for diplomats, press agents, Tibetan expatriates, or individuals involved in Free Tibet organizations or activities.
  • Travelers to Tibet cannot apply for the Travel Permit or other necessary documents by themselves. Only Travel Agencies in Tibet (TAR) can apply for and handle these permits and documents.
  • Individual travel outside of Lhasa is an illegal activity. All travelers outside of Lhasa must be part of a guided tour from a government approved agency.
  • The TAR is NOT a fully open area. There are some places that are closed to travelers. Check with the travel agency in Lhasa for the current policies in the areas to which you wish to travel. They will help you to legally enter the areas you desire, if possible.
  • Train tickets in the summer are very difficult to get and we cannot guarantee that we will be able to get your tickets. We will do everything we can, but sometimes we are unable to get the tickets for your preferred date of departure.
  • All foreign tourists in Tibet (TAR) must follow all local laws and regulations. Do not participate in any activity that would disrupt the peace and prosperity of Tibet or do anything that would destroy the Tibetan way of life or their cultural heritage. You will take full responsibility in accordance with Chinese law for any illegal actions you participate in.
  • Understand that any illegal activities will also bring repercussions on the local agencies through which you have obtained your permits. Please consider how your actions affect not just yourself, but also the local Tibetan community!
  • We are not responsible for policy changes. We do everything possible to operate the trip as planned, but policies regarding foreign travel to Tibet may change at any time. We are not responsible for the cost of cancellation, change, or delay due to policy changes.
  • By booking with SnowLion Tours, the purchaser acknowledges that travel in Tibetan regions is remote and unpredictable. Given that these conditions are inherent to travel in the region, SnowLion Tours is not responsible for travel disruption, safety, injury incurred during transportation, or healthcare emergencies. We recommend that you apply for travel insurance in your home country before traveling in Tibet.