Tibet closed in February and March

Be sure to plan your journey to Tibet to avoid the annual closure that takes place in February and March. This closure happens EVERY year, so plan accordingly.

Tibet Tour

Road in western Tibet

NOTE: THE CLOSURE OF TIBET HAPPENS EVERY YEAR FROM MID-FEBRUARY UNTIL LATE MARCH. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON A TRAVEL AGENCY TO USE IN TIBET, EMAIL ME AT: thelandofsnows@gmail.com

Tibet Closed Every February and March

Since the widespread unrest across Tibet in March 2008, Lhasa and the rest of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) closes to all foreign travelers beginning in the early  February each year. This annual closure usually lasts until late March. During this closure, it will not be possible to travel to the Tibet Autonomous Region. Travel permits for Tibet normally begin being processed again starting on the last Monday in March and the first foreign travelers begin arriving in Lhasa sometime between the 3rd and 7th of April, however, it is up to the Tibet Tourism Bureau to reopen the region. The Tibet Tourism Bureau usually doesn’t make an announcement regarding the reopening until very late March. Travel agencies won’t know anything until the announcement is made. Please understand that this annual closure is not imposed by travel agencies, but by the government.

The main reason for this annual closure is that there are several sensitive anniversary dates in recent Tibetan history that occur in March. “Tibet Uprising Day” is March 10th, which commemorates the armed uprising that happened in Lhasa in March 1959. This uprising, which was carried out by Tibetans, led to a violent crackdown in Lhasa and led to the Dalai Lama fleeing Tibet for India. The Dalai Lama crossed into India on March 30th, 1959 and has been there in exile ever since. Because of these sensitive anniversary dates, the government closes Tibet each year during the month of March just in case any unrest occurs. It is important to point out that there has been no major unrest in Lhasa or other parts of the TAR since March 2008. Tibet remains a very safe place for foreigners to travel to.

Tibet travel information

Guge Kingdom in Western Tibet

Closures in Amdo and Kham

In the past, similar closures have also occurred in some parts of the Amdo and Kham regions. As recently as 2012, government officials in Yushu, Golok and Garze Tibet Autonomous Prefectures in Qinghai and Sichuan have told me that these regions also close in March. If you plan to travel to these regions of Amdo and Kham, check with me to see if these regions have any restrictions. This year (2016) these areas were all open in March, but in years past they have been closed. It is impossible to say for sure what the travel regulations will be for Kham and Amdo in March 2017.

Tibet tour

Trekking in the Kham region

Tibet Travel Information

Nomad Tibetan girl from the Amdo region

Tibet Travel Information

Unfortunately, the government does NOT maintain a website or information hotline with current or official Tibet Travel Information. In fact, if you call the Tibet Tourism Bureau, they will most likely tell you that the Lhasa has never been closed to foreign travelers, which is obviously not true! The only way to get the current travel regulations is to contact local travel agencies or contact me. Each year I do my best to keep my website updated with the current travel regulations across the Greater Tibet region.

Tibet Tour Information

So remember, Lhasa, Everest, Kailash and the rest of the Tibet Autonomous Region will be closed every February and March. Plan your trip to this region around this annual closure. If you need any Tibet tour information or need a recommendation on a reputable, affordable, Tibetan-owned travel agency to use, feel free to email me at:  thelandofsnows@gmail.com

Tibet closed

Lhasa’s Barkhor Square

10 thoughts on “Tibet closed in February and March

  1. Meng Tay

    I just found out that this is an official government closing in March. I’ve already booked my tickets. Now I may have to find another place to go. Can you confirm that Tibet is closing in March 2015 again?
    Thanks.

  2. Anand

    Signing up here to see if there will be updates for March 2015 opening dates.

    We are looking to enter into Tibet from Nepal side on 20th April and travel via the Ali prefecture to Kashgar.

  3. Soren oleden

    Hi, if we are going to lhasa by train and then taking the friendship highway to katmandu would that be a problem if we arrive in Lhasa 20 february? I have difficulties to understand if it is also Lhasa and also february that is closed.
    Best regards søren

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      The overland border from Tibet to Nepal has been closed since the April Nepal Earthquake. This border crossing most likely will not open again until late spring/summer of 2016. No one will know until January 2016 when the Tibet Tourism Bureau will close Tibet. it most likely will close around February 15, meaning you would not be able to go to Tibet since you are planning to enter February 20.

      Lobsang

  4. Rada

    Hi,
    I’m train to plan my visit to Tibet and Nepal and this information’s are useful. I just want to ask do you think is possible to enter Nepal from Tibet by car or any different way in April 2016?
    Many thanks

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      The overland border crossing from Tibet to Nepal (and vice-versa) is currently closed due to the Nepal Earthquake which happened in April 2015. This border crossing will most likely remain closed until mid 2016. This means that the ONLY way to currently get from Tibet to Nepal (and vice versa) is to fly. There are weekly flights connecting Lhasa, Tibet with Kathmandu, Nepal.

      Lobsang

  5. isa

    Losang, please specify its only TAR that is closed in Feb and March, as big parts of Kham and Amdo are very nice to visit arround Losar!

  6. Petra

    Hello,

    we are planning a tour from Tibet to Nepal in Mid of April 2016. My travel agent told us, that there is an alternative route nearby the friendship Highway (Friendship Bridge) to cross the border to Nepal by car. Is this border open for public or do you recommend to book a flight from Lhasa to Kathmandu?

    Thanks for your reply!

    1. Lobsang བློ་བཟང་ Post author

      The Chinese government has NOT said that any overland route from Tibet to Nepal (or vice-versa) is open yet. Do not believe any report from a travel agency that this is open yet as NO official announcement on this has been made. I assume you were given this information either by a travel agency in China or Nepal as I do not know any travel agency that is actually in Tibet that would report this.

      Lobsang

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *