Tibet is one of the difficult places to travel. The rules change all the time in a second and there are many restrictions.
When I tried to go to Tibet in 2008, just one week ( so they said ) before getting visa in Nepal, the Chinese government closed the door to Tibet. I was waiting for hours and hours at the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu, and finally when my turn came up, they told me they closed the border. They should post the note at the door, then I did not have to waste my day!
When finally I made it in 2010, tourists had to go with a group tour or hired a 4WD ( no choice ) , a driver and a guide. I thought a group tour would give me more freedom within a group than taking a private tour which I had to be with someone all the time but I was going to surprise my boyfriend who was climbing Mt. Everest from Tibet side, so I took latter choice. It was hard because I could not tell exact date until close to entry due to expedition progress. I studied the past records and checked expedition news online and weather. There were many rules once I got in, too. I could not stay at the base camp ( There is a tented camp for tourist. ) more than 2 days and only they allowed one hour at the entrance ofthe expedition team base camp. They did not allow tourists to go into the expedition team camp area. There was a little hill and we were not allowed to go beyond. I liked Tibet. The landscape was gorgeous and buildings & culture were very interesting but I was not happy with those rules.
Now 2012, all the sudden, the Chinese government told tour operators they need minimum 4 passengers from the same country on the tour, then next day, they require 5 passengers. I do not know what makes difference?? Many English-speaking adventure tour operators have multi national passengers and they had to cancel many tours or they had to tell some of the passengers they cannot join a tour. Most of the passengers with Exodus and Explore are usually British, so maybe it did not affect too much as other companies like Kumuka, G Adventures and Intrepid. But now, According to G Adventures’s Safety and Destination Updates below once again the Chinese government close the door to Tibet.
Here is the note on their site;
Recent developments in Tibet mean once more it is out of bounds for overseas visitors.
The Chinese have stepped up major crackdowns against suspected dissidents in Tibet. The Chinese tourism office has asked tour operators to stop taking foreign visitors to Tibet indefinitely.
We are not sure how long this indefinite crack down may last. We are looking at tours a month in advance of departure, and are reviewing their viability.
The following is a list of tours cancelled to date:
If you are on one of the above tours, we will be refunding all tour, hotel and transfer services booked with G Adventures. Airfares are subject to the conditions of the carrier and are not the responsibility of G Adventures.
If your tour is more than a month away, we ask you to hold tight, and we will be in touch with you soon.
This note is still on thier site. ( July 3 )
Especially when you plant to go to Tibet, you should have a trip cancellation & interruption insurance as well.