Ever since I saw the movie Seven Years In Tibet, back in the late 90’s, I knew that one day I would make my way there. When Starwood was running their summer promo and one of the redemption options was the newly built St Regis Lhasa hotel, I decided that now it was the time for me to make it happen.
Traveling into Tibet is bit problematic. Not only you need a Chinese visa, for those of us who need one, but a Tibetan travel permit also that can only be issued in Tibet. When I was looking at flight options to Lhasa (LXA) the only direct international flight to Lhasa, on a Star Alliance, carrier was Air China’s Kathmandu (KTM) – Lhasa (LXA) route. I tried to have it ticketed as an award ticket but had no luck. The award space was available but for some reason BMI couldn’t issue it. Also, if flying from Nepal to Lhasa, one needs to have both the Chinese visa and the Tibetan travel permit issued in Kathmandu. So the better and probably the only viable choice was to enter China and then fly into Lhasa. [click to continue…]