You will only need to acquire visas for the countries that you will actually be entering. If you are not sure which countries you will enter on your trip, refer to your Mandala Adventures itinerary or call our office to confirm. Some countries allow you to obtain the visa upon arrival at the airport or border; others require that you get it in advance.
To save time upon arrival, you may want to obtain visas in advance even for countries that allow you to obtain it upon arrival. Mandala Adventures strongly suggests using a visa service to obtain visas in advance, as navigating the application process directly through an embassy or consulate can be complicated. We recommend Zierer Visa Service (ZVS) as our customers have found them to be reliable, convenient and reasonably priced. For detailed visa requirements and to download application forms, visit the Zierer Visa Service website through the link below. Or call Zierer toll-free at 1-866-788-1100.
Sending your passport to any consulate or embassy can be risky. If you choose to obtain visa(s) in advance on your own, make sure you send your passport via FedEx, UPS or USPS Express Mail along with a completed air bill for return. Many countries require that your passport be valid for an additional six months after departure, so double check your expiration date in case you need to renew your passport before obtaining your visa(s). The US State Department also provides up-to-date travel and visa information at www.state.gov.
Some Special Notes About Certain Visas
This visa can be obtained in advance or upon arrival at the International Airport in Kathmandu (you will need to bring one passport-size photo). If you will be leaving and re-entering Nepal you will need a multiple-entry visa.
You will need a Chinese visa and an Alien Travel Permit (ATP) for Tibet.
IF YOU WILL BE ENTERING TIBET FROM NEPAL, DO NOT obtain the Chinese visa in advance. Our staff in Nepal will secure both the special group Chinese visa and the permit for you when you arrive in Kathmandu. You will need to bring one passport-size photo with you.
IF YOU WILL BE ENTERING TIBET FROM MAINLAND CHINA (Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, etc.), you will need to obtain a Chinese visa in advance. In this case, make sure you DO NOT state on your visa application that you plan to visit Tibet, or else you may not be allowed to go there. Instead just list a few major destinations in mainland China (Beijing, Shanghai, etc.). Our staff in China will arrange the special Tibet permit. Please note, you will need to obtain a transit visa for China even if you are just switching planes in Beijing.
Bhutanese visas are ONLY available upon arrival and Mandala Adventures’s local staff in Bhutan will arrange it for you. You will need to bring one passport-size photo with you.