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<p>I am planning a trip to Tibet. Would like to enter Tibet from China (not Nepal). Would appreciate any information as to tour companies both in the USA and in China and if anyone has done an independent tour as well. Thank you. </p>

We used Overseas Adventure Travel. Toured China and Tibet.
Excellent guides and very informative travels.

Back in 2002, we took the Historical China, Tibet & the Yangtze tour with General Tours. (www.generaltours.com) We booked through AAA and got a couple extra perks for being AAA members. We were pleased with our experience. Like Overseas Adventure Travel, General Tours limits its group size to 16. The itineraries were fairly similar; however, when we went I wanted to revisit Guilin and did not care if we rode a Chinese train. Consequently, General Tours won our decision. Friends who traveled with OAT recently were very happy with their experience too. We loved our time in Tibet and I would love to return. However, the altitude -- or prior air pollution in China -- flattened my husband. So keep weighing your options and have a good time with whoever you select.

Independent travel is usually arranged after arrival in Kunming or Chengdu. The restrictions on entry vary unpredictably, but usually you need to be part of a "group" - generally four people put together on the spot who go their own way in Tibet.
If you want a real group tour there are several foreign companies (Chinese ones should be approached with extreme caution). I've traveled (not to Tibet) with Intrepid, but they can be a bit bare bones for some people. I'm sure Exodus, Eldertreks, Adventures Abroad, Peregrine, Gecko, Imaginative Traveller, Geoex, Tauck etc. etc. all visit Tibet.

My experience is 16 years old so I don't know how relevant it still may be.
I flew Chengdu-Lhasa-Chengdu and found that the US companies most familiar with Tibet usually send people in and out by way of Nepal, and weren't confident about sending me in from China. So I used a Chinese company to get me from Beijing to Chengdu, where I'd pick up my plane tickets to Lhasa from the US company that was making my Tibet arrangements.
The problem was that they failed to coordinate with each other. I arrived in Chengdu to find that neither my plane tickets or my Tibet entry permit were waiting for me as I expected. I was just about to give up and return to Beijing when a Chengdu travel company intervened and made everything right, though I still couldn't tell you exactly what they did and why it worked.
So my recommendations would be (1) to find out if an independent traveler still needs a Tibet entry permit in addition to a Chinese visa, (2) if at all possible, have this permit and your plane tickets to and from Lhasa in hand before you leave home, and (3) if at all possible, work with one company for both your travel arrangements to and from Tibet and your land arrangements in Tibet.
Also, I began taking Diamox a day before arriving in Lhasa and each day I was in Tibet, and had no problems with the altitude. It may have been the pills or if may have been my rugged constitution; I'd bet on the pills! I suggest you discuss Diamox with your doctor.