Are you making a difficult choice about how to travel to Tibet?
After reading this details, you can choose the suitable one way this time and plan another option for next time.
The following is three ways for travellers to get to Lhasa.
1. Taking a Flight to Lhasa - the Fastest Way
Flying to Lhasa is the fastest way to get to Tibet. It only takes about 2-3 hours to fly from one city to Lhasa. Each day, there are numerous flights from all major cities in mainland China and there is one or two international flights to Lhasa from Kathmandu, Nepal. You will arrive at Lhasa Gonggar Airport - one of the highest airports on the Earth, or Nyingchi Milin Airport, and then start your Tibet tour.
1.1 Flight to Lhasa
Nowadays, there are several big cities in China operate direct flights to Lhasa. Such as Chengdu, Chongqing, Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Kunming, Guangzhou, Shangri-La, Wuhan, Nanjing, etc. Due to location in western China, there are more than 20 flights each day from Chengdu or Chongqing to Lhasa. If from your country to Chengdu or Chongqing, there are direct flights. We highly recommend you to fly to Chengdu or Chongqing. In addition to a large number of flights to choose from, the flight price from Chengdu or Chongqing is also cheaper than that of other cities.
The flight to Lhasa from Kathmandu is only international flight to Tibet. There are one to two flights each days. Nowadays, Air China and Sichuan Airline are operation the flights.
1.2 Flight to Nyingchi
Due to the beautiful scenery and low altitude of Nyingchi region, most of clients want to choose Nyingchi as their entering Tibet point. Then they can only fly to Nyingchi Milin Airport now.
Nowadays, there are several direct flights to Nyingchi each day from Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Xian, Xining, Shenzhen and Guilin, etc.
2. Taking a Qinghai-Tibet Train to Lhasa - the Cheapest and the Best View
Travelling to Lhasa by train can take 21 - 53 hours. It is the cheapest option for travellers to Lhasa and passengers will enjoy the best stunning scenery along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.
You can take the direct trains from Xining, Lanzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, or board a train at the train station on the way, such as Taiyuan, Zhengzhou, Xian, Wuhan, etc.
2.1 Xining to Lhasa Train
Xining is the starting point of Qinghai-Tibet Railway. each day there are 5-6 trains to Lhasa passing through Xining train station. There is a direct train Z6801 from Xining to Lhasa every other day. It takes 21hrs 19mins in total for 1,956km distance.
2.2 Lanzhou to Lhasa Train
All trains to Lhasa from Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou need pass through Lanzhou train station. So, you can board the trains at Lanzhou. There is a direct train Z917 from Lanzhou to Lhasa every day. It takes 24hrs 4mins in total for 2,188km distance.
2.3 Chengdu to Lhasa Train
The train Z322 is the only train from Chengdu to Lhasa. It departs every other day from Chengdu railway station and arrives at Lhasa railway station. It takes 36 hours and 18 minutes on the 3,030km railway.
2.4 Chongqing to Lhasa Train
The train Z223 is the only train from Chongqing to Lhasa. It depart each other day from Chongqing West Train Station to Lhasa Railway Station. It take 35 hours 43 minutes on the 3,030km railway .
2.5 Beijing to Lhasa Train
The train Z21 departs from Beijing West Railway Station each day and arrives at Lhasa Railway Station on the third day. The whole distance is 3,757km and it takes 40 hours 45 minutes.
2.6 Shanghai to Lhasa Train
The train Z164 runs from Shanghai to Lhasa each day. It departs from Shanghai Railway Station. The whole rail length is 4,373km through 8 provinces and it takes 47 hours 27 minutes.
2.7 Guangzhou to Lhasa Train
From Guangzhou to Lhasa, it is the longest railway route to Lhasa. The whole rail length is 4,980 kilometers.
The train Z264 departs from Guangzhou Railway Station each day. It takes 53 hours.
3. Travelling to Tibet by Overland - the Slowest but the Most View
Nowadays, there are 5 overland roads for tourists travelling to Tibet. You can take overland tours or self-driving to Lhasa. It usually takes several days but during the trip you can enjoy the stunning scenery along the road.
3.1 Kathmandu to Tibet on Sino-Nepal Friendship Highway (Gyirong-Lhasa: 800km)
Located at the opposite Himalayas, China Tibet and Nepal are great neighbors. Nowadays, tourists can travel to Tibet from Gyirong port via Sino-Nepal Friendship Highway.
The special Kathmandu-Tibet journey is followed the winding road along vibrant ravines on the edge of magnificent Himalayan Ranges. The epic Himalayan scenery together with scared Tibet lakes is the best travel experience in Tibet.
3.2 Sichuan to Tibet on the National G318 Highway (Chengdu-Lhasa: 2300km)
The overland journey from Sichuan to Tibet crosses 14 steep mountains with an altitude of over 4000 meters along the way. There are also turbulent rivers that can be seen, such as Dadu River, Jinsha River, Nujiang River and Lancang River from east to west. The road is arduous, but the scenery of the magnificent snowy mountains, primitive forests, grasslands, glaciers, canyons and big rivers throughout the entire way make it worth the drive.
3.3 Qinghai to Tibet on the National G109 Highway (Xining-Lhasa:1917km)
The G109 road is officially known one end of a road which connects Lhasa with Beijing. The total distance is around 3900km. The part from Xining to Lhasa is 1917km.
The road climbs up the Kunlun Mountains and Tanggula Mountains, passes Qinghai Lake, Tibetan plateau, Qiangtang Grasslands and several depopulated zones. The most of parts are along the Qinghai-Tibet railway.
3.4 Yunnan to Tibet on the National G214 Highway (Shangri-La -Lhasa: 1700km)
The G214 road only runs from Shangri-La to Markam where it joins the National G318 highway to continue to Lhasa. The road runs up through the Hengduan Mountains, primeval forests, lush green valleys, Jinsha River, etc. It is also known as “the Ancient Tea Horse Road”.
3.5 Xinjiang to Tibet on the National G219 Highway (Kashgar-Lhasa: 2600km)
The national G219 road from Xinjing to Tibet is not only the highest average altitude highway in the world, but also the largest height difference. It passes through the world-famous Kunlun Mountains, Karakoram mountains, Gangdise mountains and Himalayas, crosses 16 icebanks and involves 44 glaciers. Various wild animals are there, such as wild yellow sheep, wild yak, wild camel, Tibetan antelope, Tibetan wild donkey, wild horse, etc. Its silence and deep concealment make people's mood precipitate; its radiance and magnificence make people deeply intoxicated; its vastness and desolation make people feel small.