For tourists from Malaysia, it is easy to get to Tibet, traveling via Nepal or through one of the many gateway cities across China, such as Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai, etc. More and more travelers from Malaysia are taking the plunge and traveling to Tibet every year, thanks to the relatively low cost of getting to China from Kuala Lumpur. Around 20 percent of Malaysian nationals are Buddhist, and the chance to travel to the heights of the Tibetan plateau, where Buddhist culture is so intense, is the trip of a lifetime.
How to Get to Tibet from Malaysia? Multiple ways to travel from Malaysia to Tibet.
Traveling to Tibet from Malaysia can be done from two directions in several different ways. From Malaysia, there is the option of flying to either Kathmandu in Nepal or any of a dozen airports in cities across China, from which you can get to Tibet. Chengdu, Beijing, and Shanghai are the easiest to get to from Malaysia, and have flights to Lhasa, as well as trains. For those traveling through Kathmandu, the only city outside China with direct flights to Lhasa, there are more than twelve direct flights to Nepal’s Tribhuvan International Airport from Kuala Lumpur, from where you have the option of taking one of several daily flights to Lhasa or traveling overland to Tibet over the border at Gyirong Port.
Flying is always the fastest way to get anywhere, and flights to Lhasa can take from only 90 minutes to as much as 7-8 hours, depending on where you are flying from. However, flights are not good for acclimatization to the huge increase in elevation of the Tibetan plateau, and those traveling by flight are more likely to suffer the effects of altitude sickness.
Trains to Tibet from China are one of the most popular ways to travel these days, though they can take from 22 hours to as much as 55 hours to get to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa. The advantage of traveling by train is the view that you get as you cross down from Qinghai Province to Lhasa. Crossing over the high Tanggula Mountains, where you pass through the highest railway station in the world, the world’s highest railway line runs down over the plateau, passing through the world’s highest railway tunnel through permafrost, and crossing over some of the highest mountain ranges on the planet.
Malaysia to Lhasa via Chengdu
One of the most popular routes to get to Tibet from Malaysia is the flight to Chengdu and then traveling on to Lhasa by flight or train. Flights to Chengdu from Malaysia can be boarded at either Kuala Lumpur International Airport or from Langkawi International Airport, and both have one direct flight per day to the Sichuan provincial capital. Flights from Kuala Lumpur to Chengdu cost from around US$ 204 while flights from Langkawi are around US$ 224 per person.
Trains are the best way to get from Chengdu to Lhasa, and the tickets cost US$ 93 for a hard sleeper berth and US$ 153 for a soft sleeper berth. Hard sleepers are not actually hard, despite what the name suggests, and the only differences between the hard and soft sleeper cabins is that the soft sleeper has four bunks and a lockable door to the cabin, while the hard sleeper has six bunks and is open to the corridor, with only a curtain for moderate privacy. While the trains are relatively secure, with very little crime on the railways, it is still advisable to keep valuable items on your person for safety’s sake. From Chengdu, the 3,360-kilometer trip to Tibet takes around 44 hours, traveling through Lanzhou and Xining before climbing up to the plateau and heading south to Lhasa.
Malaysia to Lhasa via Beijing/Shanghai
There are more than a dozen direct flights to both Beijing and Shanghai every day from the main Malaysian airport in Kuala Lumpur, or from the Kota Kinabalu International Airport. From Kuala Lumpur, flights cost around US$ 120 to Beijing and around US$ 167 to Shanghai. Flights to Beijing from Kota Kinabalu cost around US$ 224 per person, and to Shanghai it is around US$ 179. Kota Kinabalu to Beijing is more costly as there is only one direct flight per day, with indirect flights through Wuhan, Guangzhou, or Shanghai taking as long as 15 hours, while direct flights take just 4-6 hours from Malaysia to Beijing or Shanghai.
As one of the first gateway cities to Lhasa for the Tibet trains in 2006, traveling by train to Lhasa from Beijing is a trip that takes around 41 hours, and cost around US$ 104 for a hard sleeper berth and US$ 165 for the soft sleeper berths. From Shanghai, another major gateway city, hard sleeper berths cost around US$ 114 while soft sleeper berths are around US$ 182. Trains from Shanghai are a little longer, at around 48 hours travel time to the Tibetan capital. Crossing the entire nation, the trains from Beijing and Shanghai travel through eight different provinces to get to Tibet, and while the countryside can be delightful, nothing matches the stunning sights of the Tibetan plateau as you rise up from Xining in Qinghai Province.
Note on China Tibet Tour Packages for Malaysian Tourists
If you are traveling from one of the cities in mainland China to Tibet, such as Chengdu, Guangzhou, Beijing, or Shanghai, to name a few, then we can cater to your entire trip, from your tour in the Chinese cities of your choice to the trip to the plateau and your tour across the roof of the world. For travelers from Malaysia, there are a wealth of tours that you can take in China, including the Terracotta Warriors of Xi’an and the lovable Giant Pandas of Chengdu, or you can take in the sights of Beijing, the nation’s capital and Shanghai, the largest city in China on the mouth of the famous Yangtze River. Both Tibet train journey and taking flight to Tibet are available. We secure your Tibet Permit and Tibet train tickets and vow to bring you a hassle-free tour experience.
Malaysia to Lhasa via Kathmandu
Coming from the opposite direction, Nepal is the only country in the world with direct international flights to Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, making it a preferable entry point for many travelers from Malaysia. Flights only run from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and take just 4 hours to reach the Nepali capital airport. With more than a dozen direct flights to Nepal every day, costing from around US$ 180 per person for an economy ticket, Kathmandu is the cheapest and easiest way to get into Tibet.
For those traveling from Nepal to Tibet, there are a different set f rules regarding travel documents. Basically, in addition to Tibet Permit, you need China Group Visa to access Tibet from Kathmandu. The process takes around three days to complete, and can only be applied for by our representative in Kathmandu, who will meet you to collect your passport and application form to have the visa processed. All of these permits and passes are required whether you are traveling overland to Lhasa or flying direct from Kathmandu.
There is no train to Tibet from Kathmandu, yet, although one is planned to open within the next five years or so, and is already under construction. The best way to travel direct to Lhasa from Kathmandu is by flights, though this is not usually very cheap. Flights to Lhasa Gonggar International Airport from Kathmandu cost from around US$ 265 per person, and are only run by Sichuan Airlines, Air China, China Southern, and Tibetan Airlines. The flight takes just 90 minutes to get to the Tibetan capital, and crosses over the peak of Mount Everest on its flight path, giving some great aerial views of the summit of the world’s highest mountain on clear days. The best seats for this view are on the port side of the plane, the left when facing the front. You may also enjoy the classic Kathmandu to Lhasa overland tour via EBC to Tibet. And we offer easy tour booking and hassle-free travel experience for you.
Most Popular Join-in Tibet Small Group Tour Packages for Malaysian Tourists
What’s more, we have a wide range of Small Group Tour packages that can be used by Malaysian tourists traveling to Tibet, which start all year round (with the exception of February and March, when Tibet is closed to international tourists) You can choose from a short 4-day stay in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, an awesome 7-day trip from Lhasa to Kathmandu taking in the views of Mount Everest, or travel all over the region, including the stunning sights of the world’s highest mountain and the Mount Kailash kora trek in a 15-day adventure of a lifetime. The Small Group Tours are perfect for those traveling on a budget, and reduce the cost of the overall tour by sharing some of the costs with other like-minded travelers in your group.
Tibet Travel Permit Application for Malaysian Tourists
Applying for a Tibet Travel Permit for Malaysian tourists to Tibet requires the use of a registered Tibet tour operator to provide your tour of Tibet, as it is not possible to make the application yourself or travel independently to the Tibet Autonomous Region. However, we make the application process simple and efficient, making the application on your behalf once you have booked your Tibet tour with us.
Application for the Tibet Travel Permit only requires the scanned copies of your passport and Chinese Visa (which you can get from the Chinese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, or from the Chinese consulate offices in Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, and Penang), and the processing time is normally around 15-20 days. After we get your Tibet Permit, we will manage to deliver it to your hotel in mainland China before leaving to Lhasa. We promise 100% Tibet Permit guarantee, and the service is for free to our clients.
If you are planning to enjoy a trip to Tibet from Malaysia, yet have no ideas of how to sort it out the details, no worries! We would like to hear your tour plan and offer free professional consultancy and viable solutions. Please feel free to contact us.