Chengdu is undoubtedly known to be a renowned gateway to reach Lhasa, Tibet by railway, highway and flight. Getting introduced to the amazing restaurants to enjoying the glimpse of wildlife or shopping in the lovely streets can collectively be a wonderful journey. There is no doubt that with any mode, you can definitely have a lifetime experience in the Sichuan Tibet tour.
Chengdu to Lhasa by Train
Transportation is made extremely convenient as Chengdu is linked to many International places and also the prime cities in China. Every year it attracts a lot of tourists and it is fun watching the pandas and the serene nature here. This is the departure station of the Z322 train and it is easy for booking a Tibet train ticket and also to get the seat you prefer.
There are two trains that travel between these two places and they are Z322 that travels from Chengdu to Lhasa. The Z324 train travels from Lhasa to Chengdu. The travel time to and fro would be around 37 hours. On every other day, the Z322 train runs from the Chengdu Railway Station around 21:37 and reaches Lhasa Railway Station around 09:55 on the third day. On the same day, the Z324 leaves the Lhasa Railway Station and moves towards Chengdu railway station. It leaves Lhasa at 18:20 and reaches Chengdu at 07:00 on the third day. You get 7 stations in during the course of your Chengdu Tibet train trip and they include Guangyuan, Lanzhou, Xining, Delingha, Golmud and Nagchu.
The trains offer three types of seats and they are hard seat, hard sleeper and soft sleeper. The ticket price keeps varying considering different types of seats. As soft sleeper makes the journey extremely comfortable, this is priced the highest. In the private room, you can find only 4 berths and it has a door as well. You can enjoy a lot of facilities too. If you want to go for a little low price, hard sleeper is recommended as here it is featured with 6 sleepers within a compartment. The one-way ticket fare varies from 46 USD to 157 USD.
You can get a lovely view of many important cities in the sky train ride like Lanzhou, Xining, and Golmud. And it’s also a precious chance to appreciate the breathtaking alpine scenery along Qinghai-Tibet Railway, like Yuzhu Peak, Kekexili Nature Reserve, Tuotuo River, etc.
Chengdu to Lhasa by Bike
The Sichuan Tibet roads are called the National road 317 and National road 318. You can have a wonderful sightseeing experience when you cycle from Chengdu to Lhasa by Sichuan Tibet Highway. It is a totally thrilling experience as the riders can enjoy the view of high mountains, cross the rapid rivers, have a glimpse of the original forests, snow-capped mountains and grassland glaciers. The National road 317 provides with a great view of different places such as Mount Siguniang, Jiaju Tibetan village, Tagong grassland, Kandze Monastery, Larung Gar Buddhist academy, Derge Parkhang, Galden Jampaling Monastery, Zizhu temple, Namtso lake and Yangpachen Hot Spring.
The big route of the Sichuan Tibet northern route G317 starts from Chengdu and goes till the north. The riders stop on the National road 213 and later follow the way from the Shuajing Temple and move towards Leiwuqi, Changdu, Baqing and Nagqu. The total distance taken for travelling is about 2,412km.
The small route of the Sichuan Tibet northern route starts from Chengdu and goes till the north and the riders take the west route in Yingxiu town through the Wolong nature reserve. They have to pass the Balang Mountain and reach Danba. They reach Lhasa only after they reach Bayi and Bome County. The total distance taken for travelling is about 2,293 km.
The Sichuan Tibet southern route G318 begins with Chengdu. The riders take a separate route with National road 108. Travel towards the west and cross the Erlang mountain, Yalong river, Zogang, Nyingchi, Maizhokunggar and finally reach Lhasa. You can experience lovely sceneries of high mountains on the way. The total distance of travelling is 2,149 km.
When you travel from Chengdu to Ya’an, you can take the all expressway. When travelling from Ya’an to Kangding, after you pass the Erlang mountain, it is important to keep an eye on the condition of the road as there will be debris flow and landslip during the rainy season. Kangding to Zheduo Mountain is actually the boundary of the traditional Han people. When you travel from Zheduo to Batang, you can get to view the best farming practices. However, it is important to know that this is a place that is prone to frequent earthquakes. When the riders travel from Batang to Nyingchi, they come across Zhubalong Jinsha River bridge, three rivers and three mountains. From Nyingchi to Lhasa, the road is perfect with an advanced highway.
Chengdu to Lhasa by Car
Travelling overland to Lhasa from Chengdu is quite challenging. It is a real test for your driving skills as you get the 77-turns section, rain, snow, ice and chilly weather. The road is also not paved and this makes it too muddy during the rainy season. Sometimes you could also come across traffic jam that stretches for miles. Also when you travel here, you can view the beautiful villages and towns and also explore Larung Gar Buddhist Academy, Derge Parkhang etc.
When you travel the northern route, travelling in the months of May and June can be the best option. July and August is the time of the rainy season and usually, mudslides and landslides occur during this time. Towards the end of the rainy season is the autumn season and this time is suggested for taking part in wonderful adventures here. The time of winter is usually from November to February and driving during this time is often risky. One can experience freezing temperatures and icy tracts of the road.
Chengdu to Lhasa by Flight
Air travel is considered an extremely convenient mode of travel. It is safe, quick and also comfortable. Between Lhasa and Chengdu, there are five airlines that operate every week and there are around 103 flights that travel to and fro. The duration of Chengdu Lhasa flight is approximate of 02:20 hours. There are different airlines that you can choose from such as Air China, China Eastern Airlines, Tibet Airlines, Sichuan Airlines and so on.
Travel Documents Needed
Travellers who have various types of Chinese visa are required for providing various types of documents to Tibet travel agency. The documents required for travelling purpose varies depending on the purpose of visit and visa category:
1. As a motor vehicle driver or a crew member, with visa category C, passport and Chinese visa of large size are required. Documents that prove that you are working in China temporarily is also required.
2. For permanent residents with visa category D, photocopy of the passport in large size is required. Apart from this, working permit and residence permit is essential.
3. For study tours, visits or for any other purpose, photocopy of the passport or Chinese visa is required, which is in large size. Apart from this, such documents that prove that you are working temporarily in China or invited by any organization is China for the purpose of visiting, learning or working is essential.
4. For the tourists, passport and Chinese visa of large size is required. It is important to know that when you enter China, it is best to have a visa that covers the expected time of your stay. If you need any extension thereafter, it could be delayed as there are a lot of difficulties that are associated with it.
Tibet Travel Permits
Tibet Travel Permit is also referred as Tibet visa and this is issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau and this is essential to enter Tibet. Travellers are required to have the permit for entering Lhasa or any other Tibetan region. It can be obtained with the help of tour operators. You will be asked to show the permit when you check in to a train or flight. Apart from this, the permit will also be required by the group who travel through road.
The travel agency will be able to buy air tickets for travellers only once they have got the permit. Later on, they can pass the airport check-in. Once you have the permit with you, you will not be allowed to travel anywhere else apart from the Lhasa city. In case you want to travel outside Lhasa, then you need to apply for the Alien’s Travel Permit. Once you have submitted all the required documents, it takes about three working days for you to get the permit.
Packing list for Sichuan Tibet tour
It is important to pack minimum things. Firstly it is essential to carry your passport with all the required visas and travel permits.
And considering the special climate, it is suggested to wear suitable clothing. In Lhasa, the temperature in the month of July is normally 30 degrees Celsius during the daytime. However, it falls to 10 degrees Celsius during the night times. As there will be snow formation during the night times, it is suggested to carry some woolen sweaters, socks, warm gloves and wind-proof shoes.
A large outdoor backpack is the best for travelling as you can move freely with it. Carrying disposable items is the best. Make sure you carry some small towels, cup, toothbrush, toothpaste, slippers etc. A good sunscreen lotion is essential when you travel here. Lip balms and sunglasses are also required.
Apart from your usual medicines, it is suggested you carry medicines for headache, cold, diarrhea, insect bite, stomach pain etc. Credit cards can easily be used in most of the places in Lhasa. However, it is advised to get some sufficient cash in different denominations.
If you find the right place to dine, you will not fall short of food and drinks. However, at times when there is lack of time and lack of places to find and you feel short of energy, carrying some vitamin supplements would be healthy. Make sure you carry water purification tablets as well as it will be helpful during trekking. Also do not forget your cell phone, camera and charger to keep your memories alive!