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Travel to Tibet from Thailand

Travel to Tibet from Thailand

Guide on Tibet Travel Permit Apply, Popular Tour Packages and How to Get to Tibet

November,16 2021 BY Lobsang Tsering 0 COMMENTS

For Thai tourists, a journey to Tibet, one of the ancient homes of Buddhism in Asia, is the journey of a lifetime, and one that many Thai Buddhists want to take. Getting to Tibet from Thailand can be done through mainland China or through Nepal, and there are direct flights to both destinations from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

Tibet Travel Permit Application for Thai Tourists

As with all other nations in the world, Thai tourists must have a Tibet Travel Permit in order to get into and around Tibet. In fact, it is impossible to even board the flights or trains to Lhasa without one. A Tibetan tour operator for more than a decade, we can apply for the permit on your behalf once you have booked a tour with us. We can also provide you with the required guide, driver, and private vehicle for your tour of Tibet, as independent travel in the region is not permitted. Applications require your passport and visa photocopies and a digital photo, and can take from 15-20 days to process.

Get a Tibet Travel Permit to Start your Lifetime Tibet Trip

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Most Popular Tibet Tour from Thailand

From Thailand, a tour that includes Nepal, Tibet, and mainland China is the perfect round-trip to take to explore as much of the region of Asia as possible in one trip. You can start in either Nepal or China, and visit all the places you want to in each country, before moving on to the next. Starting in Kathmandu is a preferable option, as you can get the Nepali visa easily on arrival at the airport, and the Group Tourist Visa and Tibet Permit are easily arranged by us, and can be used for the onward trip into China as well. The triumvirate packages we have can make your tour of Tibet even better by adding these additional destinations.

How to Get to Tibet from Thailand? Multiple ways to travel from Bangkok to Tibet.

Tibet lies to the northwest of Thailand, over 2,000 kilometers distant as the crow flies. Flights do not run direct to Tibet from Thailand, so tourists must travel through either mainland China, via Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, or Guangzhou, or through Nepal via Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport.

By Flight to China

With direct flights to more than 20 destinations across China, it is simple to get a flight to the city you want to start your journey to Tibet from, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. You can also fly direct to Hong Kong, and stop there for a day or two, before moving on into mainland China to head for Tibet. The average flight times are:

a. Bangkok to Beijing: non-stop - 4 hours 20 minutes, one-stop – up to 29 hours 45 minutes (NNG, CAN, HKG)
b. Bangkok to Shanghai: non-stop - 4 hours 10 minutes, one-stop – up to 28 hours 25 minutes (HKG, MFM, NNG)
c. Bangkok to Guangzhou: non-stop - 2 hours 30 minutes, one-stop – up to 23 hours 45 minutes (HKG, PNH, VTE)
d. Bangkok to Chengdu: non-stop - 3 hours 5 minutes, one-stop – up to 27 hours 25 minutes (NNG, CAN, HKG)
e. Bangkok to Hong Kong: non-stop - 2 hours 45 minutes, one-stop – up to 28 hours 25 minutes (USM, SGN, PNH)

After Your Arrival in China

Once in mainland China, you will find your Tibet Travel Permit waiting for you at your hotel, and you will be ready to board the flight or train to Lhasa. You have the option to spend a few days in the place of your choice in China, and local Chinese tours can also be arranged for you while you are there. Once you are ready, you can take your flight or train to Tibet, to start your tour on the Roof of the World.

From Beijing to Lhasa

By flight
There is currently only one direct flight per day to Lhasa from Beijing, although there are a larger number of indirect flights that stopover in Chengdu en route to Lhasa. The direct flight takes around 5 hours to get to Lhasa Gonggar International Airport, and costs from around US$ 500 for an economy ticket.

By train
The train from Beijing to Lhasa is the Z21, which leaves daily at around 8:00pm. The journey covers 3,757 kilometers across eight provinces in mainland China as well as Tibet, arriving in Lhasa around 40 hours later at 12:10pm on the third day. However, in the summer season, from May to September, it can be hard to get a ticket for the train from Beijing to Lhasa, due to the huge demand. One option to counter this would be to take a flight to Xining, in Qinghai Province, and then get the train from there, as there are more carriages on the Xining train and a better chance of being able to procure a ticket.

From Shanghai to Lhasa

By flight
Flights from Shanghai leave several times a day, although there is currently no direct flight to Lhasa. The flights stop at Xi’an, Chengdu, Chongqing, or Kunming, and take from around 8 hours to as much as 26 hours for the multiple-stop flights. The cheaper flights start from around US$ 455.

By train
The Z164 leaves Shanghai daily at 8:10pm, and takes around 47 hours to reach Lhasa, as distance of around 4,373 kilometers. The train arrives in Lhasa at around 7:15 in the evening of the third day, and the journey is the second longest of all the routes to Lhasa.

From Guangzhou to Lhasa

By flight
Similar to Shanghai, there are no direct flights to Lhasa from Guangzhou, although there are a number of indirect flights, with stopovers in Chongqing and Chengdu. The average flight takes from 5 hours 55 minutes to 10 hours 30 minutes, and costs from around US$ 455.

By train
Departing at 11:45am daily, the train from Guangzhou takes over 53 hours to get to Tibet, making it the longest of all the train journeys to Lhasa. Covering almost 5,000 kilometers, the train arrives in the Tibetan capital at around 5:05pm on the third day.

From Chengdu to Lhasa

By flight
From Chengdu, there are numerous direct flights to Lhasa, which take around 2 hours 15 minutes on average. With more than 15 flights a day from Chengdu, it is one of the best airports from which to fly to Tibet, and with the short travel time, it is one of the best options for those with time constraints. It is also relatively inexpensive, costing from around US$ 233 for an economy flight.

By train
The trains from Chengdu depart every other day at around 9:37pm, and arrive in Lhasa on the third day at around 9:55am. Covering a distance of 3,070 kilometers across mainland China and Tibet, the journey takes a little over 36 hours, and is one of the more popular gateway cities to travel to Tibet from. Scheduled departures from Chengdu are on odd days of the month (1st, 3rd, 5th, etc) in January, April, May, August, November, and December, and even days of the month for the rest of the year.

From HongKong to Lhasa

Without a direct flight to Lhasa, there are several options for connecting you to the Tibetan capital. Flights to Chengdu from Hong Kong and then on to Lhasa are very popular, as is the flight to Xining via Chengdu, and then taking the train to Lhasa. You can also take the train direct from Chengdu, or for the very adventurous, you can get a train direct to Guangzhou from Kowloon Station in Hong Kong, and then get the train from there to Lhasa, a total journey time of around almost 60 hours, that covers nearly 5,000 kilometers.

By Flight to Kathmandu

While there are dozens of flights to Kathmandu from Bangkok, there is only one that flies direct, which is provided by Thai Airways. The flight to Kathmandu takes around 3 hours 25 minutes direct, and costs just US$ 328 for an economy ticket. Indirect flights, while much longer (from 7 to 20 hours flight and layover time), can also be much cheaper, and can cost from as little as US$ 200.

Kathmandu to Tibet

By Kathmandu to Lhasa flight

There are several daily flights from Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport, provided by Air China, Tibet Airlines, and Sichuan Airlines. The flight normally takes just 90 minutes, and has the added advantage of allowing you a bird’s-eye view of the summit of Mount Everest as the plane flies over the Himalayas. An average economy ticket costs from around US$ 400.

By the Epic Overland Tour from Kathmandu to Lhasa

For those who are traveling through Nepal, there is no greater adventure than an overland tour from Kathmandu to Lhasa by car. This epic adventure is one that can take from 7 days to as long as two weeks, and where you go depends on you. We can arrange your itinerary to suit your needs, and you can visit the holy mountain of Mount Kailash, take photos of the world’s tallest mountain at Everest Base Camp, and visit ancient monasteries that have stood on this high plateau for over two millennia.

Starting with an amazing drive up into the Himalayas, and across the Trishuli River Gorge to get in to Tibet, the journey is one that takes you to the extremes of Tibetan Culture and religion, passing through rural prairie land with its nomadic yak herders, and stunning river valleys that will leave you breathless. And your tour will culminate in the best sight of all, the stunning city of Lhasa, religious and cultural heart of the Tibetan people, and home to the world-renowned Potala Palace, the former home of the Dalai Lama and seat of ancient Tibetan governance.

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