Travel to Tibet by Train, by Flight, by Road, by Cycling or Trekking
How to travel to Tibet? Which way is better among the five ways of getting to Tibet, by train, by flight, by jeep, by bike or on foot? The answer depends on your purpose of going to Tibet, your physical condition, your time and so on.
Travel to Tibet by Train
Taking Qinghai-Tibet train to Lhasa, Tibet so far is the best way to enter Tibet. Not only is it economical but also gives you gradual ascent from cities with low altitude to plateau. Certainly, it will cost you more time. But you will be rewarded with amazing scenery along the railway, a great chance to make friends on the train
You may choose the following train routes to Lhasa.
a. Beijing to Lhasa Train (3753 km, 44 h)
b. Shanghai to Lhasa Train(4373km,47.5h)
c. Chengdu to Lhasa Train(3348km, 44h)
d. Guangzhou to Lhasa Train (4980km, 54h)
e. Xining to Lhasa Train (1960 km, 20:43h, the shortest railway route to Lhasa with most stunning view)
f. Lanzhou to Lhasa Train ( 2188km, 23:22h)
g. Xi’an to Lhasa Train(2864km, 32:18h)
h. Chongqing to Lhasa Train (3654km,44:28h)
The distance from Hong Kong to Lhasa is around 2,423km. There is no direct train or flight to Lhasa from Hong Kong. However, you can still have many options to travel to Tibet from Hong Kong.
Travel to Tibet by Air
Where to fly to Tibet? In fact, there are many domestic and international airlines that fly to Tibet. And you will also enjoy a visual impact of the bird’s view of the mysterious landscape of the Tibetan plateau. Though the cost is a little higher, its convenience and speed are the reward for your money.
a. Fly from Beijing to Lhasa (5h)
b. Fly from Shanghai to Lhasa (6h)
c. Fly from Guangzhou to Lhasa (4h)
d. Fly from Chengdu to Lhasa (2h)
e. Fly from Chongqing to Lhasa (2h)
f. Fly from Xi'an to Lhasa (3h)
g. Fly from Kunming to Lhasa (4h)
h. Fly from Shangri la to Lhasa(2h)
i. Fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa (1h25m)
During the peak travel season in China (such as Spring Festival, summer and winter break for nationwide students), many may fail to book the train tickets from Beijing to Lhasa.A highly recommended solution is to fly from Beijing to Xining and later take Xining-Lhasa train to Tibet.
One reason is that compared with Beijing-Lhasa train ticket, Xining-Lhasa train ticket is easier to book. Meanwhile, the highlight and beginning of Qinghai-Tibet Railway lies in the route of Xining-Lhasa train.
Travel to Tibet by Road
Driving to Tibet is very popular among Chinese tourists to Tibet, especially among auto enthusiasts. It is more independent on arranging the time and places to visit, but also requires more energy and carefulness.The biggest reward is more chance to visit more rare scenery and different experience. Driving to Tibet is also a good way to reduce the impact of high altitude sickness as you will go upward gradually from several hundred meters to 5000m.
Currently, there are only two routes available to drive to Tibet.
a. Drive from Xining to Lhasa (1956km, around 35hours' drive)
b. Drive from Kashgar to Lhasa (2755km, around 60hours’ drive)
c. Drive from Kathmandu to Lhasa (1200km, around 15 hours; drive; currently, not available due to the damage of Zhangmu border
caused by Nepal earthquake).
d. Drive from Chengdu to Lhasa. (2038km, around 44hours’ drive, currently unavailable to foreign tourists)
Travel Documents You Need:
a. Chinese Visa and Passport
b. Tibet Visa (or Tibet Travel Permit)
Documents for Self-driving in Tibet:
a. Vehicle Entry Formalities
b. Chinese Driving License
c. Licensed Vehicle Plate
To Apply for Self-driving in Tibet:
a. Copies of your passport, and Chinese Visa,
b. Three photos of your vehicle from the front, side and back
c. Two photos yourself, with white color as the background
Travel to Tibet by Cycling
Cycling to Tibet requires good physical condition and strong willpower, motivation and courage. But it is really an interesting and great experience for young people. However, cycling to Tibet takes a lot of time and its cost is extremely high and pretty risky given the long distance and road condition. So it’s not recommended for ordinary foreign tourists except professional cyclist with enough time.
Travel to Tibet by Trekking
Trekking to Tibet is the hardest way, but it is a special way for those devout Tibetan pilgrims to travel to Tibet. The pilgrims would spend several years, even their whole life to trek to Tibet, even prostrate themselves to Tibet.