TRAVEL TO TIBET : HOW TO GET THERE?
There are many ways to travel to Tibet, depending on how quickly you want to get there and how adventurous you choose to be. Usually we recommend you take a flight to Lhasa, and take a train out of Lhasa after your Tibet trip.
Traveling to Tibet by Plane / Flight
Most tourists will want to go to Tibet by plane. Flights are available to Gongkar airport, 95km (59mi) from Lhasa, from Beijing, Chengdu (with daily departure),Chongqing, Xining, Chamdo, Xi'an, Zhongdian, and Kathmandu. Click on the following link to for full flight timetables (opens a new page):
Full Flight Timetable in and out of Lhasa
Chengdu is the most important hub for flights going to and from Tibet. There are at least two flights form Chengdu to Lhasa EVERYDAY. Flights to Tibet from Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, all go through Chengdu. Chengdu offers several tourist attractions, including its world-famous Giant Panda Bears, the Ancient Sanxingdui Ruins, and the "Terracotta Warriors No. 2" (The more well-known Terracotta Warriors are in Xian). We recommend staying overnight in Chengdu to take advantage of these attractions.
Flights going to Lhasa from Chengdu all leave very early in the morning. The planes are all Airbus A340s, so expect a comfortable flight. Remember to look out the window! Along the way you'll be treated to breathtaking views of Tibet's snow-capped mountains.
Travel to Tibet by Driving 4 Wheel Vehicles!
For the adventurous, driving a 4 wheel-drive vehicle to Tibet provides an incredible experience that you will be remember for the rest of your life. It is a difficult route, not for the faint of heart!
You can drive to Tibet via 5 routes:
◆Sichuan (Chengdu) to Lhasa : 2159 kilometers to 2407 km
◆Yunnan (Kunming) to Lhasa: 2317 kilometers
◆Qinghai (Xining) to Lhasa: 1947 kilometers
◆Xinjiang (Yecheng) to Lhasa: 2743 kilometers
◆Kathmandu to Lhasa
The Qinghai and Kathmandu ("friendship highway") routes are the most accessible. We do not recommend any of the other routes unless you are a ‘professional driver’, equipped with all the necessary gear and backup support.backup support.
Access Tibet Tour operates 4 wheel driving tours to Tibet. If you would like the real adventure of driving all the way up to the rooftop of the world, please click here to contact us .
Travel to Tibet by Train
It is now possible to go to Tibet by train via the Qinghai-Tibet railway, the world's highest altitude railway. While traveling to Tibet by train takes much longer than by plane, you will be witness to thousands of miles of the most stunning landscapes in the world, rolling by outside your window.
An important tip: Buy guide books for Tibet before you go!
Train to Tibet
Take the train via the Qinghai-Tibet railway, the world's highest altitude railway. While traveling to Tibet by train takes much longer than by air, you will see thousands of miles of the most stunning landscapes in the world through your window. The train is green, with environmental protection construction, two traction engine but without heating system, especially in Golmu to Lhasa section of the food supply. There are three classes of seats on the train, they are soft seat, hard bed and soft sleeper, while the quantity of soft sleeper is much less than that of soft seat and hard bed. According to the Tibet Railway Bureau, a person can only buy his / her own ticket. The ticket is only printing in Chinese, in addition, the site's online booking train tickets in Tibet is the Chinese people. You can contact Tibet tourism booking train ticket for you.
1.When you fetching the ticket and board on the train, you have to show the conductor your Tibet permit.
2.Not necessary to show Tibet permit, while in the later procedures, you have to show it.
3.No refund of service fee, while the fee of after minus punishment for cancelling the ticket(s) from China Railway Corporation, can be refunded.
Timetable for the Qinghai-Tibet railway
Lhasa-Beijing: 47 hours 04 minutes; distance: 4064km
Lhasa-Chengdu: 45 hours 40 minutes; distance: 3360km
Lhasa-Chongqing: 46 hours 32 minutes; distance: 3654km
Lhasa-Shanghai: 48 hours 58 minutes; distance: 4373km
Lhasa-Guangzhou: 56 hours 10 minutes; distance: 4980km
* Other possible destinations: Golmud, Xining, Lanzhou and Xi'an.
Since we provide sufficient details on the map, it takes time while you download it, be patient please.
These image files are stored on another server. Please remember to hit the "back" button of your web-browser to get back to www.accesstibettours.com
There are several sorts of maps,
1. Tibet and China Airline Map
-Click here to view it in a new window (46kb)
2. Road Map of Tibet (with distances)
-Click here to view it in a new window (170kb)
3. Road Map of Tibet (in both Chinese and English)
-Click here to view it in a new window (217kb)
4. District Map of Tibet
-Click here to view it in a new window (196kb)
5. Relief Map of Tibet
-Click here to view it in a new window (554kb)
- Relative Information: Latitude, Altitude and Average Temperature in different places of Tibet
6. Tourist Map of Lhasa
-Click here to view it in a new window (241kb)
More maps of Tibet: Tibet Regional Maps
Adverse reactions to the high altitude of Tibet are one of the biggest challenges while you traveling there. However, if you are properly informed and prepared, high altitude would not be an obstacle to a safe and comfortable travel.
1. The classification of High Altitude?
- High Altitude: 1500 - 3500 m (5000 - 11500 ft)
- Very High Altitude: 3500 - 5500 m (11500 - 18000 ft)
- Extreme Altitude: above 5500 m
When acclimatization lags significantly behind ascent, various symptoms occur. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) represents the body's intolerance of the hypoxic (low oxygen) environment at high elevations
. 2. The symptoms of AMS
- Hyperventilation (fast breathing)
- Shortness of breath during exertion
- Increased urination
- Altered breathing patterns at night
- Frequent nighttime awakening
- Strange dreams
3. Tips to avoid AMS
- Do exercise to improve your fitness before coming to Tibet.
- Try to avoid catching a cold (frequent hand-washing, etc.).
- Make sure to get a good night's sleep the night before flying to Lhasa.
- Avoid strenuous activity during your first day in Tibet.
- When arriving in the airport in Lhasa, walk slowly, take deep breaths. Take time to acclimatize.
- Ascend to higher altitudes gradually. DO NOT ASCEND ANY HIGHER if you begin feeling ill.
- Prepare AMS medication, in accordance with a doctor's advice.
Tibet weather and Climate
The Tibetan climate is not as harsh as many people imagine. Tibet's climate is favorable to travel from April to the beginning of November, and most ideal in August and September. However, Lhasa's climate is more clement than the rest of Tibet, and is suitable to travel year-round.
Most annual rainfall in Tibet comes in the rainy season from June to September. During this time it will usually rain at night in Lhasa, Shigatse and Chamdo areas. The rainfall may block roads and make travel difficult, but it is also one of the more beautiful seasons for sightseeing.
Lhasa - Shigatse - Lhatse - Tingri - Nyalan: The Friendship highway is in good condition year around. But from December to February, the thawed road could make some trouble. Try to avoid during August - landslides are frequent during the rainy season.
Mt. Everest Area: Early May and early October are the best times to visit Mt. Everest. Thanks to the clear weather, this period provides the best views of Mt. Everest. This area is best avoided in the period from December to February because of the extreme cold, except for the truly stout of heart.
Ali (Mt.Kailash): Even at the best of times this area is inhospitable. Heavy rain and snow only make things worse. However, for the determined tourist, the best times to visit are May, June, July, September and October.
Eastern Tibet: This area is to be avoided during July and August (the rainy season), as the roads will tend to get washed out, and there is potential for heavy landslides. Also in winter, the roads will be frozen.
Northern Tibet: With an average altitude of 4,500m, this area offers only a very limited window of time for tourism. Summer (July to August) is the prime season to enjoy the great plains of northern Tibet.
There are two kinds of permits issued for traveling in Tibet: the Tibet entry permit (TTB permit, equivalent of a visa for Tibet) and the Alien travel permit (PSB permit). Some people also call the Tibet travel permit as the Tibet visa, or Lhasa visa. Access Tibet Tour provides both types of permit for the clients who book tours from us.
TTB Permit - Tibet Entry Permit - The "Tibet Visa" or "Lhasa Visa"
When you fly to Lhasa you will need to show this permit when checking in at the airport. Also, in order to buy a flight ticket to Lhasa in the first place you will need to show this permit. TTB permits are also needed by groups traveling by Land Cruiser, and it will be arranged by the travel agency organizing the trip. Following is a picture of a TTB permit (click on the picture to enlarge):
PSB Permit - Alien Travel Permit
If you want to visit "restricted" areas in Tibet, you will need an Alien travel permit issued by the PSB (Public Security Bureau) of Tibet. The Alien travel permit is also sometimes referred to as the PSB permit.
Travel tips and FAQ
A. General Information:
1. When is the best time to visit Tibet?
2. What’s the weather like in Tibet?
3. What do you suggest we bring with us if we travel to Tibet?
4. What is high season? What is the definition for high season, shoulder season and low season?
5. What currency do I have to use in Tibet?
6. Is it easy to find an ATM in Tibet?
7. What credit cards are accepted in Tibet?
B. Travel Document:
1. What documents do I need if I am planning to travel to Tibet?
2. Do I need Visa for China?
3. What should I be aware of when apply for the China Visa?
4. How can I get China visa in Hong Kong?v 5. Do I need double/multi-entry visa if I come to Tibet from China mainland and return China mainland after the trip?
6. If I travel via Nepal to Tibet, are there any special requirements on China visa?
7. What’s the procedure to get China visa in Katmandu?
8. What is Tibet Travel Permit?
9. What do I need to do to obtain the Tibet Travel Permit?
10. Can I get the Tibet Travel Permit easily?
11. When do I need to apply for the Tibet travel Permit?
12. With this Tibet Travel Permit, where can I go in Tibet?
13. How can you send the Permit to me, or how can I receive it?
C. Tour Booking:
1. Do you offer join-in tour or can I join a group?
2. What is private tour?
3. How can I make a tour itinerary?
4. What does your tour cost?
5. I want an independent/private tour, but I do not want to do shopping, can you manage it?
6. Besides your sightseeing tours, do you have any other special tours like trekking, hiking, rafting, horse riding, etc?
7. What methods of payment do you accept?
8. How can I pay the balance?
9. Why is the money you charged to my credit card more than that you claimed to me?
10. What is your cancellation policy?
D. Lodging and Eating:
1. What are the hotels like in Tibet?
2. Can explain what the budget guesthouse, comfortable hotel and best available hotel are?
3. What are the hotel rooms like in hotels in Tibet?
4. Does the hotel room have access to internet?
5. Is there 24-hour hot water running?
6. What can I eat in Tibet?
1. What are the baggage regulations when flying inside China?
2. Can you help buy the domestic flight ticket in China？
3. Can you buy e-ticket for me?
4. Is it easy to purchase a train ticket to Tibet now?
5. Do I need a heath report when I travel by train to Tibet?
6. What vehicle do you use in Tibet?
TRAVEL TO TIBET : HOW TO GET THERE?
Train to Tibet
Tibet weather and Climate
Travel tips and FAQ