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The Ways to Tibet
Airway. Land Route. Railway.

The airway

Lhasa is the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Lhasa Gongga Airport (3600m) is 57.8km away from the  center of Lhasa. The distance from the city center to the railway station is 20km long. And from the railway station to Gongga Airport is 37.8km long, which was completed in 2011.

Lhasa Gongga Airport operates several domestic flights daily to Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Xi'an, Xining, Guangzhou, Chamdo (Changdu), Kunming, Shangri-La and Shiquanhe. The flights between Chengdu and Chamdo in Eastern Tibet are difficult to book.

Air traffic to and from Tibet is complicated, because there are no direct long-distance flights. It is possible to fly from Kathmandu to Tibet.

There are already many airlines that fly to Tibet, such as Air China, Sichuan Airlines, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Tibet Airlines, etc. There are already airports in Linzhi and Shigatse, and there are flight connections with Chengdu, Lhasa, etc.

The land route

For many journeys to Tibet, the overland journey by land is preferable, which is not only considering the beautiful landscape, but also getting used to the altitude.

Friendship highway from Nepal to Tibet

With 920 km long, the road between Kathmandu and Lhasa is known as the friendship country road. It is no doubt that it is one of the most beautiful and magnificent highway in the world.

From Kathmandu, the road first leads to Kodari (1873 m). Before leaving Nepal, make a short distance to Zhangmu (2300 m), a Tibetan border village. From here the road past Nyalam (3750 m) to Tong-la-Passes where most travelers from Kathmandu will feel weak and uncomfortable. Tingri (4390 m) provides fabulous views of Mount Everest and the Himalayas. Many travelers spend a night here before traveling on, which is important to adjust altitude and prevent altitude sickness.

The Qinghai-Tibet Highway

The Qinghai-Tibet highway is rather cold and barren, and there are little interesting views. Before departure you should prepare snacks and drinks and - if not already available - buy some warm clothes. You can shop in Xining but not in Golmud. The journey time on this route is about 30 to 50 hours and even longer due to a bad breakdown. Even in summer, it can be extremely cold, especially on the high passes, such as the Tanggu-la (5180 m).

The Sichuan-Tibet Highway

The route between Chengdu and Lhasa is either 2400 km or 2100 km, which depends on whether you take the north route (part of G317) or the south route (part of G318). The food and accommodations are better than on the Qinghai-Tibet highway or in western Tibet. On the first day you will normally drive to Kangding, the last big city, then the route is divided into the north and south routes.

The Yunnan-Tibet Highway

This road is a wonderful way to approach Tibet. From Dali a road leads to Shangri-La, an open city, and then it continues to Deqin. From here it is 112 km on the north route over the Tibetan border to Yanjing (salt well) and 111 km on the south route to Markam.

The Xinjiang-Tibet Highway

Traditionally known as National Highway 219, Xinjiang-Tibet Country Road runs from the zero-kilometer stone in Yecheng County, Kashgar, Xinjiang, to the 2140-kilometer stone in Chawu, Lhatse, Shigatse, Tibet. The Xinjiang-Tibet Highway and the Friendship Highway from Kathmandu, Nepal to Lhasa, Tibet intersect at this stone monument. From Kashgar via Yecheng, Tsada, Lhatse and Gyantse to Lhasa, the road is over 3000 km, and is an important route to Tibet. The average height of this road is more than 4,500 meters and the average annual temperature is 9 degrees below zero. There are 5 large mountains over 5,000 meters above sea level, 16 Daban (i.e. passes) and 44 glaciers along the way. This is the highest road in the world and some stretches are difficult and dangerous.

The Qinghai-Tibet Railway

With 1142 kilometers long, the railway line to the "roof of the world" was opened in July 2006. This route is between the city of Golmud in Qinghai Province and Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.

Specially, with 1,956 km, the route between Xining and Lhasa is the highest railway in the world. About 24-hour train journey between Xining and Lhasa, you can look forward to a grandiose, seemingly endless landscape gallery with snow-covered mountains, countless rivers and gorges, high mountain lakes and endless steppes. You will see herds of yaks, sheep, horses and wild animals as well as birds. With a bit of luck, you will see the herds of Tibetan antelopes (chiru) that mostly live in the steppes of the Qinghai-Tibet highlands at an altitude of 3,500 to 5,000 m.

There are direct trains that connection Lhasa and these cities: Xining, Lanzhou, Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Many tourists travel from Lhasa to Xian to visit the terracotta army.

We think, you'll get your favorite Tibet travel here. Of course, we can plan your private travel according to these Tibet tour and Tibet trekking series, we need only a rough idea of your interests, wishes, demands...
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