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Transportation

Lhasa, being the capital of Tibet, is also the main transportation center in Tibet. Though Tibet is becoming more and more accessible, Lhasa is still the main entry and exit point, and sometimes the only choice for outside visitors. The transportation system in the city has been updated, and consists of air, railway and highway services.

Air Transport

Opened in 1965, Lhasa Gonggar Airport is the original airport and also the one that has the most flights in Tibet. It now has flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Kunming, Diqing, Chongqing, Chengdu, Lanzhou, Xian, Xining, Chamdo and Katmandu, with over 40 flights every week. Among these, the Chengdu-Lhasa air route is the most frequently flown.

The airport is located in Gonggar County in Shannan, about 100 km. (62 mi.) south of Lhasa, and is at an altitude of 3,600 m. (11,811 ft.). The passenger terminal, looking like a gigantic yak head, features the distinctive Tibetan style. It has two floors: the first floor is built with an arrival lounge for distant flights, ticket offices, departure lounge and luggage hall, while the second floor has a waiting hall, dining hall and shops. The consultation phone number of the airport is 0891-6182220.

As to the transportation between the airport and the city district, there are Shuttle buses every day, which takes about 2 hours and cost CNY 20 per person. Buses from Tsedang and Shigatse also stop at the airport, which cost CNY 20-30 per person. Taxis are another way of traveling and cost CNY 150-250. The road is bituminous and winds along the Yarlung Tsangpo River and Lhasa River, and is in good condition with interesting surroundings.

Railway

The Tibet Railway, which is the section between Golmud and Lhasa, was launched on Jul.1st, 2006, and is another miracle in the transportation history of Tibet. There are now trains between Lhasa and Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xining, Lanzhou, Chengdu and Chongqing, which pass through Xian, Baoji, Shijiazhou, Nanjing, Zhengzhou, Wuxi, Xuzhou, Golmud, and other cities in the hinterland, as well as Nakchu, Amdo, Damxung and other regions in Tibet Plateau.

The Lhasa Railway Station is located in Toelung Dechen County of Lhasa, only 20 km. (12 mi.) away from Potala Palace. The opening of the first overpass of Tibet, Lhasa Liuwu Bridge has linked the railway station and the city district and are reached by using the bus route numbers, 91, 86 or 89.

Highway

There are five highways to Tibet: Sichuan-Tibet Highway (Chengdu-Lhasa), Qinghai-Tibet Highway (Xining-Golmud-Lhasa), Xinjiang-Tibet Highway (Yecheng-Purang), Yunnan-Tibet Highway (Xiaguan-Markham) and Sino-Nepal Highway (Lhasa-Zhangmu-Katmandu), which are intersect at Lhasa.

Coaches are the main transport method within Tibet. There are now four coach stations in Lhasa: Lhasa Coach Station (Lhasa West Suburb Passenger Station), Lhasa North Suburb Passenger Station and Lhasa East Suburb Passenger Station and the new Lhasa Liuwu Coach Station.

Lhasa Coach Station, located at the intersection of Minzu Lu and Jinzhu Zhonglu, is the orginal coach station in Lhasa. It's main use is focused on Shigatse, Shannan and the long distance transport into the hinterland of China and Katmandu.

Lhasa North Suburb Passenger Station, located opposite to Lhasa Racecourse, is a newer and also a top class passenger station in Lhasa. It mainly focuses on coaches to Chamdo, Makham, Shangri-la and the passing counties. In addition, coaches to Nakchu , Shigatse, Shannan and Ngari can also be caught here. There are also tourist buses to Namtso Lake, Basum Lake, Mt. Everest and Shigatse from this station.

And Lhasa East Suburb Passenger Station on the Jiangsu Donglu line mainly dealt with the transportation to the counties in Lhasa, as well as Nyingchi and Shannan somewhat.

Lhasa Liuwu Coach Station is located near the Lhasa Railway Station. It is a newly launched staion that has recently been put into service. The recovered international bus running between Lhasa and Katmandu just departs from this station. There is one bus every week, which departs at 10:30 on Tuesday. The bus fare is USD 70. It takes three days, with one night staying in Latse and another in Zhangmu in Shigatse. The bus is equipped with a tourist guide informative with Chinese, Tibetan, English and Nepali. (Station Tel.: 0891-6947216).

Other Travelers' Questions

The questions raised by our past customers can help you get a more clear picture about tours to Tibet, read them or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side, our specialists will reply you within 24 hours.

user portrait Ms. Nico Yip from: 8 Days Tibet Mt. Everest Base Camp Group Tour
Hi, we are 2 adults planning a Tibet trip. We plan to take the train from Chengdu into Lhasa, for a 8-9 days Tibet tour, and flight out from Lhasa to Chengdu. Timing will be in mid-June. Would you be able to arrange the Chengdu-train-Lhasa and Lhasa-flight-Chengdu for us and advice the price?
Thanks!
Brgds/Nico
Answered by Helen

Dear Ms. Nico Yip,

Thanks very much for your inquiry. We exactly have one departure date on 15th June for the 8-day Tibet Mt.Everest tour, and you are quite welcome to join us! Taking train from Chengdu to Lhasa will cost you about 36 hours (2 nights) on the train, and we are happy to help you book the train tickets. Please kindly note that the direct train tickets from Chengdu to Lhasa is not a daily train, and there is no direct train on odd date on June, I was wondering whether you mind taking connection train with a stop at Xining, you can walk out and have a good lunch there. About the flight ticket Lhasa to Chengdu, there are some discount tickets in June, eg: China Eastern Airline MU5474, Sichuan Airline 3U8698. You can look it on the airline official website. Have a good day.

Email to Helen about any question or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side

user portrait Ms. Alice from: 6 Days Exploration of Legendary Ancient Cities
HI all,

I am interested in this tour. I would like to know before:

1) DO I need to pay extra if I would like to have 1 bedroom for myself? If yes how much?

2)I have been to around 3200m before and I had altitude sickness. Should I come 2 days before in Lhasa to get acclimatized?

3)If I registered now, would you be able to help for the Tibet permit for me? I have French passport.

Thanks and regards,

Alice
Answered by Helen

Dear Alice,

Greetings from Helen at Budget Tibet Tour, and welcome you to join our tour! For your questions: Firstly, our tour price is based on two persons in one room, if you would like to have 1 bedroom for yourself, there is extra single room supplement fee. And the single room supplement fee is different in each month. Secondly, Please feel free worry about the high altitude sickness, keep calm and don't be excited, which is no big problem. If you are afraid of the altitude sickness, you can arrive in Lhasa one day in advance to get acclimatized. Lastly, The Tibet Permit is included in our tour price, we only require your passport and Chinese visa (clear scan or photo copy) to apply for the permit. Have a nice day.

Email to Helen about any question or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side

user portrait Mr. Benedikt Wyss from: 8 Days Tibet Mt. Everest Base Camp Group Tour
Dear Budget Tibet Tour Team

I'm planning to make a journey in August in China. I want to combine that with your everest Base Camp Tour. Now i have some questions:
How is that with the Permissions, did i get it right that I have only to look for the chinese Visa and you will look for the Tibet Permit?
And if so how have i to proceed, shall i first look for the Chinese Visa or does it make more sense to look for all the permissions at the same time.
Another Question is about the price. Is the price for august your suggesting  fix or is it dependent on how big the group is. Because I dont want to reserve already now  if that means that I have to pay at the end more than I thought.
And my last question concerns the high altitude, whats your experience about that. Are there many tourists struggling with it or is it more or less harmless. (I am from Switzerland so not completely unused to high altitudes).

Thank you for your efforts

Benedikt Wyss
Answered by Nancy

Dear Mr. Benedikt Wyss,

Greetings from Nancy at BTT. We have 8 Days Lhasa to Mt. Everest then back to Lhasa group tour on 1st, 5th, 8th, 12th, 15th, 19th and 22nd, 29th Aug. and all dates are available for you. And also the price is fixed, and we will not charge extra no matter how many people in the end. And the group size is 2 to 13 people, so the maximum is 13, please worry free in Aug. all the groups are running on time as it is easy for us to collect enough people. You need to apply China visa in your place firstly, then we will use your passport and China visa to apply Tibet Travel Permit, so for you to travel to Tibet, you just need your passport, China visa and the permit we will provide to you, three of these. 98% of our clients were ok in Tibet after resting 2 or 3days in Lhasa before head to higher places. And also bring some anti-altitude in Lhasa to Everest will help you a lot, and I have clients who were more than 80 years even visited Everest without problem. So you can worry free about it, it is not struggling or that terrible if you relax yourself there.

Email to Nancy about any question or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side

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7 Days Lhasa to Kathmandu Tour via Everest Base Camp