How to travel to Tibet from Chengdu, train, flight or overland?

China is the gateway to the Himalayas for most people. Most of the travelers choose to travel to Tibet from China. For many travelers, Chengdu is the preferred starting point. There are three ways to Tibet from Chengdu.

Option 1 Flying to Tibet from Chengdu

As the most important flight hub to connect Tibet, every day there are more than 30 flights from Chengdu to Lhasa. Flights to Tibet from main cities of China such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou also will pass through Chengdu. Besides, there are direct flights from Chengdu to cites in Tibet such as Nyingchi, Shigatse, Chamdo, and Ngari.

chengdu to Lhasa flight

Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan, is the largest international hub in Southwest China. Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CDIA) has flights to more than 50 international destinations and more than 170 domestic airports. It is absolutely the largest airport in Southwest China. Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport ranks among the busiest airports among the top 30 in the world, ranking the busiest in mainland China Fifth.

Besides, Chengdu airport connects with the expressway to Chengdu City and has a good aviation connection with the major cities of China. You can also fly directly from Chengdu to the metropolis such as Shanghai, Beijing, Hongkong, and Guangzhou. Therefore, it is very convenient for you to enter Tibet from Chengdu and depart from Tibet to Chengdu by plane.

Option 2 Take a train from Chengdu to Lhasa

Taking a train from Chengdu to Lhasa is the most popular way to travel to Tibet. It’s not only much cheaper than flying but also provides a magnificent railway landscape for travelers, especially along the Qinghai Tibet Plateau, which is the highest railway in the world.  The Qinghai Tibet railway goes through three mountains such as Kunlun, Tanggula, Nyainqentanglha mountains, numerous lakes, and rivers. The landscape along the world’s highest railway is very amazing!

The train from Chengdu to Lhasa (Z322) starts from the Chengdu Railway Station, after nearly 44 hours, arrived at the Lhasa railway station on the third day. Thousands of travelers have taken a train from Chengdu to Lhasa since the Qinghai Tibet railway is open for travelers on July 2, 2006. At present, trains from Chengdu to Lhasa will be opened every other day. It begins in some months of odd numbers and begins in even days of the other months. So, please consider this when you plan to take a train from Chengdu to Lhasa.

Chengdu Lhasa Train Ticket Price and Schedule

Train No. From / To Duration Distance (km) Frequency Hard sleeper Ticket
Z322 Chengdu/Lhasa 36:18 3070 Every Other Day CNY627.5
Z324 Lhasa/Chengdu 36:40 3070 Every Other Day CNY627.5

2018 Chengdu to Lhasa Train Schedule

Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.
odd days even days even days odd days odd days even days even days odd days even days even days odd days odd days

Note:1) ODD DAYS refers to 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, etc. EVEN DAYS refers to 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 10, etc.

2)The timetable and schedule are just for reference. When you make an early reservation, please contact us for more details.

Option 3 Drive from Chengdu to Lhasa  along HWY 318 or HWY 317

Now, the Hwy 318 and Hwy 317 are opened for foreign travelers, and you can join an overland tour from Chengdu to Lhasa along Hwy 318 or Hwy 317.

Tibet travel
On the way to Tibet from Chengdu

For more detail, there is something you need to know before choosing this way to Tibet.

1)You need to apply for a Tibet permit. Travel to Tibet as foreign travelers, Tibet Entry Permit(Tibet visa) is the most basic document required to be applied before your coming, we have been recommended by Lonely Planet as one of the best reputed local travel agencies with over 10 years Tibet tour running experiences for both domestic and foreign travelers, so we could surely get all your necessary permits to Tibet after your tour booked with us, we need your passport and China visa copies to apply for them from Tibet Travel Bureau usually 30 days(shortest 16 days) before tour starts and get them to you usually within 8 working days.

2)You need a tour guide when you start this tour. Because if no tour guide, the Tibet permit would not get approved.

3)For foreign travelers, you can‘t drive private cars to Tibet from Chengdu along Hwy 318 or Hwy 317. You need to travel in a tourist car. If you book this tour with us, we can arrange a tourist car for you and let our diver and a tour guide from Lhasa to pick up you in Chengdu.

Drive to Tibet from Chengdu along HWY 318 or HWY 317 is an adventure tour for you, but it may take you more time and much money. So you’d better organized more people to join in this tour so that they can share the total cost of a car, tour guide and etc. with you.

Whatever the way you choose, traveling from Chengdu to Tibet is an unforgettable experience.

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