Tibet located on the roof of the world is far away from the mainland of China, but this fairyland is not lack of travelers. With the modern transportation like trains and flights, many travelers from all over the world travel to Tibet from China to discover the real culture and beautiful scenery in Tibet. However, how to get to Tibet from China mainland may be a problem for many travelers who want to enter Tibet. Here, we will provide you with the most specific guidance.
How to get to Tibet from China
The travel regulations from China to Tibet are different from those from Nepal to Tibet. But there’s one thing to note is that whether you are from mainland China or from Nepal to Tibet, all foreign travelers have to take part in organized Tibet travel. It is wise for you to join a local Tibet travel agency which can arrange Tibet entry permit, itinerary, tour guide, car and accommodation for you. Because the Tibet Tourism Bureau stipulates that all foreign visitors to Tibet must have a Tibet entry permit, a tour guide, a private car and a driver. Tibet entry permit takes at least 14 days to arrange most of Tibet. Travel to Kailash needs more time and it takes about four weeks. So you need to book a Tibet travel at least 30 days in advance so that you can apply for the required permits and arrange the details of the journey. Contrary to popular opinion, there is no need for a group to travel to Tibet. As long as you are part of an organized tour, you can visit Tibet freely.
Option 1: Take a train to Tibet from China
Now it is a very popular way to train travel Tibet from China. As the only railway connecting Tibet and the mainland of China, the Qinghai-Tibet railway is an artificial wonder in the world. It creates the highest railway station in the world, the longest track on the permafrost in the world and so on. At present, you can take trains to Lhasa from cities such as Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xining, Lanzhou, and Chongqing. Among them, Xining is the official starting point of the Tibet railway, and it is the nearest city to Lhasa. Beside, Xining is 2300 meters above sea level (7500 feet), so that you can better adapt to the high altitude in Tibet.
Tibet travel agency had better arrange train tickets from China to Tibet for you, because it may be difficult for you to obtain train tickets in the peak period. In the peak season from July to August is often difficult to guarantee train tickets. As tickets are limited and demand is exuberant, Tibet travel agencies have to pay higher booking fees to special booking agencies to ensure tickets.
Take the train to Tibet from China is an unforgettable experience! On the way, you will enjoy cultural shocks and wonderful landscapes. Snow-capped mountains, turquoise plateau lakes, yak grazing display animation film through your train window. Lying in a comfortable berth, you will never get tired of seeing this amazing landscape.
Option 2 Flying to Tibet from China
For most travelers, flying from China is the easiest way to Tibet because it not only can save times but also easy to book flight tickets for you. As there are more than ten flights to Lhasa every day, you can fly to Tibet easily. The cost of flights to Tibet is higher than that in other flights to China cities, especially flights from Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou to Tibet, there is almost no discount. So you’d better book the flight tickets in advance.
The most common place to fly to Tibet is Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. From May to October, there are at least twelve non-stop flights from Chengdu to Lhasa. Besides, there are also non-stop flights from Xining, Lanzhou, Beijing, Chongqing and Xi’an to Lhasa. When you travel from China to Tibet, the travel agency will send your original Tibet entry permit to your hotel address in China because you need the original Tibet entry permit to board the plane to Tibet.
Option 3 Drive to Tibet from China
Since 2009, the land routes in Sichuan and Yunnan Province can reach to Tibet, but it’s still closed to foreign travelers. The land trip from Qinghai to Tibet is open to foreign travelers, but this route is almost the same as train line to Lhasa. With private cars costing thousands of dollars from Qinghai to Lhasa, almost everyone chooses to travel to Tibet by train.
So far, there are four highways which vehicles are available in Tibet:
1）Qinghai-Tibet Highway (Xining-Golmud-Lhasa)
2）Tibet Nepal Friendship Highway (Tibet-Kathmandu via Gyirong port)
3) Sichuan-Tibet Highway (Sichuan- Tibet)
4) Yunnan to Tibet Highway (Yunan-Tibet)