Travel to Tibet by train, or air or driving? There are many ways to get Tibet, depending on how quickly you want to get there and how adventurous you choose to be.
Most tourists would like to go to Tibet by plane. Flights are available to Gongkar airport which is about 60km from Lhasa. There are daily flights between Lhasa and Beijing,Shanghai, Chengdu, Chongqing,Kunming, Xining, Chamdo, Xi'an, Zhongdian (Shangri-La) and Kathmandu.
It is much easier to get to Tibet nowadays than before, there are a number of ways to get there, more than 10 flights every day from inner China, Kathmandu, and you can also choose to take the tibet train from Xi'ning, Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Chengdu, etc. Or overland from Shangrila,Golmud, Sichuan and Kathmandu.
As a travel agency, it's quite easy for us to book the air tickets without providing Tibet travel document beforehand. All the tickets are just e-tickets, to issue the air tickets, we just need your passport info (family name, given name, passport number (to ensure info is exact, you d better send us your passport data page photo copy by email), what you should do at the airport is just to show your passport and provide the Tibet travel documents to get the boarding card and pass the security. Please remember to arrive at the airport about 2hrs before its departure, it takes time for passing the security checking.
Most convienient way by air is from Chengdu, there are about 10 flights to/from Lhasa airport everyday. Three flights per day shuttling between Xi'an and Lhasa. Two flights shuttling between Beijing and Lhasa. There are also flights to Lhasa from Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing , Kathmandu of Nepal and Zhongdian of Yunnan province.
It's a highlight of Tibet since its openning of July 1st, 2006. More and more people would like to take one way train to Tibet, to experience the highest railway in the world, also enjoy its unique scenery along tibet railway. In case the altitude problem, all the trains to Tibet are equipted with Oxygen facilities; first-aid equipments.
You can take the train from Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xi'an, Lanzhou or Xi'ning, also Golmud, there is daily train from Beijing and Xi'ning, on odd days, there is train from Shanghai and Chongqing, and there is train from Chengdu or Guangzhou on even days, it will be changed due to the different days in months, please check with your travel advisor for acurate departure date, but the best way is to take the train from Xi'an, most of the trains will pass there, the same as in Xi'ning.
Read more on Train travel to Tibet!
For the adventurous, driving a 4 wheel-drive vehicle to Tibet provides an incredible experience that you will never forget for the rest of your life. It is a difficult route, not for the faint of heart! On the other hand, with the fast road construction these years, the road condition is better and better year by year, it is also workable for well remained tour vehicle of van or bus for this sort of trip, your group will not be split to travel separately by many small cars but you can travel together as one group, it costs less expensive.
You can drive to Tibet via 5 routes:
1) Sichuan (Chengdu) to Lhasa: 2159 kilometers to 2407 km
2) Yunnan (Kunming) to Lhasa: 2317 kilometers
3) Qinghai (Xining) to Lhasa: 1947 kilometers
4) Xinjiang (Yecheng) to Lhasa: 2743 kilometers
5) 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.