Posted on April 7, 2018
If you are coming from the U.S., one of your best options when going to Tibet is via a stopover at Hong Kong, because via Hong Kong, you will encounter less connecting flights from the U.S. Many airlines provide various classes of tickets for those who are traveling via Hong Kong. At the onset, however, it would be good to search online and visit some of the comparison websites to figure out the best ticket deals available. Moreover, the costs of flight tickets from the United States to Hong Kong usually range somewhere between $600 to $3,000 (U.S. dollars); from Hong Kong, it would be easy to secure a flight to Lhasa, Tibet.
On Finding Flights to Tibet from the U.S.
As Tibet emerges as a top tourist destination in Asia, more and more Americans are enthused to visit Tibet, this awesome place. In fact, Tibet registered more than a million American visitors in 2017. One of Tibet’s foremost tourist attractions, aside from its historical monasteries and buildings, is the majestic Mount Everest. Hence, if you want to visit the Everest Base Camp, the best time for traveling would be during April to May and September to October. Tours around Tibet are mostly organized by tour agencies. These tour agencies usually provide tour guides and private vehicles along with personal drivers.
From the U.S. To Tibet
If you are coming from the United States, there are basically two viable ways that you can take to reach Tibet. These two options are via mainland China and via Nepal. If you choose the route via Nepal, you can easily board a flight from the United States to Kathmandu, and from thereon, you can take a flight to Lhasa. On the other hand, if you travel via mainland China, you can avail of flights to Tibet from the U.S. going to any of the major cities of China. There are flights going to mainland China from Washington D.C. New York, Miami, Tampa, New Jersey, and many other major cities of the United States.
- Via Mainland China
You also have two options when traveling to Tibet via mainland China: either you can board a plane from any of the major cities of China like Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Chongqing, Xining, and many other major cities, or you can simply opt for an overland travel on train.
- Via an Airplane
The ticket prices of flights to Tibet from U.S may differ depending on which city of mainland China you would depart from. There are flights going to Tibet daily from the abovementioned major cities of Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Chongqing, Xining, and other major cities of China. Moreover, to give you a head start, you can check the ticket prices of flights coming from Chongqing, Chengdu, and Xining for flights from these cities are usually cheaper than those of the other cities.
- Via Trains
The trains that travel to Tibet generally pass by the Qinghai Tibet Railway. Trains depart from the seven specific gateway cities within mainland China. You can board a train at Shanghai, Chongqing, Beijing, Chengdu, Lanzhou, Xining, or Guangzhou. Trains going to Tibet usually departs from the abovementioned cities either daily or every other day. Moreover, all trains going to Tibet generally pass through Xining—being the nearest point to Lhasa—wherein the Qinghai Tibet Railway begins. Via train travel, you would surely get an awesome feel of mainland China. The downside however of train travel is that it usually takes 22 to 55 hours before arriving at Tibet.
The Nepal Route
Flights to Tibet from the U.S via Nepal usually starts with a flight to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. From this city, it will take a 90-minute flight to get to the International airport of Lhasa, Tibet. This flight would usually cost around $275 or higher, depending on the time of travel and the airlines. At present, there are at least three Chinese airlines that service flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa. Moreover, flights from Nepal’s Gyirong Port along the Border of Nepal and Tibet has already reopened last 2017. Hence, you can now take this route via a prearranged tour provided by a travel agency.
Necessary Permits for American Tourists
There are basically four important documents you should secure if you want to have a hassle-free tour of the fantastic tourist spots of Tibet. These documents include Chinese Entry Visa, Tibet Travel Permit, Alien’s Travel Permit, and Military Permit. As an American, you can easily secure a Chinese Entry Permit from the People’s Republic of China’s Embassy in Washington or from any of the Chinese Consular Offices in any major U.S. cities like Houston, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. This visa usually costs around $140.
If you opt for the Nepal route, you will be required to present a Tibet Travel Permit, passport, a passport photo, and application letter to secure your Group Tourist Visa. Your tour representative usually processes this visa application for you.
Lastly, the Tibet Travel Permit is issued by Lhasa’s Tibet Tourism Bureau, while the Alien’s Travel Permit is also secured at Lhasa. The Military Permit is likewise issued by the Tibet Armed Police Border Corps at Lhasa.
Updated on March 7, 2018
Tibet is a holy land in the west of China, while Hong Kong is a modern city in the east of China. Remote from each other, Tibet and Hong Kong have different nature and culture. International travelers can make Hong Kong the first destination of their Tibet tour. Fly to Hong Kong conveniently from your country, and then take a flight to Tibet.
Known as “Pearl of the Orient”, Hong Kong is a metropolis with legendary history in China. In modern China, Hong Kong is unique. With yummy desserts, delicious cuisines, international shopping malls, colonial heritage and classic Chinese culture, Hong Kong is distinguished from other cities in China.
Before you depart for Tibet, you’re suggested to spend several days in this beautiful city. You can visit the Wong Tai Sin Temple in Kowloon, stroll in the night market at Kowloon’s Temple Street, have a view on the top of Victoria Peak, and visit a 34-meter-high statue of Buddha in Po Lin Monastery.
A tour to Tibet is the best opportunity to experience different nature and culture for Hong Kong citizens and international travelers. If you are a Hong Kong citizen, travel to Tibet is easier. The Tibet Travel Permit is not needed, the only permits you should take to enter Tibet is your Chinese SAR passport and Home Return Permit. For international travelers to Tibet, the Tibet Travel Permit is indispensable. You should apply it with the help of a travel agency since it won’t be issued to individual travelers from other countries. You’re suggested to contact a Tibetan local travel agency, such as Great Tibet Tour. We are located in Lhasa and can get latest regulations in time, we guarantee you the Tibet Travel Permit once you book your tour.
As an international arrival hub, Hong Kong is the access gateway to inland China and is visa-free for most countries in the world. It’s convenient to travel to Tibet from Hong Kong.
Lhasa is 2,423 kilometers away from Hong Kong, and no direct flights are available between these two cities. However, travelers can fly to major cities of China conveniently and then transfer to Tibet. Hong Kong is connected with Chengdu, Guangzhou, Xining, and other cities. With one or two layovers at domestic airports in China, you will get to your dream destination. The quickest route fly to Lhasa has a layover at Chengdu, with a flying time of about 5.5 hours in total. You will spend several hours on transfers, but the journey is convenient and much faster than travel by train. However, you may can’t adapt to the high altitude in a short time.
After your arrival, you are suggested to have enough rest. Time is needed to recover yourself from flying and accommodate to the altitude. After a sweet sleep, our tour will take you to spend some days in and around Lhasa. You can’t miss the splendid Potala Palace, the holy Jokhang Temple, and the busy Barkhor Street. If you plan to spend more days to explore this massive area, we also offer abundant tour packages which will take you to Shigatse, Mt. Everest, Namtso, Mt. Kailash and other famous scenic sites.
We’ve helped thousands of international travelers realize their Tibet dream, and always ready to help you. Please contact us, and we will offer you the best travel experience in Tibet.
Posted on February 6, 2018
There are several ways to get to Tibet from Singapore, and the choice is up to you. While flying is the quickest way – it can take between four and a half and six hours, depending on the connections and destination – it is not as good for getting used to the increased altitude, and visitors can be more susceptible to altitude sickness. The Tibet trains are a very popular way to travel from China to Tibet (TAR), as they afford you amazing views of the landscape from the train as it passes along the world’s highest railroad, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. You will also pass through the world’s highest tunnel through permafrost, and across the world’s highest rail pass and railway station. It is not known as “The Roof of the World” for nothing.
Singapore to Lhasa via Chengdu
Flights from Singapore’s famous Changi Airport to Chengdu in China run several times a day, and cost around US$850 for a direct flight. Connections can be made through Hong Kong, which can reduce the cost of the flight to under US$500. The trains from Chengdu cost ¥668 for a hard sleeper berth and ¥1,062 for a soft sleeper berth.
The main difference between the two is that the hard sleeper has no door and sleeps six people, while the soft sleeper only sleeps four, and it has a door that can be locked to make it more secure. However, even though the crime rate on the train is very low – there are police officers on all trains to Tibet – it is advisable to keep valuable items on your person, rather than in your bag in the cabin. The trip from Chengdu takes around 44 hours, and the train covers over 3,360 kilometers.
Singapore to Lhasa via Beijing/Shanghai
Flying from Singapore to either Shanghai or Beijing takes around six hours, and costs approximately US$1,500. Both are major cities for getting the trains to Lhasa, which also follow the Qinghai-Tibet Railway for the last part of the journey after Xining, in Qinghai Province. Beijing-Lhasa trains take around 41 hours and cost ¥720 for hard sleeper berths and ¥1,144 for soft sleepers. Shanghai-Lhasa trains cost ¥794 for hard sleeper and ¥1,263 for soft sleepers, and the trip is much longer at almost 48 hours.
For visitors coming from this side of China, the scenery going through the country is something to see, although there is still nothing to match the amazingly spectacular landscape of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway route. Whatever your preference for traveling to China, the train journey to Lhasa, and the experience of traveling on the world’s highest railroad, is definitely worth the extra time.
Singapore to Lhasa via Kathmandu
For visitors flying to Nepal and then connecting to Lhasa, flights leave Changi Airport regularly and it is a 5-hour flight. It is a little more expensive than Chengdu, at around US$1,100 per person. The flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa takes a little over an hour and can cost around US$280 per person. However, one benefit of flying to Tibet from Nepal is the great aerial views of Mt. Everest as you pass over it, and it is advisable to choose your seats on the left side of the plane to enjoy the summit of Mt. Everest.
Posted on January 6, 2018
Traveling from Kathmandu to Lhasa is one of the main options for visitors to Tibet, and getting there is not as hard as people think. Most countries around the world are permitted to obtain a visa for Nepal on entry to the country, and once there your Tibet tour operator can arrange your visa and travel permit for getting into and around Tibet. While Tibet is the land of snows, Nepal is the land of mountains, and the Himalayan mountains that border Tibet and Nepal are some of the most dangerous, remote, and inaccessible places in the world. Despite being separated by international borders, the two places have a lot in common, and not just the sharing of Mount Everest. Both places are hugely Buddhist or Hindu and have very similar traditions, monasteries, and warm, friendly locals.
There are several flights a week from Kathmandu to Lhasa, and vice versa, and the flight is only an hour long. In the summer months from May to early October, the number of flights increases to cover the demands of the peak tourist season in Tibet, and conversely, the number drops in winter, when fewer people are visiting the region. The main airport in Nepal is the Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM), at Kathmandu, and is the only airport in the country that operates flights to and from Lhasa. Flights can be booked online, but only if you are traveling alone. If you are traveling with a group that has been collected together by a group tour operator, then you may have to book once you are all together in Nepal, to ensure that you all arrive at the same time.
Requirements for Flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa
There are certain visa requirements that must be completed before you can even board the plane to Lhasa. Unlike traveling to Lhasa from China, the Tibet Travel Permit is processed at the same time as the Tibet Group Tour Visa, although both need to be obtained through a local Tibetan tour operator, and also require you to have a booked itinerary with a tour group before issue. While they are called “group” visas, they are available for single persons without a group. However, if you are part of a group, it is important to remember that every member of the group will be mentioned on the visa, and all members must depart from Tibet at the same time, from the same place.
The visa is available from the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu and takes around four working days to process. Visas are normally for a period of 15 to 20 days, and cannot be extended, so it is a good idea to make sure your tour starts immediately you get the visa.
It is very important not to lose the visa, as you may be asked to produce it at certain checkpoints throughout Tibet, and the Tibet Travel Permit is required if you are traveling outside Lhasa, especially to certain military sensitive areas like Everest. Your guide will obtain the additional permits once you are in Lhasa, and will also require your original passport.
Posted on December 3, 2017
Tibet has become one of the greatest and the most visited tourism destinations around the world over the years. Vast greenery juxtaposed with snow-clad regions complemented by the clear blue sky which make it a very attractive tourism place on earth.
The huge trans-Himalayan mountain ranges surrounding the region provide a vast scope of adventurous hiking or trekking experiences. You can choose a number of trekking routes which not only show the raw beauty of nature but also provide what will be some of your best life experiences in Tibet. The authentic Tibetan delicacies and the monasteries that are presented in Tibet show the originality of Tibetan traditions and culture. Overall, Tibet, a wonderful and mysterious place, should be visited at least once in a lifetime.
However, traveling to Tibet is more expensive than traveling to other places of China and the world, as there is a regulation which makes mandatory for everyone to hire a licensed guide and tourist vehicle. and travelers are only allowed to stay in accommodation license to host an international guest.
If you want to reduce the cost of your travel plan, the various ways to plan the cheapest Tibet tour are as follows:
Taking a flight to Tibet is way too expensive than taking a train as we all know. And Qinghai Tibet railway is one of the must-do experiences if you travel to Tibet by train. It is the loftiest railway which known as the Qinghai-Tibet railway in the world. And there are a lot of nearby stations are now connected with Tibet including Bejing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Xining, Xi’an, Chongqing and Guangzhou. Moreover, the railway line will be expanded even further in the coming years.
One train is available at 8 P.M from Beijing to Lhasa. You will spend 40 hours to Tibet from Beijing. The cost is about 173 USD for soft sleepers and 109 USD for hard sleepers. Similarly, the train from Chengdu to Lhasa is available at 2:48 P.M. The ride time is about 43 hours. Soft sleepers and hard sleepers are 161 USD and 101 USD respectively. From Shanghai to Lhasa, the train leaves at 8:10 P.M and it takes 47 hours to reach Lhasa. 191 USD for soft sleepers and 120 USD for hard sleepers.
Similarly the costs of the soft sleepers and the hard sleepers from trains leaving from Xi’an, Chongqing and Guangzhou are 147 USD and 93 USD, 164 USD and 103 USD, 223 USD and 131 USD respectively. You will have air-regulation, charging sockets, elaborate dining with the facilities provided and the beautiful views make the journey good value for money. By the way, the cost of soft sleepers is more comparing to hard sleepers primarily because the hard sleeper berths are narrower than the soft sleeper berths and they lack facilities such as charging points.
Visit Tibet in the tourism off-season, Winter
Tibet is located on the highest plateau, Qinghai-Tibet plateau, in the world. Half of the regions in Tibet become inaccessible in Winter because of strong gusts of wind and immense snowfall. The Winter in Tibet lasts about four months from October to February. Tourism slumps during Winter due to the extreme cold of Tibet. So if you want to find the cheapest way to Tibet, try traveling in Winter. Most hotels offer, vehicles, and even the flights and the trains reduce the fares as it is the off-season. You can still visit lots of places in Tibet including some mountains because not every part of Tibet experiences chilly Winter. In a word, Tibet becomes more pocket-friendly in Winter than in Summer and Spring.
Travel with others to share the cost
Traveling with partners or friends is another way to reduce the cost of your tour to Tibet. You will be able to reduce the vehicle costs although the flight and train fare will remain the same. You can avail a satisfied transport facility at a lower price if you can assemble a group of tourists. Traveling in groups also reduces the cost of tour guides. The tour guides are charged per group, so the more members in the group the less you have to pay in the end. As far as accommodations go, sharing your room with others is a great way to reduce costs. Similarly, in the case of meals, the more people in the group, the cheaper the cost.
Lhasa is considered to be more expensive than other parts of Tibet. Some cheap but high-quality Tibetan restaurant can be found in the Barkhor Street Area. There are quite a number of youth hostels in Tibet which are cost-effective and provide many facilities.
Visit ticket-free attractions
There are many monasteries and temples that do not need entry fees. You can also visit lavish market areas like Tromsikhang market, Barkhor Street, Lhasa River, Yamdrok Lake, Gawu La Pass, etc. without any entry fees. Strolling in scenic areas is always cost effective.
Updated on November 6, 2017
With the development of economy and society, Malaysia’s overall national strength is becoming increasingly stronger. It reported that a large number of Malaysians have traveled to Tibet in recent years. Thousands of people are deeply attracted by the intense Buddhist culture and mysterious Mt.Everest of Tibet. About flight to Tibet from Malaysia, there is something you need to know before you going to Tibet.
The flights from Malaysia to Tibet
As is known to all, there is no direct daily flight to Tibet from Kuala Lumpur airport to Tibet. And only two options you can choose from it, either to China or Nepal. You can fly to any of the following cities if you choose China as your first stop. Such as Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai or Beijing, etc. In the mentioned cities, Chengdu is the most popular transfer station to Tibet which is recommended by foreign travelers. As it only needs 2 hours flight to Tibet. Another option is Nepal. Due to the earthquake in Nepal in 2015, the overland via Zhangmu is not passable anymore. Fortunately, after being closed for over 2 years, the Kyirong port has reopened in August 2017. Now the Kyirong border crossing the main overland border between Tibet and Nepal serve for foreign and domestic tourists.
From Chengdu to Tibet by air
One of the ways to arrive in Tibet is to fly from Kuala Lumpur to Chengdu, China as there is no direct flight from Kuala Lumpur to Tibet. From Chengdu to Tibet, you can take 2-hour direct flight without stopover. In Chengdu, you will have the opportunity to see more extremely beautiful and magnificent Mt. Everest scenery. After you reaching Chengdu, just stay a night, enjoy varies of delicious food and spectacular sightseeing.
From Beijing to Tibet by air
Beijing, a metropolis of international, political and cultural center, is the capital of China. Besides Chengdu, you can take the plane to Beijing for a trip before you entering Tibet. There are many places of interests in Beijing but direct flight from Beijing normally takes more than 4 hours 30 minutes, therefore, the airfare is relatively higher than its in Chengdu.
Another transportation to Tibet
In addition to the ways above, from what I stand, if you prefer a leisurely way to travel, Tibet Train Tour should be taken into your consideration. From Chengdu to Tibet, it takes less than two days to get there, although this will take extra time rather than taking a flight, you can enjoy the scenery along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, through Qinghai Province, ultimately arrive in Tibet. Adjust a little in your trip and you will see exceedingly magnificent scenery in this route. I promise it will give you an unforgettable memory in your life.
China Visa needed for Malaysian travelers to enter China before going to Tibet
The China Visa is also needed for Malaysia travelers as same as other foreign tourists. Before you entering China, please apply for a China Visa which can be obtained at the China Embassy in Kuala Lumpur or at the China Consulates in Kuching, Penang and Kota Kinabalu.
There is an option in the application that requires you to list you desired visiting places in China. It is extremely crucial that you cannot list Tibet or any Tibetan towns as your destination. If you do so, you probably can not apply for a China visa successfully. Please note, before you get a China Visa you are not allowed to apply for Tibet Travel Permit. Without Tibet Travel Permit, you are not allowed to enter Tibet.
Before going to Tibet, you’d better contact a legal Tibet travel agency in Tibet 6 weeks in advance. It usually takes 2 weeks to apply for Tibet Travel permits. If you want to go to Mt. Kailash, Lake Manasarovar and other sensitive areas, you need to apply for Alien’s Travel Permit & Military Permit, which take more than 40 days to apply.
Updated on November 4, 2017
Tibet is a fabulous and mysterious place that attracts lots of foreign travelers every year. People abroad are eager and excited to see the magnificent views of Tibet such as Potala Palace, Jokhang Template, Mt.Everest, Mt Kailash, Namtso and so on.
First of all, tourists abroad will need to obtain the primary paperwork – China visa, for the purpose of getting in China as Tibet is under the jurisdiction of China. You will not be able to enter China without China visa. But don’t worry, tourists can easily apply for that in a Chinese Embassy overseas or in Hong Kong.
Now you are half way to Tibet, one essential requirement for Non-Chinese citizenship holders which are mostly foreign travelers to get Tibet is Tibet Travel Permit (or Tibet visa). It’s the necessary document for a tour to Tibet except Chinese visa according to the special local traditions, the cultural sites, tourists service facilities, reception capacity and the protection of the ecological environment. The permits vary from different places tourists plan to visit in Tibet, but the most basic one is that issued by Tibet Tourism Bureau. It’s regarded as a must entry pass to Tibet for every foreign tourist. All tourists can get Tibet Travel Permits through a legal Tibet Travel Agency. Several categories of people like diplomats, journalists, and government officials have to go through the Tibet Foreign Affairs Office to get the Permits. For all foreign travelers, you will be asked to show your Tibet Travel Permit during check-in before you take a flight or a train to Lhasa. What’s more, the permit is also needed if you go to Tibet by road, too. And this permit will be arranged by your travel agency.
Some important issues about Tibet Travel Permit are as follows:
- Even if you have the air/train tickets purchased by your or your travel agency, you have to show your Tibet Travel Permit before boarding.
- You are not allowed to visit anywhere outside Lhasa city even if you have the Tibet Travel Permit. If you want to visit other places around Lhasa, you may apply for Aliens’ Travel Permit.
- It usually takes about three working days to get the Tibet Travel Permit if you submit all your required documents on time.
The Alien’s Travel Permit that we talked about above is issued by the Public Security Bureau. It is required only when foreign tourists want to visit the “unopened” areas of Tibet suck as Mt.Everest Base Camp and Samye Monastery. You can apply for it as soon as landing in Lhasa. For tour groups, your guide will ask you for the passport and TTP then they will submit the documents to the Foreign Affairs Office of the Public Security Bureau for the Alien’s Permit. It takes several hours normally and cost 50 CNY each person.
In the end, you will need the Military Area Entry Permit if you plan to travel to some military sensitive areas in Tibet like Mount Kailash or Rowok Lake. These sensitive borders not only need a Military Area Entry Permit but also require a Foreign Affairs Permit. All these paperwork will be arranged by your travel agency a month before you visit Tibet. It usually takes 20 days to get them all together.
Updated on October 30, 2017
Taking the international direct flights between Kathmandu and Lhasa
If you don’t wanna to transfer, you are supposed to take the direct flights. Since just 2 direct flights between Lhasa and Kathmandu which run by Sichuan Airline and Air China separately are available and the Sichuan Airline departs every other day, The tickets of both flights are difficult to book, especially in peak season(from March to October). Therefore, you can search for the Lhasa Kathmandu flights on expedia.com or other flight booking platforms, or just feel free to ask the Tibet travel agency you chose for the professional suggestions. As for the Travel agency, you’d better chose a local Travel Agency, like Great Tibet Tour, with the professional advice they give to you, you may experience an amazing journey.
Transfering from other cities of China
As for some international countries like United States, Singapore, UK, Australia, Canada, India, Hong Kong, there is no direct flight available. The global tourists who come from those countries need to transfer in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xian, Kunming, Shangri-La, Xining, Nanjing, or Xiamen, so as to arrive in Lhasa by flight. Here I would list the general info of the major gateway cities to take flights to Tibet.
Chengdu, the most popular gateway hub for travellers to take flights to Lhasa, operates multiple flights, up to 17 one-way flights in the summer and autumn tourist peak season. You may also fly from Chengdu to other major prefectures in Tibet, including Nyingchi, Shigatse and Qamdo.
As a metropolis city, Bejing definitely operates many international flights as well as domestic flights to the most cites of China, including Lhasa which makes it easy for you travelling to Tibet. Flying from Beijing to Lhasa just takes about 4.5 hours and you will have a comfortable journey.
Regarded as the best gateway to Tibet, currently, Shanghai operated two direct flights and several connecting flights to Lhasa each day. It takes about 7~8 hours to fly from Shanghai to Lhasa over a distance around 1930miles (3107km).
As an important aviation hub in southwestern China, there are 10 nonstop flights from Chongqing to Lhasa, usually with more discount than Chengdu to Lhasa Flights in peak tourist season. Meanwhile, It takes about 3 hours to fly from Chongqing to Lhasa over a distance around 985miles(1585km)
Kunming Airport is one of the major gateway airports in China and there are 4 non-stop flights serving between Kunming and Lhasa every day, mainly operated by China Eastern Airlines, Tibet and Sichuan Airlines. It takes about 3-4 hrs on Kunming Lhasa flight.
In addition, other cities like Xian, Xining and Shangri-La are also the popular gateway for global tourists.
What should you notice?
Due to the huge demand and high cost of flights to China, it difficult to book tickets immediately, even in the offseason. So you’d better book Tibet air tickets in advance and don’t forget to bring your Visa and Tibet Entry Permit which are sure to be checked when boarding.
Updated on November 17, 2017
Tibet was a mysterious place before because the means of transportation to get there was more limited and more monotonous than it is now so that a lot of visitors abroad who hope to see the magnificent views of Tibet was hard to get to Tibet.
Nowadays, things have changed. Many visitors can choose a way to reach Tibet because of the developing of Tibetan tourism business. They can get everything ready online and the local tourism agency will take care of the rest for your journey.
Which is the fastest and safest way to get Tibet? it’s by air of course, and there are so many airlines to Tibet. You can easily pick up one flight plan that suits you.
There is no straight-airline from abroad cities to Tibet, you must stop over in your chosen gateway city such as Kathmandu, Chengdu, Beijing, or Guangzhou to pick up your permit and then you can head to Lhasa. You can choose to land in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, or Guangzhou as your first destination or fly directly to Chengdu and then to Tibet. The price of these airlines is almost the same although it can be influenced by the day (Flights on Monday and Tuesday are cheaper than that on Friday and Saturday).
Shuangliu International Airport in Chengdu is perfectly connected to most other cities in China such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Kunming and Hong Kong. A growing number of International Airlines mostly from other Asia hubs are making nonstop flights to Chengdu. It’s possible to reach Chengdu nonstop in Amsterdam, Frankfurt and The United Kingdom from Europe, and there are direct flights in Los Angeles and San Francisco from the United States of America. You need to change planes and possibly make a layover in mainland China if you arrive from other international destinations.
Generally speaking, long-haul flights to&from Kathmandu are a little bit expensive caused by a limited number of airlines which operate out of the capital of Nepal. To the Nepal Airlines, is extremely unreliable and you have to avoid it if possible. One way to do that is to buy separate discounted flights to Delhi and from Delhi on to Kathmandu. Remember, you have to arrange an India transit or tourist visa to pick up your baggage and transfer flights at Delhi airport if you don’t have a single through ticket.
There are a dozen cities(and still growing) that have flight connections to Lhasa within China, including direct flights from Beijing, Guangzhou, Lanzhou, Xining, Xi’an and Kunming. Some less frequent but interesting flights also exist, namely from Lhasa to Yushu, Xiahe, Kangding, and Deqin. That means, most visitors still fly in from Chengdu, as there are more flights, cheaper fares and more tourism agency you can choose from there.
Finally, you arrive at Lhasa’s Gongkar airport. Your Tibet permit will be checked before and after you get off the plain. Be advised, the flights to&from Lhasa will be canceled or delayed in winter months, so give yourself a few days’ leeway to other connection flight if you are going to fly at this time.
What’s more, no matter what you are allowed to bring on your flight into China, the baggage allowance on flights to Lhasa is 20kg in economy class and 40kg in first class. So you will have to limit your gear to avoid penalties.