Continue to our last post. Five things you should know before traveling to Tibet 2018. Today, we need to figure out how to get to Tibet.
Generally, there are two routes for international travelers to reach Tibet. One is from Kathmandu, Nepal. Another is from some gateway cities in mainland China, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Xining, etc.
Firstly, we talk about traveling to Tibet from Nepal.
So far, there are only two ways to enter Tibet from Kathmandu, by air, and by car.
1. By air
There are many international flights from Kathmandu to other countries. Four to six flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa are offered by the China Airline, Eastern Airline, Sichuan Airline, and Tibet Airline. Price from USD250-1000 depends on the time and class.
2. By car
The Gyirong Port had closed for a long time until 29th. August 2017 because of the tragic earthquake in Nepal 2015, which means it’s available now to enter Tibet by crossing the border between Nepal and China and foreigners have a chance to enjoy the amazing landscape along the famous Friendship Highway (Sino-Nepalese Highway).
There is no train from Kathmandu to Lhasa yet. However, it is said that the government of China and Nepal had been in contact to discuss constructing a railway together, which is properly the extension of the Qinghai-Tibet railway from Shigatse to Kathmandu.
Speical Note: No matter traveling to Tibet from Kathmandu by air or by car, foreigners have to apply for the China Group Visa from the China Embassy in Kathmandu with the original passport. This is a compulsory regulation, which means you have to spend about four days in Nepal. The first arrival day, the second application day, the third waiting day, the fourth obtaining day and start to travel to Tibet. The China Embassy only issue the Group Visa from 10 to 12 o’clock in the morning on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Besides, they don’t work on weekends or holidays. So, if you want to travel to Tibet from Nepal, please consider the situation and your budget for hotels, food, and other costs in Nepal. In my opinion, if you want to have a Nepal tour before Tibet tour, you can choose to enter Tibet from Kathmandu. Otherwise, it will be more expensive than traveling to Tibet from mainland China.
How to travel to Tibet from mainland China?
For foreigner travelers, the common way is taking a flight or taking the Qinghai-Tibet Train to Tibet from the big cities of China, like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xi’an, Xining, Chengdu, etc. If you choose flying to Tibet, you need the original Tibet Permit, Passport, and China Visa to board the flight. If you take a train to Tibet, besides of the passport and China Visa, the copy of the Tibet Permit is enough to board the train, except for you will enter Tibet from Xi’an or Chongqing, where requires the original Tibet Permit as well.
Speical Note: Some travelers heard that taking a train to Tibet could help adapt to the high altitude. Well, it’s not guaranteed. Because it usually takes more than 40 hours on the train. You may feel tired after such a long journey, and sometimes it causes you suffering altitude sickness on the contrary.