Tibet Transport Map

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Tibet is used to be an inhospitable region, but lots of the people want to travel there. With the transportation network build up, it is easier to get to Tibet with different access. Rail, road, air all are very convenient. The most popular way to enter Tibet now is taking the train-the sky train. On the way, you can enjoy the unique high land scenery that you will miss by taking the flights, and at the same time, adjust yourself to the altitude gradually; the flight is faster and convenient, but see less; hitchhiking the road, it will take a longer time to get to Tibet and pretty tough. The biggest benefit is that you can spend more time at the wonderful scenaries and enjoy them all the way to Tibet.

By Air

Tibet also opens both international and domestic airlines. You can take the regular direct domestic flights from Chengdu (2hours' flying time), Beijing (6hrs), Shanghai(8hrs), Chongqing (2hrs), Xi'an (3hrs), Guangzhou(5hrs) and Kunming (4hrs)to Tibet. The international route is from Kathmandu 2hours flying (capital of Nepal). Gongga Airport Tibet is at the Gongga County in the south of Lhasa 100 kilometers away. It takes around 2 hours'driving from Lhasa. The airport bus costs 20yuan per person; taxi rental is about 200yuan per car.

The Indus and Brahmaputra rivers originate from a lake (Tib: Tso Mapham) in Western Tibet, near Mount Kailash. The mountain is a holy pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Tibetans. The Hindus consider the mountain to be the abode of Lord Shiva. The Tibetan name for Mt. Kailash is Khang Rinpoche. Tibet has numerous high-altitude lakes referred to in Tibetan as tso or co. These include Qinghai Lake, Lake Manasarovar, Namtso, Pangong Tso, Yamdrok Lake, Siling Co, Lhamo La-tso, Lumajangdong Co, Lake Puma Yumco, Lake Paiku, Lake Rakshastal, Dagze Co and Dong Co. The Qinghai Lake (Koko Nor) is the largest lake in the People's Republic of China.

By Car

1. Qinghai-Tibet Highway: it runs the Xining - Golmud-Lhasa, 1,214 kilometers long. The average elevation of the highway is above 4,000 meters, running through the mountains of Kunlun and Tanggula. It takes you the shortest time to Tibet with the best and safest road comparing to others;

2. Xinjiang-Tibet Highway: it starts from Yecheng, Xinjiang Region, total 2841 kilometer. The most parts of the road are in the unpopulated area and does not have regular gas stations on the way, the drivers must prepare several barrels of fuel. It will spend you around half month's driving. Moreover, the transportation and the communication are also very inconvenient;

3. Sichuan-Tibet Highway: it starts from Chengdu and ends in Lhasa, total 2,330 kilometers long. On the way, it passed by the Ya'an and Kangding;

4.Yunnan-Tibet Highway:this road begins in Xia'guan City, Yunnan Province, stopping by the Shangri-La, then reachs the Markam County, Tibet, 800 kilometers long;

5. Sino-Nepal Highway: Lhasa - Golmud - Zhamud Friendship Bridge - Kathmandu, 2415 kilometers. Every day, two buses shuttle between germu and Lhasa. They start from germu at eight in the morning and arrive in Lhasa the next afternoon.

The main highways to Tibet are the Chengdu-Lhasa,2,330 kilometers long; the Xining-Golmud-Lhasa, 1,907 kilometers long. The average elevation of theis highway is above 4,000 meters, running through the mountains of Kunlun and Tanggula;the Yecheng-Burang, 1,455 kilometers. This highway is the highest highway in the world, passing through five mountains above 5,000 meters high. The highest mountain is 6,035 meters above sea level; the Xiaguan- Markam,800 kilmetrs long; Lhasa-Zhamud Friendship Bridge-Kathmandu, 900 kilometers. Every day, two buses shuttle between germu and Lhasa. They start from germu at eight in the morning and arrive in Lhasa the next afternoon.

By Rail

The Qinghai-Tibet (Qingzang) Railway from Golmud to Lhasa started operating in July 2006. The journey all the way from Beijing takes just under 48 hours, costing 389 yuan in the cheapest hard seat class and 1262 yuan for a soft sleeper. Direct trains to Lhasa originate in Beijing, Xining, Lanzhou, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing and Chengdu. For a mid-range sleeper from Chengdu with 6 bunks in each room, they are 692 yuan. Be warned that these trains are not for the faint-hearted and the less adventurous type: they do not have Western-styled toilets and bunks are relatively cramped. The main advantage for this mode of transportation is the fact that you could slowly adapt to high altitude conditions instead of a sudden shift if you were to take a plane.

If you're not up to rubbing shoulders with the hoi polloi, Tangula runs roughly weekly luxury trains (Apr-Dec only) from Beijing to Lhasa and back. The 4-day journey costs US$5,500 (twin sharing), including all meals, drinks and excursions. However, as of January 2010, the Tangula still has no official launch date and are not accepting reservations until Summer 2011, due to economic hardships.