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Trains and Flights to Tibet

Trains and Flights to Tibet

There are two ways of traveling to Lhasa, by flight or by train, and it is your choice which you take. The flights are the faster option, and can get you to Tibet in less than 8 hours from anywhere in China or Nepal. However, they are more expensive, and there are few discounts available for flights.
Tibet Group Tour

The trains to Tibet are the less costly option, although they can take anywhere from 22 hours to 55 hours to get to Lhasa, depending on where your departure station is. They are much more of an adventure though, and can be a delightful journey of excitement and discovery that will stay with your forever.

Flights to Tibet

Aside from the flights to Lhasa from Kathmandu, there are no international flights that land in Tibet, and all travelers flying into one of the five airports in the region must fly from either mainland China or Kathmandu in Nepal.

Flight to Tibet

Flights from China

Flights to Lhasa from mainland China run from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xian, Kunming, Shangri-La, Xining, and Nanjing. The cost of flights to Lhasa is also much higher than to the rest of China due to the high demand, even in the off season.

Departure City

No. of direct flights per day

Flight time

 

Beijing

Two flights per day

4 hrs. 30 min

 

Shanghai

One flight per day

7 hrs. 55 min

 

Guangzhou

One flight per day

5 hrs. 55 min

 

Chengdu

Fourteen flights per day

2 hrs. 15 min

 

Chongqing

Nine flights per day

2 hrs. 40 min

 

Xian

Eight flights per day

3 hrs. 05 min

 

Kunming

Six flights per day

2 hrs. 50 min

 

Shangri-La

One flight per day

2 hrs. 05 min

 

Xining

Six flights per day

2 hrs. 20 min

 

Nanjing

One flight per day

5 hrs. 45 min

 

Note: Indirect and connecting flights are also available from several of the above airports, and can cost less due to the connections and other stops. For full details, check with the local carriers.

 
 
 
 

 

train to Tibet

Flights from Kathmandu

The Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport is the only international airport with direct flights to Lhasa, which are run by Air China, Sichuan Airlines, and Tibet Airlines. However, not all the carriers run every day, so it is advisable to book your flight in advance to ensure you get a seat, as these flights are normally busy during the peak season.

Flights take around 90 minutes to traverse the plateau, flying directly over the summit of Mount Everest before heading to Lhasa Gonggar International Airport. Flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa are almost as expensive as those from China to Lhasa, but the faster time is an advantage. Flight prices do go down in the low season for Tibetan tourism, but the number of flights is also reduced, with usually only 2-3 flights per week.

 

train to Tibet

Trains to Tibet

Known as the Sky Train, the Qinghai Tibet Railway trains that run to Lhasa from seven gateway cities across China are a popular choice for tourists traveling to Tibet. Costing a lot less than a flight from the same city, the trains deliver you to the Tibetan capital in style, with luxurious (by local standards) cabins and a pleasant journey.

The trip to Lhasa can take from 22 hours at the shortest point to as long as 55 hours at the longest run. And, while much slower than flying, the lower cost and unforgettable experience make it worth the time it takes to get there. All the trains are customized to ensure passenger safety on this high-altitude journey across the Tibetan plateau, and come with piped oxygen, a classy dining car, comfortable sleeper berths, washroom facilities, food and drinks, and complimentary hot boiled water.

The staff on the trains are also very friendly and helpful, and all the amazing sights you will see along the way are announced in advance in English, Chinese, and Tibetan, so you are sure not to miss a thing.

Ticket prices quoted are for reference only, and the actual cost may vary depending on the season. Please contact us for an exact price for your departure date.

Train Schedules from Mainland China

Guangzhou to Lhasa

Train No.

Route

Departure Time

Arrival Time

Duration

Distance (km)

Frequency

Cost

Soft Sleeper

Hard Sleeper

Z264

Guangzhou/ Lhasa

11:45

16:19

52:34

4,980

Daily

CNY1468

CNY865

Z266

Lhasa/ Guangzhou

13:10

20:00

54:50

4,980

Daily

CNY1468

CNY865

 

Shanghai to Lhasa

Train No.

Route

Departure Time

Arrival Time

Duration

Distance (km)

Frequency

Cost

Soft Sleeper

Hard Sleeper

Z164

Shanghai/ Lhasa

20:10

18:25

 46:15

4,373

Daily

CNY1262

CNY793

Z166

Lhasa/ Shanghai

11:25

11:51

48:26

4,373

Daily

CNY1262

CNY793

 

Beijing to Lhasa

Train No.

Route

Departure Time

Arrival Time

Duration

Distance (km)

Frequency

Cost

Soft Sleeper

Hard Sleeper

Z21

Beijing/ Lhasa

20:00

12:20

40:20

3,757

Daily

CNY1144

CNY720

Z22

Lhasa/ Beijing

16:30

8:28

39:58

3,757

Daily

CNY1144

CNY720

 

Chongqing to Lhasa

Train No.

Route

Departure Time

Arrival Time

Duration

Distance (km)

Frequency

Cost

Soft Sleeper

Hard Sleeper

Z322

Chengdu/ Lhasa

21:37

9:55

36:18

3,070

*Every Other Day

CNY997

CNY627

Z324

Lhasa/ Chengdu

18:30

7:00

36:30

3,070

*Every Other Day

CNY997

CNY627

 

* – Trains from Chengdu leave on alternate days each month. ODD Days refers to the 1st, 3rd, 5th, etc. and EVEN DAYS refers to the 2nd, 4th, 6th, etc.

 

Months with ODD DAYS: February, March, June, July, September, and October.

Months with EVEN DAYS: January, April, May, August, November, and December.

 

Chengdu to Lhasa

Train No.

Route

Departure Time

Arrival Time

Duration

Distance (km)

Frequency

Cost

Soft Sleeper

Hard Sleeper

Z223

Chongqing/ Lhasa

22:25

9:55

35:30

3,030

*Every Other Day

CNY997

CNY627

Z224

Lhasa/ Chongqing

18:30

6:23

35:53

3,030

*Every Other Day

CNY997

CNY627

 

* – Trains from Chongqing leave on alternate days each month. ODD Days refers to the 1st, 3rd, 5th, etc. and EVEN DAYS refers to the 2nd, 4th, 6th, etc.

 

Months with ODD DAYS: February, March, June, July, September, and October.

Months with EVEN DAYS: January, April, May, August, November, and December.

 

Lanzhou to Lhasa

Train No.

Route

Departure Time

Arrival Time

Duration

Distance (km)

Frequency

Cost

Soft Sleeper

Hard Sleeper

Z917

Lanzhou/ Lhasa

11:16

11:14

23:58

2,188

Ϯ Every Other Day

CNY823

CNY522

Z918

Lhasa/ Lanzhou

9:00

9:24

24:24

2,188

Ϯ Every Other Day

CNY823

CNY522

 

Xining to Lhasa

Train No.

Route

Departure Time

Arrival Time

Duration

Distance (km)

Frequency

Cost

Soft Sleeper

Hard Sleeper

Z6801

Xining/ Lhasa

14:01

11:14

21:13

1,972

Ϯ Every Other Day

CNY781

CNY495

Z6802

Lhasa/ Xining

9:00

6:43

21:43

1,972

Ϯ Every Other Day

CNY781

CNY495

 

Ϯ – Trains from Lanzhou and Xining leave “every other day” and you can contact us to find out on which day the train will leave closest to your expected departure date.

 

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