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Travel around in Tibet by Bus

Apart from Lhasa, foreign passengers are usually not allowed to take public transport in the Tibet Autonomous Region. If you have a trip out of Lhasa, it must be arranged through travel agencies. Larger private bus drivers may not be willing to take foreigners out of Lhasa since they are powerless in government permission and/or insurance to bring foreigners. Therefore, foreign tourists from Lhasa must use private vehicles and drivers.

For local people and domestic passengers, long distance bus is the most popular and convenient means of transportation to Lhasa and other parts of Tibet because of the underdeveloped public transport in Tibet. Most long-distance buses or coaches start from Lhasa or Shigatse and go to populous towns. Small towns may have only one bus a day, leaving for Lhasa in the morning and returning in the afternoon.

So far, there are four long-distance bus stations in Lhasa: the West Suburb Bus Station of Lhasa, the North Suburb Bus Station of Lhasa, the East Suburb Bus Station of Lhasa and the Liuwu Bus Station of Lhasa. These coaches provide many conveniences for local and non-foreign tourists planning to travel to many different parts of Tibet. However, public buses to Everest Base Camp is not available here. You can get off at Barber (Baipa in Chinese), rent a car to take you to EBC, and then return to the main road.

When you take a long-distance bus, if you have a large backpack, you may be asked to put your luggage on the roof. In this case, although bus drivers usually do a good job of checking these details, guarantee they are properly tied. You'd better lock your backpack as a preventive measure in case it's stolen. Also, before you pay cash, try to see how much others pay. Sometimes you can expect to spend a lot of time sitting around waiting for the van to fill up.

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