As mentioned earlier, to get to Tibet, you need to firstly flyto Nepal or to three major Chinese gateway cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou and later take flight or Tibet train or even enjoy the road trip to reach Lhasa.
As it is mentioned before, If you want to travel to Tibet from the United Kingdom, you need to take the plane to Nepal first or to three major Chinese gateway cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Later, you could take the flight or the train or choose the road trip to Lhasa from these cities.
London to Kathmandu Flight: (Duration: up to 11 to 19h, with a stopover in DEL, IST)
London to Beijing Flight: (Duration: around 10h20m, non-stop)
London to Shanghai Flight: (Duration: around 11h25m, non-stop)
London to Guangzhou Flight: (Duration: around 11h30m, non-stop)
London to Hong Kong Flight: (Duration: 11h50m non-stop; up to 15h15m with 1 stop in IST, SOV, HEL)
There are ten direct flights between Beijing and Lhasa every day which are operated by Tibet Airlines, Air China, Shandong Airlines and Shenzhen Airlines. Some flights have a stopover in Chengdu or Xi'an. And it takes about 4 hours and 30 minutes from Beijing to Lhasa or vice versa. The full price for the single ticket is about 406 USD.
The train (Z21) from Beijing to Lhasa has served as one of the three initial railway routes of Qinghai-Tibet Railway since July, 2006. And it takes around 40 hours and 53minutes from Beijing to Lhasa and crosses more than 8 provinces. The distance of the journey is as far as 3757km. Besides, the return train from Lhasa to Beijing is Z22.
At present, there are three direct flights between Lhasa and Shanghai which may stop in Chengdu or Xi'an. These flights are operated by China Eastern Airline, Tibet Airline and Air China. It takes about 7 hours for the flight in which about 1 hour is for a stopover.
The train Z164 (return train Z166), as one of the early three railways linking with Tibet, connects Shanghai with Lhasa. The railway line covers 8 provinces from east to west China whose distance is 4373 km in total. It normally takes about 47.34 hours to reach Lhasa from Shanghai. When the train is moving in the mountains, the guides of each train will introduce the famous sights along the railway, the Tibetan customs and the Tibetan dishes by using Chinese, Tibetan language and English so that people coming from different places can understand.
Nowadays, there are three direct flights between Lhasa and Guangzhou via Chongqing, which are operated by Xiamen Air, Eastern Airlines, and China Southern Airlines. And it takes about 6 hours for these direct flights in which about 1 hour is for the stopover.
The train from Guangzhou to Lhasa(Z264) departs every other day at noon from the train station of Guangzhou which arrives at Lhasa Railway Station in the late afternoon on the third day after over 53 hours covering a distance of 4980 kilometers. It’s the longest train journey across Tibet. It’s highly recommended for railfans while it might be too hard for kids and the elderly because of its long journey.
Tips for Traveling: There are three types of tickets available for the journey to Tibet by train which are the soft sleeper, the hard sleeper and the hard seat. The soft sleeper provides the best condition, privacy and many useful facilities, which will make you feel comfortable. So it’s not surprising that the price of the soft sleeper is the most expensive among the three types. Whereas, the hard seat is not hard literally. The cabin can accommodate 6 travelers and it’s cost-effective for budget travelers. Hard seat only offers a basic seat, so it’s not recommended for a long train journey.
The distance from Hong Kong to Lhasa is around 2,423km. There is no direct train or flight to Lhasa from Hong Kong. As a result, tourists traveling from Hong Kong to Tibet need to transfer in Chengdu, Guangzhou, or Xining of mainland China. Here are 4 travel routes that you can choose:
a. Hong Kong---flight---Chengdu---flight---Xining---train(24h)---Lhasav
b. Hong Kong---flight---Chengdu---train(44h)---Lhasa
c. Hong Kong---flight---Chengdu---flight---Lhasa
(It only takes around 5 hours and 30 minutes for the entire trip by plane. It’s advised to take a good rest in a hotel to get acclimatized to Tibetan plateau after you arrive in Lhasa)
d. Hong Kong---Kowloon-Guangzhou Train (2h)---Guangzhou---train(52:41h)---Lhasa
As you know, there are a variety of options to Tibet. What is best for you all depends on the amount of time you have to travel, what kind of transportation is the most comfortable for you and whom you are going to travel with—such as the elder or young children. In addition, your budget and what you want to see/do during your trip also play an important role in choosing the best option for the trip.
Nepal is close to Tibet, making it the a entry country to Tibet. Our staff in Kathmandu will help you get your Group Tourist Visa after your arrival in Kathmandu. So it’s necessary for you to set aside three days to get it. Besides, it’s essential for you to prepare your Tibet permit in advance which is helpful when you choose to take flights or enjoy the epic overland trip from Kathmandu to Lhasa.
Here are 2 direct flights between Lhasa and Kathmandu which take around one and a half hours. They are run by Sichuan Airline and Air China respectively while the Sichuan Airline departs every other day. It’s advised to choose the left seat on the plane which is against the window so that you can enjoy the stunning view of Mt. Everest when the plane flies over the majestic Himalayas. If you want to board the place, you need to take Group Tourist Visa with you. Once you arrive at Gonggar airport of Lhasa, our Tibetan guide will take white Hada to welcome you and send you the Tibet Travel Permit.
Many tourists prefer the epic overland tour to flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa and it’s always the first option for them. Our staff will accompany you to Gyirong Port which is the border of current Sino-Nepal. Your Group Tourist Visa and Tibet Permit will be checked when you go through the customs. And our Tibetan guide will wait for you in Tibet. Because of the drastic altitude ascent, you will stay in Gyirong county for acclimation. After the rest there, your journey will start from there and gradually move eastward to Tingri, EBC, and Shigatse and finally end in Lhasa. The classic travel route abounds with jaw-dropped Himalayan peaks, magnificent Buddhist monasteries and holy alpine lakes. There are many chances to meet local Tibetans that you can learn more about their exotic culture and custom.
The UK troops entered Tibet from India over 1000 years ago. Now UK tourists can enter Tibet in a much more peaceful way. The Potala Palace and Jokhang Monastery are the best places to learn about the history and religions in Tibet. Besides, the Karola Glacier and Lake Namtso show you the natural beauty of Tibet. A tour to Mount Kailash and Mount Everest Base Camp let you see the highest peaks in the earth.
The Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar are very popular tourist attractions in Tibet. For most tourists from UK, April, May, June, September and October are the best five months for attending a Kailash Manasarovar tour. During this time, you could enjoy the continuous good weather and comfortable climates, and admire the most beautiful sceneries. Beside Mount Kailash, these five months are also the best time to see sunrise in the Mount Everest Base Camp.
If British tourists don’t have time to visit the Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar during these five months, July and August can be their second options. Although these two months are rainy season, the temperature is good for taking a tour and the sceneries are beautiful.