Getting to Tibet
There are many ways to get in to Tibet, by air, by highways, by railway (the 1st railway to Lhasa is now under construction). The most convenients way is to by air from Chengdu in China or from Kathmandu in Nepal (the tickets are no discountable). The second choice is by railway- takes longer but only available after July 2006. The third choice is by highways.
There are five highways link Tibet with the outside of the world. The Qinghai-Tibet highway, one of the highest highway in the world, starts from Xining, Qinghai Province, covering a distance at 1,160km. The highway crosses Wodaoliang and Tangula pass and it is chilly there and snows often. Enough winter clothing should be prepared even you travel in summer. Medicines against altitude reaction, such as Rhodiola rosea, should also be taken with you.
The 2,413-kilometer-long Sichuan-Tibet Highway starts from Chengdu of Sichuan on the east and ends at Lhasa of Tibet on the west. The road stretches into Lhasa passing Ya’an, Garze, Chamdo and provides fine views along the line, with unique customs. You can enjoy the magnificent and changeable scenery ranging from warm spring to cold and snowing winter, which makes you intoxicated. This climate will be changing in front of you, just like being in the paradise, and you may think “days in heaven, but years on the earth”. A car trip may cost you 8-10 days.
The Xinjiang-Tibet Highway (Yecheng-Burang), 2,743 km in length, is also the highest altitude in the world. The highway starts from Yecheng, a city in southern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, passes by Gar county in Tibet and reaches Shiquanhe town, which is located in Ngari prefecture, Tibet, then the highway winds south to Burang county, where China borders India and Nepal. The highway turns east to converge with the China-Nepal Highway, and then extends to Xigaze and finally stretches into Lhasa. It is easy to appreciate the spectacular view of the heavenly holy mountain Kailash, which is also called the “center of the world”, and to feel the overwhelming charm of the holy lake Manasarovar. However, the Xinjiang-Tibet Highway will be blocked by snow in winter and spring and it’s impossible to travel. The best time to drive is from May to the middle of October. The climate in the trip is terrible and food and accommodation condition is not good, either.
Dian-Zang Road starts from Xiaguan of Yunnan in the south, traverses Jianchuan, Zhongdian and Dechen to Zhikang of Tibet in the north and covers a distance of 714 km. It joins the south part of Sichuan-Tibet Road in the north. The road goes up and down in elevations through the mountains and valleys, you can experience different kinds of climates and landscapes on the way. August to October is the best season for driving on Dian-Zang Road.
The Friendship Highway starts from the capital of Nepal-Kathmandu, traverses Hangmu Friendship Bridge( SinoNepal Friendship Bridge) at Kodari to Neyalamu County in Tibet and crosses Shigatse-- the second largest city of Tibet to the capital of Tibet-Lhasa. It covers a distance of more than 900 km. It is easy to have a view of Mt.Everest when take this road.The best season to visit Mt.Everest is from early March to late May, or from early September to late August, however, the weather is aways changeable in this area.
The railway which runs across the “the roof of the world” has been linked up and soon the world's highest altitude railroad will be ready to open. Travelers are able to travel Tibet by the special train since July, 2006. The special train will be equipped with an oxygen providing system, making it easier for passengers to endure the thinner-air in the so-called "roof of the world". It will also carry doctors on board to ensure the safety of any travelers affected by the high altitude. Passengers will also be able to enjoy various entertainment activities during the journey, including Tibetan dancing and Karaoke.
The train will stop at several famous sightseeing spots along the route, such as Qinghai Lake, Hol Xil, Kun Lun Mountain and the Potala Palace. A package tour is available on your request.