TRANSPORTATION in TIBET

   
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EXPLORING TIBET
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TIBETAN MUST-SEES
Tibetan A. Region TAR
Lhasa
Potala Palace
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Drupung Monastery
Lhasa & Surrounding
Qinghai Lake
Kanbula National Park

Yushu Horse Racing Fest
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DESTINATIONS
Qinghai - Xining
Nepal Friendship Hwy
Shigatse - Ghantse
Lhasa & Surrounding
Yarlung River Valley
Shannon - Tsetang

Ngari - Mt. Kailash
Nyingchi - Bayi Town
Chamdo - Yushu - Kham

Nakchu - Namtso Lake
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MEET TOUR GUIDEES
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TO & FROM
Tibetan areas & TAR
TRAINS, PLANES AND LAND ROVERS

   
   
TIBET BY AIR TIBET BY CAR
Arrive in either Beijing or Shanghai, then fly directly to Xining (Amdo, plus) or Lhasa by China Air or China Southern. Lhasa Gonggar Airport is around 97 km away from the city. You can also fly directly in or out of Chengdu (Pandas & Giant Buddha). From Kathmandu, Nepal there are several 55 minute flights that offer gorgeous views of the Himalayas and the southern Tibetan plateau. Overland from Kathmandu over the Friendship Highway is the most popular overland route, but if you are flying into Chengdu and the region is open and its the right season, hire a Land Cruiser for the beautiful overland northern route from Chengdu to Chamdo to Lhasa. It's well worth the effort! Not recommended in winter!
   

TIBET BY RAIL

TIBET BY BUS & LOCAL TRANSPORT
Since July, 2006 the fast service to Lhasa is open as LHASA EXPRESS. Check their Fares and Rates

Be sure to get a soft sleeper if you want any comfort level. The hard sleeper (6 bunks inside a 'closet') is very tight. The middle seat which is best, you cannot sit up. The lower seat is where everyone sits when they are not in their bunk. The top bunk, well, better have some muscles for that one! The soft sleeper has only four bunks offering much more room. Plus if traveling as a couple you might opt to buy the four sleepers and have it as a private room. Anyway, there is a lot of talk about this train, because it was a marvel that they could construct it atop of permafrost (ice) (global warming comes to mind?) Personally I didn't find the comfort level anywhere near comparable to European trains. My recommendation, if you really want to do this train, is to fly to Xining, then take the train from there, only 24 hours. From Beijing its twice that, from Shanghai, well, here's the link. Check out these fantastic paintings of the Lhasa Train.
 

If you are adventurous, you can get just about anywhere in the Tibetan area by public bus. There are long-distance buses, local buses (city to city or intercity), minivans, taxis (very economical, only about a dollar anywhere in the city), and in Lhasa there are the man-powered rickshaw tricycles of green and yellow that are the same price as the taxis, but are open-air and a cool experience.

I took a public bus from Xining to Kanbula Nature Reserve, well to the city just before that. We found a taxi to take us inside the reserve, which entrance is a series of switchbacks that climb to 14,000 ft or something like that. The taxi took us all the way to the nunnery, then we hiked up to the top of the new temple. Drove back, had dinner by the river in an off-the-beaten path place right on the water, even slept there, then took the bus back to Xining. I can say this about the buses; after Mexico and Central America they are really decent!

Happy Travels!


Taken from Lhasa Express Train
From Xining to Lhasa 2008

LHASA EXPRESS  
Oh, BOOK a week or more ahead or you'll have no chance for soft sleepers!

The dining room staff and the train staff are highly trained and professional. The food isn't gourmet, but you won't starve. Try an afternoon sitting in the dining car after lunch, order a pot of tea and enjoy the huge windows, the best place for photos! You'll love this experience!

   


   

 
       

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Tibetan Wild Yak Adventures
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