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Three different ways to get to Tibet

Three different ways to get to Tibet

The are three ways for foreign travellers to get to Tibet, by plan, by rail or by car.

1. Arrive in Tibet by plane
The easiest and fastest way to get to Tibet is by plane. This gives the visitors a bird's eye view of the snow-covered mystical peaks and deep valleys. Lhasa is the gateway of Tibet, over 90% of the Tibet travellers arrive in Lhasa.

International flights to China
There are no direct flights from a foreign country to Lhasa (except Kathmandu, Nepal), so foreign travellers need to fly to the big chinese cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xian, Kunming, and then change to a demestic flight to get to Lhasa.

Domestic flights from Chinese cities to Tibet
Many chinese cities have flights to Lhasa. We would recommend you to from from Beijing or Chengdu, because these two cities have many flights daily to Lhasa, the prices and services are relativly better.

If your planned travel period falls in the summer, you should book as early as possible to avoid overpriced tickets.

Domestic Flights within the Tibetan Region
Flights to Lhasa are available from Chamdo, Ngari, Shigatse, Nyingchi and Shangri-La. However, flights can be canceled at very short notice due to bad weather.

2. Arrive in Tibet by train

You can travel to Tibet by train via Qinghai-Tibet Railway. The railway itself is already a landmark. Since the opening of the last section of the line from Golmud to Lhasa in 2006, Qinghai-Tibet Railway has been attracting hunderds of thousands of people.

Tibet Rail takes you along the railway line at the highest altitude in the world

Due to the extraordinary height, cold temperature and other natural conditions, the trains on the Qinghai-Tibet railway are pressurized to help travellers to adjust to the high altitude of the region. The trains are all equipped with extra oxygen tubes, and Medical care is guaranteed on board too.

For your journey, you can choose from 4 different classes of accommodation: Hard Seater, Soft Seater, Hard Sleeper and Soft Sleeper. The Hard Seater and Soft Seater are mostly for people who travel for short distance. As the entire train journey takes a long time, most travelers prefer a sleeping cabin.

To make your trip an unforgettable experience, the train has been equipped with panoramic windows that can protect you from UV radiation and offer a breathtaking view of landscapes along the way. During the entire train trip to Lhasa, you can simply sit back, enjoy the comfortable equipment of the train and the spectacular scenery.

Details of the accommodation aboard
A first-class sleeping compartment (Soft Sleeper) consists of four comfortable beds, two of which are attached to each other on each side of the compartment. These compartments offer maximum comfort, thus you have plenty of freedom of movement. A TV can also be found. Although first-class sleeping compartments are more expensive than the others, they are the top priority for tourists traveling on the train.

A second-class sleeping compartment (Hard Sleeper) consists of six beds, which are narrower in space but also very comfortable. The beds are equipped with simple bedding. The difference between the first-class and the second-class compartment is that there are no doors in the second-class one. You could be disturbed by passing passengers and of course, the lockable doors can provide more security at night.

The seat compartment is generally not recommended for tourists on the long journey, since you have no opportunity to stretch out and lie down there, and your privacy is also hardly guaranteed.

The table below gives you an overview of the different equipment in the 3 classes of compartments. Hope it can help you make your decision.

Air conditioning in the carriages
All trains to Tibet are air-conditioned and have pressure equalization systems as the train climbs to enormous heights. With the air conditioning systems can ensure a comfortable temperature inside. And the oxygen supply system helps you to experience a carefree journey. You will enjoy your stay on board!

Sanitary facilities
Every carriage on the Tibet Railway is equipped with sanitary facilities. At the end of each carriage, there are two kinds of toilets, one is in Asian style and the other one is in European style. Both of them are cleaned regularly during your journey. You will also find 3 small washbasins in every carriage. The washbasin area can be very crowded, especially in the morning. Besides, you should bring your own toiletries and towels, as they are unfortunately not available on board the train.

Meals on board
Each train has a well-equipped kitchen with an attached dining car. Here you will be served with three meals a day and can continue to enjoy the spectacular view. If you would like to stay in the dining car outside mealtime, you will be kindly asked to order a drink at the bar.

Meals on board are almost twice as expensive as in cities, but unfortunately, the quality of the dishes does not match their prices. Breakfast is served with pickled cucumbers, eggs, bread and milk for 10 RMB; or you can choose from different pasta dishes. The most popular dishes are the Tibetan dishes. A total of 45 different dishes are offered on board, like ginseng salad, available for 18 RMB, yak chunks for 25 RMB. In addition, a small snack handcart will drive regularly through the carriages, where you can buy Chinese snacks.

Oxygen supply
There are two oxygen supply systems on the train, thanks to which you can enjoy a carefree journey. One system increases the oxygen content inside the carriage as soon as the train rises to the Tibet plateau, the other one can be used by passengers directly through a personal access. There are also oxygen masks and pipes in every cabin.

When the train starts to ascend to the plateau's high mountain zone, the air conditioning and pressure compensation system automatically increases the oxygen content in the carriages, so that the effects of the enormous height on the human body are minimized. You can also read the oxygen content and temperature from the display in your compartment. In addition, private oxygen masks intended for emergencies are distributed to passengers of all classes.

Thanks to these precautions, you will continue to feel like traveling at normal heights, so you do not have to worry about this aspect and can enjoy your trip in a relaxed manner.

Medical care
On the train, temporary medical care and first aid will be provided by professional doctors and qualified nurses. If you feel unwell, ask one of the staff for help. In most cases, it is about assisting the passenger concerned with in the correct use of the oxygen masks (see section oxygen supply).

In addition, prior to the journey, each passenger is required to complete a health certificate to ensure safety on board.

These reliable precautions and systems of air conditioning and oxygen supply in the carriages can ensure you a carefree journey.

Tibet Railway- The Stations
A trip along the Tibetan Railway has become a popular travel option in recent years. Most tourists will travel to Lhasa Station, only a few choose the less well-known Nagchu Station to get off board.

But Nagchu Station is so important as a supply station for the Tibetan railway that almost all trains to Lhasa stop here. The station sits in Mendi village in Nagqu district, and is about 322km from Lhasa in northern Tibet. This region is famous for Nagchu Horse Racing Festival on August 1 every year, which is one of the most important Tibetan festivities. Some tourists will choose to travel by train from Lhasa to Nagchu to experience this festival in person.

In addition, the beautiful Heavenly Lake--Namtso Lake, is located in the region too. If you are interested in an excursion to the lake, stop at Nagchu Station would be a good choice.

In each carriage, there is a height indicator at both entrances, which shows the current height of the train. This display helps you to observe and estimate the different heights and the associated physical effects.

3. Arrive in Tibet by car

Travelling to Tibet by car is a real adventure. The route via the Friendship Highway from Nepal can only be recommended to experienced drivers with the right equipment and all-wheel drive.

4. Transportation within Tibet

During the stay in Tibet, we will provide our customers with vehicles that meet the most modern comfort and safety requirements. Moreover, our drivers are experienced with the daily traffic and the Tibetan road conditions.
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