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  • Lhasa Transportations

  • As the capital city of Tibet, Lhasa is also the main transportation center in Tibet. It is obviously that Tibet is becoming more and more accessible, but Lhasa is still the main entry and exit point, and sometimes the only choice for outside visitors. If you travel in Lhasa, you can feel the transportation system in the city updating, which is consists of air, railway and highway services.


    • 1. By Air


    Lhasa Gonggar Airport

    Lhasa Gonggar Airport is located in Gonggar County, about 65 kilometers (40.3 miles) south of Lhasa city. Tourists usually start from Chengdu and Chongqing, because these cities have around of 20 flights every week to the Gonggar Airport of Lhasa. And it takes only 2 hours and costs about CNY 1,500 and CNY 1,630. Now, there is also a daily flight from Beijing to Lhasa (about CNY 2,430). You can also go from Xining (about CNY 1,610) and Xian (18 flights, about CNY 1,650). Also, many flights from Guangzhou (about CNY 2,500) in Guangdong Province and the direct flight between Lanzhou (about CNY 1,560) in Gansu Province and Lhasa are available now. Travelers in Nepal may fly from Katmandu to Lhasa.

    It takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes and costs about CNY 25 by shuttle bus to the center of Lhasa. If you have about 3-4 persons a taxi may be considered, about CNY 150 is a reasonable price.


    • 2. By Road


    Lhasa Bus Station

    There are five highways spreading into Tibet, including Sichuan-Tibet Highway, Qinghai-Tibet Highway, Xinjiang-Tibet Highway, Yunnan-Tibet Highway and China-Nepal Highway. Only Qinghai-Tibet and China-Nepal Highway are open to foreigners currently. Qinghai-Tibet Highway begins from Golmud of Qinghai; it is 1,160 kilometers (720 miles) long and averages at 4,000 meters (13,120 feet) high. It runs along the Kunlun Mountains and vast grasslands which surprise people by their natural beauty. The China-Nepal Highway is another main road often took. It stretches for 900 kilometers (558 miles) from Kathmandu to Lhasa. The condition is so bad that travelers are advised to take Land Cruisers.


    • 3. By Train


    With a total length of 1,956 km (around 1,215 miles), Qinghai-Tibet Railway is the longest plateau railway and also the highest in the world. Signs inside the carriage are written in both Tibetan and Chinese language. Oxygen respirators are available too.

    At present, there are seven railway lines to Lhasa from Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, Lanzhou, Xining, Chongqing and Chengdu. They pass through many big cities and special tourist lines are opened via Qinghai Lake, Kunlun Mountains, Kekexili, the Three Rivers Resource Area, Northern Tibetan Grassland, Potala Palace and other famous sights in the plateau.


    • 4. By Minibus

    A minibus is the main form of transport in Lhasa. Travelers can easily find minibuses around Beijing Road and they operate a fixed charge of CNY 2 per adult. Generally speaking, the bus starts operation late in the morning and stops early at night.
    Bus No. 1 and 2 goes through the Norbulingka to the coach station.
    Bus No. 3 and 5 run to the Drepung Monastery.
    Bus No. 4 runs to the Sera Monastery.
    Bus No. 91 runs between the city center and the Lhasa Railway Station.


    • 5. By Taxi


    The taxi fare is RMB 10 for traveling anywhere within the city. For longer trips, you need to negotiate a fare with the driver beforehand. For instance, a taxi to Drepung Monastery will cost around RMB 20.



    • 6. By Pedicab

    A pedicab can carry two people and generally costs RMB 4 to 7. It is a time-consuming, interesting and popular way to see downtown Lhasa.



    • 7. By Bicycle

    Bikes can be rented from many hostels along Barkhor Street. Generally, the rental for an ordinary bike is RMB 2 per hour and RMB 20 per day; for a mountain bike it is RMB 3 per hour and RMB 30 per day. But your health condition must be considered.