|Lhasa Gonggar Airport|
To get to Lhasa, most foreign visitors arrive by plane. Chengdu, Beijing, Xi'an, Chongqing and Xining are all the starting points. Visitors usually start from Chengdu in Sichuan, because Chengdu has about 20 flights per week to the Gonggar Airport of Lhasa which takes about 2 hours and costs about CNY 1,500. Now, there is also a daily flight from Beijing to Lhasa (about CNY 2,430). The flights from Chongqing (about CNY 1,630) have been readjusted to more than 20 flights every week. It is also possible to go from Xining (about CNY 1,610) and Xi'an (about CNY 1,650). With about 18 flights every week in Xi'an, taking the plane is more convenient for visitors. Also, several flights from Guangzhou (about CNY 2,500) in Guangdong Province and the direct flight from Lanzhou (about CNY 1,560) in Gansu Province are available now. Visitors in Nepal may fly here from Katmandu.
There are four airports in Tibet, Gonggar Airport of Lhasa, Bangda Airport of Chamdo, Mainling Airport of Nyingchi and Gunsa Airport of Ngari. Gonggar Airport is located in Gonggar County, about 65 kilometers (40.3 miles) south of Lhasa city. It takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes and costs approximately CNY 25 by shuttle bus to downtown area. If you have about 3-4 persons a taxi may be considered, about CNY 150 is a reasonable price.
|Lhasa Bus Station|
Five highways stretching into the mysterious high land include 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 at present. Qinghai-Tibet Highway starts 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 amaze people by their natural beauty. The China-Nepal Highway is another main road often used. It stretches for 900 kilometers (558 miles) from Kathmandu to Lhasa. The condition of most roads is so bad that visitors are advised to take Land Cruisers.
For specific information, please click Tibet Transportation.
At present, there are seven trains between Lhasa and Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, Lanzhou, Xining, Chongqing and Chengdu. They pass through many big cities and special sightseeing 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.
Major rail lines from Lhasa to:
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 Railway Station. Eight more public buses including No. 82 and 83 were open in 2007.
|Flag-down Rate for First 3km (2mi)||CNY10|
|Fare between 3-8km (2-5mi)||CNY2/km|
|Fare between 8-11km (5-7mi)||CNY1/km|
|Fare beyond 11km (7mi)||CNY1 per 500m (550yd)|
As I know, foreigners must obtain Tibet Travel Permit to visit the area. Also, they need to join a tour and they cannot visit alone. I happen to know that TravelChinaGuide can organize such tours. You can contact them through tourstravelchinaguide.com. Have fun!
(1) Is it possible for me to take the airport shuttle to Lasa City Centre on my own, without the guide's pick up? I understand that the airport shuttle costs Y40 one way, but airport pick up is Y400, which is too expensive for 1 pax.
(2) I wish to visit Norbulingka, Tibet Museum and maybe Drepung Monastery or Tibetan Medicine Hospital on my own, without a guide. Is it possible for me to visit these attractions without a guide?
(3) Can I use a public bus as transportation to go to the above mentioned places? If yes, please advise the bus # and est cost per bus ride.
Thank you for your honest and correct answer, as I have received contradicting answers re the above matter.
2. For the attractions, you can surely visit by your own. But to have a good visit and know better of them, it is suggested to have a guide in case of the language barrier.
3. I heard the local bus no. 2 can take you righ to Norbulingka, which is close to Tibet Museum and you can walk between. Both of them is not far from the city center and a taxi can easily take you there within 10-15min. Tibet Tradional Hospital can be easily reached from Norbulingka by taking a motorcycle or taxi. If you have a guide, you can also walk there under his or her guidance.