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Situated high on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Tibet is not easily accessible. Due to historical and geographic challenges, Tibet had no highways until 1951. With the economic support of the Chinese government and the efforts of Tibetans in the past years, Tibet now owns three airports and several highways that link it with other parts of China. On July 1, 2006, the entire Qinghai-Tibet railway was put into service, which brings Tibet closer to the world and provides much convenience for tourists.

By Air

By Railway
Since opening in last July, Tibet Railway has been the first choice of  transportation method  for most  travelers to Tibet. Tibet Railway is the longest and highest rail road on a plateau in the world. It has linked Tibet  with decades of cities in the innerland of China, including Chengdu, Chongqing, Xining, Lanzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Xian and Guangzhou. The opening of Tibet Trains has really made the traditional saying of 'Easy to travel abroad but difficult to enter Tibet' inaccurate.  

For the detailed information about it, please refer to Tibet Railway.

By Highway
To get to Tibet, there are five main highways: Sichuan-Tibet Highway, Qinghai-Tibet Highway, Yunnan-Tibet Highway, Xinjiang-Tibet Highway and China-Nepal Highway.

Sichuan-Tibet Highway runs between Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province, and Lhasa. Sichuan-Tibet Highway is probably the most dangerous highway in the world. Branching into the North Route of about 2,400 km (around 1,491 miles) long and the South Route of about 2,100 km (around 1,305 miles), it runs across a variety of rivers and mountains with the highest point over 5,000 meters (around 16,404 feet) above sea level. Landslides are frequent, trapping tourists for days. However, it is meanwhile the most attractive route to Tibet. Surging rivers, snow-capped peaks, deep valleys and vast grassland are common along the road. It crosses as well the southeast Tibet, which is famous for its unique scenery. This route is a good choice for adventurers and devoted photographers.

Qinghai-Tibet Highway is Tibet's longest asphalt-paved road. People call it 'The Suez Canal on the Roof of the World'. It stretches from Xining, the capital city of Qinghai, to Lhasa. Though it is high, it has few steep slopes and most of the road is of high quality, so generally speaking it is the safest road to Tibet. It runs across grassland, deserts, the Gobi desert, mountains, and saline plains. Scenery along the road is rather appealing.

Traveling along the Yunnan-Tibet Highway, one has the chance to appreciate the culture of ethnic groups in Yunnan Province, and to visit Erhai Lake, Mt. Cangshan, and Shangri-La. The best time to travel along this road is from August to October. Most sections of Xinjiang-Tibet Highway run across boundless deserts and lofty and precipitous peaks. May to October is the best time to travel along this road. The Sino-Nepal Highway is the only international highway in Tibet.

No matter which road you choose, remember that the condition of most of these roads is bad. It is advisable to make careful preparation before departure. Take enough clothes, medicines for mountain sickness, and enough food, as food along these roads is often bland and sometimes unavailable. To avoid mountain sickness, do not undertake too many activities. If you are traveling with your own car, take sufficient gas and make sure that your car is in good mechanical condition.

 See Tibet Coaches

Transportation inside Tibet has also developed considerably. Road conditions have been upgraded, and there are regular buses between big cities.   

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