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Tibet Transportation

Transportation condition in Tibet has changed greatly since 1951 when pack animals were the main transportation in the region. Now railway, highways and airlines are connecting it with other regions of China.

Flights are the fastest means to move onto the Roof of the World. There are two airports in Tibet while Gonggar Airport connects Lhasa with Chengdu, Xian, Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xining, Kunming, Chamdo, Hong Kong and even Kathmandu. Traveling by air into Tibet will surely bring visitors unique and thrilling experience. Just imagine that you are above the world's highest snow and cloud clad peaks! However, flights travel so fast and there is little time for acclimatization. Click to see detailed flight schedules.

There are five highways stretching into Tibet. Sichuan-Tibet Highway with a length of  2,413 kilometers (1,496 miles) was built in 1950 and opened for traffic in 1954. The road climbs up and down 14 high mountains which are average 4000-5000 meters (13120-16400 feet) high, and flies over a dozen of famous rivers such as Lantsang River (Mekong). The climate along the road presents beautiful scenery ranging from spring to winter. However, the road condition is not good.

Qinghai-Tibet Highway starts from Golmud of Qinghai is the only road providing bus service among the five highways. So it is the main road to travel Tibet. 1,160 kilometers (720 miles) long and averaging 4,000 meters (13,120 feet) high,  the bituminous roadalong Kunlun Mountains and vast grassland, which amaze people living in modern civilization,  is the best road leading to Tibet.

Xinjiang-Tibet Highway starts from Yecheng in Xinjiang. It runs 1,455 kilometers (902 miles), winding its way among five mountains soaring more than 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) high above the sea level. A spectacular view of Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarova shows before travelers while traveling along the road. Yunnan-Tibet Highway spans 800 kilometers (492 miles) to reach Markham, less beaten by travelers. Chinese-Nepalese Highway is another main road traveled often. It stretches 900 kilometers (558 miles) from Kathmandu to reach Shigatse and Lhasa.

Among the five highways, only Qinghai-Tibet Highway and Chinese-Nepalese Highway are open to foreigners at present. Inside Tibet, there are now regular buses shuttling between major towns. See regular buses and road conditions.

Newly opened Qinghai Tibet Railway adds more allurement to Tibet. Thousands of visitors are now choosing train to enter Tibet.

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