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About Lhasa

Brief Introduction
Local Features
Weather and Climate
Attractions & Sightseeing
Hotel Index & Reservations
Dining in Lhasa
Shopping in Lhasa
Transportation

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Weather Report and Local Time

Lhasa weather report and local time

 


Transportation In Lhasa


By plane:

Most foreign travelers arrive in Tibet by plane. From China, Chengdu is the easiest and most popular starting point. Daily flights carry tourists to Lhasa in about 2 hours and cost RMB1200. Chongqing, a neighboring city, also has flights to Tibet. However, there are only two flights every week. It is also possible to go from Beijing and Xi'an (only one flight every week). Luckily, Flights from Shanghai are new, operating on Wednesdays and Sundays. Travelers in Nepal may also fly from Kathmandu. Click here to see Lhasa flight timetable.

Gonggar Airport is 98 km south of Lhasa city. Airport buses take tourists to the city soon after they arrive. The drive costs foreigners RMB40 and takes about two hours. Taking a taxi costs RMB250 to RMB300. Minibuses from Shigatse to Lhasa also stop outside the airport to make extra money.

By train:

The new Qinghai-Tibet Railway is the highest in the world. It climbs to 3,641m at Lhasa, but its highest point is 5072m (16,640 feet) above sea level, at Tanggula Pass. Due to the changing altitude during the trip, the train's carriages are pressurised and oxygen is available to passengers that need it.

As of the 1st July 2006, trains to Lhasa run from Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Lanzhou and Xining. Trains from Shanghai and Guangzhou should also be available soon. Click here for the train timetable.

There are also direct trains to/ from Lhasa from Lanzhou and Xining, and all the above routes also stop in both Lanzhou and Xining.

By bus:

The only overland way out of Lhasa is to Golmud in Qinghai Province. The journey takes between 30 to 50 hours, depending on road conditions. Tickets for Golmud can be bought at the main bus station, south of the Lhasa Hotel. Prices are RMB424 for a Japanese sleeper bus or RMB244 for a clapped-out Chinese bus. It is also possible to continue the journey all the way to Xining, the capital of Qinhai Province. Long-distance buses also go to other places in Tibet, such as Shigatse, Tsetang, Chamdo and Bayi, although this can be difficult and expensive for western travelers.

The bus station in Lhasa is located southwest of Barkhor Square and has departures to Medro, and Gungkar to visit Drigung Til Monastery and Lhundrub to visit Talung Monastery.

Thanks to the increasing number of tourists, minibus, as mentioned above, has become a booming industry in Tibet. The area south of Barkhor Square is where minibuses set off for Tsurphu Monastery and Deprung Monastery. Another place to look for a minibus is in front of the Kirey Hotel, where there are daily minibuses to Naqu, Samye and Shigatse.

Rented Vehicles:

Many foreigners have realized the convenience and comfort of travelling in Tibet by rented vehicle. The most popular route is from Lhasa to the Nepalese border, Zhongmu, past Yamdrok-tso, Gyantse, Shigatse, Sakya, Everest Base Camp and Tingri. Other good ideal destinations include Mt Kailash and Nam-tso. Since traveling by Land Cruiser is more expensive than by bus, it is advisable to talk to other travelers to get the latest information on which agencies are offering good deals and which are ripping people off.

Land cruisers have the capacity for up to five travelers, along with the mandatory guide who will do nothing of the sort, and the driver, who will appear to be doing his best to run both you and all other vehicles off the road. The land cruisers cost Y1000 per day, so it is of course most economical to travel in a group of five. An itinerary must be decided upon and submitted to the PSB for approval before travelers are allowed to leave Lhasa. Usually the PSB will approve any route along established tourist sites. However, once the route is fixed and stamped, there is to be no deviating from it. If in doubt whether to include something in your tour, include it. The agony of leaving Tibet, and feeling that one did not see or do enough is far worse than the subsequent hole in one's pocket.

Getting around the city:

The best way to travel from one place of interest to another is by minibus (fare: RMB2). Taxis in Lhasa are not equipped with a meter, and tourists are generally charged RMB10 when they want to go within the city. For a destination out of the city, they should first negotiate with the driver. Pedicabs can serve two travelers at a time for between RMB4 to RMB7. Most hotels also rent bikes to travelers (RMB2 per hour or RMB20 per day for ordinary bikes and RMB3 per hour, RMB30 per day per day for mountain bikes.)

 

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