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Getting to Tibet by air

Getting to Tibet by air

Currently (2015) there is only one international flight to Lhasa (Tibet) which is from Kathmandu (Nepal) and more flights from different cities in mainland China. There are around 10 flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa in a week which are operated by the Air China and Sichuan Airline. There are more flights from mainland China to Lhasa (CHENGDU), but all foreign travelers need the Tibet travel permit (TTP) to board the flight to Lhasa and Official Tibetan Tour Guide. Foreign travelers can organize flight to Lhasa or other cities in TAR only with help of official registered travel agencies. TA will sell you a tour (can make detailed plan by yourself) including booking flights and hotels. Foreigners are not allowed to have original document of TTP, only your tour guide will have it. The Price of tickets ranging from 350US-500US (One Way)

From Lhasa (Konggar) airport to Lhasa downtown it is about 65 km by highway.

You can fly to Lhasa and also to Nyingchi but flying in from a much lower altitude city puts you at high risk (90%)of altitude sickness because of the quick transition, unlike boarding a train If you are in Sichuan or nearby (and aren’t satisfied visiting the many ethnically Tibetan areas to the east of the Tibetan Autonomous Region) flying from Chengdu or Chongqing is the easiest option.

A flight from Chengdu or Chongqing to Lhasa plus all the necessary paperwork will cost around ¥2,000 and can be arranged through most large hostels or travel agents.

An alternate route is to follow the Yunnan tourist trail to Zhongdian and fly from there to Lhasa. If you spend a few days each in Kunming (2,000m), Dali (1,800m), Lijiang and Zhongdian (3,200m) to acclimatise, you should be able to fly to Lhasa (3,650m) with little risk. Note:If enter Tibet by flight from Mainland China, then you need the original Tibet travel permit in your hand to board the flight, when you go through the security check point at the airport, they will check your permit and passports, so remember to ask your travel agent to send your travel permit to your hotel in Mainland China before you arrive, also make sure that the names and passport number on the permit is correct as if there is a mistake, then the airport security won’t let you board the flight and ask you to send the permit back to Lhasa and correct.