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In recently years, Tibets' transportation condition has improved greatly. At present, Tibet offers easy access to many other places due to the rapid develpment of its transportation system, such as highways, airlines and railway.
At present, Tibet has 5 airports, including Lhasa Gonggar Airport, Qamdo Bangda Airport, Nyingchi Airport, Gunsa Airport and Shigatse Heping Airport. There are direct domestic flights from Lhasa Gonggar Airport to Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Xi’an and Changdu. Besides, there are also direct international flights from Lhasa Gonggar Airport to Katmandu of Nepal. Lhasa Gonggar Airport is located in Gonggar County, about 60 kilometers southeast of Lhasa.
There are regular buses from the airport to the downtown of Lhasa, which takes about 50 minutes and costs 35 to 40 yuan per person. Besides, you can also take a taxi at the exit of the airport, which costs about 100 yuan. Gonggar Airport boasts large-type passenger planes, which is referred to as a modern airport of the highest altitude in the world.
Nyingchi Airport is located in Mainling County of Nyingchi, which has only one air line. The flight only operates between Chengdu and Nyingchi. It operates every Friday with the flight number of CA4431/2. The flight departs from Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport at 7:50 and arrives at Nyingchi Airport at 9:20. Then the flight goes back to Nyingchi Airport at 10:05 and arrives at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport at 11:35. The air fare is about 1380 yuan per person for a single trip.
Qamdo Bangda Airport is the world’s highest civil aviation airport above sea level, with the elevation of about 4,334 meters. The airport is located 130 kilometers from Qamdo county town. At present, there are only flights to Lhasa and Chengdu.
Qinghai-Tibet Railway has been opened to traffic since July, 2006. It stretches from Xining City of Qinghai Province to Lhasa City of Tibet, covering the overall length of 1,956 kilometers.
At present, there are trains from Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xining, Lanzhou, Shanghai and Guangzhou to Lhasa. Qinghai-Tibet Railway goes by numerous tourist attractions and stations along the way, such as Tongtian River, Yu Everest, Tanggula Mountains, Ando, Yangbajain and Tuotuo River. Thus, a large number of tourists would like to take a train to Tibet and enjoy entirely different Tibetan plateau scenery and traveling experience.
Lhasa Railway Station is located in Liuwu Village of Doilungdeqen County in the southwest of Lhasa City, with an elevation of over 3,600 meters. It’s about 20 kilometers from the Potala Palace. You can take No. 86 or No. 91 bus from the downtown area to the railway station.
Highways within Tibetan Areas：At present, there are 15 arterial highways and 315 secondary highways within Tibetan areas, and the mileage in highway open to traffic reaches 22,000 kilometers.
Now, it has formed a highway transportation network centered on Lhasa and depending on Qinghai-Tibet Highway, Xinjiang-Tibet Highway, Sichuan-Tibet Highway, Yunnan-Tibet Highway and China-Nepal Highway as arterial highways, and Lhasa-Yadong, Heihe-Ali, Shigatse-Pulan, Heihe-Qamdo, Nyingchi-Tsetang, Lhasa-Tsetang, Lhasa- Shigatse and Lhasa-Zhangmu highways as the main highways.
Qinghai-Tibet Highway: Qinghai-Tibet Highway stretches from Xining City of Qinghai Province to Lhasa, via Saka, Dulang and Golmud, with the overall length of 1,214 kilometers and the average elevation of over 4,000 meters. It includes Tanggula Mountain pass at an elevation of 4,837 meters. Qinghai-Tibet Highway is the highest and longest asphalt road in the world, which is expedite all the year round. Among all the highways to Tibet, Qinghai-Tibet Highway boasts the shortest distance and the best road condition.
Xinjiang-Tibet Highway: Xinjiang-Tibet Highway operates from Karghalik to Lhasa with the overall length of 2,841 kilometers. Most of the highway is in depopulated zone without gas station. The transportation and communication are not very convenient.
Sichuan-Tibet Highway: Sichuan-Tibet Highway begins from Chengdu of Sichuan Province, via Ya’an and Kangding. It’s divided into the northern line and the southern line at Xinduqiao. The northern line and the southern line are linked by the 169-kilometer-long highway from Qamdo to Bomda. Sichuan-Tibet Highway boasts the most marvelous landscape among all the highways to Tibet. However, the highway condition is relatively bad and there are debris flow and collapse. Thus, newcomers had better not choose this line.
Yunnan-Tibet Highway: Yunnan-Tibet Highway stretches from Xiaguan City of Yunnan Province to MarkamCounty in the north of Tibet, via Shangri-La, covering the overall length of 800 kilometers.
China-Nepal Highway：China-Nepal Highway stretches from Katmandu of Nepal to Lhasa, via Friendship Bridge of Zhangmu, Nyalam County of Tibet and Shigatse, covering the overall length of 2,415 kilometers.