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Lhasa Toursit Attractions

Lhasa is a fantastic city and full of Buddhist pilgrimage sites. Read this new post to learn how to get to Lhasa, where to stay and what to see!

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Lhasa is the center of the Tibetan Buddhist world for over a millennium, remains largely a city of wonders. Your first view of the red-and-white Potala Palace soaring above the Holy City raises goosebumps and the charming whitewashed old Tibetan quarter continues to preserve the essence of traditional Tibetan life. It is here in the Jokhang, an otherworldly mix of flickering butter lamps, wafting incense and prostrating pilgrims, and the encircling Barkhor pilgrim circuit, that most visitors first fall in love with Tibet.

How to get to Lhasa

All foreign travelers going to Tibet, including to Lhasa, must be on a full organized tour that includes a private vehicle, driver, official travel itinerary, a tour guide and travel permits. There are no exceptions. Only a travel company can arrange a journey to Lhasa for you.

There are 2 main ways to get to Lhasa, Tibet. The first is to fly. Lhasa is connected by direct flight to many cities in Mainland China. Chengdu is the best place to fly to Lhasa from as there are between 12 and 18 direct flights per day between these 2 cities. Other cities in Mainland China with direct flight service to Lhasa include Beijing, Chongqing, Xi’an, Xining, Kunming, Shangri La (Diqing) and Lanzhou. During the summer high season months, there are seasonal flights to Lhasa from other towns on the Tibetan Plateau including Xiahe (Labrang), Yushu (Jyekundo) and Kangding (Dartsedo).

Lhasa is connected internationally only to Kathmandu, Nepal. There are no direct international flights to Lhasa from any other cities.

The second main way to get to Lhasa is by train. Since July 2006, Lhasa has been connected with Mainland China by railway. Trains going to Lhasa begin in the cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Chengdu, Lanzhou and Xining. The train passes thru many other cities in Mainland China.

Since 2008, the overland roads from Chengdu/Sichuan province and Kunming/Yunnan province have been closed to foreign travelers. This means it is not possible to travel to Lhasa from Sichuan or Yunnan provinces by automobile. It is still possible to go to Lhasa by road from Golmud in central Qinghai province. However, as the railway parallels the road (for the most part), there is little reason to go by vehicle. The train ticket to Lhasa from Golmud will be more than 10 times cheaper than the cost of hiring a private vehicle with a driver and guide.

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