Nyingchi means the “Throne of the Sun” in the Tibetan language. It is a prefecture located in southeastern Tibet with the stunning mountainous landscape, crystal clear waterways and warm climate. Nyingchi is a popular attraction destination for tourists, who visit and explore different places such as the vast Lulang Forest, Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon, Green Baumtso Lake, and the magnificent Namjagbarwa Peak.

The most popular ways of traveling to Nyingchi are driving from Lhasa and taking flights to Nyingchi. If you plan to visit Nyingchi for its lower altitude than Lhasa or sightseeing of its magnificent landscape, one thing is for sure, Nyingchi will surely amaze you.

How to get to Nyingchi?

By Flight

It only takes about 2 hours to fly to Nyingchi so traveling to Nyingchi by plane will save you a lot of time. Also, it is very convenient to travel from Nyingchi Mainling Airport because the airport offers the convenience of air traffic.

Presently, only a few local airlines operate flights to Nyingchi from some cities such as Xian, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, and Lhasa, which give tourists the opportunity to take non-stop flights to Nyingchi. Chengdu has the highest number of daily flights to Nyingchi (5 daily flights). Other cities usually operate one daily, which may increase during the high seasons. For travelers who want to board flights from Beijing or Shanghai to Nyingchi, there are available connecting flights from major gateway cities such as Chengdu and Chongqing. Also, Tibet Airline operates a regular daily flight from Lhasa to Nyingchi. This flight only takes about 40 minutes. The flight between Nyingchi and Lhasa is very convenient for travelers who want to enjoy two different kinds if sceneries.

Nyingchi Mainling Airport

Nyingchi Mainling Airport

Nyingchi Mainling Airport is 2,949 meters above the sea level, which makes it the lowest airport in Tibet. The airport is located in Yarlung Zangbo River Valley – world’s largest canyon. However, it is also the most challenging airport for flight operations in Tibet. Flights from Nyingchi Airport are directly connected with Lhasa, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Xian, and Chongqing. This airport is about 50 km away from Bayi Town – the downtown area of Nyingchi, and 18 km away from Mainling County. It only costs 150 CNY to take a taxi from Nyingchi Airport to Bayo Town. Shuttle buses are also available from Mainling County to the Airport. These shuttle buses start operation by 7:20 am and 7:40 am and they cost about 25 CNY for every 30 minutes drive.

Air Routes to Nyingchi

Chengdu – Nyingchi

The flight distance of this route is 1190 km. It takes 2 hours 5 minutes to travel from Chengdu to Nyingchi. There are about 5 daily direct flights between these two cities.

Chongqing – Nyingchi

The flight distance of this route is 1446 km. It takes 2 hours 30 minutes to travel from Chongqing to Nyingchi. There are about 2 daily direct flights between these two cities.

Guangzhou – Nyingchi The flight distance of this route is 1446 km. It takes about 4 hours to travel from Guangzhou to Nyingchi. There is one daily direct flight between these two cities.

Xian – Nyingchi

The flight distance of this route is 1477 km. It takes about 3 hours travel from Xian to Nyingchi. There is one daily direct flight between these two cities.

Lhasa – Nyingchi

The flight distance of this route is 440 km. It takes about 40 minutes to travel from Chengdu to Nyingchi. There is one daily direct flight between these two cities.

By Land

Lhasa – Nyingchi

Traveling by land from Lhasa to Nyingchi is a 400 km journey which takes about 8 hours. If you are traveling by a rented car or bus, you will drive from Lhasa on the Lhasa-Nyingchi Highway crossing the Mila Pass, which lies in the border between Maizhokunggar County in Lhasa and Gongbogyamda in Nyingchi. After passing the Mila Pass, continue to drive to Nyingchi City on the China National Highway G318 with the Basumtso Lake on the west side of the highway. After some time, you will arrive at Bayi Town in Nyingchi City. Many hotels are located in Bayi Town. You can book at a hotel room and rest before you start your tour of Nyingchi.

Shannan – Nyingchi (Shannan- Nang County – Nyingchi Bayi Town)

Only a few tourists travel to Nyingchi through this route because of is long and dangerous traffic situation. The availability of shuttle buses between Shannan and Nang County, Nang County and Bayi depends on the road condition, weather condition, and the number of travelers. This means the shuttle buses are not regular.

Shigatse – Nyingchi (Shigatse – Lhasa or Shannan – Nyingchi)

There are no direct buses from Shigatse going to distant Nyingchi, so tourists need stopovers at Lhasa before they can continue with their journey. The Shigatse – Lhasa – Nyingchi north route is very popular and easy than the south route via Shannan. However, both routes take more than 10 hours to get to the final destination. To make the journey more interesting and memorable, you can visit some tourist attractions during the journey.

How to Get Around Nyingchi?

Overlook of Bayi town.

Bayi Town – Basumtso Lake, Mila Pass (Lhasa)

For tourists who miss Basumto Lake and Mila Pass on their way to Nyingchi, you still have the opportunity to visit them after getting an accommodation in a hotel in Bayi Town. Basumtso Lake is located about 120 km away from Northwest Bayi Town and it takes about 3 hours to get there. You need a rented car or a tour car to travel between Bayi Town and Basumtso Lake. You can also visit the Ghading valley which is 24 km away from Bayo Town.

Bayi Town – Mainling – Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon and Namjagbarwa Peak

Mainling County is about 70 km away from Bayi Town and it is about an hour drive from Bayi Town. The Nyinchi Mainling Airport is located in Mianling County.

Scenic spots are few in Mianling County. So if you want more sightseeing, you can drive an hour to east Pai Town where the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon is located. It is a good place to view Namjagbarwa Peak and Segrila Pass.

Bayi Town – Segrila Pass and Lulang Forest – Tangmai – Bome – Ranwu Lake

Travel on the National Highway 318 to Bome passing through the popular Segrila Pass, which is another good viewing point for Namjagbarwa Park when the weather is favorable. The pass is about 50 km from Bayi Town and it takes an hour drive. Later, you will see the popular Lulang Forest, which is 80 km away from the West Bayi Town and it takes about 2 hours drive. The Lulang Forest gives tourists the opportunity to take amazing pictures.

When traveling to Bome, drivers need to be careful of the Tangmai Natural barrier. It is a 14 km narrow road which takes about 2 hours before arriving at Bome.

In spring, peach flowers blossom in Bome and tourists always visit at this time to witness it. Runa village, Qyingdo Town, and Songzong Town are the popular viewing points of peach flowers blossom. Also, Midui Glacier (China’s lowest ocean glacier) is located in Yupu village, Bome.

Travel Tips

1. Late spring, early summer and autumn are the best times to visit Nyingchi;

2. All international travelers require Alien’s travel permits, military permit and Tibet travel permit when traveling to Nyingchi;

3. Make sure you go with some medicine to relief yourself from high altitude reaction at some places with high elevation like Mila Pass;

4. Make sure you take some fruits, snacks and water with you for the long journey.

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