Many Australian tourists are visiting Tibet every year to experience its unique religious and cultural heritage, moreover, their number is increasing every year. There are no direct flights from Australia to Tibet, however, and from down under, you only have two viable routes to reach Tibet: the first one is via the mainland China and the second one is via Kathmandu, Nepal.

Before you have a flight to China from Australia, you have to get Chinese entry visa. Usually, the Chinese Embassy and Consulates General in Australia don’t accept the application directly. You need to submit the visa application to relevant CVAS (Chinese Visa Application Service Center) in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or Brisbane. It's easy to get China entry visa if you are not journalist or government officials. You can use your return flight tickets and hotel reservation in other cities of China to get the visa. By the way, do not mention your trip to Tibet, otherwise, your application may get rejected by the China Embassy.

Foreigners can't visit Tibet without Tibet permit. So you should find a reputable China-based travel agency on the internet, and they will help you to get your Tibet permit after you booked your Tibet tour with them.

Flights from Australia to China

If you are coming from Sydney, Australia, your first leg of trip would be from Sydney to any point of entry city to China like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, and Hongkong. Once you have arrived in China and have reached your hotel, your travel agent will hand over to you your Tibet Travel Permit. You will present this Tibet Travel Permit before you board a train or plane to Tibet.

  • The non-stop flight from Sydney to Beijing usually would take around 11 hours and 40 minutes; while those flights from Australia with a stopover at HGH, TPE, FOC, or CAN takes around at 14h and 5 minutes.
  • The non-stop flight from Sydney to Shanghai takes around 10 hours and 30 minutes, while flights with stopover at FOC, TPE, CAN, or KUL take around 13 hours and 55 minutes.
  • The non-stop flights from Sydney to Guangzhou usually takes around 9 hours and 30 minutes, while flights with a stopover at PVG, KUL, CKG, or SIN take around 15 hours and 10 minutes.
  • Non-stop flights from Sydney to Chengdu take around 17 hours and 15 minutes; and flights with stopover at FOC, PVG, or HKG take around 17 hours and 10 minutes.
  • Non-stop flights from Sydney to Hong Kong take around 9 hours and 5 minutes, while flights with stopover in KUL, SIN, or TPE would take around 19 hours and 35 minutes.

 

Get to Tibet by plane in China

After your arrival in China, take the plane to Tibet is the fastest way as it only costs travelers a few hours. Meanwhile, there are many cities have direct flights to Lhasa, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu. Many airlines could offer discounts in winter, especially flights from Chengdu to Lhasa.

Most Australians prefer to choose the route taking plane from Melbourne or Sydney to Chengdu, then flying to Lhasa. It's commonly known that Chengdu is the economic and cultural center in southwest of China and also the city closest to Lhasa. Moreover, there are more than ten flights a day from Chengdu to Lhasa therefore it's relatively cheap.

No matter which city you choose to fly to Tibet, you will be arriving within 7 hours. It takes about 4 hours and 30 minutes from Beijing to Lhasa, 7 hours from Shanghai to Lhasa, 6 hours from Guangzhou to Lhasa, and 2 hours from Chengdu to Lhasa.

Timetable and Schedule of Flights to Tibet

Flight to Tibet

Flight Number

Departure

Arrival

Duration

Frequency

Beijing to Lhasa

CA4125

Air China

07:35

12:05

4 hours and 30 minutes

Non-stop

Every Day

Beijing to Lhasa

CA4112

Air China

08:15

15:05

6 hours and 50 minutes

Stopover in Chengdu

Every Day

Shanghai to Lhasa

MU2335

China Eastern Airlines

06:45

14:40

7 hours and 55 minutes

Stopover in Xi’an

Every Day

Guangzhou to Lhasa

CZ3463

China Southern Airlines

08:10

14:05

5 hours and 55 minutes

Stopover in Chongqing

Every Day

Chengdu to Lhasa

TV9803

Tibet Airlines

05:50

08:10

2 hours and 20 minutes

Nonstop

Every Day

Chengdu to Lhasa

3U8657

Sichuan Airlines

06:10

08:30

2 hours and 20 minutes

Nonstop

Every Day

Chengdu to Lhasa

CA4405

Air China

06:15

08:40

3 hours and 25 minutes

Nonstop

Every Day

Chengdu to Lhasa

TV9853

Tibet Airlines

06:25

08:40

2 hours and 15 minutes

Nonstop

Every Day

Chengdu to Lhasa

CA4403

Air China

06:25

08:50

2 hours and 25 minutes

Nonstop

Every Day

 

Get to Tibet by train in China

Taking train is the cheapest way to Tibet. If your travel budget is tight and your time is loose, it would be the best choice for you to take train to Tibet. Many cities also have the train to Lhasa, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xining, Chengdu and Guangzhou, etc. It usually needs two or four days to get to Tibet according to the place of departure.

And there are several types of seat you can choose: hard seat, hard berth, and soft berth. Hard seat is the cheapest class of seating in China railway, but it is not suitable for a long distance travel. The hard berth is more comfortable than the hard seat cos you can lie down rather than relying on the back chair when you want to sleep. Soft sleeper is the most comfortable class in Chinese railway seats. Although the price of the soft berth is the most expensive, there are lots of people choosing it.

For many Australians who want to enjoy the scenery along the Qinghai-Tibet railway, the flights from Melbourne or Sydney to Xining are the most popular, after you reach Xining, you could take train from Xining to Lhasa.

It takes 21 hours from Xining to Lhasa. At the same time, you will be accoustomed the climate here, reducing the risk of the altitude sickness after arriving.

Timetable and Schedule of Trains to Tibet

Train to Tibet

Train Number

Departure

Arrival

Duration

Distance

Frequency

Beijing to Lhasa

Z21

20:00

12:40

40 hours and 40 minutes

3757 km

Every Day

Shanghai to Lhasa

Z164

20:10

19:30

47 hours and 20 minutes

4373 km

Every Day

Guangzhou to Lhasa

Z264

11:45

16:19

52 hours and 34 minutes

4980 km

Every Day

Chengdu to Lhasa

Z322

21:37

09:55

36 hours and 18 minutes

3070 km

Every Other Day

Xining to Lhasa

Z6801

14:01

12:20

21 hours and 19 minutes

1972 km

Every Day

 

Get to Tibet by Highways in China

It's the most expensive way to go to Tibet by driving, and it would cost travelers a lot of time in the road, but you can enjoy the most spectacular view, so if your time and money are sufficient, this is also a good choice.

There are four highways in China to get to Tibet, namely Qinghai-Tibet Highway, Xingjiang-Tibet Highway, Sichuan-Tibet Highway, Yunnan-Tibet Highway. Whatever which highway you choose to go to Tibet, it usually takes 1 to 2 weeks.

Sydney To Tibet via Kathmandu

From Australia, the second viable way to Tibet from Australia is via Kathmandu, Nepal. From Kathmandu, you can either board a flight from Kathmandu to Tibet or take an overland trip from Kathmandu to Lhasa.

If you are coming from Sydney, however, your other viable option to reach Tibet aside from that of the mainland China is via Kathmandu, Nepal. Since Tibet is under the jurisdiction of the Chinese Government, flights coming from mainland China are considered local flights to Tibet. Hence, the only direct international flights to Tibet are those coming from the country of Nepal. Flights from Sydney to Kathmandu usually take around 21 hours and 8 minutes with stopovers either in KUL, DOH, AUH, or BKK.

Once you've arrived at Kathmandu, your tour agent will hand to you your Tibet Travel Permit which you have to present to authorities before you board a flight to Lhasa, Tibet or before you cross the Sino-Nepalese Border.

  • The best option to reach Lhasa from Kathmandu is by plane. The plane travel usually takes around 1 hour and 25 minutes. Flights between Kathmandu and Lhasa and vice versa are only provided by two airlines, namely: Air China and Sichuan. The costs of these flights generally vary from season to season, depending upon your time of travel. From April to October, plane tickets generally cost around $418.

    You will be required to get a Group Tourist Visa and Tibet Travel Permit before you can travel to Tibet. The upsides of traveling by plane to Lhasa include getting the chance to get a bird’s eye view of the peak of Mount Everest. Moreover, it is the fastest way from Kathmandu to Lhasa.

  • The second viable option to reach Tibet from Kathmandu is via an overland trip to Lhasa. This overland trip usually takes longer. The travel time usually takes around several days and covers around 943km of road travel. The upsides concomitant with the overland trip from Kathmandu to Lhasa include the chance to explore the real beauty of Nepal and Tibet up-close-and-personal. Despite its being a very exhilarating travel, it is worth-taking because it allows you to personally experience the religious and cultural heritage of both Nepal and Tibet at the same time. Once you have secured your Group Tourist Visa, you can then take a bus to the Gyirong Port at the Sino-Nepal Border. There, your Tibetan guide will be waiting for you to accompany and guide you through your overland trip of Tibet.

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Asked Questions from our Clients

Mich***

2018-05-24

Hi, would you happen to know where exactly the last picture was taken, or what mountain is in the background? Thanks, Michelle

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Cherry

The mountain in the background is Mount Kalish. Mount Kalish is considered to be sacred in four religions: Jainism, Buddhism, Bön, and Hinduism. Every year, thousands make a pilgrimage to Kailash, following a tradition going back thousands of years. Pilgrims of several religions believe that circumambulating Mount Kailash on foot is a holy ritual that will bring good fortune. Would you like to have a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage journey to Mount Kalish? We have 15 Days Mt.Everest & Mt Kailash Kora Pilgrimage Group Tour. What do you think? Here is the itinerary of 15 Days Mt.Everest & Mt Kailash Kora Pilgrimage Group Tour.