• Last Updated: 2019-11-05

If you are coming from the Philippines, you have two route options to reach Tibet. You can either reach Tibet via mainland China or via Nepal. Situated in Southeast Asia, the Philippines is an archipelago, consisting of 7,641 islands. Most probably, your plane will be taking off from the Philippine international airports of Manila or Cebu. The Philippines faces the South China Sea, and thus, your best option would be to travel to Tibet via mainland China.

The capital of Philippine

Manila, the capital city of the Philippines.

The Philippines to Tibet via Mainland China

There are three cities that you can use as your points of entry to mainland China from the Philippines. These cities are Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai which have direct flights from the Philippines.

The Philippines to China

Manila to Beijing Flight Details

Airlines Route Schedule Duration Price 
Philippine Airlines
Manila to Beijing Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday 5 hours Economy Class
Cebu Pacific Airlines
Manila to Beijing Thursday, Saturday, Sunday 5 hours Economy Class
Philippine Airlines
Manila to Beijing Tuesday and Sunday 5 hours Economy Class
Air China
Manila to Beijing Daily 4.5 hours Economy Class

Manila to Shanghai Flight Details

Airlines Route Schedules Duration Price
Philippine Airlines Manila to Shanghai Daily 3.5 hours Economy Class
PR336 USD350
Cebu Pacific Manila to Shanghai Daily 3.5 hours Economy Class
PR336 USD100
Philippine Airlines Manila to Shanghai Monday, Wednesday, Friday 4 hours Economy Class
PR346 USD350
China Eastern Airlines Manila to Shanghai Daily 3.5 hours Economy Class
MU212 USD250
Air Asia  Manila to Shanghai Tuesday, Friday, Sunday 3.5 hours Economy Class
Z2018 USD150
Philippine Airlines Cebu to Shanghai Daily 3.5 hours Economy Class
Z27028  USD200
China Eastern Airlines Cebu to Shanghai Daily 4 hours Economy Class
MU 5024 USD300

Manila Guangzhou Flight Details

Airlines Route Schedules Duration Price
Philippine Airlines Manila to Guangzhou Daily 2.5 hours USD150
China Southern Airlines CZ3078 Manila to Guangzhou Daily 2.5 hours USD150
China Southern Airlines CZ3092 Manila to Guangzhou Daily 2.5 hours USD150
China Southern Airlines CZ398 Manila to Guangzhou Daily 2.5 hours USD150
Cebu Pacific Airlines Manila to Guangzhou Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 3 hours USD100
Philippine Airlines Manila to Guangzhou Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday 2.5 hours USD100

Mainland China to Tibet

Your route from mainland China to Tibet will depend on your chosen city of entry to mainland China. You can choose from any of the abovementioned three cities that have direct flights from the Philippines.

  1. Beijing-Lhasa Route

If you choose Beijing as your entry point to mainland China, you would have several routes to choose from to arrive at Lhasa, Tibet. First, you can board a plane to Lhasa at Beijing International Airport’s Terminal 3. Three flights leave Beijing for Lhasa daily. These flights leave Beijing at 7:35 am, 8:15 am, and 2:50 pm. The economy seats for these flights usually cost around RMB 3,260(about USD465).

You can also travel to Lhasa from Beijing by train. A lone train, Z21, leaves Beijing at 8 pm. This train travel takes around 40 hours and 40 minutes, which is barely two days of train travel. You should choose a soft sleeper which usually costs RMB 1,200(USD171) each to make yourself comfortable for this travel.

This train travel allows you to slowly acclimate your body to the high altitude of Tibet. It also lets you see some of the breathtaking views of the countryside of mainland China. The low season of train travel from Beijing to Lhasa is from December to January. The peak season starts with the onset of summer months between June and September.    

Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport

Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport

  1. Shanghai-Lhasa Route

If you choose Shanghai as your entry point to mainland China, you will have two great options to reach Lhasa from Shanghai: you can either travel by train or by plane. There is also a single train that leaves Shanghai for Lhasa. This train is Z164. It leaves around 8:10 in the evening and arrives at Lhasa by 7:30 pm on the third day. This train travel usually takes 47 hours and 20 minutes. Thus, you need to avail of the soft berth accommodation which usually costs around RMB1,300(USD186).

You can also travel to Lhasa from Shanghai by plane. There are currently two direct flights from Shanghai to Lhasa and other flights that make stopovers at either Chengdu or Xian. These flights usually take 7 to 8 hours and cover the distance of 1830 miles. There are around 5 flights per day from Shanghai. The airlines that service this route include Air China, Eastern Airlines, and Tibet Airlines. Moreover, flight tickets usually cost around CNY 3360 (USD480)for economy class.

  1. Guangzhou-Lhasa Route

If you choose Guangzhou as your gateway to mainland China, you can also travel either by train or by plane to Lhasa. There is a lone train that leaves Guangzhou for Lhasa. This train is Z264 which departs Guangzhou at 11:45 in the morning and reaches Lhasa at 4:19 in the afternoon on the third day. This train travel takes around 52 hours and 34 minutes. Additionally, the cost of the soft berth is around RMB 1,500(USD214).

If you choose to board a plane from Guangzhou to Lhasa, there is a flight from Guangzhou to Lhasa that departs daily from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport's Terminal 2. It departs at around 8:10 in the morning and arrives at Lhasa at around 14:05 in the afternoon. It usually makes a stop at Chongqing. A one-way ticket for this flight usually costs around RMB 2,930(USD418). Furthermore, this flight usually covers a distance of 1,647 miles and takes around 6 to 9 hours of flight.

Necessary Travel Permits

Foreign travelers are generally required to apply for Tibet Travel Permit and China Visa before they can enter China. Foreigners are usually not allowed to apply independently for a Tibet Travel Permit. First, you will need to find a travel agency that is based in China to facilitate the application for you. Moreover, foreigners are not allowed to travel to Tibet independently. They should be accompanied by a tour guide in a group tour.

The primary requirement for having a Tibet Entry Permit is a China Visa. To apply for a Chinese Visa, you need to secure the service of an Approved Chinese Travel Agency. This travel agency will arrange your Tibet tour. Your itinerary needs to be shown in your permit.

You will send a copy of your passport and China Visa to your travel agency and they, in turn, will apply on your behalf a Tibet Entry Permit. You should send a copy of your passport and China Visa to your chosen travel agency at least 7 working days prior to your departure to Tibet. The earlier you sent these copies, the better would it be for the processing of your Tibet Travel Permit. If you are, however, a diplomat, government official, or journalist, you need to apply to Tibet Foreign Affairs Office for a Tibet Entry Permit.

Tibet Entry Permit is usually checked at the airports and train stations. So, you need to print two copies of this permit. Moreover, your original permit will then be checked at your airport of departure.

The Philippines to Tibet via Nepal

Another viable route that you can take to travel from the Philippines to Tibet is via Kathmandu, Nepal. From the Philippines, you can book a flight to Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport. However, there are no direct flights from the Philippines to Nepal. So, you need to take multiple flights to reach Nepal from the Philippines.

The Philippines to Nepal 

Here's the flight schedule:

Multiple Airlines Route Schedules Stopover Duration Price
AirAsia 583
(Manila to Kuala Lumpur) 12:40 pm —4:45 pm 2 hrs and 24 mins
(change plane)
4 hrs. and 5 mins USD439.11
Malindo Air 182
Boeing 737-900
(Kuala Lumpur to Kathmandu) 7:10 pm — 9:40 pm

4 hours and 45 minutes

Malaysian Airlines
Boeing 737-800
Manila to Kuala Lumpur 1:15 pm — 5:15 pm 1 and 56 minutes
(change plane)
4 hours USD508.82
Malindo Airlines
Boeing 737-900
Kuala Lumpur to Kathmandu 7:10 pm — 9:40 pm 4 hours and 45 minutes

Then, upon arriving at Kathmandu, you have two options to reach Tibet: either by an overland route from Kathmandu to Lhasa or by plane from Kathmandu to Lhasa, Tibet. Both options, of course, are appealing.

Nepal Tibet friendship highway

The picturesque Tibet.

  1. Nepal to Tibet

  2. By Overland Route

It would usually take around 7 days to complete the overland route from Nepal to Tibet. You can shorten or lengthen this trip, depending on your stopovers and destinations along the way. In this overland trip, you will see Mount Everest and will get the chance to visit other Tibetan cities like Shigatse and Gyantse.

You will need several permits to make this overland trip. You will need Tibet Entry Permit as well as a Border Pass. You will also need a Group Visa before you can travel to Tibet for independent travel to Tibet is not allowed.

  1. By Plane

Upon arriving in Kathmandu, Nepal, you can board a flight to Lhasa’s Gonggar International Airport. There are two airlines that operate flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa. These airlines are Air China and Sichuan Airlines. These two airlines provide daily flights between Nepal and Tibet. Air Asia provides flights on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, while Sichuan Airlines offers flights every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The flight duration is usually 1.5 hours.

Nota Bene:

You can readily contact us if you want to travel to Tibet from the Philippines. We can facilitate the processing of all the necessary permits that you need to present when you travel to Tibet. We will also arrange everything for you to make your travel to Tibet a breeze, including your hotel accommodations and travel itinerary. You can either send us an email or contact us by phone.

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