Popular Way to Travel Tibet from Korea

To travel from South Korea to Tibet, you can follow these steps:

  1. Fly from South Korea to a major city in China: There are direct flights available from South Korea to major cities in China such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu. Airlines like Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, and Air China operate these flights. You can check their websites or use flight search engines to find the most convenient and affordable flights.
  2. Travel from China to Tibet: Once you arrive in China, you can travel to Tibet either by air or by land.
  • By air: There are flights available from various cities in China, such as Beijing, Chengdu, and Xi’an, to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. Airlines like Air China, China Eastern Airlines, and Tibet Airlines operate these flights.
  • By land: If you prefer an overland journey, you can take a train from major cities in China to Lhasa. The most popular route is from Xining to Lhasa, which offers stunning views of the Tibetan plateau. The train journey takes approximately 22 hours.

Once you arrive in Tibet, you will need to obtain a Tibet Travel Permit to enter and travel within the region. This permit is required for all foreign travellers visiting Tibet and is issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau. To obtain the permit, you will need to book a tour with a registered travel agency in China or Tibet. The travel agency will assist you in arranging the necessary permits and provide you with a guide for your trip to Tibet.

Please note that individual travel is not allowed in Tibet, and you must be part of an organized tour group to visit the region. The tour group will take care of your accommodation, transportation, and sightseeing arrangements in Tibet.

How to travel from South Korea to Tibet.

Option 1: Flight to China City

The most common way to travel to Tibet from South Korea is to take a flight to one of the major cities in China that have direct flights to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. Some of the cities with direct flights to Lhasa include Beijing, Chengdu, Xining, and Kunming. From there, you can take a connecting flight or train to Lhasa.

Option 2: Flights to Nepal

Another option is to take a flight to Nepal and then travel to Tibet from there. There are direct flights from South Korea to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. From Kathmandu, you can take a flight or overland tour to Tibet. However, please note that you will need to obtain a Chinese visa and Tibet Travel Permit before entering Tibet from Nepal. It is advisable to check the flight schedules and prices with a reputable travel agency or airline as they may change depending on the season and availability. 

There are many flights from Seoul in South Korea to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, and Xi’an, and there are several different airlines operating flights, so it is best to choose the most suitable departure airport for your own need.

If you choose to travel from Korea to Tibet through Beijing

If you’re looking for the most affordable option, China Southern Airlines (12:30-13:45) is the way to go. A direct flight will cost approximately US$ 190 and take around 2 hours and 15 minutes. Once you arrive in Beijing, you have the option of travelling to Tibet by either plane or train:

beijing Lhasa Flight

The flights from Beijing to Lhasa are available twice a day, with a flight duration of around 4 hours and 30 minutes.

Trains depart from Beijing to the capital of the Tibetan plateau every day, covering a distance of approximately 3,757 km. The train journey takes about 41-42 hours to cross China, passing through six provinces. The train departs from Beijing in the evening and arrives in Lhasa in the afternoon on the third day.

tibet Train from Beijing to Lhasa

If you choose to travel from Korea to Tibet via Shanghai

The cheapest is China Southern Airlines CZ314 (12: 00-13: 20), the cost of the flight is about US$ 210, and it takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes of flight time. Upon arrival in Shanghai, you can choose to travel to Tibet by plane or train.

shanghai Lhasa Flight

The flight from Shanghai is not a direct flight but stops at Xi’an. While a flight from Shanghai takes approximately 7 hours and 55 minutes, and a two-hour transit in Xi’an

The train route from Shanghai to Lhasa is the second longest, covering a distance of 4,373 kilometres in 46-47 hours. The train departs from Shanghai every night and reaches Lhasa before noon on the third day. The train offers soft and hard sleeper bunks, costing around US$ 118 per person.

tibet Train from Shanghai to Lhasa

If you choose to travel from Korea to Tibet via Guangzhou

It is recommended to take China Southern Airlines CZ340(10: 55-13: 55), the cost of the flight is about US$ 320, and it takes about 4 hours of flight time. Upon arrival in Guangzhou, you can choose to travel to Tibet by plane or train.

guangdong Lhasa Flight

There is only one flight a day from Guangzhou to Lhasa, and China Southern Airlines CZ3463 (08: 25-14: 30) departs from Baiyun International Airport T2.

The train from Guangzhou to Lhasa departs every day, Z264 (11: 45-16: 19), which lasts 52 hours and 34 minutes. Since there is only one train per day, it is difficult to buy tickets in the tourist season. Check with your travel consultant in advance 

tibet Train from Guangzhou to Lhasa

If you choose to travel from Korea to Tibet via Chengdu

If you choose to fly to Chengdu, Air China CA402 (13: 45-16: 55), the flight cost about US$ 290, which also takes about 4 hours and 10 minutes of flight time. Upon arrival in Chengdu, you can choose to travel to Tibet by plane or train.

chengdu Lhasa Flight

The trip from Chengdu to Lhasa is a short one, taking just over two hours. There are typically 14 non-stop flights to Lhasa available each day.

The Train from Chengdu to Lhasa departs every other day. The Z322 (21:37-09:55) lasted 36 hours and 18 minutes. It is recommended that tourists who need to take the train from Chengdu to Lhasa check with their travel consultant in advance if they need to book a train ticket.

tibet Train from Chengdu to Lhasa

If you choose to travel from Korea to Tibet via Xian

If you choose to fly to Xi’an, Hainan Airlines HU7908 (13: 00-05: 35), the flight cost is about US$ 680, it also takes about 10 hours and 35 minutes of flight time. Upon arrival in Xi’an, you can choose to travel to Tibet by plane or train.

xian Lhasa Flight

There are only a lot of flights a day from Xi’an to Lhasa. The morning flight CA3904 (06: 00-14: 05) departs from Xi’an Xianyang Airport T2

Trains from Xi’an to Lhasa depart twice a day, Z265 (09:45-16:19) and Z165 (11:24-19:30) lasting 30 hours and 34 minutes.

tibet Train from Xian to Lhasa

Korea-Hong Kong-Chengdu-Lhasa

One of the top ways to travel from South Korea to Lhasa is to transit from Seoul through Hong Kong, and then head to the local city of Chengdu, which is the most convenient and economical option. The cost of flights from Seoul to Hong Kong averages around US$ 340, depending on the airline, and Air Seoul is among the most reasonable airlines for this route in South Korea. It is recommended to book your tickets online and choose the best flight that suits your travel schedule.

The flight duration from Seoul to Hong Kong is approximately 4 hours. For round-trip flights from Hong Kong to Chengdu, the average ticket price per person is around US$ 500. The total travel time may vary based on your departure location and layover duration, but the round-trip flight duration is typically between 5-6 hours.

hongkong Lhasa

There are no direct flights from Hong Kong to Lhasa. Most flights require a transfer to mainland China, such as Chengdu or Xining. The total flight time can range from around 5 hours to over 10 hours, depending on the transfer cities and layover times. 

The Hong Kong Lhasa train is a train route that connects Hong Kong to Lhasa. The train route is also known as the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, which is the highest railway in the world. The Hong Kong Lhasa train route covers a distance of approximately 4,373 kilometres and takes around 53 hours to complete. 


Way 3: Korea-Hong Kong-Kathmandu-Lhasa

Travelling from South Korea to Kathmandu, Nepal, necessitates a layover in Hong Kong, with a total expense of approximately 9,900 to 11,100 and a duration of 11 to 13 hours, contingent on the point of origin. Opting for Nepal to Tibet is also a favoured alternative. There are no railways from Kathmandu to Tibet. Nonetheless, you can access Tibet by road, specifically the Sino-Nepal border, which is a desirable option for global visitors. Alternatively, you can take a direct flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa.

kathmandu Lhasa Flight

Kathmandu is the only country with a direct flight to Lhasa, a flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa costs about US$ 300.The flight time is relatively short, the journey of 600 km takes about an hour. There are two direct flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa, CA408 (12: 10-16:00) and 3U8720 (11:30-15: 10).

The road trip from Kathmandu to Lhasa

Many tourists prefer to travel from Kathmandu to Lhasa by land rather than by flight. Our team will transfer you to Kyirong Border, the China-Nepal border. After going through customs, our Tibetan guide will meet you. Due to the high altitude, you will first stay in Kyirong to acclimatize to the environment before gradually heading east to visit Tingri, EBC, Shigatse, and finally reaching Lhasa. This classic tour route offers stunning scenery, Himalayan peaks, magnificent Buddhist temples, and sacred alpine lakes, as well as numerous opportunities to meet local Tibetans and explore their unique culture and customs.

Processing of Korean Travel Documents for Entry into Tibet

Foreign visitors are required to present a letter of entry and a valid passport when boarding trains. Korean tourists must send us a scanned copy of their passport and visa at least 30 days before entering Tibet. If the visa is not an “L visa,” proof of work or an invitation letter must also be provided. Under normal circumstances, the letter of entry can be processed 7-10 days in advance.

If you take the Qinghai-Tibet train to Tibet, we will send a scanned copy of the letter to your email. You only need to print out the letter and bring a copy with you to board the train. If you enter Tibet by plane, we will send the original letter to the city in China where you will board the plane. We will then deliver it to you.

Travelling from Nepal to Tibet

Entering Tibet from Nepal requires a Tibet travel permit and a group tourist visa. If you enter Tibet from Nepal, your Chinese visa will not be valid, regardless of whether you have previously applied for one. Our travel agency can help you obtain the necessary documents.

If you enter Tibet from Nepal, you only need to provide your passport. Our company will process the letter of entry and travel invitation in advance and send them to our staff in Nepal. Once you arrive in Kathmandu, our staff will help you get a tourist visa from the Chinese Embassy. Although it is called a “group” visa, you do not need to be in a group to apply.

About the author

The Tibetan Travel website's creator, hailing from Lhasa, is a cultural enthusiast. They promote responsible tourism, connecting the world to Tibet's beauty and heritage. Awards recognize their contribution.

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