Tibet — Transportation
Tibet Taxis and Car Rental
Visitors without proper travel permits should undertake any road journey through Tibet with caution, as those caught traveling without an authorized tour group or permit can be temporarily jailed, have their visa suspended, or even be banned from future travel to China.
Tibet now boasts five major highways, but many of its roads are completely closed to foreigners and travel through some of the world’s roughest and most isolated terrain. Hitchhiking is considered dangerous, especially between Lhasa and Mount Everest, because of the long distances, harsh weather, and risk of imprisonment for travel without a permit.
Tibet Busses and Trains
A more gradual way to acclimate to Tibet’s high altitude while passing by some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery is by boarding the Qinghai-Tibet Railway between Golmud, Western China, and Lhasa. Although the bunks on the train are fairly cramped and lack Western style toilets, the scenery along the way makes up for any discomfort. You can even ride the train all the way from Beijing to Tibet in less than 48 hours.
All bus drivers will ask to see a travel permit from passengers. Jeep tours have become popular, but expensive, alternatives. Tour operators will take care of all the necessary paperwork for a Jeep tour, but passengers must carefully record their entire Jeep tour itinerary and are advised not to pay drivers in advance. Cycling has become another popular way to explore Tibet, even though distances indicated in guidebooks aren’t always accurate.