Where is Lhasa: Location of Lhasa and How to Get There

Last updated: June,02 2020

Lhasa, the holy city on the Tibet plateau, the center of the mysterious land of Tibet, is a dreamy destination for tourists all over the world. You may have seen the pictures of the great Potala Palace, or heard about the world highest mountain, Mount Everest, is just there. But do you really know where Lhasa is? For those who are interested in the fact of Tibet, or are going to planning a trip to Tibet, the location of Lhasa is something important to know. Here we will tell you where Lhasa is and how to get there by different means of transportations.

Where Lhasa in Tibet

Geographically, Lhasa is located on the northern bank of Lhasa River at the center of Tibet at 91°06’ east longitude and 29°36’ north latitude. Surrounded by Shigatse, Nyingchi, Nagqu and Shannan, Lhasa is also a transfer center for Tibet tours. It is 240 kilometers away from the holy lake Namtso. The distance from Lhasa to the Everest Base Camp is around 800 kilometers. And the distance between Lhasa and the Mount Kailash located at the far west of Tibet is around 955 kilometers.

Potala PalacePotala Palace in Lhasa

Where is Lhasa Tibet in China

Lhasa lies on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau at the southwestern part of China. From east to north, it is neighbored by Yunnan province, Sichuan Province, Qinghai Proving and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region counterclockwise. All of these neighboring regions have highways access to Lhasa, namely Yunnan Tibet highway, Sichuan Tibet highway, Qinghai Tibet highway and Xinjiang Tibet highway.

To the rest parts of China, Lhasa Tibet is really a remote area. However, the transportation to Lhasa is no longer a problem now. Here is the distance between Lhasa and major cities in China with the transfer time by train and by air.

DirectionDistanceTrain DurationFlight Duration
Beijing – Lhasa 3600 km 41 hours 4 hours 25 minutes
Shanghai - Lhasa 4148 km 47 hours 6 hours 10 minutes with 1 stopover
Guanzhou– Lhasa 4404 km 53 hours 5 hours 50 minutes with 1 stopover
Chengdu – Lhasa 2077 km 36 hours 2 hours 20 minutes
Xi’an – Lhasa 2773 km 31 hours 3 hours 10 minutes
Xining – Lhasa 1917 km 21 hours 2 hours 20 minutes

Please Note: the above distance and travel duration is just for your reference.

Location of Lhasa to Surrounding Countries in Asia

Next to Tibet, there are some other world-known destinations for tourists, like Nepal, Bhutan, and India. Many tourists, coming from afar, would also love to pay them a visit after Tibet. When you plan a Tibet Nepal tour, or a longer trip to extend to Bhutan and India, you need to know how far they are from each time and how much time required transferring among them.

DirectionStraight Line DistanceTravel Duration
Lhasa – Kathmandu (Nepal) 604 km 1 hour 35 minutes
Lhasa – Thimphu (Bhutan) 279 km No flight. Need to transfer from Kathmandu.
Lhasa – New Delhi (India) 1368 km No flight. Need to transfer from Kathmandu.

How to Get to Lhasa

Once you know where Lhasa is, here comes the next question, how to get there. Recently, there are three ways to get to Lhasa from mainland China and Kathmandu, Nepal.

Get to Lhasa by Train

Getting to Lhasa by train through the Qinghai-Tibet railway is the unique travel experience that you can only get when you travel to Tibet from mainland China. Being considered as an impossible mission, the construction of Qinghai Tibet railway was finished in 2006. Since then, travelling to Tibet via the world’s highest railway has been a popular way to get to Tibet.

Now, there are several major cities offering trains to Lhasa, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Xining and Lanzhou. A Tibet train tour is really a lifetime journey to explore the most striking natural beauty of Qinghai Tibet plateau, the third pole on Earth.

Lhasa TrainYou can get to Lhasa by train from several major cities of China

Check the updated Tibet train fares and schedule here.

Get to Lhasa by Air

Undoubtedly, the fastest way to get to Lhasa is travelling by air. Lhasa Gonggar Airport, which is 70 kilometers away from downtown Lhasa, is the only airport in Lhasa city, and it is the most important airport for all Tibet tours. It operates several domestic flight to Lhasa from other cities of China, and only one international flight to Lhasa that from Kathmandu.

From mainland China,there are about 55 cities offeringflights to Lhasa, which would include everywhere you might start from, and almost all your possible destinations in China, like Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xining and so on. Only few of them have direct flights to Lhasa, and the others offering connecting flights to Lhasa with stopovers at Chengdu, Kunming, Xian, Xining and some other cities close to Lhasa.

From Kathmandu, there is only one direct flight to Lhasa every day. It takes 1.5 hours from Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport to Lhasa Gonggar Airport. Due to the limited supplement, it is suggested to book your Nepal to Lhasa flight ticket in advance, especially when you plan to visit Tibet in high season.

Get to Lhasa by Overland

The most challenge way to get to Lhasa is by overland. However, it is the best way to fully explore the natural beauty, as well as the local culture of Tibet plateau. Recently, there are five highways connecting Lhasa with the outside world, namely Sino-Tibet highway, Xinjiang-Tibet highway, Qinghai-Tibet highway, Sichuan-Tibet highway and Yunnan-Tibet highway.

From Kathmandu to Lhasa

Also known as the Friendship Highway, the Sino-Nepal highway is the only international highway that leads to Lhasa Tibet. It is a much favored dreamland for self-driving travelers for it covers the very diversified natural landscapes, including snow mountains, lakes, streams, forests, waterfalls, and the very colorful folk cultures.

The distance from Kathmandu to Lhasa is around 1000 kilometers. Generally, the Nepal Tibet overland tour takes 7 to 8 days. When you drive from Kathmandu on the south of Himalaya to Lhasa on the north, your eyes will be feasted with amazement.

From Mainland China to Lhasa

Travelling to Lhasa from Xinjiang via the Xinjiang-Tibet highway is a popular way to discover the remote west regions of China. The highway starts from Karghalik of Xinjiang in the north and stretches all the way to Lhaze of Tibet, with an elevation on average of over 4500 meters above the sea level. Though it is called the toughest and the roughest road to Lhasa, it is the best way to visit Kashgar, Mount Kailsh, Mount Everest and central Tibet together.

Driving from Chengdu to Lhasa via the Sichuan-Tibet Highway is the journey that known as the best “corridor of natural wonders” all over the world. Stretching from Chengdu Plains to Tibetan Plateaus, it feels like the most unbelievable collection of thrillingly breathtaking, imposing and splendid scenes.

The shortest overland journey to Lhasa is from Xining to Lhasa through the Qinghai-Tibet Highwaywith a total length of 1937km. It is deemed as the most comfortable road to Tibet with the best road condition. And most of the sections of this road are parallel with the Qinghai Tibet railway.

The last overland route is from Kunming to Lhasa via the Yunnan-Tibet Highway, which starts in Dali, Yunnan, and converges with Sichuan Tibet highway in Mangkang. On this way, you can be expecting lakes, gorges, canyons with the most spectacular view of mountain ranges in the world.

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