Tibet Transport


Tibet is relatively undeveloped compared to the rest of China and, as such, does not have much in terms of public transportation infrastructure. Despite considerable plans for development, it is unlikely that public transport in Tibet will improve significantly any time soon.

It is fairly common for travellers in Tibet to hire a Land Cruiser, which can be ideal for those travelling in groups or who have met likeminded itinerants. Not only does this divide costs, it also allows for more comfortable travel.

Hitchhiking is another fairly common way that travellers get around in Tibet. Doing so is inevitably at each person's own risk, as hitchhiking anywhere on earth has no absolute guarantee of safety. Furthermore, traffic can be sparse on Tibet's roads, leading to unpredictable and potentially lengthy waits. It is generally expected that hitchhikers pay their driver a nominal fee, which can vary in size considerably depending on the driver, length of the journey, and remoteness of the area.

Travellers should note that accepting money for transporting people, especially foreigners, is technically illegal in Tibet for non-designated transportation services. Caution must therefore be exercised, particularly in and around restricted areas and checkposts.

Another option for visitors in Tibet is to use the minibuses that travel between the major towns, such as Lhasa and Shigatse. These can be unreliable, however, and may only travel once or twice per day.

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