While many visitors to Lhasa opt to enter the region on a flight from Kathmandu, visitors approaching from the east oftentimes choose the Sichuan capital of Chengdu as their jumping off point for the Tibetan Plateau. From Chengdu it’s possible to embark on your trip to Lhasa through a variety of transportation options including planes, trains and automobiles. While the flight from Chengdu to Lhasa lasts little more than two hours, oftentimes those who have flown from the 1,600 foot (4,876.8 meter) elevation of Chengdu to the towering heights of Lhasa are more prone to altitude sickness due to lack of acclimatization.
For those Lhasa bound travelers departing from Chengdu, popular overland options include multi-day overland tours, which weave their way through the Gongha Mountains and high alpine lakes, as well as the 44-hour train ride which gradually ascends its way into the high Tibetan Plateau. Though Lhasa may be the capital city and heart of many Tibet tourist itineraries, the sweeping and rugged landscape which exists on the eastern boundaries of Tibet and western Sichuan province make the journey from Chengdu to Lhasa a memorable part of a mystical Tibetan experience.
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