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How to Get to Tibet from Malaysia

Great News:

from December 1st, 2023, through November 30th, 2024, individuals holding Malaysian passports can visit China for up to 15 days without a visa. If you’re considering a trip to Tibet during this period, obtaining a Tibet Travel Permit with your Malaysian passport is hassle-free. Join our classic Tibet group tours, such as the 4-day Lhasa tour, the 8-day Lhasa and Everest Base Camp tour, and the 15-day Mount Kailash tour, to enjoy a seamless and enriching experience in Tibet.

More and more Malaysians are traveling to Tibet every year for the fascinating tours of this unique region of China. Tibet has become a popular tourist destination from Malaysia due to the lower cost of travel and tours, and the unique culture of the Tibetan people.

Also, while over 60% of Malaysia practices Islam, around 20 percent are Buddhists, and they are attracted to Tibet for the intense Buddhist culture of the region. With almost the entire population being Buddhist, the religious beliefs are closely woven into the fabric of their culture, and their very lives.

The huge number of temples and monasteries, not to mention the holy lakes and mountains, are an attractive proposition for Malaysian Buddhists. Knowing how best to travel from Malaysia to Tibet is an important factor for anyone planning a tour on the Roof of the World.

Getting to Tibet from Malaysia in Different Ways

There are no direct flights from Malaysia to Tibet, so you will need to fly first to either China or Nepal, and transfer for the trip to Tibet. There are direct daily flights from Kuala Lumpur to Chengdu, Shanghai or Beijing in China, and to Kathmandu in Nepal. Flights to China can take between four and a half hours and seven hours, depending on location.

Malaysia to Tibet via Chengdu

Chengdu is the closest departure location for Tibet to Malaysia, and is one of the most popular departure cities for many of the travelers from around the world that are heading for Tibet. And not only is it closer for Malaysian tourists, you also have the option of spending a day or two in the city, and meeting the famous giant pandas. And with four direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Chengdu daily, this route is one of the easiest. Flights generally take around 4 hours 35 minutes, and cost from as little as US$93 per person.

Malaysia to Tibet via Chengdu

Chengdu is a good hub city for travellers to get to Tibet from Malaysia.

From Chengdu there are two ways to get to Tibet, by train or by air. The train journey encompasses three separate days and travels through Qinghai Province, along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. This is a great way to get to Tibet, as you will see some of the most spectacular scenery in the world en-route. The route from Chengdu runs through Lanzhou and Xining on its way to Lhasa, and takes a little over 36 hours to travel the 3,070 kilometers.

The flight from Chengdu to Lhasa is only 2 hours and 15 minutes, and there are normally around 14 direct flights to Lhasa daily. The average cost for a one-way economy ticket from Chengdu to Lhasa is from around US$155 per person. The only advantage flights have over the train is time, as neither can help you acclimatize to the higher altitude.

Malaysia to Tibet via Beijing or Shanghai

If you are planning to enter Tibet from either Beijing or Shanghai, then you can get direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to both cities daily. For Beijing, there are three direct daily flights, which take a round 5 hours and cost from as little as US$152 per person. For Shanghai, you can choose from one of four daily direct flights, which take around 6 hours and cost from only US$144 per person.

Malaysia clients visit Potala Palace in Tibet

Malaysia clients visit Potala Palace in Tibet.

Flights to Lhasa from Shanghai and Beijing, however, are less frequent than from Chengdu, with only two daily direct flights from Beijing and just one daily flights from Shanghai. However, the Shanghai flight is not direct, and travels via Xi’an in Shaanxi Province. The flights from Beijing to Lhasa generally take around 4 hours 30 minutes and cost from around US$426 per person. The flight from Shanghai takes around 7 hours 55 minutes, with a two-hour stopover in Xi’an, and costs from around US$430 per person.

If you are flying into Beijing or Shanghai, you can also get the trains, both of which travel along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. The Beijing-Lhasa train takes around 41 hours. From Shanghai, it is almost 48 hours, and is the second longest route to Tibet, after Guangzhou.

Malaysia to Tibet via Kathmandu, Nepal

Traveling from Malaysia to Nepal is very different, especially in terms of documentary requirements to enter China. Currently, there are more than seven daily direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Nepal’s Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. Flights generally take around 4 hours 45 minutes and can cost from as little as US$220 per person.

Gyirong Port

Tourists are going to cross the Gyirong Port to enter Tibet.

Once in Nepal, you have a choice of flying to Lhasa or traveling overland across the Sino-Nepal border at Gyirong Port. If you are flying to Lhasa from Kathmandu, Air China has daily flights that depart at around 12:10pm and arrive in Lhasa at 4:00pm local time. Sichuan Airlines has one flight which leaves at 11:30am Nepal time on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only. Arrival time in Lhasa is estimated as 3:10pm local time. The actual flight normally takes around 90 minutes, and crosses the summit of Mount Everest on the way to Lhasa. If the seats are available, it is best to get close to the window on the left side of the plane to see Mt. Everest, and its neighbors, Lhotse and Nuptse. You can request the seats on check in, so it is advisable to check in early.

For an exact price on the round-trip flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa, it is recommended to check with our travel consultants or visit the airlines’ official websites. Fares can vary greatly, and it should be noted that direct booking with the airlines is not always the cheapest. On average, flights to Lhasa from Kathmandu normally start from around US$384 per person.

For those that are more adventurous, you can cross the border into Tibet from Kathmandu at Gyirong Port, and then travel to Lhasa overland. This exciting and epic adventure is one of the best options for getting to Lhasa from Kathmandu, and is a popular choice for many tourists heading for the Roof of the World. For more information on the cost and details, contact your tour consultant, who will gladly give you all the exact details and costs.

Required Travel Permits to Visit Tibet from Malaysia

All travelers from Malaysia are required to have a visa to enter China, as well as the documents that are required for entry into and travel around Tibet. These permits for Tibet are all obtained on your behalf by us, as your travel agency, and will be applied for once you have booked your tour.

Malaysia Wat Chayamangkalaram

Several permits are required for visiting Tibet from Malaysia.

Chinese Visa (or Chinese Group Visa)

For those entering from mainland China, you will need to obtain a Chinese Entry Visa yourself from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in your home country before booking your trip with us. For those entering via Kathmandu, we will make the application for the Chinese Group Visa on your behalf once you arrive in Kathmandu. This application normally takes three working days, so leave enough time to obtain this before leaving for Tibet.

Tibet Travel Permit

The Tibet Travel Permit is required for all tourists traveling to Tibet, and is valid for entry to Tibet and travel in the area of Lhasa. Other permits are also required for travel to other areas. The Tibet Travel Permit is applied for by us on your behalf once you have booked your tour. The processing is normally around 15 days, so please make sure you book early enough.

More Travel Documents for Tibet Tour

As well as the Tibet Travel Permit, you will also need certain other permits, depending on where you are traveling in Tibet. The Alien’s Travel Permit (ATP) is required for travel to the “unopened” areas of Tibet outside Lhasa, including Shigatse. The permit is applied for using your original passport and TTP once you arrive in Lhasa. The Restricted Areas Permit, often called the “Military Permit”, is required for travel to military-sensitive areas such as Ngari, Nyingchi, etc. The permit is applied for in advance of your trip, and can take up to ten days to be approved.

The Frontier Pass is required for all tourists traveling in the areas of the Chinese border with India, Nepal, and Bhutan, which includes Mount Everest and Mount Kailash. The pass is obtained in Lhasa before you leave the capital. For those traveling to Mount Everest, the Everest National Park Pass will be obtained prior to leaving Shigatse for EBC.

Book Our Budget Tibet Group Tours When You Come from Malaysia

Small Group Tours are ideal for travelers heading for Tibet from Malaysia, as they allow you to join in n pre-set tours with set departure dates for the tour that you want. You can choose from a wide selection of our best tours, including the stunning 4 Days Lhasa Small Group Tour, the awesome 8 Days Everest Base Camp Small Group Tour, and the spectacularly epic 8 Days Kathmandu to Lhasa Overland Adventure Tour. And there are other amazing tours you can join as well. And if you are more into taking a private trip to Tibet, to visit where you want, we can also customize your own trip to meet your exact requirements. Our expert tour consultants can help you choose where to go, and what you want to see, and can arrange the perfect itinerary, and we will handle all the permit applications on your behalf.


A trip to Tibet from Malaysia is one of the most exciting events for local Malaysian Buddhists. An epic journey to the center of the modern Buddhist world, on the high-altitude plateau known as the Roof of the World, this exciting adventure is available for all travelers from Malaysia, and we can make your lifetime trip to Tibet the best you have ever had. So for more information on booking your Malaysia to Tibet trip, come and talk to us.

Map Guide of Malaysia to Tibet

1. Distance from Malaysia to Tibet:

Kuala Lumpur - Lhasa: 3149 km
Kuala Lumpur - Chengdu: 3059 km
Kuala Lumpur - Beijing: 4346 km
Kuala Lumpur - Kathmandu: 3238 km

2. Recommended Routes from Malaysia to Tibet:

1) Malaysia to Tibet via Chengdu:
take direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Chengdu, and then head to Tibet by train or air.

2) Malaysia to Tibet via Beijing or Shanghai:
get from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing/Shanghai by direct flights first, then get to Tibet by train or flight.

3) Malaysia to Tibet via Nepal:
fly from Kuala Lumpur to Kathmandu first and then take overland or flight trip to Lhasa.

Recommended Budget Tibet Group Tours

If you have made your choice for the right time to Tibet, why not try our best-selling Tibet small group tours as follows. From Lhasa city sightseeing to Mount Kailash trekking, pick your favorite to start a lifetime journey at the roof of the world now!

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