Within the cities the best way to get around is by taxi, of which there is no shortage. In Lhasa, for example, every other car seems to be a taxi, and although they have meters these are generally just for decoration. A flat fee of 10 Yuan will get you anywhere within the city. A taxi to the airport will go for about 100Y.
Local buses too, are cheap as chips if you can work out where they’re going. Things get more expensive when you start travelling longer distances or across borders. Almost anybody who’s anybody in Tibet offering trips to Kathmandu or further afield has a fleet of Toyota land cruisers of one model or another.
When you book this trip for example, you pay for the cars, the drivers, the permits (see basic info section), a guide where required, and of course the agency fee. It all adds up which is why most people making the trip place notices in hostels and cafes looking for traveling partners to split the costs.
Unfortunately Ryan air is yet to start operating out of Tibet so flights anywhere can be pretty brutal on the wallet. Flights out of Lhasa airport fly to either Kathmandu, or Beijing via Chengdu, both of which will cost you the best part of $400 U.S.
As of 2006, there is now a new option for traveling to/from Tibet and it is of course the controversial train of which the Chinese government are so proud. The trip from Beijing to Lhasa takes approximately 47 hours and costs 1262 Yuan ($158) for a soft sleeper. For a full price break down check the Train Section…