Shannan is also named Lhoka in Tibet which is a long-standing prefecture-city located in southeast Tibet. It literally means the south of mountain. Shannan gets its name from its location, which is in the south side of Gangdise Mountains and Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains. It is bounded by Lhasa to North, Nyingchi to east, Shigatse on west and border with India and Bhutan on the south internationally, covering a long boundary line of 600km.
Due to the development in recent years, the transportation system of Shannan is considerately improved. It consists of 12 counties all of which are connected by highways. Travelers can directly head to most of Shannan attractions, such as Samye Monastery, Yamdrok Lake, etc. Generally, flight and driving are two better choices to get to and out of Shannan.
How to Get to Shannan(Lhoka)
Lhasa Gonggar Airport, located in the Gonggar County of Shannan, is the only international airport in Tibet. Lhasa Gonggar Airport is about 60km away from Lhasa City and it takes about 1 hour to transfer between them by driving. There are frequent domestic flights to Lhasa Gonggar Airport from Beijing, Chengdu, Xian, Shanghai, Chongqing, Kunming, Shangri-La, etc. and daily international flights from Kathmandu. tourists can take a flight to Tibet conveniently and then take a regular bus from Lhasa to Tsedang. There is a junction of three roads outside the airport where tourists can wait for the regular bus and it costs about 40 yuan per person.
Tsedang is about 160km to south Lhasa. There are coaches running to Tsedang from Lhasa everyday. The road to Tsedang includes the Airport High Express and S101 National Highway, both in good condition. The whole journey cost nearly 2 hours. Most People from abroad have a deal with travel agencies that will provide a private car for you. Tsedang Bus Station has bus to Gonggar, Gyaca, Lhunze, Qonggyai and some other counties of Shannan area. The bus to Gyaca departs at 9:30 and 11:00, which takes about 7 hours to arrive and costs 80 yuan.
Sichuan-Tibet Railway which stretches as far as 1629 km is expected to be finished around 2030. The 1629 km railway covers 979km in Tibet Autonomous Region and 650km in Sichuan Province, and consists of three parts, i.e. Chengdu-Kangding, Kangding- Nyingchi, Lhasa-Nyingchi. By the time the construction of entire Sichuan-Tibet Railway finishes, it is believed to take only 15 hours to travel from Chengdu to Lhasa. (While currently it takes 41:35 hours). What's more, Sichuan-Tibet Railway passes through Shannan. Once it is completed, it is easy to take a trip by train.
How to Get Around Shannan
There are buses No. 1 to 5 running in Tsedang Town and the fare is normally 1 yuan. The minibus to nearby scenic spots costs 2 to 5 yuan per person.
Only large counties in Shannan area have taxi that can arrive everywhere inside the downtown, such as Tsedang, Quxu and Gonggar.