Fortunately, the old Chinese saying "It is easier to get to heaven than to get to Sichuan" no longer applies. Today transport facilities are fairly good here and, as the "Gateway to Tibet" many travelers pass through this city.
There are direct flights from Shuangliu Airport in Chengdu to many domestic as well as international destinations. There are daily flights to Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing and Hong Kong as well as regular flights to Bangkok and other southeast Asian destinations. The airport is a twenty-minute drive from the China Southwest Airlines office on Renmin Nan Lu by shuttle bus (every half an hour). It costs RMB3. A taxi from the center of town to the airport should cost RMB30.
Chengdu is linked to 12 major Chinese cities including Beijing (8 hours), Shanghai (16 hours), Kunming (22 hours) and Xi'an (17 hours). Train tickets can be bought at the ticket booking office outside the railway station. It can be very difficult to get tickets and it is best to make your travel arrangements at least two days in advance. The railway station is in the north part of the city, a half-hour drive from the city center.
You can take a bus to most of the scenic spots around Chengdu including Yibing, Emei Mountain (RMB20) and Leshan Mountain (RMB20). It takes approximately 5 hours to reach Chongqing by bus. There are two major bus stations in Chengdu. Buses from Xinnanmen bus station go to all destinations around Sichuan except north, and buses departing Ximen bus station in the northwest of the city head north.
Chengdu is not directly accessible by boat but those who have traveled the "Three Gorges", can take a bus from Chongqing to
Moving on to Lhasa:
Despite the fact that Chengdu is an important gateway for Lhasa, it can be very difficult to get tickets and transport into Tibet and some amount of planning is essential. China Southwest Airlines are currently the only airline who have flights to Lhasa and so tickets and prices are limited. It takes approximately 2 hours to reach Gongge Airport where flights to and from Tibet arrive and depart.
Foreign tourists entering Tibet must have an official entry pass which can be bought from a travel agency in Chengdu. This pass registers you on an official "tour" which you are released from on arrival in Tibet. Prices vary from between RMB1800-RMB2500. Tickets can be bought from any of the numerous travel agencies around Chengdu. It is almost impossible to reach Tibet by land.