The Qinghai-Tibet Railway is an engineering wonder. It has overcome the difficulty of constructing infrastructure on the highest plateau. When taking a train ride along this line, you’ll have the chance to experience the record-breaking man-made landform and witness the amazing natural beauty of the mighty snowy mountains—the Kunlun and the Tanggula. You’ll also get to see the numerous shimmering lakes—the beautiful saline lake Qinghai Lake and the sacred lake Namtso, and vast grassland, steppes, and wetlands that are home to indigenous creatures like the Tibetan antelope, Tibetan wild donkey, and snow leopard.
Taking a train ride to Tibet is not the most convenient nor the cheapest way to get there. However, this spectacular train journey could end up giving you plenty of laughter and inner peace. Do you mind preparing your body for the high-altitude acclimatization? Are you genuinely a train and solitude lover? Would you like to share a good time with your travel partners, or have nice talks with like-minded people that you meet by chance? If you answered “yes” to all these questions, then a train ride to Tibet is a good option for you.
Presently, there are eight gateway cities from inland China to Lhasa by train. These cities are Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xi’an, Lanzhou and Xining. Besides these cities, tourists can also get on the trains in midway cities as long as there is a stop in places like Nanjing, Zhengzhou, Golmud, etc.
Since all China Tibet trains eventually pass by Xining, no matter which city you choose as your departure station to get to Lhasa, you’ll have the section of the journey after Xining overlapped with the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, which is also considered to be the most beautiful part of the plateau along the train route. When the train arrives in Lhasa, that is when your Tibet exploration journey begins.
Below you’ll find more details on the schedules, services and facilities of the Tibet train.