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FAQ on Tibet Train Travel

Is it easy to purchase a train ticket to Lhasa now?

The popularity of train travel to Tibet has resulted in the huge demand for train tickets among visitors. It's very difficult for individual travelers to get a ticket on their own. Reliable travel agencies can not guarantee successful booking. Chinahighlights recommends you fly into Tibet and return by a train.

Purchase Tibet train tickets & Tibet entry permit

China Highlights will purchase train tickets and arrange Tibet entry permits for customers who purchase a Tibet Tour package. Click here to go to our Tibet Tour List. Those services are only availabale when you book a Tibet tour through us.

Could you please give me some information on the Tibet train conditions?

Trains to Tibet are specially equipped for highland traveling. Each car is equipped with an oxygen-supply system to maintain the air pressure at a suitable level. Each seat will be equipped with an oxygen mask which can be used by individual passengers if needed. All railway cars are equipped with double-layer glass which is covered with anti-ultraviolet radiation film. Trains from all destinations including Beijing, Chengdu and elsewhere will be fitted with the equipment to ensure oxygen supply from Golmud.

How long in advance can I purchase train ticket to Lhasa?

Train tickets to Lhasa begin to sell 10 days in advance.

Where can I take a train to Lhasa?

There are currently five train services to Lhasa from Beijing, Xining/Lanzhou and Chongqing/Chengdu,Guangzhou and Shanghai.

How long it will take to travel to Lhasa by train?

Beijing West-Lhasa: around 48 hours Xining-Lhasa: about 27 hours Lanzhou-Lhasa: 30 hours Chongqing-Lhasa: 47 hours Chengdu-Lhasa: 50 hours Guangzhou-Lhasa: 56 hours Shanghai-Lhasa: around 49 hours

I have been told that it is difficult to get sleeper cars on the train to Tibet. Is this correct?

China Highlights recommends that all our customers book a soft sleeper for all train travel. The popularity of the train service to Tibet does mean that confirmed tickets are difficult to obtain and we will not know until a few days before travel if our requests have been filled. We also recommend that couples book a 2-berth soft sleeper. We cannot guarantee that groups will be able to be kept together in 4-berth cabins. Ticket allocation is at the complete discretion of the train operators.

I have heard that there are nine scenery-view platforms along the way. What are they and how long does each place stay?

There are 45 stations along the 1972 km long Qinghai-Tibet railway from Xining to Lhasa and every station has unique scenery. To provide travelers better opportunity to enjoy the stunningly beautiful scenery on that way, scenery-viewing platforms have been set up at nine stations, which includes: Yuzhu Peak Station, Chumaer River,Tuotuo River, Buqiangge, Tanggula Mountain, Lake Namtso, Nagqu, Damshung, Yambajan. The train will stay for around 15 minutes in each station.

Can the staff on the train speak some English?

Yes, unlike staff on trains on other routes, whose English is very limited, staff on trains running on the Qinghai-Tibet railway can all speak some English. Simple communication is ok.

Where will the train depart from in Beijing? How long is the train journey from Beijing to Lhasa?

The train will depart from the Beijing West Railway Station and the journey takes about 48 hours.

Do I need a heath report when I travel by train to Tibet?

All travelers are required to complete a heath report on the train to Tibet.

How many tickets can I buy one time?

Every passenger can only purchase at most two berth tickets or three seat tickets once.

Which is the better way of transportation for getting to Tibet, train or flight?

These two methods of transportation have their own advantages and disadvantages. By flight Flights usually arrive at Lhasa airport in the morning or at noon, which enables enough time for travelers to have a good rest and get acclimatized to the altitude. The altitude of Lhasa is about 3500 meters, which is relatively lower than other regions in Tibet, so there are fewer cases of altitude sickness. Usually there might be discounts for the flight tickets to Lhasa. By train Advantage: Train passengers can see the great scenery in the Holxil depopulated Area. Disadvantages: 1) The train ride to Lhasa takes 24 hours from Xining, or more than 48 hours from other cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. In addition, much of the train ride is completed during the night. 2) The train will pass Danggula Mountains which has an altitude of 6000 meters, plus the long-time train ride on the high-altitude area, train passengers may not get a good rest on the train. 3) It is difficult to get the train tickets to Lhasa, especially in July and August, and the tickets booking service charge might be even higher than the cost of the tickets during the high season. Our suggestion China Highlights suggests traveling to Lhasa by air and traveling back by train. Most trains depart Lhasa at 8:00 in the morning, and you have a whole day to see the scenery along the way. The return train ride is also more comfortable after you have got acclimatized to the high altitude from the trip. Have a look at our Tibet Tours at (http://www.chinahighlights.com/tibet/tours.htm), or feel free to send us an inquiry email to service@chinahighlights.com, our experienced travel advisors will tailor make a tour for you.