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Travel into Lhasa by Qinghai-Tibet Train

Time: 30-05-2018 This Article is Composed by BudgetTibetTour

Starting from Xining, the capital city of Qinghai Province and ending at Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet, Qinghai - Tibet Railway passes through the highest and coldest plateau in the world. The railway stretch 1,118 km from Golmud to Lhasa, which makes it the world's highest and longest plateau railway, enjoying the reputation of "sky road".

Qinghai-Tibet Train

When you take a ride of the train, there will be several things remind you that it is no ordinary train ride. Every berth has its oxygen supply connection. In the corridor, there is a seat by each window where one can sit and enjoy the view outside. But just above the seat is another oxygen line. After several hours leaving Xining, some tourists will show the symptoms of altitude sickness and need extra doses of oxygen. The warning had come in the form of a 'passenger health declaration form', which was given soon after you boarded the train and which suggests that you had better avoid this train if your heart, lungs, blood pressure and sugar level were not absolutely fine.

Qinghai-Tibet Train

Travel 1963 km in 26 hours from Xining to Lhasa. The railway from Xining to Golmud - 814 km - was opened in 1984. Work on the extension from Golmud to Lhasa began in June 2001, and was completed a year before schedule. The day breaks as the train passes by the Tangula Mountain, where you can see thick snow covers the mountain all year around. The fields below are a mix of red and black earth, like some ancient glacial zone. The broadcaster recounts Tibetan folklores about the queen who fled to the moon beyond the mountain with her husband chasing her in the snows, or, about the monkey - king chasing a tiger that burned the once - green earth red and black in a terrible fit of fury.

Qinghai-Tibet Train

Herds of wild asses and horses, yaks and goats are scattered on the grassland. There are far more animals than humans in this region which has the world's lowest population density. By the last count, Tibet had less than seven persons per square kilometer. And the Qinghai - Tibet plateau is the loneliest of this thinly - populated world. It is a world of snow - capped mountains, mighty rivers, countless streams, high - altitude lakes, glacial fields and wide valleys. Humans are from only a marginal part of this vast wilderness.

There are enormous challenges have to face to while building it. It was not so much the accidents in the mountains as the thin air and the lack of oxygen that proved to be the hardest challenges for the men who laid the tracks, dug tunnels through mountains and built bridges over the rivers. About 965 km of the track are located at over 4,000metres above the sea level. Over 550 km of the stretch traverse through perennially frozen earth. More than 5 percent of the line runs over bridges and through tunnels. It goes through 15 mountain passes, the highest of which - the Tanggula Mountain - is at 5,072 meters the station at the pass makes it the highest railway station in the world. Almost throughout the journey of the Qinghai - Tibet railway, the Yarlung Zangho, Tibet's 'Mather River', which is known as Brahmaputra in India and Bangladesh, keep us company. Inside Tibet alone, the river runs for 2,057 km before entering India. Somewhere out there in the snow - clad mountains is the origins also of two of China's, longest rivers - the Yellow and the Yangtze. 

Qinghai-Tibet Train

The impact on this endangered species such as antelopes and its habitat is also a great engineering difficulty, which is the environment challenges that related to the protection of ecology, the grasslands and the animals, both domestic and wild. The antelopes are not domestic animals, but their case best represents the environmental challenges that the building of the railway faced. The antelopes migrated in thousands from the north to the south during the breeding season in June. How would they cross the railway line that "cut through the wide lands like a knife"? The same dilemma would face hundreds of thousands of other cattle that grazed freely in the grasslands before the winter months set in. The solution came in the form of an elevated track that was high with concrete embankments on both sides in order to keep the grazing cattle and swollen rivers away. To further prevent the cattle from mounting the railway track, concrete fences run all along the track as a second line of defense after the high embankments.

In China, almost everyone agrees that the railway will hasten the process of urbanization and commercialization of Tibet that had begun with the laying of the highways.

Over one last bridge - across the Kyichu River - and you will finally at the Lhasa station.

Travelers' Questions Might Help

The questions raised by our past customers can help you get a more clear picture about tours to Tibet, read them or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side, our specialists will reply you within 24 hours.

user portrait Mr. St*** from: Kailash Circuit ( 18 Days )

ello, we are willing to organized a tour of Kailash from Lhassa for a group of 4 persons (3 french and 1 from Kazakstan) around end of august. Could you provide a private tour for 4 persons ? and for what price ?

Thank you very much


Answered by Helen

Dear St***, 

Greetings from Helen at Budget Tibet Tour, thanks for visiting our website and sending your inquiry. I do not know if your friend who hold Kazakstan can apply China visa, as it is quite strict for them to get China visa, and almost the embassy would turn them down. So please tell your friend about it. No offence, and we had Kazakstan clients before but failed to get China visa so cannot come to join in the tour. If there are 3 or 4 of you, and I just wonder whether it will be OK for you to join in a group tour, and we have the group tour on 12th Sept, which I can provide you some discount if all of you would like to join in, and also our group size is 4 to 12 people, so not large group.  I will provide you the private tour quote too with 3 people and 4 people and also you can start it in Aug or Sept any time you want. And 30th Aug. will be Tibet Shoton festival which will last about 1 week in Lhasa, and the highlight will be the first day in Drepung Monastry for Thangka Buddha Show there. Best regards.

Email to Helen about any question or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side

user portrait Ms. jo*** from: 10 Days Tibet Mt. Everest Base Camp plus Namtso Lake Group Tour


I am interested in your 10D Tibet Mt. Everest Base Camp plus Namtso Lake Group Tour for the departure date on 20 May. However I may likely book the flight arriving Lhasa on 17 May. is it possible to arrange the Tibet tour permit from 17 May before start of tour?

as my flight will be arriving at around 6pm after the free airport pick up time, can I take the airport shuttle bus by myself to my accommodation without a guide? how do I arrange pick up from my own-arranged hotel to the hotel booked by this tour on day 1 of itinerary?

also I am booking for one pax only and will like to share room. currently only one pax has booked. may I know if there is a minimum group size for the tour to be confirmed? or will it be last minute cancelled if the tour booking does not meet the minimum pax requirement.?

Answered by Helen

Dear Ms. jo***,

Thanks very much for your inquiry, and we currently have one departure date on 20th of May, you are quite welcome to join us! I was wondering whether you could fly to Lhasa on 20th or not. Well, you can also arrive in Lhasa on 17th, but there is extra fee. When you arrive in Lhasa at 6pm of 17th, you'll miss our free pick up on 20th, please note that you can't take bus or taxi from airport to hotel by yourself, because when you enter Lhasa, you must be escorted with a guide according to the policy (there will be policeman check-point on the way from airport to downtown), so the guide will pick you up at the airport and help you pass the check-point, and there is extra pick up fee. There is one tourist who has booked this tour, but he will stay in a single room. We will try our best to find a roommate for you, but if we fail, I was wondering whether you mind staying in guesthouse (dorm-bed, public bathroom, with breakfast), which can avoid single room supplement fee for you. The minimum group size is two persons, now there is one tourist has booked this tour, if you book this tour, there are two persons together, we won't cancel it. I will send detailed itinerary to you by email, please check it. Warm regards.

Email to Helen about any question or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side

user portrait Mr. Ro*** from: Mount Kailash Tour Cost

Hi ,

Can I get information to do the Inner Kora Darshan of Mount Kailash. I am planning to start my tour from Lhasa. Appreciate if you could provide details//// Tour Operators . Please note I will flying from Canada to Lhasa and I do have a mutiple Chinese Visa.

Answered by Helen

Dear Mr. Ro***, 

Greetings from Helen at Budget Tibet Tour, thanks for visiting our website and sending your inquiry. Normally people are not allowed to take the Inner Kora unless they finish the 13 circles outside kora, so at present we never managed it successful for the inner Kora tour there. And we only have the 15 days Tibet Mount Kailash Trekking plus Mt. Everest Base Camp tour available every month from April to Oct. Please kindly let me know when you would like to do this tour? So I can recommend you the proper date. Your visa will be No problem for us to apply Tibet permit. I will send you more details by email. Best regards.

Email to Helen about any question or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side

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7 Days Lhasa to Kathmandu Tour via Everest Base Camp