Traveling to Tibet by Qinghai-Tibet Railway train is a way is a way that many travelers want to experience, during which they can not only experience the Oxygen-supplied plateau train and the real “Snowland Train”, but also enjoy the unique plateau scenery outside the window. At present, there are seven cities that have opened trains to Tibet. This article will focus on introducing trains departing from these 7 cities to Tibet.
Besides, it is also a very good choice to leave Tibet by train. The train for leaving Tibet departs from Lhasa and arrives at the 7 different cities. This article will also briefly introduce the timetable of trains for leaving Tibet. (Qinghai-Tibet Railway travelling route)
Attention: The train timetable might be slightly adjusted sometimes for different weather and seasons. It is recommended to contact us before purchasing tickets.
The Chengdu-Tibet train departs from Chengdu Railway Station at 21:37 p.m. and arrives at Lhasa at 9:55 a.m. on the third day, lasting 36 hours and 18 minutes. From Chengdu to Lhasa, passengers need to spend 2 nights and 1 day on the train, covering 8 stations and 6 cities.
Chengdu-Guangyuan-Lanzhou is in the first night period, during which lights in some carriages, such as hard berth carriages, dinning cars, etc., will be turned off after 11 p.m. at night, while lights in soft berth carriages are controlled by passengers in such carriage and lights in hard seat carriages will not be turned off. It is suggested to have a good rest no matter what kind of carriage you are in before the altitude rises.
Lanzhou-Xining-Delingha-Golmud is in the second daytime period. Sceneries along the way to Golmud are changeable, from mountainous region to plateau, from loess land to barren desert. This day is suitable for sightseeing.
Golmud- Nagqu is in the second night period. The train will arrive at Golmud Station at 19:18 p.m. During this night, the altitude will gradually rise and the train will pass through the station with highest altitude, Tanggula Mountain Station, so you must try to fall asleep and keep a good sleep in this period. It is recommended to go to bed early after dark instead of chatting and staying up too late.
Nagqu- Lhasa is in the last day period before arrival. It takes about 4 hours from Naqu Station to Lhasa Station, and the train will arrive at Lhasa Station in the morning. Sceneries from Naqu Station to Lhasa Station include vast Naqu grassland and Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains, as well as Lake Nam on the other side of the mountain.
1. The arrival time at Lhasa is in the morning, which leaves more time for travelers to rest, sleep and adapt to altitude sickness in hotels in Lhasa.
2. Travelers can go to see giant pandas with different sizes and shapes in Chengdu. There are four main sites for giant pandas around Chengdu: Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding, Giant Panda Base in Dujiangyan, Giant Panda Base in Gengda, Wolong and Gaint Panda Base in Bifeng Gorge, Ya'an.
3. Chengdu is a famous historical city since the Three Kingdoms Period, where there are many historic sites worth visiting.
4. Chengdu has a lot of delicious food, especially snacks, Sichuan cuisine and spicy hot pot. Moreover, there are many Sichuan delicacies in Tibet, and the eating habits and food culture of the two regions share many similarities.
1. The train heading to Tibet from Chengdu departs every other day instead of every day. Please pay attention to information on the ticket when buying tickets, especially the departure time.
2. The Hoh Xil sceneries cannot be watched on trains to Tibet from Chengdu. If you have a special preference for the sceneries, please choose trains departing from other cities.
The train to Tibet from Chongqing departs from Chongqing North Railway Station at 22:25 p.m. and arrives at Lhasa at 9:55 a.m. on the third day, lasting 35 hours and 30 minutes. From Chongqing to Lhasa, passengers need to spend 2 nights and 1 day on the train, covering 9 stations and 7 cities.
The sightseeing on trains to Tibet from Chongqing is almost the same as that on trains departing from Chengdu, because the two train schedules follow the same route after Guangyuan Station and nearly arrive at same time.
1. It is certain that the departing city is different. Though Chengdu is adjacent to Chongqing, the two cities are about 200 kilometers apart, taking 1 hour by CRH train.
2. The next station after departing from Chengdu Station is Guangyuan Station, while the next station departing from Chongqing North Station is Nanchong North Station and then Guangyuan Station.
3. The overall time spent on Chongqing-Tibet Train is nearly one hour less than that on Chengdu-Tibet Train.
After Guangyuan Station, the running time, route and stopping time of the two trains are exactly the same. Trains from Chengdu and Chongqing depart alternatively every other day, which means there are trains from Guangyuan to Lhasa every day.
1. Since the train arrives in Lhasa in the morning, travelers have more time to rest, sleep and adapt to altitude sickness in hotels, so that they can start their journey in Tibet next day in a better physical condition.
2. Built on hills and by the Yangtze River, Chongqing is a city with distinct characteristics. It is a three-dimensional and magic city where you can go cross the Yangtze River by cable car and get through buildings by trolleybus.
1. Same as the train departing from Chengdu, the train from Chongqing departs every other day, and they share the same sceneries along the railway.
2. There are many railway stations in Chongqing. The train to Tibet departs from Chongqing North Station. Please be careful not to get to the wrong station.
Lanzhou is the capital city of Gansu Province in Northwest China. There are four trains passing through Lanzhou every day, among which the train from Lanzhou departs every other day and the train from Guangzhou to Tibet passes through Lanzhou every other day due to its long journey, which is staggered from that departing from Lanzhou.
The train from Lanzhou departs from the Lanzhou Railway Station at 11:16 a.m. and arrives at Lhasa at 11:20 a.m. the next day, lasting 24 hours and 4 minutes. From Lanzhou to Lhasa, passengers need to spend 24 hours on the train, covering 6 stations and 4 cities.
Lanzhou-Xining-Delingha-Golmud is in daytime period. The train departs from Lanzhou at 11:16 a.m., stops at Delingha Station at 18:03 p.m. after passing through Xining Station and arrives at Golmud Station at 20:53 p.m. It gets dark late on plateau, especially in summer. During the day, you can enjoy the scenery of Qinghai Lake and the gradual change of landform from hilly area to plateau.
Golmud-Naqu is in night period. It is the section with the highest elevation of the whole Qinghai-Tibet Railway, but the scenery is the most beautiful. In order to alleviate altitude sickness, it is recommended to fall asleep early.
Nagqu-Lhasa provides travelers the chance to enjoy the beautiful sunrise on Cuona Lake in the morning. It only takes 4 hours from Naqu to Lhasa. The beautiful Naqu Grassland and Nianqing Tanggula Mountains are the signs of reaching Lhasa.
1. It takes a shorter time to reach Lhasa from Lanzhou than from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, taking only 24 hours.
2. The train arrives in Lhasa at noon when the weather is the best of the day and there is a lot of time in the afternoon for adaptation and rest.
3. Besides the train departing from Lanzhou, other three trains heading to Tibet will also stop over at Lanzhou every day, which gives travelers more choices.
1. The train departing from Lanzhou leaves more time for passengers to go through check-in procedures and take photos on the platform. Besides, the departure time is also guaranteed.
2. Trains stopping over at Lanzhou, namely departing from other cities, leave only about 15 minutes for passengers in Lanzhou to get on the train. These trains may also come late, which results in less check-in time. In such case, it is not suggested to stop at the platform to take photos.
Xining is a must-stop over station for all trains heading to Tibet, including trains departing from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Lanzhou, Chengdu and Chongqing, as well as two trains departing from Xining itself.
The train runs at the same time as the train from Lanzhou to Tibet and departs every other day. It takes 21 hours and 19 minutes, and covers 5 stations and 3 cities: Delingha, Golmud and Naqu. For details of stations along the railway, please refer to the above introduction to Lanzhou.
Xining-Shigatse Train Z6811 is the only train connecting the Qinghai-Tibet Railway to the Lhasa-Shigatse Railway. It departs from Xining Station at 20:30 p.m. and arrives at the terminal station, Shigatse Station, at 20:58 p.m. the next night, lasting 24 hours and 28 minutes. The biggest feature of this train is that it will stop over at many stations, especially some small stations, such as [Ando] Station near Cona Lake, [Dangxiong] Station near Yangbajing and Namtso, etc., totally covering 11 stations and 9 cities.
Xining-Delingha-Golmud is in night period. The train leaves Xining Station at 20:30 p.m. and arrives at Golmud Station at 3:28 a.m. After about three hours, you are expected to see the sunrise in Hoh Xil.
Golmud-Naqu-Dangxiong-Lhasa is in the daytime period, during which you can enjoy beautiful scenery in Hoh Xil, the charm of Tanggula Mountains and landscapes of snow mountains and grassland all the way, till the train arrives at Lhasa in the evening.
Lhasa-Qushui County-Nyemo County-Renbu-Shigatse is in the night period. The whole Lhasa- Shigatse railway trip goes along National Highway 318, lasting about 3 hours and 20 minutes.
1. There are many trains stopping over at Xining Station, offering more choices.
2. Trains departing from Xining to Tibet are more clean and tidy. It is more comfortable to take a flight to Xining and then take a train to Tibet.
3. Trains from Xining can take travelers directly to Shigatse, which is not available for other trains to Tibet.
1. Since trains are fully closed, trains stopping over at Xining Station might not be as clean as those departing from Xining Station.
2. In the off-season of Tibetan tourism, namely April to May and October to December, travelers can choose trains more suitable for sightseeing at Xining Station. The Train Z6811 from Xining to Shigatse is very suitable for viewing sceneries of Hoh Xil and Tanggula Mountains.
The Beijing-Tibet train departs every day from Beijing West Station at 20:00 p.m. and arrives at Lhasa at 12:40 p.m. on the third day, lasting 40 hours and 40 minutes, coving 10 stations and 8 cities.
Beijing West-Shijiazhuang North-Taiyuan-Zhongwei is in the first night period. It is recommended to have a good rest and sleep on the train as much as possible.
Zhongwei-Lanzhou-Xining-Delingha is in daytime period, during which the altitude rises slowly, the landform changes from Loess Plateau to Kunlun Mountains and the train crosses the Yellow River many times.
Delingha-Golmud-Nagqu is in the second night period, during which the scenery of Hoh Xil cannot be seen and it is recommended to rest as early as possible in the high altitude area.
Nagqu-Lhasa is in daytime period. The train will arrive at holy city Lhasa in the morning of the third day after departure from Beijing. Finally, travelers can enjoy the real plateau scenery.
It takes more than 40 hours to Tibet from Beijing by train. The following options can be chosen to shorten the traffic time.
The flight from Beijing to Lanzhou takes about 2.5 hours, while the Train Z21 departing from Beijing to Tibet takes 16 hours and 17 minutes to arrive in Lanzhou. It saves a lot of time by choosing the flight-train combined way and this period time allows travelers to stay one more day in Tibet.
The flight from Beijing to Lanzhou takes about 2.5 hours, while the Train Z21 departing from Beijing to Tibet takes 16 hours and 17 minutes to arrive in Xining. Even considering the time of waiting or delay of the flight, it is faster to go to Tibet from Xining by the flight-train combined way than by train only.
1. Since you will have to stay on the train for two nights and can't take bath, even if choosing trains departing at night, it is recommended to stay in Beijing for one or two days before taking trains to Tibet, so that you can at least take a good bath in hotel.
2. There are many railway stations in Beijing. The trains to Tibet depart from [Beijing West] Station. Please don't get to a wrong railway station.
3. There are a large number of passengers in Beijing West Railway Station every day. Please arrive at the Railway Station 2 hours ahead of the departure time to collect tickets, check in and wait for the train. For details of the train trip, please refer to the [experience of taking Qinghai-Tibet Railway trains].
The Shanghai-Tibet train departs every day from [Shanghai] Station at 20:10 p.m. and arrives at Lhasa at 19:30 p.m. on the third day, lasting 47 hours and 20 minutes, covering 14 stations and 12 cities.
Shanghai-Suzhou-Wuxi-Nanjing-Bengbu-Xuzhou-Zhengzhou is in the first night period. Since the train to Tibet departing from Shanghai is the only train to Tibet in the eastern coastal area of China, and passes through flat areas densely populated, the train will stop over at many stations. It is advised for you to have good rest in the flat areas with low altitude.
Zhengzhou-Xi'an-Lanzhou is in the first daytime period, during which the train starts to enter western areas from central cities, and the altitude rises gradually. Landscape and vegetation change along the way and the Yellow River can be seen many times.
Lanzhou-Xining-Delingha-Golmud is in the second night period. The altitude during this period is within 3000 meters which is suitable for sleep. It is suggested for you to have a good rest during this time and then you can enjoy the beautiful sceneries of Hoh Xil Plateau when you wake up in the next morning.
Golmud-Nagqu-Lhasa is in the second daytime period with the most wonderful plateau sceneries in the whole trip. Even if there are few traces of human life, the beauty of nature is enough to give travelers a wonderful experience.
The train trip to Tibet from Shanghai lasts 47 hours, covering the eastern coastal area and western plateau area of China. In order to save time and enjoy the plateau scenery as soon as possible, you can choose to take plane directly.
The flight from Shanghai to Lanzhou takes about 3.5 hours, while the Train Z164 departing from Shanghai to Tibet takes 22 hours and 7 minutes to arrive at Lanzhou. It saves nearly 20 hours by taking plane, which is very cost-effective. Moreover, there are G-series bullet trains from [Hongqiao, Shanghai] to [Lanzhou West], which takes 10.5 hours, half shorter than ordinary trains to Tibet.
The flight from Shanghai to Xining takes about 3.5 hours, while the Train Z164 departing from Shanghai to Tibet takes 25 hours to arrive at Xining. It saves much time by taking plane to Xining and travelers will not lose the chance to enjoy sceneries along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.
1. If choosing the Train Z164 departing from Shanghai to Tibet, it is necessary to spend two days and two nights on the train, so please take a good bath before getting on the train to Tibet to avoid discomfort.
2. If choosing to fly to some northwest city and take a train there, please pay attention to the time and try not to miss the train.
The Guangzhou-Tibet train departs every day from [Guangzhou] Station at 11:45 a.m. and arrives at Lhasa at 16:19 p.m. on the third day, lasting 52 hours and 34 minutes, covering 12 stations and 10 cities.
Guangzhou-Chenzhou-Changsha is in the first daytime period. The train departs from Guangzhou, a southern city of China, and heads north to Zhengzhou before turning west. The scenery in the first day is very beautiful, mainly including green mountains, rivers, hills and countryside scenes.
Changsha-Wuchang-Zhengzhou-Xi'an is in the first night period, during which the train runs in areas with low altitude and it is recommended to have a good rest.
Xi'an-Lanzhou-Xining is the second daytime period, during which the vegetation becomes more and more sparse and the scenery is getting more and more desolate with the train traveling westward.
Xining-Delingha-Golmud is in the second night period. The train arrives at Golmud at 2:29 a.m. and the sunrise is expected to get out after about four hours. You can sleep first and get up at dawn to enjoy the sunrise at the source of the Yangtze River, and feel the charm of Hoh Xil.
[Golmud-Nagqu-Lhasa] is a section with the most beautiful scenery of the whole Qinghai-Tibet Railway. If not having good rest before, you may suffer altitude sickness here, which will affect your mood to enjoy beautiful sceneries.
The train trip to Tibet from Guangzhou lasts 52.5 hours, covering the southern area and western plateau area of China, lasting the longest time among trains to Tibet.
The flight from Guangzhou to Lanzhou takes about 3 hours, which is faster than that from Shanghai, while the Train Z265 departing from Guangzhou to Tibet takes 28 hours and 41 minutes to arrive at Lanzhou. It saves nearly 26 hours by taking plane. Moreover, there are G-series bullet trains from [Guangzhou South] to [Lanzhou West], which takes 11.5 hours, much faster than ordinary trains to Tibet.
The flight from Guangzhou to Xi'an takes about 2.5 hours, while the Train Z265 departing from Guangzhou to Tibet takes 22 hours to arrive at Xi’an. It saves much time by taking plane. Moreover, there are G-series bullet trains from [Guangzhou South] to [Xi’an North], which takes 7.5-9 hours, much faster than ordinary trains to Tibet.
1. The train trip from Guangzhou to Tibet lasts 52.5 hours. Please be prepared before getting on the train, because too long time train trip may make you tired and more prone to suffer altitude sickness
2. If you choose to fly to cities like Xi’an or Lanzhou and then taking a train to Tibet, you should leave enough time for unexpected things like flight delay, etc. to avoid missing the train.
The best scenery in the Qinghai-Tibet Railway - Xining to Lhasa plateau scenery.
All trains to Tibet will cover the Xining to Lhasa section, and the scenery from Xining to Lhasa is also the best in the Qinghai Tibet Railway, which means you will not miss the scenery no matter what train route you choose.
The scenery from Xining to Lhasa is plateau scenery which is similar to that in Tibet, because plateau is the symbol of Tibet. Blue sky and white clouds, layer upon layer of mountains in the distance, desolate wilderness and leisurely wildlife make this section of scenery becoming travelers' yearning.
You will not miss this scenery by taking any trains to Tibet, but the time to see the scenery will be different for trains departing at different time: sometimes sunrise, sometimes sunset, sometimes dark night, this is also the surprise of journey.
1. Easier to buy tickets. No matter it is off-season or peak season, tickets for trains leaving Tibet are easier to buy than those for trains heading to Tibet, because travelers are more likely to take trains to Tibet and their interest in sceneries along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway will decrease after the end of their Tibet journey, which makes them prefer to fly home as fast as possible.
2. Less likely to suffer altitude sickness. After a long or short journey in Tibet, travelers will basically adapt to the plateau and no longer suffer altitude sickness, so they can enjoy sceneries along the way in a comfortable and relieved way.
3. More clean and healthy environment on the train. Most trains from cities like Xining and Lanzhou are stop-over trains which are confined and probably crowded with many passengers, making the train noisy and poorly ventilated, while there is no such problem in trains leaving Tibet, for nearly all trains leaving Tibet depart from Lhasa.
Xining is best. It takes a short time but allows travelers to see the best sceneries along the way. After arriving in Xining, travelers can transfer to other travel models.
Lanzhou and Xi'an come the second. It takes about 25 hours from Lhasa to Lanzhou or Xi'an where international flights are available for overseas travelers to get to popular cities around the world.
Chengdu and Chongqing are most suitable for Southeast Asian travelers Chengdu and Chongqing have many flights to Southeast Asian cities and are closer geographically, which allows Southeast Asian travelers to get home more quickly.
Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou are least-chosen The biggest disadvantage for the train heading to these three cities is that it takes a long time. If travelers want to go to other cities after leaving Tibet, they usually have to get off the train half way rather than getting to the terminal station.
1. The Tibet Travel Permit is not required for leaving Tibet, but it is not allowed to get off the train at stations in Tibet, such as Dangxiong, Naqu and Amdo.
2. If you want to enjoy the scenery of Hoh Xil, you should choose the train departs from Lhasa in the morning.
Which train to take depends on what train ticket you can successfully buy. After all, it is very difficult to buy tickets for trains to Tibet, especially soft berth tickets whose quantity is limited. If you really want to take trains departing at desired time, it is recommended to go to Tibet in off-season when it is easier to buy tickets successfully.
Some tourists may think a train ride to Lhasa takes too long time, but they still want to see the charming scenery along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, taking a train to Xinning is a wonderful option in this scenario.
Chengdu and Chongqing are located in the Chengdu Plain. After leaving Guangyuan, the train will pass through Qinling Mountains and Hengduan Mountains. The scenery along the way changes from plain region with dense vegetation and pastoral scenes to mountainous region with high mountains and deep forests, with the vegetation becoming more and more sparse and the elevation gradually rising.
The highlight of the Beijing-Xining railway route is that the train will cross though the Loess Plateau, during which travelers can see the landscape of barren loess ravines, which is in sharp contrast to the landscape of snow-covered plateau in Tibet.
The train from Shanghai to Xining will pass through China's richest water towns south of the Yangtze River and regions densely populated. There are many towns and villages along the beginning section. The whole journey from Shanghai to Xi'an is plain with beautiful green scenes.
The train from Guangzhou to Xining firstly runs from north to south, mainly passing through low-altitude hilly and mountainous areas with pleasant and contented scenery. It runs westward after stopover in Zhengzhou, during which the vegetation becomes less and less, the altitude gradually rises, and traditional dwellings in different areas of China can be seen along the way.
Taking trains to Tibet departing from different cities, you can see different sceneries. Sceneries seen on almost all trains along the railway are transient. Beautiful sceneries can only be seen at right moment and good weather, and even if you see beautiful sceneries, you cannot get off the train to enjoy and take photos at close range. Moreover, it is difficult to buy train tickets to Tibet in peak season; therefore, if you want to go to Tibet by train in peak season, you should pay more attention on getting a ticket rather than on the scenery along the railway.
Trains from different cities to Tibet depart at different time. We offer you a very detailed list of time when the train passes through each station and the scenery you can see in corresponding period. Hope it can help you take a favorite train to Tibet. For other issues related to ticket purchasing, please consult us.