Xining to Lhasa train
Why to take the train from Xining to Lhasa
Taking a train from Xining to Lhasa has become more and more travelers’ choice since its opening in the year of 2006. Compared with taking a flight to Lhasa from Xining, except for being more time-consuming, taking a train to Lhasa gives your body more time to acclimatize the high altitude, which can decrease the chance to suffer from the high altitude sickness upon stepping into Lhasa. Besides, it brings great rewards with breathtaking landscapes on the way.
Among all the Tibet train routes to Lhasa from the seven gateway cities of mainland China, the Xining-Lhasa train is with the shortest duration, approximately 21-22 hours, but covering the most spectacular landscapes along the breathtaking Qinghai-Tibet Railway.
In addition, Xining is also a great stop before heading to Lhasa to pre-acclimatize the high altitude. It is located at an elevation of (2,261 meters/7,418 feet) and with many beautiful natural landscapes and cultural sites such as the Qinghai Lake, Chaka Salt Lake, grasslands, snow-capped mountains and atmospheric Kumbum Monastery to explore.
Xining is the starting point of Qinghai-Tibet Railway. All the trains to Lhasa will meet here, hence, it is the place having the most trains to Lhasa every day offering the biggest chance to obtain a train ticket to Lhasa.
Xining to Lhasa train schedule
The direct train, No. Z6801, originally starting from Xining to Lhasa, runs every other day at 14:01, offering more carriages for different berths. In the peak season, usually the summertime, another seasonal train, No.Z6811, running daily will be opened for the high demand.
As the most important transfer hub for train travel to Tibet, currently, all the trains departing from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing and Lanzhou to Lhasa will have a stopover at Xining, hence, apart from the direct train, travelers can also choose to take the other Tibet trains at Xining.
Here we have collected the Xining to Lhasa train schedule and ticket price for your information.
|Train No.||Originally from/To||Dep./Arr.||Duration||Distance(KM)||Frequency||Ticket Price|
|Z323||Chengdu to Lhasa||12:26/09:55||21h29m||1956||Every other day||CN¥ 781-808||CN¥ 495-521|
|Z223||Chongqing to Lhasa||12:26/09:55||21h29m||1956||Every other day||CN¥ 781-808||CN¥ 495-521|
|Z6801||Xining to Lhasa||14:01/11:20||21h29m||1956||Every other day||CN¥ 781-808||CN¥ 495-521|
|Z917||Lanzhou to Lhasa||14:01/11:20||21h29m||1956||Every other day||CN¥ 781-808||CN¥ 495-521|
|Z21||Beijing to Lhasa||15:21/12:45||21h24m||1956||Daily||CN¥ 781-808||CN¥ 495-521|
|Z265||Guangzhou to Lhasa||19:31/16:45||21h24m||1956||Daily||CN¥ 781-808||CN¥ 495-521|
|Z6811||Xining to Lhasa||20:30/17:25||20h55m||1956||Daily (Seasonal)||CN¥ 781-808||CN¥ 495-521|
|Z165||Shanghai to Lhasa||21:27/19:35||22h08m||1956||Daily||CN¥ 781-808||CN¥ 495-521|
- The ticket price above is the official price for reference. Please contact us for the exact price on your departure date.
- The ticket price is generally higher (by adding the high commission to the tickets dealers) than the above official price due to the high demand.
- Apart from the 2 trains originated from Xining to Lhasa, the rest trains are originally from the other 6 gateway cities e.g. Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai, etc., which will stop at Xining railway station for several minutes before heading to Lhasa.
- For those taking the train from the other cities with Xining as a transfer station, we would recommend you pack your luggage before arriving at the Xining railway station and move quickly upon arrival to board your next train to Lhasa.
- As the train tickets are officially opened to purchase online about 30 days before the train’s departure, and Xining-Lhasa is one of the most popular train routes to Tibet, it is highly recommended to make your reservation as early as possible, it’s best at least 1 month in advance, especially from April to October.
- Due to the high demand of Tibet train tickets, for tourists traveling from April to October, it isn’t advisable to have a specific restriction on the train number when booking the train tickets as it is very possible to fail to obtain the ticket if you fix the train number.
The best train to Lhasa from Xining
Among all those trains, the train which starts from Xining itself (No. Z6801) is considered to be the best option for travelers to start their Tibet train journey in Qinghai Province, as the tickets on the trains originated from other gateway cities are usually fully booked from their own departure stations, furthermore, more carriages for all three classes of tickets are available on the train originally from Xining, making it has the capacity to carry almost twice as many as passengers of other trains from around China, in other words, it will be easier for you to obtain a ticket on this train to Lhasa from Xining even during the peak season.
However, if only take the landscape into consideration, then train No. Z265, Z6811, Z165 are the best options as you will travel through the Kekexili Nature Reserve during the daytime to see the marvelous views. Please be aware that apart from the seasonal train No. Z6811, it's very difficult to obtain the tickets on Z265/Z165 even during the low season.
Life on the train
The train ride from Xining to Lhasa offers you a chance to experience the real engineering wonder running on the lofty Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Many tourist-friendly facilities and cutting-edge technologies on the trains will help to make your challenging train journey to Lhasa more comfortable.
1. Oxygen Supply and Air Conditioning: The trains on Qinghai-Tibet Railway face the high elevation conditions: low temperature, lack of oxygen, harsh climate, etc., to ensure the passengers’ safety, the "dispersion-mode" oxygen supply system is specially designed on those trains, if travelers take a train originally from other gateway cities of mainland China, they are required to switch to the special trains designed with oxygen supply at Xining railway station upon their arrival. Furthermore, in order to make the train journey more comfortable, the air-conditioning system is set on the train to create a comfortable temperature.
2. Food and drink: There is a dining carriage in the middle of the train that offers some Chinese food and cuisines like rice, vegetables, meats, soups, and some snacks. Breakfast usually costs about CN¥ 20 per person, lunch and dinner cost about CN¥ 30-50 per person per meal. If you just want to have a lazy meal, you can buy the packed food, some snacks, or soft drinks like orange juice and coke from Food Trolleys which are pushed by the crews of the train when passing your cabin at mealtimes. 24-hour hot drinking water is available on the trains, you may bring your own thermos to get it on one side of your carriage, however, please note that the water received from the washing area is undrinkable.
3. Toilet and Washing: The Western-style toilet and squat toilet are set in each soft sleeper carriage. And for the hard sleeper and hard seat carriages, there will be only squat toilets equipped. Travelers should bring their own toilet papers as the trains don’t provide any toilet tissues. At each side of the carriages, there is a simple washbasin providing undrinkable cold water.
4. Luggage storage: For soft sleeper carriages, travelers can put their luggage or suitcases on the luggage closet above the door in each compartment, about 16 inches (40cm) high and 20 inches (50cm) wide. For hard sleeper carriages, the luggage or suitcases can be put on the luggage racks above the window by the side of the aisle. And for hard seat carriages, the luggage racks are equipped above both windows.
Top highlights along the train journey
We surely believe that the picturesque breathtaking natural wonders along the train journey from Xining to Lhasa will make your eyes dazzled. Do wipe off the dirt from the window of your cabin once stepping on the train, as you are about to enjoy a real treat to your eyes with deep valleys, beautiful lakes at sunset, vast grasslands, snow-capped mountains, grazing yaks and running wildlife.
|Qinghai Lake||At a surface elevation of 3,260 meters/10,696 feet, Qinghai Lake is one of the must-see attractions when traveling to Xining with beautiful landscapes and cool summer climate. It's the largest inland saltwater lake in China, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and grasslands. Tourists can take a boat tour at its Erlangjian scenic area on the south side, or watch the magnificent flying birds at its Birds Islands on the west side from April to June. The best time to Qinghai Lake is in July and August for the large area of rape flowers blossom at its all sides.|
|Yuzhu Peak of Kunlun Mountains||The Tibet trains run below the spectacular Kunlun Mountain range. Yuzhu Peak is the highest peak on the eastern part of the Kunlun Mountains with a snow-capped summit at the elevation of 6,178 meters/20,269 feet. And it is regarded as the best place for climbing beginners as its route requires less technique.|
|Hoh Xil (Kekexili) Nature Reserve||Hoh Xil, a paradise for over 230 species of rare wild animals and one of the world’s best-preserved nature reserves. The Hoh Xil in Qinghai was listed among the World Heritage Sites as "the largest and highest plateau in the world" with severe climate and harsh environment. This isolated and magical land is perfect for scientific research, travel, and exploration.|
|Tuotuo River||Located in the Town of Tanggula Mountain in the south of Golmud, is the main source of the Yangtze River (The Tongtian River) to the south of the Hoh Xil Mountains. It originates from a small stream of melting water from glaciers and cirques in Geladandong Snow Mountain. After the confluence of many rivers, it forms the wide and torrent Tuotuo River - the upper source of the Yangtze River.|
|Tanggula Mountains||After passing the upper source of the Yangtze River, we are about to get to the highest point of Tibet train, Tanggula Mountain passes at an elevation of 5,072 meters/16,640 feet above sea level. The Tanggula Railway Station nearby, with an altitude of 5,068 meters / 16,627 feet, is the highest railway station in the world and the only railway station in the world with an altitude of over 5000 meters. Travelers can take a picture with the landmark Tangula sign on the platform.|
|Qiangtang Grassland||Qiangtang, which means "northern highland," refers to the north Tibetan plateau located among the Kunlun, Tanggula, and Gangdise Mountains. It is a wild and desolate area ideal for rare animals to live in. In this reserve, you can see vast prairies and glaciers, numerous mountains and lakes, hot springs, and terrestrial heats and the golden season to travel here is from June to September while among them August is the peak season, and the Nagqu Qiangtang Horse-racing Festival hold annually from August 10 to 16.|
|Cona Lake||With an altitude of 4,650 meters/15,256 feet, Cona Lake is the highest freshwater lake in the world, attracting thousands of tourists annually. It is worshiped by the locals as a holy lake, every year on the first day of the traditional Tibetan lunar calendar, herdsmen in Amdo get up early and head to this holy lake to seek blessings from God of this lake, especially in the year of Dragon. It is said that doing the Kora around Cona Lake can help to get rid of all sins and miseries of their entire life and bless thriving livestock.|
Frequently asked questions about Xining to Lhasa train
1. How to get to Xining train station
English/Chinese name: Xining Railway Station/西宁站
Location: No. 128, Huzhu Road, Chengdong District, Xining/西宁市城东区互助路128号
Inquiry Phone Number: 0971-7192222.
Transportation: There are about 15 lines of public buses to reach the station, Travelers can take public buses No. 31,16,104, 107, 103, 20, 28, 7, 27, 9, 5, 3, 11, 1, and 40 to get to the railway station.
Take a taxi from Xining Airport: It takes about 40 minutes' drive and 28KM, costs about CN¥100.
2. How to book a train ticket to Lhasa from Xining
The Tibet train tickets can be booked at the railway station or on the internet. To book at the railway station, you are required to show your passport and Tibet Travel Permit. To book the train tickets through the official website (12306.cn), you may need to know mandarin and have Wechat, Alipay, or a bank account in China to make the payment.
As a better choice, you may consider making your reservations with us via email. Based on our experience, it will be not easy for international travelers to get train tickets to Lhasa on their own. With over 13 years’ professional and trustworthy services on Tibet train tickets booking and Tibet train tours, we are confident to help you to get your ticket for your preferred travel date.
3. How to get the booked train tickets
For those booking the train tickets through us, in most cases, travelers can collect their paper tickets by themselves, we will share the booking number via email. You only need to present your train ticket booking number, passport, and Tibet Permit at the ticket window of the train station to get the paper train ticket for Tibet train boarding. It is highly suggested to arrive at the station at least two hours earlier for ticket collecting, security checking, and train boarding.
In some cases, we will deliver the paper train ticket to your address in mainland China such as your hotel address. And in emergency cases, our staff will hand over the train ticket directly to you at the railway station before you board the train.
4. What documents are needed to board the Tibet train from Xining
As an overseas traveler to travel to Tibet by train from Xining, you need to present the color-printed Tibet Permit (Tibet Entry Permit) which is issued only by the Tibet Tourism Bureau when you check-in at Xining railway station. During the train ride to Lhasa, the staff might check your Tibet permit occasionally. The permit application usually takes about 15-20 days and it can only be applied by a local travel agency on behalf of travelers by submitting the scanned copies of your passport information page and Chinese Visa page.
Except for Tibet permits, for foreigners traveling to Tibet, they need to take a pre-organized tour with a licensed tour guide, and a private vehicle with a driver. As a reliable local travel agency with over 13-year professional experience, we, WindhorseTour, have helped thousands of our clients to make their Tibet train tour happen every year, would be very pleased to assist your trip to Tibet, please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts by leaving a comment here or emailing us (email@example.com).