Why You Should Travel to Tibet by Train
When you visit Tibet, there are three ways to enter it: by air on a plane from China or Nepal, by car from Nepal or by train from China. Taking a train to Tibet is a great way to travel and here are the reasons why you should consider taking it.
First, when traveling on a train you get to see the landscapes that are hardly accessible otherwise. After Xining you are entering the Tibetan Plateau, and the train starts climbing higher into the mountain ranges. You will be traveling through the mountains going over the passes above 5,000 meters high. You will see awe-inspiring views from the window and the comfort of the air-conditioned train. No need to climb to high elevation areas, and no need to worry about high altitude sickness, because the oxygen is pumped into the train. And that is our second reason.
Second, traveling by train to Tibet can help with acclimatizing to a high altitude. Although you don’t spend long enough time to fully acclimatize to Lhasa altitude, taking a train to Tibet is better than taking a plane.
The train enters the high altitude areas after Golmud, the town in the Eastern part of Tibet. After it, train picks up the elevation. The train goes over the 5,200-meter high mountain pass.
There are systems pumping oxygen onto the train, both car-wide and individual. With the central system, the air pressure will be approximately equal to that on the elevation of 3,000 meters. At 3,000 meters most of the people typically start feeling some effects of the high altitude. That’s why there are individual oxygen supply systems, in case you need additional oxygen. You will spend several hours acclimating to high altitude, which is better than landing in Lhasa when you are taking a flight.
Third, taking a train is perfect for those who travel on a budget. Train tickets can be twice or even three times cheaper than flight tickets to Tibet. You also have a choice of two sleeping classes: soft sleeper and hard sleeper.
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The soft sleeper offers more comfortable beds with four beds in a berth with a door. It is a more comfortable option and a less crowded car.
Hard sleeper despite its name offers soft beds in a berth with six beds without a door. Hard sleeper bed is a budget, but still a comfortable option.
There is also a seating option. It is the cheapest option. However, we don’t recommend it unless you travel on a short distance.