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Xining, the capital of Qinghai Province, is at the start of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.  This railway spans 1,956 kilometers and the duration of the train ride is about 22 hours.  Around 25% of all travelers who take the Tibet Train choose Xining as the starting city.  Xining is actually the best city to start your Tibet Train journey compared to other major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, Chongqing, and Chengdu.  Below we will share with you the reasons why. 

Why Take Train from Xining to Lhasa 

There are 3 main reasons why Xining is the best starting city to take the Tibet Train.

  • The best plateau scenery starts the Qinghai-Tibet Railway section.  The section before Xining is mostly of the Chinese countryside.

  • The Xining to Lhasa train ride takes 22 hours and is the shortest compared to the other gateway cities.  Passengers will spend one night on the train and will arrive in Lhasa the next day. 

  • Xining is located at an elevation of 2,275 meters, so travelers can spend 2 days here to acclimate before boarding the train to Lhasa.  This is the safest way to minimize symptoms of high altitude sickness during the train journey and in Lhasa.

What You Can Expect on Xining to Lhasa Train

It is an unforgettable experience to start your Tibet tour from Xining by train.  En route, you will enjoy the marvelous landscape of snow-capped mountains, turquoise plateau lakes, grazing yaks, Tibetan antelopes, numerous rivers, and vast grasslands.  The scenery flashing by will play out like an animation film through your train window.  You can relax on the comfortable sleeper and watch the changing scenery as the train zips along the Tibetan Plateau.  This is the best visual introduction that you will get to start off your Tibet tour.

How to Get to Xining Train Station

The train from Xining to Lhasa starts from Xining West Train station (西宁西站).

From Xining downtown to the West Train Station it costs around CNY40 by Taxi.

There is no direct bus from the Xining Airport to the West train station, so a taxi from the Airport to the Xining West Train station costs around CNY150 and takes about 40 minutes.

Planning your Xining to Lhasa Train Tour

Here at we can help you arrange your Tibet Train Tour along with booking train tickets and applying for all the necessary Tibet permits.  Tibet train tickets are high in demand, so make sure to contact us well in advance to increase your chances of securing train tickets.  Send us your travel dates and travel plans so we can help you reserve your Xining to Lhasa train tickets today!



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