Travel to Tibet by Train FAQ
You should have your passport and a copy of your Tibet Travel Permit (TTP). You can print this out from an electronic copy.
You have three options:
- Hard seat: This is just a metal seat in a compartment shared by four to six people. It is the cheapest, but also the least comfortable for a long journey.
- Hard sleepers: This option offers you a place in a cabin with six other berths. You can stretch out and lie down, but you will not be able to sit up in your berth.
- Soft sleepers: This is the most expensive option, but also the most comfortable. Your cabin will have four sleeper berths and a TV set.
You can, but it will be difficult. You must buy your tickets at least ten days before departure and you will have to get them at the station from which you plan to depart. The only way to get tickets remotely is to organize them through us.
In addition, tickets are often sold out even before ticketing counters open. Thus, you could queue up for your tickets only to find that there are none available.
Because the demand for train tickets is high, especially in peak season, just getting one can be difficult. This is particularly true for soft sleeper tickets since few berths are available on every train. As a result, we must purchase these tickets through agencies, and their service fee is added to the cost of your ticket.
We deliver your train tickets to your hotel. We will therefore need to know your hotel’s address and your booking number.
You will need to complete a health record form before you can board the train. Lines are long, so it is best to be at your station at least two hours before your train’s scheduled departure time.
Each train has a dining car and there are also mobile vending services from which you can purchase food. However, you should not expect international cuisine since these services cater for local tastes.
Each carriage has a hot water dispenser. There is no charge for hot water, but you must have your own mug or cup.
Each carriage has its own toilets, but there are no shower facilities.
Power outlets are available in the corridors. However, remember to get the right plug adaptors since the sockets will be designed for standard Chinese plugs. You can easily get adaptors from a store before you travel.
Train interiors are pressurized, much like aircraft, but as you reach the highest part of your journey, you may feel the need for extra oxygen. You will be supplied with an oxygen mask that can be connected to the outlet in your berth if you feel the need.
Most experts agree that travelling by train does not reduce the chance of altitude sickness. The best way to combat this is to allow yourself a minimum of two days in Lhasa in which you do not perform any strenuous physical activity.
The train trip takes anything from 24 to 50 hours depending on your point of departure. To ensure your comfort during the trip, pack the following items in a small overnight bag:
- A mug or cup and teabags or instant coffee
- Light snacks for the journey
- A pair of slippers or slip-on shoes
- A flashlight to use after cabin lights are doused at 10 pm
- Earplugs and an eye mask to improve your chances of getting some sleep