Depart from Shanghai, if you have plenty of time, most passengers would choose enter Tibet by train. Sitting in the running train where build on the roof of the world, along the way, you may enjoy the grassland of the northern Tibet, Yuzhu Peak, Tso Na Lake, watch the wild donkey running in the Kekexili depopulated zone, the Tibean antelope, and the vast swampy marshes. All these are wonders are unique and unforgettable experience.
1. The overview of Shanghai – Lhasa train schedule:
2. How do foreign tourists buy train tickets from Shanghai to Lhasa:
Ways to buy ticket (generally, there are two ways of buy ticket in mainland China):
To buy your own tickets at the station, with your valid certifications, but the defect of this way is: biased to provide valid certifications, you have to provide Tibet Travel Permit. For the Tibet Travel Permit, usually can be applied within 10 days in advance, and the train ticket in mainland China is usually going on sale one month (30 days) prior to departures. By the time you get the Tibet Travel Permit, most likely the ticket is sold out already.
To purchase on the railway station official website: 12306.cn, is a good choice for those who is outside mainland China. But the defect is, it is registered under the real name system, and after registration the system will investigate, and can purchase online only if you had one experience of taking the train with your ID card. If you have a someone buy tickets for you, you will need to provide them with your exact name and passport number (as with plane tickets). They will also need a copy of your passport if you wish to have the tickets delivered to you. If tickets are brought on-line and you do not wish them to deliver, you are given a confirmation number which you need to bring along with your passport at the railway station to pick up the paper ticket. You can do so just before your departure.
Requested certifications when purchasing the ticket from Shanghai to Lhasa:
Foreign tourists, Taiwanese and overseas Chinese:
(1) According to The real name system for buying train tickets, for those who would like to purchase the train ticket in mainland China, have to provide valid certificates such as: ID card, passport, etc.. The The passenger's name should be consistent with the document used.
(2) Due to the particularity of Tibet train, all the passengers have to provide Tibet Travel Permit to enter Tibet.
Tips on booking Shanghai - Lhasa train ticket:
☆ According to ministry of railway regulations, the train ticket will be issued one month in advance. The passengers may purchase via the local railway station, official ticket agency, or via the official website: www.12306.cn, due to the Tibet train ticket is very hard to purchase (especially the peak season July – September), please purchase one month in advance, to avoid missing the time and the ticket.
☆ If need to buy from the Odyssey Travel Agency, have to confirm 35 days in advance with full fare price and to provide requested scanned certifications.
☆ If the passengers purchased the train ticket online, please exchange for paper ticket in the railway station at least 2 hours in advance, especially during the peak season. Due to the train platform is very little for Tibet train, and there are many passengers during the peak season, if you reached too late, you may have no time to change the ticket. Therefore, please do arrive the railway station 2 hours in advance. If purchased by our agency, we shall take the ticket in advance and hand in the ticket to the passengers.
3. Useful travel notes on taking train from Shanghai to Lhasa:
☆ For the Tibet train, you have to provide the second Tibet Travel Permit, and the size shall keep the same as the original file, with A4 format with 2 pages. During the ride, the conductor would check your Tibet Travel Permit erratically, please take good care of your Tibet Travel Permit, to avoid unnecessary trouble.
☆ Luggage transportation: with a valid train ticket, the passenger may transport one luggage during the board period. The disabled have no limitations on luggage. The limit of each luggage is 50KG. The size should be smaller than luggage barrow. For items involving state restrictions on transport, please provide the relevant department's transport certificate at the time of delivery. Valuables such as money, securities, precious cultural relics, gold, silver and jewelry, and archival materials, as well as articles prohibited and restricted by the state, and dangerous articles shall not be carried in luggage.
☆ The Tibetan plateau is located in an area of low oxygen, plateau travel has high demand for the tourists, and they may more or less accord altitude sickness, recommend having a thorough medical check-up before travel, and taking some anti-altitude drugs under the doctor’s advice, or prepare the medicine for the needs.
☆ Some of the train have to transit via Xining station, all the passengers have to take off and transit to another train, please cooperate the organization and guidance from the staffs.
☆ While running between Geermu to Lhasa, the train would provide a diffuse type of oxygen supply and independence oxygen service, if you have any further requirements, please do check with the train staffs. During the oxygen supplying, smoking is forbidden, the smokers have to notice that.
☆ Please keep stay and take good care of your own belongings. During the station, dwelling time, please be aware of temperature difference between inside and outside the train, be careful to catch the flue.
☆ Regarding carrying on the train, there are chargers in the soft sleeper compartment, under the outside the corridor seats also have chargers, and the both sides of the washing station also can charge. But sometimes the charger may break, please bring your own power bank and make sure it is fully charged.
The usual dining on the train tastes flat, costs about RMB 30.00, also have steamed bun and porridges. If you got too many luggages, no worry, there are simple meals and instant noodles for purchase. You also may prepare some solid food, or carried separately with several friends. After all, it’s not easy to spend about two days and two nights’ train.
4. What to pack if taking the train to Lhasa from Shanghai:
1. Certifications: ID card (for mainland China tourists), Tibet Travel Permit (foreign tourists, Taiwan tourist and overseas Chinese), Hongkong – Macau laissez – passer (Hongkong people and Macanese), valid passport (those who holds passport), deposit card (China’s biggest banks).
2. Anti-altitude medicines: although take the Tibet train may slowly adjust the altitude, but when pass by Tanggula Mountains (while altitude is above 5000 M), the altitude sickness would be serious, suggest to take Gaoyuanan or Gaoyuankang capsule, besides orally take Rhodiola rosea in advance. Moreover, you may take some cold medication, cough medicine, Wei Chang A, antidiarrheals, anti-inflammatory, band-aid, painkillers, etc.
3. For clothing, you’d better wear fleece jackets and winter jacket, for the great difference in temperature at plateau area, you may experience four seasons within ten days, such kind of clothing may good at wind and rain protection and keeping warm, other clothing: thin coat, T-shirt, underwears, socks, if you have plan for hiking, you may take a pair of outdoor hiking shoes. For washing bag, you may prepare washing products (towels, facial cleanser, soap, shaver, etc.),
4. Cellphone charger, USB cable, power bank, camera, matching battery, charger, flashcards, if you wish to shoot the stars, may bring the torch, notebook and pens.
5. Bring the vacuum cup, for you may get warm water on the train, prepare some more fruits such as apples, mandarin orange. Apple removes heat, eat properly may adjust human acid balance; mandarin orange would provide vitamin C for a day. Also, please bring some chocolate, it may strengthen your physical power.
6. Daily supplies: sleeping bag, towel (quick drying- type), face towel, wet-paper, sun hat, sun glasses, sun cream etc. sun-protct productions, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, facial cleanser, skin care productions, facial masks, cosmetic with hydration type), sun-protction lip-stick, toothbrush and toothpaste, washing powder (easier to carry compare with liquid detergent), small back-pack, rain hood, whisel, convenient hook, disposable plastic wrap (may take wet clothes or tower), seperate bags (pack the stuffs accordingly, and convenient to take), water proof bag (functional product), vacuum cup, camping cup, chopsticks and forks (of hygiene reason), hair dryer, fully charged power bank.
5. Shanghai Railway Station Trafic Guide：
Shanghai Railway Station located at No. 303, Moling Road, Zhabei District, Shanghai, may take Line 1, Line 3, and Line 4 of metro track to reach there. There are 10 bus lines pass by: No. 13, No. 223, No. 234, No. 332, No. 723, Hu Tang Special Line (Qiangsheng), South New Special Line (Nan Hui Da Zhong). If there are many members in a team, may arrange tours bus via our travel agency.
6. More Shanghai – Lhasa Railway Options：
（1）. Shanghai – (Flight) – Xining – (Railway) - Lhasa There are three flight from Shanghai to Xining each day, 7.00am, 1.30pm, 7.30pm. The full fare price is RMB 2, 400.00, in slack season the fare may as low as RMB 600.00 – 700.00 per person. If depart in slack season, fligh to Xining, and enter Tibet by Tibet railway might be a good choice. One hand, there are many trains from Xining to Lhasa with cheap price, and relatively much easier to purchase, compaire with the ticket from Shanghai to Lhasa. On the other hand, Xining as the start point of Tibet railway, covered a lot of amazing attractions. If Tibet is the the holy land spiritually, and Shangri-la is the world paradise in dreams, then Qinghai is the beginning pure land of humanbeings, gods and all natures. Strolling on the street of ancient plateau city – Xining, the high rise buildings, noise street, would erase the wild feeling of imagined Western Town.
（2）. Shanghai – (High Speed Railway / Flight) – Xi’an – (Train) - Lhasa It takes about 6 – 7 hours from Shanghai to Xi’an by High Speed Railway, from 6am till 5pm, there are 9 railways, second class seat’s fare is RMB 670.00; and there are more flight from Shanghai to Xi’an, from 7am till 9pm, and the full price is RMB 1, 400.00 per person. During slack season, the lowest discount can reach to RM 300.00 – 400.00. Xi’an is a modern city with profound history and culture. The terra-cotta warriors and horses are spectacular, the ancient city is magnificent , the wall of Ming Dynasty is well preserved, and the Hui nationality snack stree where behind the Bell and Drm Tower has a lot of delicious food. You can taste local specialties like Steamed Buns and Soup Dumplings. Stay in the cultural ancient city of Xi’an for 2 – 3 days, experience the history of China, and then step on the train to Lhasa, these must be something special.
（3）. Shanghai – (High Speed Railway / Flight) – Chengdu / Chongqing – (Railway) - Lhasa There are many bullet train from Shanghai to Chengdu / Chongqing, just more than then hours. If consider the time is too long, can choose the flights as there are many. The flights from Chengdu and Chongqing to Lhasa are depart on every other day. But the time of Chengdu and Chongqing is just staggered, like if this month the depart date of Chengdu to Lhasa is on even number, then Chongqing will be on odd numbers. Therefore, if consider go to Tibet from Chengdu / Chongqing, please do consult with the customer service, and confirm the travel date according to the monthly railway schedule. Chengdu’s cuisine is really unforgettable, the most recommended is eating, and there are a lot of delicious in Wide Narrow Alleys, if feel hungry after long walk, can eat local snacks on the street and tast Sichuan cuisine. Chongqing was built along the mountain, therefore was given the name of “Mountain City”, it is also a “Foggy City” due to the surrounding ligh clouds and heavy fog. During summer season, it is a “furnace”with long heat period, but the scenery is beautiful. Chongqing Snacks are very tasty, is a place of food lover, with wonderful food, atractions and beauties.