It is often said that China looks at Shenzhen in 20 years, Shanghai in 100 years, Beijing in 1,000 years, but Xi’an in 5,000 years. Xi’an, together with Athens, Rome, and Cairo, is one of the four ancient capitals in the world. As a famous tourist center in China, Xi’an firstly attracts by its great number of cultural landscapes, a wide range of species and distribution, and it is well known both inside and outside of the country for its value. The train from Xi’an will take only 31 hours to reach Lhasa. Along the way, you may enjoy the beautiful scenery of Tibet railway. However, you should be noted that since there is no starting train from Xi’an to Lhasa at present, and Xi’an station is unlike Xining, all the trains shall pass by and stay for about 20 minutes, therefore, it’s very hard to get a train ticket from Xi’an to Lhasa during the peak period.
1. The overview of Xian – Lhasa train schedule:
In addition, the train No. Z165 from Shanghai to Lhasa will also stop in Xi’an, which will arrive in Xi’an at 11:14 am, stop for 10 minutes and leave at 11:24 am.
2. How do foreign tourists buy train tickets from Xian 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 Xian 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 the train ticket from Xian to Lhasa:
☆ 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 to Lhasa from Xian:
☆ 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 Golmud 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. Packing List for taking Xian to Lhasa Train:
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 Ranges (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. Cell phone 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. Xi'an Railway Station Traffic Guide:
Xi’an Railway Station is one of the hub station in mainland China, the station is located on the North Circle Road in Xincheng District were on the north of Jiefang Gate and Xi’an wall. Xi’an Railway Station is one of the traffic hubs and there are many bus stations in front, Eastern and Western side of the station, plus Shanxi, Xian bus Station. The address of Xi’an Railway Station is: No. 151, Huancheng North Road, Xincheng District, Xian, Shanxi. Currently, there are Wulong Express, Airport Express Line2, Overnight Express Line1 – Line 3 may reach there. In the future, the Metro Line 4 also will pass by.