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Beijing to Lhasa Train Travel Guide, Tickets Booking Online

Author: Derek Wong

Last Updated:Jan 30, 2015 More Articles of Derek Wong

Launched as early as in July, 2006, Beijing-Lhasa train (T27) has served as one of the three initial railway routes of Qinghai-Tibet Railway, with other two major railway lines moving from Chengdu to Lhasa and Xining to Lhasa. Beijing-Lhasa train stretches as far as 3757km and crosses over 8 provinces and it takes around 43 hours and 51mins from Beijing to Lhasa and its return train is T28(Lhasa-Beijing).

Beijing to Lhasa Train Route


(Map of Beijing-Lhasa Train)

Timetable of Beijing-Lhasa Train (2015)

Train Number






Ticket Price




42:42 hours



(hard sleeper)

(soft sleeper)




42:59 hours


(hard sleeper)

(soft sleeper)

About ticket price:
The ticket prices above are the net price. In reality, as traveling in Tibet is so popular that the actual ticket demand far exceeds the supply, in-bound and out-bound tourists have to pay more than the net price to buy tickets. The actual price is subject to the market fluctuation. In some cases, the actual price could be double than the net price. Despite the uncertainty and difficulty in purchasing train tickets, Tibet Vista would manage to book tickets at a reasonable price ( usually 20 percent lower than the market price) and promise to offer free service for it. If tourists only want to buy train tickets via Tibet Vista without intending to travel to Tibet, Tibet Vista will have to charge a small amount of service fee.

Beijing is the best place to begin Qinghai-Tibet train journey

Beijing is considered as the best place to begin Tibet Journey because Beijing enjoys easy transportation and China’s classical historical attractions. Known as the capital and one of the most vibrant cosmopolitans of China, Beijing is often the first option for foreign travellers to access China. Beijing Capital International Airport, being the second busiest airport in the world, has an annual throughput of over 83.71 million passengers in 2013 and it can literally receive travellers from any part of the globe and vice versa.

Beijing West Railway Sation

( the departure hall of Beijing West Train Station)

Foreign tourists may choose to land in Beijing and tour some must-see attractions such as  Forbidden City, Summer Palace,Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, etc en route to Tibet by Qinghai-Tibet railway. Besides, some of tourists can continue their journey to Nepal via Tibet.  In fact, Beijing-Tibet-Nepal is one of the most pupular tourism routes for travelers to travel in Asia. 


Best Way to Book Beijing-Lhasa Train Ticket

The booking of Beijing-Lhasa Train ticket is quite busy throughout the year, because Beijing – Lhasa Rail line is a crucial passage that connects China central government with Tibet. On the one hand, a large number of tourists from all walks of life are travelling between these two places all year around and part of the tickets are also reserved for governmental affairs. On the other hand, the remaining tickets are booked by various travel agencies for organizing train tour to Tibet. That is why it is very difficult for individual tourists to book ticket on their own both on-line and off-line. 


To individual tourists, the best solution is to contact a reliable travel agency and book the Beijing-Lhasa train ticket through their hands at least one month in advance. Tibet Vista can provide such timely tickets booking service, and also offer “Train Ticket + Tibet Tour” packages. 


How to Read Beijing to Lhasa Ticket and What Are Needed for Booking?

Information on a train ticket Beijing to Lhasa
( Information Guide on a Beijing to Lhasa Train ticket ) 

If someone wants totravel to Tibet by railway from Beijing, it is also important to know how toget the permit to enter into Tibet. You do not need the permit to book the tickets but you do need it to board the train. Is still notpossible to enter in Tibet as backpackers, so travelers need the help of travelagency to apply for Tibet Travel Permit in advance. Tibet Travel Permit as wellas your ticket need to be checked when you check in. Photo copy of the permitis acceptable in Beijing west railway station, while original one is required inXian. Normally, travel agencies get your permit some days before you board thetrain for Lhasa and deliver it to your hotel. 

See more detailed :  Tibet Train Ticket Booking Notice


Hard Sleeper VS Soft Sleeper 


Normally, there are two categories of accommodation available in Qinghai-Tibet Train, namely hard sleeper (second class ticket), soft sleeper(first class ticket). 

Hard Sleeper Berth
( A Chinese tourist is smiling in the hard sleeper. In the aisle is a man playing with his camera on a fold-out chair.)
Soft Sleeper Berth

(A glimpse of cozy soft sleeper in the carriage of Qinghai-TIbet Train)

A typical hard sleeper consists of 6 bunks and there is no door for such compartment. Besides, the cramped space within each cabin leads to little privacy and the passengers moving in the aisle may interrupt one’s sleep. Yet, travellers can meet and make friends with different people and the ticket is much cheaper than soft sleeper.


Compared with hard sleeper, soft sleeper is highly recommended for a number of reasons. Firstly, long ride demands quality accommodation in the train. Cozy, quiet and private, soft sleeper promises tourists a relatively comfortable ride. In soft sleeper, there are only 4 bunks and the room is much spacious than hard sleeper. In addition, the soft sleeper has a door that can be shut down. Thus, the personal property of tourists and a sound sleep can be better guaranteed at night.  



How to Get to Beijing West Railway Station 


Though there are 5 railway stations in Beijing, Beijing-Lhasa Train starts from Beijing West Railway Station. Tourists can choose an route to the railway station to that suits you best. 


Beijing West Railway Station
( The Entrance of Beijing West Railway Station)

Beijing to Lhasa Train by the platform

(Subway to Beijing West Railway Station)

Like many other cosmopolitans around the world, Beijing has one of the most sophisticated subway systems that allow travellers to get to any major scenic spots with ease. 

Beijing Subway System
( The intricate and advanced subway system offers travellers an easy access to Beijing West Railway Station from all directions.)
If you are planing your trip to Lhasa from Beijing by train or have any questions about the travelling to Tibet by train, please feel free to contact us for consultation. We are ready to help you out. 
Fast Tranfer route to Beijing West Railway Station from airport
airport to train station
(Beijing Capital International Airport→Beijing West Railway Station)

Tips: To successfully board the Beijing-Lhasa train, foreign tourists must take and show personal passport, Tibet Travel Permit and train ticket to the train inspector. If one wants to sit with his/her friends, he/she may find train personnel to change tickets. If it is necessary, one has to follow the special boarding passage to board the train under the instruction of staff of railway station. 


Life on the Beijing-Lhasa Train 

What sort of window view do we expect to see ?

Just like the road trip by car, one could enjoy the scenery on both side of the road. The stunning scenery along the Beijing-Lhasa railway line will never let you down. As the train passes Xining and enters Golmud region, the breathtaking view appears one after another. Be sure to capture the memorable experience with your camera.  Major attractions are Qarhan Salt Lake, Yuzhu Peak, Kekexili Nature Reserve, Tuotuo He River, Tangula pass, Tsonag Lake, Qiangtang prairie, Namtso, etc. 

Sightseeing on board
( On the Beijing-Lhasa train , a foreign tourist is gazing out of the window.)

Having a ride on Qinghai-Tibet train like Beijing-Lhasa route is definitely the experience of a lifetime. Besides, the long distance and pressurized train tailor-made for acclimatization of extreme altitude make the ride different from other train journey. Following tips are suggested for tourists to better enjoy the life on Beijing-Lhasa train. See more: detailed introduction of scenery of Qinghai-Tibet railway.

What to eat in the train?
restuarant car
( Three tourists are waiting for dishes in the dining car.)

You may bring some instant noodles, snacks and fruits to eat or simply as a way to pass the time as the long ride begins. Chinese food is readily available in dinning car. Yet, the menu may not be in English and the waiter or waitress may not speak English. So, bringing an English-Chinese phrase book could be a big help in some cases. Next small but important thing is to have enough tissue or toilet paper. Because it is used fast and one won’t find any replacement if it runs out.


Do we have to be worried about the altitude sickness?

Oxygen Supply
    ( A foreign tourist is using oxygen outlet to replenish himself with fresh air in the aisle.) 

This is no need to be panic about altitude sickness. To better adapt to high altitude, Beijing-Lhasa train is tight sealed and pressurized like an airplane.Therefore, smoking is not allowed. In addition, the cabin and aisle of each cabin and compartment are equipped with oxygen supply outlet. As the train ascends to Tanggula Pass, the highest point of railway line, the oxygen is automatically pumped into the train and tourists can also manually use the oxygen outlet to minimize altitude sickness symptoms such as headache, dizziness, fatigue,nausea,etc. It is advisable to bring altitude sickness medicines to ease the discomfort. 

What sort of window view do we expect tosee ?

Window View on the Train
(A tourist is lying comfortably in the soft sleeper,enjoying the snow-capped mountainous range out of the window.)

Just like the road trip by car, one could enjoy the scenery on both sideof the road. The stunning scenery along the Beijing-Lhasa railway line willnever let you down.As thetrain pass Xining and enter Golmud region, the breathtaking view appears oneafter another. Be sure to capture the memorable experience with your camera.  

Major attractions areQarhan Salt Lake,Yuzhu Peak, KekexiliNature Reserve, Tuotuo He River, Tangula pass, Tsonag Lake, Qiangtang prairie,Namtso, etc.   

stunning highland view near Golmod
( A glimpse ofstunning vista of Gobi Desert in Golmud in fall ) 
See more: detailed introduction of scenery of Qinghai-Tibet railway 

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