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Is it possible to break train journey to Lhasa at some sites

June,10 2023 BY Sonam Tenphel 0 COMMENTS

Taking a train to Lhasa is the most popular way to Tibet for tourists can experience the world’s highest railway and view the amazing scenery along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. Since most train routes from the mainland of China take around 3 days (including 2 nights onboard), some tourists want to break their train journey to Lhasa into sections and visit some sites along the railway.

Can I break my train journey to Tibet? Can I get off the train at some stops and get on another train to Tibet with the same ticket? Here are the answers.

Is it possible to break the Tibet train journey before Xining?

If you plan to take a Tibet train from Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, or any other popular gateway cities in the mainland of China and want to visit Xi’an, Lanzhou, or Xining en route, it is better to get to these cities first, and then continue your journey to Tibet by train from that city.

For example, if you want to take a Chengdu to Lhasa train and stop over in Xining for a few days, then you need to buy the tickets separately, i.e. Chengdu to Xining and Xining to Lhasa.

Because if you buy the train ticket from Chengdu to Lhasa, once you get off the train at Xining and stay there for days, the original ticket is voided. You need to buy a new train ticket from Xining to Lhasa.

visit Tar TempleYou can get off the train at Xining and visit Tar Temple

Simply put, the train and time you take must be the same as the information on your ticket.

So if you get the long journey train ticket, just prepare for your days onboard. If you want to visit some sites en route, just buy your train ticket separately for different sections.

Can I get off the train at some stops from Xining to Lhasa?

Yes, you can get off the Train to Tibet at some stops for a short break on the platform but can’t go outside the station.

Actually, there are just a few stops along the Qinghai-Tibet railway from Xining to Lhasa. It is not advisable to get off the train from Xining to Lhasa on the way because it might be dangerous for you to travel in some areas along the railway which runs through areas with harsh conditions and few populations.

Furthermore, it is not necessary to break your Tibet train journey to enjoy the scenery along the way. The Tibet train has large windows that provide excellent views of the landscape. You can see the scenery outside of the train through the sightseeing windows on the air-conditioned train with the oxygen supplement.

Qinghai LakeThe Qinghai-Tibet Railway runs through the beautiful Qinghai Lake

Tips for Breaking Your Train journey to Tibet

1. If you do decide to break your train tour to Tibet, it is important to plan your itinerary carefully and ensure that you have enough time to visit the sites and catch the next train to Lhasa.

2. If you break your journey to Tibet into sections, you only need to provide your last city of entry to Tibet when applying for the Tibet Travel Permit. For example, if you are departing from Chengdu but want to visit Xining for a few days before taking the train to Tibet, then you just need to mention Xining as the entry city when applying for the Tibet Permit. In this case, the permit is only needed to board the train from Xining to Lhasa.


You can’t break the train tourney to Tibet with the same ticket since there is no “anytime ticket” for Tibet trains. If you want to visit some sites before boarding the train to Lhasa, you can arrange your itinerary into sections and buy the ticket separately.

During the train journey from Xining to Lhasa, you can get off the train to enjoy the landscapes around the station for a few minutes. Please remember to get back to the train on time.

Anyway, the best way to enjoy the landscapes along the Qinghai Tibet railway is to enjoy the scenery onboard through the large windows. This way, you can enjoy the journey to the fullest and stay safe onboard at the same time.

Sonam Tenphel

About the Author - Sonam Tenphel

Energetic, responsible and reliable, Sonam is a guide with more than seven years experience informing visitors about heritage sites and attractions places in Tibet.

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