No Hong Kong to Lhasa Train? 4 Best Options to Experience Tibet Train Tours from Hong Kong
Up to now, there is no direct train from Hong Kong to Tibet. However, with the developments in transportation infrastructure over the last few years, now options for getting to Tibet from Hong Kong by train have opened up.
You can board high-speed trains from Hong Kong to Tibetan gateway cities (Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, and Chongqing) and then hop on the Tibet train to Lhasa.
Here, we introduce the 4 best ways to experience a Tibet train journey from Hong Kong.
There is no direct train to Tibet from Hong Kong
While direct trains to Tibet from Hong Kong are not currently available, the opening of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail in 2018 has substantially enhanced travel convenience.
You can board high-speed trains departing from Hong Kong West Kowloon Station, which links to gateway cities in the mainland of China. From there, taking a train to Tibet becomes easily manageable.
Only 7 Gateway Cities in the Mainland of China that Operate Trains to Tibet
Direct trains to Lhasa are only operated from seven mainland cities. These gateway cities are Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, and Lanzhou. Now that direct trains from Hong Kong to the mainland of China are available, you can take a direct high-speed train to some of these cities. The most popular options are Guangzhou, Chengdu, Beijing or Shanghai. These cities either offer convenience for the transfer to Lhasa or have many sites of their own that are worth spending a few days visiting.
Multiple options to travel from Hong Kong to Tibet
Another more traditional choice is flying from Hong Kong to one of the gateway cities and then taking a train to Lhasa from there. Xining, for example, offers the shorted direct train to Tibet. It takes an additional transfer to get there from Hong Kong by arriving in Xining by air and then taking the train, which is the fastest way to arrive at Lhasa train station.
Keep reading to find out more about the most popular choices.
Best Option 1: Take a Train to Tibet from Hong Kong via Guangzhou is the Most Convenient Way
The most convenient option is to take a train from Hong Kong to Guangzhou and then from Guangzhou to Lhasa. Every day, there are 36 high-speed trains from Hong Kong West Kowloon to Guangzhou South Railway Station from 8:06 to 22:33, at least two trains every hour. The ride takes about 1 hour and 215 yuan for a second-class seat ticket.
Upon your arrival, take the metro Line 2 at Guangzhou South Railway Station towards Jiahewanggang (嘉禾望岗) and get off at Guangzhou Railway Station. The metro ride takes about 45 minutes and 6 yuan, while a taxi ride takes about 50 minutes and 90 yuan.
The Guangzhou to Lhasa Train Z264 departs daily at 9:15 am from Guangzhou Railway Station and arrives at Lhasa Railway Station at 14:17 on the third day after 53 hours, covering a distance of 4,980 kilometers and being the longest railway route to Lhasa. That’s to say, you’ll spend the next two days from the south all the way to central and western China and enjoy the bigger picture of the most diversified landscapes and cities in China. If you are a big fan of train journeys, this travel route to Tibet will be the ultimate journey you are looking for.
The train to Lhasa from Guangzhou via the Qinghai-Tibet Railway
Thanks to the high frequency of high-speed trains between Hong Kong and Guangzhou, you can choose to board the Tibet train on the same day or explore Guangzhou for a few days before heading for Lhasa, making this railway route the most convenient one from Hong Kong to Tibet.
Best Option 2: Take a Train to Tibet from Hong Kong via Chengdu for the Best Transfer Experience
G2964, the only bullet train from Hong Kong to Chengdu, departs daily at 10:08 from West Kowloon and arrives at Chengdu East Railway Station at 18:23. This ride takes 8 hours and 15 minutes. It costs 875 yuan for a second-class ticket.
The Chengdu to Lhasa train departs every other day, so check the schedule before booking if you don't want to stay in Chengdu. The train Z322 departs at 21:11 and arrives at Lhasa Railway Station at 7:41 am on the third day morning after 34 hours and 30 minutes. This is the shortest Hong Kong-Lhasa train route, with about 43 hours on trains in total.
Chengdu is a great city to explore, so consider spending some time there before continuing to Lhasa. Even if it is just one day, you can try the incredible food and see the famous pandas at the Panda Base.
You will not miss the chance to visit Chengdu Panda Base for the cute giant pandas.
Best Option 3: Take a Train to Tibet from Hong Kong via Xining with the Shortest Train Ride
The 21-hour train ride from Xining to Lhasa is the shortest train ride available, making it a popular choice. There is no direct high-speed train or flight to Xining from Hong Kong, so you will need to transfer through another mainland city for this option.
To save as much travel time as possible while still enjoying the train to Lhasa, you can fly from Hong Kong to Chengdu to see the lovely giant pandas and then fly from Chengdu to Xining for the Xining to Lhasa train, the essence of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. There are 3-5 direct flights from Chengdu to Xining every day, and the ride takes about 2 hours and 40 minutes.
Xining is the initial point of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway (Qingzang Railway) and the closest gateway city to Tibet. It only takes you around 21 hours from Xining to Lhasa by train. That’s to say, the total time you need to spend on a plane and train is about 25.5 hours. Meanwhile, you can stay in Xining (2,275m) for around two days to visit Kumbum Monastery and Qinghai Lake and adapt to the high altitude before heading for Tibet.
Qinghai Lake view.
Best Option 4: Take a Train to Tibet from Hong Kong via Beijing or Shanghai as the Most Classic Way
The Beijing to Lhasa train and the Shanghai to Lhasa train are the most classic and popular train journeys to Tibet. They are both accessible from Hong Kong via the high-speed railway.
G80, the only direct train from Hong Kong to Beijing, departs at 11:00 every morning from West Kowloon and arrives at Beijing West Railway Station at 19:30. The ride takes 8.5 hours and costs 1,176 yuan for a second-class ticket.
Z21, the direct Beijing to Lhasa train, departs from the same train station in Beijing at 19:53. The train arrives at Lhasa Railway Station at 11:36 am two days later, after a 39 ride through 3,757 kilometers over eight provinces between Beijing and Lhasa. It might be tough to catch the train on the same day, so consider planning to stay in Beijing overnight or for a few days and tour around the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Great Wall, and Tiananmen Square before heading to Tibet.
Beijing to Lhasa Railway Map
G100, the only train from Hong Kong to Shanghai, departs every day at 11:36 am from West Kowloon and arrives at Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station at 19:25. The ride takes 8 hours and 13 minutes. It costs 894 yuan for a second-class ticket.
Since the Shanghai to Lhasa train departs at 18:33 from Shanghai Railway Station, about 20km away, travelers must stay overnight in Shanghai. We warmly suggest you stay around Shanghai Railway Station because it is located downtown and about 8km from the Bund, Yu Garden, Oriental Pearl TV Towel, and Shanghai Museum. You can visit these famous attractions in the daytime, get on Shanghai-Lhasa Train Z164 at 18:33, and reach Lhasa Railway Station at 15:05 two days later after 44 hours, 32 minutes.
The transfer from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to Shanghai Railway Station is convenient, too. The metro ride takes about 45 minutes and 5 yuan, while a taxi takes about 50 minutes and costs around 70 yuan.
Shanghai to Lhasa Railway Map
Please note that it can be very difficult to buy tickets during peak season times. Try to make your reservation as early as possible.
What Travel Documents are Required for a Tibet Train Tour from Hong Kong?
International travelers need a valid passport and Tibet Travel Permit to visit Tibet. For international travelers who can enjoy China’s visa exemption policy, the Tibet Travel Permit can be applied for directly.
Travelers from countries that need a visa to enter China must obtain their China visa before applying for the Tibet Travel Permit.
Travelers with a Hong Kong or Macau passport do not need to apply for a Tibet Travel Permit.
To ensure you a hassle-free trip to Tibet, we offer Tibet tour packages that include all the necessary travel documents for your Tibet journey. Your convenience and peace of mind are our top priorities. So, relax and let us handle the details while you focus on enjoying your journey to the fullest.
Although there is no direct train from Hong Kong to Lhasa, you can now reach Tibet from Hong Kong by either train or flight via gateway cities in the mainland of China. The opening of high-speed train routes from Hong Kong to these cities makes it more convenient and enjoyable to experience both the modern bullet train journey and the classic Tibet train tour via the world's highest Qinghai-Tibet railway.
No matter how you plan to travel from Hong Kong to Lhasa, we will provide wholehearted service to you. Feel free to tell us your travel plans, and our travel consultants will tailor-make the most suitable travel route for you.
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