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Lhasa to Nagchu by Train: attending Nagchu horse racing festival by Tibet train

January,22 2019 BY Master Kungga Dundruk 0 COMMENTS

Taking Tibet train to Lhasa has become extremely popular among tourists at home and abroad. Covering a total length of 1956 kilometers, Qinghai-Tibet Railway starts from Xining, passes Kunlun Mountain, Wudaoliang, Tuotuo River, Tanggula Mountain, Amdo, Nagchu, Yangbajain, and finally arrives at Lhasa.

As a key component of the sky railway, Nagchu to Lhasa railway was built in June, 2001 and was completed in July, 2006. At an altitude of 4,547 meters above the sea level, Nagchu Railway Station is 322 kilometers away from Lhasa and 820 kilometers away from Golmud. All the Tibet trains would stop over at Nagchu. It takes you about four or five hours to get to Lhasa from Nagchu by train. The expense of soft sleeper is RMB198.5 and the hard sleeper RMB 128.5.

Lhasa - Nagchu Train Schedule & Tickets Online Booking (2019 & 2020)

Lhasa to Nagchu Train Map
Train NumberDepartureArrivalDurationDistanceFrequencyTicket Price
Z6811(Nagchu-Lhasa) 13:45 17:45 4 Hours 322km daily ¥128.5
Hard sleeper
¥198.5
Soft sleeper
Z6812(Lhasa-Nagchu) 18:00 21:34 3.34 Hours daily ¥128.5
Hard sleeper
¥198.5
Soft sleeper

*Note:Due to the development of railway system and an increase of train speed, the duration was shortened by the end of 2017. For the actual arrival and departure time of train, please refer to the information on your ticket, or consult your travel consultant.

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.

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Most Classic Tibet Nagchu Tour by Train (3 sample itineraries)

Daily Timetable of Lhasa-Nagqu Train (2019 & 2020)

Nagchu-Lhasa Train Schedule & Tickets Online Booking (2019 & 2020)

Train NumberDepartureArrivalDurationDistanceFrequencyTicket Price
Z223
(Chongqing-Lhasa)
06:09 09:55 03:46 322km Every other day ¥128.5
Hard sleeper
¥198.5
Soft sleeper
Z323
(Chengdu-Lhasa)
06:09 09:55 03:46 322km Every other day ¥128.5
Hard sleeper
¥198.5
Soft sleeper
Z6801
(Xining-Lhasa)
07:30 11:20 03:50 322km Every other day ¥128.5
Hard sleeper
¥198.5
Soft sleeper
Z917
(Lanzhou-Lhasa)
07:30 11:20 03:50 322km Every other day ¥128.5
Hard sleeper
¥198.5
Soft sleeper
Z21
(Beijing-Lhasa)
08:48 12:26 03:38 322km Daily  ¥128.5
Hard sleeper
¥198.5
Soft sleeper
Z265
(Guangzhou-Lhasa)
12:39 16:19 03:40 322km Every other day ¥128.5
Hard sleeper
¥198.5
Soft sleeper
Z165
(Shanghai-Lhasa)
15:10 19:30 04:20 322km Daily ¥128.5
Hard sleeper
¥198.5
Soft sleeper

Lhasa-Nagchu Train Schedule & Tickets Online Booking (2019 & 2020)

Train NumberDepartureArrivalDurationDistanceFrequencyTicket Price
Z6802
(Lhasa-Xining)
09:00 12:37 03:37 322km Every other day ¥128.5
Hard sleeper
¥198.5
Soft sleeper
Z918
(Lhasa-Lanzhou)
09:00 12:37 03:37 322km Every other day ¥128.5
Hard sleeper
¥198.5
Soft sleeper
Z166
(Lhasa-Shanghai)
11:30 15:08 03:38 322km Daily ¥128.5
Hard sleeper
¥198.5
Soft sleeper
Z266
(Lhasa-Guangzhou)
12:55 16:32 03:37 322km Daily ¥128.5
Hard sleeper
¥198.5
Soft sleeper
Z22
(Lhasa-Beijing)
16:30 19:53 03:23 322km Daily ¥128.5
Hard sleeper
¥198.5
Soft sleeper
Z224
(Lhasa-Chongqing)
18:35 21:54 03:19 322km Every other day ¥128.5
Hard sleeper
¥198.5
Soft sleeper
Z324
(Lhasa-Chengdu)
18:35 21:54 03:19 322km Every other day ¥128.5
Hard sleeper
¥198.5
Soft sleeper

Why we go Lhasa first and then visit Nagchu by train?

Tourists can choose to get off the train at Nagchu Railway Station to appreciate Tibetan Northern Grassland and then head towards Lhasa. However, it’s not suggested to get off at Nagchu immediately for you can hardly adjust to such a high altitude in a short time. The best way is to visit Lhasa first and get well acclimatization in the first few days, then take Tibet train to Nagchu and travel around the northern Tibet. After that, you can choose to continue your Tibet trip back to Lhasa or to mainland China.

Facilities on Lhasa Nagchu Train

The train running between Lhasa and Nagchu is the specially-designed Lhasa Express Train, which is equipped with oxygen supply systems onboard. So you don’t need to worry about getting altitude sickness en route. On each Tibet train, there are soft sleeper cabins, hard sleeper cabins and hard seats for you to choose. Since it is not a long journey from Lhasa to Nagchu, about 4 hours, budget travelers can take the cheapest hard seats. However, for those who want more comfort, the sleeping cabins are better choices.

Soft sleeper cabins of Lhasa Nagchu trainThe soft sleeper of Lhasa Nagchu train is a sleeper berth in a four-bunk cabin with a lockable door.

There is one dining car on the train, which offers three meals a day, some snacks and soft drinks. There is also boiled water supplied 24-hours a day so you can take some instant noodle, instant coffee or tea with you. At the end of each compartment, there are toilets and a public sink area. It is suggested to bring the toiletries yourself onboard.

About Nagchu Railway Station

Established in 2006, Nagchu Railway Station sits close to Qinghai-Tibet Highway. As the wold's highest train station, it serves as the major transit point and staging post along Qinghai-Tibet Railway. In fact, this part of railway is extremely hard to be built, because people have to overcome the difficulty of frozen soil, alpine anoxia as well as ecology fragility. Meanwhile, landslide, earthquake, lightening stroke and other natural disasters may also happen in construction.

About Nagchu County

Although most people know Lhasa, not everyone knows Nagchu. Nagchu means black river in Tibetan language. Squeezing between the Tanggula Mountain and Nianqing Tanggula Mountain, Nagchu is bounded by Damxung County on the south, Nyainrong County and Amdo County on the north, Lhari County and Biru County on the east, and Baingoin County on the west. At the average altitude of over 4,450m, Nagchu has a total area of 16,195 square kilometers, stretching 233km from west to east and 185km from north to south. Nagchu is not only the political, economic, cultural, transportation center in northern Tibet but also a hot destination in Tibet tour.

Major Tour Attractions along Lhasa Nagchu Railway

When you have a train trip from Lhasa to Nagchu, you will have a feast for your eyes. Below are the major highlights in Lhasa Nagchu train tour.

Yangbajain Hot Spring

Yangpachen is located in the Yangbajain town, Damxung County, which is about 90 kilometers northwest to Lhasa City. What makes it famous is the hot spring here except for the biggest power plant by geothermal energy. In Yangbajain, there are both indoor and outdoor swimming pools for tourists to enjoy the hot spring. The temperature the hot spring water is about 30 to 84℃. When you have a hot spring in Yangbajing, you can appreciate the snow mountain far away at the same time.

Yangbajing Hot Spring in TibetIt has become a fashion to enjoy a hot spring bath in Yangpachen for travelers.

The most beautiful moment in Yangbajain is the early morning. The field is surrounded by white fog and you'll feel like being in a paradise. Please avoid strenuous exercise when having hot spring, in case you may have physical problems. If you plan to enjoy the Yangbajing Hot Spring, you need to bring your own swimming suits, or just buy one at the site. It’s suggested to soak for 15 to 20 minutes at one time and take a rest for a while before taking another bath. A long time soak in highland will cause some physical problems. And remember not to soak when you are hungry or drunk. At the edge of the hot spring, there is the Yangbajing Hydropower Station, which offers power for Lhasa city and nearby regions.

Namtso Lake

Namsto Lake is located in the middle area of Tibet. It is the second biggest lake in Tibet and the third biggest saltwater lake in China. The altitude is 4718 meters and it covers an area of more than 1920 square kilometers. The Lake Namtso is one of the three holy lakes in Tibet. The name ‘Namtso’ means lake in the heaven in the Tibetan Language. Famous for its splendid natural beauty, Namtso Lake is also a marvelous destination for you to refresh yourself. With the snow-capped mountains and the turquoise lake surface as the background, the flying prayer flags, the Mani stones, and the nearby temples form a harmonious picture. The best time to trek Namtso and Nianqing Tanggula is from July to September. The main tourist attractions in Namtso are Welcome Stone, Shane Cave, Zhaxi Temple, etc.

Namtso Lake in NagchuEnjoying the stunning view of Namtso Lake and the snow-covered mountain in the distance.

Notice:
1. If you want to visit Namtso by walk, it will take seven to ten days total, with a distance of 280 kilometers.
2. You must make full preparation in case you have an altitude reaction.
3. You should prepare enough food and water during your visit because the replenishment is too short to support you all the time.

Nianqing Tanggula Mountain

Located in Damxung County, Nianqing Tanggula Mountain is one of the main mountains in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The main peak has an altitude of 7111 meters. It faces to Lake Namtso in the northwest. It is said that Nianqing Tanggula and Namtso is a couple, and Nianqing Tanggula falls in love with another beautiful lady. As a result, his wife, Namtso cries day and night and finally turns into the clear lake. Then Nianqing Tanggula regrets and changes into the mountain, guarding around the clear lake. You can feel the magnificent beauty of Nianqing Tanggula Mountain, suddenly thinking that you are too small in front of great nature.

Nianqing Tanggula Mountain and  Lhasa Nagchu trainTraveler can enjoy the imposing Nianqing Tanggula Mountain on Lhasa Nagchu train.

How to plan Nagchu Horse Racing Festival tour from Lhasa by train?

The famous Nagchu Horse Racing Festival usually falls in August and lasts for 5 to 15 days every year. It is one of the top three horse racing festivals in Tibet (another two are Litang Horse Racing Festival and Yushu Horse Racing Festival). If you plan to experience the local Tibetan horse racing festival with a Tibet train experience, you need to book Tibet train ticket in advance with your passport and Tibet travel permit. And it is suggested to start your Nagchu Horse Racing Festival from Lhasa.

Furious Horse Rcing in Nagchu Horse Racing FestivalTravelers can watch the grandest horse rcing in Nagchu.

Since the altitude changes greatly from Lhasa (3650m) to Nagchu (4436m), you’d better visit Lhasa in the first few days to explore Potala Palace - the landmark of Tibet, Jokhang Temple - the spiritual center of Tibetan Buddhism, Barkhor Street - the most famous pilgrimage kora in Lhasa, and other must-see attractions to get used to the high altitude of Tibetan plateau.

Then you can take Lhasa train for Nagchu Horse Festival with the spectacular alpine scenery passing outside the window. It’s advised to spare 2 to 3 days in Nagchu to enjoy various kinds of traditional Tibetan activities, like folk dancing and singing show, Tibetan opera performance, Buddhist activities, yak racing, tug-of-war, stone raising, etc. Besides, you can also taste traditional Tibetan food and snacks made by the local Tibetans. After that, you can take the train from Nagchu back to Lhasa or to Xining, Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai, etc.

Join-in Most Popular Tibetan Festival Tour

Conclusion

Besides the traditional way to get to Nagchu from Lhasa by road, tourists now can also take Tibet train from Lhasa to Nagchu to visit Lake Namtso or attend the horse racing festival. Every day, there are five to six trains running between Lhasa and Nagchu from early morning to the evening. The Lhasa Nagchu train tickets can be bought at Lhasa Railway Station and Nagchu Railway Station with your passport and Tibet travel permit. Or you can you can book the train ticket together with your Tibet tour from us. Just simply tell us your travel plan, your preferred date and route, we will handle all the things for you.

Master Kungga Dundruk

About the Author - Master Kungga Dundruk

The Lhasa-born prodigy used to study business overseas, and got his Bachelor of Business in Nepal and India before moving back to his homeland.With pure passion for life and unlimited love for Tibet, Kunga started his guide career as early as 1997.

Responsible, considerate and humorous, he devoted his entire life guiding and serving international tourists travelling in Tibet.As a legendary Tibetan travel guru with 20-year pro guide experience , he once had an exclusive interview with the US media. Currently he is working in Tibet Vista as the Tour Operating Director. Whenever our clients run into troubles, he is your first call and will offer prompt support.

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