Life on the Train (Chongqing-Lhasa, 46 hours)

It was a long ride, indeed- 46 hours on the train to get from Chongqing North train station (China) to Lhasa train station (Tibet). I did long distance train rides before (16-24 hours) but never two day ride. Of course, I could have taken a plane (roughly 2 hours) but I wanted to enjoy the marvelous view of Tibetan scenery, mostly the mountains and lakes, from train’s window. It was definitely worth it and the photos I’ve taken on the train are in my gallery.

The price was not much higher than the plane though as I paid nearly RMB800 for hard sleepers and the flight cost is roughly RMB1.200. Some people take the train due to their health problems as well. You can quickly feel dizzy and giddy, have breathe problems or even pass out. The feeling you get from the sudden lack of oxygen at 4,000 meters is a little like being drunk or sick. I didn’t feel this way at all but I have a massive headache instead and my ears were hurting me a lot, like my head and ears were about to explode. I also had a bad cold so it might be the reason of me feeling an extra pain.

Before getting to Lhasa, we had to get to Chongqing from Xiushan which took us 6 hours.

That’s me at Xiushan train station waiting for our Chongqing train at 9am.

Having some food on the train – yogurt with a bun :).

Finally in Chongqing! We had a couple of hours before our Lhasa train departured  so we did some extra food shopping.

I nearly forgot to print the travel permit documents off so we found an internet cafe where I asked the guy to do it for me.

 Me and Cez bought a lot of food, mainly snickers bars and Chinese instant soups :) :) , lots of water and fruits. We were train ready and at nearly 21.00 we got in the train.

                                                                                                                         (Our platform)

                                                                                               (Ticket check at Chongqing train station)

The train was very clean and quiet. The Chinese we travelled with were much more civilized and well-behaved. The train staff were friendly and helpful which does not happen often in China.

There was an extra oxygen supply at each seat and bed.

The bathroom was super small and I barely managed to clean my face.

Ready to sleep :) My bed was the upper one.

 

The time on the train went pretty fast as I was mostly sleeping and taking photos admiring the beautiful Tibetan scenery. For some reason I was tired all the time and ate much more than I usually do.

I was taking lots of pictures between my meals and naps ;).

Admiring the beautiful Tibetan scenery through the window.

Even when it was freezing cold.

Styling my hair even if I knew I was not leaving the train so soon :).

We met a nice Chinese couple named Cheryl and Evan and we had a great time together, mainly eating, making some comments on the view we saw through the train window and talking about life in China.

Evan seemed to be a professional photographer with a great quality digital camera so we took an advantage of him to learn a few tricks to make our photos more effective. They were heading to Lhasa for 20-day mountain hiking so after we got off the train we splitted out.

Thank God China allows us to use QQ so we can stay in touch with these awesome people!

 The best feeling was when we finally left the train and stepped on Tibetan land :)

WELCOME TO LHASA!

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3 Comments

    • Hey Christine,

      Thanks for the comment. Actually, we had a “tour”, I mean we had to be accompanied by a guide and we booked through agency, but it was a great guy and helped us a lot.

      We are going to publish few articles about Tibet in 2 weeks time (as soon as we leave China). We’ll include much more info there.

      You have a great and entertaining blog. I like your style. Keep us updated!

      Enjoy your travels,
      Cez

  • Brilliant post guys – some of your early posts on here are so so good and this is an example of a real life backpacking journey. I haven’t been to Tibet yet, one day… safe travels. Jonny

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