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Chengdu to Lhasa Train: A Scenic and Convenient Travel Route

Chengdu to Lhasa Train is a hot travel route bridging Tibet with the homeland of giant pandas. The railway crosses 5 provinces and measures 3360 km. Currently, there is only one pair of non-bullet trains, Z322/Z324, running between Chengdu and Lhasa with a duration of 36/36.5 hours. Take the Z322 train at Chengdu station. 

The train journey from Chengdu to Lhasa usually takes around 36 hours, providing ample time to relax, enjoy the stunning scenery, and make lasting memories. The timetable for the train to Chengdu is readily available, allowing passengers to plan their journey accordingly. It is recommended to book your tickets in advance to ensure a seat on the train, as this route is quite popular among both locals and tourists.

Train No.DestinationsDepartArrivalRun TimeDistanceHard SleeperSoft Sleeper
T22Chengdu to Lhasa20:4515:40 (3rd day)42h55m3360kmCNY 689CNY 1101
T24Lhasa to Chengdu10:0008:18 (3rd day)46h18m3360kmCNY 689CNY 1101

Other options for travelling from Chengdu to Lhasa

chengdu Lhasa Flight

The flight from Chengdu to Lhasa offers an incredible opportunity to witness breathtaking landscapes and immerse oneself in a world of ethereal beauty. As you board the plane in Chengdu, a sense of excitement and anticipation fills the air.   

If you prefer to explore other transportation options for travelling to Lhasa from Chengdu, there are flights available as well. However, taking the train offers a unique experience, allowing you to witness the breathtaking views of the Tibetan plateau, snow-capped mountains, and vast grasslands along the way.

The best season to go to Tibet

The ideal time to visit Tibet is from March to November. June, July, and August are the busiest months for tourists and prices are higher during this peak season. April, May, September, or October are the most favourable months to travel to Tibet.

What to prepare for a trip to Tibet:

  1. Take medicine with you. It is recommended to take gastrointestinal medicine, cold medicine, commonly used anti-inflammatory drugs, car sickness drugs, headache powder, analgesic tablets, and some band-aid.
  2.  For clothing,  the temperature in Tibet has a huge difference between day and night time, You need to prepare sweaters and woollen pants also. You can take a fleece jacket and a thick storm suit if you are travelling to Mount Everest or Nagri region. You can wear outdoor low-top casual shoes and a long-brimmed hat to shade the sun.
  3.  Article class UV proof sunglasses, sunscreen, umbrella, camera, with a mobile phone standby

Future Chengdu Lhasa Railway line

Although the linear distance between Chengdu and Lhasa is approximately 1,250km, the train journey covers a total length of 3,360km due to its route passing through the breathtaking region of Qinghai. This additional distance allows passengers to immerse themselves in the stunning landscapes and natural wonders that this part of China has to offer.

A new railway, the Sichuan-Tibet Railway, is being built to connect Chengdu and Tibet. It will shorten travel time to around 13 hours, making it more convenient for tourists and locals. Starting in Chengdu, passengers can explore the city’s cultural heritage and cuisine. The train then passes through Ya’an, known for its scenic beauty and tea plantations.

Views expect to see on Future Sichuan Tibet High-Speed Train

Travellers can visit the famous Giant Panda Breeding Research Base and experience the serene atmosphere of Ya’an. The train then takes them to the majestic landscapes of Garze, a vibrant Tibetan area with snow-capped mountains and grasslands. The journey continues to Chamdo, a hidden gem with ancient monasteries and temples. Finally, passengers reach Nyingchi, known as the “Switzerland of Tibet,” with lush forests and stunning scenery. The Sichuan-Tibet Railway offers a convenient and unforgettable adventure through Chengdu, Ya’an, Garze, Chamdo, and Nyingchi.

Popular Attractions around and in Chengdu 

The train ride from Chengdu to Lhasa is a truly remarkable experience that is often hailed as a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. As you embark on this journey, you are not only embarking on a physical voyage but also on a journey of discovery and immersion into the natural beauty and cultural richness of the region. Before you even board the train, Chengdu itself offers a plethora of attractions and activities that are worth exploring.

Renowned for its delicious cuisine, the city is a food lover’s paradise. From the famous Sichuan hotpot to the mouthwatering mapo tofu, Chengdu’s culinary scene will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving more. Be sure to visit the bustling Jinli Street, where you can sample a wide variety of local dishes and shop for traditional handicrafts. Chengdu is also steeped in vibrant culture and history.

Giant Panda Breeding Research Base

The city is home to the iconic Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, a must-visit for any animal lover. Here, you can witness these adorable creatures in their natural habitat, observe their playful antics, and even volunteer to participate in their care. It’s an incredible opportunity to connect with nature and learn more about the conservation efforts being made to protect these endangered species.

Wuhou Memorial Temple

Another historical gem in Chengdu is the Wuhou Memorial Temple. Dedicated to the legendary figure of Zhuge Liang, a renowned strategist and statesman from the Three Kingdoms period, the temple pays homage to his wisdom and influence. As you explore its intricate architecture and serene surroundings, you can gain a deeper understanding of the rich historical tapestry that has shaped the region.

Mount Emei

One of the most prominent attractions near Chengdu is Mount Emei. Rising majestically to a height of 3,099 meters, Mount Emei is one of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its lush green slopes are adorned with ancient temples, tranquil streams, and breathtaking viewpoints. As visitors ascend the mountain, they are greeted by a peaceful atmosphere, serene forests, and the melodious sound of birdsong. The journey to the summit is not only a physical challenge but also a spiritual one, as it offers an opportunity for introspection and connection with nature.

Leshan Buddha

Another must-visit attraction near Chengdu is the awe-inspiring Leshan Buddha. Carved into the side of Lingyun Mountain, the Leshan Giant Buddha is the largest stone Buddha statue in the world, standing at a towering height of 71 meters. This colossal masterpiece dates back to the Tang Dynasty and showcases remarkable craftsmanship. Visitors can take a boat tour to appreciate the Buddha from the water or explore the surrounding area, which is dotted with ancient temples and scenic hiking trails.

For those seeking spiritual enlightenment, Chengdu offers a plethora of Buddhist temples. These temples serve as peaceful sanctuaries where one can immerse themselves in the teachings of Buddhism, meditate, and find inner peace. From the tranquil Wenshu Monastery, famous for its exquisite architecture and beautiful gardens, to the historic Baoguang Temple, Chengdu’s Buddhist temples offer a unique glimpse into the city’s spiritual heritage.

Mount Qingcheng

Mount Qingcheng is a stunning mountain in Chengdu, China, known for its beauty and historical significance. Divided into Front and Back Mountains, the Front Mountain boasts lush greenery, ancient temples, and a peaceful atmosphere. The highlight is the Jianfu Palace, a magnificent temple from the Tang Dynasty. The Back Mountain offers a more adventurous experience with cliffs, valleys, and forests. Hiking trails lead to hidden caves and breathtaking vistas. The mountain is also associated with Taoist philosophy and has numerous temples. Mount Qingcheng offers a captivating blend of nature and culture, making it a must-visit destination.

Chunxi Road

On a different note, for shopaholics and food enthusiasts, Chunxi Road is an absolute paradise. Located in the heart of Chengdu, Chunxi Road is a bustling pedestrian street lined with trendy boutiques, international brands, and mouthwatering street food stalls. From fashionable clothing to traditional Sichuan snacks, Chunxi Road offers an unforgettable shopping and culinary experience. Strolling along this vibrant street, visitors can immerse themselves in the energetic atmosphere, indulge in local delicacies like spicy hotpot and Sichuan noodles, and shop till they drop. In conclusion, Chengdu and its surrounding areas are brimming with fascinating attractions that cater to a wide range of interests.

Whether one seeks natural beauty, cultural immersion, spiritual exploration, or retail therapy, this vibrant city has something to offer everyone. From the serene Mount Emei to the grandeur of Leshan Buddha, the tranquillity of Buddhist temples to the excitement of Chunxi Road, these popular attractions near Chengdu promise unforgettable experiences that will leave visitors awe-inspired and longing to return.

Life on Board

Like all Lhasa-bound trains, the train from Chengdu to Lhasa is specifically designed for high-altitude conditions and is equipped with modern amenities such as air conditioning, a supercharging system, an oxygen supply, and an altitude display. It is also carefully sealed to maintain normal air pressure and prevent littering. Additionally, the carriages feature double-paned windows and ultraviolet filters to shield passengers from harmful radiation. Today, the train journey is highly sought after for its stunning and distinctive scenery along the Chengdu-Tibet railway.

Chengdu North Railway Station

Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province, serves as a key gateway to Western China. Its relaxed lifestyle, advantageous location, and thriving commerce have enticed over 100 renowned global companies to establish themselves in Chengdu. The city’s rapid growth has also resulted in significant improvements to its public transportation. Tourists can conveniently reach Chengdu Railway Station by taking the airport bus or subway.

  •  Chengdu has currently two railway stations, Chengdu North Railway, and Chengdu East Railway, Chengdu to Lhasa Train departs from North Railway Station.
  • Away from the entrance of Chengdu Railway Station are many green taxis waiting for newly-arrived travellers.
  • The ticket inspector is checking tickets at Chengdu Railway Station when travellers are boarding the train.

Transportation to Chengdu Railway Station

By Bus

1. To/from Chengdu Railway Station (成都站): 2, 9, 16, 17, 27, 34, 36, 50, 54, 55, 65, 83, 86, 108, 123, 298, K1, K2

2. To/from Chengdu Shuangliu Airport (成都双流机场): Airport Shuttle Bus 2

3. To/from Chengdu Chadianzi Bus Station (成都茶店子汽车站): 17 and 86

By Metro

Metro Line 1: straight to Chengdu Railway Station (成都站) Metro Line 2: Tianfu Square Station (天府广场站) – change to Metro Line 1 – Chengdu Railway Station (成都站)

If you wish to stay near Chengdu Train Station before or after your train ride, there are plenty of hotels to choose from. These establishments cater to different budgets and offer comfortable accommodations for weary travellers. From luxury hotels with world-class amenities to budget-friendly options, there is something to suit every traveller’s needs.

Other Alternatives to Chengdu-Lhasa Train

The Qinghai-Tibet train is highly popular. Buying train tickets individually during peak season is very challenging. If unsuccessful, one should not be discouraged. Another option is to take a train or plane from Chengdu to Xining, the actual starting point of the Qinghai-Tibet railway, and then proceed to Tibet from Xining. There are multiple daily trains to Lhasa from Xining, with an even larger capacity than the Chengdu-Lhasa train. Acquiring tickets is much simpler.

However, some travellers may find it uncomfortable to spend 47 hours on the train. Since most of the picturesque views can be seen in the final part of the railway line, specifically from Golmud to Lhasa, it may be a bit of a waste to take the train all the way from Chengdu to Xining. If you have sufficient funds, we highly recommend flying from Chengdu to Xining and then continuing to Tibet by train. This approach allows you to save both time and energy.

Tibet Travel Permit is Must needed document to take Guangzhou Lhasa Train

To travel to Tibet from Chengdu by train, you need a permit. You can book tickets without them, but you must have them to board the train. Backpackers cannot enter Tibet independently, so you need a travel agency to help you apply for the Tibet Travel Permit in advance. The permit and your ticket will be checked during check-in. A photocopy of the permit is acceptable in Chengdu. Usually, travel agencies obtain the permit a few days before your train journey and deliver it to your hotel. Once approved, the train ride offers breathtaking views and encounters with Tibetan culture. It also provides time for introspection and a sense of tranquillity. The permit is worth the effort for the transformative experience of exploring Tibet’s beauty, culture, and spirituality.

Tibet Travel Permit Girl permit copy

To explore Tibet by train, you need a Tibet travel permit. This permit is crucial and different from a Chinese visa. To obtain it, book a tour with a registered travel agency in Tibet. They will assist with the application process and provide knowledgeable guides. Apply in advance with accurate personal information to avoid rejection. 

What sort of window view do we expect to see on Tibet Train?

Just like a car road trip, one can enjoy the scenery on both sides. The stunning scenery along the Beijing-Lhasa railway will never disappoint. As the train passes Xining and enters the Golmud region, breathtaking views appear one after another. Capture this memorable experience with your camera. Major attractions include Qarhan Salt Lake, Yuzhu Peak, Kekexili Nature Reserve, Tuotuo He River, Tangula Pass, Tsonag Lake, Qiangtang Prairie, Namtso, etc.

img 0658

Riding the Qinghai-Tibet train is an unforgettable experience. The train is designed for high altitudes and offers breathtaking views. For more information on the scenery, Please check here.

Travel Tips for Catching Your Train

  1. Verify your train ticket and ensure that you arrive at the appropriate train station.
  2. You will be granted access to the train 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time. The train will be sealed off 5 minutes before departure, so make sure to be punctual.
  3. While waiting in the designated area, please consult the real-time train schedule and a display showing the boarding time for your train.
  4. Form a queue for the ticket inspection conducted by the ticket collectors or insert your ticket into the turnstile (be certain to select the correct platform).
  5. Present your ticket to the train attendant stationed at the doorway of your train carriage before embarking on your journey.
tibet Train on Grassland Views

Important things to Note:

  • The schedule above is only for reference.
  • Foreign tourists must obtain a Tibet Entry Permit before buying a train ticket to Tibet. Ticket-only service is not available.
  • Tibet train tickets sell out fast, so inquire 3-5 months before departure.
  • Limited tickets from Beijing to Lhasa, so fly to Xining and take a train to Lhasa instead.

Feel free to contact us to inquire about customizing a Tibet tour that includes a flight to Tibet. We will respond to your inquiry within 24 hours.

The link for the official ticket booking website is www.12306.cn  . since there is no English service. Find someone who can read the Chinese language for help.

In conclusion, travelling from Chengdu to Lhasa by train is an enchanting experience that allows you to witness the beauty of the Tibetan plateau. The well-planned train schedules, convenient transportation options to the train station, and a range of hotels nearby make this journey a popular choice among travellers. Whether you choose to explore Chengdu’s popular attractions or simply sit back and enjoy the scenic train ride, this adventure promises to be an unforgettable one.

About the author

The Tibetan Travel website's creator, hailing from Lhasa, is a cultural enthusiast. They promote responsible tourism, connecting the world to Tibet's beauty and heritage. Awards recognize their contribution.
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