Exploring Tibet from Hong Kong: Train Travel and Stunning Scenery

Explore the multiple routes and extensive details for travellers departing from Hong Kong to embark on an incredible journey to Tibet through mainland China. This comprehensive guide delves into train routes, local experiences, and in-depth information to make your trip seamless and enriching.

Hong Kong serves as the primary entry point to China and beyond and is a significant hub for trade, commerce, and industry in Asia. Accessing Hong Kong is convenient for any nation, with numerous scheduled flights arriving at this bustling commercial centre daily. English is widely spoken in Hong Kong, facilitating smooth navigation for international visitors.

Latest Timetable and Schedule of Hong Kong Lhasa Train

Train No.From / ToDep. / Arr.DurationDistance (km)FrequencyFirst Class TicketPremium Class Ticket
Z812Hung Hom Kowloon/Guangzhou East07:25/09:241:59173DailyHK$210
Z824Hung Hom Kowloon/Guangzhou East08:15/10:121:57173DailyHK$210HK$250
Z820Hung Hom Kowloon/Guangzhou East09:24/11:231:59173DailyHK$210
Z804Hung Hom Kowloon/Guangzhou East10:52/12:511:59173DailyHK$210
Z808Hung Hom Kowloon/Guangzhou East11:32/13:261:54173DailyHK$210
Z814Hung Hom Kowloon/Guangzhou East12:23/14:171:54173DailyHK$210
Z826Hung Hom Kowloon/Guangzhou East13:11/15:081:57173DailyHK$210HK$250
Z818Hung Hom Kowloon/Guangzhou East14:32/16:311:59173DailyHK$210
Z810Hung Hom Kowloon/Guangzhou East16:35/18:341:59173DailyHK$210
Z828Hung Hom Kowloon/Guangzhou East18:00/19:571:57173DailyHK$210HK$250
Z816Hung Hom Kowloon/Guangzhou East18:44/20:431:59173DailyHK$210
Z802Hung Hom Kowloon/Guangzhou East20:01/22:001:59173DailyHK$210

About Hongkong Lhasa Trains

There is no direct train from Hong Kong to Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Visitors must change to one of the seven major cities in mainland China that serve the Tibet Trains. Flights can be arranged to other cities that serve the Tibet routes, but if you prefer to travel by train, the best option is to take the train from Kowloon, Hong Kong to Guangzhou, and then change trains for Lhasa.

Hong Kong is a major trade port and the largest centre for commerce and industry in Southeast Asia. It is officially known as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China and is located on the Pearl River Delta. To the west of the delta is Macau, a popular destination for wealthy individuals in Asia, and to the north is Guangdong province.

Hong Kong has been known by various names in the past, including its most famous nickname, Pearl of the Orient. This name reflects the city’s stunning nightscape, with its illuminated skyscrapers on both sides of Victoria Harbour. Residents of Hong Kong and Macau do not need to apply for a Tibet travel permit (Tibet visa). All they need to bring is their HK/Macau SAR Passport and Home Return Permit.

Hongkong Train Station

Hong Kong’s main train station for travelling to Guangzhou and Lhasa is the Hung Hom Station in Kowloon. It is the only station with connections to mainland China and serves as the hub for transfers between the East Rail Line and the West Rail Line. To reach the station, you can take the metro directly on either the West or East Rail Lines. Alternatively, from Central, you can take the Tsuen Wan line to Tsim Sha Tsui Station and then transfer to the West Rail Line for Hung Hom Station.

Travel Tips for Catching Your Train

  1. Check your train ticket or consult with your ticketing agent to make sure that you get to the correct train station.
  2. You will be allowed on board the train 30 minutes before departure time. The train will be closed 5 minutes before departure. So please well schedule your time for the transfer from your hotel to the station taking the traffic snag into consideration.
  3. Once you are in the main hall, please see the huge live train timetable board to get the correct waiting room for your departure train.
  4. While in the waiting room, please see the live train timetable and a signboard indicating the boarding time of your train.
  5. Line up for the ticket check by the ticket collectors or insert the ticket in the turnstile and then follow the throng onto the platform ( make sure to get the correct platform).
  6. If you miss the train or lose your tickets, you cannot have your tickets refunded and you have to buy another one.

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

To travel to Tibet from Hong Kong 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 Hong Kong.

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.

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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.

You are free to contact us for an inquiry about customizing a Tibet tour with a flight to Tibet. A quick reply will be sent to you within 24 hours.


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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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