Published: January 6th 2012January 6th 2012
After travelling from Lhasa to Kathmandu
by overland route, I decided to take a train ride from Lhasa to Beijing.
Though Tibet is remote place on the roof of the world, Lhasa station is awesome. It is very modern and very beautiful. And the Lhasa to Beijing train was so punctual. It left dead on time. The attendant came to my compartment and gave me the oxygen tube to attach to the outlet in case of need. Having been in Tibet for a week already, I had already acclimatized myself completely to the high altitude there. There were several foreigners on the train. Most of the passengers on the train were Tibetans and Chinese.
The scenery along the Qinghai-Tibet railway
is extremely spectacular. The railway is an amazing engineering achievement. It is the highest railway in the world, much of it constructed on permafrost. The Lhasa train is also tailor-made for this special railway and its environment. At night, though the inside of the carriage doors froze hard, the carriages themselves were very warm and comfortable.
I never regret about my decision of taking train from Lhasa to Beijing. It was a wonderful train travel experience for a life. On the train from Lhasa to Beijing, I found that we were above the large trees but under the yak herds. During the day, I lied facedown in the soft berth, wacthing endless moss, frozen rivulets of old ice, yak herds and eagles. At night, I chatted with other passengers in my cabin, a pretty girl, a mid-aged Chinese lady and her husband. Only that girl knew a little English. She told me that she was working in a middle school in Lhasa as a chemical teacher, but her mother was very ill. She was from Sichuan and she went to Beijing at first to look for better better treatment for her mother. She also told me that she decided to quit her job so that she could get more time to stay with her mother and take care of her. Best wishes for her mother.
The service on the train from Beijing to Lhasa
was quite good. The car attendants were pleasant; the waitresses in the restaurant car were surly with a habit of whipping away the ashtray after one cigarette. But usually the breakfast was over after 9:00 am. Always staying in the cabin would make my leg stiff. So I would go to the dinning car for a drink. It was very pleasant to sit there and enjoying the beautiful scenery through the window. When the train stopped at stations for twenty minutes, I could stretch my legs and treat myself with a cigarette.
On the second day, the scenery was quite different from that on the Tibetan plateau. No high or snow-capped mountains. Farms and cows appeared outside of the window. When I walked out of the platform, I found that the Beijing west railway station was in chaos and noise.
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