It's a long-time train journey, what can I do on a Tibet train ?
Enjoying the beautiful natural landscapes
For many tourists, what counts above all else on a Tibet train is still to enjoy watching the stunning beautiful natural landscapes along the route. This is a very important reason why so many of them choose a Lhasa train journey. There is some need for more expatiation on the beauty of the scenes along the route.
The most beautiful scenery views along the route include such sceneris as Qarhan Salt Lake, the largest salt lake in China; the forlorn wilderness of Gobi Desert in Golmud ; Yuzhu peak, the summit of Mt. Kunlun at an altitude of 6178m; Kekexili Nature Reserve, the last paradise of wildlife including Tibetan antelope; Tuotuo River, the source of Yangtze River; Tanggula Mountain, the watershed of Qinghai and Tibet; Tsonag Lake,the largest fresh water lake in China, and Qiangtang prairie where you will see boundless grassland and century-old nomadic life.
Chatting with your friends
You could gossip with your friends, tell them something about you and your life, your experiences and your hobbies, etc. Please do this with your close friends, and we suggest you would be discrete to chat with strangers on train journey.
Generally speaking, most Chinese people are very kind to foreigners traveling to China. And they always take the initiative to make friends with foreigners and chat with you. They would think this as a good chance to practice their oral English if the one that sits opposite to you is a college student who comes to Tibet for a tour during his summer vacation. It is not joking. There is a big chance to meet a Chinese college student on a Tibet train tour, for in China it is a big fashion to have a tour around Tibet among the young people.
Making a friend or two
Befriend a stranger and indulge into a random conversation. Sometimes you may come across the most interesting stories you’ve ever heard on the long Tibet journeys. Don’t feel surprised that nowadays many Chinese are able to speak simple English sentences due to English study rush in the previous years’ education.
It would be perfect to meet a Tibetan on the train to Lhasa. You could carefully observe his or her traditional clothes and decorations, his way of speaking Tibetan language, his pronunciation and his intonation. If he happens to know some English, you could discuss something about Tibet. You will have a better understanding of Tibet by making such a friend in your journey. Take a photo with him and this will be your lifetime memory.
Watching videos and listen to music
You could first download some nice and fine video programs or little films in advance so you could watch the videos on your iPod or phone during the long hours on train. But you must pay attention that you should turn down your volume so that you will not disturb others next to your seat. You could also prepare an earphone so that you could enjoy the videos without making noises.
You could also listen to some light music that will entertain your mind and nerve, similarly, you have to download the music in advance then you can do this during the ride. There is no WIFI provided in all the trains to Lhasa.
Playing mobile phone
What you need to bring with you is your mobile phone and your portable power. You could recharge your phone when it runs out of power. It is a typical feature that at present days, no matter old and young, they play mobile phone everywhere, so it would be a nice choice to kill time during your ride to Lhasa.
Reading a book would be very good choice to spend the time on train when you are tired of watching the landscapes outside of the window. You could bring a novel, a short story, a fashion magazine and the like. Some easy books to relax you in general but would not add the tiredness.
But do it when the train is advancing in a steady manner. If the train body is somewhat shaking, you’d better stop reading book for this will do harms to your eyes.
Eating some snacks
This is a good way to kill the boring time after seeing so many natural landscapes. You may eat some snacks to replenish your lost energy and satisfy your appetite. Your body needs energy to fight against the altitude sickness, so make sure you are always full of energy and do not refill yourself only when you feel the hunger. Keep full all the time. You could prepare some snacks prior to your boarding on the train.
Playing cards with your friends
You could play cards with your friends, it would be very difficult to play cards with other Chinese passengers on the train, for you do not have the same way of playing cards and you do not know each other’s game rules. So you may do this on your mobile phone or with your companions. You may also take a nap if you feel the tiredness after all the steps listed above have been taken. A short nap also helps you tackle the altitude sickness anyone will confront during a Tibet journey.
In fact, there are many things to spend the time on a long train journey to Lhasa. The main thing to do is still watching the landscapes outside of the windows. That is the main reason for so many foreign tourists prefer a train tour to Lhasa but not take a plane that is direct and cost short hours.
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