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Golmud to Lhasa Train

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The Golmud to Lhasa train covers a distance of 1,142 km, departs from Golmud Railway Station, and arrives at Lhasa Railway Station in approximately 14 hours. There is no direct train from Golmud to Lhasa. However, all trains from popular Chinese cities to Lhasa stop at Golmud Railway Station. There are 9 trains to Tibet, departing from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, and Xining. There are 4 trains departing from Xining. The trains departing from Chengdu and Chongqing depart every other day. Therefore, 8 trains are stopping at Golmud every day, with a stay time of 25 minutes. You can choose one of these to board the train to Lhasa from Golmud.

Golmud is a city on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, located west of Xining, Qinghai Province. Golmud, built for mining natural sources such as salt, magnesium, etc, has nothing to offer except desert. However, it has some spectacular natural features that make it worth a visit. As the train chugs out of the station, you are immediately immersed in a world of natural beauty. In addition, it is the start of the climb from lower elevation Golmud to the high altitude Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, the Tanggula Pass. In other words, Golmud is the real starting point of the high-altitude train journey.

Golmud to Lhasa Train Schedule and Price(2024)

There are 9 trains to Lhasa, departing from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, and Xining. There are 4 trains departing from Xining. However, the trains departing from Chengdu and Chongqing depart every other day. Therefore, 8 trains are stopping at Golmud every day, with a stay time of 25 minutes. In addition, the train ticket from Golmud to Lhasa is 141.5 RMB. Some of the trains highlighted in red in the table below are recommended as the best train that tourists can enjoy the longest daytime sightseeing.

Trains Available
Start City
Stop Over
End City
Price of Hard Seat
(0:21-0:46, 25m)

¥ 141.5


Z21 Beijing
(21:33-21:58, 25m)
Z8981 Xining
(18:58-19:23, 25m)
Z9821 Xining
(04:30-04:55, 25m)
Z8991 Xining
(05:00-05:25, 25m)
Z971 Xining
(05::50-06:15, 25m)
Z164 Shanghai
(01:34-01:59, 25m)


(17:51-18:16, 25m)
Every Other Day
Z223 Chongqing
(17:51-18:16, 25m)
Every Other Day

About ticket price:

The ticket prices above are the net price. In reality, as traveling in Tibet is so popular that the actual ticket demand far exceeds the supply, in-bound and out-bound tourists have to pay more than the net price to buy tickets. The actual price is subject to the market fluctuation. In some cases, the actual price could be double than the net price. Despite the uncertainty and difficulty in purchasing train tickets, Travel Tibet China would manage to book tickets at a reasonable price ( usually 20 percent lower than the market price) and promise to offer free service for it. If tourists only want to buy train tickets via Travel Tibet China without intending to travel to Tibet, Travel Tibet China will have to charge a small amount of service fee.

Notice: To make sure the train you choose from Golmud to Lhasa is travelling almost during daytime, the sceneary is stunning from Gulmod. If you choose the wrong train you will miss a big part of the sightseeing. However,the proper train sometimes is not easy to book in Summer, as the trains are always over booked from Shanghai, Guangzhou, and there is no enough vacancy for short distance Gulmod-Lhasa transfer.

How to Book and Get Golmud to Lhasa Train Tickets?

International travelers can’t enter in Tibet as backpackers and need the help of travel agency to apply for Tibet Travel Permit in advance. You do not need the permit to book the tickets but you do need it to collect the ticket and board the train.

1. How to Book Tibet Train Ticket?

Book train ticket with us (highly recommended)

To individual tourists, the best solution is to contact a reliable travel agency and book the Golmud to Lhasa train ticket at least one month in advance. Traveltibetchina.com can provide such timely tickets booking service, and also offer “Train Ticket + Tibet Tour” packages. Send a detailed booking inquiry to us.

Book at 12306.cn or buy ticket at train station

Neither method is convenient for international travelers. The 12306.cn has no English version and the online payment is limited to a bank account in mainland China. The staff at the train station can’t speak English. In addition, during the peak season and even the off-season of Tibet tourism, it is difficult for foreign tourists to book train tickets because they get sold out very quickly.

2. How to Get the Tibet Train Ticket?

In China, you need the paper train tickets to get into your train. If you book train tickets with us, you have two ways to get your paper tickets:
1. We deliver the paper tickets to your hotel or address in China (Recommended)
2. Collect them at the railway station

If you choose the delivery service, it is advisable to inform us 4 business days before departure. If you choose to collect them at the railway station, make sure to bring the confirmation number of train tickets, your Tibet Travel Permit as well as your valid and original passport. The confirmation number will be sent to you along with related train information once the tickets are confirmed, present it and the mentioned documents to the staff behind ticket windows to get paper tickets for free.

FAQ of Golmud to Lhasa Train

Where to recharge your mobile phones and electronic devices?

The powerplugfor chargers are located in the corridors OR under your table inthe cabin with the 4 soft sleepers (in between the 2 lower bunks).

Can touristshave shower in the train?

Unfortunately, there is no shower room in the train.Dobring some wet wipesin stores anda smalltowel, and small but equally important thing:toilet/tissue paper.

Is it possible to swap ticket with other people to stay with friends or family inthe same cabin?

Yes. It is acceptable.You may ask conductor to swaptickets with other passengers to stay with your family or friends.

Is smoking allowed in the cabin?

Smoking is strictly forbidden in the trainas thetrain is tightly sealed and pressurized and oxygen is pumped into the carriagewhen the train ascends to extreme altitude. It would be devastating if thetrain caught fire.

Is it necessary to carry Tibet Travel Permit all the time?

Make sure you have your passport, Tibet Travel Permit andticket with youas you could be checked many times during the longjourney.

It is advisable to havemany copies of Tibet Travel Permit.

How can we minimize the effect of altitude sickness?

The effect of altitude sickness onpassengers varies. Yet, to minimize or ease the impact of altitude sickness,one mayprepare somealtitude sickness tabletsbefore boarding the train and take some whenthe train climbs to plateau. There is no need to worry too much thealtitude sickness, the train is built withoxygen suppley system. It is easy to use.

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