“Sky Road” is the inspiring name of Qinghai-Tibet Railway called by people who admire it. It is believed that most tourists do not consider it as a means of transportation to get to Tibet by train. In fact, it is a journey to fully enjoy the scenery on this magical Tibet Plateau. No one will regret their choice to take a train to travel to Tibet since the scenery along Qinghai-Tibet Railway will never let anyone down.
You can just lie on the bed on the train and see the views out of the window. However, most of the time, tourists will jump up and get cheerful because there will always be scenery that can surprise anyone who hasn’t see such beautiful natural views before.
As the highest train route in the world, Qinghai-Tibet Railway can take you to mountains that reach over 5000m. Xining is the start station of this railway. From Xining to Lhasa, the train will pass through Qinghai Lake, Tarim Basin, Kunlun mountains, Tuotuo River, Hohxil region, Tanggula Pass, Cuona Lake, Naqu Grassland, Yambajan, etc. The scenery along the road focuses on high plateau sightseeing, including, snow-capped mountains, vast grasslands, beautiful lakes, endless deserts, etc. At the same time, tourists can also get the chance to witness the wild animals running on the land, as well as some Tibetan style villages and rural regions. Here we will make a detailed review of the sightseeing you will see on the Qinghai-Tibet Train from Xining and you can be prepared for what you will enjoy when you are there.
Scenery along Qinghai Tibet Railway
Scenery on the railway from Xining to Lhasa
The train will pass through Qinghai Lake as it runs out of Xining City. It is the first sight that everyone will be thrilled to see. This spearmint-blue lake is the dream of all photographers because it is definitely spectacular. But not a single photo can show the beauty and charm of this dream-like since its beauty is beyond any words. The blue sky, the fluffy clouds and the snow mountains that are located nearby make Qinghai Lake perfect.
Then the train will pass Guanjiaoshan Tunnel, the highest tunnel with an altitude of 3,690m on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway Station. Before arriving at Delingha, tourists can see fewer and fewer colors out of the window. Delingha is located 329m from Xining. In Mongolian, Delingha means golden field because it owns a relatively large Mongol population.
The train departs from Delingha, tourists will see some scattered salt lakes along the road. After about 3 hours, the Wanzhang Salt Bridge will appear. The blue sky and the white salt lake make this place a shining fairyland. It is a wide road made of salt. Because of its length and feature, the Wanzhang Salt Bridge is one of the most splendid scenery of the Qaidam Basin.
About 2 hours and 30 minutes, you will get into Golmud, an important city in Qinghai Tibet Plateau. Its name in Mongolian means a place with many rivers. When the train runs out of Golmud, it will start to climb into mountains. You will get a glimpse of the Kunlun Mountain Pass after about 160m from Golmud. From there, you will see Yuzhu Feng. The glaciers and snow on the top of mountains will be seen all year round. Even you are taking the train in June, you can also see the snow there, which is very glorious.
A few minutes from the Kunlun Mountain Pass, you will pass Kekexili Nature Reserve. It is the home of the most Tibetan antelope, wild yaks, kiang, Tibetan gazelle and other rare wild animals, covering 45,000 square kilometers in that high grassland.
Tibetan Antelope on Qinghai Tibet Plateau
Then, the train will head south, passing through Chumar River, Tuotuo River and other rivers. After about 3 hours of running, the train will pass through the beautiful Tongtian River that flows through the valleys of the Tanggula Mountains and the Kunlun Mountains.
Then, the train continues to get to the Tanggula Mountains Pass and then heads to the highest place of Qinghai-Tibet Railway - Tanggula Station. The views there are remarkable.
After several hours on the road, the train will enter Tibet Autonomous Region. You will pass through Cona Lake, the highest freshwater lake at 4,800m. It is the pearl on the Qinghai Tibet Railway and also a sacred lake to the local Tibetan people.
After the railway sets out of Amdo, it will head to the northern part of Tibet. Passing through Nagqu, you will see the grassland along the road, with beautiful rainbows, idle cattle and sheep. Then you will arrive at Damxiong. You can see Namtso Lake from a distance. But its beauty will definitely stay in your mind until you get the chance to get to Namtso Lake again. So, you shouldn’t miss it if you truly love this land.
Then, the train will show you a look at the Nyainqentanglha Mountains. If the train is ready to turn left, you will notice that it will be close to the end of this journey - Lhasa. Cross the Lhasa River, you will enter the Lhasa Railway Station and you are finally arriving in Tibet.
This is your whole magical journey from Xining to Lhasa on the Qinghai Tibet Railway. If you want to know more details or you want to book a Tibet train ticket, you can contact us anytime and we will prepare a perfect China Tibet travel route for you.