Train Ride to Tibet on the Worlds Highest Railway

Join us as we go by rail from Beijing to
Lhasa. We’re in Beijing about to get on our
first train towards Tibet. And before we do, we’re going to head to the business lounge, kick our feet up and relax. Very exciting for our trip out to Lhasa
tibet. We’re starting in Beijing. From here we’re going to Lanzhou.
From Lanzhou we’re going to Xining. From Xining we will take a train to Lhasa. They just called our train to Lanzhou. It’s an eight hour bullet train so let’s get going. I’m so excited! I’ve only riden the bullet train once. That was from here to Shanghai. [Joe] That was the last time we were in China together. A long time ago. This bullet train is supposed to go 300 kilometers an hour. It’s so fancy! I’ve never ridden a business class bullet
train before. [Joe] I didn’t even know they existed. Look, they have slippers. Hold on. This is nice. [Joe] I think it goes flat. This is so nice. [Joe] Alright, I’m going to settle down, grab my Kindle and then enjoy the ride. Sounds good. They say that you can put a coin on the
window there and it doesn’t even move. I believe it because I didn’t even feel this thing start moving. Train has been really nice so far. I mean
you can’t complain about the seats. I got to lay flat, go to sleep for a while. Food was good. Unlimited water, drinks, snacks, coffee. Okay so here’s the thing. All the
coffee is instant. Another tunnel. Every time we go into these tunnels since we’re going so fast my ears start popping This has been a great trip so far, but it’s only the first eight hours. After this we still have another twenty-eight to go. It’s going to be a long trip. But the one I’m looking forward to the most is the final one into Lhasa, into Tibet. That railroad was specially designed by the Chinese government and I’ve heard a lot of things about it so I’m excited to take it. Now it’s sleep time. Just made it on to the second train of
our journey. And the accommodations on this one are quite a bit different than the last train. There’s actually a fairly good legroom here. It’s comfortable. Announcements I don’t understand what so ever. [Kait] That’s why you have me. We made it to Xining. Now we’re waiting for our final train to
arrive so we can head to Lhasa. It is packed at this train station and
it’s very cold. Glad I brought my warm winter gear. So it’s kind of funny I’m walking around and I’m pretty much the only white person here. And I get a lot of stares from people Some people just love to stare at you and follow you So whenever they do, I look at them give them a little wink and a nod. And this one guy just winked at gave me the biggest smile. It’s like I made his day. Well, it is almost time the board. We’ve got to get ready. We have a twenty one hour, twenty one hour train ride ahead of us. Should be interesting. We’re moving. Off to Lhasa. 21 hour journey in our soft sleeper. It’s fairly comfortable. Joe and I will have to play rock paper scissor to see who gets top bunk or bottom bunk. I feel like bottom bunk is the better bunk. Kait and I decided that we’d both
take the top bunks. Our bunk mates are older so they weren’t really able to get up here. So we just decided to take them and I’m glad we did. It’s nice it’s comfy up here. Plenty of room to store the luggage. Huge comforters and there’s good
reason for that. We are going up I believe over 16,000 feet on a few of these passes. And it is going to get really cold outside. There’s a heater in here that I think we can control. TVs, nightlight. The bed, it’s a little hard but comfortable. And I’ve also heard that once we start getting up into some really high elevation over 10,000 feet they’re going to start pumping oxygen into
the cars help mitigate altitude sickness. Alright, well I’m gonna go to sleep so
good night. See you tomorrow. Good morning. [Kait] Good morning. How did you sleep? Good. I was able to get some sleep. It is completely covered in snow out there. Kait asked the attendants what our
current altitude is and they said over 12,000 feet right now. Last night when I went to bed I had some altitude sickness. It’s common for me. Whenever I get over five six thousand feet I’ll start to get a really bad headache. Well, I went to sleep and you could hear the oxygen kick on. As soon as it kicked on I felt like a million bucks. No more headache, nothing. So I’m wondering how we’re going to feel when we finally get to Lhasa. Because I think Lhasa is over 11,000 feet in altitude. Alright, I think it’s time for coffee. Wish me luck. [Kait] Good luck. There are little footholds here. I hope I don’t slip. If I do make sure you get it on camera. Got my coffee made. I picked up a bunch of these little Nescafe instant coffee packets and they come in handy because all of these trains have pots of boiling water that you can go fill up your coffee cup, make your coffee. You can also make those cups of noodles. So a lot of people are getting on the train with those and that becomes their meal. But there is a dining car if you want something else besides noodles or whatever other food you brought with you. [Kait] Ready to eat? Yeah. And here is a tip for all of you who will be taking this train. There are two types of bathrooms. One is your standard Western toilet that has a sit on top toilet. The other is the hole in the ground where you squat to go to the bathroom. And you have to bring your own toilet paper on to the train. I also noticed that there is no toilet paper in a lot of the train stations. So make sure you keep a roll on you and I’m very happy we grab some before we got on the train. I’m going in. Yeah, I don’t know about that. The elevation is really starting to get to me. I think we were coming over one of the highest passes and I just started feeling it in my head, all this pressure on my nasal passages. Kind of like I just wanted to crawl in bed and pass out for a few hours. So there was an announcement earlier and they said this whole plateau region the average elevation is 4,000 meters. When we get on the train yesterday we had to fill out a declaration of our health and it went through all these different things about the fact that if you have asthma or any
sort of respiratory disease and you basically had to check the box to say if anything happened it’s my own fault. Here’s another tip. You have to have a special permit to go from China into Tibet if you are a foreigner. There are people that have gotten on this train, they don’t have their permit and they get kicked off. I actually had my permit checked twice getting on the train. And Kait had gone ahead of me. She had the permit they wouldn’t even let me on the train. Finally I got someone to interpret the fact that Kait had my permit. So I was allowed to chase after her and grab it and show it to them. So they’re really serious about this stuff. Twenty-one hours later. We just arrived in
Lhasa, Tibet. It was a great train trip. And best of all, we even saw one of the Tibetan Mastiffs that we’ve read all about. If you are coming to Lhasa, Tibet I highly recommend taking the train. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and you see some amazing scenery, animals, everything along the way. Thank you so much for watching. If you enjoyed this, head over to for a lot more videos and content about
travel. And we will see you next time. Bye! What happened? I got on the slow escalator. It’s really, really slow. [Joe] You picked a losing horse babe. hey victory

100 thoughts on “Train Ride to Tibet on the Worlds Highest Railway

  1. Only the high speed trains offer western toilets (both squat and western style sitting). The older slow trains only have the squat versions. Bear that in mind when booking. Nice video! Thank you for posting.

  2. It would be nice if you would have told how much tickets cast from First train to the last train. Thanks.

  3. Currently, airplanes will take only 7 to 8 hours to reach New York from California. Even the fastest bullet train in the world at the moment will take about 15 hours from California to New York. This is the answer to the question why the US has no high speed rail at this moment. American airplanes are still superior to all the modern bullet trains, so why do Americans need to spend billions of dollars on something that's not even faster than the current transportation in the US? However, the hyperloop technology, which is continued developing, could possibly take only 45 minutes from Los Angeles to New York. And this is the technology that Americans are going for. It's hyperloop, not bullet trains!

  4. We did this trip way back in 2013, 7 of us. Took the train from Beijing (not the bullet train). We had a Beijing friend booked and bought the train tickets for us. Its snapped up very fast the moment tickets open for booking. He's right though, if you do not have the foreigner's permit, you cannot alight at Lhasa train station, you have to backtrack out of Tibet. Unless you're Richard Gere (staunch follower of the Dalai Lhama), you can easily book a trip via the many agents on the websites , and the agents will arrange for your permit upon your arrival at Lhasa train station. There's also another permit which the agent will obtain for you, i.e. the travel within Tibet permit. Do not fret my friends, just book this railway trip with the tour agents. They will arrange everything. Do not try to embark on this journey by your own, I.e. backpack on this trip. Its difficult to buy the train tickets let alone you cannot obtain the foreigner's permit without the tour agents help. The real purpose is they want the tour agents to monitor your activities in case there are the ' Free Tibet Movement' in their midst. Our journey from Beijing took us 43 hours to Lhasa train station. Yes, he's right, right after Tanggula pass (elevation 5,200 m) the sleeper berth will bleed oxygen at the corner of your bunk. If you dont want to dine out at the food car, there will be a lady usher with a pushcart selling ready to eat foods, instant noodles, snacks, fruits, drinks, water, beer, ciggies..every must take this trip once in your lifetime.
    Security at Lhasa is tight. At every corner of the city, there will be military checkpoints, X ray scanners, body searches.
    Wonderful part is, Potala Palace is right smack in the middle of the city. Sad though, you can't take pictures within the temple grounds.

  5. This is just spectacular and an amazing Chinese marvel. Can’t wait to see the day when the plan to extend the railway line from Lhasa to Xigaze and then to Gyirong (or Kerung in Nepali dialect), a port along Sino-Nepal border, which would then ultimately connect to Kathmandu comes to a full fruition. Long live China-Nepal friendship & cooperation!! boatloads of love from Nepal. #China #Nepal #ChinaNepal #Gyirong #Kerung #Rasuwa #neighbors

  6. Good video but altitude is a measure of height above the ground. Elevation is when you are on the ground but above sea level. The elevation of Lhasa is approximately 11,000 above sea level.

    Those squatter type toilets are common in Russia too. I've seen new ones in hardware stores for sale. Pretty cheap. I'd like to bring one home to surprise people but it's too big for my suitcase so I bring a photo instead. They also come in small size for kids.

  7. I went from Guangzhou (Canton) to Lhasa by train and bus over a similar route in 1994. It took 4 days and the trains had triple decker bunk beds in the 1st class. The floors were covered in spit and the bathrooms were unmentionable! The last phase of the trip was from Golmud to Lhasa by bus for 22hrs in a 1950s English built bus. The locals had sheeps stomachs filled with oxygen to puff on during the trip. For 10hrs there was no bus "station" rest stop. So I begged my friend to ask the bus driver to stop after 8hrs for a pee. (Yes I am a wimp) At that altitude there is vegetation and only some rocks. So I just had to pee for all to see or burst. This trip sounds like a dream now. Also we were a bit under the radar as at that time there was a separate currency system FEC vs RMB that cost 10x as much.

  8. He started to feel sick after 5,6,000 feet?
    I guess he's a bit on the sensitive side or he got the numbers wrong.
    My case I didn't feel altitude sickness until over 8,000 feet.

  9. Why does the station look so empty?
    Anyway, I have noticed since I was very young how nice train people are compared to those flying box cars of stress. UGH!

  10. I really want to go on this train but if there's one reason I won't, it would be the toilet.😱

  11. Meanwhile Canada sold it's railways to the Americans, and Greyhound Buses stopped serving British Columbia! Canadian elite really hate everyone living in Canada do everything to destroy make Canadian lives difficult just to fill their own pockets with tax payers taxes.

  12. Lanzhouxi Station and XiNing station are extraordinarily familiar to me!wish sister have a nice trip!❤

  13. You people are really living in luxury, Once i had to travel from jammu to tamil nadu (india) for my exam, it was 52 hour journey, and my ticket was not confirmed (although i booked it before 15 days of journey), the train was fully packed with passengers i was forced to do the whole journey by standing and by sitting on the floor. I will never forget that experience.

  14. India could be half a developed like Its neighborhood China. Whats the reason after 70 years still we are soo poor. Infrastructure wise we are not even 1/2 reached. Need to agree china is great. Definitely it is because of its government and people.

  15. 🤣🤣🤣🤣 and just when he’d commented that he’s the “only white guy” in the station (10:35–10:40), an old white gentleman with super white hair walks across behind him

  16. You said you are the only white person there. But just in less than 5 seconds seconds after you said , that look a white man walking just behind of you. A taller, gray haired white male at the point 4 minute 20 seconds.. .

  17. I love train trips. This was very informative. Beautiful scenery going to Tibet. I was in several towns in the Shanxi Province, and as a white woman, I was also stopped and looked at and I ended up on many, many selfies. The people are very friendly.

  18. An FYI to the western friends here. Most people do NOT take the train from Beijing but rather from Chengdu/Lanzhou which is much closer.

  19. Oooh wow😍
    Cant wait to travel on this route!
    Dont worry India soon going to have world's highest railway👍

  20. Lol, I think I got altitude sickness just watching this video! You guys filmed such beautiful scenery though, one day I may brave that trip.


  22. I caught the Tibet train 3 years ago but from Lanzhou, not Xinning. Spectacular scenery. There is an extension rail line from Lhasa to Xigatse which I travelled on. From next year the rail line from Nyinchi to Lhasa will open and that section will be part of the Chengdu/Lhasa rail line which will open in about 2030 being a second line into Tibet from China.

  23. Worlds highest rail station is Ghum,
    Situated in West bengal,Indian.
    Come and visit the Darjeeling district of West Bengal in India and ride this Darjeeling Himalayan Mountain railway

  24. Window/seat alignment on high speed train is terrible. The view from this guy's flat bed seat is a
    wall between windows.

  25. 真正优秀的人,绝不是因为他到处展现自己的优越感,总用挑剔的眼光看待一切。而是因为他懂得尊重,能够欣赏不同的环境和人。

  26. Please be understanding. Not all foreigners are simply tuorist. Tibet as a part of China, is mostly misunderstood in the western world and the mainstream media in western countries obviously stand not on China's side.

  27. I've traveled in China a number of times. Against my travel agents (Chinese) advice we took the train from Guangzhou to Chengdu about 15 years ago, 3 days, I do not recommend that to any westerner! I appreciate your video since I probably won't ever get to Tibet (heart) although I stayed & hiked in the mountains west of Chengdu. I'm glad to see that the bullet trains have much better food than last time I rode the trains in China, looks good. First time I visited China 20 yrs ago westerners were rare and always had young people who wanted to try out their English, now not so much. Having lived in Taiwan for a couple of years I knew enough Chinese to get by but not conversational. Thanks again for the video of your Lhasa trip.

  28. BTW – A while back I watched the building of the train to Lhasa, many problems, they had to account for expansion & compression of the rails and the rails are actually heated because of the extreme weather. As you mentioned, the train is pressurized with oxygen.

  29. I have been in a Vehicle crossing a Mountain Pass at around 2800 Meters / 9000 Feet and it was not funny . Within 1 hr I started getting a really bad Headache and a funny tingling in my Legs . Drove on , back down to reality and everything later was ok 💟💟💟

  30. That HOLE at 7.50 wont take my Turd , I can tell you that right now . I make air pressure Tank Toilets GURGLE ( no joke ) 😆😆😆😆

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