Have you ever thought of doing something different to make your life more exciting? You might find excitement by just going in a different direction than you’re used to. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii or visit far away friends. Why not try something totally different, like travelling to the roof of the world?
Tibet, with an average elevation exceeding 4,500 metres, is renowned as the roof of the world. There are different ways of travelling to Tibet, by air, by railway and by road. Among these ways, by train to Tibet is the most popular as Tibet train ride is known as a lifetime journey.
Each year, over ten millions of travelers travel to Tibet from mainland China or from Nepal, but more than 90% of them from China as it is more convenient. There are many flights, trains and highways to Tibet from China. The most popular way to Tibet from China is by train.
Usually, it takes at most 6 hours to fly to Tibet, but at least 23 hours to Lhasa by train. Then why do travelers still choose the train to Tibet? On one hand, it is an economic way to Tibet. On the other hand, travelers can experience a unique train ride on the highest railway in the world, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. More than 960 km of this railway is at an elevation of over 4,000 meters. It is the highest in the world.
Though booking train tickets online from the official website of China Railway Company is very popular among Chinese travelers, it is nearly impossible for individual travelers to book a train ticket to Lhasa by this way. Because most train tickets are reserved by travel agencies.
The best and secure way for foreign tourists to book Tibet train tickets is by using a reputable online travel agency, which will charge a service fee. Some travel agencies have an annual reservation from the ticket office, so they can get tickets much easier that others.
Nagchu which means “black river” in Tibetan language refers to a prefecture in northern Tibet or a town within the prefecture. The Nagchu town located at an elevation of around 4,500 metres and by located by the well-known Qinghai-Tibet Railway is the administrative center of this prefecture.
The Nagchu known as “a pearl in northern Tibet” is famous for its unique landscape, the vast Qiangtang Grassland, the holy lakes Namtso, Tangra Yumco and over 1,000 other lakes like jadeite scattered on the grassland of the plateau. There are also many hot springs and geothermal spots at this region.
Many foreign travelers who plan to travel to Tibet by train may be confused by this question that why they can’t book Tibet train ticket on internet by themselves.
The major reason is that the Qinghai-Tibet Railway is an extremely popular tourist railroad in China. Each day, thousands of travelers travel to Tibet via this railway.
Another reason is that because most train tickets, sleeper tickets in particular, are reserved by travel agencies. Generally, the travel agency who can guarantee the train tickets, attracts more customers.
Dondrup used to be a farmer and plant highland barley in his hometown, Lhatse County, Shigatze Prefecture. After the establishment of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway in 2006 which brought soaring number of visitors, Dondrup started to provide hospitality services.
In a few years’ time, Dondrup became the first farmer multimillionaire in his hometown. As he said, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway not only brought tourists and consumers, but also boundless business opportunities.
“To build a railway on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau? It is a big joke!” This was what most experts’ reaction throughout the world when the Chinese annouced to constructed the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. They did not believe that Chinese engineers could build a railway at high altitude.
Yes, it seemed impossible to build the railway on the Tibetan plateau featuring high altitude, harsh climate, lack of oxygen and permafrost. The permafrost was the biggest obstruction.
Until today, the railway has been put in use for more than 7 years safely. Millions of travelers have traveled by the Tibet train. Most of the travelers think highly of this railway.
In the past, few people in Tibet knew what a train looked like as most Tibetan people spent their whole life on the plateau and lead a very simple life. In their world, there were only Tsampa, Butter Tea, Pulu and Buddha.
Noaways, many young Tibetan people go to college or go to work in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu or other metroplises of mainland by this highway. Some of them even have never thought of such an opportunity to see the world outside and learn something different from Buddhist scripture.
The Tibetan people who stay in Tibet also lead a new life. Some farmers begin to do business, such as running a small restaurant, a family hotel or just a samll shop. Everyday, they can see lots of travelers from all over the world and sometimes learn a little English from American or British travelers.
The first snow fell on the Jan. 12, 2014 in Lhasa. The Potala Palace seems like the Sleeping Beauty, waiting to be woke up under the cloak of snow by her prince. Were you there, you will see a totally differet scenery, which may take your breath away.