The highest located railway in the world
Tibetan railway leading to more than 1,100 kilometers from Golmud to Lhasa overcomes several railway records. The track leads through several extremely high passes, one of which Tanggula (5 072 m asl) is the highest point with a railway in the world. More than 80 % of the route is located at a height of over four thousand meters above the ground. On the way you can see abandoned Tibetan landscape with occasional houses, herds of yaks, beautiful lakes and mountains covered with glaciers.
The starting point of the whole journey by train through Tibet is the town of Golmud (2 809 m asl). There is not much to see here, but you will probably stay here some time before your train is ready to depart.
The journey from Golmud to Lhasa takes about 14,5–15 hours, so you have enough time to watch the surrounding wavy countryside, from which emerge an infinite number of green rounded hills and mountain giants covered with ice.
When traveling to Lhasa, you can observe not only beautiful mountains, but also rivers and lakes. The closest to you, just a few meters from the tracks, lies a beautiful sacred lake Cuona (4 590 m asl).
The train overcomes on its journey the main ridge of three major mountain ranges – Kunlun /which is the longest mountain range in China/, Fenghuoshan /here the train passes through a tunnel at a height of 4,905 meters asl, which is the highest located railway tunnel in the world/. The neighboring road G109 overcomes here five thousand high pass and eventually Tanggulashan, where is the highest point of this railroad. There are also nice mountain views in the last fifth of the route, which leads along the mountain range Nyenchen Tanglha.
The density of population in Tibet
Apart from a few large towns, the density population on the upland Tibetan plateau is very sparse. From the train you will occasionally see a few scattered pastoral houses and then again wide countryside without a living soul.
The train runs most of its route along the road G109. But more interesting is the opposite view from the road to the train, because you will see the bridges and viaducts over muddy terrain or permafrost all the time.
Ice peaks of Nyenchen Tanglha
The most beautiful mountain views, however, are only a short way from Lhasa. You can then well see the glaciated ridge of Nyenchen Tanglha.
Suburbs of Lhasa
You finally arrive to Lhasa after more than 14 hours. Maybe you have idyllic ideas how it will look like here, but nowadays it's a normal town with suburbs full of factories, warehouses and prefabricated housing estates, which might disappoint you a little.
Potala in sight
Finally, in the distance peeks out local gem – Potala. Valley of river Lhasa is also quite picturesque.
Railway station in Lhasa
The journey is nearly over and you get off in a modern terminal, where a Tibetan guide will be waiting for you.
At the station in Lhasa
There is quite a rush at the railway station, mainly due to big Chinese travel agencies. So let’s enjoy tour around Lhasa!
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