China Tibet travel from Xining by train, flight or overland

Travel China and Tibet, Xining is a good place for you to Tibet. As the capital of Qinghai province, Xining is the must-pass for ancient Silk Road and Tang-Tibet Ancient Road. It is an ancient city of the Qinghai Tibet Plateau with a history of more than 2100 years. After the completion of the Qinghai-Tibet railway, it is almost a necessary city to Lhasa if you want to travel to Tibet by train from main cities of China.

How to get to Lhasa from Xining

Option 1 Take a train from Xining to Lhasa

The train from Xining to Lhasa is the most popular way to Tibet since the Qinghai-Tibet Railway itself is a world miracle. The train journey from Xining to Lhasa is worth a try. As the starting point of the Qinghai-Tibet railway, Xining has been welcomed by travelers who want to travel to Tibet by train. Especially in China Festivals such Spring Festival, summer vacation, winter vacation, etc. During that rush hour, the train tickets from main cities of China such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou to Lhasa are in short supply. In this case, you need to go from Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou to Xining, then take a train from Xining to Lhasa. It can save you a lot of time and ensure your Tibet tour according to the plan.

The daily train frequency from Xining to Lhasa is higher than other cities in China, and all the trains from Xining to Lhasa are less than 24 hours. The highlight of the train comes from Golmud to Lhasa. Through the window, you will enjoy the Gobi desert, magnificent Kunlun Mountains, Hoh Xil Nature Reserve, Yuzhu mountain, and Qiangtang grasslands where filled with Tibet yak.

The line includes Tanggula pass, at an elevation of 5072 meters (16640 feet), is the highest railway in the world. Tanggula railway station at 5068 meters (16627 feet) is the highest in the world of the train station. The Fenghuoshan tunnel (1,338 m (4,390 feet) is the highest rail tunnel in the world. The Golmud – Lhasa section is more than 960 kilometers (600 miles) and is over 4000 meters (13123 feet) above sea level. There are 675 bridges, totaling 159.88 kilometers (99.34 miles), about 550 kilometers (340 miles) is laid on.

Xining Lhasa Train Ticket Price and Schedule

Train No. From / To Duration Distance (km) Frequency Hard Sleeper Ticket Soft Sleeper Ticket
Z6801 Xining/Lhasa 21:09 1972 Every Other Day CNY495 CNY781
Z6802 Lhasa/Xining 21:53 1972 Every Other Day CNY495 CNY781

Option 2 Fly to Tibet from Xining

At present, there are three direct flights from Xining to Lhasa, operated by Sichuan Airlines, Tibet Airlines, and China International Airlines. You will take the plane at Caojiabao Airport in Xining, arrive at Lhasa Gongga Airport at Midday. Besides, there are two flights from Xining to Lhasa will stop at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport and then be transferred to Tibet.

Flights from Xining to Lhasa Timetable & Fare
Flight No. Plane Model Depart Arrival Run Time Fare
3U8687 319 10:00 12:30 2h 30m
CNY 1610
TV9872 319 17:45 20:15 2h 30m
TV9842 319 20:00 22:30 1h 30m
Frequency: 3U8687 – Tue.Wed.Thu.Sat.Sun. TV9842 – Tue.Thu.Sat. TV9842 – Mon.Wed.Fri.Sun.


Lhasa to Xining Timetable & Fare
Flight No. Plane Model Depart Arrival Run Time Fare
3U8688 319 13:45 15:55 2h 10m
CNY 1610
TV9871 319 10:30 12:40 2h 10m
TV9841 319 10:30 12:40 2h 10m
Frequency: 3U8688 – Tue.Wed.Thu.Sat.Sun. TV9841 – Tue.Thu.Sat. TV9841 – Mon.Wed.Fri.Sun.

Option 3 Drive from Xining to Lhasa along with Qinghai-Tibet highway

The land road from Xining to Lhasa is one of the highest highways in the world. It starts from Xining, crossing the four mountains such as Kunlun Mountains (4,700 meters), Fenghuo Mountain ( 4,800 meters), Tanggula mountains(5,150 meters) and Nyainqentanglha mountain along with Qinghai-Tibet highway. Drive from Xining to Lhasa will take about 8 days.

Besides, you can take the bus from Xining to Golmud first, where you can adapt to the plateau climate and then continue to go to Tibet. There are several shuttle buses between Golmud and Lhasa.


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