Lhasa to Xining - railway to heaven

Trip Start Oct 08, 2007
Trip End Dec 16, 2008

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

About that controversial train ride.... It was totally worth it! Most people I talked to said that it was Okay, not too spectacular. I have no idea what those people were talking about! It was quite amazing. The scenery was beautiful and it was fun to share a hard sleeper with few Tibetan and one English-speaking Chinese.

The highest elevation the train reaches is 5,200 m, which is quite high to go in a day from Lhasa (3,950 m). Some people did get sick. There was a doctor going back and forth, not that she could help with anything. Every cabin is fitted with an outlet for oxygen. It was late at night when we were going over the highest passes, and I could definitely fill it.

The train arrived in Xining the following morning. Xining is what the Lonely Planet describes as a faceless Chinese town. I like it though - it is convenient. I had a long walk through the central street and had my nails done for $1.5 at the mall. All people I met here were really kind. The town is very visibly Muslim. It has the fourth largest mosque in China, which is not particularly impressive. By far the most interesting thing here are the old men walking their birds. Other than that, the town could be anywhere in the US...well, perhaps net of the fried chicken feet at the market. It is funny how China reminds me so much of the US. I think Chinese are trying really hard to be American. That's all really.

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Kim on

Absolutely AMAZING photos from your Lhasa-Xining train ride! That's a ride I would really like to take. Would love to ask you questions about it! (Especially cost)

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