The train from Xining to Lhasa is a 22 hour train ride through the scenic wide-open plains and shimmering lakes of China's Qinghai region, towards the the rolling snow-capped mountains, wandering yaks and Nomad communities of the Tibetan landscape. This is the most spectacular half of the full 40 hour cross-country journey from the capital Beijing and helps you to gently acclimatise to the rising altitude, but with small amounts of oxygen piped in for your comfort. Though far from luxurious, staying in a soft sleeper affords a comfortable vantage point from which to survey the scenery and relax. Food and hot and cold beverages are also served on an on-board restaurant. The train departs Xining at around 2pm, giving you time to buy some snacks and supplies for the journey in the morning, and then arrives in Lhasa at around 12pm on the next day. 

You might also choose to extend your stay in Xining to two nights, giving you the chance to visit the largest inland lake in China, a scenic 80 mile drive away. Qinghai Lake is a meeting point of Tibetan, Mongolian and Muslim cultures and provides a home to many lesser-known migratory birds, particularly on Bird Island. It is especially beautiful in the summer when it is surrounded by verdant grassland.

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