Golmud – Lhasa Trains

Hardly do people know the place – Golmud, if you are not planning the overland trip to Tibet by train. Golmud is the second biggest city in Qinghai province en route Xining to Lhasa. Golmud, built for mining natural sources such as salt, magnesium etc, has nothing to offer except dry desert. Though less popular and small, Golmud is the nearest city where tourists tourists can take trains to Lhasa from inland China, with only 1,142 km and approximately 12 hours train journey. All trains bound for Lhasa via Golmud makes 20-minute stop here in the morning, then beginnings to climb up to Tibet Plateau from 2780m to the highest point 5200m. In other words, Golmud is the real start points of high altitude train journey.

Golmud to Lhasa Railway Map

Golmud Lhasa Train Route Map

All trains in the table make a stopover in Golmud and some trains highlighted in red are recommend as the best train that tourists can enjoy the longest daytime sightseeing.

Important Notice

To make sure the train you choose from Golmud to Lhasa is travelling almost during daytime, the sceneary is stunning from Gulmod. If you choose the wrong train you will miss a big part of the sightseeing. However the proper train sometimes is not easy to book in Summer, as the trains are always over booked from Shanghai, Guangzhou, and there is no enough vacancy for short distance Gulmod-Lhasa transfer.

Golmud Connects Silk Road and Tibet

Though Golmud is a very small and remote city in dry desert of north west China, it is a vital hub connecting Silk Road Travel with Tibet Travel. A 530km bus ride connects Dunhuang (famous of Mogao Cave) with Gulmod.There are buses running between these two cities everyday, starting 8am in Golmud and ending in Dunhuang 5pm. Price is around 20 USD.

How to get to Gulmud

By Plane: Golmud Airport operates flights to and from Xining and Xian.

By Train: Golmund station (Qinghai Huochezhan) is on Jiangyuan Road and has direct connections with the following major cities:
Beijing (34 hours), Chengdu, (28 hours), Chongqing (28 hours), Guangzhou (46 hours), Lanzhou (16-17 hours), Lhasa (14 hours), Shanghai (37 hours) and Xining (14-16 hours), Xi’an (20-22 hours)

Gulmud to Lhasa Train Tour Booking Help

If you are planning your trip to Lhasa from Gulmud by train or have any questions about the travelling to Tibet by train, please feel free to contact us for consultation. We are ready to help you out.


  • The timetable above is just for reference.
  • We can NOT offer ticket-only service. According to the Tibet Government, foreign visitors must book a tour from a travel agency and obtain a Tibet Entry Permit before booking Tibet train ticket.
  • Tibet train tickets are quite popular and always sold out quickly, please make your enquiry at least 3-5 months before your departure date.
  • Because the hard and soft sleeper tickets from Chengdu to Lhasa are few and hard to get, we recommend you to take a flight to Xining, and then take train from Xining to Lhasa.

You are free to contact us for an enquiry about customizing a Tibet tour with flight to Tibet. A quick reply will be sent to you within 24 hours.

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