Chengdu to Lhasa I

We’re just concluding our first full day in Lhasa and I am tired, overwhelmed and happy. Lhasa is an intensely interesting place. Before I get to stories of Lhasa, however, I want to tell you about our 48 hour train ride.

The train was supposed to be relaxing – a place where we could gather strength for Lhasa and watch a little known part of China pass by. We boarded in Chengdu at 1818 and before long, the sun went down and we settled in for the evening. We were in a 4 bed soft sleeper cabin. The bunks are long and wide and fairly comfortable. Although we had hoped the experience would be relaxing, we hadn’t expected our cabinmates to be quite so challenging. Despite the fact that over half the cabins were empty, we ended up in a cabin with a chubby Japanese guy who snored loudly all night and a Chinese mother with a young son who yapped incessantly. Since we had no idea what he was saying, it just sort of sounded like a sing-song “wah-wah-wah-wah.”He was quite the “Little Emperor.”

soft sleeper cabin soft sleeper car hallway

The soft sleeper car has two bathrooms – one western and one squatter style. There are a row of sinks and a hot water dispenser, as well. (Unfortunately,  it was dispensing lukewarm water for much of the trip.) Each bed has an oxygen dispenser, (which comes on when the train reaches the high-altitude pass.) reading light, and a TV with Chinese language channels. There is a dining car on the train serving meals as well as small vendor carts passing through the train on a regular basis.

sink area dining car


%d bloggers like this: