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New Asia Travel Attraction, Go Tibet By Rail

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  • Subert Kiing
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 2, 2006

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      Please consider this free-reprint article written by:
      Subert Kiing

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      Article Title: New Asia Travel Attraction, Go Tibet By Rail
      Author: Subert Kiing
      Word Count: 844
      Article URL: http://www.isnare.com/?aid=83588&ca=Travel
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      ================== ARTICLE START ==================
      Tibet projects mystic thoughts to many western travelers. And
      indeed Tibet never fail to impress. Tibetan mountain ranges and
      landscapes are home to an immense diversity of species of rare
      plants and birds. Tibetan forests are also famous for its
      tremendous spectrum of herbs for Chinese medicines. But due to
      the freezing temperatures and geographical altitudes, China's
      tourist access to Tibet region has been very limited until
      recently. On July 1, 2006 Qinghai-Tibet Railroad commenced its
      passenger service, marking a remarkable milestone in China's
      infrastructure building. This opens up a way for adventurous
      tourists to travel from Beijing to the remote Tibet by train
      with a low budget.

      An estimated 90% of tourists would use the railroad to reach
      Lhasa, Tibet. It is an unique ground expedition across clear
      cascading streams, spectacular mountain ranges, and the
      colorful landscapes almost untouched by modern civilization. It
      would be the dream of urban travelers to experience nature with
      such a panoramic vision, indulging and rejuvenating for a true
      getaway from the hectic city-life.

      A Centennial Dream Comes True

      From its initial conception in the early 1950s, the
      construction of Qinghai-Tibet Railroad went through a lengthy
      50 years to build. The first section of 814 km, from Xining,
      capital of Qinghai Province, to Golmud began operation in 1984.
      The Golmud-Lhasa section commenced construction in June 2001. On
      July 1, 2006, the 1,956-Km Qinghai-Tibet Railroad started its
      full-length operation. Its 2 inaugural trains, "Qing 1" and
      "Tibet 2", started service from Golmud and Lhasa separately.
      China President Hu Jintao labeled the project as an
      unbelievable achievement both in China and the World's railway
      construction. This completed mission also realized a centennial
      dream of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the pioneer of China's democratic

      The Physical Deterrents

      Geographical conditions from Golmod to Lhasa are especially
      harsh. Perennial icy soil as hard as steel, thick blankets of
      Winter snow and the high altitudes deterred and slowed down
      project progress through the many years of site execution. An
      American, Paul Theroux, prophesized that Kunlun Range was a
      definite impossible geographical barrier for railroad to get to
      Lhasa. But the inauguration of Qinghai-Tibet Railroad, now the
      world's highest railroad terminating in Lhasa, has proven
      Theroux's prophesy untrue.

      Key Facts of Qinghai-Tibet Railroad

      1. Qinghai-Tibet Railroad is the world's highest.
      2. 960 kms of its tracks are located 4,000 m above sea level.
      3. The highest point is 5,072 m above sea level or 200 meters
      higher than the 2nd highest Peruvian railroad in the Andes.
      4. 550 kms of the route run on frozen soil
      5. Tanggula Railway Station is the highest railway station in
      the world (5,068m above sea level)
      6. Fenghuoshan Tunnel is the world's highest tunnel on frozen
      soil (4,905 m above sea level)
      7. It is the world's longest plateau railroad, extending 1,956
      kms from Xining, Qinghai to Lhasa, Tibet.
      8. The Golmud-Lhasa section zigzags 1,142 kms across the
      Tanggula and Kunlun Ranges.
      9. Kunlun Mountain Tunnel is the world's longest plateau tunnel
      built on frozen soil(1,686 m)
      10. The maximum design train speeds are 100 km/h in frozen
      zones and 120 km/h on non-frozen areas.

      Environmental Friendly

      Chinese authority responded actively to international call for
      environmental friendly and sustainable development. 8% of the
      total development cost was set aside for conservation of
      environment. Recommendations by the Academy of Environment
      Protection were taken seriously by the Chinese government
      before construction. Qinghai-Tibet Railroad was credited with
      the honor of being the first environmental friendly railroad in
      the world.

      Train Schedule for Tibet

      Tourists can join in this rail route from several different
      cities in China.

      1. Western Beijing Train Station to Lhasa, the whole journey is
      4,064Km and takes 47 hours and 28 minutes. The ticket fee is
      RMB389 (USD48) for a hard seat, RMB813 (USD102) for a hard
      sleeper and RMB1262 (USD160) for a soft sleeper. It leaves
      Beijing at 21:30 every night and arrives in Lhasa at 20:58 on
      the third day. Another train leaves Lhasa for Beijing at 8:00
      each morning and arrives in Beijing at 8:00 the third day, via
      Xian, Lanzhou, Xining, Golmod and Nacku.

      2. Chengdu Train Station to Lhasa, the whole journey is
      3,360km. The ticket fee is RMB331 for a hard seat, RMB712 for a
      hard sleeper and RMB1104 (USD140) for a soft sleeper. It leaves
      Chengdu at 18:18 on the odd days and arrives in Lhasa at 18:28
      on the third day. It leaves Lhasa for Chengdu at 9:05 and
      arrives in Chengdu at 9:55 the third day, Via Guangyuan, Baoji,
      Lanzhou, Xining, Golmod and Nacku

      3. Chongqing Train Station to Lhasa. The whole journey is
      3,654Km The ticket fee is RMB355 for a hard seat, RMB754 for a
      hard sleeper and RMB1168 for a soft sleeper. It leaves
      Chongqing at 19:20 on the even days and arrives in Lhasa at
      18:28 on the third day. It leaves Lhasa for Chongqing at 09:05
      and arrives in Chongqing at 09:55 the third day, Via Guangan,
      Dazhou, Xian, Baoji,Lanzhou, Xining, Golmod and Nacku.

      Enjoy your Tibet trip and write to share with others your
      memorable adventures in this rugged part of China!

      About The Author: Subert Kiing - Architect who has lived and
      traveled in many parts of Asia. He currently writes for
      http://www.1asiatravel.com and

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      ================== ARTICLE END ==================

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