The sky road: Qinghai-Tibet Railway journey
Updated 15:48, 12-Jan-2019
Cui Xingyu

The Qinghai-Tibet Railway carried 16.56 million passengers in 2018, marking a 10-percent year-on-year hike and setting a new record since it began operation.

Extending 1,956 kilometers across the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway began its service in July 2006. It is the world's highest and longest plateau railroad connecting Xining in Qinghai Province and Lhasa in the Tibet Autonomous Region. 

The construction of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway has brought tremendous profits to the regions. Before its construction, less than 1 million tons of goods were transported each year due to the limited capacity of the highway and harsh geographic conditions. 

In comparison, according to the Qinghai-Tibet Railway Company, the railway has transported a total of 182 million passengers and 552 million tons of goods in the past 12 years.

It has boosted not only social and economic development but also the tourism industry. Reputed as “the sky road,” the railway itself is a great wonder with breathtaking views along the rail track.

The following three scenic spots will unveil a tiny part of the attractions in the Qinghai-Tibet Railway journey.

Qinghai Lake

Qinghai Lakein Qinghai Province. /VCG Photo

Qinghai Lakein Qinghai Province. /VCG Photo

Starting from Xining Railway Station, it takes about an hour to see Qinghai Lake. The largest inland and saltwater lake in China, it offers year-round pleasure. Especially in July and August, numerous rape flowers blossom along the lake, forming extraordinarily beautiful scenery. 

Kunlun Mountains

The snow-capped Kunlun Mountains. /VCG Photo

The snow-capped Kunlun Mountains. /VCG Photo

When the train reaches Kunlun Mountain Pass, we were stunned by the magnificent Kunlun Mountains, decorated with snow all year round, along with the sight of Yuzhu Peak 6,224 meters above sea level.

 Potala Palace 

Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region. /VCG Photo

Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region. /VCG Photo

The appearance of the golden roof of the Potala Palace ended our journey in Lhasa. Built in 1645, the Potala Palace is the highest ancient palace in the world. 

(With inputs from China Daily)

(Cover Photo: The Qinghai-Tibet Railway. /VCG Photo)