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I took the newly operated Chongqing-Lhasa train along the Qinghai-Tibet highland railway and reached Lhasa the third day.
Scenery along the rail track is unbelievably beautiful with vast lakes, views of snow-capped mountains, foothill grassland among which flocks of yak and sheep are leaping and skipping.
The train condition is very good, better than most of the trains I have ever seen in China. Everything inside looks new and tidy. Each seat is equipped with an oxygen mask which can be used by individual passengers if needed. Toilet is the western squat style, rare to seen in trains in China.
Tibet in the far west Himalayas was relatively inaccessible to tourists in the past but the opening of the Qinghai-Tibet railway ended this situation. Now the region is much more accessible because the Chinese government has opened several train services connecting other parts of China with Tibet.
My tour was relatively comprehensive covering almost all the major tourist destinations and all key attractions. During this 16 days trip, I visited Lhasa, Shigatse, Lhazi, Mountain Everest, Dazhu, Damxiong, Nyingchi and enjoyed the natural beauty and abundant cultural heritage those places offer.
Tibet seems a region out of the world. The landscape, its people and their lifestyle are completely different to other parts of China. The ancient religions and local practice seem odd and complicated. It's very interesting to watch local people piously practice their centuries-long religious etiquette.
Tibet is a relatively less developed area. Tourism is in its infancy and hotel accommodation is quite primitive. Hotels in the bigger cities such as Lhasa, Shigatse can provide satisfactory accommodation; however, hotels in other places are very primitive. The further from major cities, the worse the hotel condition was.
Many people believe that transportation in Tibet is horrible but they are completely wrong.
Recently, the area has built a comprehensive network of asphalt highways, which spreads almost every corner of the region. Be forewarned though, mudslides may occur in some parts during the rainy season from May to Aug and in winter some roads may be blocked by heavy snow; please be well informed before your trip.?????
My Tibet tour was interesting and worthwhile.