There are three sorts of options on the train to Lhasa, soft sleepers combined with hard sleepers and hard seat, arranged in the order of the first class, second class and third class and their prices also are in descending order.
Synthesizing all features of the three options, hard sleeper actually occupies the relatively high cost performance as it is cheaper than a soft sleeper but more comfortable than a hard seat. However, if the budget permits, soft sleeper is still the firstly recommendation as we should take the harsh condition of journey on the highest train in the world into consideration.
Below is the detailed introduction for the facilities inside and outside the hard sleeper compartment in one carriage as well as some pictures for them, which may shed an instruction for people’s Tibet train trip.
1) Hard sleeper compartment with semi-opened door and 6 berths
Not like the soft sleeper compartment, there are 6 berths allocated in both sides of the room—3 berths at the left and 3 at the right (upper berths, middle berths, and lower berths). The lower sleepers keep largest space relatively, and then the middle berths and lastly the upper berths, which, especially the middle and upper berths, might be a little bit narrow for people but could satisfy them for sleeping.
The most outstanding merit of the semi-open compartment is that hard sleeper room allows passengers more chance to communicate with strangers, make friends with them and kill time together and share a unique experience with each other, which will pose more interest to your Tibet tour.
2) Oxygen outlet in hard sleeper room
There is outlet for oxygen in each room and customers could ask for the special pipe from the train staff for oxygen uptake when they feel bad due to the higher altitude.
3) Luggage carrier
Luggage carrier in the hard sleeper carriage is allocated above the pull-down chair in the aisle. It enjoys no private and large space as in the soft sleeper room but could meet the base need for placing your luggage. As for the valuables, you are suggested to keep them near with you.
4) Charging outlets
The charging outlets in hard sleeper carriage are not as many as in the soft sleeper carriage, usually 3 or 4 outlet in each carriage. Passengers are suggested to take power bank with enough battery needed when most trains to Lhasa runs about 40 hours.
5) Smoking area
Smoking is usually prohibited in the public area on the train, although there is a special area for smoking people to have a brief relief at the end of a carriage (or the conjunctions of two carriages), however, considering the possible suffering from altitude sickness, passengers on Qinghai-Tibet train are strongly not suggested to smoke here, especially after the train pass the Golumd in response to the ascending altitude.
6) Drinking water supplier
At both ends of the carriage, there are two device supplying drinking water, including cold water and hot water.
7) Toilet in the hard sleeper carriage
At the both end of the carriage, you can find the toilet rooms with the squatting device. An electronic screen out of the toilet room shows whether there is people using the toilet—the green sign lights means no one is in the toilet room while red sign means you should wait for a while.
8) Washing area
There is a public area with mirror outside of the toilet room for passengers to wash.