The Train Ride That Requires An Oxygen Mask

For centuries, Tibet was cut off from the outside world by its remote location, extreme climate and geographic environment. This far-flung region thwarted all but the boldest travelers and explorers — until the construction of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway in 2006. Connecting Tibet to the rest of China, the train trundles its way through the back country and high mountains of remote Qinghai into Tibet, snaking past glaciers, peaks, shimmering salt lakes and charming villages. It holds the record for the world’s highest train route, reaching altitudes of over 16,000 feet. In fact, to protect passengers from high-altitude sickness, the train has an oxygen supply system that increases the oxygen in the cabin as the train ascends, and passengers are provided with private oxygen-dispensing outlets. From start to finish, the trip takes 20 hours and 55 minutes. Prices vary depending on seat class and date of travel, but a single soft-sleeper ticket averages around $125.