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Dining on Tibet Trains - What to Eat and Drink on the Trains to Tibet

14 December 2022 Last updated at 09:45

Dinning is one of the most important experiences during our traveling. When it comes to the spectacular train trip to Tibet, what to eat and drink seems to become more important because you may have to stay more than 40 hours but have fewer opportunities to get food supply out of the train, and the dinning is not included in your train ticket. But don’t worry! You won’t be starved because there are food and drinks supplied on the train. Besides, you can get fully prepared for the train ride by bring some favorite food and snacks with you. Following is the detailed guide about the dinning on Tibet trains.

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Dining Carriage on the Train

All Tibet Trains have a dining carriage on the middle of the train which can usually hold about 40~50 passengers to have meals. The Number of the Dinning Carriage is usually No. 9, but may be different. You’d better consult the conductors, pay attention to the voice broadcast or look for the signboard on the train.

What Offered in the Dinning Carriage?

The small eatery provide passengers breakfast, lunch and dinner in the meal hours (breakfast around 07:30~8:30; lunch around 11:30~14:00; dinner around 17:30~19:00) and some snacks and drinks during most free time. Currently only some Chinese-style and Tibetan-style food and cuisines are provide: rice, vegetables, meats and soups. The food on the menus is limited. Kung Pao Chicken is the most common dishes on the train.

The breakfast is simple. There are porridge, pickles, boiled eggs, Chinese breads, and steamed stuffed buns (Bao Zi - 包子). Coffee is sometime available but instant. For the lunch and dinners, you have rice and some common Chinese or Tibetan dishes to order on the menus. Most dishes are fried or stewed, such as Scrambled Egg with Tomato (番茄炒蛋), Kung Pao Chicken (宫保鸡丁), Shredded Potatoes (土豆丝), Stewed Beef (炖牛肉), Cabbage, Tofu, Fish, etc. Please note that different train offer different menus. And all the menus are in Chinese. If you are a fan of Sichuan Cuisine, you can choose to take the trains from Chengdu or Chongqing.

There is also a small bar in the Dinning Carriage where you can buy some water, juice, beer, wine and other bottled drinks. Tea and coffee sometimes are offered.

Price Guide

The price of dishes in the Dinning Carriage is almost double that of normal restaurants outside. It is ranged from CNY 20 to CNY 60. The meat dishes cost around CNY 40, while the vegetable dishes cost around CNY 20. Only cash of Chinese Currency is accepted.

Sightseeing in the Dinning Carriage

The Dinning Carriage is a great place to spend some quiet and leisure time to enjoy the beautiful landscape passing by because it has spacious and soft seats. But you should come when the meal time is over and the carriage will become less crowded. To enjoy the cozy time in the Dinning Carriage, you have to at least order a cup of tea or other drinks from the bar in the carriage, or you will be asked to get back to your seat.

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Cook is making meals on Beijing-Lhasa Tain
Tibet Train Meal
Enjoy the food in the dining car
View from the Dining Car on Tibet Train
Wonderful View from Dining Car

Buy Meals from Food Trolley

Since the seats in the Dinning Carriage are limited. So the attendants will push a Food Trolley through each carriage to sell Packed Food (Three Chinese dishes and rice are contained in a meal box) during the lunch and dinner time. The price of each Pack Food is around 20~25 RMB. The Foot Trolley also sells snack, fruits and drinks in other times.

Buy Snack from the Vendors in the Train Station

Running out of snacks or wanting to try some local specialties? You can use the free time to get off the train to buy some food and snacks from the venders in the train station when the trains make stops at middle way stations, such as Xian Railway Station, Lanzhou Railway Station, Xining Railway Station, etc. The venders usually sell some packed snacks, such as Spicy strips, Pocky Chocolate Sticks, Noodle Cups, Chicken Feet with Pickled Peppers, breads, milk, juices, etc. The prices are a little more expensive than the prices outside. To save your time (sometimes the trains just stop for few minutes in some train stations), you'd better prepare some change.

Food Trolley on Tibet Trains
Meal from the Food Trolley

Practical Tips on Dining Carriage

  • 1. The meal hours on the Tibet trains - breakfast around 07:30~8:30; lunch around 11:30~14:00; dinner around 17:30~19:00.
  • 2. Only Chinese and Tibetan food are provided on the train. Coffee is instant in the Dinning Carriage.
  • 3. The washrooms in Soft Sleeper Carriages are usually cleaner than those in Hard Sleeper Carriages and Hard Seat Carriages.
  • 4. You are suggested to bring some food drinks on your own because the food and drinks offered on the train are limited.
  • 5. You can buy snack from the vendors in the midway train station, such as Lanzhou, Xining Railway Station.

How to Plan A Tibet Tour

Tibet is a place with majestic landscapes and splendid culture. There might be hundreds of ways to travel Tibet, especially its most appealing destinations - Lhasa, Everest, Namtso, Kailash, etc. We suggest you start your tour from the capital Lhasa. You can take 3~4 days to acclimatize high altitudes and explore the highlights of Lhasa city. Then you can spend 1~2 days to visit Lhasa's surroundings, such as Namtso, Yamdrok Lake, Ganden Monastery, etc. Besides Lhasa and its surrounding regions, you shall not miss the 3rd pole of the earth, Mt Everest, which is no longer a privilege site for just mountaineers and spending 3~4 more days to explore it. Later, you can head back to Lhasa or continue your journey to the west to reach Ngari and kora around the holy Mount Kailash and Manasarovar. It totally depends on your schedules and preferences.

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Check out our most popular train tour packages departing from most popular gateway cities to Tibet - Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, Xining, Shanghai, etc. All packages are customizable according to your requirements. If you have more time, you can extend your trip from Lhasa to other popular destinations, such as Shigatse, Mount Everest, Nyingchi, Ngari, etc. Check more >Tibet Train Tours

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