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Hard Sleeper on Tibet Trains

Last Update: July 2, 2020

Hard sleeper berth, also known as "second class sleeper", is the cheapest sleeper on China trains. It is the most popular choice for travelers who need to travel a long distance and thus need to sleep on the train. Reading the following passage, you can know more about hard sleeper on Tibet Trains, and how to get a Tibet train ticket of hard sleeper.

Hard Sleeper Berth on Tibet Trains

There are two kinds of berth on Tibet trains, Hard sleeper and soft sleeper. Don’t let the name mislead you, the hard sleeper bed is not hard at all. The "hard" is a bit of a misnomer, as the bed is indeed quite soft and comfortable. There is a soft mattress, pillow and comforter provided. Normally, a Tibet train usually has 8 hard sleeper carriages. Each carriage contains 11 compartments. There are 6 berths with 3 on each side in each compartment (2 lower-berth, 2 middle-berth, and 2 upper-berth). Each bed is approximately 60 centimeters (24 inches) wide and 180 centimeters (71 inches) long, which are enough to bear around 300 kilograms (660 pounds).

Upper Berth, Middle Berth and Lower Berth

Which kind of berth is better? Different people may choose different type of berth to book based on their preferences. Among the three kinds, although the lower berth is a bit more expensive, it is usually the most popular, mainly because it is more convenient for passengers to get in and out from bed, plus it has a better view of outside scenery. Passenger can easily lie down and sit. For senior passengers or those traveling with children, the lower berth will be better. However, other passengers of the same compartment will probably sit on your sleeper during the daytime.

Hard Sleeper Cabin on Tibet TrainsThe hard sleeper cabin on Tibet Trains has three kinds of berths.

As for the middle berth, it is an in-between option for passengers to enjoy much privacy. The middle sleeper is great for sleeping. The height is about 70km, which allow one to sit on the bed with a little bent. It is not as easily lie down and sit as the lower berth, but it does offer greater privacy because no others will sit on your bed. If you think the upper berth is too high to get and the lower berth is too messy and noisy, the middle berth could be your perfect choice.

The upper berth is the cheapest of the three berths, but it is not much comfort because it is only about 65cm high. One can hardly sit straight or freely turn over on upper berth. It is also not easy to climb up to the upper berth.

One thing that needs to be attention is that, because the online ticket system gives hard sleeper berth randomly, choosing berth is not available. But you can cancel or change your booking, at most three times per day, when you are not satisfied with your booking result. Besides, you can go directly to the ticket office of the railway station to buy the train ticket, in there, choosing berth is available.

How to Find my Berth?

Passengers can get in the carriage after showing your hard sleeper train ticket to the trainman. You can find your berth according to your train ticket. The hard sleeper train ticket will show corresponding information about departure time, carriage number, berth number, etc.

On your hard sleeper train ticket, “XX车” means your carriage number. “XX号” tell the information about your compartment number. You can also see the Chinese of “上铺”, “中铺”, “下铺” on train ticket, that respectively refers to upper berth, middle berth and lower berth. So you can find your berth based on the train ticket. You can also directly ask the trainman to help you if you have difficulty in finding your berth. After the train has started, a trainman will collect your paper tickets and give you a sleeper exchange card. The trainman will give the tickets back before you reach your destination.

Facilities in Hard Sleeper Cabin

The hard sleeper on Tibet trains is provided with some facilities for passengers. There is a small table installed between two lower berths, for passengers to eat, read and put things. There is also a thermos and a dustbin. Each sleeper also has a hook to hang bags.

Oxygen Outlet in Hard Sleeper Cabin

To deal with the lake of oxygen on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the carriages on Qinghai–Tibet Trains are specially built and have an oxygen supply for each passenger.

There are 2 kinds of oxygen supply system on Tibet trains to help you overcome the lack of oxygen. One is a 'dispersion-mode' oxygen supply system, which can convey oxygen to carriage through the air-conditioning system. The other is an independent system, which is directly used by passengers through the independent port. Passengers can connect the disposable pipe to an individual oxygen outlet when they get a headache, feel out of breath or meet any other difficulties of traveling on such a high altitude. There are also oxygen supply tube and mask on each cabin for emergency.

Hard Sleeper Oxygen OutletOxygen outlet in hard sleeper can be used by personal travellers as needed.

The oxygen supply system does not convey oxygen for the whole trip to Tibet. When the train passes the station at Golmud, at 2,809 meters above sea level, the oxygen supply system will be switched on, delivering fresh and refreshing oxygen into the carriage. when the oxygen supply systems are working, smoking is forbidden in all the carriages

It is important to master the usage of Oxygen Supply on Tibet trains. The following are the three simple steps to use the Oxygen tube onboard the train to Tibet.
1. Get the oxygen tube from Train attendants.
2. Put the oxygen tube directly into the oxygen supply port interface.
3. Put the other end of the oxygen into the nostrils.

Luggage Space in Hard Sleeper Cabin

There are two places you can put your luggage in the hard sleeper cabins. one is the luggage rack above the window on the side of the aisle, which is about 53centimeters (21 inches) wide and has enough space to keep a large suitcase. Another place is under the lower berths, which is about 30 centimeters (12 inches) high and 60 centimeters (24 inches) wide.

Besides, Valuable personal belongings such as phones, passport, wallets, etc, should be kept on your person all the time.

Public Facilities on Tibet Train


There are two toilets, separately at the left and right of the carriage. In the hard sleeper carriages, there are only squat toilets that are open for both genders. A red sign on the door means it is occupied and a green sign means it is available. Toilet paper is not supplied, you have to bring toilet paper on your own.

Washing Area

Near the toilets at the end of each carriage, there are washing area with faucets providing cold water for washing. There is also a large mirror here. No toiletries are supplied on the train so be sure to bring your toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.

Hard sleeper washing areaThere is a washing area between two hard sleeper carriages on Tibet train.


There are drinking water dispensers on each end of each carriage, where you can get hot water for free. Don’t drink the water from the washing area, it is non-potable and not suitable for drinking. You can also buy bottled water from the food trolleys.

Smoking Area

It is prohibited to smoke in any of the carriages or the aisle area, even in the toilet. If you want to smoke, there are designated smoking areas on the train which is the connecting space between two carriages.

Dining Car

Each Tibet train is equipped with a dining cart that offers passengers 3 meals a day. The dining car is in the middle section of the train where there are tables and seats available for you to enjoy the food. The menu offers limited Chinese and Tibetan dishes. Meals provided on the train are usually about twice the price than anywhere else in China.

Soft Sleeper or Hard Sleeper

It takes a long time to travel to Tibet by train and sometimes takes as long as 2 to 3 days. So it is advisable to buy a sleeper ticket, to enjoy a more comfortable and pleasant train trip.

Generally speaking, the soft sleeper carriages are more luxury and comfortable than the hard sleeper carriages. The main difference is that the hard sleeper has 6 berths in each compartment and the soft sleeper has only 4 berths in each compartment. Moreover, the soft sleeper carriage has a door in each compartment, is provided with good privacy and a quiet environment.

As for hard sleeper, it is cheaper and a little less cozy than a soft sleeper. When you choose hard sleepers you are also much closer to the locals, as many locals choose hard sleepers or hard seats to travel. You can interact with the locals, and know more about their culture.

Comparison of Hard Sleeper and Soft Sleeper on Tibet Trains

Hard SleeperSoft Sleeper
Amount of Sleepers 6 4
Size of Sleeper 60cm * 180cm 70cm * 19cm
Door No Yes
TV No Yes
Ticket Price Medium High

Get a Tibet Train Ticket of Hard Sleeper

For foreign travelers, there are two ways to get a Tibet train ticket of hard sleeper. You can go directly to the railway station or book Tibet train tickets online. It should be noted that traveling to Tibet by train is one of the most popular ways. It is better to book at least 1 month in advance, especially during peak tourism months, from August to October.

As a better choice, we can help to get your hard sleeper train ticket and the required Tibet Travel Permit. Our years of Tibet tourism experience can let you enjoy a worry-free Tibet train journey.

Live onboard Tibet Train with Hard Sleeper

The Tibet train journey usually takes more than 35 hours according to the present train schedules. You will spend a long time on the train, especially if you are departing from Beijing, Shanghai, or Guangzhou. Spending that much time on the train could feel a little boring, so what you could do to kill time onboard?

You could enjoy the scenery along the railway. The one of the important reasons for many tourists to go to Lhasa by train is watching the stunningly beautiful natural landscapes along the railway. There are a lot of beautiful scenic views along the railway, such as Qarhan Salt Lake, Yuzhu peak, Tuotuo River, Tanggula Mountain, etc.

Scenery along the railwayOne can enjoy the beautiful scenery while boarding the trains to Tibet.

Another good way to kill time onboard is by eating some snacks. snacks can replenish your energy. To prevent altitude sickness, we must ensure our body full of energy. Sometimes you can make a little entertainment of your own. You could download a few movies and books in your smart-phones or tablets, that can help to pass the time. But you should be attention to volume, don't disturb others, earphones can help you enjoy movies without making noises.


All trains to Tibet from mainland cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, etc, provide many hard sleeper berths for passengers. Although there are many hard sleeper berths available to book, you still need to make a reservation as early as possible, especially during the peak tourism months.

Booking your hard sleeper train ticket through us is a better choice. If you have any questions about the hard sleeper on Tibet trains or other detail information about taking a Tibet train journey, please contact us at your convenience.

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