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China Amazing Train Journey: The Bĕijīng to Lhasa Express

Start – Bĕijīng; End – Lhasa; departs daily; Distance – 2330 miles (3750km); Duration – 40 hours

Linking the futuristic architecture and imperial wonders of Bĕijīng with the dreamlike monasteries and palaces of Lhasa, the Z21 train transports its passengers from the neon lights of urban China to a once-remote land of magenta-robed monks, where the air is heady with the aroma of incense and yak-butter candles. As it chugs westward the train climbs nearly 16,400ft (5000m) on its journey to the roof of the world: the Tibetan plateau, where it glides past grazing yaks, fluttering prayer flags, snow-capped mountains and boundless blue skies. On board, passengers slurp noodles and play cards with their bunkmates.

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