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  Schedule for train trips from Shanghai to Lhasa released  
Author:sichuan Source:china-panda time:2006-3-31

Schedules for the Shanghai-Lhasa railway tours were released yesterday at the Shanghai World Trade Fair 2006.

Five tours are now available for both Chinese and foreign travelers, with trips ranging in price from 3,600 yuan (US$448) to 8,000 yuan.

The trip combines a train ride, air flight, and bus trip. The tour will start on July 1.

A direct train from Shanghai takes five days to arrive in Lhasa, capital city of Tibet Autonomous Region. One can take the Lhasa-Chengdu (Sichuan Province) flight on the way back.

In addition, travelers can fly to Xining, Qinghai Province, then get on the Qinghai-Lhasa train, which takes 22 hours.

Travelers can spend a day touring around Xining City. A five-day bus ride will take travelers from Xining to Lhasa.

Buses will stop at various famous sites in Tibet, such as Gelmud, Yanpachen, and the Tuotuo River. They can reach as high as 5,231 meters at the Tanggula Mountains' pass, on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau.

"This trip is surely the most exotic one among the five," said Steven Shen, sales manager at the Shanghai Odyssey Travel.

Foreign travelers still need to have traveling permits to enter Tibet. Permits have to be presented in Naqu District, which is on the border between the Tibet Autonomous Region and the rest of China.

A market survey, conducted by the agency, showed that travelers to Tibet want to experience the train ride, but they don't want to spent too much time on transport, according to Shen.

The four-day Shanghai World Trade Fair 2006 started yesterday at the Shanghai Exhibition Center with over 480 exhibitors attending from 50 countries and regions.

The Canadian Tourism Commission, which is making its first visit to China, brought over 40 exhibitors, including Canadian travel agencies, Air Canada and VIA Rail Canada Inc.

"We took such a big action, as we wanted to be well prepared for the Chinese market," said Sherry Huang, commission representative.

When the country's previous Prime Minister, Paul Martin, visited China last January, he reached a verbal agreement with Chinese leaders to grant Canada approved travel destination status.

The countries are still discussing the plan, according to Robert B. Mackenzie, the Canadian consul general in Shanghai.

"We look forward to having the discussions concluded within this year," the consul general said yesterday.

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