Namcuo to Naqu: Passing through the grassland and snow-capped mountains on the Qinghai Tibet Railway
Tangula Luxury Trains, China’s first luxury train company, will be welcoming aboard passengers in September 2008. Currently still under construction, the trains are scheduled to be completed in June and will be put through rigorous testing before the launch.
“While we have been working with leading wholesalers for some time, we are very pleased to open reservations to the wider industry,” says Bill Edward, vice president of marketing and sales. “Tangula Luxury Trains will provide operators and agents with the ability to offer their clients an unprecedented opportunity to discover and experience the wonders of some of the most scenic and culturally rich areas of China, areas previously inaccessible to luxury travelers.”
Tangula’s custom-built trains will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology and offer world-class service. Guests have a choice of two routes: The Northern Route Journeys, which will travel between Beijing and Lhasa, traversing the Tibetan plateau at altitudes of up to 5,072 meters on the highest railway in the world; and the Southern Route Journeys, which will travel between Beijing and Lijiang and pass through the Yunnan province. The trips are three or four nights, depending on the point of departure.
Lijiang: Two Naxi women arranging cotton yarns for knitting
Each Tangula Luxury Train features 15 passenger cars, including six accommodation, two dining and two scenic cars, and will have a maximum passenger capacity of 96. The trains’ interiors will be decorated in modern style with natural colors and Chinese influences. Oversized windows will allow guests panoramic views of the landscape.
Tangula’s suites will provide all the amenities of a five-star hotel, including one full-size or two twin beds, an en-suite bathroom with a shower, a flat-screen TV and entertainment system, a complimentary service bar and a safe. Qualified specialists will be available to provide in-room wellness treatments, and 24-hour butler service will be available. The train will even incorporate an onboard oxygen enrichment system, which will make the trip more comfortable for guests when reaching the high altitudes of the Tibetan plateau.
Meals onboard will consist of Western and Asian cuisines prepared in fully equipped onboard kitchens and accompanied by a selection of wines, cocktails and spirits.
Lhasa: A young Tibetan woman at the Barkor Street market
Managed by Kempinski Hotels, Europe’s oldest luxury hotel collection, Tangula plans to raise the bar on luxury rail travel. Guests will have the opportunity to visit the local towns and sites, such as Buddhist monasteries or ancient teahouses. Off-train excursions are included in each Tangula journey and local experts host all tours.
Travel agents who want to send clients on Tangula’s journeys can call the Tangula reservations center at 011-86-10-5809-5333 or e-mail [email protected]. An online reservation system, featuring specific operator/agent booking facilities and information, will be available in May at www.tangulaluxurytrains.com. Group reservations are also available.