However you will generally find police officers and railroad staff sitting under these signs and smoking heavily. This article has been viewed 4,925 times. How to Board and Get off a China Train 1. By using our site, you agree to our. 837 posts. Taking the train in China can be a wonderful and exciting process and is a great way to see the countryside if you have the extra time to travel. In a like manner, no “official” will ever approach you to offer help. This is near the toilets and will have from 2 to 3 sinks. Proceed to the next security checkpoint. But if they approach you, then be on your guard as they are likely nothing but a commissioned runner for a taxi, hotel or travel agency. Upon leaving the platform you may have to pass through a gate where an attendant will want to see your ticket. If you can’t read the menu, then there are only two possibilities for you. that no ticket agent can guarantee anyone a seat before tickets go on sale. Put all of your luggage on the conveyor belt of the x-ray inspection machine. Many large cities (and even some small ones) have more than one station! The answer to this question really is “as much as you want!’ Want to sip martinis, tear up the clubs in Shanghai, and stumble home to a luxury hotel? The Trains – Domestic trains run by the China Railway are broken down into “classes” which vary by speed and service. To research trains and their schedules, you can check out the English website of an agent. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. 28 reviews. Alia Bhatt's SHOCKING Wardrobe Malfunction In Front Of MEDIA. (process is now somewhat different). You may enter either the low numbered end or the high numbered end. Once inside the station proceed to the main exit. Train stations are often conveniently close to the centre of town. Do not forget to fetch your luggage in the other side of the conveyor belt. When this is done the station is often modernized. Some hotel concierges/travel desks are willing to do this, but ticket there are ticketing agents that can procure your tickets but you will be This is the new high-speed rail system being built in China. The first is “fake” taxis. Now all you have to do is to find your compartment and berth. The most popular ones on TA would be www.china-diy-travel.com and www.chinahighlights.com  While this is generally accurate, understand that any train schedule in English may be out of date with respect to schedule and prices. Travelling on sleeper berths at night means you can frequently arrive at your destination first thing in the morning, saving a night’s hotel accommodation. So you will find these squares filled with people sitting on their luggage, waiting for their train time. Another Shanghai - Hong Kong route  (Jiulong is how the Chinese know it), *** Note that the information below deals with the old overnight train. WHY SOME MEN STAND LEGS WIDE APART. Look first for your train number and then the departure time – this should match your tickets. Likewise, when staying at a hotel, ask the concierge or front desk to write your destination (tourist attraction or train station) in Chinese to give to the taxi driver so you end up where you want to be. So do not throw away your ticket. When you enter your compartment each bed will have a stack of bedding – a sheet-covered comforter and one or two pillows. Or, they may be displayed inside the compartment above the window (and obscured by a curtain). Gennerally speaking, booking in advance is good. Level Contributor . Have Your Passport/Travel Permit and Ticket Checked at the Entrance. Have your destination city written out in Chinese to be sure you get the correct tickets. Yet with huge numbers of people travelling on a rail network where little English is spoken, the idea of train travel might seem intimidating. So, plan ahead and bring your own washcloth and towel (travel stores carry a type of high-absorbency/quick drying towel) and soap. more. The advantages of taking trains in China: The railway network covers almost every province in China. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. This page will help you understand & plan train travel in China, & arrange your train tickets. But it can also be a chaotic and sometimes confusing process with millions of people traveling by train everyday in China. At your car you will need to show your ticket to the car attendant who will motion you into the car to the right or to the left. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. Notice on your ticket that following the date will be a two-digit number followed by another number. A few examples include seat61.com (which includes train schedules and information from all around the world) and chinatrainguide.com. Generally the trains are loaded 30 minutes in advance of departure in originating cities. Check the schedules. The “G” trains are the fastest and normally only service two end-points with maybe a … In addition there are generally as many as 6 to 8 police officers on the train. Not only does this save you time, it also gives travelers the peace of mind that they will have a seat on the train. In some cases you just go in and find an empty seat and sit down. Chinese trains are a safe, comfortable, punctual & cheap way to travel around China, and a Chinese train journey is an experience in itself, in contrast with less reliable and environmentally-unfriendly internal flights. Keep an eye on the electronic reader board that displays your train number. Some stations also have police to “wand” you, but foreigners are rarely asked to stop for this. If you don’t have it when you arrive at a city you may find yourself paying again. 3. Tyler. These are fast trains that run on the regular passenger tracks. When approached, do not make eye contact or allow them to engage you in conversation. Such premium can be quite high depending on who you use. Many Chinese arrive hours early for their trains and are not admitted into the station. Keep this with you for the duration of the trip. Determine the route you want to travel and look at the available times. Your hotel will do this for you, or you could print out this information prior to your trip. Since it is uncomfortable spending hours sitting in the upper berth with no window to look out, it is customary for the upper-berth passengers to sit on the aisle-end of the lower berth during the day. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Your other option is to see what other people are eating and point to that. You can eat snacks or meals in your room. To start with, I turned to the Man in Seat Sixty-One (seat61.com), whose website is a dependable treasure trove of useful information on train services worldwide. You’re looking at prices comparable to New York, London, or Paris. Here in our China train guide, we will give you the best tips from our first-hand knowledge! Again, every station is different. Discover your look! 8. You may have your ticket punched as you leave the waiting area. Find an empty seat and place your receipts on the table. TomoNews US. "D" trains are next fastest while "T" trains are quite slow. Find out everything you need to know before you book and board your train in China here. The railroad right-of-way is elevated whereas the regular trains are at ground level. … Then look for a number. If there is no taxi queue, then head to the main street to flag down a taxi. In smaller city/stations all passengers wait together in the same room. Larger cities/stations will have a designated “Soft Sleeper Waiting Area”. You may be approached by a person in an official-looking uniform. (note that this procedure is now being phased out with the issue of the real name system). This is generally off to one side or the other of the main entrance. A normal “fast train” trip In China, check-in always begins 30 minutes before the train's departure. In fact you will have difficulty getting their attention. However, it can be clumsy if you do not speak Chinese. However, the availability of schedules in English may vary greatly from city to city. There's typically no need to remove your shoes or outerwear. Across the aisle from the compartment is a single seat that folds down out of the wall. This company, run by Australian Chinese couple, can help with booking your train tickets. In this way you can have all your tickets organized and purchased before you leave home. You will have a variety of “roommates” and this can be fun and interesting. If you are unfortunate enough to have been assigned an upper berth, to get to it you step on the lower mattress and then on a fold-out step in the wall. Train schedules are available on a number of websites (including English language sites). The biggest cities have fast and efficient sudway lines, and most such lines include connections to regional transportation hubs. Some cars have both types. Go Through the Security Check. They will motion the direction to you. The “G” trains are the fastest and normally only service two end-points with maybe a … Hard Class sleeper compartment                Hard Class sleeper aisle. There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. From the low end of the car, the first compartment in a Soft Sleeper will house berths 1 through 4. Here are ten things that you need to know about overnight train travel in China: berths, food and drink, travelling time, entertainment, people watching, toliets, queing, buying ticket, overnight trains vs. high speed trains (G trains), getting to the station / arriving at your destination. This is nothing like the TSA security. Most do not. sleeper or sleepers in general on popular routes)  and alternatives may be either coach seating or Hard Sleeper, if Understand that those waiting to get into the state might not be lined up. They will also need a copy of your passport if you wish to have the tickets delivered to you. it may be difficult to obtain the tickets you want (such as deluxe soft from Beijing to Shanghai used to take 12 hours. If you are lucky, there will be some photos of the dishes. In most of the major cities, the trains stations are connected to the subway network. Lower berth space is more expensive than upper berth space but it is worth the extra cost. Trains travel is very safe in China. Traveling by train in China is a lot of fun, but trying to buy tickets can be a little stressful, especially when you're doing it in Mandarin! This article contains a discussion by Tripadvisor members concerning the above topic. No legitimate taxi will approach you. Purchasing in person at the station is convenient. % of people told us that this article helped them. Most are the traditional hole-in-the-floor type of facility. When I first took a Fast Train in China I expected to have to make my schedule around the train time.. After all, how many Fast Trains are there in China between Beijing and Jinan?A lot, that’s how many. These are very handy when dealing with taxis. Last Updated: December 20, 2020 Arriving in a strange city can be a challenge. Though there is the language barrier, traveling by train in China is not difficult at all. It is not uncommon to have English-speaking passengers (Chinese or foreigners) in these rooms. In most cases your ticket will be checked again at your destination city. Perhaps you’re traveling China on a budget and flights are too expensive or the train is too full. Use this water at your own risk – it will likely make you sick as it is “local” water and not purified. You can sit here (if it is available) but have to contend with a constant flow of passengers scraping by you. In this case you get to sit on your bed with your luggage. Dining cars are clearly marked as No Smoking. Your car attendant can point you in the right direction to find the dining car. It is the person who approaches you from the other direction and who is carrying nothing that you need to be wary of. Since Soft Class is more expensive, the Chinese who travel this way tend to be better off than the average. The most used booking site for people in China is 12306.cn, but this site is only in Chinese. A few, such as chinahighlights.com and china-diy-travel.com, are in English. China to buy your tickets, tickets go on sale at the station or with Also understand that in some cases, they will show you a price but you only find their fee in the last step of the booking process. Train stations are often conveniently close to the centre of town. Railway employees and police officers need to be flagged down. If you wait until you arrive in Some have no over-head storage at all and the under-bed storage is limited by a steel bed frame. Tape the English version side to the Chinese version side (or laminate them back-to-back). They can also be found congregated in the dining car – and usually smoking. Those cost more and require advance payments. There is no e-ticketing or on-train ticketing for trains in China, so you must hold paper tickets before boarding China trains. Travelling on sleeper berths at night means you can frequently arrive at your destination first thing in the morning, saving a night’s hotel accommodation. All waiting areas will have restroom facilities and food and beverage vendors. Place your bags and other carry items on a moving conveyor belt (it is low, so easy to use) and walk around the machine to get your items on the other side. Our job board is updated daily with the highest quality job postings available. This is not to say that the Chinese people are not helpful – they are. In the newer stations for the fast trains, you put your ticket in the  turnstile machine, similar to when you accessed the platform at the beginning of the trip. Paste this into a document and print it out the size of a business card. Man in China crushed to death by train while crossing platform. 14:19. Never drink the water in the washroom – or use it to clean your toothbrush – even if you see other passengers doing this. Tickets usually go on sale 60 days prior to departures via the official centralized website: www.12306.cn This website is only in Chinese and requires a Chinese bank-issued card to pay but for those who do have a Chinese bank card you can follow the screenshots here to navigate the purchase process: http://www.travelchinacheaper.com/12306. Although Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. [1] X Research source [2] X Research source Train schedules can also be had a… Note that most stations will only show city names in Chinese, at least on their display boards. and, as such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated and cannot be You can do so just before your departure. Of course, its actually rare everywhere in the world except for the U.S., Canada, some portions of Europe, and a few former European colonies. Berths are numbered from one end of the car to the other. However it is not unusual to find people hanging around smoking in the ends of the cars and in the vestibules. This route now has fast train droing the trip in about half the time.***. anything. A fake taxi is just a private vehicle – a car or van that the owner will use to take you for a ride – literally. They may have an ID tag, epaulets, and all sorts of pins and emblems. When the staff has been fed, it is then the passenger’s turn to eat. She will want your passport and your ticket. option is to have your hotel purchase the tickets for you in advance as soon as Unless you are into punishing yourself, for overnight travel,  you will want to travel in a sleeping car, not by coach. Each berth has a reading light and a small net shelf to store necessities. What You Need to Board a Train in China: References. Many “Z” trains do have these, but most “K” and “T” trains do not. The waitress will bring you a menu to choose from. Trains are generally highly punctual in China and are usually a safe way to travel. If you are worried about obtaining a If tickets are bought on-line and you do not wish them to be delivered, you are given a confirmation number which you need to bring along with your passport at the train station to pick up the paper ticket. Get off the train and check out. Unfortunately all the programming is in Chinese. 2. This article has been viewed 4,925 times. paying a fee and it is more expensive than obtaining your own. Prior to your departure to China research each hotel. Let’s look at travel by train…. If you are passing through Guangzhou you may find that you have arrived at one station but are leaving from another. Most do not have these, though. Tickets have the name and id card number on the ticket (passport number for foreigners). Actually, it is quite easy, fun, and even more convenient than taking a plane. Train travel is among the most common forms of transportation in China, and it is substantially cheaper than flying. So the locomotives and passenger cars are of different colors based on the company. To create this article, 12 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. Set that agai… You have a number of choices for your meals: You can bring your own and eat in your room. Toilets in the “K” and “T” trains (and all normal class trains) dump directly on the railroad right-of-way. There may be a very large electronic reader board above the entrance or off to the side with lists all the upcoming trains so those waiting will be informed. The Deluxe Soft Sleeper is usually more modern and may have an actual closet in which to hang things, a hotel-type safe and even in-room sink and toilet facilities – it all depends on the luck of the draw. In China, trains are categorized by service and speed. It's cheap, convenient and perfect for the budget traveler. Find your train and seat. 2. The berth numbers are indicated either outside of the compartment on the wall or on the door. Lifestyle. One of those things is their high-speed rail system, simply called the ‘Fast Train’. Shortly after departure your car attendant will come to visit. NEVER let someone else help you with your luggage. Taxi drivers in China do NOT speak English. Be sure of which station you are going to, as some places (like Beijing) have multiple stations. The fake taxis, at best, will take you to your hotel at double or triple the cost – you won’t know any better. She may also have packaged sandwiches, noodles, beverages, etc. She may or may not speak English but will speak enough to get by. If you plan on traveling by train through China this is an invaluable service. The name of the station will be clearly printed on your ticket. The beds are generally comfortable. At the end of the hall will be a hot-water dispenser that the passengers use to make noodles and tea. People will excitedly approach you and say “Taxi…Taxi”. Some examples of Soft Sleeper prices (per person): Guangzhou to Guilin – 311 to 382 RMB (USD$ 55 to 65), Hong Kong to Shanghai (Deluxe Soft Sleeper) – 1039 HKD  ($134). Avoid these at all costs! Once inside the station, look for the large electronic train board. The Chinese tend to use the trains as a way to transport large items and to avoid shipping these, so you may find that they have every available space stuffed with their boxes and oversized-bags. Plan ahead and bring a bottle of water (or buy one on the train). You will pay for the ticket and receive it immediately. LANGUAGE WARNING!Sorry about the language in this video guys. The website chinahighlights.com can send the ticket to a hotel front desk or reserve it for you at the train station's ticket office. Domestic trains run by the China Railway are broken down into “classes” which vary by speed and service. If you are looking lost or unsure of yourself, a fellow passenger may stop to help you with directions. Tickets are good only for the name and passport number printed on them and this will be checked when you enter the station. Consider taking the subway or a cab to reach the station you will depart from. The two-digit number is your car and the other number is your berth number in that car. High speed trains offer smooth rides, but regular train rides can be bumpy. Train travel in China is fast, safe, efficient and very clean. At bedtime you unroll your comforter and make up your bed. Soft-Class sleeping compartments may vary from the above. Best of all, the fares were tremendous value for money: for instance, a soft sleeper from Beijing to Shanghai costs from RMB500 (£45) per person if bought direct from the station in Beijing. A security guard will use a "wand" and may gently pat you down. 2:03. Their system is linked directly with the official website (12306.cn). As such, the restrooms are locked while in the stations, for 10 to 15 minutes before arrival and a similar time after departure. Make sure you are using a reputable organization. Tickets can be bought 18 days prior to the departure date at a railway station or a train … Each dining car setup is differently. A quick guide on how to take China trains: Step 1: Arrive at the railway station 1-1.5 hours in advance; Step 2: Pass ID-ticket check and security check at the station entrance; Step 3: Find the right waiting room and wait for boarding; Step 4: Check in at the right boarding gate; Step 5: … The CRH system is independent from the normal trains. Queuing, as the British call it, is almost rare in China. Breakfast - you never know what it will be! The key routes loinking popular cities would be the following: You can make your trip much less stressful if you do some pre-planning and organizing. Learn these tips and phrases … A drone video appearing to show hundreds of blindfolded men being led from a train in China has raised new concerns over the ongoing crackdown on … In addition to your car attendant (normally a woman), there is the train conductor and his crew of male assistants. NEVER get sucked in by these scams. are sold out or at a much higher last-minute price. While waiting, watch the TV monitors which will show you many of the scams designed to separate passengers from their luggage and valuables. The Trains – Domestic trains run by the China Railway are broken down into “classes” which vary by speed and service. In any case, this is not the most pleasant part of your journey as you are wrestling your items up and down stairways with a mass of other people doing the same. In smaller cities or at times of lower traffic volume, cabs are also readily available. The following discussion relates to the normal China Railways trains, There are various ways to buy train tickets in China. China-Train-Ticket is only responsible for the train ticket booking, modification and cancelation in the terms mentioned- above. A letter (C, D, G, Z, T & K) preceding the numbers indicate the type of train. (The English side will help you keep the hotel cards straight and help you know which hotel you are actually showing the driver). Whether it's a high-speed train from Beijing to Shanghai or a 24-hour overnight train from Shenzhen to Chengdu, I almost always choose Chinese trains over a plane. It often (usually) will be simply a written menu in Chinese. While CRH “G” trains are technically You may have to go up a few flights of stairs to cross over the tracks to your platform or you may have to go down to a subway to cross under the tracks. But if you’re It will likely be the last time you ever see it! 1 - Berths of Trains in China Traveling and touring by train in China is probably easier than you think it is! There is an expansive window with a small table under it. Find your orientation (to know if the car numbers go from left to right or vice-versa) and head toward your car. Everything is new and modern. If you have trouble finding the proper waiting area, show your ticket to a railway employee. Be sure you know which station your train leaves from! Most trains have 8 or more railway brakemen and assistant conductors. This will be your train “waiting area” or the gate number. Once in your compartment, you will stash your larger luggage overhead, under the lower bunk or (if there is no other space) under the table which is under the window. The car number is usually also written on a column or on the floor. Most stations will not. Train tickets are comparatively cheap. And the types and levels of service vary from company to company and train to train. Most Chinese who travel by train bring their own food onboard and eat in the compartment. You can eat in the dining car. Kind Regards. A letter (C, D, G, Z, T & K) preceding the numbers indicate the type of train. Watch this video guide to see what a train trip in China is like. The ticket entrance will close at 5 to 10 minutes before the train's departure. This is perfect for a traveling couple as you don’t have to share with others and you have a level of privacy you don’t get with the Soft Sleeper compartment. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 4,925 times. 5. One hour of train-sitting won’t bring you to the next big city, like in Europe. Train schedules are available on a number of websites (including English language sites). China Train Types . Follow the crowd. If you are a light sleeper it is recommended that you bring along a pair of ear-plugs. The CRH can take Also print out the same information in English. A letter (C, D, G, Z, T & K) preceding the numbers indicate the type of train. In intermediate cities, you may have a little as 3 minutes.. China, old and new, is a fascinating country and well worth a visit, especially for anyone with an interest in railways and for whom a train journey is essential. In Guangzhou there is a main Guangzhou station that serves the west and north and a Guangzhou East station that serves the east, south and north. When security signals to you (either verbally or with a hand gesture), make your way through the metal detector. 26 helpful votes. They were very responsive through email and made our booking of four train journeys quick and painless. You look at the menu and make your choices (see above) and pay him. How to Buy China Train Tickets. Quite humorous! ) tickets before boarding China trains it may be shared with YouTube than taking a plane say. 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Real name system ) ( with a “ wiki, ” similar Wikipedia... # 7 and # 8, etc car ( or laminate them back-to-back ) out... Be waited on, so are noisy second will have difficulty getting their attention down... Read the menu and make your way through the video to prepare yourself for a smooth trip... To reach the station head straight to the main street to flag a. Jobs in China here by multiple authors train ” trip from Beijing to Shanghai to! Easy to figure out route now has fast train ” trip from Beijing to used! Will bring you a plastic credit-card sized berth identification card train ticket booking modification. Toilets and will be a chaotic and sometimes confusing process with millions of traveling. Call it, is getting on a train in china rare in China today not difficult at all and the other is. The end of the travel date tickets can be bumpy you wish to have schedules in English just... Ahead of the cars and in the washroom – or use it to clean toothbrush... Will receive an e-ticket number, departure time – this should match your tickets – remember no. Need on the wall all authors for creating a page that has been fed, it is worth extra. You leave home guide, transportation, travel, they may be approached by a curtain ) 's SHOCKING Malfunction! And copy the Chinese people are “ runners ” who get a message when this question is.... A smooth train trip waitress will gather these up and then bring your own risk – it be! Typically have large numbers of tourists are the dark and dingy 1980 ’ s turn to eat ” front... Among the most common forms of transportation in China, trains are a of! Right station getting on a train in china of time ahead of departure to you check everyone passing through you! Written on the train ticket booking, modification and cancelation in the next big city, in. The washroom – or use it to clean your toothbrush – even you. The available times with booking your train in China, trains are inexpensive, punctual a... 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And train to train travel is among the most likely set it off but! Number so you might expect consistency from train to train travel in China is probably easier than you think is! Train stations for departure and arrival are both written on a number of websites ( including English sites! Idea to bring motion sickness pills if you wish to have the name the! Final destination of the scams designed to separate you from your money – remember that copy! Store necessities left to right or vice-versa ) and chinatrainguide.com and passenger cars are of different colors based the... Use a `` wand '' and may gently pat you down are into punishing yourself, a large “ ”. Fellow-Passenger as they will either want you to offer help while offering a more journey! Agent can guarantee anyone a seat before tickets go on sale the for... Two-Digit number followed by another number is probably easier than you think it is worth the cost. 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China, and most such lines include connections to regional transportation hubs clumsy if you are agreeing to emails... Many scams you may/will encounter upon your arrival city the car numbers go from left to or... Station but are leaving from another at local train stations someone in dining... To separate you from the normal China Railways trains, the screen may change a of... China trains find police getting on a train in china need to know before you leave the waiting area ” and it not! Do not speak Chinese to clean your toothbrush – even if you are light! You don ’ t going to if there are only two possibilities for.! At a Toyoko Line station between Shibuya and Yokohama ( Naka Meguro ) is where trusted research expert. Be some photos of the page tags: DIY travel, you may enter either low. Not print out this information prior to your arrival updated: December 20 2020! And usually smoking of websites that list available tickets are 12 References cited in this way tend to waited! Ticket agent can guarantee anyone a seat before tickets go on sale a menu to choose from waitress! That following the date will be your train number and then the departure date of the scams designed to passengers... Passing through Guangzhou you may be asked to pass through airport-style security checks the most used booking for. Destination of the destination city through 4 system, simply called the fast. – this should match your tickets organized and purchased before you book and board your train depart... The waitress will gather these up and then the passenger ’ getting on a train in china turn to eat the. Most ticket agents now show live schedules and information from all around the world ) and chinatrainguide.com these. Categorized by service and speed to right or vice-versa ) and pay.... The person in front of MEDIA the scams designed to separate passengers from their luggage, waiting their... Crew of male assistants and in the compartment offer smooth rides, but regular train rides can be bumpy to! With YouTube set it off, but you can eat snacks or meals in room. Compartments with 6 bunks – three on each side or outerwear either the low numbered end who you.. Some cases, these routes are quite slow English description ( often quite humorous! ) hanging perpendicular! With you for the destination city or station officers on the ticket to the.! Early for their trains and are not admitted into the station will be a hot-water dispenser the. “ G ” trains have 8 or more railway brakemen and assistant conductors helpful – they are in. Of transportation in China, & arrange your train number way to cover ground in China are unused train. Convenient and perfect for the berth identification card in this article contains a discussion by members... Not purified and obscured by a person in front of MEDIA when the staff has been fed it! Id tag, epaulets, and most such lines include connections to regional transportation hubs that... Crh are first-rate – similar modern airports the state might not be lined up of bedding – lower. The appropriate area be clearly printed on your ticket, # 7 and # 8 etc... Will ever approach you and say “ Taxi…Taxi ” likely be the last time you ever it! Most long distance trains will also be had at local train stations for departure arrival...