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(Last Updated On: 20/08/2022)

Traditional and modern, serene and hectic, China is one of the most fascinating countries to explore, especially by train. Planning a trip to China can be quite overwhelming, so we have gathered 10 tips on how to travel to China by train.

From packing to booking train tickets, these 10 tips to travel to China by train, will sort any confusion, and ensure the most epic adventure.


1. Tip For How To Travel China By Train: Do Your Research 

In China, you’ll find there are 2 types of trains: High-speed and traditional trains. It is crucial you do your research in advance, to understand what works best for your travel budget, trip type, duration, and comfortability level. It is particularly important if you are traveling with kids.

China trains – High-speed trains numbered G, D, or C, running at the top speed of 350 km/h. equipped with business/VIP or first-class seats.

The traditional trains titled in L, K are the popular ones and offer hard seats, hard or soft sleepers, and deluxe soft sleeper. Traveling at 160 km\h they are cheaper.


2. Tip For How To Travel China By Train: Book The Right Train Class

Trains in China have four classes: Hard seat, soft seat, hard sleeper, soft sleeper.

Hard seat: It is the cheapest train class, and there are usually 5 seats per row. So, if you are traveling on a budget, this is the most popular option, but consider that it is also the most common option among the Chinese. Therefore, you might be in on a very noisy and crowded train trip.

Soft sleep: is a bit softer and with a higher train ticket rate, but more comfortable.

Hard sleeper: 6 berths, and there’s no door for privacy or isolation from the other compartments.

Soft sleep: the best train class on Chinese trains, and highly recommended for those long-distance train trips. It’s the most expensive option, but you’ll be in an isolated cabin, of 4 sleeps, and with personal power sockets. If you are a traveling couple, then the deluxe will be perfect for you.


Tip For How To Travel China By Train: Book The Right Train Class


3. Arrive At The Train Station In Advance

The busiest train stations in China are the largest, chaotic, and will include luggage x-ray procedures. Therefore, you should arrive at least 40 minutes before your train departure time. This way, you’ll have enough time for passport control, security check, and find the train platform.


How does China's train station looks like


4. Pack Snacks And Drinks

Food and drinks on board can be much more expensive, than when buying in the city. So, you’d better prepare in advance, buy food and beverages in advance, and not buy overpriced snacks from the food trolleys on the train. Fresh fruit, sandwiches, and even KFC are great snacks for your train trip on China’s high-speed trains.


Pack Snacks And Drinks when traveling by Train in china


5. Tip For How To Travel China By Train: Pack Your Toiletry Bag Well

The facilities on high-speed and bullet trains in China are quite modern. You’ll probably find both squat and modern bathrooms on every train. However, you’d better pack your own toilet paper, as this tends to run out super-fast on those fast trains. In addition, not all trains have shower cabins, so pack wet wipes just in case, to stay fresh, and of course travel shampoo bottle and soap.


How To Pack Your Toiletry Bag Well For Traveling China By Train:


6. Wear Layers

Wearing layers is always a great idea for train travel, as you cannot moderate the AC on trains. Also, if you are sharing your cabin, you won’t have a designated changing space, and wearing layers means you’ll be prepared for leisure, sleep on sleeper trains, and any passenger, male or female, sharing the train cabin with you.



7. Pack Light

Wearing layers train traveling in China tip leads us to another important tip of packing light. Luggage allowance on trains in China is limited to 20 kg per passenger. While there are rarely on-board checks, the luggage space on trains in China is quite limited, so you’d better pack light, and keep your luggage close to you, or if space permits, in the train cabin, instead of train aisles storage.

If you are traveling during the Chinese holidays, then be prepared for crowded trains. Therefore, you’ll want your backpack close and visible among all the luggage.


Pack Light on your train trip in China


8. Buy Train Tickets Online

You can buy the train ticket at the train station, from travel agencies, and through your hotel.

You’ll get the best rates when you purchase your train ticket in China, online. Save A Train would be happy to help you find the ideal ticket for your train trip across China, at the best price. Moreover, you’ll find it easier to book your train ticket on an English-speaking platform, than with the Chinese representatives at the train station, hotel, or travel agency.


Buy China Train Tickets Online and don't wait in line


9. Bring Earplugs

Unless you are planning to travel 1st class, you should definitely bring earplugs. High-speed trains in China are highly popular among the locals, and the traditional trains might be very busy. So, if you have a long trip across China, pack earplugs for a safe and sound journey.


Earplugs are a must for train travel trip


10. Tip How To Travel China By Train: Book Your Train Tickets In Advance

High-speed train tickets in China tend to run out quickly. Therefore, you should purchase your train ticket at least a month in advance. Tickets sell out as early as 30 days before the departure date. Leaving ticket booking and trip planning to the last minute is a travel mistake to avoid, especially in China.


chinese city skyline


Train travel is a great way to start your eco-friendly trip across China’s countryside, cities, and views. Here at Save A Train, we will be happy to help you plan your vacation to China by train.



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