China Photography transportation travel

China Train Travel

When we were arranging our tour with Wendy Wu Tours we specified we wanted to travel by train as much as possible, and they delivered. We only had one domestic flight, all other inter city transfers were done by high speed train. The fact that it was first class didn’t hurt either.

1st Class Ticket
My ticket from Beijing to Qingdao, the last train on our trip in China.

We were proudly informed that China has more high speed trains than the rest of the world combined. I don’t know if that is true, but they do have a lot of them. Most of the time the seats in first class were all full and the crush of people coming out of the rest of the train indicated that ridership was pretty good. Once again, having the population base helps, and the political power to dictate that the lines will go where they need to go without interference from the souls who may have lived in the way. Everything is give and take, but I can see where with this many people trying to appease the masses would simply bring the country to a grinding halt. Not sure I totally agree, but I see the argument.

Xi'an Train Station
The stations are massive and very well laid out. A lot of Westerners would be frustrated with the crowds and lack of formal lines. However, everyone gets on the train and no one gets agitated over being cut off. We could learn something from that attitude.
Boarding Information
Of the four train trips we took, they all left on time to the second, and only one arrived late. It was a very positive experience.
Standard View
The nice thing about train travel is you get a chance to see some of the countryside. Our trains travelled between 200 and 300 km/h so we were going through towns (populations under 1 million) every 15 minutes or so.
North China
There was some farm land, but not once when watching out the windows was humanity not present. Whether farm houses or industry, ever bit of land was being utilized.
Industry Everywhere
And there was plenty of industry. The size and scope was mind boggling. So, unfortunately was the pollution. China appears to be making huge efforts to curtail its emissions, however the job is huge and there were areas that you understood why people wore masks.
Bullet Train
We were told that the bullet trains could go 400km/h, however for safety they were limited to 300ish. Whatever the reason, they still were very fast and incredibly smooth. With power points by all the seats and plenty of room it is without a doubt the best way we experienced to get around China.

Our experience on Chinas train system was entirely positive. We travelled from Chongqing (largest city in China) to Chengdu, Chengdu to Xi’an, Xi’an to Beijing, and Beijing to Qingdao by rail. I would use rail even more if I were to return. I highly recommend it to anyone travelling to this unique corner of our planet.



Welcome to our travel blog. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to say, "I'm out of here?" Well we did, and in 2013 we made it a reality. We sold or gave away all of our possessions other than what fit in our luggage and we set off on an endless adventure. Part of our goal is to share our experiences with others and hopefully provide some information, motivation, or just a moments escape. The general idea was to look for a place that would be ideal to settle down in. However in the meantime it is about experiencing life in different countries amongst different cultures and learning how to understand and appreciate each other. A large part of our time is spent housesitting which provides an excellent opportunity to experience more of the "normal" neighbourhoods as opposed to the tourist locales. Though we make sure to enjoy those as well. So through plenty of photographs and a running commentary come and share with us our life on the road.

2 comments on “China Train Travel

  1. Hi Peter and Karen! We are loving your posts about your trip to China with us here at Wendy Wu Tours and we were wondering if you would be happy for us to share some of them on our social media? Thank you!

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