You have to love train travel in China – it’s so exciting and wonderful. Endless countryside mixed with random towns and cities and it’s fast. The new Chinese trains are so fast and incredible you will just have a great ride on them. You don’t even have to break the bank either as they are just so cheap compared with high speed trains in other countries. A quick guide to travelling on Chinese trains.
On my first high speed train in China I was on the Shenzhen North to Shaoguan route. Not a common route I must add, but in 2012 this gave me my first experience of the new high speed trains in China. We were heading to Shaoguan in order to see the mountains and rock formations at Danxiashan.
How to book your train in China
Never get anything booked in advance. You basically need to just turn up at the train station and book it there and then – that’s the way to do it. It might be full and if that is the case just get the next one or take another route. Join the queue at the station and pay in cash for your ticket.
You WILL have trouble communicating to the workers in the train station, so make sure you know how to correctly pronounce the name of your destination and if you have the Chinese characters written down (or in a guidebook) it will be a lot easier to get it booked. All seats are allocated and you have to sit where your ticket says.
Taking the Shenzhen North to Shaoguan route
11.50 – In Shenzhen North Station. Head through the barrier and find your allocated seat. It will leave within a few minutes and Shenzhen will be gone in a blink of the eye.
12.26 pm – Stop at Guangzhou South for a few minutes. I’ve opened a can of Guinness and we leave Guangzhou trailing in our wake. A tough ask, given that it’s a massive city. We reach a speed of 308 kilometres per hour at 12.44pm – this turns out to be the maximum speed we reach on the trip.
1.45 pm – Arrive at Shaoguan Station and we get off. Shaoguan is not the last station on this high speed train which heads much further north.
Things to do on a Chinese High Speed train
– Update your travel blog
– Marvel at the views of Chinese countryside
– Enjoy a relaxing beer
– Admire the fast speed of the train
– Order some food (there’s a trolley that comes down)
– Read a book on travel
You will love the high speed train in China.