Trains in China – A guide for travelers

Trains in China – A guide for travelers

China’s train network is extensive to say the least, with nearly every city and town connected via over 90,000 km or tracks. The size is set to grown with the Chinas continuing domestic growth, plus proposals for inter-continental lines that could extend from China into Russia, Germany and even to London and from China through south east Asia as far as Malaysia.

Currently train travel in China is a reasonably efficient means to get around, clean comfortable and in most cases cost effective. The train network is also going through a process of growth in terms of coverage but also in speed and quality. The new HSR (High Speed Rail) network features super-trains capable of  least 200km/h and some 380km/h. read more

Spring Festival Travel: China’s Annual Migration Begins

Spring Festival Travel: China’s Annual Migration Begins

Without a doubt the most important date on the Chinese calender – the Lunar New Year and the beginning of the Spring Festival. This year it falls on February 3. Most all workers will get 7 days off work and head home for celebrations and reunion with family.

More about the festival itself later, but the actual lead up to the beginning of the festival has to be, in terms of scale, one of the planets most staggering migrations. There’s over 1.3 billion people live here and they all want go home at the same time! read more

The K636 Train – Shenzhen to Yongding

The K636 Train – Shenzhen to Yongding

I’d been working away in Shenzhen for a while now so it was time for a journey. But where too? I’d been to nearby Hong Kong, Macao and had a quick look at Guangzhou, so where to next? I wanted to find somewhere not to far away, reasonably simple to get to, and somewhere that had something special going for it.

A quick look at the Shenzhen train schedule showed me something interesting, the Shenzhen to Fuzhuo train stops at Yongding, and Yongding is where the very famous Tulou buildings are located. Yongding is also close to Xiamen, a place famous for its clean streets, beaches and it’s nearby island, Gulangyu. So, it’s a done deal, Im off to Yongding. read more

Hong Kong to Shenzhen

Hong Kong to Shenzhen

After leaving the China Sourcing trade fair and I headed back to Mong Kok and picked up my passport with its new visa, then from there to Tsim Sha Tsui to get my bag from the Cosmic Guest House. Then in a taxi over to Hung Hom Station to catch the train to Lo Wu (note its called Lo Wu on the Hong Kong side and Luo hu or Luohu on the Shenzhen side) which is the entry point to China mainland leading into the city of Shenzhen.

This time I purchased a first class ticket, I felt like sitting down during the 30 minute journey to the Lo Wu border! I made just one mistake, by the time I get off the train and through the border crossing formalities, it would be close to 6pm. Just when everyone finishes work! read more

The Shanghai Maglev Train

The Shanghai Maglev Train

Shanghai has a really cool way to get to the airport, it’s a 500km/h mag lev train! Only one problem the train  is located miles from anything! In an odd peice of planning this superfast mag lev train terminates 20 minutes away from the city central. So by the time you catch a bus, taxi or the subway to the station well, it’s not so fast really.

But why not, its not everyday that you get to travel at 430km/h..

Yep, its fast, comfortable too and quite for that speed!

Also, if your heading to Shanghai checkout this useful transport guide and a guide to Shanghai attractions. read more

Xian to Beijing via Train

Xian to Beijing via Train

My first time on a train in China was on the overnight trip from Xian to Beijing. China has many different classes of train and this one was the ‘Z’ train. This Z train (the Z20) was no old rattler, it was near new modern, clean and very comfortable train!

Apparently it’s wise to buy train tickets in advance so I did so a couple of days ahead of leaving Xian and had no trouble getting a ticket. There are two places to buy train tickets in Xian, either at the main train station which is just outside the city wall on the north side towards the east or go to a small little booking window which is on the side wall of the ICBC bank in the main center of Xian. At the time the lady at this office also spoke english. read more