Why Travel China by High Speed Trains
High-speed trains are now the best way to travel both long and short distances around China considering the punctuality, comfort, safety, speed and facilities. Hereunder list the reasons why a bullet train journey in China is much more popular and amazing.
China has cultivated the world's largest and most intensive high-speed rail network connecting 80% of major cities (over 100) and a large number of small tourist sites. It is said that the growing high-speed rail system will surpass 30,000 km (18,600 mi) by 2020 and 38,000 km (23,600 mi) by 2025. Travel by high-speed train is a choice of convenience that allows you to cover nearly all popular travel destinations and routes in China, such as Beijing - Xian, Xian - Chengdu, Beijing - Shanghai, Shanghai - Hangzhou, Guilin - Chongqing, Hong Kong - Guangzhou, etc.
High speed doesn't come with high prices. Comparing with driving and flying, high-speed trains in China are much cheaper in most cases, sometimes even half the price of a flight. As the most used transportation system, high-speed trains are reasonably priced. The cost for most popular railway routes seldom exceeds CNY800 for a second class seat. For instance, the high speed train from Beijing to Xian charges CNY515.5 for a second class seat, while the full airfare of an economy class of flight is over CNY 1,000. Though you may gain some discounts by booking several months in advance, but a large service fee incurs with a refund if travel plan changes. Honestly, traveling by high speed train in China is much worthy as a more affordable choice.
High-speed trains are utterly the most comfortable travel method among all the transportation ways. Larger rooms are offered to rest your legs, and the soft seats are adjustable to a comfortable degree, too. Traveling on some long-distance rail routes, you could totally enjoy a pleasant sleeping experience on spacious berths and compartments. Besides, unlike on airplanes or buses, there is no safety belt to constraint your body, and you are free to get up to stretch yourself a bit and walk around whenever you want. Bullet trains also offers a much more favorable environment that could beat over airplanes. Wherever you go is quiet, neat and clean, while you will never encounter the terrible squat toilets in normal speed trains.
A long desired trip might be ruined by a sudden flight delay or cancellation caused by the bad weather or traffic control. Travel insurance cannot save your trip, but the punctual high-speed trains do guarantee that. They are reliable with fewer delays than air travel and scarcely possible to be canceled. Meanwhile, flights will consume more time than taking a high-speed train counting the further driving distance, early arrival for check-in and longer waiting time in the airport. Therefore, if you do not want to be tricked by the sudden changes in your schedule, choose the highspeed train to ensure a smooth and worry-free China trip.
High speed trains still win in regard to speed and safety. With an average speed at 350 km/h for G trains and 250 km/h for D trains, high-speed trains greatly shorten the travel time. Most popular train travel routes are within 5 hours that could be whiled away at ease by taking a nap, reading pages of a book and surfing on the phones. The duration of high-speed train from Beijing to Shanghai is about 4.5 hours, much shorter than 15 hours by normal trains. Furthermore, the bullet trains with the world's best technological communication systems guarantees the passengers' safety to the uttermost. Running in a rather smooth and steady way, the train ride will not give rise to any turbulences or bumps. You could walk on the aisles as easily as though walking upon flat ground.
China high-speed train is thoughtfully equipped with a lot of handy facilities. Western-style sitting toilets could relieve your pain from the old squatting ones. In some new trains, one-time toilet seat mat and toilet paper are offered, too (you are still suggested to prepare some in case they run out). At each row of seats, there are power outlets to charge your phones so that you could continuously play with your cell phone. By the way, your phone could enjoy stable internet connection during the train journey, which is apparently not available on most flights. If booking higher class seats or sleepers, you could utilize more considerate facilities on boards, such as personal TV, air-conditioning controller, private bathroom, fully reclining seats, etc.
More details about Facilities on High-Speed Trains
Almost all the airports in China are situated in the outskirts of the city, which may take hours to get to. However, you can have an easy access to high-speed railway stations connected to downtown area by metro lines and frequent public bus routes in popular tourist cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Chongqing and Hangzhou. On the other hand, you just need to arrive 30 minutes before your train is about to depart, and the lines usually move forward quickly by the Automatic Ticket Checkers, but hassles would come with the baggage restrictions, security check and luggage collection when taking a plane.
Read more on How to Take a Train
One of the biggest beauties of a train travel is the nice views outside the window on the way. Sure, taking a high-speed train is a great way to see the deeper part of China as the rail tracks venture through rural towns and villages, mountains and valleys as well as boundless farmland. What's more, it is a natural way to meet Chinese people at their most eased and sociable status. If you could speak a bit Chinese, get ready to be surprised at their friendliness and volubility.