Transportation in China
China is the country with of the most advanced and the best transport systems in the world. In recent decades, transportation in China is developing rapidly, and that pace of development will continue in the future in the same manner. This means that tourists usually have a number of opportunities to move from one place to another, getting even more, day by day. Depending on the time and how much money you have, you can use a plane, train or bus as a means of transportation.
If you are planning to travel to China during the high season, especially during the holidays such as Labor Day (the first week of May), National Day (the first week of October), and Chinese New Year you should book your transport at least one month in advance. Otherwise, you will probably run out of options.
Air transportation in China is reliable, well-developed and safe. Since this is the huge country, the use of air transportation brings many benefits, and if you are traveling from one end of the country to another, this option is almost the only one.
There are more than 100 airports, and the number is increasing year by year. Almost from every country of the world, you can come to China by plane. Also, within China, there is a large number of airlines, so the air network in China is highly developed. All major cities in China have airports, so if you are short on time, you will not have to spend a lot of it in transportation. The busiest airports, in terms of the number of passengers, are airports in Beijing, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, and Shanghai.
If you travel by air within China, it is possible that the company you would like to fly with does not allow the purchase of tickets through the site with the credit cards that are not issued in China. In this case, it is best to use the site www.ctrip.com where you can buy tickets for almost all airlines in China.
Trains are the great way to travel around China. Train network in China is extensive, while trains are safe, clean, reliable, comfortable, and cheap. Being compared to air travel, train travel offers enjoyment in the areas through which you travel. If your destination is not so far, trains are a better option than airplanes. Trains are a popular means of transport in China, so the tickets are often sold out quickly, especially during holidays and vacations. Therefore, make sure to purchase tickets as soon as you can, preferably before you arrive in China. You can check timetables and buy train tickets online on:
If you travel for short distances, buy tickets for seat class, and if you plan to travel overnight or long trips, then for sleeper class. There are even several types of seats/beds in the Chinese trains.
Seats and beds classes
Hard seat (硬座; yìngzuò) seats, which are not that uncomfortable, but the carriages in this class are often crowded, noisy and dirty. So, if you travel more than 2 hours, this class is not recommended.
Soft seat (软座; ruǎnzuò) are much better than the hard seat class. The seats are more comfortable and wider, with cleaner toilets. If you do not want to travel in sleeper class, then this is the recommended class.
Hard sleeper (硬卧; yìngwò) are 6 berth open bunks. Three berths are located one above the other. Beds are not very spacious. This is a bearable class for overnight and long trips. The difference in price between a hard sleeper and soft sleeper is not so great, but in quality is, so if you can, avoid this class. If you do not have another option, this can serve the purpose.
Soft sleeper (软卧; ruǎnwò) is the recommended class for overnight and long trips. These are 4 berth private compartments with locking doors. There are two upper and two lower berths. Lower berths are slightly cheaper, although not much. Compartments are of reasonable size, berths are spacious and comfortable, and have a small table. Some trains in this class have a TV and power sockets.
Deluxe soft sleeper (高 包; gāobāo) is the best class. These are 2 berth compartments with private toilets. Compartments and berths are the most comfortable, but this class is also the most expensive so far.
High-speed trains are C (Chengji), D (Dongchen), and G (Gaotie). They travel at the speed of 200-350 km / h. After these classes, there are Z, T, and K classes, out of which Z is the best, T medium, and K lowest class.
There are thousands of bus lines in China. If you cannot or do not want to travel by plane or train, the bus can be a cheap and a good option. Buses are not the recommended mode of transport for long journeys, though. Sometimes, however, you will not have a choice. If you travel between cities that are not much far away, and are not connected with air or train line, do not hesitate to travel by bus. For short distances, bus travel can be fun. Be aware that some buses do not departure on schedule, so get informed well before your trip.
For transportation between places in China visit: