Sunday, September 17, 2006

Beijing Trains

Beijing has six train stations but most visitors will only ever need to know about Beijing Railway Station and Beijing West Railway Station.

Trains head to Moscow, Pyongyang, Ulan Bataar, Baotou, Tianjin, Shanghai and some other cities from Beijing Railway Station. If you don’t speak Chinese it’s a good idea to head to the ticket office designated for foreigners. At Beijing Railway Station it’s on the first floor through the soft seat waiting room.

Beijing West Railway Station links the capital to virtually every other city in China, including Lhasa, and destinations such as Hong Kong and Vietnam. The Foreigner’s Ticket Office is on the second floor.

There are four basic classes of Chinese train. Hard seat is the cheapest, and is self-explanatory. It is not recommended for those of a nervous disposition or for very long journeys. Soft seat is the same idea, but you get a comfy padded seat. Hard sleeper is the cheapest class where you get a bed. Beds are stacked three high and partitioned into groups of six. A soft sleeper ticket will get you a bunk in a room of four. The beds are nicer than in hard sleeper, and there are sometimes televisions. The trade off is the price; soft sleeper can sometimes be as expensive as the aeroplane.

© Beijing-visitor.com