Trains in China
Why would you want a train in China if you are on the bicycle? I say sometimes that China is not a country, it's a continent considering the size of the country. If you are traveling by bicycle, you may want to skip certain "uninteresting" areas to safe time. Consider the journey on bicycle from, say Kunming to Guilin, 3 weeks or Chengdu to Xian about 2 weeks then you know you have to make choices.
Trains in China can be good fun. They're an excellent way to meet local Chinese and other travelers. For short distances you may choose the ordinary hard seats (Yingzuo, YZ). These are indeed hard, made of wood and overcrowded but always cheap.
A much nicer choice is the soft seat (Ruanzuo, RZ) but not every train has soft seats. However, for overnight travel, either hard sleeper (Yingwo, YW) or soft sleeper (Ruanwo, RW) is recommended
The hard sleepers are 6 bed compartments with 3 beds above each other. You get a blanket and sleep comfortable. Soft sleepers are more luxurious with 4 beds (two by two) with spotless white sheets and blankets. The beds are spacious. However, the price of a soft sleeper comes close to a flight ticket. If you ask me, I would choose hard sleeper if possible.
If possible? Yes, sometimes there are no hard sleepers. Once I had to use a soft sleeper from Xian to Beijing. Very nice, very comfortable but a bit expensive.
We have collected some of the major travel destinations in China with the train schedules.
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