Train departure and arrival information can be found on large signs at the train station
Train departure and arrival information can be found on large signs at the train station. These are of course in Chinese, so not particularly helpful if you language skills are not up to scratch. Thankfully though, the information isn't provided by destination, but by train identification number, the same in any language! Just check this against the number located on your ticket and youre set. You'll probably have difficultly reading anything else on your ticket since everything is in China Chunmee Teas Factory .
Even if this fails, you wont be short of people offering to help. One of the upsides of standing out in the crowd!Most trains depart right on time and if you try to be at the platform gate one hour before departure, you'll usually be allowed to enter the train. If you run into any difficulties there is a train steward in each train carriage. Your train ticket also indicates which carriage and bed number you have been allocated. The train stewardess will collect your card and give you a type of 'credit card' with your seat number on it in return. You'll have to keep this card with you during your trip. A half hour before arrival at your destination, the stewardess will come back and collect the card and return your original train ticket to you. This is also a useful wake- up call to prepare you for your arrival!Eating on boardFood options on the train are limited to say the least. A cart with a very small assortment of snacks will ride through the train, your main choice being a selection of instant noodles. If like me, youre not a fan of these (Im not sure who is) then follow the Chinese example and bring along your own water, food and drinks for the journey.Other PracticalitiesIn each carriage there are toilets and a washroom with cold water. Freshen up if you will, however dont expect to be able to wash in there! Your best bet is to just board the train in something comfortable that you can sleep in, rather than getting changed. Face wipes are great to have with you if youre feeling a little stinky! Its also handy to bring some toilet paper with you as often this is not supplied on the train. Most nights spent on trains are quiet and peaceful since the Chinese also try to get a good night's sleep on board. You will then arrive at your destination bright and early in the morning, ready for the next adventure that awaits you!Fingers crossed that this information will inch you closer to taking the plunge and choosing to travel independently through China.
Its such an amazing, diverse country, and however you choose to do it youre sure to have a pretty unbeatable experience. Now get booking! Toilets: Chinese trains generally have both western & 'squat' toilets, but it's always a good idea to take your own supply of toilet paper. The toilets on the modern D & Z category trains are immaculate, so no worries there! Restaurant cars: Most long-distance trains have a restaurant car, with waiter service of drinks, snacks & meals. The best trains on key routes such as Beijing-Shanghai have menus in both Chinese and English.