This Bullet Train is the Cheapest & Fastest Way to Travel around China

When we think of bullet trains, Japan’s world-famous Shinkansen trains immediately come to mind. But did you know that the world’s largest high-speed rail network is actually in China? If you’re never heard of it, read on to find out more about the China railway.

China Railway

The HSR is a popular choice among locals and tourists because it is cheaper than domestic flights, yet still efficient.

What is the HSR?

Connecting all the big cities in the country, the high-speed rail (HSR) covers over 22,000km. In fact, the 2,298km Beijing-Guangzhou railway currently holds the world record for being the longest HSR line in operation!

Don’t I have to take a domestic flight between cities?

You can, but you don’t have to!

The HSR is more economical in terms of price, and does not compromise on comfort and cleanliness. The long-distance trains that connect the major cities are the G-trains–the fastest and most well-equipped of the lot. Hitting speeds of 300 – 400 km/h, the trains will get you across the country very efficiently. It also boasts a very precise and reliable timetable, which is great for planning. Domestic flights in China are known for their notorious delays, and that can be quite tricky if you’re on a tight schedule. Additionally, the trains remain very stable and comfortable despite its speed–so don’t worry, you won’t feel any turbulence!

China Railway

The interior of the HSR trains are spacious and comfortable.

Considering the airport formalities, it’s also a lot less complicated to take the train: After purchasing your tickets online, just present your voucher and passport at the railway station to exchange for your physical tickets, and then hop on board.

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What to expect on the China Railway (HSR)

After receiving your tickets, you’ll notice that the following will be indicated on it:

The tickets will have all the essential information and your passenger details printed on it. (Image credit: Shwangtianyuan [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons)

  • The departure & arrival stations (in English and Mandarin)
  • Departure date & time
  • Seat class & details (carriage number and seat number)
  • Ticket number (in red, on the first line)
  • Passenger information (name and passport number)
  • Price

If you’re coming from the airport and will have luggage, do note the baggage restrictions:

  • Maximum weight (carry-on): 20kg per adult and 10kg per child
  • Dimensions: The sum of the length, width, and height must not exceed 130cm (for G-trains)

Ready to Go?

Awesome. Here are the available inter-city routes offered by Changi Recommends:





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