I am told that as an infant, I traveled with my parents on a train in the Midwest. Later, some friends took my co-worker and me on the scenic Agawa Canyon railroad in Ontario. Besides these experiences, my life has been fairly train-free. Ben has been a huge fan of train travel since being in Europe and South America and our friends, Jim and Jenn, had advised that trains are the best way to travel inside China. I should add that airplane travel is also a good option, quite inexpensive, and easy to book at a short notice. However, we had enough time to enjoy travel by train. In addition to being less expensive than air travel, a reservation on an overnight train saves the expense of a hotel.
If you are traveling this way, please be aware that booking a train ticket in advance may be necessary due to the popularity of this means of transit, especially during holidays. Definitely talk to a local person and take their advice. I won’t go into that in detail here, but if you find yourself heading to China, let me know.
|AND--just as we were leaving, I met 3 more members of Xi'an's Deaf Community! |
These friendly young women work at the train station.
I’ll let the photos tell the story…our cabin had 4 bunks, ample storage for our bags, clean linens, a TV (which our cabin mates, a middle aged Chinese couple, thankfully muted), a little table (complete with a vase and silk rose J). Each train car has restrooms, sinks, hot water dispensers, electrical outlets and seats in the hallway in case you want to leave your cabin. I can’t say enough about how comfortable, clean and modern this train was. I am sure that all trains aren’t in the same condition, but all the other trains we rode on in China were equally as impressive.
We boarded at 6:30 pm and arrived in Beijing 12 hours later! I was surprised at how well we slept. We de-trained, into the Beijing morning rush hour…and that’s another post.