Taking a Train in Xiamen and China

China has one of the biggest and busiest rail networks in the world. The best Chinese trains are very safe, modern and comfortable. Xiamen has one train station at Xiamen Train Station next to Walmart Supermarket. Beijing has five railway stations but Beijing's West Railway Station at Lianhuachi is the newest and largest. Each station has lines running to almost all provincial capitals, and to all China's major cities. There are four kinds of seats available: soft berths, hard berths, soft seats, and hard seats. Most overnight trains have dining cars.

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Purchasing Train Tickets

You can book your train ticket by yourself but the process can be rather confusing and time-consuming. It is more convenient to book your train tickets by a travel agency such as Apple Travel next to Marco Polo Hotel or http://appletravel.cn/index.php. They can help you to make train reservations if you send them an e-mail request.

Because from June to August it is the tourist period, send them an e-mail request as soon as possible you know when you are leaving or at least 2 weeks before that they can reserve the train tickets at your convenient dates and requirement.

You can book a ticket by phone :+86-592-2038888 (Xiamen) or +86 (0)10-8463 4451 (Beijing) or +86 (0)10-8463 4452 (Beijing) or visit them at http://www.xmhcz.com/kyfw/index.php?item=wxdh for Xiamen Trains and write email to china@ cbw.com if you are in Beijing. Then they will do the rest and after receiving your payment, they will send the ticket reservation to your hotel some days before your departure date.

Reservations for the best Z-category express trains open 20 days in advance, but for most other trains bookings only open between 4 and 10 days before departure. The rules appear to vary. However, you can't buy a ticket before bookings open. You can generally only book a train journey at the station where your journey starts, so (for example) the reservations office at Shanghai can sell you a Shanghai-Beijing ticket but not a Beijing-Xian ticket. Berths are best booked at least 2-3 days in advance, apart from peak periods (the Spring Festival, May Day 1st May, National Day 1st October) when they should be booked as soon as reservations open.

If you opt to book your ticket by yourself, the process can be rather challenging. Beijing Railway Station and Beijing West Railway station do however have special counters, which sell tickets to foreigners and overseas Chinese for up to five days in advance. When purchasing your own, remember to bring your passport or ID.

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