Train: Seats and Ticket Deciphering

Train Ticket

There aren’t too many things in this world that are more difficult then deciphering a train ticket in another country. (To understand how to understand the Train Number go to this previous post). Here’s the quick break-down of the kinds of seats (or sleepers) offered.

Seat Type: Hard and soft doesn’t necessarily refer to how hard the seat or bed is, but instead it refers more to the amount of room you will be given. Soft sleepers have four people to a compartment, stacked two beds high, with a door that closes to the hallway. Hard sleepers cater to six individuals, stacked three high, with an open compartment. Soft seats resemble tour bus seats (all facing the same way) and hard seats resemble school bus seats with two or three people sharing the bench-seat, facing another bench full of people.

  • Soft Sleeper 软卧
  • Hard sleeper 硬卧
  • Soft Seat 软坐
  • Hard Seat 硬坐

Bed Location: When taking a hard sleeper understand that all of the beds have pros and cons. The upper beds have a little more privacy, but you will be required to do a lot of climbing in tight quarters whenever you need to move around the train. The bottom bunk is easy to get to and has the most space in between it and the bed above (more head room), but people are friendly and you will probably end up with strangers sitting at the foot of your bed throughout the trip. The middle is a little crammed, but requires less climbing and bed sharing.

Upper Bed 上
Lower Bed 下
Middle Bed 中

The seat has been picked and now there’s no going back. You’ll find out pretty quick whether or not it was a wise idea to pick a hard seat for your 25-hour train ride.


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