Trains: Ticket Booth Advice

Your face is turning red. The line behind you is getting longer with every passing moment. The person behind the glass is confused and just wants you to leave. What do you do? Remember your training. You can do this. You can buy a train ticket in China.

Following are the steps to make buying train tickets in China as simple as possible:

  • The first thing to do when you’ve figured out where it is that you want to go is to write down the two cities you are coming from and going to. Write them down in Chinese characters and Pin Yin (Romanized characters).
  • The second thing to do is make sure you always carry your passport and/or visa with you. No one will sell you a ticket without it.
  • When you get in the line, do not leave no matter what. If you, or the person behind the glass, get confused or embarrassed just stick it out. If you leave you won’t get your spot back and you’ll just have to get back in line.
  • Understand that you will need to buy tickets at the ticket booth, not online, and most only sell 10 days in advance from the day of the train’s departure. Either try buying all the tickets at once, if you are going to be city hopping, or buying the ticket for your departure as soon as you enter the city. Don’t leave the train station before making a stop at the ticket booth.
  • Travel China Guide shows train schedules for each city. Train times are the same each day.

Plant your feet and don’t leave that line until you have that ticket-prize in your hand.

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