Purchasing tickets for China's trains remains challenging

23 Sep 2010

While China's railway ministry works at designing an efficient ticketing system (see news), travellers, wanting to hop on to one of the new high-speed trains, will still have to deal with the complicated process of purchasing tickets

For one, there is no online booking engine, and in some places such as Beijing, no phone booking facility either. In Shanghai, phone bookings require local ID card numbers and passengers are required to book 10 days ahead of the departure date.

Foreigners are advised to book tickets either on the spot at stations or through travel agents. Agents will usually place a CNY10 to CNY15 RMB (US$1.5 to US$2) surcharge, but can offer delivery at offices or hotels. When purchasing tickets at stations, only cash is accepted.

Train schedules are released by the government to travel agents and hotels, and cannot be viewed online.

Alisha Haridasani

Loading comments...

Search Flight

See a whole year of Reward Seat Availability on one page at

Business Traveller April 2020 edition
Business Traveller April 2020 edition
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription
To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below