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China Transportation


Chinese Air Transportation

Civil aviation provides warm, safe and high-quality services for tourist. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), a governmental department for administration of China's civil aviation and transportation services, takes charge of about 970 domestic regular flights. With Beijing as the center, an air transport network includes 44 local air routs and radiates to 130 cities around the country. In 2016, China had 218 airports in 214 cities(not including Hongkong, Macau, and Taiwan), and flights are available to major cities in every provinces, but many small cities don’t have airports. By the year end of 2017, the number of airports increases to 229, and the number of cities having airports amounts to 224. China has  3261 airplanes for civil aviation, airplanes of Boeing 737 series and A320 series account for 81.51% of the total number. All this data is increasing with development, more airports are to build in the future, more airplanes and flight courses are to be put into service. All aircrafts have reached the world advanced level and major airports are equipped with modern facilities.

Here are the reliable air companies in China:
Air China International Corporation (CA)
China Eastern Airlines (MU)
China Southern Airlines Co. Ltd (CZ)
Xiamen Airlines (MF)

Baggage Consignment

The weight of each piece of luggage shall not exceed 50 kg, and the volume should not exceed 40×60×100 cm

Chinese airlines offer free baggage allowances as follows:

40 kg for first-class passengers;

30 kg for business-class passengers;

20 kg for economy-class passengers,;

passengers with child tickets does not enjoy free baggage allowance.

Items should not carry on airplane: liquid

Items should  not be consigned: digital electronic products like lithium batteary

Notes: the volume of a cosmetic container carried on airplane shall not exceed 100ml



China railway transportation
China has developed a modern railway transportation system, which has a fame in the world, and high-speed train has been praised as one of the New Four Great Inventions, with its high speed, comfortable environment, and good service. According to official data,  in the year  end of 2017, the total mileage of railway put into service in China amounts to about 127949.1 kilometers, and the mileage of high speed railway  is about 25,000 kilometers. 37942 pairs of passenger trains and 416 routes are operated for tourist trains. Chinese railway service boasts domestic and international operations, and in term of cargo transportation, China has railway transportation with other countries, like China-Europe railway express.
The domestic trains fall into FOUR categories as followings:

High-speed train is the latest and most modern train with air-conditioning and comfortable seat, and with a lowest speed of 250 km per hour,  and its serial number is started with G. Beijing-Shanghai high speed train operates with a speed of 350 km per hour. D series of high speed bullet train is also fast, but its speed is a bit lower than that of G series high- speed train which travels between cities with cities.

Special express train is the most fast-speed train with air-conditioning and clean carbine, initiating with “T” as its serial number.

Express train is a fast-speed train with air-conditioning and clean carbine, initiating with “K” as its serial number.

Normal passenger train is an ordinary train without air-conditioning, initiating with “P” as its serial number. It is always late in most cases. 

There are four classes on the train:

Hard Seat-It is the cheapest way for your railway transportation in China. You have to sit on a hard seat , sharing a table with other 3 or 5 people face to face. Usually it is quite noisy and dirty in the carbine of hard seat since a frequent flowage of population. Furthermore, the toilet is too worse to be used.

Soft Seat-You will find more soft seats or only soft seats on most inter-city trains, tourist trains and high-speed trains. Compared with hard seat, soft seat offers you a more comfort and clean environment with air-conditioning. We recommend soft seat to you for the short distance trip to save time and money.

Hard Sleeper-There are six bunks to a compartment without door, including two upper bunks, two middle bunks and two lower bunks. In most case, it is noisy and opens to everyone without any privacy even when it is time to go to the bed. Every bunk is equipped with a blanket and a pillow. For the security of passengers in middle bunks and lower bunks, there are two safety belts connecting with the bunks. You can have your meals on the table placed between two lower bunks. The longer journey, the worse condition of the toilet.

Soft Sleeper-There are four bunks to a compartment with a door, including two upper bunks and two lower bunks. Besides a blanket and a pillow, some soft sleeper bunks are equipped with a desk lamp. You can control the air-conditioning and broadcast on train by the switches in the bottom near your door. At the end of carriage, there are two toilets. One is a Chinese toilet and the other is a Western toilet. We recommend soft sleeper to you for the overnight trip between two cities.

Astonishing China Speed——High Speed Railway(HSR)

Facts and Scale of Chinese HSR: High-speed rail has developed rapidly in China over the past 15 years thanks to massive funding of Chinese government. The advent of high-speed rail in China has greatly reduced travel time and has transformed Chinese society and economy. At present, China has world’s largest high speed railway network as long as 25,000 km and capable of accommodating high speed trains running at 250 - 350 km/h. There are more than twice as many high-speed trains in China as the rest of the world combined. During the Chinese Spring Festival, an estimated 3 billion person/trips take place within a two week holiday. It would be the equivalent of every American taking 10 trips during Christmas, or every European taking 5 trips during Christmas.

All high-speed trains in commercial use in China are named CRH and their Chinese names are mainly Hexie Hao“和谐号”. CRH1/2A/2B/2E/5 are expected to have a maximum speed of 250 km/h and CRH2C/3 have a maximum speed of 350 km/h. The latest high-speed train CR——Fuxing Hao“复兴号”carried 460,000 passengers between Beijing and Shanghai in their first full month of operations at a maximum speed of 350km/h in October 2017, which has shortened the trip to merely just three hours!

8+8 High Speed Railway Grid

At present, HSR grid mainly consists of four north-souths and four east-west trunk railways crossing the country, which are also known as 4+4 national HSR grid serving as the backbone of China's HSR network linking 29 of our 34 provinces. By 2030, the grid will be extended to eight north-south and eight east-west high speed lines. Or call it the Eight Vertical and Eight Horizontal" high Speed Railway Grid.

Notable HSR lines are Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Rail, which opens in 2008, and is  the first passenger dedicated HSR line; Beijing–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway which  is the world's longest HSR line in operation and the Shanghai Maglev, the world's first high-speed commercial magnetic levitation line, which reaches a top speed of 430 km/h.

We would highly recommend you to travel around China by High Speed Train (HSR). They are fast, safe, reliable, comfortable and economical affordable as well! You could learn more about travel information between tourist cities through high speed train by clicking the following transportation travel tips on our website: Travel from Beijing to Xian, Beijing to Shanghai, Beijing to Guangzhou,Shanghai to Hangzhou, Xian to Guilin, Xian to Chengdu,Guangzhou to shanghai, Guangzhou to Lhasa, Guangzhou to Guilin, Lanzhou to Dunhunag and Chengdu to Chongqing.

Chinese High Speed Railway Compared to Other Nations

Chinese High Speed Railway Compared to Other Nations

Cost of Chinese HSR

Compare to those countries, Chinese HSR of the similar level or even higher is far more economical and less costly. Analysis Survey of Chinese High Speed Railway released by World Bank in July 2014, indicates that the cost of Chinese high speed railway per mile is only two third and the ticket price is only one fourth or one fifth compare to other nations. This is mainly because the labor force factor here is cheaper and the reasonable long-term overall track plan made by the central government of the Peoples Republic of China.

According to the UK media, HS2“will be the most expensive railway on earth at £403m a mile". If this is true, then the cost of that UK railway will be 20 times compared to Chinese HSR per mile. The Shinkansen in Japan, according to reports released by Japanese Ministry of Transportation, the cost of Shinkansen is 16 billion 200 million yen (about 1 billion yuan) per mile, and this is only for track and train construction not including later maintenance fee and management cost.

Ticket Fare of Chinese HSR

Unlike purchasing train tickets in France, where the earlier you book a ticket the more chance you may get a discount. In China the ticket price is fixed and catalogued into two types according the comfort seats you prefer. There are first class seats and second class seats. The first has more spaces for your legs and has been designed like sofa to optimize your comfort, yet the price is often about twice of the second seats. We would recommend you to book  tickets two weeks earlier especially when a national holiday is approaching as China is a populous country. Learn more about how to book a train ticket by clicking Train Tickets Booking in China.

Comfort, Service and Appearance of Chinese HSR

Like in many other countries, you could feel free to order food or get snacks and coffee on train, but it is a common sense that the food on train is unlikely delicious and is often over charged. You may not be able to rent cars at train stations or get to a subway station like you can in France, but it is a fact that many of Chinese high speed trains have been connected to the airport  in most cities in China. So it is quite convenient to get to airport by a HSR trip when you are travelling here.

America with a vast land is known as “the country on wheels”. Their short-distance flights are high-developed and affordable, so comparatively speaking, railway is not the first options to travel to many Americans. Their railway  mainly coversd the northeast region, and the Amtrak is featured with its blue locomotive appearance different from trains in France or China and Japanese which are bullet head high speed trains.

China HSR Going Global
China's high-speed railways now serve as a “Chinese business card,” HSR network is widely recognized both at home and abroad as the symbol of the phenomenal speed of China’s development and prosperity.The Ankara-Istanbul HSR line in Turkey built by China has been completed and put into service since 2014. This 500km HSR has shortened the original journey between two cities from one hour to just 20 minutes at present. The Jakarta-Bandung line in Indonesia has started to construct in 2016. This line links Indonesia’s capital with its fourth largest city. The journey will be shortened to 40 minutes instead of the present three hours.

Apart from those two, several multinational projects are still under construction. The most notable one should be Trans-Asian Railway which will stretch as long as 15,000 km linking Asia Europe and Africa .There are also Moscow-Kazan line in Russia, Mecca-Medina line in Saudi Arabia, Kashgar-Gwadur line in Pakistan, the Hungary-Serbia line and the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore line. 

Highway & Expressway

Highways in China

Road construction is a big project in China, in twenty  years ago, lots of highways are built, but now, expressway is the key in road construction. Highway is divided into first class and second class highway, and highway is free for people’s use nowadays. There are 1.18 million km of highways in China, including 68 national highways and more than 1600 provincial highways.

Expressway is divided into national expressway and province expressway, and almost all cities is building expressway in a large need. Charges is necessary for the using of expressway, but on holidays, expressway is free. Expressway makes short distance travels by cars convenient, and fast. Chinese government is speeding up the development of expressways and first-and second-grade special motor highways related with tourism are being vigorously constructed. The number of expressways in some major cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu, Taiyuan and Xi'an has totaled several dozens.

At present, all the provincial capitals and capitals of the autonomous regions are the highway passenger transport centers. Scheduled buses are available between the provincial capitals and their prefectures, cities, counties and towns. The number of tourist buses in large and medium-sized cities and interprovincial long-distance sleeper coaches is growing.


China Waterways Transportation

China faces the Pacific land, and has a coastline of 18,000 km. it has many seaports, and some of them are the top largest seaports in cargo handling capacity, like Port of Shanghai. Those ports have plentiful international marine courses and transport cargo all over the world. With a large number of rivers, inland water transportation is busy for cargo transport. The seaports and the inland water systems provide conveniences to develop domestic trading and international trading. The northern zone has Shanghai and Dalian as the main shipping hubs. The southern hub has Guangzhou. Today the Shanghai Harbor is one of the largest harbors in the world, amongst the 20 other coastal harbors that inhabit China.

The main rivers  are the Yangtze River, the Pearl River, the Heilongjiang River, the Yellow River. The Yangtze River is considered to be the "golden waterway". It is used for both freight and passenger transportation.

Better-known inland waterways

The Shanghai-Chongqing navigational line along the Yangtze River, extending for 2,399 kilometers. On a given day the waters of the Yangtze River Three Gorges are plied by more than 50 luxury tourist cruises sailing along this line.

The 146.6km Suzhou-Hangzhou section of the Grand Canal, enabling the passenger to feast his eye on the natural beauty of this water-bound land south of the Yangtze River.

The 83km-long Guilin-Yangshuo route which runs through the postcard perfect scenery along the major section of the celebrated Lijiang River.

The waterway from Guangzhou to Guiping (Guangxi) along the Xijiang River, offers regular passenger liners that shuttle between three national scenic resorts: Guilin, Lijiang and Zhaoqing.

Intra-city Transportation

Taxi. Almost all city has taxi service for you but in different city, taxi could be different in color, and fare. The fare of taking a taxi is composed of  the starting fare, and the fare of over starting mileage, and fuel charge. The basic price or the starting fare is from 5- 12.5 yuan for a fixed kilometer in different cities, and the fare of over starting mileage is calculated as one to two yuan per km.  fuel charge is usually two, or three yuan, but in some city, fuel charge is not taken.


Subway.  As a modern and convenient transportation tool, subways is most used, and it is usually built in large cities with a huge population, like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin and Shenzhen. Here is a note for you: security check is a must before taking subway.

Bicycle. Bicycle renting is available in most cities, and you may rent a bike by using Ali Pay. Or you may download an application for renting a bike, and pay by credit card, Ali Pay, and Wechat Pay. Bicycle is blooming in China, and here are several kinds of bicycle for  your use, operated by different operators. For taking a shared bicycle, you shall make no harms to the bicycle and stop it in proper places. If the bicycle is unavailable, you shall report a repair by the cell-phone app. Bicycle is suitable for a leisure tour inside a city or a countryside tour. Some hotels in Beijing and other main tourist cities have bicycles for rent. It is also lovely to take a pedicab to visit the Hutong and street scenes in Beijing.

Bus. As one of the most common-used transportation tools, is busily shuttling in a city. A bus can accommodate several decades of people, and take people to a far place with a fare from one to two yuan. Compared with the crowd and dirty environment in the past, buses now are comfortable, clean, and with air-conditioner, and passengers should insert coins or paper money by themselves, because no conductors are in a bus.

Transportation & Tourism

Airplane tour is available in some scenic areas. You may take a helicopter to have a bird’s  eye view of a scenic areas or a city. If you are interested, helicopter sightseeing is available in cities like Sanya, Shanghai, Suzhou, and Guilin. In Yangshuo ten-mile gallery scenic area, Guilin, helicopter sightseeing is available to see its beautiful scenery from a high place.

A cruise along rivers is made for a sightseeing about river scenery. In China, there are several famous cruises, the Yangtze River cruise, the Grand Canal cruise, the Huangpu River cruise, the Pearl River cruise and the Li River cruise. A cruise along the Yangtze River is featured with steep cliffs along the river, and breath-taking scenery.  The section from Shanghai to Chongqing,  is one of the best for sighting, and it extends for 2,399 kilometers. For the cruise in the Grand Canal, the 146.6km Suzhou-Hangzhou section is the essence part, and it gives tourists a visual feast by its natural beauty. The 83km-long Guilin-Yangshuo cruise route is tailor-made for a sightseeing of karst landscape, and Guilin scenery.

Train sightseeing is another way of sightseeing, and in China, there is a luxurious train tour by taking the Orient Express, which is praised as one of the world’s top ten luxurious trains for its service, food, accommodation, scenery, course and tourists’ experience, and it has a maximum passenger capacity of 160 person. This train has several courses, and one course travels from Beijing to Urumchi, passing through Hohhot, Xila Muren Prairie, Yinchuan, Shapotou, Jiayuguang, Dunhuan, and Turpan, for a 12 days tour, and the middle and back section of this course are overlapped with the course of Silk Road.