China Transportation


Chinese Air Transportation
Chinese civil aviation provides warm, safe and quality service for tourist. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), a functional department for trade administration of China's civil aviation and transportation services, takes charge of all of the 970 domestic regular flights. With Beijing as the center, an air transport network involved 44 local air routs and radiates to 130 cities around the country. By the end of 2005, China has had 135 civil scheduled-flight airports in 133 cities. Currently, China has 1,227 airplanes and 132 airports in operation.
All of the CAAC'S aircraft have reached the world advanced level and the major airports are modernly equipped.
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)
Chinese airlines offer free baggage allowances as follows:
40 kg for first-class passages
30 kg for business-class passages
20 kg for economy-class passages
A child paying 10% of the adult fare does not enjoy free baggage allowance.


China railway transportation
China enjoys developed railway transportation. The total mileage of railways open to traffic in China amounts to 127949.1 km. In service are 37942 pairs of passenger trains and 416 routes for tourist trains. Chinese railway service boasts domestic and international operations.
The domestic trains fall into FOUR categories as followings:

High-speed train is the latest and most modern train with air-conditioning and comfortable carbine between short-distance cities, initiating with “D” as its serial number.

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 offer you a more comfort and clean environment with air-conditioning. We recommend soft seat to you for the short distance trip to saving 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. A blanket and a pillow are equipped with every bunk. For the security of middle bunk and lower bunk passage, there are two safety belts connecting with the bunk. 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 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 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 22,000 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 “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 “复兴号”carried 460,000 passengers between Beijing and Shanghai in their first full month of operations at maximum speed 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 serve 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, opened in 2008 was the first passenger dedicated HSR line; Beijing–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway which at 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 between tourist cities via 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. An《Analysis Survey of Chinese High Speed Railway》released by World Bank in July 2014, had indicated 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 by the central government of the People’s 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 report released from 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 maintain and manage 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 space for your legs and has been designed like sofa to maximum your comfort, yet the price is often about twice higher than the second seats. We would recommend you to book the 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 connected to the airport station in most cities in China. So it is quite convenient to get to airport via a HSR trip when you are travelling here.

America with its vast lands 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 is mainly covered the northeast region, and the Amtrak is featured by its blue locomotive appearance different than that of 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 accomplished and set to service since 2014. This 500km HSR has shortened the original journey between the two cities from one hour to just 20 minutes at present. The Jakarta-Bandung line in Indonesia has started construction in 2016. This line links Indonesia’s capital to 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 underway. 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. 


Highways in China
There are 1.18 million km of highways in China, including 68 national highways and more than 1600 provincial highways. Currently, the 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
With a vast land in the eastern Asia, China has acoast of 18,000 km. The seaports and the inland water systems provide conveniences to develop the trade in different cities in China as well as the world.
The main rivers that are inland are the Yangtze, the Pearl, the Heilongjiang, the Huaihe, the Quiantang, the Minjiang and the Huangpu. The Yangtze is considered to be the "golden waterway". It is used for both freight and passenger transportation.
The northern zone consists of Shanghai as 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.

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.


Taxies of different grades and with different prices are running in the streets in large and medium-sized tourist cities in China. It is convenient for tourists to take the taxi when it is hailed. The basic price of taxies you have to pay is from 5- 12.5 yuan for a fixed kilometer in different cities. And over a certain distance which is different in different cities you have to pay for the one to two yuan per km. The total amount of your fee should combine the basic price and the extra price for extra km. Tourists should choose the taxi with the business license and ask for the receipt.


Subways have been built in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin and Shenzhen. Then convenient subways pass through the downtown areas of these cities.


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.


Buses are one of the most common-used transportation tools in China. Compared with the crowd and dirty environment in the past, buses now are more comfortable and clean without the conductors in most cities. Every passage need to pay the charge of bus to the box placed at the entry of getting on or show a magnetic card to record the consumption of his fee. In some tourist cities, there are free-of-charge buses offered by government to the public and also buses with air-conditioning require more charge than ordinary buses.

Recommended China Tours

11 Days China Wonders Experience Tour

11 Days China Wonders Experience Tour

Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Shanghai

From $1625

13 Days Chinese Kung Fu Exploration

13 Days Chinese Kung Fu Exploration

Beijing, Dengfeng Shaoling Temple, Luoyang, Xian, Mt. Wudang, Wuhan, Shanghai

From on request

13 Days from Li River to the Yangtze Tour

13 Days from Li River to the Yangtze Tour

Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Chongqing, Yangtze Cruise, Yichang, Shanghai

From $2084