How to Book China High Speed Train Tickets
Latest China Train News (Updated on February 27, 2023):
- China Discovery collected 8 Most Beautiful High Speed Railways in China. - 20/02/2023
- The second high speed railway from Chengdu to Kunming has been put into operation. It makes middle stops at Xichang(西昌), Panzhihua(攀枝花), etc. - 15/01/2023
- Zhangjiajie has high speed railways now. Currently you can take high speed train to Zhangjiajie from Shanghai, Guilin, Zhengzhou, Guangzhou, etc. You can also take a high speed train to Fenghuang Ancient City from Zhangjiajie now. - 24/12/2021
China Discovery will update the latest news about China train travel for you. We are also good at create tailor-made China train journeys. Find a tour here »
China’s railway network is a fast-paced wonder that makes exploring the fantastic cities of China - including Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chengdu, Guilin, Huangshan, Hangzhou and etc. much easier. There are several ways available to book a high speed train tickets in China. You can have a better understanding about that after read the below details.
When Can You Book China Train Tickets? – Pre-sale Period
Pre-sale period about train tickets refers to the days prior to the train departure. It is subject to change.On June 1, 2022, the train tickets pre-sale (include high speed train tickets) period in China had was changed to 15 days from previous 30 days. More trains will be arranged during the major Chinese festivals.
If you are going to buy Hong Kong high speed train tickets from counters and automatic ticket machines at Hong Kong West Kowloon Train Station in Hong Kong, you can but the tickets 15 days in advance. Or if you book online, through telephone and authorized agents, you could book train tickets 15 days ahead of departure. Read more about How to Book Hong Kong High Speed Train Ticket!
Warm tip: You are highly advised to make a booking as EARLY as possible! High Speed Train Travel has gradually become more and more popular, especially during the Chinese Holidays. And Pre-sale Period for some routes may be changed due to special factors, such as diversion routes (though not often happen), thus please try to book tickets in advance, so as not to delay your trip.
Below are our most popular high speed train tours that you may join in with us or get inspired.
- ● 6 Days Classic Beijing Xian High Speed Train Tour
- ● 6 Days Beijing Shanghai Tour by High Speed Train
- ● 5 Days Classic Tour by Xian Chengdu High Speed Train
- ● 9 Days Pandas Terracotta Warriors Great Wall Encounter
- ● 6 Days In-depth Guilin Tour from Hong Kong
- ● 9 Days East China & Yellow Mountain Tour
How to Book Tickets Online - 3 Options
Option 1, Book at China Train Ticket Official Site - 12306.cn
In November 2020, China Railway officially launched an English version of its ticketing website, 12306, allowing foreign passengers who don't understand Chinese to register and purchase train tickets themselves. It is important to note that currently, the English version only supports the registration of valid foreign passports. When registering an account and adding passengers, the English version only requires an email address and does not require a Chinese phone number. The website supports multiple payment methods such as VISA, MasterCard, JCB, and Diners, etc.
Check more about China Railway Official Website - www.12306.cn
Option 2, Book with an Online Travel Agency like China Discovery
This is the most practical and convenient way for you if you speak little Chinese or start your first China travel. With excellent English available, our professional travel consultants will help you with booking, changing, canceling and any other problems that may be difficult for you to do in person. All inquiries including seat selecting will be handled by experienced advisors to ensure you get the best service. Please worry free to contact us for further help.
Warm tip: Our China high speed train tour packages include train tickets booking service, making you trouble free and worry free about booking a high speed train ticket in China.
Option 3, Book through Telephone - 95105105
After called the Customer Service Phone number 95105105, you can deal with almost all the affairs about tickets, such as book, cancel and delivery. Unlike booking through the official website, there is a time limitation for you to collect your paper tickets. If you phone the official before 12:00 am, you must collect before 12:00 am on the 2nd day. If you phone the official after 12:00 am, you can collect your tickets before 24:00 of the 2nd day. The staffs may only speak Chinese, so it is may be hard for you if you cannot speak (not read) Chinese well. And, International calls cost MUCH, so it is recommended as an alternative plan for you.
How to Book Tickets Offline - 2 Options
Option 1, Book at Train Station in Person
Most stations open 24 hours except some modern stations that only have daytime high speed trains (a few window available after 11:00 pm), and its pre-sale time is 15 days before departure. You should queue in front of ticket selling windows (售票窗口) inside the ticket office (售票厅). Always long queues in front of the counters there, especially during holidays.
Only selected staffs in metropolises like Beijing and Shanghai MAY speak English, so you can show the below sentences when you encounter with some language barrier:
● English: Hello, I want to buy a train ticket, is this the correct line?
● English: Hello, I couldn’t find the ticket office, could you help me?
Read Most Useful Chinese Phrases for China Train Travel to buy your ticket successfully.
● Some modern stations that only have daytime high speed trains.
● Your favorite tickets may be sold out during the waiting time, especially during Chinese holidays, so you’d better prepare alternatives.
● Print out or write down the key information about your selected train in advance, like train number, class, departure station, departure date, arrival station, and show them to the staff so as to save your travel time.
● You CAN NOT obtain tickets from Automatic Ticket Machines at train stations, because they only recognize Chinese issued ID cards.
● Remainder of train tickets showed on the Big Ticket Display Screen next to (or above) the counters, but they are only in Chinese and number.
Option 2, Book at Ticket Outlets near the Hotel You Booked
With a pre-sale period about 15 days before departure, local ticket outlets (火车票代售点) found throughout cities in the mainland China, and operate generally from 9 am to 5 pm. Hand over your passport and payment (an additional CNY 5 per ticket included), and the staff of the outlets will show you available trains on a screen for you to choose. For the staffs may only speak in Chinese, you’d better write the key information about your selected train in advance too.
China Bullet Train Ticket Price Notice
To date, most of China bullet trains still keep a fixed fare. The price of the same class seat is the same while there will be slightly difference between different trains. In the second half of year 2018, there will be a train operation diagram adjustment, and the floating price policy will be applied between 6 rail lines, including Hefei to Wuhan, Wuhan to Yichang and etc.
Children are required to be accompanied by adults on the train. Children between 1.2m and 1.5m need to book child ticket (about 50% for seats on all trains) while those under 1.2m are admitted for free. Note that there is no separate seat for the children with no tickets, which means your children have to share the only seat with you. Considering the comfort of your trip, you’d better book another child ticket for your child if you have a high quality requirement or want more space to view the wonderful sightseeing outside of the window during your China High Speed Train Trip.
>> Check more about How to Read China High Speed Train Tickets
>> Check more about How to Collect China High Speed Train Tickets
>> Check more about Alteration of China High Speed Train Tickets
>> Check more about China High Speed Train Ticket Cancellation - Documents, Policy & Charges
Highly Recommended Routes to Experience China High Speed Trains
As high speed train travel are becoming much popular and recommended by large portion of visitors in China, here we also list some top high speed train routes chosen by most people during their China tour. See the routes at below and pick one to experience the great advantages of travelling by high speed train. Also, you could check all high speed train routes to select which section to experience.
- Best transfer between China’s top two largest cities.
- Shifting among the most famed great ancient capitals.
- Bullet train to see metropolis and heavenly city on earth.
- Easy close up to traditional elegance of Jiangnan.
- Meet chubby giant pandas and eternal terracotta warriors.
- Travelling in picturesque karst landscapes and water and hills.
More Articles about China Bullet Train Tickets
- Everything about Your Tickets
- How to Book Hong Kong High Speed Rail Tickets
- How to Read Your Train Tickets
- How to Collect Your Train Tickets
- China Bullet Train Tickets Cancellation
- Alteration of China Bullet Train Tickets
- www.12306.cn - China Railway Official Website
Extension Readings of High Speed Train Travel in China
- Facilities, Food & Services Onboard
- Food & Drinks Onboard
- Toilets & Washrooms Onboard
- China Train Baggage Allowance & Policy
- Most Useful Train Travel Tips & Advice
- Most Useful Chinese Phrases for Taking Trains
- High Speed Train Seats & How to Choose
- China High Speed Train Types
- Ultimate China Train Travel Guide
- Top 10 Advantages of Train Travel in China
Top 3 tours chosen by most customers to explore in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.
- 9 Days East China & Mt. Huang Tour by High Speed Train
Shanghai / Suzhou / Hangzhou / Huangshan
- 7 Days Shanghai Suzhou Beijing Contrast Tour by High Speed Train
Shanghai / Tongli / Suzhou / Beijing
Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once inquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.Customize a Trip
Questions & Discussions
Following are latest questions and answers from our webusers and customers. You can learn many useful information from the discussion and cases. You can also join in the discussions or ask your own question. Our experts will help you ASAP.
Thanks for your message. To book train tickets and travel by train in mainland China, you need to use the Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents Permit or US passport. There is no difference in prices, but subject to change if you pay with USD, AUD and other foreign currencies.
Thanks for your question! There is no special time limitation of collecting train tickets in China. And the only thing you should pay attention to is collecting your tickets before your train leaves. You can even get your paper tickets on the day of departure. However, to get yourself enough time to catch the train, you are highly recommended to collect the tickets 2 hours in advance. You could collet your paper tickets at any train stations or authorized train ticket outlets (火车票代售点).
If you are interested, you could know more about collecting China train tickets at:
Hope this helps and wish you a nice day!
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