Tuesday, May 24, 2011

China by Train

Getting around China has become so much easier in the last 5 years. There has been a huge Government backed push to expand high-speed rail to every major city. The train pictured above is the "fastest" train in the world. Even though Europe has some trains that have set speed records, this train actually runs a schedule at the incredible speed of 349 KPH (or 217 MPH). this train runs from Guangzhou to Wuhan, with 6 schedule stops in between (including Changsha South, which is where we got off)

The price for a ticket is about 335 RMB ($50 US), so you don't see a lot of locals on the train, but compared to a 3-4 hour car ride, or a $250 plane ticket this is truly the way to travel.

There is a local Chinese saying that says "If you have the time you take the plane, if you have the money you take the train". This refers to the airline delays that China is famous for, and the expense/convenience of the extensive train network.

In 2 years they plan to have a Shanghai-Kunming train running, which will make it possible to traverse the majority of the Country in about 5 hours. Can't wait to take it next time we are there.

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