Trains in China are a much more important operation than a small European country, they act as the main mode of transport between different cities and the quality of travel can vary immensely, on the whole as a westerner it’s a pretty awful experience and leaves you continually thinking inside your head ‘You could never do that in England’.
The first thing to note is that you can’t book train tickets online, you have to book them from the city you’re leaving and you have to do this as far in advance as you can otherwise there may only be seats available. Also if you do it too far in advance they may tell you there is nothing available at the station as the ticket agents pay them commission and so they would rather it be sold through them.
Our first train journey was Beijing to Xi’an. This takes 14 hours Read More »
Six days on a train is most definitely for everyone, if you are fidgety and in need of outside stimulation this is not for you. Also if you are used to the luxury of good quality hotels you will probably be a little dissatisfied, as even someone without particularly high standards I believe the shower there in first class was the worst place I’ve ever been! Despite that I got used to it and really enjoyed the trip, mainly because I needed some pure relaxation at the same time as detoxing myself day by day from the strict society of the western world.
Catching the train itself isn’t too difficult as it arrives at the station about half an hour early, Yaraslavsky station which I recognised on the tube station as ‘KomoComo’ as it looks similar to that in Cryllic. When you’re there you don’t need to go through the inside of the station as it’s round the back by some small shops with about 4 platforms. The area around the station isn’t great so with time to kill a restaurant/ café was our best bet. Read More »
After catching international trains in various countries I can now confidently say that the Eurostar is extremely official and well organised. With its own section in St. Pancras and a recognisable logo all over the place, even those with no grasp of English would find the correct train reasonably easily. The same cannot be said for the remainder of the trains we caught.
In ‘Brussels Midi’ we had two and a half hours to look around. Unfortunately the station appears to be in the middle of nowhere, and a fairly rough and dirty nowhere at that. Read More »