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Q: Why most foreigners don't like taking train?

I talk to some of my foreigner friends and most hate train. Make me confuse.

 

Train is:

- cheap

- can sleep overnight

- probably best way to meet interesting people and make friends.

- can see the countryside

 

Most my friends prefer train, especially to meet people and develop circle of friends. I think train is an adventure and fun. But I understand maybe some you feel dirty inside.

7 years 49 weeks ago in  Transport & Travel - China

 
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I like catching the train as its pretty much city centre to city centre. And sometimes faster then the plane. But the downside is massive crowds at the train station, people will look at you for the entire journey (depending on what city you go to), toilets, and for me in Australia traveling by train is pretty much unheard of people would rather catch a plane so I have preference of traveling by plane.

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7 years 49 weeks ago
 
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-Soft Sleeper on a long run (like Harbin to Shanghai) is fun, comfortable, and cheaper than flying.

-Hard seat for 12 hours is being stared to death, smells, crowded, and sometimes too hot or too cold.

 

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7 years 49 weeks ago
 
Posts: 1559

Shifu

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I love taking the train in China.  Always go for the first class ticket if you can afford it, more comfortable and generally less staring.  Even second class on the train will be more comfortable than taking a long distance bus.

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7 years 49 weeks ago
 
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  I like the train! Been all over on trains, hard sleeper's cozy and you can spend any sleepless hours in the canteen drinking beer and talking to the staff. I'd rather cut off my own legs and drag myself across China by my teeth than travel hard seat though.

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7 years 49 weeks ago
 
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I also love train travel. But only the nice cars, like the Z train to BJ. I rode sth like 3rd class one time from Shanghai to Hangzhou. Stood the whole time stuffed in like sardines. Hot, and idiots smoking right next to me, I thought I was going to die. A pretty damn good definition of miserable.

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7 years 49 weeks ago
 
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I love taking trains! Never actually got to take holidays in China though, so I never tested out China's train system.

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7 years 49 weeks ago
 
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Xifei,

       I can only speak from my experience. (The worst that I have had in train travel.) Yes, we feel dirty inside because the trains ARE dirty inside! Add to that too many people,too hot in the Summer with only occasional air-conditioning,so much garbage,constant cigarette smoking :(,the stupid staring which Western people DO NOT like,stopping at stations and wasting time where nobody gets on,etc. NOT very pleasant at all! :( Obviously, I'm not talking about the clean,fast high-speed trains which I REALLY wish ran North of Beijing!!!!!!! I read that maybe in a few years they'll run further North.

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7 years 49 weeks ago
 
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The trains are wonderful to ride on, my favorite transportation here in China.  The only problems I have had is getting on a nearly full train making a stop in the small town I was getting on and having to beg people to rearrange so me and my girlfriend could sit together for the trip, since some people in China seem to have never heard of seat numbers.  Also, tickets sell out well in advance, so it can be tough at times to get a good ticket.  Only other negative is those who sneak into the bathroom to puff a smoke, and the smoke makes its way out to the rest of the carriage and kills my lungs.

 

I love the smooth ride, and beautiful views of the countryside. If you end up in the hard seats you risk having a terrible trip with many migrants who don't know how to act on public transportation. However, if you know some Mandarin, you might be able to hear some cool stories from the elders, or meet a very curious and pretty migrant girl that will make the trip more worthwhile..

I do want to say it has always been a far better experience than taking the coach bus. Never once has my coach bus experience been good.

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7 years 49 weeks ago
 
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I have no idea about others, but I do love trains in China, far better than buses.  Of course, if available I use soft sleeper, if not soft seat for short distances.  Smoking is only allowed on space between train cars, all other places is not allowed, at least on soft sleepers.

I do love the scenery of the countryside, the fact that I can get up and walk around, and so far I have met many very nice Chinese persons.  Maybe my only bad experience was a young lady with a baby, she evidently had not much experience, and the baby cried a lot.  It was hard to sleep.  But she was very apologetic about it.

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7 years 49 weeks ago
 
Posts: 961

Shifu

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I also prefer train travel. Planes are only an option for me if I am very stuck for time because you see nothing except the inside of airports or aircraft. Train travel is relaxing when you have a comfortable seat and you can just watch the sights pass by while also meeting others. Soft seats, soft sleeper on older trains or 2nd class on D & C trains are all in my opinion comfortable enough. Just bring along plenty of snacks and enjoy the ride. If my plans come to fruition I will spend a good portion of my retirement riding trains as I plan to visit every province in China and tick them off my bucket list.

I hope to get the train to Tibet next year if foreigners are allowed to visit. 

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7 years 48 weeks ago
 
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In my initial years in China I was not taking train because of language problem..

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7 years 48 weeks ago
 
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Who says foreigners dont like taking trains? I, and most people I know like trains as long as we get sleeper tickets for long routes. What puts most foreigners off train travel is the difficulty in getting tickets.

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7 years 48 weeks ago
 
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My mate had his passport stolen and had to take a 50hr train journey home only on a seat as only thing he could get.  We found it very funny but now i think he hates trains.

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7 years 48 weeks ago
 
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As most others have commented here, train travel is fine. I've done a lot of train trips while in China, and the only part I don't really care for is the train station; being there is always way too many people in too small of spaces, but hey, "welcome to China," right?

 

I've done overnight trips from Changsha to Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Beijing in a soft sleeper, which was nice. Many, many weekend trips on soft seat, and only one on a hard seat. That was from Harbin to Yabuli in December! Totally different experience, but not terrible, just cold most of the time. As I was with my wife and 9 other Chinese women (we were on a skiing trip), it really wasn't that bad, as there was enough of us to form a small enclave and induce a "rolling party." The people who were traveling around us were mostly from the countryside, and soon, everyone was sharing food and tea and having a grand time. I had my sketch book with me and was doing some impromptu "Chinese landscapes," which delighted the elders to see a foreign guy attempt some traditional drawing. All in all, lots of fun.

 

I would much rather take a train than plane on most occasions, as one gets to have a scenic view and see parts of China that are off the beaten path. Also, the atmosphere seems to be a little more relaxed.

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7 years 48 weeks ago
 
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I dont think so.For short distance i dont mind taking train and for long route i prefer plane.Specially when m  travelling alone,i take plane.Usually when m travelling with friends we prefer plane.

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7 years 48 weeks ago
 
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"Oil Sheikh's" son went to study in Europe. 

After first week Dad is calling his son:
- Son, water of my dunes, how are You?
- Dad, Your Majesty, I feel stupid... everybody takes train to University, and I'm driving gold Rolls...
- No problem son, You should behave like everybody around. Buy a train!

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7 years 48 weeks ago
 
Posts: 1154

Shifu

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time is money and money is time and a train is a waste of time

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7 years 48 weeks ago
 
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As per my experience and hard fact which I had study ' Foreigners don't want be a part of the crowd ' They want privacy and peace that's the reason due to such a rush in trains specially in china they don't like to travel by trains ..............

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7 years 48 weeks ago
 
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Shifu

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I was thoroughly turned off from train travel a few months ago. A grandma was taking chunks of ice cream in her mouth and after making it soft, slowly spitting it down her 3 or 4 year old grandson's gullet. Sitting directly across from me. That's about all I could take. 

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7 years 48 weeks ago
 
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I had my phoned pick-pocketed on a bus before I left. A train just gives them more time to get my stuff, takes too long. I took a soft sleeper once, the toilets hadn't been cleaned in 5000 years.

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7 years 48 weeks ago
 
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I've never had a positive experience on a train in China. They're filthy, loud and uncomfortable. I fly everywhere now.

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7 years 48 weeks ago
 
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I love traveling by train.   Have traveled thousands of miles all over China.   A wonderful and, challenging learning experience.   Let the train take the strain.

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7 years 48 weeks ago
 
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I do not mind taking a train but have been in some very uncomfortable situations as well.

Once my boyfriend and I were squeezed to the point we were kissing the exit door and a lady came close to us carrying a cute little girl. They smiled at us and then the little girl peed on our feet. And then they left like nothing happened. I know it's kids pee but still, what the heck!!!

Another time, I've had a seat and a migrant worker spent three hours staring at me. I'm used to it but that day I just wasn't in the mood. yes

Not to mention that time, in the sleeping compartment, when a guy farted in the middle of the night and I was about to puke my soul out.

 

 

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7 years 48 weeks ago
 
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i live in a big city so i have to use the metro everyday,and its over crowded,

i understand that there is a lot of people who live in the city, 

 

few things could be improved to get people in and out the trains faster, and i dont mean to offend anyone in my country the metro is also busy but we have a very good transport system that works since we all help each other get in/out asap

 

*the people getting out of the train could  move faster and get out thus giving enough time for new passangers to get on before the doors start closing since they dont stay open for very long

 

* the passangers geting on the train should wait for people to get out first not push through( in 1 case i saw a girl pushed back into the train when she was trying to get out) this would work if people got out quick enough 

 

*when standing at the escalator you should stand on the corect side allowing people to walk if they wish to do and more people should walk so they dont have to run when they see a train at the moment takes people too long to get out of the platforms,

 

but i do understand lots of people havent had anough time to adjust to city life,

 

nce again i apologise if you feel ofended by anything i said, it wasnt my itention

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7 years 48 weeks ago
 
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I'd like to do a of circuit, Beijing,Urumji,Guangzhou, Shanghai and back to Beijing。

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7 years 48 weeks ago
 
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