Spring Festival (春节chūnjié) Travel Tips

Photo ID Required for Train Ticket Purchases

ID card

This Spring Festival, you will need photo ID when buying train tickets.

According to China Radio International and Sina.com news, travelers in Guangdong and Sichuan province must provide photo ID when buying tickets. As of right now, this rule does not apply to Beijing. It’s also a good idea to get to the ticket seller early. Arriving 2 hours before opening will increase your chances of buying tickets.

Note that you can only buy advance tickets for D, Z, T, and K trains 10 days in advance. Ticket sellers open at 9am.

Also, arriving at the train station early will give you enough time to check your luggage through security check and find your way to your boarding gate. Stations are often large, noisy, crowded, and confusing.

The Different Classes of Trains

Chinese-trainD (动车 dòngchē) Electric trains. Typically has higher speed than T trains or K trains, with a top speed of 250 km/h. Provides fast, frequent service between cities like Beijing/Taiyuan and Shenzhen/Guangzhou.

Z (直达 zhídá) Direct express trains. Although they are called “direct” trains, they may stop at stations along the way. Top speed 140 km/h.

T (特快 tèkuài) Express trains. They have a limited number of stops. Top speed 120 km/h.

K (kuài) Fast trains. Stops at more stations than T trains.

Trains without letters in front of them are the slowest of all. They stop at many more stations than the faster trains listed above, but ticket prices are also cheaper. Top speed 100 to 120 km/h.

More information on tickets, routes and pictures of train interiors at seat61.com


Be wary of long lines and pickpockets. Pay attention to your surroundings and the people around you. The Spring Festival is a high season for thieves and tricksters. Travel with a friend if possible, don’t fall asleep where it’s not safe, put wallets and valuables in inside pockets, and lock stowed luggage. Even pockets with zippers are vulnerable.Don’t keep your cash all in one place; if possible, divide it among places on your person.

  • http://www.duncanleung.com/ Duncan Leung

    Handy tips! Too bad I’ll be stuck in Beijing for the holiday- I’m too weary to go through the hassle of traveling during this period.

  • http://www.1on1mandarin.com Darren

    hope this photo ID policy can make purchasing train ticket easier during Spring Festival. it’s really a big headache.