“Bullet” Train Adventures


So far in our China adventures, we’ve traveled by plane, van, bus, and subway.  Last week, we experienced a whole new way to travel . . . we took a high speed “bullet” train!

We left Beijing headed to visit two new cities, Xi’an and Yangling.  We will cover those cities and experiences separately in a different post.  Today, we’ll just cover our adventures getting to our destination!

After an early morning start, we had to first take a van to the subway.


Then we had to take the subway to reach the train station. (This picture shows how cramped the subway can be when we are riding it).


The students we have gotten to know (along with our host) were concerned that the exchange between the subway and train station would be hard to navigate.  Because of this, they generously took the time to accompany us to the station.  They are always so helpful to make our experience as stress free as possible and we are very grateful.

We boarded almost immediately on the train (didn’t have much time to spare).  We had six seats total.  To save money, we didn’t buy Eli and Abel tickets (because under a certain height they can ride free).  What we saved in cash by not buying tickets, we paid for in cramped seating for six hours.


The seats could turn to face each other (like the above picture shows), or be in normal rows.  Unlike riding on a plane, you can walk around and stand at any point during the ride.  Because we were kind of cramped, it seemed like one of us was walking around or standing a lot of the trip.  That, or dealing with a wiggly Eli or Abel on our lap.


The above picture shows what you do zooming past the Chinese country side for six hours.  Screens. Lots of screen time.


We traveled over 300 km/h…that converts to 187 mph. Overall, the train was very smooth and quiet.

Here is some of the country side we passed by:



To save money and for convenience, we packed our own food for the ride.  Our friend Yili said the best option for lunch would be “ramen noodle” bowls.  For about 50 cents, we made our lunch using the scalding hot water the train supplies.  This beats the over priced food that the train offered!


Overall, we had a great and memorable experience using this mode of transportation.  We only had one stressful time in the train station in Xi’an when our group got separated from one another.  It’s a story that is best told in person.  So be sure to ask about it when we get back to the States.

Remember to subscribe to stay tuned to posts to come later this week about our visit to see the famous Terra Cotta Warriors, the Muslim Quarters, a Dumpling Feast, and our time in Yangling!



2 thoughts on ““Bullet” Train Adventures

  1. What a great way to travel! When you return to Oklahoma, driving cars/vans is going to seem rather dull.
    One of my memorable train experiences occurred on a trip from Yangling to Xian. Apparently the train sells tickets for seated passengers and standing passengers for the 1 hour trip between the 2 cities. Although we had purchased reserved seating, someone was already occupying the seats. When I showed her my ticket and tried to “communicate” that she was in my seat, she got up and let me sit down. Then she squeezed back into the seat WITH me!
    Happy trails! Can’t wait to hear the “rest of the story.”


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