Travelling during Chinese Spring Festival by a train

The biggest, most important and most celebrated festival /holidays in China is the famous Spring Festival. The whole of China is on the move, the Chinese working in bigger cities are returning home to their small towns and villages, moreover, even the Chinese from abroad from USA, Canada, Germany, etc. are coming back to their home countries, too. Chinese culture is thick with traditions and the family ties are very significant for them.

So, now let’s think about it, you want to travel during the busiest season of all but with the ease and comfort because after all, this is your holidays.

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  1. Plan ahead – create your itinerary of places you want to visit and things you want to do. Think about how many days you want to spend where and how much time you need to get to the next spot on your list.
  2. Check your transportation options, like planes, trains, buses. During the Spring Festival, the prices for the flights go quite high, even the bus company owners have the right to raise their prices. Only the trains have the same, constant price.

Be extra carefour with the multiple stations within the same city, so if your connecting train ride goes from different stations, be aware of the time you need to get yourself to the other train station.

  1. Book your tickets for all your connections well in advance – the online sale for the trains usually opens 60 days before the departure and the sale in the ticket office opens 58 days prior the departure. A little reminder to you, these trains quickly sell out in the very first days of the sale opening.

Usually, the three days around Chinese New Year are good for travelling. Most of the Chinese are with their families and the trains are not fully packed as on the other days.

  1. If you are not lucky to get the train rides you want and you are flexible with your dates, you can wait for some time for more tickets to be released later on. This happens because the travel agencies buy a lot of tickets, however if they do not sell them out, they return them back to the sale. But if you choose to risk like this, you better check the trains frequently.
  2. It is possible to return a ticket that you have already bought. If you cancel your ticket 15 days or more before the departure it is for free. Less than 15 days to 48 hours, there is a cancellation fee of 5% of the original fare value. 48 hours to 24 hours before the departure you will be charged by 10% of the original fare and within 24 hours there is a fee of 20% of original fare.8-Fun-Facts-about-the-Chinese-New-Year
  3. On the day of your journey, be aware that it most possible will get incredibly busy on the train stations. Hence, it is advised to come approximately 1 hour prior your departure.
  4. At the train station, expect a control. First your passport with your train ticket will be checked. The name on your ticket and in your passport must be the same. Afterwards, you will be scanned and as well your baggage. It can get very uncomfortable in this area.
  5. Then look for your train number on the departure board, check for any changes with your train ride. If there is none, go to your gate number which you can also find on the board. The gate usually opens 15 minutes prior the departure.
  6. After you find yourself on the platform, go to your carriage number written on the floor of the platform and wait until your train arrives.
  7. Once in the train, find your seat and enjoy your ride.

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