scenic railways in china

Scenic Railroads of China

Traveling in China is no small feat, considering the size of the country itself. If you are looking to explore multiple parts of this vastly diversified country, then how you will get there becomes an issue. Will you rent a car?  Will you fly?  These manners of travel can at times be confusing, frustrating, and consume your valuable travel time without you actually enjoying it. However, another option you have is to travel by train.

[Create Your Own Adventure]

Imagine, you can sit back and relax while you watch the scenery pass by your window, enjoying the journey as you head to your next destination. Take a look at some of our top picks for train travel in China:

Bullet Train from Beijing to Guangzhou

Bullet trains are becoming a new rage because of the incredible distances you can travel in such a short time. Taking this train from Beijing to Guangzhou, you can experience many major points in China in a short time. The journey covers 2,298 kilometres (1,427 miles) in just 8 hours, making it the largest bullet railway on earth.

High speed train

Experience the change that occurs outside your window as you blast out of the beautiful metropolitan city of Beijing and speed into the countryside with small villages and beautiful green landscapes. See local farmers in their fields near the tracks. Take in the gorgeous views as you relax and soak it all in.

This daytime train travels past many stops so that you can enjoy a mainly uninterrupted journey. It will stop at Shijiazhuang, Zhengzhou, Wuhan and Changsha.

Beijing-Lhasa: The Himalayan Train

Standing in stark contrast to the Beijing-Guangzhou route, this fantastic mountain railway will take you through the desolate wilderness as you climb ever higher into the Himalayan mountains. This striking terrain is like few others in the world and you can enjoy it at a leisurely pace.

View from the train to Lhasa

This high altitude journey stays mostly above 4,000 meters, and the peak of this ride (the Tanggula Pass) is 5,231 meters high (17,162 feet).  If you’re feeling low on oxygen don’t worry, each cabin has an oxygen supply, or a small tube that you can use to breathe. This is a great route for summertime, when you’ll be able to see native Tibetans camping at the side of the tracks with their herds of yaks.

Nanning-Guilin: Karst Landscape

The stunning area around Guilin has gained fame from its vivid landscapes. The eroded limestone hills that travel between Guilin and Nanning create an incredible landscape that has given this area’s scenery the token of being “the best under heaven”.

Karst landscape

This relaxing trip of only 5 hours between these two points is a short and tranquil ride that will give you a peek into this beautiful peasant country.

Your eyes will be pleased by the sight of hundreds of low hills overlooking paddy fields. These fields have an inherent beauty that changes with the seasons.

When the fields are flooded, it produces a beautiful effect. At different parts of the year various crops are flowering, a landscape that is very hard to forget.

With a convenient timetable, this short train is a great way to see some beautiful scenery, and is very convenient if you are heading to or from Vietnam, as Nanning is right on the border with this neighbouring country.

Xi’an-Chengdu: Terracotta Warriors and Cuddly Pandas

This 842 kilometre (523 mile) track goes between two very popular tourist attractions in China.  The incredible terracotta army that was buried with the first emperor of China in 210 BCE in Xi’an. It is a place that will be a highlight of your trip.  And for something a bit more fuzzy, a great place to see is the Chengdu Panda Research Base, where you can see giant pandas and learn about their soft and cuddly lives.

Looking out of the train window

This train travels between these two well-known attractions. It is known for its beautiful mountainous terrain and is never far away from lovely river views. You can lose yourself in its many tunnels and bridges and the lush landscapes outside your window.

Traveling in style in China was never done better than traveling by train. Experience these magnificent railways for yourself and see the most of China while enjoying the journey.

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Cez Krol

Travel blogger at eTramping
Cez lives in China like a local for the past 4 years. Apart from speaking the language, he loves to discover more about this unique country of extreme contrasts. He shares his China experiences here at Sublime China and on his blog eTramping, so go and check out what's out there for you in China.
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