Being in an overnight train in China can be gruesome to some, but this just goes to show what we are capable of doing to save some money.

As someone who values comfort, I never thought there would come a day that I would need to experience sleeping in an overnight train. Although time-consuming, this method of traveling is great in helping to cut down on travel expenses, besides allowing travelers to get some rest.

train stations in china
Trains are always almost full, so booking ahead is advisable

china train reviews
Trains are surprisingly spacious on the inside

For long-distance journeys, passengers have the option to choose if they would want to be sitting during the entire ride (which is the cheapest), or to be able to sleep comfortably on beds. Soft sleeper is the best but the most pricey option, with four beds (two levels) in each cabin which allows plenty of room and personal space. Hard sleeper, on the other hand, is probably a very bad choice as six beds are crammed into each cabin (three levels) and it is back-breaking to even lie down.

china overnight train
Took the middle tier in the hard sleeper section. Never again!

overnight train in china
Spaces are a lot more confined than shown in this picture

One of the plus points of the train is that there is an entire carriage made into a restaurant and bar. (Occasionally functioning) Wi-Fi is also available in this section, but no power socket is available.

china sleeper train
Dining car with a bar at the back

food served in china trains
sleeper trains in china
Prices of the F&B available on the train

china train review
Awesome view from the window

The condition of the washrooms obviously needs no commentary. The fact that the journey is "long-distance" only makes the matter worse so always remember to keep a bottle of Tiger Balm and an unlimited supply of tissues close by.

Based on experience, soft sleeper is a much better choice for journeys that are 6 hours or longer. Nevertheless, always remember to check the price for flights as promotional prices are regularly available and this would save up a lot of time. Hard sleeper can be considered, provided you pick the lowest bunk (price difference of only a few Yuan)

Happy traveling!