With Backpack

One World in One Lifetime

Seats and Berths: Trains in China


As the name implies these are beds on the train. All bedding is provided and you will usually get fresh sheets. There is hot water provided by way of a boiler in the hall, so bring your Swiss Miss and Cup-O’-Noodles.

The picture about is of a Soft Sleeper. It came with a complimentary tea set, but I don’t remember if the tea was provided.

Don’t worry about missing your stop while in a sleeper. Someone comes by and takes the tickets of passengers who have just boarded. Passengers get their tickets back about ten to twenty minutes before their stop when the person in charge of the car wakes them up. This way they can start getting ready to get off the train and not waste any time.

  • Hard Sleepers have 3 beds placed like bunk beds next to 3 other beds. There are 6 beds in one berth, but there is no door. There is a mattress, and no, it’s not hard at all. I take the hard sleepers when I plan on just sleeping the whole way. I place my backpack away from where the door would be, just in case. The hard sleeper only becomes a hassle when you want to sit up. You have to wait until your bunk mates are all awake, because converting the beds into a seat involve collapsing 2 beds.
  • Soft Sleepers are like hard sleepers except that there are only 4 beds to a berth and there is a lockable door. You also get a flask of hot water that you can refill out in the hall. Some trains offer a universal outlet or two as in the picture above. Because there are only 2 berths on the wall, as apposed to 3, you can sit up when ever you like.

Seats are also labeled hard and soft. Soft seats are first class and hard seats are second class. I’ve never used any of those, so I cannot tell you about them. But check out the information at seat61.com.

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