Please read the following Booking Procedures and Policies carefully. Placing a booking order implies that our procedure and policies have been read and accepted.
Many tourists would like to use China’s vast and cheap rail network, however obtaining train tickets is not an easy process (long queues, language problems, etc.). China Highlights makes train ticket on-line booking available to you to save you time, hassle and money.
- Please make sure the passengers’ information you fill in the booking form are exactly the same as what they appear on the passports, no abbreviation of any part of passengers’ names, otherwise you can’t get tickets at the railway station. You will be responsible for any damages or losses occurred in the situation.
Clear passport scan copy for all passenger(s) is required when filling the order form online. We always help DOUBLE CHECK the passengers’ information. See how? (+) The passports used for booking train tickets should be the same used for collecting train tickets and boarding the train, otherwise you can’t get tickets at the train station or board the train. You will be responsible for any damages or losses occurred in the situation.
- Submit the booking order and pay online. Our travel advisor will respond to you within 12 working hours. No contract between China Highlights and the purchaser shall come into existence until China Highlights issues a formal confirmation by email.
- A payment link will be sent to the email address provided later if you miss the instant payment online. Full payment for all tickets is required prior to the issue of the tickets.
- According to the ministry of China Railways’ policy, the availability of tickets for selling will be advised 60 days before the travel date. (The selling period for train tickets often changes. The China Railways has total control of it. China Highlights will update the days in real time). If ticket is in 60 days later, we will put it in the priority list once the tickets are released.
- Please provide train alternatives, which help us act promptly and prevent any loss for you. There is a possibility that your chosen train can go unavailable. Situations that can cause unavailability include: tickets are sold out before you finish payment; limited number of same-class railway routes in operation on the very date you chose; China Rail’s adjustment on routes and tickets. Tickets can be sold out fast while we wait for your reply.
- China Highlights has decisional rights of when to issue (or deliver) your tickets.
- It is advisable to avoid train travel during peak times, including Chinese New Year (2 weeks in January/February) New Year’s Day (January 1st-3rd), Labor Day (May 1st-3rd) and National Day (October 1st-7th), during which the tickets are often sold out.
- The train info list on our website is for your reference only. Please refer to the ticket info issued by the railway authorities as the final confirmation. China Highlights is not responsible for schedule changes by China Rail.
- Issuing of tickets is under the total control of China Rail. China Highlights will purchase tickets as soon as possible, but has no influence over the release of tickets. We will do our best to buy train tickets, but can’t 100% guarantee it.
- The ticket total price includes net price, service fee, credit card processing fee, and the delivery fee (it depends on your requirement).
- The service fee is varies from $5 to $15, which depends on the different net price. Train to and from Lhasa can be higher, because it’s always in a shortage and very difficult to purchase.
- Our quotation is based on the updated exchange rate between US Dollar and CN Yuan.
- Our sleeper train ticket price is quoted based on the lower berth, but tickets are issued stochastically in China. Due to the very slight price differences among upper, middle and lower berths, we will take the benefits no matter which berth we issue finally.
- There is no further fee if you collect your ticket at the DEPARTURE station shown on your ticket. RMB 5 will be charged at the ticket counter at other stations. RETURN TICKETS ARE TREATED SEPARATELY. E.g. if you have booked Beijing–Harbin and Harbin–Beijing tickets, and you collect them all at Beijing, you will be charged 5 yuan each for the Harbin–Beijing tickets, but if you pick up the return leg tickets separately in Harbin you will avoid the charge.
- Payment is available via PayPal, Skrill, Visa/Master Card by authorization way.
- China Highlights require the payment paid by one of the passengers. If the purchaser is not a passenger, we’ll require other document to verify the payment.
- If payment is made by credit card authorization way, China Highlights will draw Chinese currency (CNY) from your credit card. The credit card company or bank will convert this amount to the currency that is normally shown on your credit card. This procedure may result in a higher amount being charged than quoted by China Highlights. These additional fees are not the responsibility of China Highlights and are caused by additional fees charged by the credit card company/bank or exchange rate variation.
- The transfer fee of 3% charged by PayPal will be added onto the total price.
- Full payments are 100% refundable if we are unable to supply the required tickets.
Ticket Collection and Delivery
- After the issue of the ticket, China Highlights will email you promptly the detail information of the ticket and a bilingual instruction, such as how to collect the ticket at the train station and tips. You can collect paper ticket(s) at any railway station in China continent with passengers’ original passport(s) and the E-ticket number displayed in the email.
- If you choose the delivery service, the tickets can be sent to your hotel or appointed address within China. China Highlights cooperate with the China’s best Express Company only, which is safer and more efficient for our customers.
- Please note some hotels might refused to receive and keep express for guests, especially for the guests with no reservation, or who are not check in.
- If you appointed a personal address within China, please provide the address in Chinese as soon as possible to make sure we send the tickets to the correct address. Please make sure the addressee can communicant in Chinese and he/she is easily contacted in day time (9am to 6pm), the postmen in China speaks Chinese and he will call before sending.
- We’ll collect the tickets on behalf of the passenger who chose the delivery service. The passenger will not allow recollecting train tickets at railway station.
- China Highlights is not responsible for non-receipt of tickets caused by a wrong delivery address, no/incorrect receiver's name, or unconfirmed check-in date, provided by purchasers/passengers and rejection from the receiver. Any relevant loss is on the customer's side.
- Special note for those who need ticket delivery service: There are literally millions of ticket clerks in China. They went through trainings and work under China Rail and yet sometimes they issue tickets in different ways. If you find your issued tickets is in one of these following conditions, here’s absolutely no worries or no need for ticket cancellation: names not in full spellings; no space between given name and family name; the last numbers of passport are marked with *; given name and family name in opposite order (see the pictures of example). Such paper tickets are accepted by China Rail and you can board the train without any trouble.
Example: Passport numbers are marked with *
From May 29th 2015, change or cancellation of trains tickets to or from Lhasa can only be processed in person at the railway station. Travelers shall present the original passport(s) and paper ticket(s) at any railway station in Mainland China. China Highlights won’t process any change or cancellation after issue of the ticket(s).
- All changes must be sent to China Highlights by email at least 24 hours prior to the departure time. It is ok to first request for ticket changes by phone, however, an email or message shall be sent later on.
- Change request before payment, no change fee.
- Change request before the issue of the ticket(s), no change fee.
- Change request after the issue of the ticket(s), change fee fluctuates on the basis of the time of the request made and the way of ticket collection:
(1) If you are collecting ticket(s) at the train station: no further service fee will be charged on China Highlights’ side. China Rail will charge you 5 to 20% of the ticket price as change fee. [more+]
a. Change ticket(s) 48 hours (not including 48 hours) before the departure time: 5% of the ticket price will be charged as change fee. Ticket(s) can be changed to any train that is available within the pre-book time span (which is normally 60 days). For instance, you are supposed to board the train on May 1st yet for some other reason, you have to cancel it instead. Say if you do that on April 28th, you change your trip to any train that departs any day with the next 60 days.
(2) If you are expecting ticket delivery but it hasn’t been sent out yet: USD10 per ticket will be charged on China Highlights’ side as further service fee. And China Rail will charge you 5 to 20% of the ticket price as change fee.
b. Change ticket(s) 24 to 48 hours (not including 24 hours) before the
departure time: 10% of the ticket price will be charged as change fee. You can change your trip to any train that departs after the departure time (stated on the paper ticket) till 11:59pm of the very same day. For example, for train departs at 03:00pm of April 29th, when you make a change at 10:00am of April 28th, your options will be either a train departing later than 03:00pm on April 28th or no later than 11:59pm of April 29th.
c. Change ticket(s) within 24 hours (including 24 hours) before the departure time: a change fee of 25% out of the ticket price will be charged. Make endorse to any train that departs after the departure time till 11:59pm of the very same day of departure. For example, your train departs at 4:00pm on May 1st and you make the change at 3:35pm on that day. This leaves you with the remaining available trains that depart from 4:01pm to 11:59pm on May 1st.
d. Change ticket(s) after the departure time: it is also workable yet it can only be done at the departure station as stated on the paper ticket(s) and under the very condition that there are trains and seats available for the rest of that day. Change can be made to any train that departs on the same day no later than 11:59pm. This is a one-time-only action, which means once you change to a new train, it can be canceled or once-more endorse. Change fee ranges depending on the price of the train you make endorse to.
(3) If you are expecting ticket delivery that is already on the way: change shall be made at the railway station in person. Review the different situations of endorses as aforementioned. You can pay in cash in case of surplus price difference. The refunding price difference will be transferred back to our company account and the railway station clerk will provide you a receipt. Email the receipt back to us and refund will be transferred back to your account.
Request for change of the delivery address: To avoid inconvenience for your trip, every step of the booking process shall be taken seriously. A delivery address shall be a place that your stay of at least 3 days is assured before you move on to the next destination. Change of the delivery address after the parcel is sent can cause non-received delivery or ticket loss. It is not an acceptable request on our side. Without beforehand notification and approval, China Highlights shoulders no responsibility for any kind of ticket loss/damages or non-received delivery.
Request of change of ticket collection: Preparing your ticket delivery sometimes means more work will follow our travel advisor outside their regular working hours. It’s frustrating; however, please understand we don’t accept any change of ticket collection after your decision was made at the first place.
Cancellation and Refunds
- Exempted Rulemaking: We truly regret that uncontrollable situations may interrupt your travel. China Highlights, however, shoulders no responsibility over failure in obtaining tickets due to these uncontrollable situations:
1. Due to railroad or station construction or operation deployment, interim adjustment of train cars and seats without any beforehand notice regarding seat rearrangement and price differences.
2. Due to dysfunction or instability caused by system upgrade at China Rail, travelers cannot collect tickets at ticket window after booking successfully online with China Highlights. (Suggestion: try at another window or contact us immediately)
3. Certain train routes might be cancelled without any beforehand notice.
We understand your plans may change and getting refund should be just as easy as it’s supposed to be. Here, give a quick look at the cases of ABSOLUTELY NO CANCELLATION FEE.
a. Make cancellation before payment
b. Make cancellation before issue of the ticket(s)
c. Make cancellation during 24 to 48 hours before the departure time. (Note: China Rail will charge 20% of the ticket price if the tickets are not collected yet.)
We appreciate for your understanding regarding to the requirements as follow:
When to request for cancellation
- Please send us a request at least 24-48 hours prior to the departure time that is printed on your train ticket. Refund amount will be depended on when you make the cancellation. Cancellation request after the departure won’t be accepted by China Rail.
How to request a cancellation
- To avoid any misunderstanding or mistaking, we strongly suggest you send your request for cancellation via email. Oral notification by phone is ok when you are nowhere near a computer. However, we will be on hold until your email of confirmation for cancellation comes in our mailbox later on.
Charges of cancellation fluctuate based on your choice of ticket delivery given different options cost certain work-load and time.
- a. Collecting ticket by yourself:
(1) There’s no cancellation fee if you make it 24 hours before you collect the ticket(s). Send us an email and the procedure will be completed within one working day. PayPal will inform you about the refund via email within the same span. However, we will withhold a certain amount on China Rail’s behalf as it will charge 20% of the ticket price as a return ticket fee.
(2) It will be both-side cooperation if you make cancellation after collecting the ticket(s): you will need to bring your passport(s) and paper ticket(s) to any railway station. Find the certain ticket window for cancellation and show the two things to the clerk. A receipt will be offered to you after the cancellation is done and it shall be sent back to us by email. Refund of the exact same amount in accordance with the receipt will be processed within one working day. PayPal will inform you about the refund via email within the same span.
(Find the ticket cancellation window: 请网络购票问去哪个窗口退票？- Where is the ticket cancellation window for online bookings?)
- b. Ticket delivery service:
(1) Ticket(s) not delivered yet: Ticket delivery service costs extra labor time to collect ticket and prepare parcel thus it will be very nice of you to request for a cancellation at least 72 hours prior to the departure time. With 20% of the ticket price charged by China Rail as a cancellation fee, 80% of the ticket price and the pre-paid delivery fee will be refunded to your account. And as the situation of changing ticket before delivery, an extra fee of 10USD/ticket will be charged. We will retain the 10USD/ticket, along with the service fee, as a compensatory cost of our workload and time. Thank your for your understanding.
(2) Ticket(s) already delivered: Please refer to the situation of “make cancellation after collecting the ticket(s)” as above. And please understand that we will retain the service fee as a compensatory cost for our workload and time.
Minimize your loss
Checking In and Checking Out
- Passengers should arrive at the train station 60 minutes before departure and check in with valid ID and the paper ticket together. If you need to collect your paper tickets, you’d better go to the railway station 2-3 hours before departure, especially during the public holidays and weekends, we suggest you get your paper ticket(s) one day before.
- Ticket widows in most train stations open 7/24.
- After the train departs, a train attendant will walk through the carriages to collect tickets. The attendant will give each passenger a plastic card. Please keep the card safe. Passengers are required to present the card about half an hour before reaching the destination, when the ticket will be returned.
- Retain the ticket as tickets are checked before exiting the train station.
- Read more on How to Board a Train in China.
Baggage space is limited and must be stored in the sitting/sleeping compartment along with the other passenger’s luggage. It is wise to travel with limited baggage, which should not be left unattended.
Most stations have a considerable number of stairs to climb to reach the platforms. Bags have to be carried up and down these stairs. Most stairs have a steep ramp so that wheeled bags can be dragged up as you walk up the stairs. The ramps are usually narrow and inconvenient to use.
Some stations have porters who will carry luggage for 5-10 yuan per piece of luggage. Follow them closely and keep your eyes on your luggage.
Free Carry-on Luggage
- Ordinary passengers: 20 kg (44 pounds)
- Children with a half-price ticket ( 1.2m-1.5m) and no ticket (under 1.2 m) : 10 kg (22 pounds)
- The total length of each item cannot exceed 160 cm, unless rod-shaped.
- Note: The above limitation is not applicable to wheelchairs, which can be brought onto the train for free.
Booking Policy for International Railway Routes
China Highlights’ Booking Policy for International Railway Routes is the guideline for both customers and China Highlights itself to ensure availability, reduce unnecessary misunderstanding and minimize the unproductive cost due to any wrong-going during the booking process. Requirements for ticket bookings to other countries differ than that in China. This policy is presented to satisfy general booking procedure anyway possible.
Please note that China Highlights doesn’t guarantee 100% for ticket obtaining and we don’t hold responsibility for unsuccessful attempt to obtain tickets. Your money is refundable in case we cannot obtain tickets. Your understanding and obeying are highly appreciated.
Pre-sale period differs by specific international trains. To ensure for valid booking and ticket issuing, China Highlights sets up a time frame for different routes:
(1) To/from Beijing, Shanghai and Nanning:
60 days ahead until 5 days prior to the departure date. Example: for booking a train to Ulaanbaatar from Beijing on August 10th, tickets are bookable from June 10th but we won’t process bookings that are made during August 5th to 10th.
(2) To/from Guangzhou:
60 days ahead until 5 days prior to the departure date. Example: for booking a train to Hong Kong from Guangzhou on August 10th, tickets are bookable from July 10th but we won’t process bookings that are made during August 5th to 10th.
What you need for booking international train tickets
Booking international trains with China Highlights is fairly easy. After you search and make a booking on our website, our traveler advisors will confirm the trip with you. We will need a scan of valid passport for each traveler. The scans will be used for purchase only and none of your personal info will leak out.
Note: Travelers should obtain visa for the destination country (if needed) before booking the trains. If the train has stopovers in more than one country, travelers shall apply for transit visa of the stopover destination, like K3/4 passing by Mongolia. Neither of China Highlights and train stations is obligated to validate travelers’ visas, has no right, either. China Highlights shoulders no responsibility for boarding rejection due to invalid visa.
After Buying Tickets
After the booking process is completed and tickets are successfully issued, China Highlights will have the paper tickets delivered to your address. Please note:
- Passengers are required to have their passports and tickets checked by the station staffers. Passengers will be rejected to board if the passport numbers don’t match with the tickets.
- Any hand-written juggling on the paper tickets will cause ticket invalidation and will be mandatorily expropriated by the rail department. Transferring to another passenger is not allowed, either. Passengers will be rejected to board in these cases.
The price amount of every booking is different based on different international trains. These items or services are not included in our final quotation:
- Transportation cost to get to/from the train station and overland.
- Visa for the destination and transit countries.
- Excess cost of personal luggage
- Foods and drinks in the train.
- Cost of change and cancellation.
- Cost of change of seats in the train.
- Other personal expenses.
For trains from/to Hong Kong:
Children fare only applies for children between 5 and 10 years old (not including 10 years). One child under 5 years old (not including 5 years) can ride with an adult for free; one adult can only take one less-than-5-years-old child given the child doesn’t take up a seat. Children above 10 years old (including 10 years) shall pay full price. This policy applies for train route, station and date specified on the paper tickets.
For trains between Beijing – Moscow and Beijing – Ulaanbaatar:
- Children fares depend on the age and whether the children take up a seat. Seat-Free children will be charged a certain amount of fare that is a bit less than the Seat-Taken ones. Children from 0 to 4 are Seat-Free, so are some of the ones from 4 to 12. Please click here to check out price details.
- For the seat cars, each adult passenger can bring one child who is under 4 years old and doesn’t take up a seat. And it is free of charge. Children fare will be charged if that child takes up a seat. If the adult travels with more than one child who is under 4 years old, the free-of-charge policy just applies for the first child and the other ones will be charged the children fares. Children fare applies for all the children who are between 4 and 12, not matter how many children.
- For the sleeper cars, each adult passenger can bring one child who is under 4 years old and doesn’t take up a sleeper. And it is free of charge. Children fare will be charged if that child takes up a sleeper. If the adult travels with more than one child who is under 4 years old, the free-of-charge policy just applies for the first child and the other ones will be charged the children fares. Children fare applies for all the children who are between 4 and 12, not matter how many children.
- Young adults above 12 years old will be charged equally as adults.
- The age of the child (ren) is subject to the exact date of boarding.
For trains between Beijing and Hanoi:
Children, no matter how old, will be charged a Children Price for trains between Beijing and Hanoi. Please click here to check out price details.
Note: For trains from/to Hong Kong: Children fare just applies for children who are between 5 and 9 years old. Children above 10 will be charged equally as adults. Every adult passenger can bring one child who is under 5 years old and doesn’t take up a seat free of charge. Children fare is only valid for the specific train routes as stated on the paper ticket.
Cancellation and Changes
Due to the special requirements of China Rail, China Highlights doesn’t accept any requests regarding cancellation or changes, thanks for understanding. Application for ticket cancellation and changes shall be filed in person at the railway station with travelers’ original passports. Before doing that at the railway station, keep yourself noted:
- Ticket cancellation and endorse won’t be allowed if the train has departed 3 hours earlier or the luggage is checked in.
- It is a complicated process to cancel or endorse a purchased international railway ticket. The cost differs in the date of cancellation, seat types and train types. Cancellation process fee is about 40% and the service fee for purchase is not refundable.
Boarding International Trains
Getting to the train station at least 2 hours prior to departure can save you a lot of trouble. Travelers shall take seat or sleeper as designated on the paper tickets. International train tickets have English instruction that can be used to find your platform and car.
Original passports and international train paper tickets are to be presented while boarding the trains. Keep them safe when your pass is validated. When passing the custom, you will be required to have a passport and visa check. China Highlights holds no responsibility for any rejection of carrying on the trip due to invalid passport or visa, or losing travel documents or tickets.
Taking a train that passes more than one country, travelers shall not get out of the railway station during any stop en route. China Highlights has no responsibility if travelers go against the local laws and regulations.
Every adult can have carry-on luggage that is within 35kg (77lb) and 200cm (78.7in) with length, width and height combined; that is free of charge. Free carry-on luggage for children under 12 years old (not including 12) should be 15kg (33lb). The excess weight will be charged 100yuan/kg. A stroller doesn’t fall as excess weight as long as it belongs to the child passenger.
Prohibited items include: firearms (guns, knives, ammunition of any caliber in any quantity etc), explosives (including fireworks and pyrotechnics) and imitation explosives or devices, items containing incapacitating gases, liquids or other substances (including CS gas sprays), inflammable substances except in minimal quantities (eg. lighters), butane gas, any items that are prohibited or limited by the government, live animals and insects and anything that can do harm to other passengers and public hygiene. Luggage that exceeds the limitation of the regulation shall not be brought onto train either.
Missing the Train
Passengers who have missed the trains are entitled to present verification for refund in 3 hours after the trains have departed from the station.