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The Spring Festival (Feb. 15 – Feb. 21, 2018) travel rush season is a special period in China. The Chinese transport system faces huge pressure from high levels of traffic due to tens of millions of people hurrying home to spend the Spring Festival with their families. During this time of year, it’s very hard to book and purchase tickets, especially train tickets.
The Spring Festival season usually lasts for 40 days in China (15 days before Chinese New Year, plus 25 days after it). It was estimated that about 47 million people went home by airplane and 295 million people by train during the Spring Festival of 2017. It is extremely hard to get tickets during this holiday.
For these reasons, it’s highly recommended for passengers to book train tickets 30 days in advance.
You are recommended to accept seats of different types and trains at different times during the Spring Festival travel rush season, especially for cities with both D and G trains.
If you book train tickets online with China Highlights, please also write any special requirements you have in the special request column. By fully understanding your requirements, we can book the tickets accordingly and as efficiently as possible.
We, at China Highlights, try our best to get tickets for our customers.
However, we cannot 100% guarantee that we will be successful for the busy Spring Festival period. This time of year is a bit of a lottery, as millions of people rush to buy tickets online or by telephone when the ticket reservation offices open. China is a country with a very large population and more people than you can imagine choose to go home by train.
The high-speed G and D trains are highly recommended due to their comfortable soft seats, sleeper cars, and clean toilets. If you choose an ordinary train, you are highly advised to choose soft or hard sleepers rather than seats during the crowded Spring Festival.
Some standing tickets are available on high-speed trains as well as ordinary ones during the Spring Festival. The number of standing tickets is limited to 7% of the total seating capacity on the high-speed trains. Passengers with standing tickets on these trains are only allowed to stand in the second-class areas, and are not allowed to go into the business class areas. The number of standing tickets is not strictly limited for the ordinary trains — standing-ticket passengers can stand in the aisles and even in the toilets during the Spring Festival season!
You are highly recommended to have your tickets delivered (for example, to your hotel), for convenience. If you don’t get your tickets mailed, you are advised to collect your tickets at the railway station ticket window a few hours before departure, as the queues can be very long.
You are highly recommended to arrive at the railway station 2 or 3 hours before departure to allow for the long queues at the ticket counter, the security checks, and the ticket checks during the Spring Festival season.