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The China-Laos Railway: Yunnan to Vientiane by Bullet Train

The China-Laos Railway: Yunnan to Vientiane by Bullet Train

Written by Coco YangUpdated Nov. 27, 2023

On December 3rd 2021, the 1,035-km (643-mile) China-Laos Railway was fully opened making possible a bullet train journey of only 10 hours from Kunming to Vientiane, capital of Laos.

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The China-Laos Railway has resumed operation. You can book the train ticket now. There is a bullet train from Kunming to Vientiane every day.

If you are planning a trip to China and Laos or want to book train tickets, just contact us. We will help you arrange the transpot and itinerary.

China high speed train China high speed train

Map of the China-Laos Railway

Map of the China-Laos RailwayMap of the China-Laos Railway

Highlights of the China-Laos Railway

Vang Vieng Blue Lagoon Vang Vieng Blue Lagoon

There are 8 passenger stations along the rail line: 4 stations in China and 4 stations in Laos. Starting from Kunming, the trains crosses the Mopan Mountains, Ailao Mountains, the Yuanjiang River and Lancang River, and passes through the mountains in southern Yunnan and northern Laos. It features high mountains, deep valleys, primitive upland forest and rainforest views, and some minority villages along the way. The main stops with travel highlights are listed below:

  • Kunming: capital city of Yunnan province, famous for the Stone Forest, Dianchi Lake, Dounan Flower Market, and more; convenient trains and flights to Dali and Lijiang
  • Pu'er: birthplace of Pu'er tea with ancient tea plantations, it's Taiyanghe Forest Park has red pandas, deer, lazy lorises, and rhinoceroses
  • Xishuangbanna: famous as China's Chiang Mai with Buddhist temples and pagodas, Wild Elephant Valley, Dai minority culture, rainforest experiences, and more
  • Mohan: the last stop in China, with Dai, Hani and other ethnic minority villages around
  • Boten: the first stop in Laos after trains from China cross the border
  • Luang Prabang: Millennium Buddha capital, a Laos tour must-visit famous for its morning market, Xieng Thong Temple, Kuangsi Waterfalls, and the Royal Palace Museum.
  • Vang Vieng: a place with beautiful scenery, known as little Guilin, it's a paradise for outdoor sports
  • Vientiane: capital of Laos, famous for the Vientiane Arc de Triomphe and Great Buddha Temple

China-Laos Train Schedule and Ticket Booking

There is a bullet train directly from China to Lao: Kunming - Pu'er - Xishuangbanna - Mohan - Boten - Luang Prabang - Vang Vieng - Vientiane.

You can buy train tickets at the eight stations as list above or online. You need to show your paper ticket when you check-in.

Contact us to book train tickets in either China or Laos.

Children's Tickets:

Children under 1.2 meters accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket travel ticket-free if they do not occupy a seat. A child ticket (usually half price) is needed if they occupy a seat.

Second class seatsSecond class seats

How to Board the Train

Valid passports or Chinese ID, and paper tickets are needed to board the trains. We suggest that you arrive at the train station at least 1 hour before departure for enough time to go through security, find your waiting room, negotiate the ticket gate queue, and proceed to the platform to board the train. 5 minutes before the train departs doors will close, and no more boarding will be allowed.

Luggage Allowances

  • Adult: 20 kg
  • Child (including those with a free ticket): 10 kg
  • Diplomat: 35 kg
  • Baggage size: the three dimensions' total cannot exceed 130 cm, i.e. medium suitcase size, typically 60x43x26 cm (24x17x10.5")

Folding wheelchairs can be taken on the train without weight and size limits.

Know more about the luggage allowance on the train

Baggage rack on trainsBaggage rack on trains

China-Laos Train Features

  • As well as the usual standard features in a Chinese bullet train, a multilingual service is available on the China-Laos intentional trains, including Chinese, Lao, and English.
  • The charging points have both Chinese and Laos sockets.
  • The trains each have two special seats for disabled passengers with SOS call buttons. Passengers can press the button if they need anything.
  • In order to distinguish various passengers, five colors of Chinese knot are used on the train to indicate different passenger needs. Blue indicates elderly passengers, yellow children, green sick passengers, purple disabled passengers, and red pregnant passengers.
  • Digital luggage trackers are available on the trains. You can put one on your luggage and pair it with your cell phone. If the luggage is moved beyond a certain distance from its rack, your phone will get a warning.
  • Wi-Fi is available throughout China trains.

Other China – Southeast Asia Railways

China and Southeast Asia have strong cultural, economic, and geographical ties, and so train travel is expected to become more and more popular between them. The China-Laos Railway and China-Vietnam Railway are the only two existing routes so far. China-Laos Railway will also serve as the trail-blazer for the Sino-Thai Railway. Soon, you may can be able to take a bullet train from Kunming to Bangkok passing Vientiane.

The China-Vietnam Railway

There are two popular routes from China to Vietnam. One is from Beijing, and the other one is from Hong Kong (Guangzhou). Both of which require a change of train in Nanning. See more on China to Vietnam Train Travel.

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