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Old May 26, 11, 12:31 am
Ambassador, China
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Beijing
Programs: TG, OZ, UA, AA
Posts: 6,619
Originally Posted by Shimon View Post
to writing the thread

Lies! Lies! Lies! Take a hard seater from a non tourist location and you will never want to...

This site is also very useful:
Oh trust me, 3 weeks ago I was stuck in hard seat (gambled and lost on sleeper availability + no on-board upgrades available)...from Jining, Inner Mongolia (a real dump of a place) to Beijing. Nearly 10 hours overnight on the slow train option. Me plus a carriage crammed to bursting with I.M. farmers. At least we had no farm animals on board. By Chinese standards and definitely by I.M. standards, it was actually pretty clean for the first 1/2 of the journey. It was a "colorful" experience, to say the least. Once again, I got religion, and am back to my nun-like vows of No More than Three Hours in Hard Seat. At least it was cheap: RMB 70 to go 500 km.

The reality is though, that FT readers rarely have to deal with this sort of travel in hard seat. (Lonely Planet forum, maybe a different story.) Or put another way, those FT'ers who have to deal with hard seat travel rarely have to do so for long distances, and then usually in the more developed East China corridor routes.

In a pinch, 2-3 hours in hard seat isn't going to kill the average traveler. This is still the Third World, I say don't be prissy when you're desperate to get down the road, suck it up and deal! You'll likely have another hilarious China story to add to your repertoire. And you'll all the more appreciate treating yourself to a nice meal and massage at your ultimate destination...whenever you get there.

Last edited by jiejie; May 26, 11 at 1:25 am
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