Top 8 Most Scenic Train Rides in China

With the comprehensive railway network, taking train rides of ordinary train or high speed train to explore the beauty of China is relaxing and leisure. The 8 most scenic train rides not only connect rivers and mountains, to see marvelous landscape and colorful ethnic real life, but also go through history and culture, show you ordinariness and holiness. Life is a journey, see which train ride you want to start your journey with in China.

Beijing – Shanghai: Classical China Trip

Recommended Bullet Train Rides: G107, G109, G113, G117, G121, G411, G129, G133, G137, G43, G141, G145, G155

Major cities on this way: Beijing – Nanjing – Suzhou - Shanghai

Ticket Price: RMB553 for 2nd Class Seat; RMB933 for 1st Class Seat; RMB1748 for Business Class Seat

Beijing Suzhou Shanghai

Beijing and Shanghai are the most classic and popular cities for visitors who are the first time traveling China. This rail route can take you between these two prosperous cities directly; when you see a modern China, you can also catch sight of diligent and simple countryside scenery with endless fields. High speed trains from Beijing to Shanghai, go across Yellow River and Yangtze River, to see the spectacular view of “Mother Rivers” of China flowing into the sea. You can also stop in Nanjing or Suzhou for a while on this way, looking for the history of the ancient capital of six dynasties in Nanjing and experiencing classic gardens of China style and water town in Suzhou.

>> Recommended Train Tours including Beijing & Shanghai

7-day Beijing to Shanghai Tour by High Speed Train

9-day Essence Tour of China by Speed Train

Kunming – Shanghai: The Beauty of Southern China

Recommended Bullet Train Rides: G1372, G1374, G1376

Major cities on this way: Kunming – Guiyang – Kaili – Hangzhou - Shanghai

Ticket Price: RMB879 for 2nd Class Seat; RMB1475 for 1st Class Seat; RMB2765 for Business Class Seat

Kunming Guiyang

Crossing the south of China from Kunming to Shanghai, travel along 30 degrees north latitude to see what is the difference under the similar climate. You will go from highlands to the hills and plains, finding fields, forests and modern cities. Go and stop with the high speed train between Kunming and Shanghai, having leisure time in Kunming, discovering authentic life of Miao people in Guiyang and Kaili, knowing the secret of tea culture and water town in Hangzhou, looking for joy in modernized city, Shanghai. What a rich view of China!

Lanzhou – Urumqi: A Ride along Silk Road with magnificent landforms

Recommended Bullet Train Rides: D2701, D55, D2703, D2711

Major cities on this way: Lanzhou – Xining – Zhangye – Jiayuguan – Turpan - Urumqi

Ticket Price: RMB551 for 2nd Class Seat; RMB882 for 1st Class Seat

Zhangye Turpan Urumqi

Rail journey from Lanzhou to Urumqi, it’s not only a culture route of Silk Road, but also a scenic discovering ride! Walking on the ground of northwest of China, you will marvel at the wisdom of the ancients, wonder how they can connect the world and thrive cultures here under such conditions! Look out of the window when you run on the train, glancing at the wide Yellow River, endless prairie with countless sheep and yaks, holy mountains covered with snow, colorful Danxia mountains, desolate Gobi and boundless dessert… when you come into Xinjiang Province, you will find you are surrounded by forest and dessert. What an amazing nature!

>> Recommended Train Tours along Silk Road

20-day China Silk Road Train Tour

Xining – Lhasa: Go for Holy Land

Recommended Rides: Z223, Z6801, Z21, Z265, Z165

Major cities on this way: Xining – Golmud – Nakchu - Lhasa

Ticket Price: RMB781 for Soft Sleeper

Xining Lhasa

A ride from Xining to Lhasa, take you to holy Tibet from the gate of highland. Have a common life with Hui people; walking by the blue Qinghai Lake with vast grassland, watching idle cattle and sheep, you may want to settle down. Start your Buddhist culture journey from Ta'er Monastery (Kumbum Monastery), passing by devout pilgrims in Golmud and Nakchu, and then reach the roof of the world, Tibet, along the “way to the heaven”. Hearing monks chanting, peace your mind under the sacred mountains and lakes…

>> Recommended Train Tours to Lhasa

12-day China Tibet Train Tour

Guilin – Lijiang: Explore Marvelous Karst Landform with Ethnic Customs

Recommended Bullet Train Ride: D3941

Major cities on this way: Guilin – Kunming - Lijiang

Ticket Price: RMB621.5 for 2nd Class Seat; RMB992.5 for 1st Class Seat

Optional Ride: Guilin – Dali

Recommended Bullet Train Rides: D3949, D3961

Major cities on this way: Guilin – Kunming - Dali

Ticket Price: RMB549 for 2nd Class Seat; RMB876.5 for 1st Class Seat

Guilin Kunming

Follow this ride to explore the charming Karst landscape and idyllic lifestyle of Miao, Yao and Bai people in Guilin and Yunnan Province (Kunming, Lijiang and Dali). Take Li River cruise or bamboo raft among mountains and rivers in Guilin; enjoy a rural life of Chinese style by walking around Yangshuo or Longji Rice Terraces Area. Hop on the high speed train to Lijiang, watching the beautiful paddy fields outside the window. Slow down you pace or lay in a bench in Lijiang, make yourself a part of it. This is the best way to enjoy a relaxing vacation.

Hangzhou – Xiamen: Passion and Soft all in the East

Recommended Bullet Train Rides: G2385, G2379

Major cities on this way: Hangzhou - Mount Huangshan - Wuyuan - Mount Wuyishan – Nanjing - Xiamen

Ticket Price: RMB439 for 2nd Class Seat; RMB719.5 for 1st Class Seat, RMB1347.5 for Business Class Seat

Hangzhou Huangshan Xiamen

This rail ride shows you around high mountains and romantic water town, and provides you both fantasy countryside scenic and culture of nation. Get on the train, to hike Mount Huangshan Mount Wuyishan; seeing the sea of clouds on the top; pass through Hong Village and Wuyuan, feeling a live Chinese ink painting of village or countryside. Head down to Nanjing or Xiamen, Fujian Tulou (Earth Buildings) and beautiful city beaches will come into your eyes.

Hongkong – Guilin: See Modern City and Pastoral Scenery on One Trip

Recommended Bullet Train Rides: G408, G320

Major cities on this way: Hong Kong – Shenzhen – Guangzhou - Guilin

Ticket Price: RMB379 for 2nd Class Seat; RMB607 for 1st Class Seat, RMB1138 for Business Class Seat

Hong Kong Yangshuo

If you want to experience diverse lifestyles on one trip, run into the bullet train in the prosperous Hong Kong and drop off in laid-back Guilin. Look for authentic Hong Kong cuisine among the high-rise financial center; look down from the Victoria Peak seeing the city under the spotlights. As the buildings turn into fields outside the window, you reach Guilin, and a feeling of freedom wraps you. Drifting on the bamboo raft in Li River, put yourself into a watercolor of nature. Stroll in West Street in Yangshuo, discovering the interesting stories behind foreign residents.

>> Recommended Train Tours including Hong Kong & Guilin

16-day Cultural & Scenic China Rail Tour from Hong Kong

Chengdu – Kunming: Take A Leisure Life with Lovely Panda and “Geological Wonders”

Recommended Bullet Train Rides: G2883, G2885, G2887, G2889

Major cities on this way: Chengdu – Chongqing – Guiyang - Kunming

Ticket Price: RMB487.5 for 2nd Class Seat; RMB797.5 for 1st Class Seat

Chengdu Guiyang Kunming

If you are a fan of adorable giant panda and want a leisure journey as well, the train ride from Chengdu to Kunming will be a nice route. After getting close to panda as a volunteer, passing by Leshan Giant Buddha, you will go over raging torrents and Yangtze River, coming to “the city of hills”, Chongqing, and Guiyang. When snow covers the top of mountain, grotesque stone forest and ancient houses appear into your eyes, you are reaching Kunming soon. Wander in Kunming like a laid-back local, you will like here.

>> Recommended Train Tours including Chengdu & Kunming

13-day South China Train Tour

Further reading:

  • Traveling by train in China with children
  • All You Should Know before Taking Trains in China
  • Must knows booking a train ticket in China

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