An extensive overview of the railway options in China
Train transport in China is very well organized. Almost all the major cities and many smaller cities have a railway connection to the rest of the country. Guilin is of course no exception. Daily many travelers come and go through the Guilin main railway station. Even with the opening of the Guilin International Airport, the railway is still in heavy demand.
Chinese trains are comfortable (except of course the hard seats), reliable and very well organized. To help travelers to Guilin and Yangshuo we have set up a set of pages with train schedules to and from those cities. We have not include all the railway stations in China, that would go beyond the scope of our website. However, apart of the most relevant and direct destinations as Guilin, Nanning, Guangzhou and Kunming, we have included several others.
Trains in China can be good fun. They’re an excellent way to meet local Chinese and other travelers. For short distances you may choose the ordinary hard seats (Yingzuo, YZ).
These are indeed hard, made of wood and overcrowded but always cheap. A much nicer choice is the soft seat (Ruanzuo, RZ) but not every train has soft seats. However, for overnight travel, either hard sleeper (Yingwo, YW) or soft sleeper (Ruanwo, RW) is recommended.
The hard sleepers are 6 bed compartments with 3 beds above each other. You get a blanket and sleep comfortable. Soft sleepers are more luxurious with 4 beds (two by two) with spotless white sheets and blankets. The beds are spacious. However, the price of a soft sleeper comes close to a flight ticket. If you ask me, I would choose hard sleeper if possible, simply because it is comfortable enough and good fun.
If possible? Yes, sometimes there are no hard sleepers. Once I had to use a soft sleeper from Xian to Beijing. Very nice, very comfortable but a bit expensive.