Sleeper Train from Beijing to Xi'an ChinaThursday, December 18, 2014
Walk with Cham inside the Sleeper Train from Beijing to Xi'an
It has always been on my list to ride a sleeper train. I feel like a legit traveler if I do it. And because we wanted to do a side trip to Xi'an we opted to ride a train (it's also cheaper than plane). There are two options when going to Xi'an - sleeper and high speed train, we tried both. Sleeper train when going to Xi'an then high speed train going back to Beijing.
For the Sleeper Train, I made a precise step by step procedure on how to make your Xi'an dream possible (when coming from Beijng) as to not commit the same mistakes as we did. Read on.
How to purchase Beijing train tickets
It is really important to secure your tickets prior to the day of departure especially if your destination is a tourist spot. At first we were thinking of buying our tickets a day before departure (when we arrived Beijing) but later on we decided to secure it even before we fly to China. So after doing my research I opted to purchase our Beijing-Xi'an and Xi'an- Beijing tickets online via travelchinaguide.com. Here are the steps:
1. On the upper right corner of the website you will see a train and plane icon. Just click on the destination of choice and date.
2. You will see a display of all scheduled train departure (high-speed and sleeper)
3. Choose your preferred train number, time and sleeper type then press BOOK. We chose train number Z19/ Soft-sleeper train for 415 ++ CNY (P 3,000++) will explain later on why.
4. You have the option to pick the ticket by yourself or deliver at your hotel/personal address (delivery will entail corresponding fee of $5). We chose to pick the tickets ourselves as we were worried it won't get to our hotel in time.
5. Fill out other information
6. Pay (can be thru paypal or credit card) we chose the latter.
7. An email will prompt you of your Tracking Number then just follow other instructions
8. Another email will prompt you regarding your Ticket Pick up Number (you should print it and bring it with you when you pick up your ticket)
There was this instance when I was so stressed booking then when I purchased the ticket I realized I overlooked and booked a different date! I immediately called the hotline and travel agent posted on the email and luckily they attended to my request and fix the mishap instantly. Whew!
Picking up your ticket
You can pick up your ticket at any Railway Stations (take note that they have 3 railway stations in Beijing- Beijing Railway Station, West Railway Station and South Railway Station) The nearest station from our hotel was the Beijing Railway Station so we went there right after our trip to Nanluoguxiang. Take note that you can pick it up a few hours before departure but because we were totally clueless as to where to claim it the best option was to go there a day before departure. True enough we were completely lost! We had to ask numerous non-English speaking station staff to verify where the Ticket Window was until we finally found the right one. We handed the Ticket Pickup Number and our passports. For the Xi'an-Beijing ticket we paid a fee of 5 CNY (P37) each ticket.
|Beijing Railway Station|
Reading your ticket
To understand your sleeper train ticket kindly see picture below.
|Sleeper Train Ticket|
West Railway Station | Beijing to Xi'an via Sleeper
All Beijing-Xi'an route departs/arrives at West Railway Station. So do not get confused. We were there quite early so we have the grace period of getting lost. After our Great Wall of China Tour we took the Subway Line 9 and got off at Beijing West Railways Station. We joined the enormous crowd of locals and tourists lined at the ID/Ticket Validation Entrance. At the entrance we showed our ticket and passport then passed through metal detector machines.
All railway stations in Beijing are huge. It's like an airport because of the number of departure and arrival it caters. You can see numerous shops and restaurants as well. When looking for your gate number be very keen. They have a concierge that speaks little English which can help passengers. Z19 Train was assigned to Gate Number 4 and looking for it was a easy (or so we thought). Check in starts 30 minutes before departure so be there at least one hour before.
|Inside the Railway Station|
Waiting to Board
We were quite early so we had a lot of free time. And because we were bored and hungry we decided to leave our assigned gate and look for a place to eat within the station.
Boarding (in a jiffy)
After we filled our stomachs (a few minutes from our boarding time) we proceeded again to our gate and then my eyes widened as I didn't see Z19 at the boarding schedule. I was already shouting and panicking! There was no Z19 on the gate assigned, I was so scared the train already left (I heard they depart on time). All of us where dismayed and rattled, we all started asking questions. I immediately went to the concierge and handed my ticket hoping for the best (Please! Please! Please!). And yes! Fortunately the girl pointed Gate Number 3 (My god! They changed the gate number!!!) I rushed to call my group and you can just imagine the look on our faces when we all ran soooo fast (I was about to puke! Honestly), it was already boarding and we were the last ones to go inside the train! That was indeed a VERY close call. Waaaah!!! I can still remember the adrenaline rush. Grabe stress!!! But after the running and shouting, we still managed to take a photo before entering our carriage. Hihihi. Pagbigyan na stress eh. By the way the train number and carriage number are shown outside the carriage clearly. There is also a train staff at the door to check your ticket if you are in the right carriage.
|We made it at Carriage 4|
Z19 Sleeper Train
There are several reasons why I chose Z19 Sleeper Train:
1. It leaves at 8:41 pm which is good because we still had lots of things to do before departure (Went to Great Wall, check out at hotel, travel to station)
2. It arrives in Xi'an at 8:15 am which is just right to see the Terracotta Museum
3. One of the fastest sleeper trains which travels for 11 hours and 34 minutes
4. It has only one stop
|Carriage Number 4|
It was a relief to finally step on the sleeper train, just a few seconds ago I thought my sleeper train and Xi'an dream will be just a dream.
|Our really nice attendant|
Soft Sleeper Train Berth
Z19 only has Soft Sleepers and Luxury Soft Sleepers (there is usually a Hard Sleeper in some trains) so we chose the Soft Sleeper. One way fare is worth P3,000++. Soft Sleepers has 4 Berths in a lockable compartment (2 lower and 2 upper)
Because we were three, we shared a berth with a Chinese local.
|with the Chinese local sharing a room with us|
Papa and I were assigned at the upper berth. I feel like I'm in the set of the movie Mockingjay with these sleeping quarters.
Each berth is equipped with a clean comforter and pillow. They also have slippers, newspaper, thermos, trashcan, aircon adjuster, volume controller and outlet (if you need to have more than 1 electronic to plug bring extension plugs)
|Comforter, newspaper and thermos + a fake rose in a vase|
|Air adjustment, volume controller, plug and trashcan|
You can store your luggages and bags in the middle of the lower berths.
For bigger luggages you can put it at the compartment at the upper berth.
|Other compartment at my back|
Each carriage has identical facilities. They have hot water, shared washroom and toilets.
|Hot and cold water|
Food trolleys are also available which sell drinks and snacks. Mama and I bought bottled waters while Papa capped the night off with a Chinese beer.
|Good Night y'all|
I was so excited to experience sleeping at my berth. So excited that I couldn't sleep! Although it was a very comfortable ride, I was [I guess] relishing each moment. Eventually I was able to rest for a few hours.
|Good night, Mama!|
Woke up early so I won't wait in queue at the washroom and toilet. And because there were no bathrooms in the train, we never had the chance to take a bath. Hihihi, Good thing the weather was cold so no pawis. We knew about it ever since so we came prepared. We had toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, feminine wipes and other toiletries.
|Hello China! I'm ready for Xi'an!|
|Good morning smile|
So after 11 hours and 34 minutes we finally arrived in Xi'an. This is it!
Xi'an Railway Station
Xi'an railway station is also huge, there was a big crowd going to different destination.
|Xi'an Railway Station|
From here we looked for the bus that stops at Terracotta Museum. You can find the bus stop on right side facing the station. Fee is worth 8 CNY (P58).
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