Standing in a Train? No…

Today, Wendy and I went to buy train tickets. It is spring festival, and train tickets are not easy to get.

We asked for train #282, from Shanghai to Chendong.

The person inside the counter said: “There is nothing for this train in the next 11 days now. No sleeper ticket, no soft seats, no hard seats, and even standing tickets were sold out”.

In rush time like the Spring Festival, people buy “Standing Tickets”. Every square meter of free space on the train will be full of people with “standing tickets”. It is the same price as the ticket with seat. The different is, you have to stand there all they way, 30 hours or longer. I used to buy that kind of tickets when I was a student. I stood for 18 hours from Shanghai to Luoyang. That itself is OK, but the hard part is, if your standing place is far from the WC, you will have trouble.

But now it is out of my consideration to stand on a train for many days.

Well. The question is, even if you WANT to stand on the train, you don’t have the chance, since there are so many people standing there already. Standing tickets were sold out.

Wendy asked: “How about tickets after 11 days?”

She asked because all tickets are sold 11 days in advance.

The person said: “No. Don’t try that.”

Wendy was upset: “Then where are the tickets?”

The person replied: “If I tell you, I put all the ticket in my own pocket, do you believe it? Next!”

Good answer. It seems to me that thousands of tickets for that train didn’t go to her pocket, but where are the train tickets?

18 thoughts on “Standing in a Train? No…

  1. lawless country, corrupt officials, poor citizens, haven’t changed for decades, won’t change for decades!

  2. Hey,solopolo,

    dont be so pessimistic!

    Those are the things we can’t change! We can focus on the things we can change!


    I am also planning to do a little train travel over the Spring Festival time. I hope I will be able to get tickets.

  4. Any body knows when was the corruption free decade of China?

    It was during the Culture Revolution!

    “It was the best of time, it was the worst of time”

  5. Good luck for those who are going to take a train being sandwich, uncomfortable odour, risk of being pick pocket, etc. From JS’s description, one better get ready some plastic bag and wee-wee standing. HEHE…

    Corruption free? What a tough question? JS, has Shanghai Metro explained what they do with the million of dollars collected from the train deposit (RMB30/each)?

  6. I wrote something on “Tickets” last year.

    Where is the tickets?

    I phoned a “yellow bull” 2 weeks ago, and they promised to get 2 sleeping ticket for me plus 50 RMB per ticket.

    The whole society is like this, what else can we do?

  7. I tend to agree with “haven’t changed for decades, won’t change for decades!” There is such a huge population base. As for a particular person, a good way is probably to stay where you are, and enjoy whatever you have.

    It does not seem to be possible to communicate with a train ticket person creatively in Shanghai. The “discover – inspire” model does not fit here very well.

  8. I wrote something on “Tickets” last year.

    Where is the tickets?

    I phoned a “yellow bull” 2 weeks ago, and they promised to get 2 sleeping ticket for me plus 50 RMB per ticket.

    The whole society is like this, what else can we do?

  9. I am very Chinese to the root but I have not live in China for a day (except to visit China as a tourist). Chinese way for conducting business alway involve with red packets and there is alway a back door to anywhere and everywhere, this is part of Chineses culture.

  10. I buy the first day ticket of the spring festival(初一).

    there are not a lot of people at the train.


  11. When there are enough ticket, the problem to solve is how to buy it more conviniently. Buying online is a choice. If the major problem is to get ticket, online does not solve the problem. There is no online service at this time.

  12. Hi, I’m doing some research on taking a train from Beijing to Shanghai in December, most likely December 13 evening, arrive in Shanghai, 14th morning. Do you think I should buy tickets in advance online? It is about US$10-20 more expensive if I buy in advance, but I guess it’s safer, guaranteed seats, since my dates are not flexible?

    Thanks for any advice, Jen

  13. hard life! it’s HARD to get one…with such an attitude of the front desk person at counter! did u try complaining to their management? it might not help but at least u’ve tried.

  14. I’m thinking about taking the train from Shanghai to Xian sometime during the last week of December 2007. There will be 8 of us looking for the soft sleeper. Will that be a busy time to get tickets and where or how is the best way to buy them. Would the concierge or travel desk at any hotels be able to get them?

    Jen, how do you buy tickets in advance? I live in the Bay Area, California.

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