Tag Archives: China

Riding the Rails of China’s High Speed Train Network

During our trip to China over the winter holidays, we took three trips on Chinese high-speed trains:

  • Shanghai to Hangzhou – 99 miles, 52 minutes
  • Chengdu to Leshan – 62 miles, 1 hour
  • Chengdu to Xi’an – 528 miles, 4 hours, 15 minutes

I was really impressed with our experiences. The trains were clean, modern, reasonably comfortable, very punctual, and extremely reasonably priced – the shorter trips cost $8-12 USD per person, and the longer one was $62 USD in first class – much cheaper than flying.

Photo of a panda in an outdoor enclosure.

Taking the train is a great way to visit the pandas in Chengdu.

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Planes, Trains, and More Planes, 2017 Edition: Asia for the Holidays

Buenos dias everyone,

Like last year, I just left Mexico City for a long international trip over the holidays – this time to Asia instead of Europe. This time the trip wasn’t built around a mistake fare, but rather a desire to visit the Leshan Giant Buddha and the Chengdu Panda Base, both in western China.

I started planning the trip in mid-September, and found that Asiana Airlines had pretty good business class availability across the Pacific for the dates we were looking at. I tacked on United economy flights between Mexico City and LAX (though this resulted in an overnight layover in each direction, since United only has one flight per day between those two cities), and added a domestic Air China economy flight from Shanghai to Chengdu after a one-week stopover.

A world map centered over the Pacific Ocean showing the following flight routing in red: MEX-LAX-ICN-PVG, SHA-CTU

Map generated by gcmap.com

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