Traveling by train in China is a very peculiar thing. The first challenge you’ll have to master is obtaining a train ticket, which can get really tricky.
On that part, I was lucky this time, because my friend booked our tickets online, so I didn’t have to bother about it.
It was also unlucky, however, because the only train tickets he could get was tickets for an overnight train, and I never sleep well on trains. It further was unlucky, because my name doesn’t go well with the Chinese system, and however that worked out, but as soon as we’d gotten on the train, someone had figured there was something fishy about us. Because we hardly had sat down, when a train officer stopped by to check about the names on our tickets. (Now note: the average train ticket doesn’t have a name on it, and ours only did, because my friend had booked it online.) The problem was that the name on the train tickets (which were the correct names according to us) were not the same names as those in the records of this train officer person, however that happened.
After long discussions they finally decided to just ignore the matter and see whether someone else would show up to claim our spots. No one did.
Now, I could tell you more about sleepless nights and bunk beds, of rattling noises, and of trains that go south first, before turning north where they’re supposed to go (making this trip take twice as long as actually was necessary). But I guess, these will be stories for another time!