How to book train tickets in China (Instructions)

If you know a little Chinese, and have an online banking account (if you have bought stuff on TaoBao before), these screenshots will make it very easy to buy your own train tickets:

For the first time, you need to create a free account on the website, the registration link is shown on the second image... The registration page screenshots are not included, but registration is as easy as filling a form (use a dictionary for that part) and clicking on the activation link sent to your mailbox.

After these steps, your ticket will be reserved, and you will have 40 minutes (or so) to pay for it. If you don't pay in time, the ticket will become available to others. Also this is an E-ticket. meaning you can go to the train station an hour or two before your trip, and hand in your passport and your E-ticket number to the Ticket office to receive your boarding card ;-) The trip information will be sent to your email and phone number via SMS.

Note that most of the tickets, if not all, (the cheaper ones anyway) are non-refundable and non-transferable to others.

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Comment by Eddy on December 17, 2014 at 5:05pm

i just tried another similar method using the 12306 IOS app.

upon register, you need to get your passport verified at the ticketing counter to activate it.

Comment by Snyder Rivera on July 13, 2014 at 11:33pm

If you want hassle free buying of tickets online and in English, go to this website  It is travel site for foreigners to purchase train tickets, as well as other types of travel.  Process is same as Government site, except in English.  If you book tickets early, e.g., 8 days or more, tickets can be delivered directly to you and you pay cash or pay online.

Comment by MFIC on July 13, 2014 at 8:11pm

Thank you very much... finally something helpful.. you are a good man

Comment by Wendy Wei on July 4, 2014 at 11:48pm
Are you sure you are not Chinese, Amin?
Comment by Leo Silveira on July 4, 2014 at 11:20pm

this is great! =)))

Comment by Amin on July 4, 2014 at 8:55pm

Chinese friends, please correct me if I've made any mistakes.

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