It’s easy to understand why Intrepid loves to use local transport. As well as being a responsible way to travel, it really gives you an insight into how people go about their daily lives, rather than being cooped up in a coach completely separated from the action. Intrepid’s Joseph Kornides explains why there’s no better way to explore China…
“Overnight sleeper trains are the main transport we use between cities, and for good reasons our travellers often rate the experience as one of the highlights of their China trip.
The standard trains are clean and comfortable, with six berths per cabin in an open plan configuration. A pillow, blanket and fresh linen are provided. Basic meals can be purchased either from the dining car or from staff wheeling trolleys the length of the train (these too get a surprising thumbs up!). After enjoying the evening scenery and a meal, it is such a great opportunity for the group to interact with each other and the locals.
Because the infrastructure is so smooth and the train journeys so much fun, many travellers don’t realise the huge distances covered. On the Essence of China trip for example, we travel over 3800 kms on just four overnight trains! Whether playing cards, learning the local lingo or just catching up on sleep, trains are the perfect way to get around a country as large as China. When you add to that huge distance the buses and boats cover on this trip, and you’ve got yourself one mammoth journey!”
* photo by Richard Lowe – Intrepid Photography Competition