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Explainer: Why are tourist trains gaining steam in China?
Last Updated: 2023-04-29 07:26 | Xinhua
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BEIJING, April 28 (Xinhua) -- May Day holiday, China's five-day 'Golden Week' holiday, is just around the corner. As millions put their travel plans in motion, many will be hopping on board one of the country's specialist tourist train trips.
What do tourist trains look like? Which routes are popular? Why are they so popular now? Here are some facts and tips.
What are tourist trains?
Tourist trains exclusively ply certain scenic travel routes. The whole train is reserved for tour groups, with guides, a medical team, and railway crews on hand to make the trip go smoothly. Tourist trains either head directly to one key destination or travel via several tourist sites along the way.
Why are more Chinese traveling by tourist train?
As China's railway network expands and upgrades, tourist trains have become an activity in their own right, showing that the journey really can be the destination!
One outstanding advantage is that tourists only need to buy one ticket for the whole journey, saving transfer time, and money as they package transportation and accommodation together.
Lavish services such as bars and KTV lounges, as well as local cuisine, and costumes, are attractive to all generations.
Gone are the days of chugging along, as high-speed rail offers a fast and safe way to travel.
The following are some popular routes:
1. Panda Train
Known as a panda paradise, Sichuan in southwest China has a tourist train named "Panda," which connects the province with neighboring tourist destinations.
The train boasts 5G, a music and video entertainment system, a restaurant and bar, a chess and card room and private toilets with hot showers in the sleeping carriages.
Its interior and exterior are adorned with giant panda imagery, attendants carry panda toys and passengers can even try panda-shaped food.
2. Spring outing tourist trains
Many tourist trains began to launch routes in March for the spring season.
For example, Y582, which departs from Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, carries passengers to the flowering canola fields in the south of the Province.
In south China's Guangdong, tourist trains transport travelers to popular towns in the neighboring Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region where ethnic groups live.
For those wanting to escape the cooler spring in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, a train to Hong Kong and Macao, both in south China, offers a 16-day journey across the country.
3. Tourist trains on China-Laos Railway
Tourism along the China-Laos Railway has flourished. One route takes in the celebrated destinations of Yunnan Province: Kunming and Xishuangbanna.
Can foreigners enjoy tourist trains in China?
Sure, anyone can enjoy tourist trains if they have valid identification documents. Many tourist trains are operated by travel agencies, and requirements for signing up may vary in different places. For more information, please check out related travel agencies or China State Railway Group. 

(Editor:Wang Su)

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Explainer: Why are tourist trains gaining steam in China?
Source:Xinhua | 2023-04-29 07:26
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