Taking a train in China is a bit different than other countries. You can only buy a train ticket 3 to 5 days before the departure date. You can only buy a ticket from where you are departing from to your first destination. When you get to your first destination, the same rule applies for on going destinations. You can not buy train tickets at one place for your entire tour by train. Many trains are over night. Take only First class Sleepers as second class is very noisy and the car is all open only separated by metal mesh and are three bunks high. First class has two uppers and two lowers and closed compartments. If you are less than four people you may share the compartment with others of mixed sex. The people who have the upper bunks have the right to sit on the lower bunks until it is time to sleep. The toilet facilities can be both western and Chinese depending on the age of the train cars. Some only have the hole in the floor in the more remote areas. Dining cars usually have poor food so plan on taking food or snacks with you. Vendors come through the cars on a regular basis with snacks, noodles etc. too. If you are being met by a guide, they will know which car you are in and will usually be waiting outside your car on the platform. Sometimes because of Security, guides are not allowed on the platforms so you must exit with the crowd and the guide will be at the exit holding up a sign with your name on it. For more information on train travel in China, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org Today there are also the special fast trains between many cities that are ultra modern and take less time going 184 miles per hour….but of course cost more too.