Travel in China – China Railways CRH2

I have been meaning to put together a posting on the new trains in China for a while.  I remember years ago, 1987-1988-1990 timeframe to be precise, when travel by train across the country was a multi-day adventure.  My experiences from those days are very different and I will write a post later, in the mean time — I wanted to give you some view of the new, and really convenient modes of transportation in China — the bullet trains.  These days you can use those trains for a 45min journey from Shanghai to Nanjing, or a 4 hour trip from Beijing to Shanghai, a 50minute trip from Suzhou to Hangzhou….

All this is being made possible by the new high-speed trains which were licensed from Japan – and are based as I understand on the Shinkansen trains in that country.  As a reference – I have ridden on the Shinkansen between Tokyo and Osaka, and yes, the experience is very similar.   The trains started being tested in 2007 and now they are in full operation between a number of metro areas in China.

The high-speed trains of China

So next time you are thinking of looking for plane tickets to get from Beijing to Shanghai…..Don't !   The train is REALLY a lot more convenient and as fast (if not faster — given heavy traffic in China's airports and constant flight delays)


More on China Eastern Airlines

Last week I published a note on China Eastern Airlines — or rather – a warning to avoid the airline if at all possible.  So now I am adding some more to my list of experiences with them.  This is on my recent experience with the comforts of their planes.  The reality is that the seats on the China Eastern Airlines are positioned extremely tight.  To the point of discomfort… The second aspect contributing to discomfort, is that these seats are setup with head-rests that are non-existent for anyone in the height range of 5'8" and above….

I really tried to get comfy on a couple of recent flights and I just could not find the magical formula to get comfortable.

So, my recommendation – use the airline at your own peril 

Excellent Restaurant in Beijing

Finding a good restaurant in Beijing is always an on-going challenge.  Why?  Because there are so many different objectives to fullfil over a given period of time.  I am sure you, like me, would have friends who want to get together in an unassuming place, Or visitors who want to get to experience "authenthic Beijing place", or have good food BUT not having to pay a month's salary for it…and on and on….

Well folks, if you are trying to impress visitors from out of town, or show your friends a good place to see both a traditional Chinese house and experience great food (from Shandong), we have the place identified for you — but let me clarify — I have several of my friends to thank for bringing me first to this interesting restaurant.

Shandong Food Restaurant   Private dining room  

The restaurant is located on Suzhou Jie in Haidian District

Enjoy!  I will publish more photos