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Let the train, take the strain (3)

(China Daily)

09:05, October 03, 2012

Usually sleeper trains are about 10 coaches long all with food services on board; although more luxurious than regular train services, they do travel slower than day services.

Hou adds that in some cases, other special travel packages might include having medical staff on board in case of emergency, for instance.

Sun Liqun, assistant manager with China International Travel Service, one of the largest travel agencies in China, is also a great enthusiast about traveling the country by train.

"One of the great advantages is that in some of the areas they travel to - in Gansu or Qinghai provinces, for instance - the local hotel accommodation might not be as developed as people might like, but you are guaranteed a level of comfort on board.

"Travelers really enjoy the fact don't have to worry about taking their heavy luggage or suitcase with them during stops. They can leave them on the train, and travel agency people on board can look after them," she adds.

"They can concentrate on enjoying the beautiful scenery out the window when they are on board, or sleep. And when they get off, they can focus on the fresh air and the destinations themselves without having to worry about getting to their next destination, or getting to a busy airport."

Yu Bo is 26-year-old, and lives in Beijing. He says his only memories of traveling by train were when he was young.

"The coaches were crowded and dirty, and the trip was exhausting, so I've generally used flights in recent years," he told China Daily. "Because I've never traveled by sleeper, I'd still be worried about the standard of facilities on board - but I do admit, the thought of being able to enjoy the views out of the window along the way is very attractive."

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