China: Riding Chinese Speed Trains

China has an amazing network of high-speed trains making cross-country travel easy and often a huge alternative to flying – you get to see the country, you remain connected, the seats in first class are huge and comfortable, and prices are more then affordable (but quite often sold out). I travelled from Xian to Jiayuguan in the west of China (this is as far west as the speed trains go) and the 1400km journey took just about 8hrs with stops. Trains are sleak, futuristic, and on time, running at speeds around 200-300km/hr (compare this to the best America has to offer – Acela – that is ugly, slow, never on time and hardly goes anywhere only connecting two cities with a short distance apart). Interestingly, China now accounts for over 70% of high-speed train worldwide.