It can be both fun and challenging to take a train in China with children. Preparation needs to be made in advance to ensure you have a smooth trip. Here is everything you need to know about traveling on the train in China with family and children.

Child Ticket Rules

According to China Rail’s policy, children under 12 years of age cannot travel on a train alone and should be accompanied by an adult.

The picture below may help you understand China train child ticket policy:

child ticket policy

A child’s ticket can be booked online. The fares for children’s tickets are as below:

1. Children up to 1.2 m (3.9 feet) in height can travel for free, but without their own seat or berth. A child ticket is needed if a seat or berth is required.

2. One adult can bring only one child (under 1.2 m) for free. If there is only one adult and more than one child, the other children need to buy children’s tickets.

3. Children 12 years of age and under, up to 1.5 m (4.9 feet) in height are eligible for children’s tickets. The children’s ticket price is half that of an adult ticket, except for sleeper tickets, which are 75% of the adult ticket price.

4. Children more than 12 years old or more than 1.5 m (4.9 feet) tall need to buy adult tickets at the full fare.

Read more about how to buy train tickets in China.

Tips For China Train Travel With Kids

children on the train
Train travel with kids



Traveling by train is safe, comfortable and affordable for most people. If you prepare well in advance, a train trip with kids can also be fun and relaxed. The tips below may be helpful.

Avoid Chinese holidays

It is recommended to avoid train-travel during Chinese holidays (especially the first few days of Chinese New Year and October Holiday (from October 1-8). The overcrowded train stations and noisy carriages make it difficult to take good care of your babies and may make traveling a bit overwhelming.

Choose an appropriate train-type and seat-class

Day-time high-speed trains and overnight bullet trains are best. High-speed trains are nearly always more punctual, comfortable and stable than normal-speed trains. Diaper-changing tables are available on high-speed trains.

If you need to travel on a long-distance train, an overnight high-speed train may be best.

Avoid hard seat and hard sleeper if you are going to travel with children. Soft sleeper is quieter and provides more privacy.

Bring your own food

Food on board is expensive and not very tasty, with limited choices. It is advisable to bring your own food and beverages for children. Boiling water is provided at the end of each carriage, so bring one or two bottles for your babies.

Take baby items on board

Foldable portable strollers can be brought on board. Remember to bring a baby-blanket in case the air-conditioning on the train is too strong.


Taking the Train in China with Children



Here are some great tips from MummyPages on games to play in the train.

Getting away for a few days is lovely, but entertaining kids on a train can be tough if you don’t like giving them iPads or portable DVD players.


Below are a number of games we regularly crack out during our family train trips through Ireland. We’re big fans of staycations and one of the perks of train travel is that the whole family can participate in the games as the grown-ups aren’t stuck concentrating on the road or reading maps.


1. Impressions


Everyone take turns imitating people famous actors, television characters, musicians or even their loud next-door neighbour. You can’t say who you’re mimicking or give hints; you can only rely on your acting ability. The first person to guess who’s being imitated gets a point and the first to 10 wins!


2. Dots


Fill a page with evenly spaced dots to create a grid (eg: 20 dots across, 30 dots down). Each player takes turns to join to dots together. Once they create a box, they write their initial in it and then get an extra go. Person with the most boxes at the end wins.


3. The Never-Ending Story


One person starts a story and each person in the group contributes 2-3 lines. It’s called The Never-Ending Story, but don’t worry – you’ll get stuck eventually and have to end it.



4. I’m Thinking of an Animal


One player thinks of an animal. The others tries to guess which animal it is by asking “yes” or “no” questions. The catch? You can only ask 10 questions. Whoever guesses correctly gets to think of the next animal. If no one guesses after the 10 questions, the first player reveals the answer and then thinks of another animal.


5. Name That Coin


Tell your child to close their eyes and then place a coin in their hand. They must guess which coin it is by feeling it, but they only get one guess per coin. The player who guesses the most by the end of the round wins.


6. 20 Questions


Player One thinks of a person, place or thing. Everyone else takes turns asking questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no. After each answer, the questioner gets one guess. Play continues until a player guesses correctly.


7. I Spy


The directions are simple: one person spies something and recites the well-known rhyme, ending in a clue. Everyone else takes turns trying to guess the mystery item.


8. X and Os


This is a fail-proof activity and works for almost every situation that involves waiting, It can go on for as long as your youngster stays interested and works really well if there is more than one child. All you need is two players and a pencil.


9. Puzzles


If you want to catch up on some reading or have a chat with your hubby, puzzle books are a great way to entertain the kids. Each books comes with a number of games like word searches and word grids that will keep your child quietly entertained while putting their brain to work.



10. The A-Z Game


Pick a topic and start listing items in alphabetical order (eg: countries). The first person to miss a letter is out and you continue until one person is left.


11. Yes/No/Uhm Game


Avoid saying ‘yes,’ ‘no’ and ‘uhm’ as your train companions fire questions at you.


12. Hangman


Another pen and paper game that’s easily played on a train when you get the table seats.