China has an extensive high-speed rail network. But what is it like to travel by train in China? We tested Business Class on a short domestic route.

Traveling domestically in China by train can be affordable and a time-saving alternative to domestic flights, which are notoriously known for often being delayed. This 60-minute trip took us from Hangzhou to Shanghai.

Before entering the train station, all foreigners must pick up their physical ticket at a dedicated counter for international passengers. Subsequently, go through a quick security check at the entrance.

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Chinese train stations are huge, crowded, and at first glance feel chaotic. In this train station, the business class lounge was tucked away on the ground floor.

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Upon arrival at the lounge, you are welcomed by a staff requesting your travel information. The lounge was spacious and divided into different zones, depending on whether you wanted to rest, eat, lounge, or work.

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The lounge offered complimentary Wi-Fi and plenty of power outlets. However, the limited food offerings comprised of various small snacks and non-alcoholic drinks. The employees remind travelers when their platform gate has opened, which is 15 minutes before the train departure.

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This high-speed train can travel up to 300 km/h. The Business Class carriage was located in the forepart of the train.

A dedicated employee welcomes passengers and guides them to their seats. This is a quiet carriage, and there were five seats, which makes the whole carriage feel spacious and private.

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The leather seat is comfortable and adjustable from sitting to flat angle. Blanket and pillow can be provided upon request. There is a power socket next to the seat, reading lamp, tray table, TV screen (which did not work), and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Travelers are offered and non-alcoholic beverages and a package of various ‘exotic’ Chinese snacks. This included cookies, beef jerkey/dried tofu/dried duck neck.

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Time flies quickly, and just before arrival, an employee reminds all passengers personally that the train will soon arrive.

We believe the train is a strong competitor to domestic flights and an ideal option for travellers. Tickets are generally three times the economy seats; this trip cost us 219 CNY (£24,50), which in our view, is affordable.

We appreciate…

* Access to the lounge for relaxation before travelling.

* The spacious and silent carriage.

* Convenient seat with adjustable angles.