To travel around China, you may want to opt to take the train, whether high speed or normal train. For foreigners, we would have to purchase the tickets at the train station, either before or on the day of departure. You will need to plan this into your itinerary.
If it’s not the Chinese holidays or festival, I think that it’s ok to purchase your ticket on the day of departure. Depending on your luck, you may only need to wait about half to one hour before the trains departs. There will be restaurants to rest or eat and some retail shops for you to look around. Otherwise, if you read Chinese and have Unionpay credit card or any China bank’s credit card acceptable by the website as shown below, you may book your tickets online here.
You will need :
b) Unionpay credit card or acceptable China bank’s credit card
1) Register as a user. Please make sure your name and passport number is correct as you will need your passport for verification.
2) Login with your registered account.
3) Search for your journey.
4) Confirm your ticket date, time and departure and arrival stations.
5) Go to “uncompleted transaction” 未完成订单 to retrieve your tickets.
6) Proceed to pay through the following acceptable banks / method.
7) Once completed, you will see your ticket booking under “completed transactions” 已完成订单.
8) On the day (2 hours before time of departure) or before your departure day, exchange your ticket using the booking confirmation and your passport. You will need an actual ticket that looks like this to board the train.
For more information, you can look through the FAQ page here.
Have a safe journey! 🙂