June 25, 2021

Flashback Friday: My First Bullet Train Ride | From Hangzhou to Shanghai

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Original date: September 2017

Friend, would you believe me if I told you that prior to this year I had never ridden a train before? ?

Maybe my parents may have taken me on one as a child but I have no recollection of ever taking a ride on a train before. Of course, I’ve experienced kiddie train rides in parks but that’s not the kind of train that I’m referring to.

My First Train Ride As An Adult

My first train ride as an adult actually occurred outside of the United States – in Italy!

Train ride countryside
passenger train with diesel locomotive

I took the train from Naples to Rome and it was a beautiful sight to see.

Who woulda thunk it?! ??

Well, now I’ve been blessed to experience another first train ride experience while in China. 

The bullet train.

Riding the Bullet Train

I’ve heard several mystical things about this high-speed phenomenon that made trains seem so fast that they were powered by lightning. ⚡️

I live in Hangzhou which is about a 3 hour bus ride from Shanghai which was my mission’s destination.

I thought that I would have to wait until the next day to get my ticket because I couldn’t order it online, however, “Mufasa” (the nickname I gave my former visa agent ? ) told me that I needed to physically go to the station and get a last minute ticket.

There was a small, but strong, debate over this for about a good two minutes and then I finally gave in and just listened to the man. ??‍♀️

Surprisingly, the rates for the train ride was relatively inexpensive given the destination.

I paid 137RMB for a business class ticket because I wanted additional space and room to type.

Note to self:

Remember seats with the letter F are single seats.

My train departed at 1:00p and arrived in Shanghai at 1:40p! ?

This was great for me because I had no idea if I would be able to make it to Shanghai by the time that I needed to.

After my mission was successfully complete, I took a taxi back to the train station and booked another last minute ticket to Hangzhou.

This time, I chose to ride First Class so I could observe the difference between the two.

First Class vs. Business Class

I paid 117RMB for the first class ticket. The Business class ticket was 219RMB but I purchased First Class because I wanted to see if it was as favorable as the former.

As I got on the train, I noticed that there were more seats and a much longer section for first class than in business, yet, the majority of the seats were empty as opposed to riding in a full business class cabin.

There was so much space in First Class!

I don’t know if it was because of the time of evening that caused it to be so spacious or what…but a sistah was grateful, ya heard?! ??

The train left Shanghai at 7:15p and arrived in Hangzhou at 8:20p.

The bullet train is DEFINITELY worth the hype because taking a train ride that’s shorter than 1 hour is substantially better – and more comfortable – than being on one that takes close to 3 hours at regular speed.

So…yeah…it was a DOPE experience and I look forward to the next bullet train ? ride!

My name is Dr. Charity C. Campbell and I approve this message.

SN: The man sitting next to me on the train sneezed. Without covering his mouth. I…I just…I mean…?? #JesusBeAStrongImmuneSystem

Signed, September 2017.

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