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China Transportation

Transportation in the People's Republic of China has experienced major growth and expansion since 1949 and especially since the early 1980s. Airports, roads, and railway construction will provide a massive employment boost in China over the next decade.

The total network of railways in China amounts to 100,000 km with Beijing as the center. The types of networks are quasi- high-speed trains, fast trains, tourist trains, express trains, passenger trains

China transportation in the field of aviation has around 1,000 domestic airlines that cover 140 cities with Beijing as the center. On the other hand there are 130 international airlines and 21 regional airlines that connect to 60 cities in 40 countries.

Among the China transportation also include the waterways as the China's vast maritime territory comprises of Bohai, Yellow and East China Seas in the East while South China Sea in the south. The Pearl River delta is a prime river system for the movement of goods and people. In 1998, navigable inland waterways in China totaled 110,000 km, the volume of cargo transportation was 1940.6 billion tons/km, and the volume of passenger transportation was 12 billion persons/km.

China transportation The government-led effort — that began in the 1990s — to connect the country by expressways via the "National Trunk Highway System" has expanded the network to more than 53,000 km by the end of 2007, making China's the second longest expressway network in the world (after the United States).

The physical state and comprehensiveness of China's transportation infrastructure tend to vary widely by geography. While remote, rural areas still largely depend on non-mechanized means of transportation, a modern maglev train system was built in China to connect the city center of Shanghai with its international airport.

Well on the other hand to get around the city the means of transport includes Taxi and the fare ranges from 1to 2 Yuan per km. The subways also operate are convenient transportation in China and are available in four cities- Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Tianjin. Buses are also a major public means of transport in the large cities of China. Buses in the cities operate from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. in the large cities there air conditioned buses of which ht prices are two to three times high.aarl

China's transportation sector is the fastest growing sector in terms of energy use although the sector currently consumes 10 percent of total energy use, it is projected to account for one-third by 2050.

China currently has a comprehensive system of modern transportation, which includes civil aviation, railway, road traffic, and water transportation. As transportation in China becomes more accessible and more reliable, it is also becoming more technologically advanced. Modern modes of transportation such as express highways, electrified railroads, metros, light railways, and maglev railways are becoming increasingly common, especially in larger cities.

At the same time, because of China's large population, sometimes the current numbers of vehicles cannot meet every person's needs. Especially during the public holidays, most people choose to travel. Some of them take excursions, whilst other people go to their hometown to see their families. During peak holiday times the transportation system may be stretched too the limit. Additionally, as many shopping malls or shops often provide discounted goods at festivals and many people prefer to go shopping at that time. As a result, streets as well as many vehicles become very crowded. As a traveler, you'd better avoid going to China during Chinese festivals like the Spring Festival and National Day. Additionally, as the Chinese urban population is getting larger and larger, some big cities are facing very severe transportation stress.

 Tip: If you would like more information about your destination city of China, you can visit our website's City Guide column. In it, you can find the very practical transportation tips and many other aspects of traveling, including dining, shopping, nightlife and so on.

Air Transportation

A wide range of international travellers fly regular flights to and from China. International air carriers from dozens of countries carries passengers to and from over 50 international cities. Domestic carriers provide service to every province and major city in the country. Check your travel agency for information on available flights both internationally and for domestic travel.

Domestic Air Carriers:

Here are some of the domestic carriers which available for domestic flights:

China Air                                                  China Southern Airlines (Code: CZ)   

China Eastern Airlines (Code: MU)          China Southwest Airlines(Code: sz)       Hainan Airlines (Code: HU)                        Shanghai Airlines (Code: SF)   

 Xiamen Airlines (Code: MF)                      ShandongAirlines(Code: SC) 

Sichuan Airlines(Code: 3U)                       Shenzhen Airlines(Code: 4G)

Dragon Air


there are over 206 airports, linking all major cities. Several are international airports moving people and goods into and out of China.

Beijing Capital International Airport    Shanghai Hongqiao Airport      

Shanghai Pudong Airport             Xian Airport             Guilin Airport   Tibet-hasa Airport  

Travel by train in China

In 1949, there were only 21,800 km of railway lines in China, with only 11,000 km opened to traffic.  Between 1979 and 1998, newly constructed lines opened to traffic reached 14,979 km, of which electrified lines totaled 11,176 km.  In 1998, the length of railway lines opened to traffic reached 57,600, a 18.5 percent increase over 1978.

There are north-south and west-east trunk lines in China.  The north-south line, with Beijing as its hub, consists of the Beijing-Guangzhou Railway, Beijing-Shanghai Railway, Beijing-Kowloon Railway and Beijing-Harbin Railway.  The west-east line, with Zhengzhou as its hub, consists of the Lianyunggang-Lanzhou Railway and Lanzhou-Urumqi Railway. The latter has been extended westward to link up with the railways in Kazakhstan.

Thus Asia and Europe are linked by railways from Linayungang in China to Rotterdam in Holland.  New railway lines have been built in mountainous areas in southwestern China, mainly the Chendu-Chongqing Railway, Baoji-Chengdu Railway, Chengdu-Kunming Railway and the Nanning-Kunming Railway.  Besides, the Turpan-Kashi Railway has been newly built in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.


In 1949, the length of highways in China was just over 80,000 km and more than one third of the counties nationwide were not accessible by road.  However, by 1998, the total length of highways opened to traffic had reached 1.278 million km.  Now, all counties, town and townships are accessible by road.

After 1978, China began to build a large number of expressways, including the Shenyang-Dalian, Beijing-Tianjin-Tanggu, Guangzhou-Shenzhen, Jinan-Qingdao, Chengdu-Chongqing, Yichang-Huangshi, Beijing-Shijiazhuang, Shijianzhuang-Taiyuan, Shanghai-Ningbo and Taiyuan-Jiuguan expressways.  In 1998, there were 37,000 km of newly built highways, 1,487 km of which were expressways.

 China Waterway
Waterways are and always have been an important way of moving goods through the country. The Pearl river delta is a prime river system for the movement of goods and people. The system is filled with an absolutely amazing wide armada of boats, from barges to sampans to small fishing boats, to barges and hovercraft.

Product moving to and from Hong Kong will invariably be found on a boat for some portion of it's journey.

Even today you will see a wide array of boats plying the various river systems. Sampans, long famous in China, are still seen in Hong Kong harbor and plying the waters around China. Barges of all types, laden with goods and materials as well as soil and rocks for many of China's development projects can be seen floating upon the waters.

The mix of boats include modern hovercraft which will speed travellers across the waters to your destination.

Li River Attractions Endowed with unmatched natural scenery, Li River is a must-see in Guilin. Sitting comfortably on a cruise boat, tourists will be surprised by a succession of spectacular scenes, bewitching peaks and hills with different shapes, green waters, ancient town, pastoral view, ferries and shoals, and water buffalos along the river bank.

Urban Transportation

Taxis are the same anywhere in the world.

Taxis are a convenient means of transportation in various cities in China, with fares ranging from 1 to 2 yuan per km. Simply raise your hand, and a taxi appears in no time. But you'd better choose a taxi with a business permit, and before you disembark from a taxi ride, ask the driver for a receipt.

In addition, in China, they do not understand English.Make sure you have someone provide the destination for you or carry business cards in Mandarin with the address of where you are going.

Beijing Taxi  Shanghei Taxi  Xi'an Taxi

Subway systems
Subway systems exist only in the major cities. They are insufficient for the population to take significant advantage. Inadequate subway systems is a major issue to the growth and health of these cities. Shanghai is a good example, where traffic congestion, air pollution from factories and a growing number of motorized vehicles is already a problem . With a population of 14million and growing, it's already clogged clogged roads will only get worse. So far subways are available in four Chinese cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Tianjin.

Beijing  The Metro    Shanghai Subway systems


Chinese buses are generally comfortable and affordable, and go just about everywhere you'd want to. It's best to reserve a seat in advance, and be sure 
to pack light—there's not a lot of room to stow luggage. All cities have local buses that will take you around the city for a nominal fee (anything from two jiao to a few yuan). Don't be shy to ask people which bus to take, or to ask on the bus where to get off. In the big cities these buses are almost always impossibly crowded—push and shove along with the Chinese to get on. Minibuses are sometimes available; these will charge more, but will get you where you want to go quickly and comfortably.

 Shanghai By bus     Beijing Public Bus & Trolley Bus     Xi'an Bus

Biking in China
Bicycles, the real traffic jams in major cities in China are caused by the number of bicycles. Besides walking, the main source of transportation is the bicycle. Seldom new and often not pretty, they provide the  basic means of transportation to the average person in China to work, shopping and leisure activities.

Transportation in China Major Cities
[Beijing] [Chengde] [Chengdu] [Chongqing] [Dali]
[Datong] [Dunhuang] [Guangzhou] [Guilin] [Guizhou]
[Hainan] [Hangzhou] [Zhuhai] [Xian] [HongKong]
[Huangshan] [Jiangxi] [Jilin] [Jinan] [kaifeng]
[Kashgar] [kunming] [Luoyang] [Macau] [Nanjing]
[Ningbo] [Qingdao] [Qinhuangdao] [Qufu] [Sanya]
[Shanghai] [Shenyang] [Shenzhen] [Suzhou] [Yinchuan]
[Taiwan] [Tianjin] [Tibet] [Zhangjiajie] [Urumqi]
[Weihai] [Wuhan] [Wuyishan] [Xiamen] [Yunnan]
[Xining] [Xishuangbanna] [Yangzhou]