Saturday, November 7, 2020

China - Part 1 - The Bullet and Me


In late summer 2019, I had the opportunity to travel to Shanghai, China to staff a software exhibit at a conference there.  My favorite travel companion (aka my wife) decided that she didn't want to go on this trip, so I was on my own.

I decided that, after my gig at the software exhibit was done I would travel to Beijing to spend a couple of days touring and then spend two days hiking on a remote section of the Great Wall of China.  

The Bullet and Me

To get to Beijing from Shanghai, one can either fly or take a train.  I've taken enough flights in my life to know that experience well.  What I haven't done, however, is take a "bullet train".

I again went to the expert on train travel at the "Man in Seat 61" website - - for advice and found that there are several of these high-speed trains that run both ways, every day, between Shanghai and Beijing.  The cost of a Business Class seat on the Shanghai to Beijing bullet train is about same as coach airfare between those cities, so what choice did I have?!  I booked a seat.

Once I was done with my conference staffing duties, I took a taxi to the Shanghai train station; the largest train station in Asia.  Once I gained entry to the station, I had to find my train.  Here is a video of the inside of the largest train terminal in Asia.

Once the boarding gate opened, I walked to the business-class car of the train.  As I was walking there, however, I noted that the train itself was pretty cool-looking.  Here is a photo of the bullet and me.

The bullet train derives its name from the high speed at which it travels, roughly 225 miles per hour.  The ride is quiet and as smooth as glass.

Here is a short video of what China looks like at 225 mph.

And here is what Señor Trail looks like traveling in business-class on the bullet train at 225 mph.

Once in Beijing, I took a taxi to my hotel and prepared for the first day of bicycling around the city.