By Vera van de Nieuwenhof in Travel Guide

The ticket booking office is located on the north side of the road several hundred metres west of the bus station. The railway station is located about 7 kilometers south of Lijiang old town.

You can book tickets online (in English) and pick up the tickets at the ticket office at any time before your date of travel. Please allow enough time to collect your train tickets and for the security check at the train station. You have to bring your passport to collect your train tickets.

How to get to Lijiang railway station

Several public bus lines serve the station, including the number 18, 16 and some number 4 buses (every 30-40 minutes). The bus fare is 2 RMB.

Taxis are generally reluctant to use the meter and will ask high fares (30-40 RMB) although bargaining is possible — the price might go down to 15 RMB. Taxis are not easy to find at Lijiang railway station. Alternatively you can hop on the small SUV-type vans which are cruising around, offering a share-taxi service.

Train services

There are several daily train services to Dali and Kunming, with different levels of comfort.

Hard sleeper

A hard sleeper berth is a basic bed with clean sheets, in an open cabin with 6 berths. A ticket from Kunming to Lijiang is 179 RMB, and the train runs overnight from 10PM to 7AM.

Soft sleeper

The soft sleeper car has cabins with 4 berths. They offer more privacy as the cabin can be closed with a door. A ticket from Kunming to Lijiang would cost you about 205 RMB on the same overnight train. If you travel with a small family (two parents and a child) you might want to consider the VIP chamber which costs 614 RMB (the same price as three beds in a soft sleeper berth). It is a little bit tight for luggage storage, but the privacy is a big plus.

Fast train from Dali

From Dali the train is a fast and cheap alternative to the crowded buses. A hard seat (which is not very hard actually as it is padded) is about 31 RMB and the Dali - Kunming trip takes only 2 hours.