Let’s Talk about Traveling in Chinese 旅行 lǚxíng

Written by Angela Chen, Chinese language teacher at BLCU


I was in Yunnan for a short vacation last few weeks. So we are going to talk about words about traveling today.

Lǚxíng 旅行 traveling

Chinese New year was celebrated 2 weeks ago. During those times, people would do anything to get home in order to have a family reunion on Chinese New Year eve. So I decided to take my holiday before the Chinese New Year travel season.

Chūnyùn 春运 means Chinese New Year travel season

Chinese new year falls on February 12 this year. 春运 or Chinese New Year travel season starts 1 or 2 weeks before that. Train tickets often hard to get because trains are the most common and convenient vehicle for long trips in China.

Huǒchē 火车 train

Go by train is 坐火车。 We’ll use the word sit 坐 zuò for taking almost all vehicles.

zuò huǒchē 坐火车 by train

zuò fēijī  坐飞机  by air

zuò dìtiě 坐地铁  by subway

zuò chūzūchē 坐出租车 by taxi

zuò gāotiě 坐高铁 by high-speed train

And also take the elevators, zuò diàntī 坐电梯

I used to work in Xi’an in 2009. It took me 12 hours by train from Xi’an to Beijing back to that time.

Cóng Xī’ān dào Běijīng zuò huǒchē yào shí’èr gè xiǎoshí.


We don’t have high-speed train at that time.

Gāotiě 高铁 high-speed train

Now it only takes 5-6 hours from Beijing to Xi’an.

Xiànzài cóng Běijīng dào Xī’an zuò huǒchē zhǐ yào wǔ, liù gè xiǎoshí.


But for long trips like Beijing to Yunnan, it will be easier to go by air. it still takes 10 hours by high-speed train now, because there are lots of mountains in Yunnan. Trains go slower in mountains.

Yunnan is quite far away from Beijing. It’s about 2500km, I think.

It took me 4 hours to fly from Beijing to Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan province.

Cóng Běijīng dào Kūnmíng zuò fēijī yào sì ge xiǎoshí.


I took the economy class.

Jīngjì cāng 经济舱 economy class

Shāngwù cāng 商务舱 business class

Tóuděng cāng 头等舱 first class

We’ll use the word 坐 zuò.

I’m flying economy class. Wǒ zuò jīngjì cāng. 我坐经济舱。

I’m flying first class. Wǒ zuò tóuděng cāng 我坐头等舱。

We also have a first-class for the high-speed train. But the first class for the high-speed train is called 一等座 yīděng zuò,座 zuò from 座位 zuòwèi,which means seat.

While the business class for the high-speed train is shāngwù zuò 商务座

And the economy class is called Èrděng zuò 二等座 which literally means second class.

Well, for airplanes, first class is the best, right? But for the high-speed train, 商务座 shāngwù zuò is better than 一等座 yīděng zuò. Business-class on the high-speed train is the most expensive one.

What kind of transportation do you usually use when traveling?

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Student Recruitment Manager at China Admissions. Originally from Indonesia but based in Beijing, China since 2017, and has been loving her life and journey in China ever since. Got a Master's degree from the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) in Beijing back in 2019.
Nadia Wijaya

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