Hard Sleeper Berth Train
Hard sleepers on trains in China are popular among budget travelers for long-distance overnight trips as they are less expensive than the soft sleepers. They are provided on K, T, Z, L, and other non-bullet trains. A hard sleeper China train carriage consists of 11 semi-open compartments, so it can be noisy but also a good opportunity to meet some common Chinese people. Each compartment has six berths, three on each side. The hard sleeper berth is not as large as the soft sleeper berth - only 24 inches (60 cm) wide and 71 inches (180 cm) long. Basic bedding (comforter, sheets and a pillow) is provided.
A ladder at the end of the beds is provided for passengers to gain access to the top and middle berths. Passengers on the middle and upper berth can not sit up straight, as the head spaces for the middle and upper berths are only 28 inches (70 cm) and 26 inches (65 cm) respectively, with only the lower berths providing enough space to comfortably sit up.
A hook is provided above each bed for passengers to hang an overcoat or other items on. There is a small table located between the two lower bunks. Each compartment also has a thermos, a dustbin and a tray for litter. An LCD TV is also available in each compartment on some trains. A small table and two foldable seats are located in the aisle by the window. There is also an open luggage rack located above the seats in the aisle that is large enough to hold a 28-inch suitcase.
Hard sleeper bunks are numbered as No.1 Top, No.1 Middle, and No.1 Bottom. Bunks Nos.1, 2, 21, and 22 are located at the two ends of the carriage, and thus close to the toilet, hot water heater, and the smoking area, so it could be a little smelly and noisy during trip.
A bottom bunk serves as a public couch, as other passengers in the same compartment usually sit on it during the day so you have much less privacy with a bottom berth although there is much more head room. Once the lights go out at night, you will still hear people walking up and down the aisles. The middle bunk has less headroom but more privacy than the bottom bunk although you will still need to use the ladder for access. Shorter people may be able to sit upright on the bed but still have to be a bit bent over. The top bunk is a bit difficult to access so it is not recommended for people who are not reasonably physically fit. It provides the most privacy but very little headroom. One good aspect is that it is easy to access your bags that are on the luggage rack above the aisle table.
Each hard sleeper can accommodate 6 passengers.
Passengers sittiing on the foldable bench next to hard sleeper cabin
Overall, the hard sleeper can accommodate more passengers than soft sleeper. Yet, you will have less privacy and the room is a bit crowded.
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