Last updated on Feb 25, 2013
Step 1 Register
www.12306.cn, run by the Ministry of Railways, is the only website where you can buy train tickets online. Before making a purchase, you must register at the website.
After you click the “Register” button, a page containing terms of service will appear. Slide to the bottom of the page and click the first blue button.
You will then be directed to the registration page. Follow the instructions.
Step 2 Plan your trip
After you submit the registration information, you can buy a train ticket. Return to the homepage, click on the “Buy tickets” button, and a page as below will appear. In order to log in, type your username and password.
After you log in, you will be directed to your personal profile shown as below. On this page, you are able to buy, refund or change a ticket, or see your order history.
Click on the “Buy tickets” button, and you will be able to search for trains on the following page.
Step 3 Make a reservation
After finding a suitable train, click the “Select” button and you will be directed to the reservation page. Confirm your train information and type your passenger information, then submit your reservation.
A confirmation page will then pop up. Click on the “Confirm” button.
Step 4 Payment
After you submit your order, a page shown as below will pop up. Click the “Pay online” button.
You can then choose your bank on the following page. Click on the button of your bank, and you will be directed to its online bank page. Make your payment on that page. If you do not have an account with the following banks, use your friend’s account or just ask a friend to pay for you.
Step 5 Confirmation
After you successfully pay for the tickets, you will receive a message on your phone and an email in your mailbox. Keep them before your trip. You’ll have to get a paper ticket at the train station with your valid ID before you board the train. If you want to get a refund or change your schedule, you can log in and do it online.