Leisurely, affordable and convenient, explore the world by rail with these inspirational train experiences around Asia and beyond.
More and more, rail travel is captivating modern travelers who appreciate the flexibility and stable fares, non-existent baggage fees and convenience to city centers. In addition, traveling by rail feels nostalgic and spontaneous and, in many cases, it’s a lower-carbon alternative to flying.
We tapped into internal data to explore this emerging travel trend. The result shows that rail services bookings from India increased is 610% from 2018 to 2019.
Ready to hit the tracks? We recommends 5 of the best regions to explore by rail.
- Japan Rail Pass
Route Inspiration: Kyushu → Osaka → Kyoto → Fukushima → Hokkaido
Home to poetic landscapes and remarkable architecture, Japan’s expansive archipelago is the treasure trove of discoveries. The easiest way to explore? By train, of course. Snap up a convenient Japan Rail Pass – this discounted ticket provides unlimited access to transportation operated by the Japan Railways Group. With a choice of 7-, 14- or 21-day journeys, the Whole Japan Rail Pass covers railways and local buses across the majority of the country so you hop from Kyushu to Osaka, Kyoto, Fukushima, and all the way north to Hokkaido.
- Hong Kong’s High-Speed Rail
Route Inspiration: Hong Kong → Shenzhen → Guangzhou → Hangzhou → Shanghai → Beijing
Newly opened last year, the cross-boundary High-Speed Rail provides hyper-efficient transport between Hong Kong and 44 Mainland cities. Day-trippers can take a 50-minute short-haul to Guangdong province to dine on Cantonese cuisine and soak up the heritage of charming Guangzhou. Heading farther afield? A long-haul rail journey will have you in the heart of Shanghai in just eight hours, and Beijing in 10! Better yet, build your own adventure with stops in cities like Shenzhen, Hangzhou, and Shanghai on the way.
- Rail Europe Pass
Route Inspiration: Paris → Amsterdam → Berlin → Venice
To make the most of Europe’s convenient train network, book a Rail Europe pass before arrival. That way, you can hit the ground running without wasting any time or money. You can book a pass country by country, or traverse the entire continent. No matter how you slice it, these flexible passes enable travelers to visit all of the top destinations in one unforgettable city-hopping adventure. Start in beautiful Paris before making your way to Amsterdam, Berlin, Venice and more.
- Korea Rail Pass
Route Inspiration: Seoul → Gyeonggi-do → Busan
K-Pop, K-Drama, K-Beauty… Seoul has become synonymous with culture and creativity. Of course, there’s much more to South Korea than the amazing capital. To explore the countryside without breaking the bank, check out the Korea Rail pass. Ranging from two to five days, this discounted pass provides unlimited rides on Korail trains. With over 600 stations around the country, you can stop off in lesser-visited cities such as Yongin, Jeonju, and Daegu before heading southeast to the far-flung city of Busan. Better yet, the KR Pass provides discounts on accommodation and tourist attractions to make exploring that much easier.
- Taiwan’s Joint Train Pass
Route Inspiration: Taipei → Taichung → Kaohsiung →Taitung
In Taiwan, the 5-day joint train pass promises unlimited rail journeys across Taiwan on the country’s major train systems: Taiwan Railways Administration and Taiwan High-Speed Rail. The combo includes five days on Taiwan Rail as well as two days on the high-speed system, available anytime within the five-day period. Not only is the pass affordable and flexible, but it also encourages spontaneity. Hop on and off as much as you please to visit remote towns, dine at outdoor food markets or soak up the natural scenery. Need some inspiration? Enjoy a whirlwind tour of Taiwan’s diverse landscapes, cities and food culture with stops in Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung. After a short stay in Kaohsiung, travelers can take Taiwan Rail and end their trip in Taitung.