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China's excellent high-speed rail system has made Shandong and Jiangsu more accessible than ever before, with many trains whizzing along at over 300 kph (186 mph). Tickets can be purchased either through your hotel (strongly recommended) or at the station, although the lines are long and vendors can be curt with non-Chinese speakers. Buy tickets at least 24 hours ahead of when you intend to travel, or longer during peak periods.