Last night I took the old slow train from Shanghai to Beijing. Now that the 1300 km run is covered by the sleek G-trains, which manage the distance in less than five hours, older trains are few and far between. The overnight sleeper is almost all that is left, taking a leisurely fifteen hours.

I boarded the train and looked longingly at the sleeping bunks:

However, I was soon informed that they are for people of no more than 1.2 metres in height:

So I was left with two options. Either the smoking comp artment (with the gap):

Or this lovely compartment:

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