Train In Wudang
The great thing about learning Wudang Martial Arts in Wudang is that students get to immerse themselves into training everyday amidst the Chinese culture. It may seem like a daunting task at first to travel around the world to the Daoist homeland, but the rewards are well worth the trip. The travel itself does not have to be intimidating either. We have been assisting students from all over the world as they make their initial journey to Wudang. Many of them become quite well traveled, repeating the voyage over the years as they return to the academy to continue their study and self cultivation.
It is always beneficial to have a good, clear plan and to communicate this, along with any questions you may have, to our office staff by getting in touch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can assist you and offer advise on how best to proceed with your travel plans.
Below, you will find answers and guides through the most common pathways that students arrive here at the Wudang Daoist Traditional Kungfu Academy. We hope you can find the answers you are looking for and more.
We look forward to having you at the school!
Getting Ready to Travel
First, deciding on when to come and what time of year suits your practice and time schedule is very important. (see Daily Practice for information). Making plans to travel to China and to Wudang requires only a few things. Most important, you will need a passport, a Chinese visa, flight tickets, and any clothing and items that you wish to bring. You will not need any vaccinations to travel to Wudang. Things that you may consider taking with you but that are not necessary are things like an international phone, electronic adapter if necessary, clothing that is appropriate for the season, any electronics that you will use during your trip (be sure to remember the chargers!), and possibly things like sunscreen as we spend a large portion of training outdoors (you can buy this locally but the Asian skin tone and preference may be different for international students).
The school is located nearby to some local markets where it is easy enough to buy most things like toiletries, snacks, and other small conveniences. Also locally, there are places to have training clothes tailor made very affordably (an outfit generally costs around 220 RMB).
All persons intending to enter The People's Republic of China from outside countries must first have a valid passport (with at least 6 months validity) and a Chinese visa (most likely a tourist visa). We can help you with obtaining your Chinese tourist visa by providing you with an invitation letter to hand in with your tourist visa application. Any other circumstances or special needs for visa application can be communicated to WDTKA via e-mail by clicking here.
Tourist visas can be extended here in town for up to one year. After one year, foreigners are required to leave the country in order to apply for a new tourist visa. Most students who stay for more than one year simply travel to Hong Kong, Taiwan, or a neighboring country to do so.
*A SPECIAL NOTE*
Most likely when you apply for a Chinese visa, they will direct you towards applying for a tourist visa. There are occasions, however, that you will be directed towards applying for a student visa. In some instances this is fine. Although be aware that just because you are traveling with the end goal of "studying" in China, this does not necessarily mean that you will or will be able to apply for a student visa. A student visa occasionally comes with special parameters and certain documents that our school is unable to provide. An example of this is the JW202 form. This is a document stating the acceptance of a student into a university asked for during a student visa application. The main thing that we can provide in its place is an invitation letter. Some embassies will not accept this and will require the JW202.
It is best to go into your local consulate or visa service center and clearly explain your situation as well as provide all of the required documents. They will use their own discretion as to whether you will apply for a tourist or student visa. We have students who arrive with either one. Travel once you receive the visa is identical. Just a note to be aware of as you begin if this is your first trip internationally or to China.
Getting To Wudang
There are many different routes to take to get to Wudang. Most come through major international cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, or Wuhan. Of these, Beijing is the most commonly traveled and easiest to navigate because it is English friendly. From these cities, you can take a train or even a connecting flight to the domestic airport in the nearby airport. Once you confirm your travel plans, we can help you with a taxi from the local airport or train station to the school. The fee for this is around 100 RMB depending on traffic and time of arrival.
If you want the convenience and speed of taking a domestic flight from your port of entry to Wudangshan, you can arrive directly to the new Wudangshan airport. The code for the airport is WDS. There are a few flights daily to major ports like Beijing and Shanghai. This will put you a short 40 minute taxi ride to the front of the school. Be sure to not confuse Xi'An city with Shiyan city. Shiyan is closer to Wudang (about 1 hour) while Xi'An is around 4 - 5 hours away and a taxi will be too expensive from this distance. You will have to take a long distance bus. The bus ticket has to be bought at the local station and can be confusing for students who are not familiar with the Chinese language.
There are daily flights from main cities like Beijing, Wuhan, Shanghai, and Chongqing. Alternating dayily flights from Xi'An, Guangzhou, and Chengdu are also available. A good website to use for domestic flights purchase is ctrip.com. Click here to navigate to buy tickets. Make sure to use airport code WDS.
The train system in China is very reliable. There are major train stations traveling in every direction from most major destinations and Wudangshan is no different. You can book train tickets from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Wuhan (all major international airport locations) on a daily basis with trains departing at all times of the day.
Travelling by train can be much longer with trips from Beijing West Station taking an average of 20 hours until their arrival in Wudangshan. There are also more options for seating. The convenience of travelling by train is that you have a more flexible schedule than flights.
Difference Between Seating: Hard or Soft Sleeper?
When booking tickets you will notice that you typically have two different options: Hard or Soft Sleepers. If you are travelling shorter distances, you may have the option for a hard/soft seat which will just be a booth seat in a passenger train. Although if you are travelling for a longer length of time or would like to have a private space, sleeper seats are much better.
Hard and soft sleepers are basically bunk bed seating. The difference being both in quality and privacy. Hard sleepers are doorless booths of 6 beds (2 bunks of 3). The storage is limited and the top bunk can be quite short. Soft sleepers on the other hand are private booths with 4 beds (2 bunks of 2). These rooms have a door that closes and can be locked from the inside.
Soft sleepers generally will have more power charging locations and also come with more control over music, ambient noise, and lighting. The lights are on a timer in the hard sleeper cars. It is definitely worth the extra expense to get a soft sleeper if you are travelling on an overnight train.
A good source to use for booking tickets is china-train-ticket.com. They have a service to pick up tickets at the train station or even to have them delivered to your hotel/hostel for a small fee. Be sure to include any extra details in your booking when you purchase tickets. For example, it is sometimes possible to choose the bottom bunk if you order tickets in advance.
Be aware that certain times of the year around Chinese holidays, specifically Chinese Spring Festival, tickets will sell out very quickly. So be sure to book as soon as you can to confirm your travel plans.
When To Travel?
This is a very common question that comes up in making travel plans to WDTKA. The weather in each season can be a big determining factor for when you want to train. While we do train all year round, we also train outdoors as often as possible. We do have indoor training facilities, but nothing beats a good practice in fresh air. For how the training continues throughout the year please click here for more information.
As far as traveling goes, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, when the peak seasons are. For the academy, our most busy time of the year in summertime from about the middle of June to the middle of August. This is when we ask that when you register for classes you do it at least one or even two months in advance to ensure that space is available for you to join the school. Other times of the year, there is generally plenty of space for travel plans at anytime. Secondly, you will want to take a look at peak seasons for travel for Chinese citizens. The only one that may affect your plans, or make for very busy travel points, will be Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival. This time of year fluctuates each year, with the typical time period being around the beginning of February. This is a huge holiday in China and many people return to their old home to celebrate the event. You will want to make sure that if you are buying tickets at any time near this event that you purchase your tickets well in advance. Especially if you plan on taking a train for the last leg of your trip to Wudangshan.
Follow the links above and make sure that you are able to get tickets in time if travelling during this period. If you need any help click here to contact us for more information.