We are currently in Hanoi and catching a bus to Nanning, China on Friday. We would like to catch a train to Beijing straight away, but I'm unable to find anywhere we can book it online. I have tried the agency suggested by seat 61.com,(Chinatripadvisor.com) but they haven't bothered to reply. I didn't want to leave it until we reach Nanning in case we couldn't get a soft sleeper at the last minute. Any suggestions please.
Unfortunately i think that you will have to just go to the train station and buy it when you get there.
I don't think that you can buy tickets in other cities or online (usually anyway). The only way that it might be possible is if you go to a travel agent and ask them what they can do but this may be more hassle than it's worth.
Soft sleepers are sometimes the easiest tickets to get anyway because they are so expensive.
Hope that this helps.
Thanks Angus, we have resigned ourselves to the fact. Fingers crossed.