China has some reasonably comfortable long-distance buses running between most major cities. These luxury coaches are equipped with air-conditioning, soft seats, and screens playing nonstop movies, usually at deafening levels. Bring earplugs if you can’t stand the noise.
Though securing a bus seat is easier than on a train, buying tickets can be complicated if you don't speak Chinese—you may end up on one of the cramped, old-fashioned buses, much like school buses (or worse). The conditions on sleeper buses are especially dire. Taking a train or an internal flight is much easier and safer, especially in rural areas where bad road conditions make for dangerous rides. Bus breakdowns are also frequent.
Big cities often have more than one bus terminal, and some companies have their own private depots. Buses usually depart and arrive punctually, and service is frequent. To avoid hassles, buying tickets through your hotel is usually worth the small surcharge.