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China Master Transportation Thread

China Master Transportation Thread

Old Jun 11, 11, 9:07 pm
  #16  
 
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Train travel in China

Jiejie,
Kudos to you for the enormous effect of pulling together such a comprehensive thread of info. ^^

I particularly enjoy reading the “train” section, as I am comtemplating of doing a train trip in China in the winter.
While researching for train travel info, I noted plenty of inconsistancy from site to site. So much stuff out there is plain out-dated. Not being a Chinese reader, pure Chinese sites are out of the question.
I found your advice helpful because you wrote them with the FT perspective.

Openly, allow me to solicit info and suggestion from ALL on the following trip itineraries:
· Beijing to Hangzhou (over-night)
· Hangzhou to Shanghai
· Shanghai to Hong Kong (deluxe soft sleeper, 2 pax to cabin)

Is western Christmas and New Year a normal train-travel season in China? I am partiularly concern about when to purchase tickets. I will stick with travel over night for all above itineraries.

Discussion, advice, suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance.
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Old Jun 11, 11, 10:10 pm
  #17  
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Originally Posted by allset2travel View Post
Is western Christmas and New Year a normal train-travel season in China? I am partiularly concern about when to purchase tickets. I will stick with travel over night for all above itineraries.
Should be normal, Jan 1 is a legal holiday in China but not too much
extra train travel.

Don't believe you should have any problem to get the schedule you
desire close in.
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Old Jun 11, 11, 10:26 pm
  #18  
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Originally Posted by allset2travel View Post
· Beijing to Hangzhou (over-night)
Fly.
· Hangzhou to Shanghai
Easy.
· Shanghai to Hong Kong (deluxe soft sleeper, 2 pax to cabin)
Fly.

As much as I love trains, you'll be best served by sticking with airlines, even in spite of your inevitable delays. It's really not that bad as long as you prepare yourself in advance.

Last edited by moondog; Jun 11, 11 at 10:35 pm
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Old Jun 11, 11, 10:41 pm
  #19  
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[QUOTE=moondog;16545379]Fly.
As much as I love trains, you'll be best served by sticking with airlines, even in spite of your inevitable delays. QUOTE]

+1
CRH overnight is pretty stupid unless you like warm Heineken and 7 up.
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Old Jun 11, 11, 11:00 pm
  #20  
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Originally Posted by allset2travel View Post
Jiejie,
Kudos to you for the enormous effect of pulling together such a comprehensive thread of info. ^^

I particularly enjoy reading the “train” section, as I am comtemplating of doing a train trip in China in the winter.
While researching for train travel info, I noted plenty of inconsistancy from site to site. So much stuff out there is plain out-dated. Not being a Chinese reader, pure Chinese sites are out of the question.
I found your advice helpful because you wrote them with the FT perspective.

Openly, allow me to solicit info and suggestion from ALL on the following trip itineraries:
· Beijing to Hangzhou (over-night)
· Hangzhou to Shanghai
· Shanghai to Hong Kong (deluxe soft sleeper, 2 pax to cabin)

Is western Christmas and New Year a normal train-travel season in China? I am partiularly concern about when to purchase tickets. I will stick with travel over night for all above itineraries.

Discussion, advice, suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance.
Thanks for kudos, which I'll share with all the FT China Ambassadors who are collectively putting their accumulated knowledge together and then splitting up the compilation/writing tasks for the various China FAQ and Master topics.

As for your specific itinerary questions: I would suggest to wait for another 4 months (say, October), follow developments on FT that might relate to your travel, then repost any lingering questions in a new thread. The high-speed rail network along at least some of your routes is undergoing improvement and also new purchasing requirements. Let's see how it shakes out before deciding train vs plane on the long segments. Hangzhou-Shanghai is an easy purchase once there. Christmas-Western New Year is not a travel period for Chinese so there are no special issues on that dimension and no particular pressure for you to commit early to a transport method. I'm unwilling to make recommendations at this time based on changing situation, and very limited information provided by you as to travel context and limitations.

Finally, I would request that this particular thread NOT be used for any more posters' specific itinerary requests, let's keep this one for general transportation topics, comments, observations that have wider-ranging implications. Otherwise, this thread will quickly become unwieldy and less useful for updates.
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Old Jun 12, 11, 1:07 am
  #21  
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I agree with the other comments already. Train super easy Shanghai-Hangzhou, pretty fun route now that it's HS rail.

Fly the other routes, overnight trains on China are nothing but a cultural experience. Not the same charm as riding rail in Europe.

Timing of purchasing tickets is fine. Many companies in China don't even have Christmas holiday. AFAIK, train tickets can still only be bought 10 days in advance.

The only train you should NOT miss in China IMO is the train that runs in/out of Tibet.
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Old Jun 12, 11, 9:09 pm
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Hi all,
Thanks for chiming in.
I shall reconsider flying at least the PEK-HGH and PVG-HKG.

Sorry, no intention to messing up this thread.
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Old Jun 12, 11, 9:35 pm
  #23  
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Originally Posted by allset2travel View Post
Hi all,
Thanks for chiming in.
I shall reconsider flying at least the PEK-HGH and PVG-HKG.

Sorry, no intention to messing up this thread.
I would go by air in both cases.

Regarding PEK-HGH, you're looking at 6+ hours on the train, HGH is more efficient than SHA, and air fares aren't crazy expensive.

As for PVG-HKG, thanks to those cheap airlines that none of us dare to fly, air fares are reasonable. And, there is no HSR.
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Old Jun 13, 11, 10:27 am
  #24  
 
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Talking how are toilets on trains?

Here's a question that's especially pertinent for me with the tiny bladder. How are the toilets on the trains in China? Are there toilets on the trains that run short distances, 1-2 hour trips? What are toilets like at the train stations? I always go before leaving a hotel, but it seems I always need to go again while on the train. Something about the jiggling motion...
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Old Jun 13, 11, 11:07 am
  #25  
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Originally Posted by susiesan View Post
Here's a question that's especially pertinent for me with the tiny bladder. How are the toilets on the trains in China? Are there toilets on the trains that run short distances, 1-2 hour trips? What are toilets like at the train stations? I always go before leaving a hotel, but it seems I always need to go again while on the train. Something about the jiggling motion...
Here's a link to show the toilet's on "D" train. Not sure about the facilities
on "G" or "C" trains.

http://cnreviews.com/life/travel-tou..._20100226.html
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Old Jun 14, 11, 2:36 am
  #26  
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Originally Posted by susiesan View Post
Here's a question that's especially pertinent for me with the tiny bladder. How are the toilets on the trains in China? Are there toilets on the trains that run short distances, 1-2 hour trips? What are toilets like at the train stations? I always go before leaving a hotel, but it seems I always need to go again while on the train. Something about the jiggling motion...
Any G or D trains toilets are pretty good. Should have the sit variety and are clean. K/T or other trains don't expect much, you may only have a squat but typically have at least 1 sit (for handicap).

Train stations are hit or miss. If it's a newer station (i.e. for G train) then you're ok. Outside of the major cities it is...well simply a cultural experience.

Then again, I can't comment on female bathrooms, haven't been in one.
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Old Jun 14, 11, 2:57 am
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The Tuesday June 14th China daily has a good story on the new high speed rail launch between SH & BJ. And a nice map of the 24 stations with a chart on the train to air comparisons. ( page 5 )
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Old Jun 15, 11, 2:09 am
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Jiatong View Post
The Tuesday June 14th China daily has a good story on the new high speed rail launch between SH & BJ. And a nice map of the 24 stations with a chart on the train to air comparisons. ( page 5 )
QQ China Daily link is nice.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/usa/chi...t_12689109.htm

"Maintenance workers will spend four hours checking the tracks every night."

"A patrol guard will be stationed every kilometer along the line to look for safety hazards."

I can guarantee they will be sleeping.
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Old Jun 16, 11, 11:57 am
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What to do if you miss your train?

Question about possible scenario. You have purchased tickets in advance for a specific train and time. There's a traffic jam on the way to the station and you miss your train.

Can you exchange the tickets for another train? How would you do this-go to a ticket window, show them the ticket, and hope they can understand English enough to help out?

Do you get a refund? Do you have to buy another ticket?

Are you SOL?
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Old Jun 16, 11, 12:18 pm
  #30  
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Originally Posted by susiesan View Post
you miss your train.
Are you SOL?
Yes
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