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Bullet train tickets Beijing to Qingdao question

Bullet train tickets Beijing to Qingdao question

Old Jan 7, 12, 6:46 pm
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Bullet train tickets Beijing to Qingdao question

I researched the seat 61 web site and determined that tickets can only be bought less than a month before departure. Has anybody had experience buying tickets for the bullet trains in China? How full are the trains? How easy is it to buy tickets on the route to Qingdao?

Thanks.
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Old Jan 7, 12, 7:26 pm
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Generally, tickets go on sale 10 days before departure. Bullet train seats on daytime trains are not too difficult to get on fairly short notice due to capacity...as long as it's not a Chinese holiday period. And not around the time of the Qingdao Beer Festival in August. Passport needed to buy (or copy of photo page, or passport number). With 9 bullet trains a day, I would think your chances of getting a seat on a train 1-3 days out are pretty good, though it might not be the departure you want. If you'll be in Beijing for a few days to visit, either try yourself (or have your hotel) get for you on the first day or so that you arrive.
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Old Jan 7, 12, 11:22 pm
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Originally Posted by jiejie View Post
Generally, tickets go on sale 10 days before departure. Bullet train seats on daytime trains are not too difficult to get on fairly short notice due to capacity...as long as it's not a Chinese holiday period. And not around the time of the Qingdao Beer Festival in August. Passport needed to buy (or copy of photo page, or passport number). With 9 bullet trains a day, I would think your chances of getting a seat on a train 1-3 days out are pretty good, though it might not be the departure you want. If you'll be in Beijing for a few days to visit, either try yourself (or have your hotel) get for you on the first day or so that you arrive.
I'm only counting 3 G trains (191, 193, and 195) which do the trip in ~4:20. The D trains are an hour longer and that is too slow for my tastes (considering the relatively short distance involved).
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Old Jan 8, 12, 1:37 am
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QD

Originally Posted by steve4031 View Post
Has anybody had experience buying tickets for the bullet trains in China? How full are the trains? How easy is it to buy tickets on the route to Qingdao?

Thanks.
-Multiple ways to buy the HSR tickets, some other china threads in this forum on this topic.
-Also, on this route, BJ to QD, there are several stops, a lot of on/off people at the Jinan stop.
-The HSR trains leave from the modern BJ south station, the QD stop is at the old train station in central QD, it has a few stairs... taxi's cost more in QD than in BJ, but are still very reasonable.
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Old Jan 8, 12, 2:01 am
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Thank you

This is helpful. Especially avoiding the beer festival in August.
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Old Jan 8, 12, 2:47 am
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Originally Posted by steve4031 View Post
This is helpful. Especially avoiding the beer festival in August.
Jiejie did not advise anyone to avoid the beer festival. None of us could do that in good conscience because the beer festival is amazing. All she said was that it's harder to get train tickets then. This is true, but it isn't that hard.
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Old Jan 8, 12, 2:51 am
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Correct. I did not say to avoid the Beer Festival. (Perish the thought! ). Just that if trying to get a train ticket during that time, you'll be in competition with a lot of others.

My original count of 9 trains included both D's and G's. I don't find the little bit of extra time spent on the D to be objectionable and I don't think most travelers do either, especially if that's all that's available for the day of travel. Still better than the flight alternative given price and the Get-to-the-airport-and-through-security-only-to-find-ATC-delay-and-sit-on-tarmac Issues at PEK.
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Old Jan 8, 12, 1:03 pm
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Sorry about that

We are not beer drinkers, and would want to maximize the potential for easier, cheaper travel. That was my thinking. Of course many would want to go to this festival.
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Old Jan 8, 12, 3:22 pm
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Originally Posted by steve4031 View Post
This is helpful. Especially avoiding the beer festival in August.
Actually attending it was really really cool. Just lots of traffic.
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Old Jan 10, 12, 6:22 pm
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Do you know the exact dates of the beer festival for 2012

Thanks
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Old Jan 10, 12, 7:31 pm
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Originally Posted by steve4031 View Post
Thanks
http://www.qingdaochinaguide.com/new...-festival.html

2nd weekend in Aug, so 10-12.
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Old Jan 11, 12, 8:36 pm
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We are going!!

Booked RT on United ORD to PEK in E+.

I have a good rate at the Renaissance Capitol in Beijing.

Where is the train station in Qingdao? Based on tripadvisor, the best, most expensive hotels are near the waterfront. There are also good, cheaper choices near the airport. These would be OK for us if they were not to far from the train station.

I am assuming the trains to Qingdao leave from Beijing South. Is this correct?

Again I appreciate your assistance.
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Old Jan 11, 12, 8:48 pm
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Originally Posted by steve4031 View Post
Booked RT on United ORD to PEK in E+.

I have a good rate at the Renaissance Capitol in Beijing.

Where is the train station in Qingdao? Based on tripadvisor, the best, most expensive hotels are near the waterfront. There are also good, cheaper choices near the airport. These would be OK for us if they were not to far from the train station.

I am assuming the trains to Qingdao leave from Beijing South. Is this correct?

Again I appreciate your assistance.
Correct--all the D and G high-speed trains leave from Beijing South. Only the much slower overnight K train leaves from Beijing West.

The (main) station is in the city, not out in the hinterlands and that's the one the direct fast trains will go to, but you'll still probably need a short cab ride from the station to your waterfront hotel.
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Old Jan 11, 12, 8:57 pm
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Originally Posted by jiejie View Post
Correct--all the D and G high-speed trains leave from Beijing South. Only the much slower overnight K train leaves from Beijing West.
Are you sure about that? I took a T train there a few years ago, and it left from the main train station.
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Old Jan 11, 12, 9:10 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
Are you sure about that? I took a T train there a few years ago, and it left from the main train station.
Yep. Things have changed. At least for direct trains Beijing <->Qingdao, no more T's and no more trains from Beijing Main station anymore. You can of course, still take a T or K from BJ Main to somewhere like Jinan and then change to another Qingdao train, but of course that's not a direct routing and a lot more work.
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