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Arrive HKG ➡️High Speed Rail ➡️ Guangzhou ➡️CAN

Arrive HKG ➡️High Speed Rail ➡️ Guangzhou ➡️CAN

Old Apr 29, 19, 1:35 am
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Arrive HKG ➡️High Speed Rail ➡️ Guangzhou ➡️CAN

I will be flying from LHR-HKG and wondered if the following is a realistic option. My flight will be this Friday on Virgin Atlantic, scheduled to arrive HKG 16:55 Saturday. I am planning to take a flight from CAN on China Southern to Phu Quoc, Vietnam, later that same evening, departing at 23:15.
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My preferred option would be to fly the very short hop between HKG and CAN, on Cathay Dragon (perfect flight connection: 20:15 - 21:20) but no award seats available and I am not prepared to pay HK$1450 for such a short flight.

There is the ferry option from HKG for transfer pax to Guangzhou Lian Hua Shan port but that departs Sky Pier at 18:50 with an estimated arrival time at 20:30. Too close for comfort for a 23:15 flight and considerably further away from the airport than Guangzhou South railway station.

That leaves me the only other alternative - High Speed Rail. Assuming my flight arrives on time into HKG at 16:55 (Premium Economy, hand baggage only) and I clear immigration quickly using the e-channel frequent visitor lane, my plan is to take the Airport Express train to Kowloon and transfer to West Kowloon Station for the HST. If things go smoothly then I should be there around 18:00-18:30.

I want to take the 19:02 train to Guangzhou South, arriving 20:00 and take a taxi straight to the airport, for an estimated 21:30 arrival. Would this be realistic? I qualify for the 24hr TWOV as I am flying to a third country. How long would immigration formalities take at the train station in Hong Kong? Is 90 mins enough for the taxi ride to the airport? How easy is it to buy a single ticket to China? Would any other Flyertalkers consider my connecting itinerary? Any other advice would be very helpful.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 4:09 am
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"I qualify for the 24hr TWOV as I am flying to a third country."

Let's just stop right there. You do not qualify for TWOV when entering Mainland China by HSR from Hong Kong.

If you're heading to Vietnam from HK, I'd suggest looking at some of the discount airlines, and fly direct from HKG. I haven't checked in recent months, but for a time fares were very reasonable.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 5:04 am
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Setting aside the immigration issue as mentioned by 889, I will say taking HSR is absolutely stupid.

If you plan to take a taxi from GZ South Station to CAN, that means you have no problem taking a taxi from anywhere else in GZ. In this case, you should take the Mainland Coaches to GZ instead. You should be able to get out of HKG by 17:30. You should be able to arrive near CZ City centre by 20:00 as well, which takes another 30 minutes to CAN.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 7:37 am
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VietJet doesn't seem to have a flight available to Phu Quoc on Saturday, but they have a Sunday afternoon flight from HKG that will get you there for all of $85, taxes included. Cheaper than a Chinese visa!
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Old Apr 29, 19, 8:17 am
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The OP needs a visa for China or the Cathay Dragon flight. The Cathay Dragon flight is about the same price as a visa for a UK citizen, and he doesn't have time to get a visa anyway.

Alternatively a flight to Vietnam from HKG as mentioned above.

No other options are available at this stage.
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Last edited by christep; Apr 29, 19 at 9:17 am
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Old Apr 29, 19, 8:39 am
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The Cathay Dragon flight would work for TWOV, but it'd be a waste of money. There'd also be the potential for serious problems if the flight's late and the OP misses the connection to Vietnam.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 12:57 pm
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Hmm, I thought I was covered for TWOV as a UK citizen entering China by sea, air road or rail and transiting ro a third country within 24hrs. I guess I was wrong then. Appreciate the advice given.

​​​​​​I have seen that direct flight from HKG to PQC but that gets me in far too late. I only have Saturday and Sunday before I fly back to the UK from HKG in the evening on Monday, on VS.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 1:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Strawb View Post
Hmm, I thought I was covered for TWOV as a UK citizen entering China by sea, air road or rail and transiting ro a third country within 24hrs. I guess I was wrong then. Appreciate the advice given.

​​​​​​I have seen that direct flight from HKG to PQC but that gets me in far too late. I only have Saturday and Sunday before I fly back to the UK from HKG in the evening on Monday, on VS.
What gave you that impression? I just read through the transit requirements on TIMATIC and didn't notice anything standing out for rail arrivals
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Old Apr 29, 19, 4:53 pm
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Originally Posted by skywardhunter View Post
What gave you that impression? I just read through the transit requirements on TIMATIC and didn't notice anything standing out for rail arrivals
The first paragraph of this:

https://www.travelchinaguide.com/embassy/visa/free-transit-24hour.htm

I skimmed read it and must have missed this (highlighted) from above site;

If transiting in Guangzhou for less than 24 hours, you are able to apply the 24-hour TWOV from Guangzhou Baiyun airport instead of its railway stations or other ports of entry. That is, only entering and exiting Guangzhou by air, you would be issued the 24h visa-free transit under qualified travel itinerary.
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Old May 2, 19, 1:41 pm
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I took the high speed train from GZ to HK last week for the first time. It really is an amazing system. I go back 30 years when that train ride was 3 hours and not very comfortable. Now it is 1 hour.

I was very surprised by Guangzhou South Station. First of all it is huge, and it feels like you are walking into an airport, not a train station. On the down side, there are no announcements in English, and virtually no signs in English. That makes it a bit challenging for foreigners. I was surprised, as Guangzhou East Station has plenty of English.
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Old May 3, 19, 4:07 am
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1655 land HKG, 2315 ex-CAN, so called 6:20 minus check-in time in CAN (actual time you only have 4:45 for journey time)
I would say not possible. I recommend 6 hours journey time at least, or even not doing this sort of transit.

I would like to share my experience
CAN-Hong Kong (not airport), my DOH-CAN landed at 1:40pm, I claimed my baggage and went through China customs at 2:40pm. I got on the Guangzhou metro at 2:55pm
I arrived Guangzhou East station (Metro side) by 3:30pm
There was a long queue and I have lined up for 30 mins, bought the train ticket at 4pm
The train to Shenzhen depart at 4:30pm (train delay - Actual depart at 4:50pm)
I arrived at Shenzhen station at 6:15pm and Lo Wu platform by 6:40pm
(From landing to Lo Wu border, takes 5 hours)

For the inbound trip, I had a flight to catch from CAN-DOH at 0055, I live in Tsuen Wan.
I went to Guangzhou via GDHK/CTS long haul bus, I depart edat 3:40pm from Tsuan Wan arrived at Jinan University (East side of Guangzhou) by 6:40pm.
Had dinner in Guangzhou, then
with extra 1 hour transfer to metro and metro time, arrived CAN

Of course, you take HK-Guangzhou High Speed Rail is faster.
What I speculate your plan is:
landed 1700
get on the airport express train at HKG 1730
arrive West Kowloon Station: 1815
Get on the train to Guanzhou South: 1915
Arriving Guangzhou South station: 2015
Taxi and arrive CAN T1: 2135

The above is the very ideal scenario without events happening
If VS flight delayed, or long queues buying train ticket in West Kowloon, HSR train delay, traffic jam in Guangzhou, etc.
Your plan will screw up.
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Old May 3, 19, 12:01 pm
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I'm a risk taker and I'm going for it now! My flight leaves LHR just under 3 hrs' time, checked in an hour ago and hoping - praying - for an early arrival into HKG.

A few hours ago, back home in London, I booked my CAN-PQC flight for tomorrow evening. I have no idea if I will be granted a 24hr entry permit to China but I intend to go ahead with my plan! Am I crazy? I guess so, but the flight was cheap, 67, and I can afford to risk it. If it goes all screwed up at Kowloon West and I can't get on the train then I will have a same day return back to the airport for no extra cost.

I'm not sure what I will do if it doesn't go my way, if by 18:30 I can't get on the train then I might rush back to the airport and buy a ticket (assuming the fare hasn't increased) on the Cathay Dragon flight direct to CAN, departing 20:15. Not 100 sure of this yet as I will have to explore other options to get me to PQC the following day. I have a few hours to do more research. Will keep you all updated! 😁
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Old May 3, 19, 8:18 pm
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That is mad beyond belief.

Risk does not enter the equation. There is no basis on which you will be admitted to Mainland China at W Kowloon. (The new 144-hour TWOV rule in Guangdong does not apply to land entries.)

Not only will there be great hassle getting back into HK, there is the possibility you will be fined by the Mainland Chinese authorities for attempting to enter without valid documentation.
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Old May 3, 19, 9:12 pm
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Originally Posted by 889 View Post
That is mad beyond belief.

Risk does not enter the equation. There is no basis on which you will be admitted to Mainland China at W Kowloon. (The new 144-hour TWOV rule in Guangdong does not apply to land entries.)

Not only will there be great hassle getting back into HK, there is the possibility you will be fined by the Mainland Chinese authorities for attempting to enter without valid documentation.
+1

This isn't a "risk" issue; it's an "impossible to do" issue.

Even if the OP met a really nice officer at Kowloon West, they simply do not have a TWOV facility there, so this is a non-starter. I do not believe they would fine him for his ignorance, but he will certainly get denied entry.
@Strawb:
Flying from HK, even the next day, appears to be the path of least resistance.

Getting a Chinese visa, or spending big bucks on the KA flight that is often delayed, seems silly.

Just out of curiosity, what lead you to conceive of this plan in the first place? It is seriously flawed on multiple fronts.
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Old May 4, 19, 2:48 am
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On the Airport Express now, flight landed an hour early, except in my rush I left my jacket onboard with my wallet. Docked at gate 47 and I had reached gate 44 before I realised and then rushed back. Lost vital minutes but at least I cleared immigration in 30 secs.

Not sure what possessed me to do this last minute madness, guess I am kinda crazy? I will beg them, plead with them to allow me to board the train. If that fails I will head back to the airport and rethink my options. I just don't have time to waste as I fly back on Monday. Next stop Tsing Yi and then Kowloon! Woohoo!
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