We are a couple from spain going on a trip around the world. Does someone know which is the best option to go from Shanghai to Hong kong, not plane. We've got time, and don't want to spend to much.
Does it exist any open train ticket or something similar to travel along the east cost of china? We will like to visit also some areas around Shangai, and after go to hong kong, stopping if its posible or recomended by someone that have done something like that.From Hong Kong to Guilin by train shouldn't be a problem we wish.
Thanks for any help
iker & silvina
There are no open tickets for Chinese trains. Chinese trains are easy and great accept during the busy times of the year. Depending on how much comfort you need a hard sleeper or a soft sleeper is what you want for over night trains. Remember for most cities you can only book a train from that city. So you can't purchase a ticket for Shanghai to Hong Kong in Beijing.
Also remember that once you enter Hong Kong, if you have a single entry visa, your visa will die. So make sure to get a multi entry visa. When buying train tickets either pay the charge and have someone at your hotel book for you (should be around 20 rmb) or have someone at your hotel write in CHARACTERS the name of the place you want to go to and the date. Other then Beijing or Shanghai most local chinese people have hard time understanding bad Chinese.
If going to Guilin it is easier to take an overnight bus from Hong Kong straight to Yangshou. The train runs at weird times but it is possible. Hope this was helpful.
Michael has covered it beautifully but just to let you know, it's well worth checking out seat61 for train timetables/routes. Times can change slightly but it shld help with your itinerary planning. FYI Hard sleeper in China is really is all you need, the beds aren't actually 'hard', they are the same as the soft sleeper beds just minus the net curtain on the window and there's 6 beds instead of 4. I found my train travel in China an absolute pleasure :D
Again the above two posts say it all (but I will add my little bit anyway): In China, you can only book and get your train ticket a maximum of 5 days in advance. For anything over 6 hours travel I would advise the hard sleeper. The 'soft sleeper' also includes a fold down small LCD TV (the TV station is fixed and the sound can just be a pain in the neck) - expecially if your on the top bunk. Hard sleeper is all you will need. In most big cities, Window No. 2 is for non Chinese speaking people.
NB in peek season be perpared to que for your tickets for a long long time (i.e. Spring Festival etc..)
Always keep your train ticket, you will need it to get out of the station at your destination.
Also, if you're travelling at a peak time, book your ticket as close to the 2/3/4/5 days (whenever tickets become available - it varies) in advance as you can otherwise you may find that the class that you want, or indeed the entire train, is booked out.
In China you can buy a train ticket from A to B in C, but the A sould be the start station and the B should be the terminal station. If not, you can't buy the train ticket.
You can visit Shanghai's neighbor cities such as Hangzhou, Ningbo and Suzhou if you've time. After that go to HK by train.
I think if time is not your issue, that will be easy to travel in east coast of China. You could take either train or bus. I prefer train than bus because train is more safe. However, buses connect every places around country and are flexible to reach more places than train. If you want to cover more on your journey, you have to take bus because no train is available in some areas.
I don't think you could save a lot on your budget. You have to buy your bus or train ticket in each segment you travel. When accumulating together, fares would be a large amount if you will stop as many as places around east coast of China. In china, we don't have any train pass or bus ticket pass to cover some period (for eaxmple one month) and allow you stop many times in your journey. -snip-.
Hope my post will help.
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]