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China rail tickets

Travel Forums Asia China rail tickets

1. Posted by Mohson (Budding Member 12 posts) 7y

Hey everyone,

I am in the early stages of planning an itinerary whilst I am in China/HK in Feb 2010. I think the best way to travel is by train. As I am arriving in China on 14th February this coincides with the Chinese New Year which will be fantastic. However, previous replies to my previous questions has made me think about travelling during this period. Could anyone elaborate on issues such as obtaining rail tickets during this time. Preferably, I would like to pre-book tickets from the UK so at least I know I have tickets to certain destinations. I would like to be spontaneous, but some planning is good right - especially trying to obtain tickets during a peak time. My definate plans are to obtain tickets for the following:-
1. Beijing to Xian
2. Xian to Shanghai

Dependent on time constraints, I would like to also leave Shanghai and then onto Guilin, followed by Guangzhou for a day and then onto Hong Kong. If I do not have ample time whilst in Shanghai, I will go direct to Hong Kong where I will fly back from.

I have made enquiries with two organisations so far. Has anyone had the experience of dealing with these. Or, is it better to just be spontaneous and chance it when I am in China to book at least the above two tickets.

http://www.chinatraintickets.net (tickets priced competitively)
http://www.thechinatravelcompany.com/pages/trips/china-rail-packages.php (seems tad more expensive)

Any info/advice/guidance will be gladly accepted.
Thanks, Mohson

2. Posted by Cyberia (Travel Guru 1827 posts) 7y

China is a very big country. Rail travel is not cheap and the novelty of spending an endless time on a train can soon wear off. I found air travel very reasonably priced and efficient there and you get where you are going very quickly instead of wasting whole days.

Beijing deserves a lot of time. Xian you have the terracotta warriors and maybe the bell tower/fort in the centre of town so a day, and maybe a full day in Shanghai. A day is ample for Guangzhou and if you haven't been there before, some days in Hong Kong.

Chinese New Year finds most places shut. Great if you want to photograph parades, etc but not really any good for seeing the sights or travelling. You can find lots of people travelling just before and after it, clogging up the transport. I would miss it by at least a week if I were you.

3. Posted by citybell (Full Member 419 posts) 7y

As far as i know., you can book train tickets only 10days in advance. So if you cannot book train tickets in advance by yourself, you can ask your hotel or travel agent to do this for you.

During Chinese new year , everything, hotel, train fares etc will be expensive and too difficult to get.So reserve hotels in advance.

Have a great time.