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Anyone use chinatripadvisor for train tkts?

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Oct 3rd, 2010, 07:32 PM
  #1
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Anyone use chinatripadvisor for train tkts?

I'm thinking about booking my Beijing ---> Xi'an tickets for November in advance because I want the 2 berth deluxe soft sleeper. Has anyone obtained tickets from chinatripadvisor before? I'm willing to pay the $35/ticket surcharge if they are reliable.
Thanks!
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Oct 3rd, 2010, 08:54 PM
  #2
 
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Can any agency that charges you a $35 mark-up on a $106 ticket, a 33% rip-off, be regarded as 'reliable' under any circumstances? This isn't service, it's gross exploitation.

Consider that even now, right in the national holiday, there are (as I type) 8 deluxe sleeper berths remaining for the T75 to Xi'an that departs in about six hours from now, which you could buy at any station in Beijing for no mark-up at all, at any of dozens of ticket agents for a mark-up of of under a dollar, and at myriad other agencies or via your hotel for less than $5 per ticket (and typically around $3). Please, don't encourage these rip-off merchants by giving them your business.

And even if, very unusually for November, you couldn't get the two-berth compartments, there's nothing wrong with four-berth ones. This is, after all, how most sleeper compartments are on most trains across the planet.

Other than Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) there is no busier time to travel in China than right now. Over the next few days, the two-berth soft sleeper availability is:

8, 0, 0, 0 (absolute peak national holiday travelling days), 7, 5, 8, 10, 10, 10.

There's another train with these berths, too, but I haven't looked at that.

There are never any guarantees, but in November, just deal with this on arrival in Beijing and it's very unlikely you'll have a problem. But note that tickets on the trains to Beijing tend to sell out more quickly than those from Beijing, which suggests there may be a ticket tout issue in Xi'an.

Peter N-H
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Oct 4th, 2010, 07:08 PM
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I can't offer any help, but just a couple questions to consider...

How flexible is your schedule? Do you need to take the train on a specific date or can it possibly be shifted a day or so either way if needed?

Also, how much time will you have in Beijing before you want to leave?

If I had only a day in Beijing and then HAD to leave on a specific day then I'd be more likely to pay the rip-off prices than if I would have a week or more in Beijing prior to wanting to move on and could go on one of two or three days.

Good luck either way!

BTW, the China board on TripAdvisor tends to have more activity than this one. You might get more answers there.
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Oct 4th, 2010, 07:31 PM
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If I were travelling well outside peak travel season I wouldn't hesitate to book my train ticket on arrival even if I wanted to leave for Beijing the next day. I would consider my chances of getting a berth in twin soft sleepers reasonably good on that route, and I would know that I could always take soft sleeper berths in a four-bed cabin should the worst come to the worse, since there are several trains daily between Beijing and Xi'an.

If I had two or three days to spare, I certainly wouldn't worry very much, although Iowa_Redhead is quite right, and as already been said on an earlier thread, trying to plan your entire itinerary down to the last second is never a good idea in China, and a little flexibility is essential. I write as one who has taken dozens of train journeys in China without booking in advance. In China there can always be hiccups, and success is never guaranteed, but the prospects for success here are good, as has already been set out. Even right on the edge of a frantically busy public holiday tickets may often be purchased only hours before departure.

> BTW, the China board on TripAdvisor tends to have more activity than this one. You might get more answers there.

You might, but they might well not be worth the reading, as most postings there indeed are not, and about China the ignorance is comprehensive. The key facts of the situation have already been set out here in this and in an earlier thread. It's accuracy that's required here, not volume.

You should note, by the way, that even if you do pay an agency an absolutely outrageous fee, not even it will be able to purchase tickets more than 10 days in advance (with small variations for train type and locality).

Peter N-H
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Oct 4th, 2010, 08:09 PM
  #5
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Thank you both...any help with my trip order question on a different post the same day would be GREATLY appreciated!
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Jun 11th, 2015, 02:02 AM
  #6
 
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My girlfriend and I booked our 1st Class tickets from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar and from Ulaanbaatar to Moscow through chinatripadvisor.com - I have felt compelled to go online and review them positively everywhere because their service was amazing.

They helped take something that could have been incredibly costly, difficult and stressful and made it cheap, easy and carefree.

Our first set of tickets (Beijing to Ulaanbaatar) arrived to our address just outside of Seoul, couriered and with no problems about 14 days after we ordered them. Our second set of tickets arrived at our accommodation (Zaya Guest House - also excellent) on the morning of Sunday 1st March 2015, we arrived later that afternoon and were delighted to find those tickets there waiting for us - it took all the stress out of our time in Mongolia!

And the best part of all of this - despite booking 1st Class tickets, not to mention through an agency, we found the cost of this had all been cheaper than other travellers had paid for 2nd class tickets through different agencies!!

So in totality, you would be foolish not to buy from chinatripadvisor.com - I only bother to give glowing reviews like this when a company has really gone out of their way for me and they did this for me and my girlfriend through their constant e-mail replies, high quality service and help in ensuring our plan to go across Asia by train came to fruition! Thank you Alex and Yongmei!
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Jun 11th, 2015, 07:19 AM
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But their fee is very high.
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Jun 11th, 2015, 07:49 AM
  #8
 
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Of course, if you had read this thread before booking, you would have known that you didn't need a rip-off agency in the first place. If you had read it before posting, you would have known you had been ripped off.
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Jun 11th, 2015, 09:23 AM
  #9
 
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Thursday, this is a new member with only one other post pulling up a five year old thread to give a glowing advertisement to a booking agency. Is that suspicious to you?
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Jun 11th, 2015, 09:53 AM
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Of course, but I doubt he is being paid to advertise a TA site.
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Jun 11th, 2015, 11:21 AM
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California, This is the kind of post I like to see here. Here is someone who thought they got a great deal because they hadn't done their research. Then they thought that got a great deal because other travelers they met used agencies whose fees were even higher. "Whoopee! We were only overcharged by $100 when they were overcharged by $200!"

It's a good caution for others.
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