hong kong to Beijing train

Jan 14th, 2003, 03:01 PM
  #1  
joan rose
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hong kong to Beijing train

Has anyone taken the overnight train from Hong Kong to Beijing? We are planning this journey on March 9, and would like to know what to expect, in the way of sleeping arrangements (deluxe soft sleeper) and food and snacks. I know it is a 27-hour trip, but hope to see something of the Chinese countryside.
Also would like reports on likely weather in Beijing in mid-March.
Thank you
joan
 
Jan 14th, 2003, 05:19 PM
  #2  
Ricky
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Regarding the weather, check http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weather.php3?s=011545&refer=
 
Jan 14th, 2003, 05:34 PM
  #3  
Peter N-H
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I've done this journey several times.

Deluxe soft sleeper has two beds in a single compartment, one across from the other (and is a very rare class--don't expect to see this again on trips around China). You also get your own digital display, although that's in Chinese (and can be turned off). Otherwise facilities are the same as they are in standard soft sleeper. There's a washroom at one end of the car, and Western and Chinese squat lavatories at either end. You'll find the staff smartly uniformed, fairly attentive by Chinese standards, and the carriage and compartment fairly clean.

Restaurant car food is poor, and expensive by Chinese restaurant standards. Trolleys will bring round regrettable boxed lunches, snacks, mineral water, beer, etc. You're much better to shop in Hong Kong supermarkets for what pleases you, and have a good lunch before your 3pm departure. You arrive in Beijing in plenty of time to find a good dinner. Boiled water is constantly available, so bring tea, coffee, soup, instant noodles, etc. if you must have something hot.

Anything you might want to buy on the train is sold for Chinese RMB, and if you pay in HK$ you'll pay at one for one, and get change in RMB. You'll also need Chinese cash as soon as you get off the train, so make sure you purchase some in Hong Kong. Exchange shops in streets away from the main shopping areas have the best rates.

Don't get too settled in or store your luggage over the door when you first board. In less than an hour you have to get off the train and take *all* your luggage to go through Chinese customs and immigration. Larger baggage will be X-rayed, so keep your film on your person. Have pens ready--there are forms to be filled in before you join the queues to enter.

If you're lucky, March will have pleasantly warm days and cool evenings, and a breeze will blow away much of the pollution actually allowing you to see more than a block or two ahead. On the other hand you may experience sand storms (last year was particularly bad). On average, though, spring is second best time to visit after the autumn, and there should already be some blossom around on the hillsides around the city.

Peter N-H
http://members.axion.net/~pnh/China.html
 
Jan 16th, 2003, 05:04 AM
  #4  
Elginah
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And what would the cost of this train ride be? We'll be in Beijing & Hong Kong at about the same time.
Thanks.
 
Jan 16th, 2003, 11:01 AM
  #5  
Peter N-H
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In HK$ (the price in Beijing is in RMB Yuan at the current exchange rate):

Deluxe soft sleeper HK$1191
Soft sleeper HK$934
Hard sleeper HK$601 (bottom berth--the middle is about HK$14 cheaper, and the top HK$27 cheaper).

Agents on-line add a monstrous HK$200 per ticket (33% of a hard sleeper ticket), so buy when there.

NB: In 2003 the train leaves HK on odd days in March and even days in April; the other way around from Beijing.

Peter N-H
http://members.axion.net/~pnh/China.html
 
Nov 1st, 2010, 05:05 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 166
Can anyone update this thread? I want to combine a trip to Beijing with a brief stop in Macao before flying out of Hong Kong and this train seems like a possibility. But I'm a single traveler--are the compartments private or do I have to purchase 2 tickets to get a compartment all to myself? Where do I purchase tickets and is the line crowded so I'll need to purchase before I arrive in China?

Any updated info on the overnight train from beijing to Hong Kong/Macao is appreciated?
Roundtrip is offline  
Nov 1st, 2010, 06:17 PM
  #7  
 
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You might do better to start your own thread. See seat61.com for info on what train travel in China is like. If you want a private compartment you will have to buy all the seats, although I travel solo and have no problem sharing the compartment. Tickets for Chinese trains typically go on sale only 10 days or so ahead, and are best bought in country from an agency. Or I think ctrip.com may sell train tickets. Take your own food, there will be boiling hot water available.
thursdaysd is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2010, 03:34 AM
  #8  
 
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I took the train from Shanghai to HK recently so I can give you info if you like...you must purchase both berths in a two-berth luxury sleeper if you want the cabin to yourself. Better to start a new thread.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2010, 09:47 AM
  #9  
 
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Thank you, EK. I'm just starting my research and came across a reference to a website, seat61.com, that had some further information. Once I get my plans more settled, I'll ask more detailed questions in a new thread.
Roundtrip is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2010, 11:08 AM
  #10  
 
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OK! BTW: I loved that train ride.

Also, in 2007, I took the overnight train from Beijing to Shanghai in a private compartment; a few details here--see posts dated May 5 an May 6, 2007:



http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...g-shanghai.cfm
ekscrunchy is offline  
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