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Trav_Eller Nov 20th, 2011 06:23 PM

Hong Kong to Shanghai T100 train.
I'm still looking at all sorts of alternatives for my April trip. One that looks very attractive is the T100 deluxe sleeper to Shanghai.

Has any reader taken that train? How did you arrange your tickets? I have already emailed MTR and received a fairly unhelpful response which makes it clear I have to wait until 60 days prior to the journey, but does not make it clear how I then book the tickets online. I want to ensure booking of the two-person deluxe sleeper, not the 4-berth compartment.

What are the dining arrangements on board? is there a restaurant car; if not, are there places to buy food on board?

Any other relevant information would also be greatly appreciated.

Cheers, Alan, Australia.
Born Under a Wandering Star

thursdaysd Nov 20th, 2011 07:43 PM

Have you read the information here: ?

Trav_Eller Nov 20th, 2011 08:13 PM

"Have you read the information here: ?"

Yes, I have, but I'm reviewing it now in case I missed something; thanks.

I used that marvellous site quite a lot in preparing my recent rail journey through Europe:

angel1 Nov 20th, 2011 11:53 PM

We recently taken T101 sleeper train from Shanghai. We were not able to get T99 from Shanghai to Hunghom, so had to take T101. There is no food served, but you can buy few things that are on sale on trolleys. You cannot buy it online. We availed services of and we are happy though the price is high. But you can atleast be assured of the ticket. Otherwise flight cost is very high.

Trav_Eller Nov 21st, 2011 12:42 AM

Thanks for the information Angel1. How long before your trip did you buy the tickets?

Does the T101 go beyond Shenzen into Kowloon or did you change to the connecting MTR train there? Does it have deluxe 2-person sleepers or only 4-berth soft and 6 berth hard?

Cheers, Alan, Australia.
Born Under a Wandering Star

ekscrunchy Nov 21st, 2011 02:19 AM

I took the deluxe sleeper train from Shanghai to Hong Kong in a two-berth compartment. There was a dining car but I suggest bringing food onboard. I wrote details in my trip report from 2010; it was a wonderful ride and I was sorry it was over so soon!

rkkwan Nov 21st, 2011 02:31 AM

There are dining cars on most of the long-distance trains in China, but quality and value varies. Still, cost is quite reasonable. Or you can buy their snacks, or since there is boiling hot water available at the end of each car, just buy some cup noodles before journey.

You cannot buy the T100 tickets on-line. You can use some agent in Hong Kong that charges you a lot; while personally, I have helped readers from other forums buy their tickets in Hong Kong 60 days out. I don't mind doing the same if you trust me.

The only train that goes straight from Hung Hum in Hong Kong to Shanghai is the every-other-day T100. Other trains you have to board in Shenzhen or Guangzhou, and I don't think any of those have the 2-berth deluxe soft-sleeper. Plus, you have the hassle of going through immigration with the crowds at Lowu.

angel1 Nov 21st, 2011 10:10 PM

T101 is only up to Shenzhen. After immigration formalities at Lo Wu, you need to walk a bit to MTR station where you can buy ticket. We bought ticket to Tsim Sha Sui for which we had to change the subway line at Hunghom. We paid online to about 25 days before train departure date. The ticket sale starts 10 days before the departure and stops about 4-5 days before the departure. We wanted to travel directly to Hung hom with T99 but Chinatripadvisor could not get the tickets and asked us for alternative. We had no other option but to travel to Shenzhen and then to Kowloon. We were on low budget so we were booked on 6 bed (hardbed), but I will advise you to book on softbed though it is expensive. The reason is 6-hardbed compartment was crowded and dirty.

Trav_Eller Nov 23rd, 2011 12:27 PM

@rkkwan. Thank you for the kind offer. I hope to use an agent and I'm still investigating that, but the offer is appreciated and I may be in touch.

@angel1. Thanks for the additional info.

I have wandered much of the world, including India and SE Asia, alone but my wife will be going through culture shock in a strange land. We are in our '60s so comfort wins over adventure :)

For that reason we will be needing the two-berth private deluxe sleeper; if we cannot get that we must take day trains or fly. I love train travel (my last odyssey was through Europe by rail) which is why I am trying to get one of the deluxe sleepers on this part of my trip. I have worked out an alternative route using fast G and D trains from Guangzhou via Zhuzhou, but the T101 overnight is much preferred.

Cheers, Alan, Australia.
Born Under a Wandering Star

JPDeM Nov 24th, 2011 12:39 AM

Are you taking the train for the scenery or save money? (no need for hotel room). Just to warn you that the scenery is nothing special.
If it is about saving money, check the website of Spring airlines, the only discount airline in China:
Flying with most Chinese airlines to Shenzhen is also much cheaper than flying to HK. Check domestic flights on

Trav_Eller Nov 24th, 2011 01:22 PM

"Are you taking the train for the scenery or save money? (no need for hotel room). Just to warn you that the scenery is nothing special."

Neither. Definitely not to save money; I know the deluxe sleeper is more expensive than air. Partly scenery; it doesn't have to be special, just different to home. But mainly because my wife detests air travel and I enjoy train travel.

We will be taking several flights already (Coolangatta-Sydney-Hong Kong, Xi'An-Guilin, Guilin-Kuala Lumpur-Brisbane) so I am hoping to do most of the rest of the trip by rail. The rough rail itinerary, still in planning and changing daily, is:

Hong Kong-Shanghai T100
Shanghai-Hangzhou-Suzhou-Beijing G and D trains
Beijing-Taiyuan D train
Taiyaun-Pingyao-Xi'An T trains (daytime)

Cheers, Alan, Australia.
Born Under a Wandering Star

jobin Nov 24th, 2011 05:24 PM

What r u doing in Taiyuan? During the cold months especially, a massively dirty place. Coal dust covers every surface and coal smoke coats the lungs. Have a nice train ride. I suggest Baoding.

Trav_Eller Nov 25th, 2011 12:45 AM

"What r u doing in Taiyuan?"

Good question.

Taiyuan is being used a connection hub. My destination at that point is Pingyao. The overnight K603 train takes over 12 hours Beijing-Pingyao.

There are two morning D trains from Beijing to Taiyuan that take less than four hours. They arrive in time to connect with the K trains to Pingyao in the afternoon which take about an hour and a half. That gives me two daylight train rides (with scenery) that take a total time less than half that of the night train. A bonus is that the combined first class/soft seat fares are less than the K603 soft sleeper and a lot less than a deluxe cabin.

I'll be there in April, BTW.

Cheers, Alan, Australia.
Born Under a Wandering Star

JPDeM Nov 26th, 2011 09:58 PM

You may want to consider getting to Pingyao from Xi'An. Check this possibility in the schedules.
After a couple of train rides you may change your mind about the scenery....

Trav_Eller Nov 26th, 2011 10:30 PM

"You may want to consider getting to Pingyao from Xi'An."

I intend the reverse, continuing to Xi'an from Pingyao. I am also considering stops en-route at Jiexiu (for Mianshan) and Yongji (for Puzhou) depending on time available.

Do you reckon the scenery is boring, or is there a different problem? :)

Cheers, Alan, Australia.
Born Under a Wandering Star

qwovadis Nov 27th, 2011 03:09 AM

AirAsia has 9 one stop flights daily between Hong Kong/ShangHai WAY better than train for me. others

Not a fan of sleepers even deluxe to much disruption

'train lag' for any kind of decent experience quality sleep.

I like day trains a lot very scenic and cheap but not sleepers

So I would fly.. Happy Travels!

thursdaysd Nov 27th, 2011 05:51 AM

QV if, for once, you had bothered to read what the OP wrote, you would have seen that he IS a fan of train travel. As am I. Just because you have trouble sleeping on trains doesn't mean everyone does. Or that the advantages of trains over planes might not outweigh one night of sub-par sleep.

Trav_Eller Nov 27th, 2011 02:02 PM

Thanks thursdaysd. Nice to meet another trainophile.

Nothing to do with China, but just to set the context, this is an extract from my blog noting part of the itinerary of a trip to Europe earlier this year:

<i>I have loved train travel since I was small, travelling across New South Wales and later Victoria by steam and diesel in the '50s and '60s. I wrote a little more about that when I described a nostalgic train trip on my Australian blog:
Thus, the itinerary for this trip included the following:

Stansted Express from Stansted to London.
Eurostar, from London St Pancras to Paris Gare de Lyon via the Chunnel.
Lyria TGV, from Paris to Lausanne.
Swiss Rail, from Lausanne to Visp, changing for Zermatt.
Gornergrat, to the Alp from Zermatt.
Glacier Express, from Zermatt to Chur.
Bernina Express, from Chur to Tirano.
Trenitalia local from Tirano to Milan.
Trenitalia Intercity from Milan to Venice St Lucia.
Overnight Sleeper from Venice St Lucia to Zagreb.
Bosnia and Herzegovina local from Mostar to Sarajevo.
MS Lev Tolstoy from St Petersburg to Moscow.

In addition to those I used local metros whenever available in the towns I passed through.</i>

Last year's trip included the Andean Express from Lake Titicaca to Cusco and a bit of the rail section on to Macchu Pichu.

I just like trains. Add my wife's detestation of planes and airports and the decision becomes easy. Until you then add her dislike for 4-berth sleepers in China :)

Cheers, Alan, Australia.
Born Under a Wandering Star

thursdaysd Nov 27th, 2011 02:44 PM

Hi Alan,

Sounds like a great trip with all those Swiss trains! I think I may hold the edge for distance, though. My 2004-5 RTW included 17,000 miles by train from Scotland to Saigon (see ) I'm currently planning a Coast-to-Coast-to-Coast trip on Amtrak and VIA Rail.

The soft sleepers in China, at least on the east coast routes, are really very nice. Traveling alone I'm always in four-berth and had no problems in China. I change into a long-sleeved top in the bathroom, and then take my trousers off after I get into "bed", and am very comfortable!

Trav_Eller Nov 27th, 2011 02:59 PM

Thanks; the long-distance AMTRAK is on my to-do list. So far I've just been Penn Station NYC-Buffalo and Union Station DC to NYC. As you pass through St Louis on your cross-country journey take a side trip to the Renaissance Hotel that includes preserved sections of the old Union Station.

The problem with 4-berth in China is not comfort but privacy for my wife.

I must check to see if Fodors has a trains section before I hijack this topic further. Or maybe there's one on Seat 61 :)

Cheers, Alan, Australia.
Born Under a Wandering Star

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