Bullet to Beijing… Hong Kong West Kowloon to Beijing by high-speed train at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).
Full particulars of how to purchase tickets. For different Chinese train routes & a newbie’s information to train journey in China, see the Train Travel in China web page…
Kowloon to Beijing, 1,516 miles in 8h56…
The Hong Kong high-speed rail hyperlink opened on 23 September 2018, and it is now attainable to journey between Hong Kong & Beijing in a single day. A every day bullet-nosed Fuxing train covers the two,441 km or 1,516 miles in a exceptional 8h56 – that is an end-to-end common of 168 mph together with 6 station stops. You expertise China’s spectacular new high-speed rail community when you take within the surroundings, atone for your studying and revel in a beer or two from the bar automotive. The high-speed rail hyperlink from Hong Kong to China is collectively operated by Chinese Railways Guangzhou division and MTR (the Hong Kong transit firm), though the train to Beijing is run by the Chinese.
How a lot does it price?
How to purchase tickets
Boarding at Hong Kong West Kowloon
What is the high-speed train like?
What’s the journey like?
Travel suggestions: Luggage, meals & drink, WiFi…
Video information: Hong Kong to Beijing by high-speed train
Hotels in Hong Kong & Beijing
Other train & ferry companies from Hong Kong
Train instances northbound…
In Hong Kong, the stationis Hong Kong West Kowloon Terminus, the brand new high-speed train terminal which opened in 2018. See map of Hong Kong exhibiting station location. You ought to arrive at the least 45 minutes earlier than the train leaves to full Hong Kong & mainland China border formalities.
Border formalities when leaving Hong Kong: Hong Kong & Chinese border formalities happen at Hong Kong West Kowloon station earlier than you board the train. You ought to arrive on the station at the least 45 minutes earlier than your train, though I discovered we had been by way of formalities and ready within the departure lounge a mere quarter-hour after coming into the station. It would possibly take longer at busy instances! On arrival in Beijing there aren’t any additional formalities, you simply stroll out of the station.
Train instances southbound…
In Beijing the station is Beijing West (Beijing Xi in Chinese), see map of Beijing exhibiting stations. You ought to arrive on the station in good time (maybe 20-Half-hour earlier than departure) as there is a baggage X-ray verify when coming into the station, however there is no such thing as a check-in as such.
Border formalities when travelling in the direction of Hong Kong: There aren’t any formalities to undergo earlier than boarding the train in Beijing, aside from the standard ticket verify and X-ray baggage scan which you need to count on when coming into any Chinese station, whether or not mainline or metro. Beijing West is an enormous place so do not lower it fantastic, however turning up 20-Half-hour earlier than your train is enough. Hong Kong & Chinese border formalities happen at Hong Kong West Kowloon station after the train arrives. You take the lifts or escalators from the platform on Level B4 up to Level B2 the place you undergo mainland China passport management, mainland China customs (one other X-ray bag verify!) after which Hong Kong passport management. It took me simply 25 minutes to cross by way of Chinese exit & Hong Kong entry formalities from the time my train arrived to the time I walked out of Hong Kong West Kowloon station into Austin MTR metro station, though at very busy instances it may take up to an hour.
How a lot does it price?
How to purchase tickets…
Buy tickets in both path at www.chinahighlights.com, a dependable company that I can suggest.
You accumulate tickets on the station both in Hong Kong or Beijing, see under for a way to accumulate tickets at Hong Kong West Kowloon or see right here for recommendation on accumulating tickets in China together with at Beijing.
You can even purchase tickets on the MTR high-speed rail web site www.highspeed.mtr.com.hk, however if you happen to use this you possibly can solely accumulate tickets in Hong Kong, not in Beijing or anyplace in China. You can’t use the official Chinese Railways web site 12306.cn because it’s solely in Chinese, solely accepts Chinese financial institution playing cards and requires Chinese ID playing cards – which is why you want to use one of many companies beneficial above.
Tip: These high-speed trains have an allocation of seats/tickets on the Chinese Railways ticketing system and a separate allocation of seats/tickets on the Hong Kong (MTR) ticketing system. If you purchase by way of the Chinese system (for instance, utilizing www.chinahighlights.com) you possibly can accumulate, change or cancel tickets at any Chinese station together with Beijing, in addition to at Hong Kong West Kowloon Terminus on the counters geared up with the Chinese ticketing system. However, if you happen to ebook by way of the MTR system (for instance utilizing the MTR web site) tickets can solely be collected, modified or cancelled at Hong Kong West Kowloon Terminus on the counters geared up with the MTR system. You can’t change or cancel tickets at a Chinese station if you happen to purchased them by way of the MTR ticketing system. It can due to this fact be higher to purchase by way of the Chinese system, for instance utilizing www.chinahighlights.com.
Alternatively, take a sleeper between Hong Kong & Beijing…
There’s additionally a basic sleeper train from Hong Kong’s Hung Hom station to Beijing West each second day taking round 24 hours, and if you happen to do not thoughts a change of train at Shenzhen or Guangzhou South, a high-speed sleeper possibility that’s the most time-effective of all as you possibly can go away within the night and arrive within the morning, sleeping in a snug mattress on board the train. They’re each cheaper than the high-speed day train. You’ll discover these choices defined on the Train journey from Hong Kong web page.
Hong Kong West Kowloon station…
If you arrive on foot, you enter at floor degree (Level G). Most of the station is underground.
Ticketing & departures concourse…
One ground down from floor degree is Level B1, the Ticketing & Departures Concourse. If you arrive by taxi, there is a taxi drop-off at this degree. If you arrive by metro at Austin MTR station, observe the indicators from the metro ticket corridor by way of a brief pedestrian tunnel sloping gently upwards instantly into this degree. Levels G, B1 & B2 curve round an unlimited atrium, the photograph under is taken from Level B1.
On Level B1 you may discover the ticket counters, the doorway to departures, ticket machines, outlets & cafes. The degree under, B2, is for arrivals. The seats you possibly can see on the backside of the atrium are the departure lounge on Level B3 the place you wait in your train to board. The platforms & trains are underground on degree B4.
On the Ticketing & Departures Concourse Level B1 there’s a row of 28 ticket counters, see the photograph under. Window 1 is on the left, window 28 is on the suitable. All ticket counters are clearly marked with their goal, with an environment friendly queuing line. It can simply change, however on the time of writing:
Counters 1-5 are on the market of mainland China tickets. If you wished to purchase a ticket from Guangzhou to Beijing, go right here.
Counters 6-10 are for assortment of mainland China tickets, together with tickets from Hong Kong to China booked by way of the Chinese Railways ticketing system. If you booked by way of an company who used the Chinese ticketing system, you’d accumulate tickets right here.
Counters 11-20 are for ticket gross sales from Hong Kong to or from China. These home windows will use the MTR ticketing system.
Counters 21-25 are for assortment of tickets booked by way of the MTR ticketing system, both on the MTR High-Speed Rail web site or if you happen to booked by way of an company who sourced your tickets from the MTR system.
Counters 26 & 27 are for ticket alterations, refunds, misplaced tickets, that means tickets purchased by way of the MTR system.
Counter 28 is marked precedence and has a decrease wheelchair-accessible counter for all functions.
On this quiet February day (even on the tail finish of the Chinese Spring Holiday) there have been no queues at these counters and accumulating tickets solely took a minute or two. But it might be busier in summer time or at peak vacation instances, suggestions is at all times appreciated.
Ignore the self-service ticket machines, that means each the various MTR machines and the machines signed 12306.cn (the identify of the Chinese Railways official web site). These solely work for gross sales or assortment when you’ve got a Hong Kong or Mainland China ID card, which most guests will not. You will want to go to a staffed counter.
Customs & immigration on departure from Hong Kong…
You ought to get to the station for boarding at the least 45 minutes earlier than the departure of your train.
The entrance to departures is clearly marked on Level B1, see the photograph under – if I swung the digital camera to the left you’d see the ticketing counters. The atrium is behind me. At the doorway a member of employees checks you’ve gotten a sound ticket, then a number of metres additional on you place your ticket by way of an automated ticket gate.
You then put your baggage by way of an X-ray baggage scan and stroll by way of the metallic detector. It’s a lot faster than at an airport, there isn’t any fumbling with laptops or massive plastic bins, no removing of belts or footwear, you actually simply place your bag instantly on the conveyor and choose it up on the opposite facet, it takes a minute or two.
You now descend the escalators or use the lifts to Level B3.
On Level B3 you first undergo the Hong Kong passport verify. There are automated passport gates, these labored simply fantastic with a UK passport.
You then stroll on over the broad yellow line on the ground marking the place Hong Kong authority adjustments to mainland China.
Now comes the mainland China passport verify. There are one or two separate counters for foreigner guests. On this February day there was no queue, I used to be by way of in a minute or two as soon as my passport had been checked and my face and fingerprints scanned and confirmed.
Immediately after the mainland China passport verify there’s one more baggage X-ray, this time for mainland China customs.
You emerge into the departure lounge with loads of seating within the backside of the huge atrium, see the photograph under. On this event the entire course of took quarter-hour from coming into Departures on Level B1 to sitting within the departure lounge on Level B4, however it might take longer at busy instances.
If you’ve gotten a enterprise class ticket you need to use the enterprise lounge. This means going up one degree by carry to Level B2, but it surely’s clearly marked. Your ticket is checked on the reception desk. The lounge is spacious however slightly empty, these home windows overlook the principle departure lounge under. I used to be provided a pleasant cup of Chinese tea, however there are few different advantages. You return to degree B3 when boarding begins…
Boarding the train…
Your ticket might present the boarding gate quantity at high proper, mine confirmed Gate 7B. The gates are positioned at both finish of the departure lounge, all clearly signed. The platforms are numbered 4 to 18. Platforms 4-9 are lengthy sufficient to take 16-car trains, platforms 10-18 solely lengthy sufficient for 8-car trains. The ‘A’ gates are on the southern finish of every platform, for boarding 8-car trains or the rear 8 automobiles of a 16-car train. The ‘B’ gates are on the northern finish of platforms 4-9 for boarding the entrance 8 automobiles of a 16-car train.
Boarding begins 10-20 minutes earlier than departure. Your ticket is checked on the gate, both by employees or by placing it by way of an automated gate. You then go down an escalator or in a carry to the platform on Level B4.
What is the high-speed train like?
The G80 and it is southbound equal the G79 are operated by 16-car CR400AF Fuxing (revival) high-speed trains. These are the world’s quickest passenger trains, designed for up to 400 km/h and working in service at up to 350 km/h (217 mph), though you are unlikely to exceed 300 km/h (186 mph) on this route. The train has 2nd class, 1st class & enterprise class plus a small cafe counter promoting Chinese tea, espresso, beer, snacks & microwaved sizzling dishes. Unlike another Chinese high-speed trains there aren’t any sit-down cafe tables, simply the serving counter.
Business class seats are organized 2+1 throughout the automotive width, apart from the pair of seats instantly behind the driving cab at every finish of the train the place the train physique tapers, the place seats are 1+1 throughout the automotive width. On this 16-car CR400AF-A train, the entire of automotive 1 is enterprise class, and there is additionally a small 5-seat enterprise class space at different finish of the train in automotive 16, seen right here. Car 1 is generally on the rear & automotive 16 on the entrance when going north to Beijing, automotive 1 on the entrance & automotive 16 on the rear when heading south to Hong Kong. The seats recline electrically and turn into a flat mattress on the contact of a button, a blanket & cushion are provided. Each seat has an influence socket. The fare consists of one sizzling tray meal (pictured under proper) and a gradual stream of Chinese tea, espresso, apple juice, orange juice or tender drinks. You’ll additionally get a complimentary field of unusual Chinese biscuits & sweets. There’s a VIP lounge for enterprise class passengers at Beijing West & Hong Kong West Kowloon. Business class is dear even by western requirements, however if you happen to can stretch that far it is effectively value it. Click the pictures for bigger photographs…
What’s the journey like?
This is a 1,516 mile journey proper throughout China, solely utilizing China’s large and increasing high-speed rail community. The spectacular scale of this community and of the huge high-speed rail stations in these cities wants to be seen to be appreciated…
The first half from Hong Kong West Kowloon to the Chinese border is underground, with velocity restricted to 200 km/h. The train emerges into daylight on the border and shortly afterwards calls on the large new Shenzhenbei (Shenzhen North) station, pictured above…
Once in China the train retains up a gradual 300 km/h (186 mph), stopping at 6 main cities between Kowloon & Beijing for only a few minutes every.
You actually get a really feel for how briskly China is creating…
Just 50 minutes after leaving Kowloon – a 2 hour journey by basic train – the G80 arrives into Guangzhou’s huge South station…
After Guangzhou you may see loads of rural valleys and rice fields in southern China – though it one way or the other by no means turns into as deeply rural as you would possibly count on.
With a succession of valleys and tunnels, that is maybe probably the most scenic a part of the journey…
…on this February day the hills had been shrouded in mist.
Villages, cities, business, limitless half-finished development websites…
The train calls at Changsha South station, with one other CR400A Fuxing on the opposite facet of the platform…
In distinction to the hills & valleys down south, you may now see mile after mile of flatlands additional north in the direction of Beijing. In many fields you may see a number of unusual piles of stones wanting like graves – which is precisely what they’re. Traditional subject graves may be seen dotted throughout rural China, which might’t make ploughing or planting any simpler.
Entering Beijing West station, with a basic green-and-yellow sleeper train leaving from a far monitor…
Arrival at Beijing…
There aren’t any formalities to undergo on arrival at Beijing West (Beijing Xi in Chinese) as these had been all finished in Hong Kong. Just bear in mind to hold your ticket as you want to go away the station by way of automated ticket gates. Also be ready for one more baggage X-ray on the entrance to the metro – however you may quickly get used to this in China!
Travel suggestions: Luggage, meals, energy sockets…
Car & seat numbering…
This is a 16-car train. When travelling north in the direction of Beijing, automotive 1 is normally on the rear & automotive 16 on the entrance. When heading south to Hong Kong, automotive 1 is normally on the entrance & automotive 16 on the rear.
Read more: Flights from Hong Kong Intl to Beijing
Seats are numbered with a row quantity then a seat letter, like on a aircraft. In 2nd class the place seats are 3+2 throughout the automotive width the seat letters are ABC-aisle-DF. In 1st class with 2+2 seating the seat letters are AC-aisle-DF. In enterprise class the seat letters are AC-aisle-F apart from the pair of seats behind the driving force’s cab at every finish of the train that are lettered A-aisle-F.
So in all courses, A & F are at all times window seats. C & D are at all times aisle seats. B is the undesirable center seat of three in 2nd class.
The baggage restrict on Chinese trains is 20 Kg for adults & 10 Kg for youngsters, and the utmost dimension of any merchandise mustn’t exceed 130cm on these G-category trains. However, in apply no-one weighs or measures your baggage, so long as they comfortably match by way of the safety X-ray machines and you’ll carry them onto the train, you may be fantastic. If you really need to transport huge portions of baggage you possibly can pay for a baggage ticket for luggage in extra of the official limits.
You take your baggage with you onto the train and put them on the bags racks both above your seat or (bigger gadgets) on the automotive ends, simply as on any European train. Bags are X-rayed earlier than coming into the station (Beijing) or as a part of the departures course of (Hong Kong).
Food & drink…
You can take meals & drink with you, or purchase easy microwaved tray meals, snacks & drinks (together with beer) from the buffet counter positioned in automotive 9. The buffet accepts RMB however not HK$. Have some money with you, do not reckon on it accepting playing cards.
Business class tickets embrace a sizzling tray meal and a gradual circulation of complimentary tea, espresso & tender drinks plus a ‘welcome field’ of varied Chinese sweets.
There’s a boiling water dispenser in every automotive – excellent for making noodles, tea or espresso if you happen to deliver the mandatory supplies alongside!
Important tip: When leaving Hong Kong West Kowloon station, top off with meals & drink on Level B1 earlier than coming into departures. At current there aren’t any cafes or outlets within the departure lounge.
Power sockets & WiFi…
There are energy sockets in any respect seats, 220v, Chinese plug kind, and a USB port. In concept there’s free WiFi on board however this requires a code to be despatched to a Chinese cell phone so international guests can’t use it. Just join a cell knowledge package deal out of your telephone supplier, there may be good 3G/4G reception alongside most of this route. Using cell knowledge on a international SIM card will get round China blocking entry to Google, Facebook, Twitter and so forth, however you may want to pay for a VPN to get round these restrictions when utilizing WiFi, see extra info right here.
Toilets & baby-changing services…
There are each squat and western-style bathrooms in every automotive, very clear, with cleaning soap and bathroom paper. There are baby-changing services in sure automobiles. The train additionally has at the least one wheelchair-accessible rest room.
All the departure screens, signage and so forth is in English in addition to Chinese. The system is remarkably organised and straightforward to navigate.
China’s high-speed trains are way more punctual than it is home flights. Flights are infamous for delays, allegedly at the least 45-60 minutes delay is typical. The high-speed trans usually run on time though we got here to an unscheduled cease in central China so arrived 17 minutes late.
Video information: Hong Kong to Beijing by train…
In Hong Kong: The well-known Peninsula Hotel, verify costs & ebook…
The oldest and most well-known resort in Hong Kong is undoubtedly the venerable 5-star Peninsula Hotel, opened in 1928. Used as HQ by the Japanese in WW2, it was on this resort that the governor of Hong Kong surrendered to Japanese forces on 25 December 1941. For extra concerning the historical past of the resort see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Peninsula_Hong_Kong. The Peninsula prices 5-star costs and could be outdoors many travellers’ finances, however afternoon tea within the grand foyer has turn into one thing of an establishment and prices slightly lower than a room! The resort is positioned in Kowloon, 5 minutes stroll from the Star Ferry terminal, one cease on the MTR metro from Austin (for Hong Kong West Kowloon High Speed Rail Terminal) and 17 minutes stroll from Hung Hom station from the place the standard trains to China go away. You additionally get very good views throughout Hong Kong Harbour from the large glass viewing home windows on the Felix bar & restaurant on the twenty eighth ground of the tower on the rear, though at virtually £10 for a beer it is not low-cost. Check costs & ebook the Peninsula Hotel. Tip: Ask for a room within the unique 1928 constructing on the entrance if historical past issues to you, as half the rooms at the moment are in a contemporary tower on the rear opened in 1994, simply seen within the background within the photograph under proper, rising above the previous constructing.
In Beijing: Beijing Hotel Nuo Forbidden City, verify costs & ebook…
The Beijing Hotel Nuo Forbidden City dates from 1917, making it one of many oldest lodges in Beijing, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beijing_Hotel. It’s beautifully positioned only a few minutes stroll alongside the principle street to Tiananmen Square and the doorway to the Forbidden City, and three minutes stroll from Wanfujing Metro Station. Service is superb and the colonial-style rooms spacious. An in depth breakfast buffet is served within the trendy extension behind the principle constructing. The resort was initially Block B of the Beijing Hotel, Block C subsequent door courting from 1954 is now the Beijing Grand Hotel and Block D courting from 1974 retains the identify Beijing Hotel and is a state-run resort. Tip: The resort has some rooms within the unique 1917 block and others within the trendy block behind, ask for a room within the unique 1917 constructing.
A less expensive possibility, nonetheless with good opinions and cheap location, strive the Pentahotel Beijing. It’s casual, comfy, and strolling distance from Beijing Railway station – though you are higher off taking a taxi when you’ve got baggage. There’s a bar and noodle bar downstairs.
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Read more How to travel from hong kong to beijing – Indochina Airlines