Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

xuechengfeng

Buying a train ticket in Beijing

Recommended Posts

xuechengfeng

I need to buy a train ticket from Beijing to Qingdao. I'll fly in around 3 p.m. I think most of the trains to Qingdao are overnight, leaving around 10 p.m. or so. If I go right to the train station the day I fly in, should I be able to buy a ticket there with no problems?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

Shiela

"If I go right to the train station the day I fly in, should I be able to buy a ticket there with no problems?"

Getting in at 3pm would probably mean getting into the city centre by approx 5pm (either by taxi RMB100 or airport bus RMB16, no trains), so getting to the station and buying a ticket for that night shouldn't be a problem.

However, make sure you go to the right station as Beijing has two - Beijing zhan and Beijing Xi (i.e. west) zhan. If you end up at the wrong one, not to worry there are direct buses and underground trains (RMB3) between the two.

One problem you may have is getting the ticket type you want. If it's an overnght train you may have problems getting a sleeper, but may still be able to get a hard seat which is less comfortable.

Most train tickets are on sale 4 days in advance of travel, so many tickets are purchased (particularly sleepers, hard or soft) ahead of travel.

Other points:

(1) Local Chinese tend to get to the station at least 1 hour ahead of departure as train stations are crowded (particularly weekends) and trains tend to leave on time.

(2) You need time to get through the x-ray screening/security at the station entrance.

(3) Keep your ticket throughout your trip as you will need it to exit at Qingdao.

(4) The ticket office for Chinese speakers is outside the station entrance. It gets very crowded so give yourself extra time. I hear there is also an English speaking ticket office, but not sure where it is and whether or not they only accept $US - more expensive.

(5) Trains tend to have the following ticket types - cheapest first - hard seat, soft seat, hard sleeper (top, middle, bottom) and soft sleeper (top, bottom). Most foreign travellers get hard sleepers (open 6-berth cabin, no door) for overnight trains, which includes bed linen.

Hope that helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gougou

Wow, thanks a lot for taking the time to write such an elaborate response. :clap

If I may add just one bit: it is possible to buy tickets for trains leaving from Beijing West at Beijing's main station. I'd guess they have the same service the other way round, too, but don't know about that for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shiela

Hi Gougou,

Sorry, not sure as I've always bought tickets either from the relevant station or ticket agent. However, have heard it is possible.

BTW for info and if you're in the Haidian district, train tickets from a ticket agent 2 mins walk from Renmin Uni (east gate) only costs an extra RMB 5 per one way ticket. This saves on the time and hassle of buying tickets at the train station. However, they don't sell student fares.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roddy

Is there a specific reason for taking the train? I would at least check flight prices, you might get a very good deal even on the day.

Assuming you've got your heart set on a Chinese choo-choo, the above advice is all good. Will just add that trains to Qingdao leave from Beijing Zhan, not Beijing West, and that life will be much easier if you know what train number you want in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gougou
I would at least check flight prices, you might get a very good deal even on the day
Speaking of which, there is a flight ticket agent at Beijing Station, too, that surprised me with the low prices they quoted. Shanghai (which is the only one I had a comparison for in memory) was marked 280.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
xuechengfeng

Thanks for the response, Shiela. I guess I want to take the "choo-choo" :mrgreen: because it's cheaper. It should be around $25 US for a hard sleeper, and last time I took a one-way flight from Qingdao to Beijing, it was around $100 US. I'll also be spending a lot of money on travel to go to Harbin and Vladivostok, so I'm trying to keep expenses down. Any guesses on how much a plane ticket might be from Beijing to Qingdao around January 24?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gougou

I'm guessing you should have no trouble getting one around RMB 400 (incl. tax). At the moment, there also is a special special offer for RMB 250 (incl. tax), you might get it if you're fast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roddy

Depends if the money thing is a case of 'I absolutely must get to Qingdao by the cheapest possible means' or 'It's be nice to do it cheap, but if I can get there on the same day for a little extra . . .'

Bear in mind that if you taxi into Beijing that's going to be in the region of an extra 100Y.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
xuechengfeng

I had no idea plane tickets would be that cheap right now, I guess I just encountered summer fares. Thanks for turning me on to that site, it should be helpful in the future. Although my friend in China is rather insistent on letting him buy the plane ticket, so I think I'm covered. Thanks, all! :mrgreen:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
heifeng
Bear in mind that if you taxi into Beijing that's going to be in the region of an extra 100Y.

You can shuttle into the city for 16yuan, I think that there is probably a direct shuttle to the train stations. When you exit the beijing int'l airport after picking up your luggage, on the right side you should see some buses and one counter right outside the exit, and one counter further by the actual buses with a board listing different shuttle stops. There are about 6 different lines. Even if you aren't going directly to the station, you can always take a shuttle to the stop closest to your destination and then take a cab. The hrs (approx +/- 1 hr b/c I can't remember exactly) are 7am-10pm for the shuttles. Last time I came into Beijing I did this and got to my desitnation for a total of under 30 yuan. If it wasn't at night and my luggage wasn't so heavy I probably would have just taken a bus instead of a cab the rest of the route for a grand total of 18yuan:mrgreen:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
badr

I usually recommend overnight trains over flight but I do make an exception in Qingdao's case. I've had the displeasure of taking that train 3 times and have never managed to get a sleeper which resulted in 12 hours of sitting on my rear end on a hard seat. It's one of the most popular train routes in China with not enough connections.

Seeing that you're already gonna be in the airport, I would suggest using elong.net and getting a plane ticket instead. You can pay for it by credit card and pick it up once you land in Beijing. No need to even leave the airport.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...