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sujeto

Once in Beijing, how can I travel to Harbin?

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sujeto

Once I reach Beijing, once in the international Airport, where should I go following my arrival in Beijing. How can I travel to Harbin. Bus, Train, another fligth, how, where?

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tysond

Probably the easiest way for you to explore your travel options is on www.ctrip.com they have an English site and it's quite advanced.

You may not be able to book everything from there from home, but you can at least see prices, routes, options.

 

For flying - just change terminal at Beijing airport and get a domestic flight.  

For train - get yourself to the appropriate train station (probably Beijing South) by taxi or maybe subway if you are brave.

For bus - i dunno i don't like them.

 

It really depends on your budget.  But there are high speed trains that take 7 hours from Beijing to Harbin for about 500RMB+.

Or for 150+RMB you can take a train that takes 10-15 hours (hard and tiny seat - not recommended), or 250+ get a sleeper and snooze.

 

Ctrip is advertising flights at 500-1000 RMB.  Much faster and won't require a trip across Beijing.  

 

Go to the site and take a look.

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fanglu

Given you can't speak Chinese, are new to China, and will be arriving after a long flight, pre-buying a plane ticket will almost certainly be the best option given it will save you the stress of navigating your way across the city to the train station, buying a ticket and then waiting for the train (possibly days if its a busy period).

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Johnny20270

you should look at trip advisor. There will be a multitude of options on this and up to date information etc

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abcdefg

I agree with @Fanglu in #4. Unless you want to spend a few days in Beijing as a tourist before proceeding to Harbin.

 

Somebody else already gave a red minus point to post #5, but I also don't think Tripadvisor will be helpful unless you can ask a very specific question. Something broad and not well defined usually does not get useful answers there.

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Johnny20270

not sure about that abcdefg. The point of the website is in the name. I, and many many others, have traveled the world successfully based on Trip Advisor  :wink:  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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bande

If you can afford it, take the others' advice and take the plane. The first few days in China will be stressful and the train will make it even more so. If you have to take a train, plan for a few days at a hostel in Beijing to recover from jet lag, get your whits back, and then use the hostel staff to purchase the train tickets.

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Silent

 

The point of the website is in the name. I, and many many others, have traveled the world successfully based on Trip Advisor

I'ld say the point is in that the name doesn't cover what it may suggest very well. At least not in the context of this question.

 

OP asks how to get from a to b. Basicly what he needs is a website that comprehensivly tells him the options. So, mode of transport, times, costs, conditions (luggage, ticket changes etc). To my knowledge trip advisor does not provide that info. A forum post may yield usefull info of course.

 

The choice made is of course strongly dependent on personal preferences. If time is an issue taking a plane is a good choice. Specially if it connects reasonably with the arrival. However internal flights tend to have lower luggage allowance, this may be an issue/extra cost.

 

A (sleep)train may be a very decent alternative if budget is an issue. Personally I experienced only a couple of times that trains were sold out and never when I booked the day before. When sold out the delay was no more then a couple of hours. This may of course strongly depend on route and time. I mostly traveled fairly short distances, the longer the distance the less alternatives there are and the higher the risk the train is sold out.

 

I once had a sleeper bus in China which was quite decent, however don't know or this would be a viable option for Beijing-Harbin 

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Lu

I imagine a bus will take a very long time and won't be very comfortable. It's probably the cheapest option, so if money is an issue it's a good choice, but otherwise I'd take a plane or a train.

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Silent

Don't remember exactly, but I remember the sleeper bus from Guiyang to Guangzhou as very reasonable. I had a reasonably comfortable bed and spend most of the ride sleeping. Don't know the driving time any more, but it wasn't that long considering the distance. It's not some local bus that drives with 20km/h, most of the ride was freeway. Beijing- Harbin is only a little further and I imagine comparable infrastructure. Nevertheless, I would try the train first too specially when traveling by day.

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sujeto

Folks thank you so much for your opinons. Well, I'm carring myself exactly 500 USD + 200 Euros, on chash for my travel expenses and first days of accomodation. I'll be arriving Beijing supposedly  September 01 but University enrollment won't be till September 04, so Time isn't exactly a problem. I'm looking for the easiest way to get Harbin Institute of Technology, for the moment and since I lack of travel experience. 

 

Also, I want to mention, that I decided to carry only a Backpack with few days of clothing beside my personal documents. I'm not sure If this is Ok, but I was guessing it would be easiest for me to travel very ligthweigth, and once in University, I plan to recieve rest of clothing, shoes, books from my family in Venezuela using Fedex to do this. What do you think??

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Lu

Not sure how well this works considering the Venezuelan currency exchange trouble you mentioned, but if I were you my first choice would be to try and buy a plane ticket in advance. You can try doing it yourself through the ctrip website, or get a travel agency in your own city to do it for you. Plane is the easiest way: you arrive in Beijing Capital Airport and simply walk to another gate to your plane to Harbin. If something goes wrong (luggage lost, plane missed, delay, what have you), the airline and the airport staff speak English and can help you.

Once you get to Harbin, you can take a taxi or other transportation to the university. I'm not familiar with Harbin but perhaps others can advise.

You mentioned your luggage plan in another thread, and I think I already mentioned I don't think this is a great idea. Hauling 20 kg plus hand luggage is not as hard as it sounds: airports have luggage carts, the plane will carry it most of the way, and the most you need to carry it is from the gate of the university to your dorm. That is way less hassle than Fedexing it, not to mention much faster (and cheaper). You'll have all your stuff with you without having to worry when and where the Fedex guy will deliver it.

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Silent

I've to agree with Lu on the luggage plan. Try to take as much as reasonably possible. It's cheaper and less hassle. Personally I'ld prefer to buy extra clothes locally instead of sending them by Fedex. Size may be an issue, and I guess without chinese it will be hard to get clothes remade/adjusted/custom made.

 

For the plane ticket you should not go to the travel agent. You should book online, but this will however require an international payment method, most likely credit card.

 

With regard to the train, my experience is that it's not that big an issue, but my travel is rarely long distance. You might try to make a reservation online. My guess would be you'ld have no problem getting a trainticket, however without Chinese it may be tricky and you can never be sure. You do have time, but depending on arrival time and enrollment time, it may just be two days. subtract traveltime and your margin isn't exactly excessive. 

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ChTTay

If you have a bit of time to spare once you are in Beijing and booking a flight is hard from where you are... Then i would opt to spend a night or two in Beijing. When you arrive, head straight to your hostel/hotel for a rest. You can ask them to help you book a bullet train for harbin. For those two days you can acclimatise a bit to China, see some sights, get some sleep.

The last thing i'd want to do after taking the flight you are is go and hop straight on a train. I'd either book a flight for when you arrive OR spend a couple of days in Beijing first, then take a train.

I also agree with others to take as much as possible with you luggage wise.

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grawrt

Sujeto I'm honestly surprised you're so reluctant to bring heavy baggage. My mom came with me the first week and we both stuffed our bags to the granted limit. Yes it was heavy, we're both two girls, but I feel like it was worth it for when we first got here, even when we had to lug it over two bridges and walk it down two or three blocks, I totally didn't regret it. I had my tea with me, a towel from home, nice clean clothes, etc. I couldn't imagine the first few days being as peaceful as they were if I hadn't taken anything. If I only took my laptop and a backpack with me I think I'd kill myself.

 

I'm living in Harbin right now Sujeto. Nobody speaks English. Menus are all in Chinese. I'm not sure it'll be as easy as you think to buy stuff immediately. I think if you take this route you'll end up spending more money than you normally would have (by going to a convenient but expensive supermarket). So just take the extra luggage.

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Lu

I don't understand why you would want to wait a few days for Fedex when you can have your luggage with you from the very start. I think another poster already explained in another thread why using Fedex can be more complicated than you think. You'll need to get your dorm address to your family, hope they don't get confused with the foreign address format, and then the only way this is easy is if the Fedex guy immediately finds your room, you are in it and he just knocks on your door with your stuff. More likely is that he'll try to contact you when he gets to campus, he won't speak anything but Chinese and you won't speak Chinese, so you'll have to find someone who speaks Chinese and something you speak, all while not being very familiar yet with the campus yourself. Or, alternatively, he does find your dorm and you're in your room, so the receptionist calls you to pick up your stuff, but you have no idea what she's talking about because she only speaks Chinese, etcetera. And this is assuming nobody calls you about having to pay import taxes.

There's a reason everyone who goes study abroad takes very big suitcases, and it is because it's the easiest, most convenient option to get your stuff to where you are. Having it mailed to you is just making things more complicated for yourself.

Grawrt, being in Harbin, perhaps you can weigh in on how to best get from the airport/train station to the university?

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grawrt

From the airport the best way would be to take the shuttle bus. There are 3 shuttle buses that go to different parts in Harbin, I'm not sure which one takes Sujeto closest to his campus (because HIT has 2 campuses) but it would be best to ask the receptionist of the school if they can help tell him which shuttle bus, and which stop to get off on. The tickets are sold outside in a booth. It should be easy to find because at the airport the signs all have English. When I first got here I was told that taking a taxi from the airport would be a bit expensive because its a bit far. The tickets are 20 kuai.

 

From the train station he should take a taxi. There are two or three train stations in Harbin (I forgot), the one closest to me is not that far from HIT and a taxi shouldn't cost that much. It's also very easy to get a taxi from here because there are lines of taxis just outside with people lining up and people in charge of letting people go in. So it's not so much of a free-for-all.

 

*edit*

 

Just checked with Baidu maps. You can take the #2 shuttle bus to 和兴商厦站 which is the 3rd stop. From there you can take the subway to HIT. I've never taken the shuttle bus here but I have taken the subway to HIT and it's very easy and convenient.
 

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