How to get train tickets for china
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Apr 24, 2012 5:36 AM Last Post By: 889
Apr 23, 2012 5:50 PM
How to get train tickets for chinaI am not in the mood to wait in very long lines to get a train ticket in China, so I would like to go with a third person, travel agent, etc... some questions:
1. I have a friend in Beijing...can he get me via online a ticket from say Beijing to Taiyuan? could he, in Beijing, also get me a ticket from Taiyuan to Pigyao? note that the Beijing to Taiyuan ticket is a D class train, requiring a passport.
2. if he gets me a ticket, will it be a printed page on regular paper....in other words, something that looked different from a reglar trainticket?
3. Do modt hostels dealing with foreign tourists, such as those in Pingyao and Xian have the ablity to get tickets? how much is the usual commisson? If i am city A, can they get me a train ticket from city B to c?
4. is the commisson on websites like chinatraintickets.net higher than those in a hostel or travel agency?
Apr 23, 2012 8:24 PM
11. In theory, yes, but you should ask him. He will need some of your personal info, including passport number.
2. Not sure.
3. Yes. I think most hotels can get tickets. A normal commission should be 5-10CNY. There are also ticket offices in most cities that specialize in selling train tickets and charge a 5CNY commission and usually have very manageable lines (0-5 min wait). These are where I prefer to get tickets.
4. Yes. Usually several times higher.
Apr 23, 2012 11:29 PM
2For Question 2, there is not "printed page on regular paper" thing in China Railways. For non-Chinese ID card holders, the only way to board a train is to carry a paper ticket. You can't board the train with a self printed page. Although your real identity is needed to buy a ticket, if you lose your paper ticket, you can't print another one, and you can't get refund. If you want to refund your ticket, you (or someone else) must carry your passport to the ticket window, photocopy is not accepted. This means, it is practically not possible to cancel your booking from overseas.
Legally, to get a ticket, you must either:
- Buy your ticket in person at a train station or an official ticket agent, pay in cash or credit/debit card (only UnionPay is accepted), and you get the paper ticket;
- Buy online at www.12306.cn with your name and passport number, pay online with your UnionPay card, then get the paper ticket with your passport (and optionally, the PNR number of your booking) at a train station or ticket agent in person. The online service is only in Chinese. You must have a UnionPay bank card and a Chinese mobile phone number to use the service.
- You can also make a reservation with the official telephone booking system. In Beijing, the phone number is 010-95105105, or internationally, +86 10 95105105, follow the voice instrument. The service is only available in Mandarin Chinese, and I don't know whether foreign passport is accepted.
Third party services like chinatraintickets is NOT legal in China, btw.
Apr 23, 2012 11:45 PM
Apr 24, 2012 5:31 AM
Apr 24, 2012 5:36 AM
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