Visiting china on a world trip
Replies: 40 - Last Post: Nov 17, 2013 12:44 AM Last Post By: 889
Oct 28, 2013 8:47 PM
Oct 29, 2013 12:10 AM
16"The ICE trains in Germany are cheaper than their equivalent in China since you can get savings fares by booking in advance. In China, the price is just the price."
Actually, there are occasional advance purchase discounts on Chinese trains, but they are not well-known or widespread.
For example, till the end of the year, there's a 20 percent discount on these trains if you buy your ticket at least six days in advance, and 15 percent discount one to five days in advance. But ONLY on business class, special class or first class tickets.
Oct 29, 2013 3:16 PM
Oct 29, 2013 5:30 PM
Not necessarily. There is one train (Train No 2671) that runs between Datong and Xi'an without heading to Beijing but there are more options (4 in all) that run between Datong and Pingyao. I think the best idea would be to do a sort of Beijing/Datong/Pingyao/Luoyang/Xi'an loop to avoid recrossing your footsteps.
If you can get the tickets, that is.
Oct 30, 2013 4:16 AM
19#15, Oh.... a challenge. LOL!!!!!
11/1 Beijing - Shanghai Second Class Seat CNY553/US$93 623
Just on one train there 623 seats available leaving in 2 days. There are probably 2000+ seats still available for that date 2 days from now. You can show up the day of and get a ticket.
I just booked a sleeper today from Shanghai to Guangzhou leaving tomorrow. I was in and out of the station in 5 mins.
I know you like to make things sound harder than they are. I guess it makes it sound more exotic. ;)
Oct 30, 2013 6:12 AM
20A that is "off of the HSR" is it? Of course it isn't! It's a D or G train which, if you had read my initial post, I said could be booked "sometimes minutes before they leave".
Furthermore, I also said something like "perversely, it's often easier to get sleeper tickets at the last minute, as people's plans change and businesses return unsold sleepers" so, you lucked in with your Guangzhou leg. Well done you! (Unless, of course, its on K511 or T169 in which case LOLAY!!!)
Next time, try reading a post before you comment on it as, rather than looking "exotic", you just end up looking a complete pillock!
P.S Actually, OP, I should clarify something before any more cages get rattled. When I say sleeper will become unavailable very early on, I'm talking about for OVERNIGHT sleepers trains. There will be bunks available on day-trains but I'm assuming that you're not a Squidstrips-type tourist and would rather spend the majority of the daylight hours during the limited time you are in China actually looking at something and not merely out of the window of a train. I'm sorry if I'm stating the blindingly obvious here but there are always some people that fail to grasp very simple points (Or who display an inability to read). I know that you're not one of them.
Oct 30, 2013 9:33 AM
21Wow. Hit a nerve didn't I?
And everything you brought up, I explained in my post you are referring too. I didn't think it set in so I had to repeat myself. I didn't luck out at the last minute. I've been watching it for days. I never sold out only to come back due to returns like you claim. It's been steadily going down. It just didn't look like it was going down fast enough to worry. It didn't.
Another case in point, Beijing to Xian. It doesn't get more touristy and in demand than that. For 2 days from now.
14:33 05:02 0d14h29m Hard Sleeper CNY288.5/US$49 264
There are 264 open hard sleepers on that train alone. On the main tourist trail. That's an OVERNIGHT sleeper train not on HSR. Wide open. Not 20 days beforehand, but a mere 2.
I know you insist on others backing up their posts with hard facts while you do nothing close to that. You spout nothing but unsupported opinion. I know you like to make simple travel sound like an Indiana Jones adventure. A subway ride to the mall is akin to scaling Mt. Everest. If you must, do that for yourself. Don't try to misinform others. Sleepers do not get booked out the moment they become available 20 days out. That's just utter nonsense.
Oct 30, 2013 4:33 PM
2214:33 05:02 0d14h29m Hard Sleeper CNY288.5/US$49 264
A train leaving at 2:30pm (And arriving at 5:00am) is a nice, convenient overnight train in the world of Squidstrips is it? Tell you what... Here's a better one. Z19. Leaves at 8:43pm and gets in at 7:58am. The perfect overnight train for a tourist to Xi'an. How are tickets looking for that over the next few days? Or what about T43? Leaves Beijing at 7:50pm and gets to Xi'an at 8:34?
What about overnight trains to other destinations like Lanzhou, Yinchuan, even Datong out of Beijing? How about T109 to Shanghai? Or Z15 to Harbin? Trains that run overnight
I didn't think there'd be a need to spell this out to anyone Squidstrips but a good, convenient overnight train for a tourist is one that leaves after dark in the evening, not in the middle of the afternoon, and arrives at about breakfast time. The reason for this is that, because tourists have spent often large amounts of money to come to China, they tend to like to spend the daylight hours seeing touristy thing and nights asleep, I don't know anyone who would choose to spend a large proportion of the waking hours of their holiday in transit on a Chinese train if they could get a train that was an authentic overnight train: one that took them from A to B during darkness. A train that leaves at 2:30 in the afternoon completely kills a day for a tourist and that is not even mentioning the arrival time. What are the Squidstrips ideas for things to do at 5am on an early winters morning in Xi'an?
And everything you brought up, I explained in my post you are referring too. I didn't think it set in so I had to repeat myself
What does that mean?? Is that English?? Best not to post when you've been drinking.
I know you insist on others backing up their posts with hard facts while you do nothing close to that. You spout nothing but unsupported opinion
This is a forum for giving travel advice Squidstips. I give advice based on my 10 year knowledge of China. They are my opinions. Others can have opinions too. Even people like you who think 2:30pm trains are good, overnight options. I don't insist that anyone "backs up their posts with hard facts". You certainly haven't. All you have done is make claims about the tickets that you have recently bought. How can anyone possibly know them to be facts??
That's just utter nonsense
You're really just making yourself look like a bigger pillock now.
Oct 30, 2013 5:30 PM
23Manchurianexile, you just keep piling on the qualifiers like a heap of BS. First you stated undeniably that ALL sleepers get bought out the SECOND they go on sale 20 DAYS OUT. Now it's only some trains on some routes during some days when Haley's comet is in the sky. LOL!!!! You must have been shut out of a train once and then globally applied it to every train for all time.
Here's another fun fact for you. A nice late night train for your convenience.
22:15 12:52 0d14h37m Hard Sleeper CNY272.5/US$46 27
Another train leaving in 2 days. Leaving at a nice tourist friendly 10pm according to you. The massively busy and popular Beijing to Xian route. Hard sleepers available well after the 20 days they became available. They should have been sold out 18 days ago according to you.
More facts from me. More hot air from you. Anyone can verify my facts using the online train booking services. I cut and paste from there.
10 years? You're just getting started kid. Now make sure to towel off behind your ears before it drips into your soup.
Oct 30, 2013 6:11 PM
24I'm sorry OP. It seems this Squidstrips person is really set on making him(I assume)self look like a complete twat. Use Squidstrips Travel Service if you like and spend your holiday either on a train (Notice how he's conveniently failed to touch on any of the above mentioned trains. I wonder why that might be? I haven't checked the website for any of them. It's prior experience that makes me think that they'll be sold out pretty much right back to their sales limit). Or, more likely, not on one. Use the on-line booking service, by all means, to work out your schedule (2:30pm seems to be the optimum time at STS The perfect time to either leave or arrive at your destination).
Oct 31, 2013 7:19 PM
Oct 31, 2013 11:17 PM
"I haven't checked the website for any of them."
So you didn't even bother checking to see if trains get sold out before declaring that all sleepers on all trains get sold out the moment tickets go on sale 20 days out. I wished I was surprised. I was kidding when I said you probably got shut out once and now assume that all trains are always sold out. Turns out that was the truth.
"It's prior experience that makes me think that they'll be sold out pretty much right back to their sales limit)"
So you have no idea what you are saying is right or wrong but you insist it's right in spite of all easily available evidence otherwise. You should apologize to OP for trying to mislead him. Luckily, you didn't get away with it. I don't know why people like you get off on leading other people astray.
Oct 31, 2013 11:34 PM
Nov 1, 2013 7:24 AM
28Can't look bigger than you Manchurianexile. You set a very high standard in prats.
You're the one that issued the challenge thinking I couldn't easily prove you wrong. Instead of taking it with grace you went on the offensive. It's a bad idea to push when you are standing on quicksand. You're school yard tactics may have intimated some in the past. Not me. So do everyone a favor and grow up. Otherwise change you username to boychurianexile.
Nov 1, 2013 4:55 PM
29OP: Bottom line is this.
If you want to use the Chinese rail system to move around, you'll be able to provided that you stick to short-haul or the HSR. Getting sleeper tickets for night trains will be problematic as they disappear rather quickly (They are cheaper and more in demand by tourists and people who don't like spending prolonged periods on trains). However, cancelled tickets often become available at the last minute (Although there is never any guarantee and isn't very helpful to people that want to plan holidays, particularly those traveling in groups). Sleepers will be available on day-trains but these aren't particularly tourist friendly as they leave and/or arrive at inconvenient times which will affect the amount of daylight hours one has available in a particular location to get out and see things.
There are numerous web-sites that can be used to plan ones China rail journey and many that now tell you how many tickets there are available on each train and in what class. See for yourself how tickets move. Here's one in English http://www.chinahighlights.com/china-trains/ + (For some reason, I can't imbed the link...Odd). There are numerous other sites but, be aware, most are sites set up by travel agents who will charge commission. They, however, will have better access to available tickets so, if money is not an object, you might consider using one (Be aware that you must tick the box that says you won't accept alternative tickets, however, or you might well end up on a train you don't want to be on). If, however, you want to keep costs down and intend to buy your own tickets, you will have to plan your journey,
If you are sticking to your original plan of Beijing, Shanghai and Xi'an (All of which are on the HSR), you'll have no problem getting tickets on D or G trains. If, however, you want to go overnight and arrive in the morning, as most tourists do (Thus getting cheaper tickets AND saving on hotel bills) you'll find that overnight sleepers are not very easy to get. often, as said above, tickets will become available at the last-minute due to cancellations but A) there can be no guarantees and B) if you are traveling with others, you may find that you are in different compartments. If you are comfortable with flexibility and are traveling alone or don't mind being split up from your travel-mates, this is no problem. If, however, you would rather stay together and have a set plan, you might have to use an agent. Hostels and hotels can help here and charge considerably less commission than booking web-sites do.
Chengdu and Guilin, however, are NOT on the HSR and there is only 1 train a day between Chengdu and Guilin (And not many between Xi'an and Chengdu) which means that you'll have to book tickets as soon as you possibly can (Which will impinge on the flexibility you will have in other locations). It's 16+ hours between Xi'an and Chengdu; 26 hours (On the only train) between Chengdu and Guilin. Hard-seat will not be an option for either. Fortunately, nowadays, you can book tickets all over the country at one location (I.E. buy them all in Beijing) so you'd be best advised to sort out your travel plan and where you want to be at certain times before you arrive in China and get all of your tickets sorted out ASAP. If you want to take risks with availability in a country of a billion people as others have suggested you do; be my guest!
Your initial post has, unfortunately, turned into a medium for the juvenile rantings of Squidstrips and I am aware that I have played my part by responding to his childish provocations; for which I apologize. I don't intend to waste any more of your time, my time or LP's bandwidth doing so. I'm sure that he will be back here shortly claiming some sort of prepubescent victory like the inter-net troll he appears to be. Let him think has his moment. He probably doesn't get many.
Have a great holiday and World trip. China is a fascinating country and going to NZ directly afterwards will allow you the time and relaxation you will need to get over it.
+ NB Sometimes, ticket booking sights don't list all stations. I'm currently trying to sort out a trip for next weekend. (Datong is a non-starter. All night-trains sold out. Same for Pingyao). I then thought about Yanan but it tells me there is no such station, even though I've been there and got a train from there before.
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