Cheap travel from Hong Kong to Nanjing
August 12, 2007 8:15 AM   Subscribe

What's the cheapest way to get from Hong Kong to Nanjing, China?

My girlfriend and I need to travel from Hong Kong to Nanjing next week and would like to do it cheaply. Trains seem like the ticket. What's the best way to do this and is it realistic to buy train tickets a day or two before the travel? The only prices I can find online seem awfully high (US$165 for a soft sleeper from Hong Kong to Shanghai), though maybe those have an agency fee on top of the ticket price.

Trains seem great, but I can't find prices online. Seems like the best way to do this is train to Shenzen, train to Shanghai, train to Nanjing. She speaks Mandarin and I've dealt with train stations in various places in India, so standing in line and fighting for the window shouldn't be too bad. Is there another, better, cheaper way? I've seen reference online that a soft sleeper from Beijing to Shanghai is 499RMB, so can we expect a similar price from the Hong Kong area to Shanghai or Nanjing? Is it realistic to expect that we can buy tickets a day or two before the train trip?
posted by msbrauer to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)
 
Hi, I live in Shenzhen. Welcome to the mainland!

I don't know of anywhere to get cheap mainland train tickets online, I've looked before. I'd imagine there's somewhere you could get them in Hong Kong, but I can't help you there.

They'll be easy to get at the train station across from the Luohu checkpoint. In my experience, if you're buying mid-week, non-holiday, you have an good chance of getting a same day ticket for a soft-sleeper, and excellent chance for hard sleeper, if that's an option. If you can't get a same day ticket, you could take the train to GZ, spend a day or so there and get the train to Shanghai from there. You'll almost definitely be able to get something within 48 hours.

Soft sleeper tickets from SZ to Beijing for a friend of mine recently were about $550, so I imagine that Shanghai tickets would be a little cheaper.

Have fun, trains are a great way to travel.
posted by bluejayk at 9:17 AM on August 12, 2007


Hey bluejayk, thanks for the info. Is that US$550? That seems ridiculously high. The "find" link above has hongkong to beijing for $200 for a soft sleeper.
posted by msbrauer at 10:22 AM on August 12, 2007


For about 600 RMB one-way tax-in you can fly from Shenzhen to Shanghai next week. See ticket.9588.com. Shanghai to Nanjing should be a nominal fare.

Trains: You can buy mainland train tickets (some of them, anyway) in person at CTS (China Travel Service) branches in Hong Kong, or (if! if! if! you have a multi-entry visa), you can hop over to the train station in SZ that bluejayk mentioned.

If you want to take the direct train from HK to Shanghai, check directly with KCR (kcrc.com). Soft sleeper is 825 HKD one-way, 743 each way if you're buying round-trip.
posted by deeaytch at 11:29 AM on August 12, 2007


Another possibility would be the ferry to Shenzhen airport then fly direct to Nanjing. Should be less than CNY1,000 (quite possibly a lot less with the right deal). I pretty much always get the ferry between the Mainland and HK. Hardly any queues at the border and seems all so civilised.
posted by Abiezer at 1:19 PM on August 12, 2007


Check out ctrip (http://english.ctrip.com/) for relatively cheap plane tickets. Earlier this year, I got a one way plane ticket from Shenzhen to Beijing for about 650RMB. As I was coming from HK, I took the ferry from HK directly to the Shenzhen airport.
posted by alidarbac at 8:35 PM on August 12, 2007


oh, jeez, sorry I'm late. My prices were in RMB, hope that didn't mess you up.
posted by bluejayk at 5:37 AM on August 14, 2007


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