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Travel Tips

Train Stations Dongguan and Guangzhou

If you travel to China, and if you depart from Hong Kong or Macau, it is likely that you will use the train station in Guangzhou, or Dongguan in southern China. Note that, these two cities have two train stations, both with the newer one at the eastern part of the city, called Guangzhou East Station and Dongguan East Station respectively. 

The original and old stations in the cities are simply called Guangzhou Station and Dongguan Station. As mentioned in my previous post, do pay attention to which station you will land at or get to. Otherwise, you will have big troubles, especially when you are catching a train.  

The two train stations in Dongguan are near, with 10 minute taxi ride between each other. But in Guangzhou, the two train stations are rather apart. Fortunately, at both stations, there are metro stops. You can easily go from one to the other.  

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Travel Tips

Train stations in Shenzhen, China

As China’s economy is expanding, so is its transport system. One only needs to look at China’ train stations. In major cities, there are at least two train stations. For the first time traveler to China, this sometimes can cause confusion.

Take Shenzhen, the neighboring city of Hong Kong. It has Shenzhen Station, which is the biggest and busiest station in Lowu. If you go to Hong Kong from China, you would want to arrive at the Lowu train station, as the border crossing at Lowu is easier – both Hong Kong and China’s passport control points are located in the same building. After the Hong Kong control point, you reach Hong Kong railway system (KCRC) right away, which, with transition to the city’s underground system (MTR), can take you to almost any corner in the city.

Shenzhen has Shenzhen East Station, which is newer, smaller, and is about one hour taxi to Lowu (about RMB70-90) and the city centre. The location is a bit remote. From here it is shorter distance to reach Huanggang border crossing to Hong Kong. Bus connection is available at the Hong Kong side.

So beware which station in the city you are headed to. On the train ticket, if it is written “to Shenzhen”, then it is to the Shenzhen Station in Lowu. If it is to the Shenzhen East Station, the ticket will show the word “East”. When you check out train transport information, do look out for which station of the city the train goes to. Most of the time, the train table you can find may not show the information.

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Travel Tips

Pingyao: China’s best preserved wall-city

When my friend was in Pingyao, a small ancient city in central shanxi province, he met three professional photographers from the West who came purposely to the city for taking photos. Two of them, father and son, are from Germany. They planned to publish a photo album about Pingyao upon return to Germany.

Pingyao is a beautiful town preserving the architectural aesthetics of Chinese traditional buildings. It is distinguished from other places in China in that it has well preserved its architecture and urban landscape of China’s Ming and Qing dynasties, earning it a place on the UNESCO world heritage list. Because it is relatively unknown, the city is not swamped with tourists yet and the local government has done a good job in preserving the 2,700-year old city – it is the best preserved wall-city in China.

My friend likes the city very much. For one thing, the people there are very friendly and “they smile a lot”, my friend said. In the morning, the locals will pour out on the street to dance a local dance. It was very funny and interesting, he said.

And, there is one more reason to keep him in such a small town for two weeks – most tourists make a day trip to Pingyao from Beijing, or stop by it on the way to Xi’an, a much more famous wall-city known for its heritage of terracotta soldiers. I will write in the following post why.

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Travel Tips

Buy train tickets in China

A foreigner wanting to buy a train ticket in China, who cannot speak or read Chinese, will find it very frustrating. It is hard, very hard. The common experience is, you take your chance to queue at one of the long lines, and when you finally get to the front, you are told it is wrong line, or “mei you mei you” (not available).

The tip is, you go to the five-star hotels, if any, and try your luck. In these luxury hotels, they usually have ticketing service and the staff can speak English. You can get your train or bus tickets for a handling fee of 5-20rmb.

You can also try four-star hotels where ticketing service can be available.

You don’t need to be a guest of the hotel to use the service.

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Travel in Beijing, Hangzhou, Zhuhai Travel Tips

Anji Bamboo Forest – 2nd Part

anji bamboo forest
anji bamboo forest

To continue from my last posting about Anji bamboo forest

Anji bamboo forest (Da Zhu Hai in Chinese) is increasingly popular among the Chinese as a destination for a taste of idyllic life in a green environment. Dozens of guesthouses with restaurants attached are being run by the local. You can play majong, a popular Chinese game, sing KTV, fish, have local farmer dishes, etc. These kinds of things appeal to Chinese, obviously, and these guesthouses fill up during the weekend, especially in summer.

The accommodation price is very cheap for international standard. Typically, a standard double room in a farmer’s house is priced at 65 yuan per night, a 3-person room at 85 and a 4-person room at 110 yuan.

If you come to the Anji bamboo forest and like the environment, just check into one of the guesthouses and spend the night there. The surroundings is peaceful and very green. And the people here are very friendly. The white tea, a local specialty, is as good as Longjing tea, the famous Chinese green tea from Hangzhou.