With less than a week to go on the China trip I’m trying to pin down some trip details. We have our China Visas Passport attachments, which my friend picked up for us at the Chinese Embassy in San Francisco. We’ve got our Medford to Hong Kong Plane Tickets, and we are booked at the Island Pacific Hotel on the harbor in the western part of Hong Kong. The hotel appears to be excellent quality and appeared to be a very good deal at Hotels.com’s $87 per night.
From Hong Kong International I understand
we take a metro or bus that will deliver us to the Metro station at the Macau ferry terminal . Update: There is an express train to downtown hong kong from the Airport leaving every 12 minutes that costs about $15 US, but we’ll take the Island Pacific hotel shuttle for about $19 that departs from A02 every 30 minutes and will deliver us to the Island Pacific Hotel = cool!. which is within a mile of the hotel. I think the hotels have pickups but not at the airport which is some 60 miles away by road on Lantau Island. Hong Kong is the major city on the Island of Hong Kong, but there are many other big cities and activity on many other islands in the area, all connected by a massive ferry system that centers on docks along the Hong Kong Waterfront or Victoria Harbor, one of the world’s busiest ports and most spectacular waterfront skylines. We’ll be able to see this from our hotel.
We’ve heard some criticism from folks who have travelled in China about the plan to take a 20 hour overnight train to Shanghai, but I’m pretty sure we’ll be just fine and will see more of the countryside this way. The train system is huge and there are many classes of travel. We’ll probably try to get the “soft sleeper” which looks great from pictures on non-official websites. Some have said that travelling in the seats will hurt backs, but I have a hunch many of the bad rumors are from China’s pre-capitalist days when travel was a lot more spartan.
From the excellent (and I hope very accurate) train travel website www.Seat61.com : HK to Shanghai runs on odd dates in Jan, March, June, July 2008, & even dates in Feb, April, May 2008
We need to remember this:
The station in Hong Kong is in Kowloon and called ‘Hung Hom’ …. the Chinese refer to Hong Kong/Kowloon as ‘Jiulong’
So it looks like we’ll shoot for the April 4th train to Shanghai! Cost should be about $120 per person for a really nice sleeper.
I’m a little concerned about trying to buy tickets there just a few days before but that gives us some flexibility and also I’m hearing it can be more expensive and complicated to reserve them here or online.
OMG, you’re going from Cantonese to Shanghainese with Mandarin thrown in…. Should be great fun.
I was in China for a year 88-89 and evacuated from Shanghai on boat to HK during the democracy stuff. There’s a trip report worth telling someday.
I can’t imagine train rides have changed that much, but I’m sort of out-of-the-loop. Back in the day, my MO was to buy the cheapest ticket available (No Seat), find the Public Security Bureau/Conductor guy, bribe with a pack or two of Kents or Marlboro’s for an upgrade to the first available Soft Sleeper. Hot Tea for the rest of the trip!
Another piece of completely useless info: I grew up in Los Angeles speaking Shanghai dialect. When I arrived in Shanghai in 1989, I was like an alien from space on my mountain bike speaking like a pre-Civil War old man.
Dude! You are gonna have a blast!
Hey, cool TourPro! Sounds like a new blog for you about the China adventures? My Chinese language is not going well but we will have a Mandarin speaking friend with us for Beijing. He said he won’t be able to understand things in Shanghai.
Eh, don’t bother with the Shanghainese, there’s less than 20 million people speaking that.
OK, I’ll stick to my vocab so far:
PingPongCho = Table Tennis
Ni Hau = Hi
Xie Xie = thank you
Mien = noodles
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