Harbin is the capital of Heilongjiang, China’s northernmost province. The city grew in the late 19th century with the influx of Russian engineers constructing the eastern leg of the Trans-Siberian Railroad. The city’s Russian architecture includes its green-domed Saint Sophia Cathedral, an Eastern Orthodox church now a local history museum. Across the river, Sun Island Park is famed for year-round ice sculptures.
The Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival is an annual winter festival that takes place with a theme in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China, and now is the largest ice and snow festival in the world. At first participants in the festival were mainly Chinese, however it has since become an international festival and competition. The festival includes the world’s biggest ice sculptures.
The Festival is held yearly from early January till the end of February. Train tickets and hotels are sold out well in advance, so we advise to plan early!
Hong Kong is an autonomous territory, and former British colony, in southeastern China. Its vibrant, densely populated urban center is a major port and global financial hub with a skyscraper-studded skyline. Central (the business district) features architectural landmarks like I.M. Pei’s Bank of China Tower. Hong Kong is also a major shopping destination, famed for bespoke tailors and the Temple Street Night Market.
Hong Kong <> Beijing
There are a three alternatives for travelling by train between Hong Kong and Beijing.
- 24-hour sleeper train
- New 9-hr high speed train
- Hong Kong to Guangzhou (or Shenzhen) + High speed train to Beijing
1. 24-hour sleeper train
Train Z98 departs Hung Hom Station at 15:15, arriving the following day in Beijing West Station at 15:30. This train offers the following cabin classes: deluxe 2-berth soft sleeper (incl. private toilet), regular 4-berth soft sleeper, and 6-berth hard sleeper, along with a dining carriage.
Beijing (West Station) to Hong Kong (Hung Hom)
Train Z97: Departs 12:40. Arrives: 13:01 (following day)
Visa immigration formalities at Hung Hom
Hung Hom station is located in Yau Tsim Mong District, Kowloon. Passengers are advised to get to Hung Hom Station 45 minutes in advance of the departure time for the exit formalities, including security check and immigration. The boarding gates close 10 minutes before departure from Hung Hom station.
2. New 9-hour high speed train
The high speed express service on G80, uses the CRH400 Fuxing type trains, and reaches speeds of up to 350km/h, slashing the travel time for the 2,475km journey between Hong Kong and Beijing to 9 hours. The G80 departs daily from West Kowloon Station at 08:05, arriving in Beijing at 17:01. Each row of seats is arranged 2-3 in second class, 2-2 in first class, and 1-2 in business class; seats in business class recline electronically into beds.
Immigration for the G80 service is conducted at West Kowloon Station.
Beijing (West Station) to Hong Kong (West Kowloon)
Train G79: Departs 10:00. Arrives: 18:58
3. Hong Kong – Guangzhou (or Shenzhen) – Beijing
The high speed (G-class or D-class sleeper) services from Guangzhou (and Shenzhen) to Beijing began operating in 2017, and offer a good high speed alternative to the direct Hong Kong to Beijing trains.
High speed trains link West Kowloon Station and Guangzhou South Station, with the journey taking around 50m minutes, and avoiding the change of station in Guangzhou. Alternatively, hourly trains operate between Hung Hom Station in Hong Kong and Guangzhou West Station, with the journey taking approximately two hours.
Note: if you take the 2-hour service from Hung Hom to Guangzhou West Station, give yourself ample time to change stations in Guangzhou.
A handful of G-class trains depart Guangzhou between 9am and 12:50pm. The journey time between Guangzhou and Beijing on the G-class trains is between 8 and 10 hours.
Alternatively, the D-class service (Dep. 20:05, Arr. 06:40) is an overnight sleeper, departing Guangzhou South Station on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays only. Rather than individual cabins, this train has upper and lower berths arranged longitudinally, divided by a central corridor that runs the length of the carriage. Each berth has its own window view and a curtain for privacy. The D-class sleeper train D922 departs Guangzhou South Station at 20:05, arriving in Beijing the following morning at 06:40. Travelling at tops speeds of around 250km/h, the journey time is a little over 10 1/2 hours.
Shenzhen to Beijing: A single high speed service operates on G80, departing Shenzhen at 08:27, arriving in Beijing at 17:01.
Immigration for the Hong Kong to Guangzhou trains is conducted at Hung Hom Station.
When travelling in China by train, we advise to book tickets in advance to secure your places.
We can help you with all domestic train tickets – just ask us.