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Peng

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I live in Beijing and travel around China a lot

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Asia > China > Guangzhou > Useful Info
Submitted on Dec 21, 2019 Useful Info

Best way to travel to Guangzhou from Hong Kong, and vice versa

  • Guangzhou is located 130km northwest of Hong Kong, and despite the China-Hong Kong border crossing, it's relatively easy to get between these two cities. Especially since the opening of the high speed rail between these two cities, tons of people do day trips from Hong Kong to Guangzhou and vice versa
  • The best way to get to Guangzhou from Hong Kong and vice versa is by train; both high speed rail and regular trains are available
  • High Speed Rail between Hong Kong and Guangzhou:
  • There are 34 direct high speed trains going in each direction everyday. This is best way to travel because the trains are very comfortable and travel time is short. The only downside is the somewhat long distance between the high speed train station and Guangzhou city center
  • Stations:
  • West Kowloon Station: this is the high speed rail station in Hong Kong. It's located very centrally in Kowloon (Google Maps link), and from there you can take the MTR or taxi to the rest of the city
  • Guangzhou South Railway Station: this is the high speed rail station in Guangzhou. It's located quite far outside of Guangzhou city center area (Google Maps link), although it is on the Guangzhou metro system. It takes about 40 minutes on the metro to get to downtown Guangzhou. Taking a taxi can be faster during non rush hours (~30 minutes), but during the week at commuting hours (7-9am, 4:30-8pm) expect to take 60 minutes to get to downtown from the station. Taxi fare is around 125RMB ($18USD)
  • Travel time: ranges from 46 to 67 minutes, but most trains take around 1 hour
  • Fare:
  • 2nd class: 215RMB ($30.7USD) per person each way
  • 1st class: 323RMB ($46.1USD) per person each way
  • Business class: 452RMB ($64.5USD) per person each way
  • Schedule:
  • 34 departures everyday in each direction
  • Guangzhou -> Hong Kong: first departure at 6:48am, last departure at 9:37pm
  • Hong Kong -> Guangzhou: first departure at 8:25am, last departure at 8:21pm
  • Classes: 2nd class and 1st class have very similar seats, the only difference is 1st class is usually less crowded than 2nd class. Business Class has lie flat seats in a very quiet, private room. Additionally only Business Class passengers get to use the lounge at the station. This is what each class looks like:
  • 2nd class:User submitted photo of Guangzhou
  • 1st class:User submitted photo of Guangzhou
  • Business class:User submitted photo of GuangzhouIf you have a big luggage that cannot fit in the overhead space, I recommend getting the business class ticket because there is plenty of space in business class cars to store your luggage. I've taken 1st and 2nd class cars before and the luggage space there is extremely limited and usually full by the time you get on the train so can be very stressful
  • How to buy tickets:
  • You must have your passport to buy a train ticket in China
  • You can buy tickets in person at West Kowloon Station, Guangzhou South Railway Station, or any train station in China. But I highly recommend buying online. To buy online, as a foreigner without a Chinese national ID, you can only use Trip.com. The site supports all major languages and accepts major international credit cards including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc. for payment.
  • You can buy tickets on Trip.com up to 30 days before your travel date. After you've booked, you will get an email with the confirmation number
  • After you've booked using Trip.com, you need to pick up your ticket at the station before you can board. Bring your passport with you to the train station, and go to the ticket office. Get into any line for a human staff (don't get into a line for a machine, those are only for people with a Chinese national ID). Give the staff your passport and show them your confirmation number from the email you received from Trip.com, and they will give you your ticket. I recommend giving yourself at least 20-30 minutes pick up your ticket
  • Clearing immigration: the customs and immigration are located in Hong Kong inside the West Kowloon Station; there's no immigration or customs facility on the Guangzhou side, so you get your passport checked and stamped at West Kowloon Station. You have to fill out all the same entry and departure cards for Hong Kong and China, and your luggage will be scanned at the customs in West Kowloon Station


  • Regular "slow" train between Hong Kong and Guangzhou:
  • Besides the high speed trains I talked about above, there are also daily regular "slow" train service between Hong Kong and Guangzhou, which takes twice as long as the high speed rail. The only advantage of using this train instead of the high speed train option is the short distance between Guangzhou East Railway Station and downtown Guangzhou
  • Stations:
  • Hung Hom Station in Hong Kong: located very centrally in Kowloon (Google Maps link), can be accessed by MTR East Rail Line and West Rail Line
  • Guangzhou East Railway Station: located very centrally in Tianhe District, which is the upscale new CBD area of Guangzhou where all the tallest skyscrapers are (Google Maps link). It's on metro line 1 and 3. You can take the metro to the old town Guangzhou in 30 minutes, or taxi there for about 30-40 RMB ($4.3-$5.7USD)
  • Travel time: around 2 hours to travel from Hong Kong to Guangzhou and vice versa
  • Fare:
  • 210HKD ($27USD) for 1st class each way per passenger
  • 250HKD ($32USD) for premium class each way per passenger
  • Children between 5 and 9 is half price
  • Booking online has an additional 12HKD ($1.6USD) service charge
  • Schedule: there are 9 daily trains in each direction
  • Hong Kong to Guangzhou: first train departs at 8:00am and last train departs at 8:01pm. Here's the schedule (note that Guangzhoudong means Guangzhou East; Changping is a stopover town in between Hong Kong and Guangzhou):User submitted photo of Guangzhou
  • Guangzhou to Hong Kong: first train departs at 8:19am and last train departs at 8:40pm. Here's the schedule (note that Guangzhoudong means Guangzhou East; Changping is a stopover town in between Hong Kong and Guangzhou):User submitted photo of Guangzhou
  • Class: there are only two classes on this train and they really aren't that different in terms of seats
  • First class (seats are equivalent to 2nd class in high speed rail):User submitted photo of Guangzhou
  • Premium class (seats are equivalent to 1st class in high speed rail):User submitted photo of Guangzhou
  • How to book:
  • You must have your passport to book a train ticket in China
  • You can book this in person at Guangzhou East Railway Station, Hung Hom Station in Hong Kong, or any train station in China. Just go to the ticket office of the station and line up for a human staff
  • You can also book online, but only through Hong Kong MTR's Intercity Through Train website: https://www.it3.mtr.com.hk. You won't find this train on Trip.com or the official Chinese railway website. This MTR website is available in Chinese and English. It accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and UnionPay for payment. Guangzhou East Railway Station is written as "Guangzhoudong" on this site ("Dong" literally means East in Chinese)
  • Clearing customs and immigration: similar to the high speed train, customs and immigration is set up on the Hong Kong side instead of the Chinese side. So you will be doing all your passport checks, entry/departure cards, and any other customs and immigration stuff to get in and out of China in Hung Hom station
  • Luggage storage: small luggage can be stored in the overhead racks, but larger bags need to be stored in the limited amount of oversized-baggage racks close to the boarding door of each car. Unlike the high speed rail, these trains are not usually full so you shouldn't have any problem finding space for your large luggage