Wednesday, August 03, 2016
Suzhou/Wuxi Trip 2016 - Day 4 - China High Speed Rail from Suzhou to Wuxi. How to purchase China High Speed Rail Train Tickets
Day 4 - we took the free shuttle service from Hotel Soul to Suzhou Railway Station to board the China High Speed Rail to Wuxi. We actually bought the train ticket one day in advance. If is not their public holiday or weekend, no problem purchase the train ticket on the day of departure. If not best purchase way in advance if it coincides with their public holiday. Suzhou Railway Station is also easily access via the metro station. To purchase the train ticket, just look for the ticket office, there's many ticketing offices at the station, ground floor and upper floor too. We choose to get the train tickets on the upper floor with lesser crowds. For the locals, they can purchase the train tickets via vending machines but not for foreigners/tourists as they only recognize Chinese issued ID cards. For those who do not understand mandarin, is difficult to read the train destination and timings on the board. As we could read mandarin, we easily wrote the train no., departure date and timing and purchase the ticket from the staff at the ticket window. And yes, very importantly, need our passport to purchase the tickets. We could not purchase the train ticket in advance cause of many inconveniences like they need China Bank card, etc. For those we do not know or how to speak mandarin, no worry, there's staff who could speak English at the ticketing office, so just tell them your destination and let them advice the train no and timing for you. To purchase train ticket online, you need to know Chinese very well, as it is only in Chinese. You need to register using a phone number based in China. Your name on the booking system must match exactly the one on your ID. Spaces and symbols (hyphens) from foreign languages are not allowed. Often names on IDs do not correspond to personalized names. Example: James Green’s name shows in his passport as Green (on the top line) and James (on the lower line). The difference between the booking system and the ID may result in a failed booking or boarding. Cases that Chinese Railway Tickets Can Not be Successfully Collected after Booking Online Online payment must be done within 30 minutes on a Chinese bank card, or risking the transaction being null and void. Delivery service is provided only in Beijing for overseas passengers. Due to all the inconveniences, it is not recommended to book on the official website unless you have a Chinese friend to assist you. Read more from Travel China Guide. You can book advance ticket online from third party vendor but they need your photocopy of your passport details. We decided to take the G Train (High Speed Rail), which took only 10 minutes from Suzhou to reach Wuxi. Based on the train schedule on the board, we decided to take G7576 departing 12.43 from Suzhou and reach 12.58 at Wuxi. It was a second class train ticket and costs only 19.50 Chinese yuan. To board the train, go to Level 2 and enter for security check, need to show passport and train ticket. After clearing security check, check the board for the departure gate number. Our departure gate is B4. Do not enter B4 first, can only enter when the train number show green otherwise you will board the wrong train. The platform number will also be shown. We can only enter when our train number is shown green and we need to go to Platform 8. Once on Platform 8, look on the floor for the cabin number, if unsure ask the staff or fellow passengers by showing them the train ticket. The train are actually two trains travelling together with their train heads facing each other(See Video). So make sure board the right train. The interior of the China High Speed Rail Train is very cramped unlike the Taiwan High Speed Rail Train we sat before. (Taiwan HSR train was way more spacious). So do not bring very bulky and huge luggages. We could only put the luggages on the overhead compartment and not between the seats (too cramped). As we will be alighting very soon at the next station, we just hold on to our luggage on our lap (hahaha). I saw a very good video on You Tube on how to purchase the train ticket and board the train in Suzhou Railway Station.