The Spring Festival Travel Season, or Chunyun (春运), is well underway as people race home to chow down on dumplings and set the country ablaze with crackers and fireworks.
There are seven holiday public holidays in China lasting from 1 day to 3 days. The holidays are lengthened by people working weekends prior and after the break, holidays such as the National Day holiday/Mid Autumn Festival period can actually become 7 day breaks or longer.
The Spring Festival travel peak was nearing an end and there was probably some chance of getting a train ticket or flight once again. For this trip it’s off to meet future relatives.
In China there seems to be plenty of privately run bus services running here, there and everywhere but for a foreigner it’s usually much easier and simpler to just buy a train ticket. But in some cases the going via bus can provide huge time savings.
Guangzhou has a modern subway system which services a large part of the city. For me, I wanted to get from Ghuangzhou East Railway Station to Pazhou where the Canton Fair complex is. It turned out to be pretty easy, just buy a ticket at the electronic vending machine which accepts coins, 5 yuan notes and 10 yuan notes.
I was heading to the trade fairs that are held every year in Guangzhou, in particular, the Canton Fair and lucky for me there’s a regular fast train between Shenzhen Railway Station and Guangzhou East (Guangzhoudong).
Update 2018: there is now a High-Speed Rail service between Shenzhen and Hong Kong which runs between Shenzhen North Station, Futian Station, and to Hong Kong at the new West Kowloon Station. Regardless, the below method is still an option especially if you are travelling to destinations on the East Rail Line such as Sheung Shui or Tai Po areas.
This was my second trip on a train in China and again it’s an overnight train with the trip taking just over 10 hours. I would be travelling on the D305 which leaves Beijing South station an 9.40PM and arrives in Shanghai at 7.52AM.