When our trip comes to an end, we must get from Guangzhou to Hong Kong to catch our flight back to the US. Robin, my new friend from Texas, told me a few days ago that her family was considering taking a train for this portion of the trip. It’s an inexpensive option and is only a two hour ride. I was really excited about the idea of taking a train. Sounded like fun until I read an e-mail from my agency regarding the whole train experience. I just had to post this portion of the e-mail because I literally laughed out loud when I read it. I just don’t think I can do it.
“The train to Hong Kong is usually booked for the 4:56pm departure. You would
need to leave the hotel around 2:45pm to go to the consulate with the rep to
pick up the visa then go to the train station. At the train station the rep will
help you with tickets but will not be able to accompany you past check in. You
will need to hand carry all luggage (no cart is available) up to the 4th floor
by escalator (no elevator is available). You can enter the immigration hall at
about 4:00pm. From there you will need to hand carry all luggage through
immigration & China customs, and then check in luggage. The train ticket doesn’t include any luggage check-in cost, as there is no space for them to put away luggage on the train, so you will need to check in at least the big pieces. It costs RMB80 to check each piece of luggage. It takes 1 hour 50 minutes to get to Hong Kong Kowloon station. It will then take about half hour to go through immigration in Hong Kong. You need to claim luggage and carry them up to the group floor (no cart is available). From there you will need to hand carry all luggage to the taxi station to catch a taxi from the train station to Hotel, most of the time near by the airport. It takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour from the train station to the airport. Each taxi one way to HK airport (hotels
around) costs about 350 to 400 HK$, which is about US$45-$50. Families usually
get to the Hotel around 8:00-8:30pm.”
I am picturing us trying to balance two kids, four large pieces of luggage, and our carry ons on the escalator…plus the whole immigration issue that comes with this option…plus the fact that our guide is not with us…you see where I’m going. Can’t do it. A van with a driver, it is!