Guilin trains and the rail network in China generally run very efficiently. Long delays are a rarity. There are 4 choices of class: Soft seat, hard seat and soft sleeper and hard sleeper. The latter caters for overnight travel. Actually the difference between them is fairly minimal, especially considering the high price difference. Hard sleeper is definitely the best value for money.
If you decide to go for soft sleeper bear in mind that some offers on flights can actually be for a similar price. It’s definitely recommended to check first. A soft sleeper compartment contains 4 bunks and is a little more spacious, but the comfort level isn’t really that much different to the 6 bunks in the hard sleeper compartment.
When taking the hard sleeper, it is recommended to get a middle bunk. This means you can stow your luggage in a shelving area up high in a place that is hard for thieves to reach. You can do this with the top bunk to0, but the air conditioning can sometimes be a little too powerful. Also, having to clamber up to the top can be a little problematic. If you take the low bunk it means that people in the compartment tend to sit here and chat, so you might not have much space until lights go out.
Guilin Train Station and Connections to Major Cities in Southern China
Guilin’s main railway station is in the south of the city. It is a major hub for the rail network in Southern China, There are even international trains that run back and forth from Hanoi to Beijing. The station also has buses that go back and forth to Yangshuo.
Take the KCR (Subway) to Lo Wu and then cross over the border into Shenzhen where you will immediately find the train station. The T40 night train departs for Guilin every evening around 6pm. You can check the times and buy the ticket at a CITS in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong- Guangzou
There is now a train from Hung Hom in Hong Kong to Guangzou costing about 200 Hong Kong Dollars. This will take you to the East Guangzhou Railway Station. If you then want to catch one of the Guangzou-Guilin trains, you will need to go the Main Railway Station in the centre of Guangzhou. This should cost you around 40 RMB.
The K36 and T38 sleeper trains run every day to Guilin from the Main station. Both these trains have soft and hard sleepers and will drop you off at the Guilin station.
Trains to and from Kunming take about 20 to 22 hours. They're a good alternative for flying. There are also trains north and east to Xian, Beijing and Shanghai.
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