Let's ride on the train to anywhere from here!
We do not speak Chinese, so we had to ordered Chinese travel agency to get the train ticket from Japan. Now we go to Harbin from Changchun by train. About two and half hours.
How to ride on train
Firstly, you go into the station and check the ticket to enter waiting room.
There are some kinds of ticket.
Hard seat : the cheapest (if you want to long trip, we can not recommend)
Soft seat : Double price of the cheapest, comfortable, air conditioner
If you want to get a sleeping-car ticket.
There are two kinds.
Hard bed : Triple bank bed?@faced each other 3.5times the cost of the hard seat.
Soft bed : double bed with cushion faced each other in one compartment. Five times the cost of hard seat.
Secondly, you must wait the waiting room. you have to come before 30min train arrive.
Third, you show your ticket to ticket gateman and you can get into your platform.
Fourth, train come to platform. You should concentrate which is your train cars.
Because we can?ft forecast where train cars will stop. Sometimes train cars connected inconsistently.
Finally, you will find your car. You can enter to the train.
A young Chinese couple with baby sit in front of us. They were kindly to care about us to when train stop Harbin. We had fun to train trip.
A very cheap way to get around in Changchun is by bus (only 1 yuan per ride). However, this works best if you can read Mandarin and are a bit familiar with the city. You could try to ask other people to help you choose which bus to take, but I wouldn't recommend that. Just as with taxi's you never have to wait long for a bus; if you miss one, the next one will follow in just a few minutes.
The most convenient way of transportation within Changchun is (like most other cities in China) by taxi. They are quite cheap (usually ranging from 5 - 15 RMB) and available as soon as you raise your hand. In Changchun almost every taxi is a dark red Volkswagen Jetta. (These are produced in the city by the large joint-venture between Volkswagen and FAW)
This is another very common transportation in Changchun, mostly used by Chinese.
I was never so bold to board such "taxi", but if you want some adventure in the Chinese traffic, you can always try it.
It costs just about 2-3 RMB (about USD 30-40 cents) for a short ride inside the boundaries of a district.
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Trams are another transportation option in Changchun.
Although the existing lines do not cover the entire city, it is a good option between main city locations.
It costs just 1 RMB (about USD 15 cents).
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Changchun Railway Station
Given Changchun's history as a railway town, it is unsurprising that the railway station is at the heart of the city, sitting at the northern end of Renmin Jie.
The station is modern, and everything is well signposted in English and Chinese. However, the soft class waiting room requires you to climb four flights of stairs!
There is no separate soft-class ticket office, but the main ticket office is not so busy, and buying tickets should only take ten minutes or so (but no English is spoken).
Crossing the roads outside the station is particularly difficult.
Changchun Airport is on the western outskirts of the city, and is only 20 minutes by taxi or 30 minutes by bus from the centre. Like many other cities in China, a new airport is being constructed - some distance to the north of the city.
Also in common with most other airports in China, the taxi drivers are keen to remove as much money from you as possible. The first taxi driver wanted Y100 for the journey to the railway station, and insisted his meter was broken. I switched to another taxi, whose meter was working, and the trip cost around Y40 for the journey.
Changchun Airport is not well set-up for arriving passengers, and the traveller is out in the baking heat (or more often, the freezing cold) in the masseses with nowhere to gather thoughts. However, head left out of the door to a little coffee shop, which will be almost empty.
Buses are an option
In Changchun, you can always use the bus network to come and go... although the city does not offer a subway network, the bus system covers most of the city...
And you find even some interesting double-deckers (maybe some junk from Hong Kong).
In Changchun take taxis... they are relative cheap and it is the best way to move around the city.
Just get at your hotel or with some friend the right address of where you intend to go, written in chinese of course, before taking the taxi, otherwise your experience will be quite unusual. (hehehe). It happened to me, trust me... I suggest you try to take a taxi without any directions one time... on the other times, get yourself the chinese address written down!
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To Changchun by train
From Beijing there are some night train lines, which offer the traveller a very comfortable trip.
Ride takes about 8 hours and costs 350Y for first class (soft sleeper).
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