Anyone know why tickets from mainland China to Europe have recently more than doubled?? Last time my ticket from Kunming to London (via Beijing) was only £360. Now it's nearly £800!! However, going from Hong Kong, or other Asian cities is still relatively cheap. Strange.
I will probably book from HK, and will take a train there. Anyone done this journey before and know the most hassle-free way? Do you change at Guangzhou or Shenzhen?
Was the last time your ordered during the same period of time? If not, it could be because it's peak season at the moment.
When I go to HK, I usually stop in GZ (only because I like to take 1-2 days to sample the food there) and then take the train there to HK. It also stops in SZ on the way (Dongguan too, if I remember correctly).
I prefer taking the train over the coach. It's a lot less troublesome and takes less time.
yeah last time i went in the low season. but still, £800 is outrageous for a one-way ticket. yeah i plan to spend a day or two in guangzhou or shenzhen on the way to sample the nightlife. is it possible to order the tickets to hk in advance while in kunming? or do you have to buy it in there?
its summer summer time!!(like fresh prince) they will drop again around sept!
True, true it's high season so the prices went up.
The funny thing is, try to get the same ticket as return trip. One that doesn't have too much fare restrictions.
Even if you are not planning to take the return flight, but to bail the ticket and get the refund (usually not more then 1000Kuai refund penalty). I did that before and I was able to get the one way for 5000 (after the penalty deduction) so it was worth it. Takes a bit of airline checking and calculating but can be worth up to 3000RMB.
Also I dunno where you looked, but C-trip and Elong are not cheap when it comes to international trips. Check some agencies they usually get you a better deal, depending on your airline requests.
Or contact some airlines directly I found out that they are cheaper than a lot of Ctrip/Elong offers.
Think i saw tickets to most big citites in europe going for CNY3300 at lufthansa.com these days, you should check that out.
I don't think you have to worry about the GZ to HK train. It rarely sells out and even if it does, there are plenty of trains from GZ to SZ, and from there, you just cross by land directly onto the HK MTR system.
The train to GZ is 22+ hours, so if you score a cheap flight, it might be worth it to fly.
I think Chengdu and Chongqing have some direct flights to Europe. That might be an alternate route.
chris8080: "is it possible to order the tickets to hk in advance while in kunming? or do you have to buy it in there?"
I haven't ordered them online before. Like AlexKMG said, it's rarely fully booked. It wasn't when I travelled from GZ, and there are several trains during the day. You might want to check the schedule though.
I did the 24-hour journey from GZ to BJ once. It was OK, since it was during the night, but I don't think I'd want to spend that much time on a train again.
China's amazing rail system has now added a high speed G train service from Guangzhou south to Beijing west. It's 8 hours now! Amazing, but it can cost more than a flight.
Sadly, Kunming to Guangzhou high speed rail is still years off.
Thanks for the suggestions - I'll check them out.
I did find out that there's a really cheap flight from HK to London on Astana Airlines - about £280. But you have to stop over at Astana Airport for 20 hours. I did ask in a different thread whether it's possible to get a Kazakhstan visa here in Kunming but I guess it's impossible. It would be cool to stop in Astana for a night and check out the city. Meet Borat. But sleeping in the airport is also an option.
In the end I'll probably just search out a cheap flight to HK and then spend a night there; it is a beautiful city.