I would like to book some train tickets but want to do it in person for travel around China in August, ie, overnight train Kunming to Lijiang, and Bullet Train Suzhou to Beijing.
Can you give some helpful suggestions and a location where I could do this, with an agent that might be helpful to a non-speaking foreigner!?
Travel agents next to Camelia Hotel on Dongfangdong Lu, near the stadium. They are used to dealing with foreigners. Not sure about the service as I have never used them, but I know they are there. They usually seem pretty busy.
On Google maps it says the Camelia Hotel is closed down, but I suppose the ticket office is still there. Is the office on the north or south side of Dong Feng Dong Lu?
There's a ticket office on Beijing Lu, opposite fortune centre. I don't know how good they are with a non mandarin speaker (like me), but if you could have a chinese friend write down what you need/ have them on phone standby just in case, it should be fine. Don't forget to bring your passport!
I'm booking tickets for two. My foreign friend will arrive in KMG in August. Do I need her passport or would a scan be okay?
I'd say so, although I've never done it before I have friends who just used a copy as they were travelling while their passport was being held by their job.
I will try to get there tomorrow, but I guess I'm going to be too early, but I will ask these questions and post answers later! Thanks for all your help!
Ticket office was in one of the offices next to the Camelia hotel, between the hotel entrance and the road.
The ticket office I use is at the corner of Dongfeng Xi Lu 东风西路 and Wu Yi Lu 五一路, on the west side of Wu Yi Lu about 50 meters from the intersection. Big sign out front says "Train Tickets." No English, so you need to have things written out and take a Chinese friend or at least a Chinese friend's phone number.
This corner is where the Yunnan Provincial Museum is located, in case that landmark is helpful. The museum is on the south side of Dongfeng Xi Lu. It's also just about across the street from a small city park with statues of people holding the flag of China.
You need a copy of your friend's passport (the information page) so the office can get the passport number. A scan will do. Train tickets have the passenger's passport or ID number written on them by the ticket printing system.
Forget about the office that used to be near the Camellia Hotel. It was demolished at the same time the hotel was, so is not an option.