Guilin Transportation

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Get in Guilin by plane

There are daily flights to Guilin Liangjiang International Airport (KWL) from major mainland cities and from Hong Kong, Bangkok (not regular), Kuala Lumpur, Osaka and Seoul. Book air ticket early as the price will increase as it approaches your traveling day. At off season, air ticket may be cheaper than train ticket (even the hard sleeper price), it is worth a try to check the difference. Air Asia provides flights to Guilin from Kuala Lumpur 4 times per week.

Airport bus to town is RMB20, but drops just south of the city centre. Taxi should then be around RMB100 to most hotels. The bus only leaves when full-ish so there may be a wait as the bus fills up. A taxi direct from the airport to a city centre hotel is about RMB100. Back to the airport, a hotel may arrange the trip for RMB80.

Get in Guilin by train

Guilin has two train stations. Guilin Station (Guilin Zhan) is in the centre of town on Zhongshan Nanlu while Guilin North Station (Guilin Bei Zhan) is far away from downtown area. Most, but not all, trains which originate/terminate in Guilin go to or come from Guilin North while trains which come through Guilin from elsewhere usually only go to Guilin Station and not Guilin North.

There are trains from North (Beijing, Changsha, Wuhan, Shanghai, Xian), West (Kunming), South (Liuzhou, Nanning, Zhanjiang), and East (Guangzhou, Shenzhen).

From Beijing: If for some reason you need to rush from Beijing to Guilin or vice-versa, there are three trains on either direction. To Beijing, trains depart from Guilin (not Guilin Bei) at 12:59AM (train from Zhanjiang), 3:06PM (from Nanning) and 7:30PM. Journey time is between 22 hour and 30 hours, with the 3:06PM train being the fastest.

From Hong Kong via Shenzhen: Take MTR to Lo Wu via the East Rail line. After going through immigration and customs, keep to the left when exiting. To get to the area for long distance travel, you need to walk past the Guangzhou trains area. The T38 departs 5:51PM arriving Guilin 6:42AM. The ticket will cost approximately RMB430 for a soft sleeper and RMB245 for a hard sleeper (prices vary slightly depending on the bunk position). The return trip T40 departs Guilin at 9:28PM arriving Shenzhen 10:35AM.

From Guangzhou and Shenzhen: Two trains to Guangzhou daily, leaving at 6:04PM (from Liuzhou) and 9:20PM. The latter goes all the way to Shenzhen.

From Hong Kong via Guangzhou: It is relatively easy to book a train ticket to either Shenzhen or Guangzhou on MTR, however note that if going to Guangzhou there are two stations in this city, the MTR trains terminate in Guangzhou Station and the domestic trains depart from the other East Station, which is on the other side of the city and a fairly long metro ride (English is on the Metro ticket machine). There is a metro entrance in the train station when you arrive in Guangzhou, and it is a bit of a pain to find, just look for the stairs going down in a corner of the station. The tickets to Guilin are sold around the corner from this exit, you have to go outside the station and you will see another set of ticket stalls. Whether there will be tickets available depends on how early you are booking, do not expect to get them for the day of travel.

From Kunming: The fastest trains from Kunming are those which go via Nanning and the scenic Nankun railway, taking around 20 hours. Those going via Guiyang take at least 28 hours. If traveling to Kunming, trains depart Guilin at 5:46AM (from Zhengzhou via Guiyang), 8:52AM (via Nanning), 1:34PM (from Nanjing via Guiyang) and 7PM (from Shanghai via Nanning).

From Nanning: There are around ten trains to choose from if coming from Nanning (5 to 6 hours). From Guilin (not Guilin Bei) to Nanning, trains depart at 12:13AM (train from Xian), 6:22AM (from Nanchang), 7:48AM, 8:09AM (train from Zhengzhou), 8:26AM, 8:52AM (train to Kunming), 2:36PM (train from Beijing), 4:13PM (from Wuxi), 4:05PM, 7PM (from Shanghai to Kunming). The fastest train is the 8:26AM, taking just 5 hours. All these trains stop at Liuzhou (2 hours from Guilin). One way hard seat ticket cost RMB65. Train tickets from Guilin to Nanning sell out fast so should be booked at least two or three days in advance.

From Chengdu: There is one train per day from Chengdu, the K652. It departs Chengdu at 3:15PM and arrives 25 hours later. Cost is about RMB230. Once you get out of the train station, you will be approached by cab drivers/other drivers alike. While their cab meters are trustworthy, they might use a few tricks to cheat you out of some RMB, for example, aggressively pushing tours or adding false charges to the tab.