Paper ticket (not e-ticket) is a MUST for entering your train, even the train station in China. You can get your paper ticket at once if you book it at train stations, but if you book online, you have to collect your High Speed Train Ticket after booking. Due to the language barrier and habit differences, you may feel confused about how to collect your ticket in China. Don’t worry, your problems can be solved after read the below details.
The ticket pickup number(s) and original valid passport(s) are essential to collect your train tickets. The pickup number will be sent to you after booking the tickets which consists of one English letter prefix E and up to nine digits, e.g. E123456789. When you want to pick up tickets with the help of other people, you still need to give them the pickup number as well as your original passport (Copies of passports are not accepted).
Once you have received your ticket pickup number after booking online, you can collect your tickets at the train station whenever you like. China Discovery highly recommends you to collect your tickets in advance.If you Collect your Tickets on the Day of Departure, you’d better arrive at the train station about 2 hours in advance. You need to line up and wait for your turn to get tickets. It is worth noticing that lines to pick up tickets and for security check in the train station can be long, especially at peak travel times like Chinese holidays, summer and weekends. Ticket check for boarding will be closed 3~8 minutes prior to the departure time, so leave yourself enough time to catch your train.
● There is a special time limitation for collecting tickets booked via phone. If you phone the official before 12:00pm, you should collect before 12:00pm of 2nd day. If you phone the official after 12:00 am, you can collect your tickets before 24:00 of the 2nd day.
● If you are planning to travel China before or during Chinese public holidays like Chinese Spring Festival or the October National Day Holiday, you’d better collect your tickets ahead of time, like at least 2 hours before your train departure or more than one day in advance.
● If you are traveling on multiple trains, which mean you have lots of tickets to collect, you can collect them at your first travel train station so as to save time during your next High Speed Train travel.
Tickets can be collected at any working train stations in mainland China. If you book via phone, you have to collect your tickets at train station, no other selection available. No service fee is needed whether you collect it at your start station or other stations. For most large cities in China like Beijing and Shanghai have more than one train station, so you have to make sure your departure train station or else you may miss your train if you decide to pick up your tickets on the day that you depart. Actually, you can pick up your tickets at the closest train station in advance, which is recommended to do so especially at large cities or during Chinese holidays.
Most railway stations open 24 hours in a day, but there are a few ticket windows available after 11:00pm. While some small stations only opens during the daytime. Please pay attention to the operational period of the railway stations depend on the train schedules on the specific day and the size of the stations. It’d better to get your tickets during the business hour in the daytime.
You have to queue up at the ticket office, which may be in Chinese characters “售票厅” or “售票处”, with your pick up number and passport (or other identity ducument you used for booking) carried. The “售票厅” or “售票处” can be easily caught outside of the office building, and inside the office building there will be several ticket windows. You can make a ticket collection at most of the ticket windows except for the alternation windows (改签窗口) and cancellation windows (退票窗口). There may also be a separate ticket window to collect train tickets booked online, but the waiting line may not be the shortest.
Only selected staffs in metropolises like Beijing and Shanghai may speak English, so remember to queue in front of the right window or else your tickets may be canceled for the language barrier. You can also simply show the below sentences to the staff:
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