Thursday, April 05, 2012

Longchang to Chongqing to Shanghai

A travel day with many segments.

Leave hotel at 10:15AM and walk to bus stop. Take local bus #7 (1 yuan each) to Longchang Train Station. The 11:07AM (41 yuan each) is on time and arrives in Chongqing at 4:15PM. Walk up a hundred (more or less) steps to a Chongqing Rail Transit (CRT - aka Chongqing Metro) Line 3 station. Ride 21 stops (6 Yuan each) to the end of Line 3 and it's a short escalator ride up to Domestic Departures at Chongqing Jianbei International (CKG). Our Spring Airlines flight (400 yuan each) leaves on time at 8:55PM and we arrive in Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA) at 11PM. Our bags come right out; the taxi rank is humming, and we are home at Sun-Ling's parents at 00:06 according to the fare receipt.

For our fellow independent travelers we present

How to get from the Chongqing Train Station to the Chongqing Metro (CRT) and Chongqing Jianbei Airport as of April 1, 2012.

On exiting the train station there is a medium-sized plaza. The bus station and official taxi rank are to the right (signage in Chinese and English). To your left and slightly above you (almost due north if you have a compass) is a local bus stop. There may also be taxis at this bus stop. And if you keep looking up you will see a long flight of steps with a monument at the top. That monument is your goal.

Walk across the plaza and up the steps to the bus stop. Then, cross the road via the pedestrian bridge and walk up the steps to the monument. At the monument, take a right and go up the steps under the arcade (or maybe its the underside of the road above). As you start up the dim, arcaded steps, keep looking to your left and very soon you will see the bright modern interior of Lianglukou Station with immediate access to lines 1 and 3. Go in. A ticket vending machine will be to the right. [As far as we could tell, there were no signs, in Chinese or English, in the arcade (or anywhere) pointing to the metro station, so stay alert.]

A ride/ticket to the airport is 6 yuan. Take Line 3 all the way to the end to Jianbei Airport Station. The ride takes about 70 minutes and the station is short escalator ride from Domestic Departures. Not sure how far to International Departures; check the signs to take the correct exit from the station.

1 - Touts at the train station told us (they were lying) that it's a long walk from the metro stop to the airport, so "take our bus". Nothing could be farther from the truth. It's amazingly short to the domestic check-in counters.
2- We had no trouble getting ourselves and our backpacks into the metro station or onto the cars. Plus folks were friendly.
3- There are no signs (that we could see) at the train station pointing the way to the metro station and don't expect anyone to know where it is.
4 - The steps up to the monument are not trivial, but not daunting either. However, if you are dragging wheeled luggage, give yourself some extra time.
5 - I assume you can follow these steps in reverse to get from Jianbei Airport to Chongqing Station (not to be confused with the Chongqing North Railway Station).


Crash Eddy said...

Thanks for the detailed directions. I must say, I doubt I will be traveling in China as you have to be able to use them. They are out there on the internet now for those who do travel to use.

I'm assuming none of the signs (you didn't see) would be in English.

john said...

The signs would be in English and Chinese. For example, there were signs with arrows as we exited the train station for "Bus Station =>" and "Taxi =>". At the Airport there was all the usual airport signage in both Chinese and English including the scrolling arrivals and departures screens.

I found this blurb on about the Nanjing Train Station that applies to most big train stations in China: "The signs that help you find your way around the station are labeled in English, but signs that display ticket prices or availability are not in English. Therefore it may be difficult for a person that does not speak Chinese to purchase a ticket."

Good comment! I may revise those directions a bit.

Kathy said...

Quite a trek! Sounds like a place crying out for an escalator. Did you buy your train ticket ahead of time?

john said...

Kathy - Yes, we bought the tickets in Zigong and almost a week in advance. There was a small fee (2 yuan I think) for buying the tickets. Plus we used our credit card!

There is a plan in progress to build a huge new train station under a new Terminal 3 at the airport, so it seems that transferring from the current main station to the metro is not a priority.....And I think it would have to be a funicular, not an escalator. ;-)


Kathy said...

Aren't you back in the US now? How's San Francisco?

john said...

We are back in the US and currently in Davis, CA visiting friends; headed to Yosemite tomorrow... Did not spend any time in San Francisco proper...The weather has been great... Did an awesome hike in Big Basin State Park.

Kathy said...

Hope it stays that way for me - I'll be on the west coast in a week.

We had almost summer last month in NC, but it's gone back to winter this past month.

Susan in Florida said...

Thanks for sharing your travels with us. I have very much enjoyed it.