Harbin is about 1,200km from Beijing and that is like traveling three times the distance of Manila to Laoag. so you either take two hours plane ride from Beijing or a 10-15hours sleeper train or the 8hours bullet train. i chose the latter for the experience and comfort. 8hours might sound long but just give me a book, a note, a lap table and a reclining window seat that's it.
you won't run out of options if you travel by train to Harbin (see train schedule on how to get there). some leave Beijing as early as 6am and as late as 11:00pm in several intervals. the most preferred option would be a sleepover trip but in this particular trip i chose a morning trip leaving Beijing by seven in the morning.
this route is part of China's Trans-Machurian route and i won't sleep over a trip like this. getting to Harbin by bullet train will take few very short stopovers to major cities of Changchun and Shenyang. the comfortable reclining seats and the nice view made me took photos from time to time.
coming from a tropical country, seeing a different country during winter is a delight. from beautiful misty fields to frozen lakes. for me, views like these just inside the train is like paying the fare for a scenic tour. no guides needed.
few hours before reaching Harbin came a hilly field with windmills. when i reached the winter city a freezing 2 degrees Celsius welcomed me. it was a sign that i am indeed at China's northernmost province.
next post: a first look at the city of Harbin
how to get there:
Trains Schedule Beijing to Harbin
Train D29 - Beijing ETD 7:00am ETA 3:00pm (Estimated trip length: 8hrs)
Train D25 - Beijing ETD 10:00am ETA 6:00pm (Estimated trip length: 8hrs)
Train D101 - Beijing ETD 1:50pm ETA 9:50pm (Estimated trip length: 8hrs)
Train D27 - Beijing ETD 3:15pm ETA 11:15pm (Estimated trip length: 8hrs)
Train T157 - Beijing ETD 6:18am ETA 5:00pm (Estimated trip length: 10hrs)
Train K339 - Beijing ETD 11:00am ETA 2:40pm (Estimated trip length: 15hrs)
Train K297 - Beijing ETD 12:00nn ETA 2:00am (Estimated trip length: 15hrs)
Train T39 - Beijing ETD 1:45pm ETA 4:45am (Estimated trip length: 15hrs)
Train K2265 - Beijing ETD 1:57pm ETA 8:30am (Estimated trip length: 18hrs)
Train T47 - Beijing ETD 6:57pm ETA 6:20am (Estimated trip length: 11hrs)
Train K1082 - Beijing ETD 8:43pm ETA 4:04pm (Estimated trip length: 19hrs)
Train T17 - Beijing ETD 9:23am ETA 8:30pm (Estimated trip length: 11hrs)
Train K19 - Beijing ETD 11:00pm ETA 3:04pm (Estimated trip length: 16hrs)
Trains from Beijing to Harbin will be from Beijing South Railway Station (Kaiyang Rd Cor Nanzhan Xingfu Rd)
Train length varies depending on the train speed and the number of stopovers.