Hong Kong - Beijing Train vs. Plane

There are high speed trains, overnight trains and flights available for passengers travelling between Hong Kong and Beijing. Passengers are advised to choose fastest flight firstly, followed by high speed train with cheaper ticket fare. Traditional type train running overnight is the last choice because of the long duration.

Top Differences on Hong Kong - Beijing Bullet Train, Overnight Train and Flight

Bullet Train Overnight Train Flight
Schedule One pair per day  One pair every two days  More than 30 pairs per day
Travel Time Around 9 hours Around 24 hours Around 3 - 4 hours
Ticket Price Around 1,000 for a second class seat  Around 800 for a hard sleeper  Around CNY 1,500 - CNY 3,500 for an economy class seat
Recommendation Rate 

See detailed: Hong Kong - Beijing High Speed Train, Hong Kong - Beijing Overnight Train, Hong Kong - Beijing Flight


Schedule: There are more flights than trains.

There is one pair of bullet trains operated between Hong Kong and Beijing every day and one pair of normal trains every other day. No less than 30 pairs of direct flights fly between Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) and Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) every day.

However, passengers have around 5 pairs of high speed trains to choose from every day if transferring in Guangzhou South or Shenzhen North.

Travel Time: Flight is faster than bullet train.

Overall, comparison of time to airport or train station, processing time, waiting time and time on bullet train or flight, flight is faster than bullet train. Flight takes only 3 to 4 hours, while high-speed train needs about 9 hours. However, airports in both cities are out of town and it takes more time to board a flight than a train. These shorten the gap of door-to-door travel time between flight and train.

Ticket Price: Train tickets cost less.

The ticket fare from Hong Kong to Beijing bullet train is CNY 1,077 for second-class seat, and CNY 3,369 and CNY 1,724 for business class seat and first-class seat, respectively.

A hard sleeper on the overnight sleeper trains cost CNY 784, and deluxe soft sleeper and soft sleeper cost CNY 1,001 and CNY 505, respectively.

The ticket fare of an economy-class seat from Hong Kong to Beijing flight normally fluctuates between CNY 1,500 and CNY 3,500.

Internal Facilities: Bullet trains are as advanced as flights.

Currently, there are western toilets, air conditioning, electricity charging sockets and sofa-like seats on high speed trains, no big differences with those on a plane.

But, the internal space of trains may be larger than an airplane, for instance, the distance between two seat rows, hence passengers can travel more comfortably. 

Custom Clearance: It is much simpler and more time-saving at railway stations.

Passengers flying from Hong Kong to Beijing need to go through two customs clearance procedures at Beijing and Hong Kong airports, respectively. However, because of the implementation of the “cooperation immigration check” between China and Hong Kong, passengers only need to queue in one line to pass through customs of both sides at West Kowloon Station, which saves a lot of time for passengers.

Punctuality: High speed train seldom have delays while flight are often delayed.

The on-time rate of the flight is not as good as that of the high speed train. In case of inclement weather, the flight may be cancelled or delayed, affecting the passenger’s travel plans. However, most of the time, departure and arrival of the high speed train are very punctual.

Scenery: Train ride awards more kinds of scenery than flight.

On the plane, passengers can appreciate nothing but the beauty of the sky. But, on the train, passengers can enjoy the beautiful scenery of different cities and different areas along the way, feel the different life styles from the southern China to the northern China.

Further Reading:
How to Travel between Beijing and Hong Kong

- Last updated on May. 26, 2020 -
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