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Getting to Canton Fair is about to be revolutionized with the opening of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL). Beginning from Sunday September 23rd, travelers from Hong Kong will be able to take a train from West Kowloon in Hong Kong to Guangzhou South in just 48 minutes.

canton fair high speed train
Photo from http://www.mtr.com.hk

Until now, travelers going to Canton Fair typically either took the train from Hung Hom to Guangzhou East with a time of 2 hours plus, or took a private car from Hong Kong airport with a cost more more than 1000 RMB. The new XRL is about to change all that, getting to Canton Fair is about to get a whole lot easier!

Where does the XRL go and how long does it take?

The XRL will stop at 7 stations, six of which are in Mainland China and one in Hong Kong. Below is a list of the stations and how long they take to reach starting in Hong Kong.

  • West Kowloon – Station of departure
  • Futian – 14 mins
  • Shenzhen North – 23 mins
  • Guangming – To be confirmed
  • Humen – 30 mins
  • Qingsheng – To be confirmed
  • Guangzhou South – 48 mins (Guangzhou is the home of Canton Fair)
canton fair xrl high speed train map
Photo: Wikicommons

How much are tickets and how can I buy them?

Tickets for the XRL will be available at all departure stations. For Mainland China, keep checking Ctrip for when online ticket purchases become available. For Hong Kong, refer to the MTR official website. Below is a list of the ticket prices.

  • West Kowloon – Station of departure
  • Futian – HKD80
  • Shenzhen North – HKD90
  • Guangming – To be confirmed
  • Humen – HKD210
  • Qingsheng – To be confirmed
  • Guangzhou South – HKD280 (Guangzhou is the home of Canton Fair)

Where do I pass through immigration control? Is it the same as other SZ-HK Borders?

No, it’s not, and that actually has been the source of a lot of controversy during the development and construction of the XRL. For the first time, a joint checkpoint will be in operation at the Shenzhen-Hong Kong border.

This development has been prominent in the local news in recent years as the public and politicians alike consider the ramifications of such a move. For the everyday travelers, however, the joint checkpoint has the potential to severely cut down on the time spent going through immigration and customs.

Not only does the XRL stand to be faster than any other travel option to Guangzhou, it will also likely have the quickest immigration and customs check too.

Is it convenient to reach other areas of Guangzhou from Guangzhou South station?

Of course, it depends where you want to go, but generally speaking, the Guangzhou South station is well-linked with other transport in Guangzhou.

To get to Canton Fair: You can reach Canton Fair directly within 40 minutes by metro and for only 6 RMB (less than $1 USD), the stations for Canton Fair are XinGangDong or Pazhou, this will take you directly to the Canton Fair complex.

By taxi: is a similar time, and will cost around 75 RMB (around $10 USD), make sure you have the location you want to go in Chinese, no taxi drivers will understand any written or spoken english.

gaungzhou south to canton fair
Download the APP https://exploregz.com/metro/

How to reach Kowloon West station

To get from Hong Kong International Airport, take the Airport Express line to Kowloon stations, take the walking bridge from Kowloon station to Kowloon West, including walking, is 40 – 50 minutes.

airport to kowloon mtr map

To get from Hong Kong Island, take the Tung Chung MTR line from Hong Kong MTR station to Kowloon MTR stations, take the walking bridge from Kowloon station to Kowloon West, including walking, is 30 – 40 minutes.

hong kong to kowloon mtr map

Can I use the XRL to travel to other parts of Mainland China?

You can, and although it does not change much for most in that respect, it does make certain journeys more convenient for some people living in Shenzhen. For example, those living near Futian no longer need to travel to Shenzhen North or Luohu to take the train to Dongguan or Guangzhou.

Now, they can take the XRL train and be in Dongguan in about 16 minutes and Guangzhou in 34 minutes. From there, travelers can carry onto the rest of the country using the extensive high speed network in Mainland China.

canton-fair-xrl-mainland-map
*Source of information: Transport and Housing Bureau

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