High Speed Train Service
This is fantastic. From Suzhou to Shanghai is about 25 minutes. You are traveling at 170 Mph. The best part of it all is the round trip is about $15. Of course, you can go to Bejing or many other places. You can also take a normal train but the high speed is great.
This site has an interactive schedule. There is also an ‘Open Magazine’ in many of the stores here in Suzhou. If you pick one up it will have the train schedule for the month included.
You can get train tickets at either of the stations. There are also some locations around town. I have identified both stations as well as the ticket office near ‘Euro Mart’ on the map below. I suggest if you want to find the one near Euro Mart you ask someone as it is hard to find.
The train travel is very easy. You purchase your ticket (You will need a passport and your Passport number will be printed on the ticket so you may not want to leave it when you are done), then go through a quick security check. The board on the wall will turn green (look at the train number on your ticket G7011, G7074…) and everyone will cue when it is time to board. Look at your car number and follow the crowd. You sometimes have to scan your ticket multiple times so keep it handy. When you get to the platform, line up by your car number. On the tickets below, you can see in the upper right, one is car 5 and the return was car 6. Once the train shows up, hop on and find your seat. Again, seat is listed next to the car number. The train to Shanghai stops right in the main station where you can catch the local subway so very easy.
Only word of caution is the trains do not stop long at the station. If you are late or mill around, it will leave without you. Next time we go I will try to get some pictures to help clarify it a little more.
June 22, 2013