Guangtou's Great Northern Expedition competition

I’m arriving in HK on a container ship some time in early to mid October. From there I want to travel to Shanghai, but I don’t want to fly there - too fast. On the other hand, I don’t have enough time to ride a bike, so I need something between these two extremes that’s cool and interesting. Train is an option, but a straight run from Shenzhen doesn’t seem that inspiring.

So here’s the question - How should I travel from HK to Shanghai? There’s a bottle of Scotch in it for the best answer.


Hitchhike, of course! And to make sure you attract rides with more interesting drivers, dress yourself up in some outlandish costume, and make up a really colourful story about yourself and the purpose of your journey to share with them on the road. You can write it all up into a great story after you reach Shanghai.

The train is cool, but at just 24 hours is probably shy of what you’re after. If you do take it, I’d suggest grabbing it from Shenzhen. You can book online with China Travel, or a subsidiary. I’ve done that and they delivered the tickets to my office in HK.

Do not go by road. While the risk of Uigher nutjobs detonating the bus are low, the risk on the accident side and protracted traffic jams are high.

Take the slow boat to China. There’s a few sites devoted to catching freighters, here’s one:.

There used to be an old passenger boat from HK to Shanghai but that stopped around ten years ago. I took it in 1992 and it was hit by a severe typhoon on the first morning of our three day cruise, mercilessly delayed for another day and a half at sea as we went the long way around Taiwan to avoid the worst of it, and turning into a vast vomit bucket for the other 300 or so passengers.

Chief among the highlights was ordering a coffee and watching the smell of it tip a nice young crew lass over the edge forcing her to bow her head and spew into the sink just as she passed me the cup. It was a very deft move and highlighted her high level of professionalism, in my book.

It was definitely memorable!


Thanks gents for the suggestions. So far it’s HG with his eye on the booze. Any others?

PS: random stories about freaky stuff experienced on the road in China also welcome.