A new train connects Hong Kong to Guangzhou in less than an hour

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Before the high-speed age, it took roughly two hours to reach Guangzhou East station from Hong Kong

After a delay of three years and a whopping HK$84.4 billion (US$11 billion) bill, the long-awaited rail line finally opened in September. The new link is a boon for travelers, connecting Hong Kong with 44 stations in Beijing, Shanghai, Guilin, Futian, Shenzhen, and more across China’s 15,534-mile national rail network.

With trains that travel up to 350 kilometers per hour (220 mph), the new line has turned excursions to southern Chinese destinations like Guangzhou—famed for its incredible dim sum, modern architecture, and ancient history—into an easy side trip from Hong Kong. (By comparison, the fastest train in the U.S. is Amtrak’s Acela Express ramping up to 150 mph at its fastest point.)

Before the high-speed age, it took roughly two hours to reach Guangzhou East station from Hong Kong via the MTR InterCity Through Train. And now? Just 48 minutes. Well, sort of. The high-speed trains arrive at Guangzhou South, a 30-minute taxi from the Tianhe district—where you’ll find the upcoming Rosewood Guangzhou debuting this summer, not to mention K11 Art Mall, and the Zaha Hadid-designed Guangzhou Opera House. All said and done, you’ll still have an extra hour to spend devouring char siu bao (barbecue pork buns) and har gau (shrimp dumplings).

It’s only slightly more expensive, too. InterCity tickets cost roughly $53 U.S. dollars round-trip, while a high-speed ticket shakes out to $64. The extra $11 don’t just buy you speed, but also an ever-so-slightly more comfortable experience. Here’s what you can expect from the trip.