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How to Get to the Five-Hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) in Pingtang, Guizhou, China
I did it! I visited the Five-Hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) in Pingtang, Guizhou, China. Are you looking to go? Well, here's how to get to it:
How to get tot he FAST Telescope?
1. Fly into the Guiyang Longdongbao International Airport in Guiyang, Guizhou and take an airport shuttle bus into downtown.
2. Pay a visit to the Sheraton Guiyang Hotel at 49 Zhong Hua Nan Road.
3. Ask the receptionist for tickets to the shuttle bus going directly to the FAST telescope in Pingtang. You'll need to provide your phone number, passport, and pay 280RMB. That price includes roundtrip travel to the FAST telescope via shuttle bus, lunch, and entrance to the Pingtang International Experience Planetarium. Once there, you'll also have to pay an additional 50RMB for a separate shuttle bus that takes tourists from the FAST reception center to the FAST telescope. That's it!
4. The shuttle buses depart from the DC Long Commercial Plaza (Google Maps translates it as Da Changlong Supermarket) at 8:30am.
5. You'll stop for lunch—a hotpot like meal—around 11:15am and arrive at the FAST Tourist Reception Center just after 12pm.
6. Once at the FAST reception center you'll need to get a locker and place all of the prohibited items—mobile phones, cameras, watches, etc.—in storage.
7. Then you are on your own to explore the FAST telescope and Pingtang International Experience Planetarium for the next few hours. You'll need to board the bus again at 3:30pm, where you'll go directly back to DC Long Commercial Plaza in Guiyang.
Other Options for Getting to the FAST Telescope
Here are some other ways I found through research on how to get to the FAST telescope. You're on your own should you try these:
CTrip/Trip.com - Here is a link my Chinese friend found on Ctrip. If you can get someone Chinese to help, you can purchase tickets for a ride on a shuttle bus from Guiyang to Pingtang. The price listed as of April 5, 2017 is 198RMB, but I don't think it also includes the entrance fee to the Pingtang International Experience Planetarium. Ctrip does have an English phone service. I suggest calling them yourself to arrange a spot on the bus.
High-Speed Train - From Guiyang Railway Station, take a high-speed train to Duyun. From Duyun, take a long distance bus to Pingtang County. I'm not sure if they'll have buses from Duyun that go directly to the FAST tourists reception center or if you'll arrive in Pingtang and still need to take a taxi/Didi to the site.
Where to Stay in Guiyang?
My friend and I stayed at the 7 Days Inn Guiyang Railway Station Post and Telecommunication Building Branch. It was a busy area and within a 10min. walking distance from People’s Square and about a 20min. walk from Guiyang Railway Station.
Safe & happy travels!