Best Travel Options Between Beijing and Chengde

December 4th, 2016
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While planning your Beijing tour, you may consider an interesting side trip to Chengde (承德). Now we are going to assist you in choosing the best travel options between Beijing and Chengde. There are three major ways of traveling from Beijing to Chengde – take the train, the bus and driving. We’ll help you analyse the advantages and disadvantages of each transportation option.

Chengde is an important scenic and historical city, only 250 km northeast of Beijing. Though it is possible for you to make a day trip from Beijing, we suggest you stay overnight to see its magnificent landscape and feel the  splendid culture and history behind it.

1. Travel From Beijing to Chengde by Train
There are 4 daily trains running between Beijing Railway Station ( one of the four major stations in Beijing ) and Chengde Railway Station (the only available station in Chengde). Of the four trains, only Train No.7711 starts from Beijing and ends at Chengde as its final destination while other three pass by Beijing and Chengde.

Beijing Chengde Train

Beijing Chengde Train

We recommend you take the Train No.7711 (7:56 – 12:31) from Beijing to Chengde and the Train No.7712 ( 19:15 – 23:38) back from Chengde to Beijing. The train takes about 4 and half hours. You can buy your tickets online in advance or at any of the train stations on the spot.

Advantages: Safe, Comfortable and affordable prices ( US$ 8 – 15 depending different seats )
Disadvantages: Tricky to get tickets, longer train ride time, and only one direct train

 

 

2. Getting from Beijing to Chengde by Bus
The bus service from Beijing to Chengde is more frequent, an easy and affforable option for travelers. The long-distance service for Chengde operates only at two of the bus terminals in Beijing – Sihui  Transportation Hub (四惠交通枢纽) and Liuliqiao Long-Distance Bus Station (六里桥客运主枢纽).

Sihui Bus Terminal

Sihui Bus Terminal

There are about 30 daily buses starting from Liuliqiao Long-Distance Bus Station ( first bus at 6:40 and last 18:20); 20 daily buses leaving from Sihui Long-Distance Bus Station (first bus at 7:10 and last 18:10). Just purchase your bus tickets in person at the two bus stations.

Liuliqiao Long-Distance Bus Station
Add: A1, Liuliqiao Nan Li, Fengtai District, Beijing

Sihui Long-Distance Bus Station
Add: No.68, Jianguo Lu, Chaoyang District

 

 

Advantages: Frequent and affordable prices ( US$ 15  )
Disadvantages: A bit tricky to get to the bus terminals, less comfortable than train

3. Driving from Beijing to Chengde

Beijing-Chengde Expressway

Beijing-Chengde Expressway

You can drive directly from Beijing to Chengde along the expansive expressway – Jingcheng Expressway. Jingcheng Expressway is 209.1km in length with 132.4 km in Beijing and 76.7 in Chengde. Its completion has made Beijing Chengde driving two hours, two hours less than previous old highway.

Its speed is minimum 50 km/h, maximum 120 km/h. The expressway has 6 lanes (3 up, 3 down) for sections closer to Beijing, 4 lanes for other sections. So you can hire a car with driver to visit Chengde and possibly you can make a day trip to Chengde from and back to Beijing by car.

 


Advantages
: Fast, flexible and value-added if you travel on a small group to split the cost
Disadvantages: Expensive, possible congested traffic

4. Guided Excursions to Chengde from Beijing

Little Potala Palace

Little Potala Palace

250 km northeast of Beijing lie two UNESCO world heritage sites – Eight Outer Temples listed 1994 and Mountain Resort listed in 1997 under the jurisdiction of Chengde, a prefecture-level city in Hebei province.

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself trip and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided excursions from Beijing to Chengde:

Beijing Chengde 2 Day Tour by Train  Starting US$ 205 p/p
Beijing Chengde 2 Day Tour By Car or Van  Starting US$ 230 p/p
Beijing Chengde One Day Tour by car or van  Starting US$ 110 p/p
Beijing Chengde Jinshanling Great Wall 2 Day Tour   Starting US$ 215 p/p
Beijing Chengde Eastern Qing Tombs 2 Day Tour  Starting US$ 290 p/p

Further Readings


Best Time to Visit Chengde
Top 10 Attractions in Chengde
How to Visit Chengde in One Day
Chengde Outdoor Winter Activities

Any questions, just drop a line.

Visit Shanghai in December

October 30th, 2016
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Plan your Shanghai tour in December?  December sees an autumn slowly morphing into winter in Shanghai and the temperature goes down at a big margin though it is not as cold as that in the northern China.

If you choose this month to tour the megacity of Shanghai,  get ready for warm clothes – overcoat, sweater, or even thin winter down jacket.

Pudong Skyline

Pudong Skyline

Though for many travelers, December is not the most desirable month for Shanghai sightseeing, it does offer some exciting perks – huge discounts on accommodations, transportation and entrance fees, plus less crowds of domestic tourists.

The Weather in December in Shanghai


Lying on the southeast coastal area of China, Shanghai has a humid subtropical monsoon climate with four distinct seasons.  Shanghai enters winter in December with average temperature between 3℃ (Night) and 11℃ (Day).

There is a big temperature difference between day and night.  This month is a bit dry with litter rain. Be ready for change of clothing and drink constantly on your day trip.

Historical Weather Data for November in Shanghai

We’ve collected the following Shanghai’s historical daily weather data which offers very useful weather information on Shanghai in terms of average lowest and highest temperature as well as extreme temperatures.

You may use the historical weather date for December in Shanghai to facilitate your decision on what to wear and what to pack on your future trip to Shanghai.

Date
Average High
Average Low
Extreme High Extreme Low
Dec 01 13℃ 4℃ 23℃(1953) -5℃(1966)
Dec 02 13℃ 4℃ 23℃(1968) -5℃(1952)
Dec 03 13℃ 4℃ 21℃(1975) -6℃(1952)
Dec 04 13℃ 4℃ 19℃(1989) -5℃(1952)
Dec 05 12℃ 4℃ 20℃(1972) -6℃(1952)
Dec 06 12℃ 4℃ 21℃(1991) -4℃(1952)
Dec 07 12℃ 4℃ 20℃(1990) -3℃(1951)
Dec 08 11℃ 4℃ 21℃(1978) -4℃(1967)
Dec 09 12℃ 3℃ 21℃(1978) -5℃(1967)
Dec 10 13℃ 4℃ 22℃(1990) -4℃(1956)
Dec 11 12℃ 4℃ 19℃(1955) -4℃(1967)
Dec 12 11℃ 3℃ 20℃(1961) -5℃(1967)
Dec 13 11℃ 3℃ 19℃(1951) -5℃(1954)
Dec 14 11℃ 3℃ 20℃(1955) -6℃(1969)
Dec 15 10℃ 3℃ 18℃(1977) -5℃(1954)
Dec 16 11℃ 3℃ 19℃(1996) -5℃(1967)
Dec 17 11℃ 3℃ 18℃(1958) -6℃(1965)
Dec 18 10℃ 3℃ 17℃(1979) -5℃(1965)
Dec 19 10℃ 3℃ 18℃(1992) -6℃(1960)
Dec 20 11℃ 3℃ 19℃(1996) -5℃(1960)
Dec 21 11℃ 3℃ 20℃(1951) -4℃(1967)
Dec 22 10℃ 3℃ 18℃(1998) -6℃(1967)
Dec 23 10℃ 3℃ 18℃(1963) -6℃(1973)
Dec 24 11℃ 3℃ 21℃(1987) -9℃(1953)
Dec 25 10℃ 3℃ 19℃(1987) -6℃(1965)
Dec 26 9℃ 2℃ 20℃(1962) -7℃(1973)
Dec 27 9℃ 2℃ 22℃(1987) -6℃(1966)
 Dec 28 9℃ 2℃ 23℃(1987) -7℃(1991)
Dec 29 9℃ 2℃ 23℃(1987) -8℃(1967)
Dec 30 9℃ 2℃ 17℃(2000) -9℃(1967)
Dec 31  9℃  2℃  15℃(2001)  -5℃(1954)

What to Wear


In December the overall weather condition in Shanghai is relatively stable with the features  of being dry and cold. The average temperature in December in Shanghai varies between the highest 11℃ and the lowest 3 ℃ characterised by the big temperature drop between day and night.

Outdoor daytime wear: overcoat, jackets, jeans, overcoat, thin sweater or  light winter clothes;  outdoor evening wear: light down jacket, or overcoat, knit wear ,jeans,winter hat and caps.

Where to Stay


Shanghai is one of the world’s largest metropolitan cities. The huge city offers you plentiful hotel choices from luxury international brand hotels to budget hostel.

Your hotel selection is also affected by the location you are going to choose.  People prefer a convenient hotel in terms of its proximity to subways, shopping centers and attractions you are going to visit.

So first of all, you need to acquaint yourself with the basic knowledge of the district and neighbourhood you are going to stay and your hotel should be close to a metro line, shopping malls, etc.

Shanghai is mainly divided into 16 districts (8 urban districts and 8 suburban districts). Each district has its own core city. If you are on a leisure trip to Shanghai, you expect to stay in one of the 8 urban districts.

The 8 districts are all located in Puxi – to the west bank of Huangpu River while Pudong New District is located to the east bank of Huangpu River. The Pudong New Area is full of highrises, not suitable for leisure travelers.

8 Urban Districts
Jing’an District (静安区)
Huangpu District (黄浦区)
Xuhui District (徐汇区)
Changning District (长宁区)
Putuo District (普陀区)
Zhabei District (闸北区)
Hongkou District (虹口区)
Yangpu District (杨浦区)

8 Suburban Districts
Pudong New District (浦东新区)
Baoshan District (宝山区)
Minhang District (闵行区)
Jiading District (嘉定区)
Jinshan District (金山区)
Songjiang District (松江区)
Qingpu District (青浦区)
Fengxian District (奉贤区)

Basically people would arrange their hotels in one of the 8 Urban Districts. But for business travelers, Pudong New District is also a good option too.

For more information on each district and its hotel choices,  check out the link Where to Stay in Shanghai.

Where to See


As you know, Shanghai is cut into two parts by Huangpu River: Pudong ( to the east of  Huangpu River ) and Puxi ( to the west of the Huangpu River ). Most of the historical and scenic sites in shanghai are in Puxi while Pudong is the new development area peppered with numerous futuristic high-rise buildings.

If it is your first time to visit Shanghai, we are happy to present you our version of Top 10 Things to Do in Shanghai for your reference. You are kindly advised to visit Shanghai per your personal taste. Hope our Top 10 Things to Do in Shanghai will be helpful in planning your Shanghai trip. Check out the link – Top 10 Attractions in Shanghai.

Though winter is not the best season to visit Shanghai in terms of weather, it doesn’t make much difference to visit Shanghai in winter from other seasons due to its static city landscapes. Shanghai winter tour has its own advantage – less crowded, big discounts for admission fees, hotels and flights. Check out Top Things to do in Shanghai in winter.

What to Eat


Shanghai has a good reputation in Chinese gourmet circles, and boasts one of China’s most characteristic and distinctive cuisines.

You can appreciate the beautiful scenery and enjoy the local food culture as well during your Shanghai tour.

Shanghai cuisine, collecting the traditional of old Shanghai and the fad of new Shanghai, is a place gathering all kinds of snacks such as Nanxiang Xiaolongbao (Steamed Pork Dumplings), a must you should taste on your Shanghai trip.

Snacks at Yuyuan Bazaar

Snacks at Yuyuan Bazaar

Nanxiang Xiaolongbao is a traditional snack of Nanxiang Town with a history of more than 100 years. It is deeply popular with the tourists both home and abroad for its thin skin, much stuffing, fresh flavour. You can find Nanxiang Xiaolongbao in many places in Shanghai.

We’ve rounded up the top 10 best restaurants in Shanghai, so  get ready to have a bite! Please check out Top 10 Best Restaurants in Shanghai  and Top 10 Shanghai Classic Vegetarian Restaurants  for more information.

December Events, Holidays & Festivals


Annual Events and Festivals

1. National Legal Publicity Day 全国法制宣传日
The National Legal Publicity Day falls on 4 December which was inaugurated in 2001.  It is aimed at promoting the constitution sprite as well as building a harmonious society in China.

2. Christmas Eve 圣诞之夜
If you happen to spend your Christmas eve in Beijing during your Xian tour, you may take some adventure going on to the streets to explore and spend a local Christmas eve.

4. New Year Eve Ceremony 新年之夜欢庆
Each year Xian local tourism bureau will hold a fantastic “New Year Celebration” on the eve of the coming new year in a unique way.  Turn to a local travel agency or visit Xian tourism bureau’s official website for the new year celebration.

Tip:  Hassle-free Shanghai Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself bus route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Shanghai:

Shanghai Highlight Day Tour from US$ 65
Afternoon Ambling & Evening Brilliant Cruise Day Tour from US$ 55
Historic Shanghai and Ancient Water Town Day Tour from US$ 59
Shanghai 2 Day Tour Package from US$ 145
Shanghai 3 Day Tour Pacakge from US$ 199

Further Readings


Top 10 Attraction in Shanghai
Top 10 Markets in Shanghai
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Shanghai
Top 10 Things to Do at night in Shanghai
Best Places for Autumn Leaves in Shanghai
Top 10 Things to Do in Winter in Shanghai
Top 10 Souvenirs in Shanghai

Any questions, just drop a line.

Visit Xian in December

October 29th, 2016
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Plan your Xian tour in December? For various reasons, you have to visit Xian in December.  Well, December is not a glorious month to visit Xian since the temperature is low ( average lowest -3℃ during the month) often coupled with gusty wind blowing hard on your face.

But the things are not  so bad due to the historical nature of the ancient city of Xian.  The cold weather doesn’ t affect your visit to the historical sites indoor or outdoor. In addition, you’ve got a big bonus in terms of discounts on your hotel, entrance fees and  transportation.

The lit-up Bell Tower in Xian

The lit-up Bell Tower in Xian

The Weather in December in Xian


December puts Xian deep into winter season with the temperature going much lower than the previous November. Xian’s average temperature in December falls between 6 ℃ during the day and -3 ℃ at night, very often accompanied with blustery weather.

The city has good heating system allows indoor rooms and facilities warm and comfortable.

Historical Weather Data for December in Xian

We’d like to provide you the historical weather data listed below that you need to plan your trip to Xian well in advance.  You may use the data to decide how to dress,  what to pack for  your coming trip to Xian.


Date
Average High
Average Low
Extreme High Extreme Low
Dec 01 8℃ -1℃ 18℃(2008) -7℃(1990)
Dec 02 8℃ -1℃ 18℃(1989) -9℃(1952)
Dec 03 9℃ -1℃ 22℃(1989) -10℃(1952)
Dec 04 8℃ -1℃ 16℃(1955) -9℃(1952)
Dec 05 7℃ -1℃ 16℃(1983) -7℃(1952)
Dec 06 7℃ -1℃ 16℃(1989) -5℃(1952)
Dec 07 7℃ -1℃ 15℃(1959) -5℃(1951)
Dec 08 7℃ -2℃ 18℃(2008) -7℃(1967)
Dec 09 8℃ -2℃ 19℃(2008) -10℃(1954)
Dec 10 8℃ -2℃ 17℃(2008) -8℃(1954)
Dec 11 7℃ -2℃ 17℃(1951) -9℃(1954)
Dec 12 6℃ -2℃ 15℃(1988) -9℃(1975)
Dec 13 7℃ -2℃ 14℃(1951) -8℃(1954)
Dec 14 6℃ -2℃ 15℃(1955) -9℃(1975)
Dec 15 6℃ -3℃ 16℃(1998) -9℃(1975)
Dec 16 6℃ -3℃ 14℃(1978) -9℃(1975)
Dec 17 6℃ -3℃ 16℃(1971) -10℃(1975)
Dec 18 5℃ -3℃ 13℃(1998) -10℃(1984)
Dec 19 5℃ -3℃ 14℃(1964) -10℃(1956)
Dec 20 6℃ -3℃ 13℃(1996) -9℃(1999)
Dec 21 6℃ -3℃ 14℃(1964) -8℃(1960)
Dec 22 6℃ -4℃ 15℃(2000) -9℃(2008)
Dec 23 5℃ -3℃ 18℃(1962) -9℃(1953)
Dec 24 5℃ -3℃ 16℃(1996) -9℃(1953)
Dec 25 5℃ -3℃ 17℃(1993) -9℃(1956)
Dec 26 5℃ -4℃ 14℃(1998) -11℃(2002)
Dec 27 5℃ -3℃ 17℃(1987) -10℃(1991)
 Dec 28 4℃ -4℃ 12℃(1987) -15℃(1991)
Dec 29 4℃ -4℃ 11℃(1987) -14℃(1991)
Dec 30 5℃ -4℃ 14℃(2000) -19℃(1954)
Dec 31  4℃  -4℃  14℃(2001)  19℃(1954)

What to Wear


Outdoor daytime wear ( average 6℃ ):   Winter clothes, layers (knitwear, or thermal wear).

Outdoor evening wear ( Average -3℃):  Thick winter clothes, layers (knitwear, or thermal wear), gloves, and winter hats & caps.

Where to Stay


Xian is a very compact and walkable city, so no matter where you are going to stay you will easily get to the major attractions and shopping areas in Xian. Some hotels start to offer discounted room rates from mid-November. Domestic tourist volume is getting thinner.

The city layout within Xian City Wall is based on a grid pattern centrally denoted by the grand Bell Tower (钟楼), which levels out four main avenues clockwise: East avenue (Dong Dajie 东大街), South Avenue ( Nan Dajie 南大街), West Avenue (Xi Dajie 西大街) and North Avenue (Bei Dajie 北大街).

Xian Railway Station is just located on the northeast corner of Xian city wall while Xian Airport is located 40km northwest of Xian.

The areas near Bell Tower, East Avenue, South Avenue, West Avenue and North Avenue are considered ideal places to stay in Xian.   Check out the link for more information – Where to Stay in Xian.

What to See


Xian is well known for its historical relics, both above ground and underneath. Season or weather changes make no  big difference for sightseeing in Xian.

So if you travel Xian in November as a first-time visitor, you may cover the major attractions like Terracotta Warriors, Xian City Wall, Xian Muslim Quarter,  the Great Mosque Bell & Drum Towers and the list could be longer if you stay in Xian for quite a few days.  Check out the Top 10 Attractions in Xian for more information.

What to Eat


Xian is a haven for eaters. Hitting the food streets of Muslim Quarter is a must for first-time visitors. It is said there are over 300 Muslim local snacks on the streets in Xian Muslim Quarter that attract a consistent flow of visitors everyday coming here to savor or just have a glimpse.

Food Vendor Stalls at Muslim Quarter

Food Vendor Stalls at Muslim Quarter

Have a bite of some of the local food: the famous Xi’an Liangpi (cold skin noodles) , the lamb skewers, the cuttlefish, the yogurt, pomegranate juice and the list could be much longer.

Check out Tips for Visiting Muslim Quarter in Xian  for more information.

December Events, Holidays & Festivals


Annual Events and Festivals

1. National Legal Publicity Day 全国法制宣传日
The National Legal Publicity Day falls on 4 December which was inaugurated in 2001.  It is aimed at promoting the constitution sprite as well as building a harmonious society in China.

2.  Ski Resorts in Xian 西安滑雪场
Visiting a ski resort is a bonus added to make a perfect winter holiday in Xian. No matter you are a keen skier or non-skier, you can rewind and entertain yourself in a ski resort around Xian, skiing and participating in snow activities, or just sitting in a cozy snack bar and appreciating the white ski area over a cup of coffee or tea.

3. Christmas Eve 圣诞之夜
If you happen to spend your Christmas eve in Beijing during your Xian tour, you may take some adventure going on to the streets to explore and spend a local Christmas eve.

4. New Year Eve Ceremony 新年之夜欢庆
Each year Xian local tourism bureau will hold a fantastic “New Year Celebration” on the eve of the coming new year in a unique way.  Turn to a local travel agency or visit Xian tourism bureau’s official website for the new year celebration.

Further Readings


Beijing Xian High Speed Train Experience
Top 10 Attractions in Xian
Tips for Visiting Muslim Quarter in Xian
Tips for Visiting Xian City Wall
Tips for Visiting Shaanxi History Museum
Tips for Visiting Xian Bell Tower
How Visit Terracotta Army
How to Visit Daming Palace National Heritage Park
Top 10 Photography Spots in Xian
The Night View of Great Tang All Day Mall
Tips for Visiting Hanyang Tombs Xian
The Song of Everlasting Sorrow Show in Xian
Tips for Visiting Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Tips for Visiting Huaqing Hot Springs in Xian
How to Visit Mount Huashan
Top 10 Hostels in Xian
Best Time to Visit Xian

Any questions, just drop a line.