Archive for the ‘Beijing Travel’ Category

Beijing 144 Hours Free Visa Transit

Thursday, November 21st, 2019
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Are you planning your Beijing Layover Tour? You may think whether you need a transit visa in Beijing? This is the question frequently asked by many travelers who are going to transit in Beijing and continue to fly for a third country.

Yes, basically you need a Chinese visa to visit Beijing if you want to exit from Beijing Capital Airport for a few hours’ layover tour or 2 or 3 days’ short stay in Beijing. But currently, 53  countries are entitled to 144 hours free visa transit stay in Beijing. So Visa-free travel to Beijing is possible now!

Please note that people having a round trip to Beijing are not entitled to free-visa stay in Beijing.

Which are the 53 countries and what the preconditions for getting the free visa transit stay permit in Beijing? I will answer your questions one by one.

1. Prerequisites for getting the 144 hours transit free visa
1) The Eligible 53 nationalities include 24 Schengen Countries in Europe:
1-1): 24 Schengen countries in Europe:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovak, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

2-2): 15 other European countries:
Russia, Great Britain, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Monaco and the Republic of Belarus.

3-3): 6 American countries:
The United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile.

4-4): 2 Oceanian countries:
Australia and New Zealand.

5-5): 6 Asian countries:
Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.

2) Travelers must have valid passports.

3) Travelers must have confirmed tickets to a third country or regions (Hong Kong and Macau).

Passport Control and Immigration

Officially Designated Entry Points in the three places of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei: 

Ports of entry and exit are extended to designated international railway stations, seaports and airports.

Previously, the policy was once applied only at airports. Now passengers are allowed to arrive and exit at the following six points in the three places: Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province.

Beijing Capital International Airport
Tel: 0086-10-96158

Beijing West Railway Station in the capital
Tel: 0086-10-51824233

Tianjin Binhai International Airport
Tel: 0086-22-96777

Tianjin International Cruise Home Port in Tianjin
Tel: 0086 -22-25605128

Shijiazhuang Zhengding International Airport
Tel: 0086-311-96360

Qinhuangdao seaport in Hebei province
Tel: 0086-335-3099676

How to Apply for 144-Hour free-visa stay in the three areas ( Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province):


When you disembark your plane or ship, just follow the throng or the signs directing you to international arrivals, immigration and customs.

Passport Control/Immigration
In the Passport Control/Immigration Area, find your special lanes for 144-hour visa-free transit passengers.

Some 144-hour transit passengers miss their layover tour in Beijing simply because they cannot locate the special lanes to get the visa-free permit. Actually the special lanes for 144-hours visa-free transit are located just on the left side of the Lanes for Foreign Citizens as well as on the right side of the Lanes for Chinese Citizens.

You need to fill up the entry registration card and get your 144- hours free visa stay permit, a stamp on your passport. The items for filling up the registration to get your 144-hour free visa stay permit:

Name,Sex, Birth, Passport Number, Nationality, Arrival Date, Arrival Flight, Exit Time, Exit Flight, Contact Phone Number in Beijing, Address in Beijing (Tianjin or Hebei), Reception Unit or Person, Reception Unit Phone Number.

Go through Customs, claim your luggage ( if necessary ) and leave airport.

Very Important Notice:
If your airline by which you are travelling doesn’t have the latest information the 144-hour visa free transit policy in Beijing, plus they inform you that only those with valid visa’s can travel with them.

Then you can show them the official website of Beijing Capital Airport to verify that you will not encounter any problems in Beijing. Please check out the links below:

What you can do during your 144-hour visa-free stay in the three Areas:

The 144-hour visa-free transit allows you for a sufficient time to visit Beijing, or Tianjin and Hebei per your travel request.

For more information Beijing tours, Tianjin tour and Hebei tour, please check out the following links:

Beijing Layover tour
Beijing Tour Packages

Tianjin Tour
Tianjin Cruise Port Transfer & Tour

Hebei Tour
Shijiazhuang Tour
Chengde Tour
Zhangjiakou Tour
Qinhuangdao Tour

Further Readings

Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.

Tips for Visiting the Temple of Heaven

Monday, November 11th, 2019
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Map of the Temple of Heaven from

Plan your Beijing tour? Temple of Heaven is a big draw in Beijing. The name of the Temple of Heaven is a little misleading. It is more than just a temple, it is a huge park as well.

Inside the huge park, there is a lovely temple complex, which is composed of three main parts – Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, the Imperial Vault of Heaven and Circular Mound Altar sitting along an axis from south to north.

Temple of Heaven is called “Tiantan Park” in Chinese, literally meaning “Temple of Heaven Park”. It was first constructed in 1420, the 18th year of the reign of Ming emperor Yongle. It was the place where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would worship the god of heaven and pray for good harvest.

Tip # 01: Get up early to see and feel the locals in the park
Though everyday the temple and historical buildings within the park are open to the public from 8:00 till 17:00, the park itself opens at 6:00 till 22:00. Many local people have yearly tickets for easy access to the park. Get there about 7:00 or 7:30am, especially on a Sunday morning.

You will see local people, most of them are middle-aged or older people doing various kinds of light physical activity you can imagine, like singing, dancing, playing instruments, playing chess, practicing kung fu, tai chi… After 9:30 a.m. it will be slammed with group tourists and is barely worth the subway trip.

Practicing Sword, in Temple of Heaven Park,

Practicing Sword, in Temple of Heaven Park,

Tip # 02: Acquaint yourself with the historical buildings in the park
Be prepared for a guidebook or hire a Beijing Tour Guide for your life long trip to the temple complex in the park.Three historical buildings are not missed from north to south, namely the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, the Imperial Vault of Heaven and Circular Mound Altar.

The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests
where the emperors sacrificed animals and burned incense sticks to pray for good weather for the crops

the Hall of Pray for Harvest above the Wall

the Hall of Pray for Harvest above the Wall

The Red Stairway Bridge:
The historical buildings are connected by a 360 metre long raised walk called the Red Step Bridge (Danbiqiao), are arranged in a line forming a north south axis 1,200 meters long, and flanked by century-old cypresses in a spacious area.

The Imperial Vault of Heaven: A single gabled circular building, built on a single level of marble stone base. It is located south of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest. Inside the compound, a circular wall, an echo wall. where you can whisper something from one end and the voice will transmit to the other end.

Imperial Vault of Heaven under the sunset glow

Imperial Vault of Heaven under the sunset glow

Circular Mound Altar: Used to worship Heaven at the winter solstice where the principal construction is a large round marble terrace named the Circular Mound.

The distant view of the Circular Mound Altar under the sunset glow

The distant view of the Circular Mound Altar under the sunset glow

Tip # 03: Don’t miss the Cypress Grove
Always keep in mind that here is a huge park, a huge garden. Old cypress trees are worth having a close look.

Some of the cypresses are more than 600 years old. Dr Henry Kissinger, when he visited the temple, stated that while the USA could recreate the Temple of Heaven if it desired, it could not create the trees!

the Cypress Grove

the Cypress Grove

Tip # 04: Choose the right entrance
Originally the Temple of Heaven had only one main gate, which faced west, but after it was made a public park in 1949, entrances were also opened on the northern, southern and eastern sides.
So now it mainly has four gates – East, South, West and North. Both East Gate and South Gate are highly recommended.

East Gate: If you want to see the local people engaged in all kinds of morning activities, you are advised to enter the east gate since most of the morning activities are carried out around the east gate area.The East Gate entrance is also close to the subway line 05.If you enter the east gate, then your walking itinerary would be east gate – long corridor – The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest – The Imperial Vault of Heaven – Circular Mound Altar – South Gate.

After your north – south tour of the temple, you may turn back and go out of the east gate and head to the Hongqiao Market across the road.

South Gate: Start your tour by entering the south gate, then walk along Danbiqiao raised way to visit Circular Mound Altar – The Imperial Vault of Heaven, The Hall of Prayer for Harvest – Long Corridor – East Gate – Hongqiao Market.

Tip # 05: How to get to the Temple of Heaven
If you visit the Temple of Heaven through the east gate, you take subway line 5 to Tiantan Dongmen Station and take exit A. The East Gate entrance is right there. For the public buses to the east gate, you may try bus 6, 35, 36, 39, 41, 43…

If you use south gate, you take a taxi or take bus 36, 120, 122, 800, 803, 958

Tip # 06: Aware of the daily opening time both for the historical buildings and the park itself

The park opens at 6am and closes at 8pm.
The historical buildings opens 8am and closes around 5:00pm like The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, The Imperial Vault of Heaven and the Circular Mound Altar. For the exact opening time in different seasons are listed below:

The main buildings inside the park
From March 1 to June 30: 8:00 – 17:30
From July 1 to October 31: 8:- 18:00
From November 1 to February 28: 8:00 – 17:00
Kindly reminder: Through tickets selling is stopped at 16:00

Tip #07 Two kinds of entrance tickets at Temple of Heaven
There are two kinds of entrance tickets – Entrance ticket for the park and through tickets for entering the park as well the three main historical buildings within the park.

Entrance Ticket:  An entrance ticket charges RMB 15 (April – November) and RMB 10 (December – March). With the ticket, you to get into the park, see local people do morning exercises.

Through Ticket: The ticket charges RMB 35 (April – November) and RMB 30 (December – March). With a through ticket, you can enter the park and go to visit the three areas in the park – Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, The Imperial Vault of Heaven and the Circular Mound Altar.

Ticket Type Prices
  Entrance Ticket RMB 10 (December to March), RMB 15 ( April  to November)
   Half Price Ticket RMB 5 (December to March), RMB 8 ( April  to November) (students and seniors over 70)
Through Ticket RMB 30 (December to March), RMB 35 ( April  to November)(including the entries to the three areas – Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, The Imperial Vault of Heaven and the Circular Mound Altar)
 Kids under 1.2 meters high  Free of Charge
Tip # 08: Dress for the Hot Weather
Though there are many trees in the park. all the trees are lined on the both sides of the north-south axis. So no single tree on your axis trip – Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, the Imperial Vault of Heaven and the Circular Mound.

For summer time, be ready to bring an umbrella for sun protection, bottles of water, and comfy walking shoes. Check Beijing Climate for more information.Tip # 9 Wear Comfortable Shoes
The park is so huge.  You are advised to wear your most comfortable shoes. It’s a long walk!

Tip # 10  Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Beijing guided tours:

Beijing Highlight Day Tour from US$59 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Mutianyu Great Wall)
Beijing Classic City Tour from US$65 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace)
Beijing Excursion Tour from US$59 P/P
(Mutianyu Great Wall + Ming Tomb)
Beijing Hutong Highlight Tour from US$59 P/P
( Hutong + Rickshaw)

Mutianyu Great Wall Half Day Tour from US$55 p/p
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from US$69 p/p

Mutianyu Great Wall Layover Tour from US$65 p/p
Beijing Highlight Layover Tour from US$75 p/p

Further Readings

Tips for Visiting Tiananmen Square
Tips for visiting Summer Palace
Forbidden City Travel Tips – The Palace Museum Travel Tips

Tips for Visiting the Glass Sightseeing Platform in Pinggu Beijing

Saturday, November 9th, 2019
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Dear Travelers,

We’d like to have the following quick guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors coming to Glass Sightseeing Platform in Pinggu, Beijing. If you have any questions or anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!

Important Notice:
The Glass Sightseeing Platform is closed in Nov 04, 2019 and will be reopen on March 05, 2020.

Your Beijing tour definitely will include the bucket list of Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, the Great Wall of China and your list could be a bit longer if you stay in Beijing for a longer time.

Today we’d like to introduce to you the thrilling glass sightseeing platform, which is claimed to be the world’s largest glass hanger, hanging 32.8 metres out from the cliff with a jaw-dropping scenic view.

How to get to the huge cliff glass hanger? How to combine your exciting trip with the surrounding attractions on the day excursion for your long stay vacation in Beijing? We are glad to offer you some useful travel tips in this regard.

tips1. Brief Introduction to the Glass Sightseeing Platform
The glass sightseeing platform, billed as “Flying Disk/UFO”, opened to the public on April 30, 2016.

The glass platform hangs 32.8 metres out from the cliff, 11 meters longer than the Grand Canyon Skywalk inside the Grand Canyon National Park in the United States.

The glass platform hangs 32.8 metres out from the cliff,

It is claimed to be the largest sightseeing platform in the world.

The largest sightseeing platform in the world

The transparent sightseeing platform is 800 meters above sea level and 400 meters high from the bottom of the cliff, a thriller for visitors who want to experience the excitement walking in the sky.

400 meters high from the bottom of the cliff

Those who have acrophobia are not recommended to step on the transparent breathtaking glass floor.

Those who have acrophobia are not recommended

Statistics about the glass platform
Weight: 32o tons; Maximum Load: 150 tons; Maximum Capacity: 2000 people
Hanging Distance: 32 meters; Platform Diameter: 26 meters
Taking an area of 415 square meters

2. Safety
The sightseeing platform is constructed with titanium alloys, which are widely utilized in aeronautical and space fields, but first time for daily life until today in China.

The sightseeing platform is constructed with titanium alloys

The purpose of using titanium alloys to build this platform is to ensure the safety of all the visitors on the platform.

3. Location
The glass sightseeing platform is hung out from the cliff on the highest peak inside Shilin Gorge (Shilinxia Scenic Area) in Pinggu District, Beijing.

Entrance to Shilinxia Scenic Area

The Shilinxia Scenic Area (石林峡) is a good destination out of Beijing city center to touch the unique stone and rock formations in a 6-km long valley or gorge. “Shilinxia” literally means “stone forest gorge”.

Diaowo Village and Huangongyun Reservior seen from the glass platform

The gorge is located in Diaowo Village at Huangsongyu Township of Pinggu District, 100km east of Beijing city proper.

Besides its official name as “Shilinxia Scenic Area”, it also has several different names such as “Jingdong Stone Forest Gorge”, “Pinggu Stone Forest Gorge” and “Jingdong Stone Canyon”.

4. Entry Fees
Entrance Fee for Shilinxia Scenic Area : 78 RMB
Children under 1.2 meters are free of charge
Entry fee for the glass sightseeing platform inside Shilinxia Scenic Area : 40 RMB
Cable Car (one way): 100 RMB
Opening hours: 8:30 – 17:30 (closed in winter season)

The Huge Glass UFO PLatform

5. How to get up on to the platform
When arriving at Shixialin Scenic Area,  you have two ways to go up on to the glass platform – Walking up or taking the cable up.

Climb up or Cable up

It is over one and half hours’ strenuous walk from the valley bottom up to the platform. But even if you choose to take cable up, you still need to scramble up for about 20 minutes from the upper cable station before you get to the platform.

Even you use cable car service,  you still need to climb up for about 20 minutes before you reach the platform.

Even you use cable car service, you still need to climb up for about 20 minutes

6.  How to Get There
To get to the Shilinxia Scenic Area,you may take the public bus 852 ( Bus fare 16 yuan)) from Dongzhimen Transportation Hub for Pinggu District.

Arriving at Pinggu District Bus Terminal, then you change for the local bus No.25 ( Bus Fare 5 yuan ) for the Pinggu Stone Forest Gorge or Valley. Bus 25 is quite frequent. Total journey is around 2-2.5hr from Dongzhimen Transport hub.

The bus 25 keeps going the same direction where you come from with bus 852.  On the bus 25 you shouldn’t worry not to find the drop off 25. The bus takes a while to go there but at the end you will see when you have to get off.  You can pay the bus and it costs 5 yuan each person. You just have to drop the money into the box next the bus driver.

On the way back, just take the same 25 bus where you get off. To get off the bus you just have to pay attention when you are back in the city. You will see that and it’s the point where almost everybody leaves the bus. But you will recognize also where you have to get off when You see the “Chinese lanterns”  on the street light.

You may get off at stations no 7 and this is exactly where the bus hub is to take the bus no 852. If you miss to get off at stop 7 from bus 25 you shouldn’t worry. Just take the next, or the next after. The bus stops really often on that big street. But than of course you have to stay on that street to take the bus 852.Bu

Dongzhimen Transport Hub (东直门交通枢纽) – Pinggu Bus Terminal  (平谷汽车站)
Bus No.852

First Bus: 6:30 am; Last Bus: 7:30 pm
Drive Time: 2 hours ( 19 stops )
Bus Fare: 16 yuan

Pinggu Bus Terminal  (平谷汽车站)- Pinggu Shilixia Scenic Area ( Glass Sightseeing Platform) 石林峡
Bus No.25

First Bus: 6:30 am; Last Bus: 7:30 pm
Drive Time: Half an hour ( 11 stops )
Bus Fare: 6 yuan

Check out Private Day Tour to Glass Sightseeing Platform.


For self-drive, just drive along the Jingping Expressway and get off at Pinggu District and follow the road sign leading to the Shilingxia scenic Area.

7. The Surrounding Attractions in Pinggu, Beijing
As you know the gorge is located in Diaowo Village. The village itself is an interesting place to explore the suburban life in Beijing, having a bite of the local village food, drinking, barbecuing, fishing and more.

The Shilinxia Scenic Area is only 10km to the north of Jingdong Karst Cave, both of which are part of Pinggu Huangsongyu National Geopark. Many travelers would like to put the two attractions together on a day trip.

More attractions close to the glass sightseeing platform includes:
1) Flying Dragon Valley
2) Bolitai Great Wall
3) Jinhai Lake

8. Hassle-Free Private Tour to Visit the Glass Sightseeing Platform
If you don’t want go the daunting do-it-yourself-route and prefer an organized hassle-free private tour to visit the glass sightseeing platform, no worry and we have the following options:

Beijing Family Visit Springtime Day Tour
Beijing Family Visit Summer Day Tour
Beijing Family Visit Autumn Day Tour

Further Readings

Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street
Any questions,  just drop a line.