Archive for the ‘Beijing Travel’ Category

Best Travel Options between Shanghai and Beijing

Sunday, January 1st, 2017
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Many travelers choose metropolitan Shanghai as their entry city either on business or leisure trip to China. Cannot resist the temptation to see Great Wall of China or other highlights in Beijing? We’ll help you analyze the advantages and disadvantages of all the travel options from Shanghai to Beijing and make a better travel schedule for your Shanghai Beijing tour.

Beijing is situated northwest of Shanghai, about 1450km apart, 5 hour and half hours by high-speed train, 12 hours by overnight bullet train, one and half hours by flight.

Beijing is an ancient and vibrant city. You can even make a day trip from Shanghai to Beijing. But we suggest you stay one or more nights in Beijing to dive a bit deep into Beijing’s long history and splendid culture.

1. Travel From Shanghai to Beijing by High Speed Daytime Train
There are 3 major railway stations in Shanghai, namely Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station ( for high speed trains to Beijing ), Shanghai Railway Station ( for overnight trains to Beijing ) and Shanghai South Railway Station ( mainly for the trains going south ).

High Speed Train

So traveling Beijing by high speed trains, you should go to Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station. Beijing terminus for the high speed trains from Shanghai is Beijing South Railway Station.

Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station
Add:West of the Hongqiao Airport, Minhang District, Shanghai 200335
Tel: 021-51245555

At the time of my writing, there are about 40 daily high speed trains running between Shanghai and Beijing, taking 5-6 hour. You are          supposed to reach the station at least half hour before departure. It is relatively easy to book your train tickets at non-holiday or low tourist season. But train tickets are hard to get during national holidays.  It is better to have advance ticket booking.

Shanghai to Beijing: First train leaves at 6:39 and last at 19:00;
Beijing to Shanghai: First train leaves at 6:44 and last at 19:00.
First Class Train Ticket: 933 yuan; Second Class Train Ticket: 553 yuan

Advantages: Easily Accessible, On Time, Faster, Safe, Frequent, Comfortable, Daytime Window sightseeing
Disadvantages: Higher Prices, Often Need Advance Booking

Note: For online train ticket booking, check out  China Train Ticket Booking.

2.  Getting from Shanghai to Beijing by Overnight Train
There are two overnight D trains running between Shanghai and Beijing with the train journeys lasting 12 hours and one overnight T train taking 15 hours. All the three overnight trains start from Shanghai Railway Station.  The two D trains arrive at Beijing South Railway Station and the T train arrives at Beijing Railway Station.

4-Bed Cabin Overnight Train

Important Notice:
The above-mentioned overnight trains start from Shanghai Railway Station. So don’t be confused with Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station which accommodates the high speed trains going to Beijing.

Advantages: Direct from Downtown Shanghai, On Time, Save One Night Accommodation, Safe, More Daytime Sightseeing, affordable Prices

Disadvantages: Longer Travel Time, No daytime Sightseeing, Hard to Get Your Tickets

Note: For online train ticket booking, check out  China Train Ticket Booking.

3. Traveling from Shanghai to Beijing by flight
There are about 90 daily flights connecting Shanghai and Beijing, mainly operated by three domestic airlines – Air China, Eastern China Airline, and Hainan Airline. The 2-hour flight makes it possible for people to have a day trip to Beijing from Xian and return on the same day.

Shanghai Hongqiao Airport

Basically there are two major airports in Shanghai – Shanghai Hongqiao Airport (SHA) and Shanghai Pudong Airport (PVG). Both airports operate flights from Shanghai to Beijing. If your flight ticket shows PVG, then it is Pudong Airport while SHA for Shanghai Hongqiao Airport.

No matter which airport you use in Shanghai,  most of the flights arrive at Beijing Capital International Airport which has three terminals – T1, T2 and T3.  But if you take the flights  operated by China United Airlines, you will land at Beijing Nanyuan Airport.

Advantages: Fastest, Easy to Book Your Tickets, Frequent and often less expensive than train
Disadvantages: Airport Inconvenience, Sometimes not On Time, Both Airports in Beijing and Shanghai are out of town.

4. Hassle-Free Organized Shanghai Beijing Tours
If you’d prefer not to DIY, here are some options for Shanghai Beijing Guided Tours.

Beijing Day Trip from Shanghai by High Speed Train
Shanghai Beijing 2 Day Tour by High-speed Train
Xian Day Tour from Shanghai by Flight
Beijing Day Trip from Shanghai by High Speed Train

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.

Best Travel Options between Beijing and Xian

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016
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If you are in the process of planning your Beijing tour? Most probably you are also considering a side trip to Xian, a famous historical city  in China, which is home to the archaeological wonder – Terracotta Warriors.

Xian is situated about 1000 km to the southwest of Beijing. You have several options of traveling from Beijing to Xian – by plane, by daytime high-speed train, by overnight direct train, or first visit some important cities on your way before you reach Xian from Beijing.

You can make a doable Xian day trip from Beijing by flight, but we suggest you stay one or two nights in Xian to see, touch and feel the essence and highlights of Xian’s long history and splendid culture. We’ll assist you analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of all the travel options to make a better travel schedule for your Beijing Xian tour.

1. Travel From Beijing to Xian by High Speed  Daytime Train
There are 4 major railway stations in Beijing, namely Beijing Railway Station ( the oldest one ), Beijing West Railway Station ( for the trains going from Beijing to Xian, Lhasa and Kowloon), Beijing South Railway Station ( for the trains running from Beijing to Shanghai and Tianjin) and Beijing North Railway Station (temporarily closed).

Arrive at Xian North Railway Station

The address of Beijing West Railway Station  Tel: 51826253
Add: Lianhuachi Donglu, Fengtai District ( just south of Military Museum of the Chinese People’s Revolution)

For the Beijing Xian High Speed Train, the Beijing terminus is Beijing West Railway Station, with the Xian terminus at Xian North Railway Station. The major calling points are Shijiazhuang, Anyang and Luoyang on route.

Currently there are over 10 daily high-speed trains running between Beijing and Xian. The fastest high speed train takes 4 hours and 23 minutes; the slowest takes 6 hours. You are supposed to reach the station at least half hour before departure.

Beijing – Xian High-Speed Train Timetable and Ticket Fares ( Unit: Yuan)

Train No. From Dep time To Arr Time First Class Second Class
G651 Beijing West 06:58 Xian North 12:50 824.5 515.5
G653 Beijing West 07:57 Xian North 13:43 824.5 515.5
G671 Beijing West 08:15 Xian North 14:18 824.5 515.5
G655 Beijing West 09:43 Xian North 15:30 824.5 515.5
G659 Beijing West 12:07 Xian North 17:42 824.5 515.5
G87 Beijing West 14:00 Xian North 18:23 824.5 515.5
G673 Beijing West 14:43 Xian North 20:41 824.5 515.5
G661 Beijing West 14:48 Xian North 20:48 824.5 515.5
G663 Beijing West 14:45 Xian North 21:25 824.5 515.5
G665 Beijing West 16:00 Xian North 21:50 824.5 515.5
G669 Beijing West 17:31 Xian North 22:53 824.5 515.5
G25 Beijing West 18:55 Xian North 23:23 824.5 515.5

 

Train No. From Dep time To Arr Time First Class Second Class
G652 Xian North 07:52 Beijing West 13:26 824.5 515.5
G26 Xian North 09:15 Beijing West 13:50 824.5 515.5
G672 Xian North 09:21 Beijing West 15:11 824.5 515.5
G656 Xian North 10:07 Beijing West 15:33 824.5 515.5
G662 Xian North 10:55 Beijing West 16:41 824.5 515.5
G660 Xian North 11:12 Beijing West 17:11 824.5 515.5
G658 Xian North 12:42 Beijing West 18:26 824.5 515.5
G88 Xian North 13:20 Beijing West 18:26 824.5 515.5
G664 Xian North 14:33 Beijing West 20:25 824.5 515.5
G666 Xian North 15:58 Beijing West 21:31 824.5 515.5
G674 Xian North 17:20 Beijing West 23:00 824.5 515.5
G670 Xian North 18:03 Beijing West 23:29 824.5 515.5

Advantages: Direct from Downtown Beijing, On Time, Faster, Safe, Frequent, Comfortable, Daytime Window sightseeing
Disadvantages: Higher Prices, Need Advance Booking, Not Easy to Book your Ticket

Note: For online train ticket booking, check out  China Train Ticket Booking.

2.  Getting from Beijing to Xian by Overnight Train ( Normal Fast Speed )
There are four major fast direct overnight trains running between Beijing and Xian with the train journeys lasting from 12 hours to 14 hours. All the four overnight direct trains start from Beijing and end at Xian, and vice versa.

The 4 Major Beijing to Xian Overnight Fast Train Timetable & Fares
( Unit: Yuan )
Train No. From Dep time To Arr Time Hard 6-bed Cabin Soft 4-bed Cabin
T41 Beijing West 14:22 Xian 05:15+1 268.5 422.5
T231 Beijing West 18:50 Xian 07:43+1 254.5 398.5
Z43 Beijing West 20:12 Xian 9:55 + 1 442.5 ( Soft 4-bed Cabin) 780.5 (Soft 2-bed Cabin)
Z19 Beijing West 20:40 Xian 08:31+1 398.5 ( Soft 4-bed Cabin) 735.5 (Soft 2-bed Cabin)
The Major 4 Xian to Beijing Overnight Fast Train Timetable & Fares
( Unit: Yuan )
Train No. From Dep time To Arr Time Hard 6-bed Cabin Soft 4-bed Cabin
T232 Xian 17:38 Beijing West 06:08+1 254.5 398.5
Z20 Xian 19:21 Beijing West 06:58+1 442.5 ( Soft 4-bed Cabin) 735.5 (Soft 2-bed Cabin)
Z44 Xian 19:27 Beijing West 08:27+1 442.5 ( Soft 4-bed Cabin) 780.5 (Soft 2-bed Cabin)
T42 Xian 19:39 Beijing West 09:29+1 268.5 422.5

Two-bed Cabin

Important Notice:
The above-mentioned overnight trains start from Beijing West Railway Station and arrive at Xian Railway Station. So don’t be confused with Xian North Railway Station which accommodates the high speed trains from Beijing.

Advantages: Direct from Downtown Beijing, On Time, Save One Night Accommodation, Safe, More Daytime Sightseeing, affordable Prices
Disadvantages: Longer Travel Time,  Not so Comfortable, Hard to Book Your Tickets

Note: For online train ticket booking, check out  China Train Ticket Booking

3. Traveling from Beijing to Xian by flight
Over 20 daily flights connect Beijing and Xian, mainly operated by three domestic airlines – Air China, Eastern China Airline, Hainan Airline. The 1 and half flight makes it possible for people to have a day trip to Xian from Beijing and return on the same day.

Major Beijing to Xian Early Morning Flight Timetable
Airline Flight No. Plane Depart Arrival
1Air China CA1231 Boeing 737 800 PEK 07:40 XIY  9:10
3Hainan Airlines HU7137 Air Bus 330-100 PEK 07:05 XIY 10:10
2China Eastern Airlines MU2102 Air Bus A321 PEK 07:50 XIY 10:10
Major Xian to Beijing Later Afternoon Flight Timetable
Airline Flight No. Plane Depart Arrival
3Hainan Airlines HU7338 Air Bus A300-200 XIY 22:40 PEK 00:40
1Air China CA1236 Boeing 738 XIY 20:25 PEK 22:25
2China Eastern Airlines MU2119 Air Bus A321 XIY 21:55 PEK 00:05

Arrival at Xian Airport

The planes take off at Beijing International Capital Airport and land at Xian Xianyang International Airport.  The one and half hour flight doesn’t include the time and hassle getting to and from the airport.

Advantages: Fastest, Easy to Book Your Tickets, Frequent and often less expensive than train
Disadvantages: Airport Inconvenience, Sometimes not On Time, Both Airports in Beijing and Xian are out of town.

 

4. Visiting the Important Cities between Beijing and Xian before You Reach Xian

Longmen Grottoes

Between Beijing and Xian also lie some UNESCO World Cultural Heritage crowned destinations like Datong (Yungang Grottoes), Pingyao (Pingyao Ancient City), and Luoyang (Longmen Grottoes and Shaolin Temple) and Yan’an (Hukou Waterfalls) which could be fit into your Beijing Xian tour package if you have enough time traveling time between Beijing and Xian.

High speed trains connect Beijing with Luoyang, Pingyao and Yan’an. Plentiful daily trains run from Beijing to Datong. So when you arrange your Beijing Xian travel, you may put any of the cities in between onto your Beijing Xian travel plan to enrich your China trip experience.

5. Hassle-Free Organized Beijing Xian Tours

Xian Guided Tour

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 Xian Guided Tours:

Beijing Xi’an One Day Round Trip Tour by Flight

Beijing Xi’an 2 Day Round Trip Tour by Flight

Beijing Xian 2 Day Round Trip Tour by High-speed Train

Beijing Xian 3 Day Round Trip Tour by High-speed Train

Beijing Datong Xian 5 Day Tour

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 link.

Best Travel Options Between Beijing and Chengde

Sunday, 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.