Archive for the ‘Beijing Tour Reviews’ Category

Snow and Ice at Bird’s Nest (National Stadium)

Monday, November 5th, 2018
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Plan your Beijing winter tour? Are you coming from a hot country with little concrete concept of snow? If you are eager to play snow in Beijing, now you don’t have to bother yourself to go to the ski resorts dotted around the suburbs of Beijing ( See the Top 10 Ski Resorts in Beijing ).

You are able to enjoy various snow activities inside Beijing National Stadium (Bird’s Nest) during January and February. The two-week Olympic feast has left Beijing the two world-famous Olympic sites nicknamed Bird’s Nest and Water Cube.

Beijing National Stadium faces almost the same problem as other post Olympic games countries in how to keep the their stadiums in the black. So an albatross or a fortune for Bird’s Nest? The fake fluff produced inside Beijing National Stadium since 2009 has shown that it wants a positive result.

The Happy Snow and Ice Season held by National Stadium (Bird’s Nest) generally lasts from Mid-Dec to Feb. As usual the basic snow activities include an artificial snow playground (or so-called ski resort), bumper cars, sled runs, snow castle featuring cartoon characters an ice rink.

Beijing National Stadium’s 80% of the annual income comes from the entrance tickets paid by visitors during their maiden Beijing tour, Making the good use of Bird’s Nest in winter is aimed at keeping its profit generating momentum.

People have to shell out over RMB 50 apiece just to enter the stadium, plus RMB 40 for the snow playing inside, added up to RMB 90 per person.

The Third Happy Snow and Ice Season at Bird’s Nest
Opening Time
9:00 – 17:30
Entrance ticket: RMB 50 + RMB 40
Transport:  about bus lines or the Metro Line 8
Hotline:010-84373008
Please check How to visit Bird’s Nest for more transport information.

There are various entrances leading to the compound where the Bird’s Nest is located. We enter the complex buildings from its northeast entrance. I take a whole picture of the huge Bird’s Nest thanks for Canon.

We enter the complex buildings from its northeast entrance


We are on the first floor of National Stadium with a fairly clear picture of the ski resort.

We are on the first floor of National Stadium with a fairly clear picture of the ski resort.


The snow castle featuring cartoon characters on the snow.

The snow castle featuring cartoon characters on the snow.

An ice rink on the man-made snow field.

An ice rink on the man-made snow field.

Walking up to the fifth floor step by step.

Walking up to the fifth floor step by step.


On the fifth floor and about to see the playground.

On the fifth floor and about to see the whole playground.


Now we have a panoramic of the whole ski resort at Bird’s Nest.

Now we have a panoramic of the whole ski resort at Bird’s Nest

Very few people on the snow playground.

Very few people on the snow playground.


Tip : Hassle-free Beijing Guided Winter 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 guided tours to Beijing in winter:
Mutianyu Great Wall + Beijing Huaibei International Ski Resort Day Tour  from US$79 p/p
Beijing Winter Downtown Day Tour  from US$65 p/p
Beijing Nanshan Ski Day Tour  from US$89 p/p
Beijing 4 Day Winter Tour Package  from US$275 p/p
Beijing 5 Day Winter Tour Package  from US$369 p/p

Further Readings


Top Things to Do in Beijing in the Winter

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.

How to Visit the Great Wall of China around Beijing?

Friday, November 2nd, 2018
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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 visiting the Great Wall around Beijing. If anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!
__________________________________________________________________

Plan your Great Wall Tour? Needless to say, you will visit the Great Wall of China on your first trip to Beijing China. So, when to visit, which sections of Great Wall to visit and how to visit?

The Great Wall of China was built mainly during the three dynasties – Qin Dynasty (221 B.C to 206 B.C), Han Dynasty (206 B.C.– 220 A.D ) and Ming Dynasty (1368 A.D – 1644 A.D).

The most powerful Yuan Dynasty and the last Dynasty – Qing Dynasty did nothing about the building of the Wall since they were “barbarians” against whom the Great Wall of China was supposed to have been built.

Actually the history tells us the Great Wall played no effective role in preventing the “barbarians”. Rarely did the Wall stop any invasions, large or small. But the Great Wall did do many things: it proclaimed the frontier, it employed the thousands, it prevented defections, it displayed the mighty of the emperor and provided numerous frontier areas for trades.

The Great Wall is not an “it” as you think. It is a “them”, walls in the plural, and they do not form a continuous line. They are in bits, built in different dynasties.

Those “bits” of the Great Wall snake across the northern China stretching from Shanhaiguan Pass in the east  to Jiayuguan Pass in the west, totaling 21196 km long with the Great Wall built in Ming Dynasty being  the longest –  8851 km.

Beijing is a good place to visit the “sections” of the Great Wall built in Ming Dynasty. Most of the “sections” of the Great Wall open to tourists here are tamed and reconstructed for the safety of travelers. But still there remain many wild ones (original and unrestored) – crumbling, overgrown and barred to walkers, but attracting adventure hikers.

Here are some tips for planning ahead your visit to Great Wall of China around Beijing:

Tip # 01: The best time to hike the Great Wall of China
In Beijing, all the  officially administered sections of the Great Wall are open to tourists all year round. The ideal months for the Great Wall hike fall on spring, early summer, and autumn: later March, April, May, June, September, October and early November.

Great Wall Hike in Spring (March 15 to May 15)
Each year, March 15th is the official day of turning off the heating system in Beijing. This special date indicates the dry, harsh cold of Beijing’s winter is coming to an end though Beijingers will still have some chilly days in March.

A warmer spring usually starts early April and ends early May. So a warm springtime in Beijing lasts over one month. Kindly reminder: There are possibly dust storms in March. But things are getting better with the efforts put into the local environment management. Generally speaking, Beijing is dry and windy in spring.

Spring is a delightful time to visit the Great Wall – mild climate, green trees and flowers. But if you hike the Great Wall, you still feel chilly and a bit cold especially in March, wearing jackets in the morning and evening due to the big temperature drop between day and night.

Visiting Great Wall in Summer (May 15 to September 15)
If you happen to visit the Wall in summer – later June, July and August, be ready for heat stroke prevention – sunglasses, sun cream,  sun block, hat, and water.  Summer is the rain season in Beijing and just bring waterproof in case. The weather in July and August is a bit muggy, so be well ready for your hiking in summer.

You will expect a long queue, waiting to buy entrance tickets for the Great Wall mainly due to the large number of domestic tourists because of school vacations in July and August.

Hike Great Wall in Autumn (September 05 to November 15)
The foggy and cloudy days in Beijing’s oppressive summer are leaving us, coming with Beijing’s cooling autumn, with a blue sky, comfortable sunshine and the colorful leaves in and around Beijing.

Beijing autumn, specifically the two months from the mid-September to mid-November are the best season to visit Great Wall in a year. It’s always comfortably cool outside.

The best period autumn colors starts from October 15 throughout November 15 in Beijing with many trees changing theirs colors with charming autumn hues. Snap pictures or just take in a feast for the eyes!

Fairly big difference in temperature between early morning and afternoon. Wear a thin  jacket, or a warm coat in the morning, long-sleeve shirts or short T-shirts in the afternoon. So be mindful of the temperature difference in Autumn, comfortable sport shoes, rubber soled shoes for hiking. In afternoon, sometimes the autumn sunlight could be very strong, get ready for sunglasses, sun cream and sun hat.

Visit Great Wall in Winter  (November 15 to March 15)
Winter Great Wall Hike is a bit challenging mainly due to the frozen weather in later December, January and early February each year in Beijing. You are advised to dress warmly – winter hat with ear flap, ear warmers, gloves, scarf, warm jackets and their winter accessories.

The Great Wall is impossible to hike only because the roads leading to the  sections of the Great Wall are blocked due to the heavy snow or other extreme weather. If you plan to do the hike in winter, we do suggest you check the weather report.  Check out  How to dress for visiting Great Wall in winter.

Tip # 02: Avoid weekends or public holidays for the Wall
It is better to hike the Wall during the weekdays instead of weekends. Strongly advise you not to visit the Wall during China public holidays ( Especially May 1-3, and October 1-7).

Crowds at Badaling Great Wall

Crowds at Badaling Great Wall during holidays.

On these special days you will waste much of your valuable time on the way from your hotel to the Wall. On the Wall, you have to take group photos due to a great number of people on the Wall.

Tip # 03: Select the right bit of the Wall (Great Wall Guide)
There are  8 major sections of the Great Wall around Beijing. 7 of the 8 sections of the Wall are legally open to tourists home and abroad. “legally open” means these sections of the Wall are tamed, repaired and controlled by a local Great Wall administration bureau with well-managed facilities like parking lots, guard rails, restaurants, toilets and more.

Within the officially managed sections of the Great Wall, the entrance fees are collected, police stations are set up and security guides are dotted along the Wall.

These “legal” sections of the Wall are Juyongguan, Badaling, Mutianyu, Jinshanling, Gubeikou, Huanghuacheng ( certain sections opened) and Simatai.

Jiankou is not open to common tourists due to their wildness and treacherousness.

Below are the tips for choosing the right bit of the Wall you most like:

1) If you don’t have much time, but you still want to have a glimpse of the Wall, especially on a busy day, choose Juyongguan Great Wall.

Juyongguan, literally “Juyong Pass”(居庸关), is situated in a valley named “Guangou” as long 20 kilometers, which is within Changping District, about 50 kilometers north of downtown Beijing. It is one of the three most famous passes of Great Wall in China。

Juyongguan Grea tWall

Juyongguan Great Wall

2) If you want to see the most popular and gorgeous restored section of the Wall in Beijing, go to Badaling Great Wall.  Badaling is also wheelchair friendly , accessible by the handicapped.

Badaling Great Wall

Badaling Great Wall


3) If you want to visit the Wall with beautiful green scenery and environment ( travel with kids or seniors), less crowded, then visit Mutianyu Great Wall.

 

Mutianyu Great Wall

Mutianyu Great Wall


4) If you want to hike the wild and original sections of the Wall (half restored or unrestored), go to visit Shixiagan Great Wall, Jiankou Great WallJinshanling Great Wall, Gubeikou Great WallHuanghuacheng Great Wall and Simatai Great Wall  or put them together.

Check out: Hike from Jiankou Great Wall to Mutinayu Great Wall.
Jiankou Great Wall is forbidden to hike according to the official rule and regulations concerned. Hikers are responsible for their own safety while hiking Jiankou Great Wall.

Jiankou Great Wall

Check out Hike from Gubeikou Great Wall to Jinshanling GreatWall.
Today’ Gubeikou Great Wall is only composed of two parts – Panlongshan Great Wall and Wohushan Great Wall. “Panlongshan” literally means “Coiled Dragon Mountain” while “Wohushan” literally means “Crouching Tiger Mountain”.

The two mountains faces each other with a valley in between from south to north, a strategic passage in the ancient times linking Inner Mongolia and Beijing. Now the valley has been turned into a fast developing Gubeikou Township under Miyun County of Beijing City.

Gubeikou Great Wall


Check out Simatai Great Wall.

There are totally 16 watch towers distributed on the Simatai Great Wall snaking the ridge of the steep mountain. The 13th-16th towers are forbidden to hike due to their steepness and treacherousness.

Simatai Great Wall


Check out Hike Across Shixiaguan GreatWall.

Shixiaguan Great Wall ( literally means “Stone Gorge Pass Great Wall”) is officially known as Ruined Badaling Great Wall. It is 5km southwest of the restored Badaling Great Wall,a western gate of the Badaling Defense Works.

Shixiaguan Great Wall


Check out Huanghuacheng Great Wall.

Huanghuacheng (literally meaning “Yellow Flower City”) Great Wall (黄花城), about 65 km north of downtown Beijing, is one of the most ruined sections of the wall in Beijing.

It has become popular with hikers in recent years. This section of the great wall is about 1000 meters long and connecting Juyongguan Pass Great Wall and Badaling Great Wall in the west and Jiankou Great Wall and Mutianuyu Great Wall in the east. Now it is a quite challenge to climb the wall since it is overgrown and treacherous.

Huanghuacheng Great Wall


Check out Jinshanling Great Wall

Jinshanling Great Wall (金山岭长城) is located about 130 km in the northeast of the downtown Beijing. To its east stands the Simatai Great Wall and the west stands Gubeikou Great Wall. Jinshangling Great Wall was named after the mountain called Jinshan Mountains. The Jinshanling Great Wall was first constructed built in the Ming Dynasty.

The famous general, Xu Da, of the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) supervised and directed the construction of the Great Wall. Later, Qi Jiguang led a number of defense works while guarding the north area in 1567.

Jinshanling Great Wall

Tip # 04: Choose the right transportation to get to the Great Wall

How to Get to Badaling Great Wall

1)Take Badaling Great Wall Bus No.877 (Bus Fare: RMB 12)

Deshengmen (德胜门)- Badaling (八达岭)
Operating Hours:
06:00-12:00(Apr.1-Oct.31)
06:00-12:30 (Nov.1-Mar.31)

Return:
Badaling (八达岭)- Deshengmen (德胜门)
10:30-17:00(Apr.1-Oct.31)
11:00-16:30(Nov.1-Mar.31)
From: Deshengmen Bus Station

Note:
Bus 919 has two kinds of bus lines: 919 express (919快) and 919 slow (919慢) with their final destinations being Yanqing County. Bus 919 will stop at the Badaling Great Wall ( the drop-off stop is a bit far from the ticketing office). You are still advised to take 877, the special bus for Badaling Great Wall tourists.

By the way, there is a bit chaos around Deshengmen Bus Station with some touts pushing you to take theirs vehicles or group. Just forget it and insist on taking the official Bus 877. Have a good day!

2. Go to Badaling Great Wall by Train

Badaling Great Wall Train Schedule
The S2 Train Timetable below is just for your reference and subject to possible changes. Note: The 7:58 train out of Beijing is quite crowded. One has to run to get a good seat.The return trip at 11:50 is mostly empty. In tourist high season, the trains fill up quite fast and once it is full, you will have to wait for the next train.

(A)Beijing Huangtudian Railway Station → Badaling Great Wall Train Schedule
(4 Daily Trains, 3 trains on Tue, Wed and Thu) and  4 trains on Fri, Sat and Sun )

Train S201: 06:30 – 07:37 ( Daily)
Train S205: 08:40 – 09:05 ( Tue, Wed and Thu )
Train S207: 09:06 – 10:15  ( Fri, Sat and Sun )
Train S209: 11:06– 12:13  ( Daily )
Train S211: 12:38– 14:01  ( Tue, Wed and Thu )
Train S213: 13:20 – 14:25 ( Fri, Sat and Sun )
Train S215: 13:44 – 14:50 ( Fri, Sat and Sun )
Train S217: 15:34 – 16:43 ( Daily )
Train S219: 17:09 – 18:30 ( Tue, Wed and Thu )
Train S221: 17:50 – 18:57 ( Fri, Sat and Sun )
Train S227 21:30 – 22:38 ( Tue, Wed and Thu )

(B)Badaling Great Wall → Beijing Huangtudian Ralway Station Train Timetable
(4 Daily Trains, 3 trains on Tue, Wed and Thu) and  4 trains on Fri, Sat and Sun )

Train S208: 08:26 – 09:41 ( Daily)
Train S210: 10:35 – 12:03 ( Tue, Wed and Thu )
Train S214: 11:38 – 13:10  ( Fri, Sat and Sun )
Train S216: 13:20 – 14:53  ( Daily)
Train S218: 14:45 – 16:31  ( Tue, Wed and Thu )
Train S220: 15:30 – 17:04 ( Fri, Sat and Sun )
Train S222: 16:05 – 17:40 ( Fri, Sat and Sun )
Train S224: 17:17 – 18:54 ( Daily)
Train S226: 19:18 – 20:47 ( Tue, Wed and Thu )
Train S228: 19:42 – 21:22 ( Fri, Sat and Sun )
Train S232: 21:18– 23:01 ( Daily)

Take the S Train from Beijing Huangtudian Railway Station to Badaling

From: Dongzhimen Public Transport Hub (东直门交通枢纽)

To:Mutianyu Great Wall 慕田峪长城

Check out ” How to Get to Mutianyu Great Wall by Public Bus” for more information.

Important Notice: The final destination of the Bus 916 Express is actually Huairou Beidajie (怀柔北大街)in Huairou District, then you have to change for the local bus H23 or 24 (Huairou – Dongtai 怀柔至洞台), continue to take the bus for another 18.6km, pass 8 stops and get off at Mutianyu Great Wall finally.

Bus 916 Express (916快)Fare: RMB 12
Bus H23, or 24 Fare: RMB 5
Bus Operation Time: 6:00-17:00 ( every 20 minutes )From: Dongzhimen Public Transport Hub (东直门交通枢纽)

Bus No. 980 Express (980快) To: Destination: Jinshanling Great Wall 金山岭长城.
Very Important Notice: Actually the Bus 980 Express stops at Miyun County ( 密云汽车站 ), and then you take a mini bus from the downtown Miyun to Jinshanling.

Bus Fare: RMB 15

Minibus Fare: about RMB 50 ( you have to share a mini-bus for Jinshanling Great Wall)

Take a taxi to the Great Wall
You can also charter a taxi for day trips to the Great Wall. The drive ranges from 1.5 hour to 2.5 hours from the city center according to the different sections of the Great Wall.

Below are the approximate taxi fares to the different sections of the Great Wall with waiting for about 2-3 hours while touring the wall:

Beijing Mutianyu Great Wall: 85km – RMB 600
Beijing Badaling Great Wall: 80km – RMB 500
Beijing Simatai Great Wall: 140km – RMB 700
Beijing Juyongguan Great Wall: 60km – RMB 400
Beijing Jinshanling Great Wall: 160km RMB 800
Beijing Gubeikou Great Wall: 150km – RMB 750
Beijing Jiankou Great Wall: 85km – RMB 650
Beijing Huanghuacheng Great Wall 85km – RMB 600

Tip # 05: Book a Great Wall Bus Tour
Don’t want to make the do-it-yourself route? No worries, you can easily book Great Wall Bus Tour (daily group tours) through your hotel or local tour operators.  Check out Beijing Group Tour for more information.

Each morning, you will be picked you up from your midtown hotel, then you will go to visit the Wall together with other tourists.

Groups are kept to about 10 passengers in a comfortable modern 22-seat coach with professional Beijing chauffeurs and English speaking tour guide.

Tip # 06 Stay near the Great Wall
If you want to stay one night or more near the Wall, below are some of the inns and hotels for your consideration:

Juyongguan Great Wall Hotel
the Cummune by the Great Wall
Huanghuacheng Fuwang Courtyard Farmhouse
the Schoolhouse by the Mutianyu Great Wall
Jinshanling Hote
Simatai Great Wall Courtyard Hotel
the Chateau Changyu AFIP Global Beijing

Tip # 07 Tips for Wheelchair users (Beijing Disability Travel)
Both Badaling Great Wall and Mutianyu Great Wall have accessible ramp paths.  On the Badaling Great Wall, a special flat lane is built for wheelchair users to get to the third watch tower of the Great Wall. Even two elevators are equipped for easy ascending the wall if you book the elevator service in advance.

Badaling Great Wall has the upper hand over Mutianyu Great Wall with its gentle ramp leading to the first watch tower of the Great Wall.

 

 

The gentle ramp leads to the Badaling Great Wall.

The gentle ramp leads to the Badaling Great Wall.

Check out “The Most Wheelchair-Friendly Great Wall to Visit” for more tips for accessible Great Wall of China.

Basically it is more convenient to use its smooth and gentle ramp leading up Badaling Great Wall. You don’t need to  use the cable car. The area for the upper cable station is not wheelchair-friendly and teem with domestic tourists.

On the Mutianyu Great Wall, wheelchair users may take a cable car up and then use the accessible lane leading to the platform below the 14th watch tower for a good view of Mutianyu Great Wall.

The accessible paths in Mutianyu Great wall are too steep, not wheelchair user-friendly!
The accessible lane from the upper cable car station to the platform below the 14th watch tower on Mutianyu Great Wall.

The steep ramp at Mutianyu Great Wall

The steep ramp at Mutianyu Great Wall

The accessible platform for wheelchair users below the 14th watch tower on Mutianyu Great Wall.

Tip # 08 Tips for Experienced Travelers
you may choose half restored or wild sections of the Wall. But you have to be responsible for your own safety.

Travel Notes for wild great wall hiking:
1. Things to take: sports shoes or hiking boots, sticks, cap, sun-glasses, sunscreen, bottles of water, snacks, pocket knife, lip balm and first aid kit.
2. Using toilets at the entrance of the Wall. No toilets on the hiking route. Please always carry toilet paper by yourself.
3. Wearing pants and long-sleeves even in summer to hike through jungles and bushes.
4. You are responsible for your travel insurance for your coverage of injury or accident.
5 Be a green and responsible hiker, taking nothing but photos and leaving nothing but footprint.

Tip # 09 Hassle-free Great Wall Guided Tours
Don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route? No worries, We at Tour Beijing have some options for guided tours to Great wall Tours:

Mutianyu Great Wall Group Day Tour
Mutianyu Great Wall Half  Day Private Tour
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Tour
Hike from Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall Tour
Hike from Jinshanling to Simatai Great Wall West Tour
Badaling Great Wall + Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour
Badaling Great Wall and Underground Palace Day Tour
Badaling Great Wall + Forbidden City + Tiananmen Square Day Tour

Add on:
Visit Badaling Great Wall by Train
Visit Mutianyu Great Wall by Bus

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.

How to take subway in Beijing

Thursday, November 1st, 2018
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Are you thinking of planning a Beijing subway tour, visiting Beijing by using the rapid transit rail network? The subway is the fastest, cheapest way around Beijing in comparison with Beijing taxis and easier to manage than the daunting Beijing public buses.

Below are some instructions and tips on how to take the subway in Beijing only for your reference:

1. Subway fare in Beijing
Ticket fare:
within 6 km: 3 yuan
6 -12 km:    4 yuan
12 -22 km:   5 yuan
22 – 32 km:  6 yuan
32 km up :   extra 1 yuan for extra 20km
Beijing airport express trains: RMB25).

Children below 1.3 metres in height enjoy free rides accompanied by a paying adult.

Note: If you stay in Beijing for quite a few days, or want to have more transport convenience when you traveling Beijing, you are highly recommended to buy a Beijing bus IC card, a kind of transportation smart card. Basically you are eligible for 10% discounts using “Yikatong” to pay for subway and buses.

A bus IC Card can be also used to pay for Beijing taxi, Beijing subway and S trains to Badaling Great Wall. The official name of the IC card is called “Yikatong”, which means “one card pass” in Chinese, similar to Hong Kong’s Octopus card, Singapore’s EZ-Link, or the Oyster Card used by TfL in London in United Kingdom.

More information on “Yikatong” card:
1. Par value RMB100.00 ( including RMB20.00 deposit )
2. When you leave Beijing or don’t want to use the card anymore, you can return it to places which are appointed by Beijing Municipal Administration and Communications Card Co. Ltd. Then they will refund you RMB20.00 if your card is not damaged.
3. You could refill the bus IC card from over 700 places including the ticket counters at Beijing subway stations, railway stations, most post offices, big supermarkets and so on.
4. Yikatong Service phone number: 88087733 www.bjsuperpass.com (mainly in Chinese)

2. Find a latest Beijing Subway map
Try to find a latest Beijing subway map, physical or online. Beijing subway is on a constant change. Very often either online subway maps or ordinary maps are hard to catch up with the latest version of Beijing subway.

3. Basic information on the subway lines in Beijing
Try to locate your hotel, attractions and your business places in Beijing with the help of Beijing subway lines. Right now, there are 14 subway lines. The overall expansion plans call for 19 lines and 1,050 km (650 mi) of track by 2020.

Subway Lines serving Beijing urban area
Subway Line 1: a straight east-west line under Chang’an Avenue passing Tiananmen Square, dividing the city into two parts – north and south. Line 1 links major commercial centres – Beijing CBD, Dongdan, Wangfujing, Xidan and Financial Street.

Subway Line 5: one of straight north-south lines, but mainly running just east of the city centre. It has some important stops such as the Temple of Earth, Lama Temple, Dongdan and the Temple of Heaven.

Subway Line 6: Running between Haidian Wuluju (Haidian) and Caofang (Chaoyang)
Line 8: Phase I (Olympic Branch Line) branches off Baitucheng Stop of Line 10 with three stops in the Olympic Green.

Subway Line 9: Running between National Library (Haidian) and Guogongzhuang (Fengtai)
Subway Line 10: an inverted L-shaped line running east-west. Starting from the west, it runs along the Yuan dynasty city wall in the north, passing by the south of the Olympic Green and runs south at Sanyuanqiao, following the eastern 3rd Ring Road passing through the embassy district and Beijing CBD.

Subway Lines serving Beijing suburbs
Subway Line 13: an arcs line running the suburbs north of the city and takes commuters to Xizhimen and Dongzhimen where interchange for Line 2.

Subway Line 14: Running between Zhangguozhuang (Fengtai) and Xiju (Fengtai)

Subway Line 15: extended from the Line 13 at Wangjing West, then running northeast to suburban Shunyi District.

Batong Line: extended from Line 1, running eastward from Sihui to suburban Tongzhou District.

Changping Line: extended from Line 13 at Xi’erqi,  running north to suburban Changping District.

Daxing Line: branches off Line 4 south to suburban Daxing District.

Fangshan Line: is at the moment unconnected with the main lines in Beijing, standing alone line in southwest Beijing that linking Dabaotai in Fengtai District with suburban Fangshan District.

Yizhuang Line: extended from Line 5’s southern terminus to the Yizhuang Economic & Technological Development Zone in the southeastern suburbs.

Airport Express: linking the Beijing Capital International Airport ( 25 km northeast of the city), with Line 10 at Sanyuanqiao and Lines 2 and 13 at Dongzhimen.

Beijing Subway Map

 

Beijing Subway Map

4. Beijing Subway Operation Hours
The first trains depart terminals at around 5:00 am and the last leave at around 11:00 pm. The Airport Express train starts at around 6:00am and ends at 10:30 pm.

5. Get to the Subway Station
Make sure you are heading to the closest station. The subway signs are easily to be recognized.

Beijing Subway Sign

Beijing Subway Sign

Subway Station Exterior

Subway Station Exterior

Subway Station Exterior

6. Buy a subway ticket
You may buy a single-ride ticket or use a Beijing Transportation (Yikatong) Card, similar to the oyster cards in UK. If you stay in Beijing for a longer period, it is advisable to buy Yikatong card.

1) You may buy a single ride ticket through automated machines which take coins and small bills. or you may buy it at the ticketing windows.

A single ride Electronic ticket

A single ride Electronic ticket

(2)If you stay in Beijing for quite a few days, or want to save money when you traveling Beijing by subway or bus, you are highly recommended to buy a Beijing bus IC card, a kind of transportation smart card. A bus IC Card can be also used to pay for taxi or subway.

The correct name of the IC card is called “Yikatong”, which means “one card pass” in Chinese, similar to Hong Kong’s Octopus card, Singapore’s EZ-Link, or the Oyster Card used by TfL in London in United Kingdom.

7. Get to the platform and choose the right track
Swipe the card across the sensor, or insert the ticket in the turnstile to enter through the fare gate. Basically, there are two tracks for trains running for opposite directions, so you should follow the sign and choose the correct side of the tracks.

Waiting on the platform

8. Inside the Trains and transfer
Once taking the subway, the display screen inside the each car of the train will show arrival times, destination information, and show short television programs.

If you want to transfer, just look for a sign that says “Transfer” and follow the directional arrow on the sign.9. Leave the subway station
After you leave the train, you are required to insert the single-ride electronic ticket in the turnstile, or swipe the transportation card over the sensor.

Next, look for the signs which show how to exit the station. Usually, there are four exits for each station; each exit leads to a different direction. Find the direction of your destination and choose the right exit to get out of the station.

10. Try to avoid taking subway in rush hours

You’d better avoid taking subway during rush hours. Beijing  Rush Hours: 07:00am – 09:00am), and 6:00pm – 08:00pm.

Beijing subway is getting extremely crowded at rush hours

Beijing subway is getting extremely crowded at rush hours


Beijing is a very overcrowded city. Beijing subway is getting extremely crowded at rush hours.

11. Important Places accessed by subway
1) Beijing South Railway station: Subway Line 4

2) Beijing West Railway Station: Subway Line 9

3) Beijing North railway Station: Subway line 2, 4 and 10

4) Beijing Railway Station: Subway line 2

5) Beijing Capital Airport: Express Train + Subway Line 2

6) Summer Palace: Subway line 4 and 10

7) Badaling Great Wall: S Trains ( from Huangtudian Railway Station ) Line 8 or 13

8) Temple of Heaven: Subway Line 5

9) Tiananmen ( Forbidden City): Subway Line 1

10) Lama Temple: Subway Line 5

11) Olympic Park: subway 8

Add on
Beijing Public Buses
Beijing taxi
Badaling Great Wall by 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.