Archive for the ‘Expressways in China’ Category

Beijing Tianjin expressway road trip

Monday, March 7th, 2011
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Beijing Tianjin Expressway is the second expressway linking Beijing and Tianjin ( including Tianjin Cruise Port).

For Beijing Tianjin cruise port road transfer, most of the passengers use this second expressway linking Tianjin and Beijing.

The first expressway linking Beijing and Tianjin cruise port is officially referred as  Beijing-Tianjin-Tanggu Expressway. But it is now rarely used for the cruise port transfer. The first Beijing Tianjin Expressway was completed in 1993, which is also the first expressway in China.

Now the first expressway is very often teemed with trucks and lorries, making the traffic very slow. That’s why the second expressway is needed to release the traffic congestion and speed the Beijing Tianjin transfer by road.

Beijing Tianjin Expressway is a four-lane expressway with a total length of 130km, 2/3 under the jurisdiction of Tianjin, 1/3 under Beijjing.

It has three toll gates with the second one standing at the prefecture border area between Beijing and Tianjin. There are four service areas along the 130km expressway, where you can expect a snack store, a toilet and a restaurant.

Beijing downtown to the starting point of Beijing Tianjin Expressway is about 20km, Tianjin Cruise Port to the Toll Gate of the expressway about 30km, totalling 180km driving distance between Beijing and Tianjin Cruise Port, the driving time approxi. 2 hours if you are lucky to have fine weather and good traffic.

Tianjin Cruise Port – the Starting Point of Beijing Tianjin Expressway: 30km
Now follow me to have a road trip from the Tianjin Cruise Port to the downtown Beijing driving along Beijing Tianjin Expressway. Tianjin Cruise Port is located in the Dongjiang Port of Tianjin Port in New Binhai Area of Tianjin. 

Tianjin Cruise Terminal

 

The Tianjin Cruise Port is linked by No.08 New Xingang Road to Yaojin Road. No.08 New Xingang Road is a man made offshore road due to a land reclamation.

The road has a beautiful view as if the road was floating on the sea.  Now we are on the No.08 Xingang Road (新港8号路).

No.08 New Xingang Road

At the end of the No.08 Xingang Road, you find yourself at a crossroad, then turn left and drive on the Yaojin Road (跃进路).  Now we are on the Yaojin Road.

Turn right the next crossroad – No.07 Xingang Road Crossroad (新港第七号路口). Here you can see lots of trucks and lorries going in and out , where is the main gate of Tianjin Port, also a checkpoint to supervise each truck or lorries in and out.

Turn right at the No.07 Xingang Road Crossroad

We are passing through the main gate of Tianjin Port, checkpoint to supervise each truck going in and out.

We are passing through the main gate of Tianjin Port, checkpoint to supervise each truck going in and out

We are driving on the Ninth Avenue from east to west (第九大道).

Driving along the Ninth Avenue and soon you will come across the north-south Nanhai Road ( 南海路) with a placard showing the direction of Jingjin Expressway (Beijing Tianjin Expressway) at the end of Nanhai Road in the north. So we are going to turn right and drive along Nanhai Road.

We turn right and drive on the Nanhai Road  (南海路) leading to Beijing Tianjin Expressway

We turn right and drive on the Nanhai Road leading to Beijing Tianjin Expressway.

At the end of Nanhai Road, now we are going to embark on the overpass linking the Beijing Tianjin Expressway.

Now we are going to embark on the overpass linking the Beijing Tianjin Expressway.

Now we are approaching the Toll Gate of Beijing Tianjin Expressway on Tianjin’s side. The Toll fee is RMB 50 per car.

Now we are approaching the Toll Gate of Beijing Tianjin Expressway

 

At the toll gate I check the mileage on my car, it reads 30km. So from Tianjin Cruise Port to the Toll Gate is about 30km’s driving distance.

Beijing Tianjin Expressway is about 130km in length with four service areas.

Now we are driving along the Beijing Tianjin Expressway, a four-lane expressway.

Now we are driving along the Beijing Tianjin Expressway, a four-lane expressway.

Now the expressway forks with one direction to Beijing and right direction to Tianjin. If you go to Tianjin Airport or Tianjin Railway Station you are supposed to turn right and get off the Beijing Tianjin Expressway.

Now the expressway forks with one direction to Beijing and right direction to Tianjin

At the distance of 30km after the first toll gate, we see the first service area – Zhaojiacheng Rest Area (造甲城), where you can take a break, using a toilet, or doing some shopping if you like.
At the distance of 30km after the toll gate, we see the first service area

At the distance of 30km after the toll gate, we see the first service area

At the distance of 60km after the first Toll Gate, we come across the second service area – Meichang (梅厂).

Now it is the exit for Langfang, a city Between Beijing and Tianjin.

Now it is the exit for Langfang, a city Between Beijing and Tianjin.

At the distance of 90km, we see the third  service area on the expressway – Baigutun Service Area (白古屯停车区). We drive into the area and have a shirt break there.

The main service building is composed of a restaurant on the right side, a snack store in the middle and a toilet on the left side.

The main service building is composed of a restaurant on the right side, snack store in the middle and a toilet on the left sdie.

Soon we reach the second Toll Gate – Gaocun Toll Gate and enter the 1/3 Beijing Tianjin Expressway under Beijing’s control. We pay RMB 15 for this section of the expressway.
Soon we reach the second Toll Gate ( Gaocun Toll Gate)

Soon we reach the second Toll Gate ( Gaocun Toll Gate)

Non-Beijing licensed vehicles must be stopped for security check before you can enter Beijing. This is a police station checkpoint.

Non-Beijing licensed vehicles must be stopped for security check before you can enter Beijing. This is a police station checkpoint.

Just after the Gaocun Toll Gate, we soon find a small service area – Yongle Service Area (永乐停车区). It looks clean and nice.
Just after the Gaocun Toll Gate, we soon find small service area

Just after the Gaocun Toll Gate, we soon find small service area

We are approaching the third toll gate – Taihu Toll Gate (台湖站).
We are approaching the third toll gate - Taihu Toll Gate

We are approaching the third toll gate – Taihu Toll Gate

Beijing Tianjin Expressway has just one kelometer to go before it finishes.

Beijing Tianjin Expressway has just one kelometer to go before its finish.

Beijing downtown is in sight. The total length of the driving distance from Tianjin Cruise Port to Beijing downtown is approxi. 180km.

We are in Beijing!

Tip:  Hassle-free Tianjin 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 Tianjin guided tours:

Any questions, just drop a line.

How to Drive from Beijing to Wanlong Ski Resort, Beijing Wanlong Ski Resort Driving Route

Saturday, November 6th, 2010
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As a keen skier, when you plan your Beijing Tours in winter, you have many options of ski resorts to choose from such as Nanshan Ski Resort, Jundushan Ski ResortYuyang Ski Resort etc.
If you are a high-level skier wanting to take more advanture and would like to pay a little more as well as give yourself more leisure time in Beijing, then I suggest you to go to Wanlong Ski Resort.
Wanlong Ski Resort is the largest mountain ski resort in Northeast China with 22 trails ranging from advanced-level to primary one. It is located in Honghualiang, 12km in the east of Chongli County of Zhangjiakou City, 260km north of Beijing.
There are two expressways connecting Beijing andWanlong Ski Resort  – Jingzhang Expressway and Zhangcheng Expressway. Jingzhang Expressway (Beijing-Zhangjiakou Expressway) is part of Jingzang Expressway (Beijing – Tibet Highway). Zhangcheng Expressway means “Zhangjiakou – Chengde Expressway”. You first get to Zhangjiakou City, by driving 200km along Jingzhang Expressway and then change for Jingcheng Expressay and reach Chongli County  by driving 50km, then get off the expressway and drive 10km to Wanlong Ski Resort along the province-level mountain road.
One big problem about the driving from Beijing to Zhangjiakou or vice versa is traffic congestion. Light traffic jam happens every day. If you are unlucky, you will be stuck on the way for hours, even for days in the most extreme cases. But the traffic congestion never frightens people driving from Beijing to Zhangjiakou City,. It is said that the second highway is under construction between Beijing and Zhangjiakou City,
When you are going to return from Wanlong Ski Resort to beijing and learn that Jingzhang expressway is seriously jammed, you can consider to use the mountain road returning to Beijing and skip over the Jingzhang Expressway as stated below:

 

Beijing Wanlong Ski Resort Driving Route

Travel tips from Beijing to Wanlong Ski Resort by road:

1. Ready for plentiful bottle of water, but drink as little as possible to avoid using toilet.
2. Prepare for snacks
3. Think of how to use tolets if stuck on the way for a long time
4. Spare enough time on the way

Normally it takes 3 hours from Beijing to Wanlong Ski Resort by road. But on December 03, 2010, we made a 5-hour trip from Beijing to Wanlong Ski Resort due to some traffic congestion on some sections on the way. If you are interested in knowing what’s like on the way from Beijing to Wanlong Ski Reort driving on Jingzhang Expressay, and further to Wanlong Ski Resort

, please follow me:

 

 

We start at 6:30 early in the morning and try to avoid heavy traffic. Still a little surprised, you see there has been already much traffic on the east second road. 

We start at 6:30 early in the morning and try to avoid heavy traffic

Now we are on the north second ring road with colorful leaves on the road sides.

Now we are on the north second ring road with colorful leaves on the road sides

We turn north at Deshengmen and drive all the way to the Qinghe Toll Gate and embark Jingzhang Expressway (Jingzang Expressway) through the ETC Gate.

We turn north at Deshengmen and drive all the way to the Qinghe Toll Gate

At the distance of 46km, we drive by Changping Disrict, one of the 14 districts under the administration of Beijing. The famous Ming Toms are located in Changping. 

At the distance of 46km, we drive by Changping Disrict

At the distance of 61km, we pass by Juyongguan Great Wall . The pass looks gorgeous!

At the distance of 61km, we pass by Juyongguan Great Wall

The road after Juyongguan Great Wall is quite difficult to drive due to the higher slope and sharp curves. 

The road after Juyongguan Great Wall is quite difficult to drive

At the distance of 68km, we are passing by Shui Guan Great Wall ( Water Pass Great Wall ). This section of the Great Wall is seldom on the travel list of foreign visitors mainly becuase it is too artificial and teemed with domestic tourists.

At the distance of 68km, we are passing by Shui Guan Great Wall

At the distance of 80km, we are driving by Badaling Great Wall . The early morning Badaling Great Wall in autumn looks amazing!

At the distance of 80km, we are driving by Badaling Great Wall

Haven’t come back at the joy of seeing the grandeur Badaling Great Wall , we come to a standstill, the first traffic congestion on the way.

We come to a standstill, the first traffic congestion on the way.

We are moving again and soon we are sandwiched by trucks and lorries.

we are sandwiched by trucks and lorries

Zhangjiaku still 93km away, almost half way. We have to drive on the emergence lane with the fast lanes occupied by trucks.

Zhangjiaku still 93km away

We see hundreds of wind turbines on the both sides of the highway. China is said to be the leading wind turbine production and operation country in the world.

We see hundreds of wind turbines on the both sides of the highway

It is an important fork. Drive right you go to Datong and drive left you go to Zhangjiakou. So, don’t confused!

Drive right you go to Datong and drive left you go to Zhangjiakou

Now we are close to the city of Zhangjiakou. There are 5 entrance toll gates to the city of Zhangjiakou. We randomly choose the Weisanlu Toll Gate and drive along the new finished Zhangcheng Expressway.

Now we are close to the city of Zhangjiakou

 We are driving on the brand new Zhangcheng Expressway. Now Zhangjiakou is 4km and Chongli County is still 50km. But we don’t drive directly to Chongli County . Instead, we go to Zhangjiakou City  for an inspection short trip.

We are driving on the brand new Zhangcheng Expressway

We enter Zhangjiakou City through Weisanlu Toll Gate.

We enter Zhangjiakou City through Weisanlu Toll Gate

Zhangjiakou City  is a booming city, the size of twice as big as Beijing. Zhangjiakou is a vital north gate to Beijing due to its strategic location as well as a passage to the development of west China. It is also a transport hub of coal shipment of Shanxi coal and Inner Mongolia trade. It now administrates 3 districts and 13 counties occupying an area of 36861 square meters with a population of 4.49 million.

After simple lunch at Zhangjiakou City, we start for Wanlong Ski Resort. Wanlong Ski Resort is located 12km in the east of Chongli County. So we have to go to Chongli first. This time we don’t choose the Zhangcheng expressway from Zhangjiakou to Chongli. We drive along the province-level mountain road to Chongli. It turns out a great scenic drive!

Wanlong Ski Resort is located 12km in the east of Chongli County

After a short break at Chongli County, we continue to drive 12km along the montain road to Wanlong Ski Resort. The view on the way is very beautiful!

we continue to drive 12km along the montain road to Wanlong Ski Resort

 

 

At the distance of 260km, we reach our destination – Wanlong Ski Resort!

 

Zhangjiakou City is a booming city, the size of twice as big as Beijing

 

we reach our destination – Wanlong Ski Resort

Wanlong Ski Resort!

Jingcheng Expressway

Thursday, June 17th, 2010
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Exits at Simatai and Jingshanling

June 12, 2010, we went to Chengde from Beijing by coach along the Jingcheng Expressway. Though the expressway was completed and opened to the public on Sept 27, 2009, it was my first time to enjoy the its speed and comfort.  

Jingcheng Expressway is 209.1km in length with 132.4 km in Beijing and 76.7 in Chengde. Its completion has shortened the Beijing Chengde driving time to 2 hours instead of 4 hours using the old highway. It passess 62 bridges and over 10 tunnels.
 
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.
 
With this Jingcheng Expressway, you can easily drive to Huirou District, Miyun District. What’s more, it is much convenient for you to get to Simatai Great Wall (120km) and Jingshanling Great Wall (128km).