Beijing China Trip Advisor
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|Check out the Frequently asked questions below:|
1. Which is the best way from the Beijing Airport to town?
You should take a taxi from outside the Airport,the cost should be around RMB 150. Or take an airport shuttle bus. See more information on Beijing Airport shuttle bus lines and Beijing Taxi.
2. How many sections of the Great Wall in Beijing? How to visit the Great Wall?
There are many sections of the Great Wall and the section closest to Beijing (and thus the most crowded and touristy) is Juyongguan and Badaling. The next further section is Mutianyu. Beyond that (about 2 hours away from Beijing) lies Simatai and Jinshanling. The further sections are more rugged and you get to see more the real Great Wall but their distance tends to discourage folks from visiting them. To visit the Great Wall, you have three main choices: taxi, Public bus or organized tours.
--- Beijing Taxi
--- Beijing Public Bus
--- Beijing Organized Tour
3. I will be in Beijing for New Years Eve this December. Any special celebrations for 31st Dec? Anyone tells us more information on Chinese Holidays & Festivals?
NYE is not traditional Chinese holiday, people will have one day's holiday on Jan 01. People maybe go to cinema and watch TV all tha night or have dinner with family and frends, or some people have firecracker, that's all. No special celebrate. As for the Chinese Holidays & Festivals, this link offers some very good info:
--- Chinese Holidays & Festivals
4. Traveling to Beijing in December, is it too cold? Any Fun?
It is quite cold. You can buy a heavy coat from the shops in Beijing. December has short days, dark 5pm. But a lot of people walking around Wangfujing etc. Most attractions are closed after 4.30pm. Make sure to take some warm clothes with you. The sights stay open all around. And you can enjoy more of the sights and the city. The advantage going in Dec is that there are fewer tourists around, you can have great wall photos. And the travel cost is lower too.
5. Will we have language barrier in Beijing China?
Many of the large and popular restaurants tend to have an English menu these days so it shouldn't be difficult. As for hotels, they will give you a card with the address of the hotel. NEVER lose this card, and just give it to your taxi driver when your done sightseeing, and he'll take you back. The major signboards on the streets are both in Chinese and English.
6. Would appreciate any indication of tipping practices in Beijing?
Usually tipping is generally not practiced in China, but for some hotels you book, or organized tours you take, you should pay a little.
7. Is it advisable to purchase Travel Insurance for a trip to China?
No matter you travel independently or buy an organized tour, you should purchase Travel Insurance for a trip to China. You never know when you are out of luck and what situation you might encounter. When you visit a public hosptial in China, very often, the first thing they asked, other than your name, is money. In addition, the local tour operators in China usually don't buy a travel insurance for you, they only buy the travel agency insurance for themselves.
8. Any cheap and accessible accomodation in Beijing?
Beijing hostels are the best way to go for budget lodging in Beijing. Ask to see a hostel room before you pay and choose a dorm (several bunks in one room) for the cheapest Beijing lodging. Expect to pay US$ 8 - 15 for a Beijing hostel bunk.
See Beijing Top Hostels for more information.
9. We are planning on an overnight sleeper train to Xi'an, when should we buy the ticket?
You have three ways for train ticket booking. First, you can get them in the hotel directly. Many hotel tour desks have ticket booking service from the front desk, but you need pay about RMB 20 -30 yuan for handling charge.
The second way is that you can buy the tickets directly from the train station. For this it is quite hard for you, lining up and having some language barrier. Last way is for you to turn to a local travel agency or ticket booking agency. When you use this method, you should book early. Many local travel agencies only offer package tours including ticket booking and tours. And don't offer ticket booking only service. By the way, you are advised not to take trains during Chinese big holidays like Spring Festival, May Day, and National Day. There will be a huge nunber of travelling people. It is very much difficult to buy the train tickets.
10. I am a single traveller in Beijing for 1 week, any safety in Beijing?
If friendly young Chinese people approach you on the street for tea or art, just say "no". This is a common problem in Beijing; the old teahouse and art student scams designed to extract money from unsuspecting tourists. Never accept rides from taxis that don't have a working meter. Just get out and find another one. Don't go hiking far alone on remote sections of the Great Wall. There are no dangerous areas of downtown Beijing that you need to be concerned with as a foreigner. Petty theft is always a problem in the vicinity of China's train and bus stations, but that tidbit was included in your box of street smarts.
11. Is it easy to find a taxi on the tourist sites in Beijing?
It is very easy to find taxis in Beijing, especialy next to touristic attractions. The taxi fleet has recently been upgraded, and taxi drivers have to learn some english (though it might still be a bit difficult to communicate with some of them). When you take a taxi, don't forget to ask for the receipt (Fapiao in chinese): it could be usefull if you forgot something in the cab ( a telephone number is written on the taxi driver's license in the taxi. Make sure they are metered. Last, but not least important is to make sure the taxi's plaque starts with "B", otherwise, it is a black taxi!
12. Any advice on Beijing weather, safety, footwear, money exchange?
1) Beijing weather
2) Footwear, sport shoes, sneakers etc are ok ie covered footwear.
3) Currency exchange booths at the airport or banks downtown. The rate is fixed so don't bother shopping for a "better" rate. The rate at the airport is no worse than in town.
13. How to recognize an illegal tour guide?
It is quite easy to tell an illegal tour guide. An illegal tour guide has neither official IC card nor travel plan from a travel agency. They, just like illegal self-employed tour guides, touch the tourists directly by using some low-cost sales channels like web forums, phone calls, direct encounter at some scenic areas. Some trendy illegal tour guides also make a simple travel website and contact the internet travellers directly! You are kindly advised not to use their services even though their service charges are much lower maybe. To put yourself in the hand of an illegal tour guide is dangerours!
14. Must see in beijing?
- Forbidden City
- Tiananmen Square
- Great Wall (Badaling, Juyonguan, Mutianyu,Jinshanling, or Simatai)
- Summer Palace
- Hutong tour
- Qianhai/Houhai area
- Temple of Heaven
- Yonghegong Lamasery
- Panjiayuan market (early weekend morning)
- Wangfujing street
- Wangfujing night food market
- Peking duck meal
- Chinese acrobat performance
- Chinese opera performance
More about Top 10 Must See Places in Beijing.
15. Is it better for us to travel independantly or go with an organized tour in China?
If you want to be adventurous, you don't need a tour to help, as you know tons of travellers visit indepedently a great number of places in China every year without any knowledge of Chinese. If you have no time for searching for the travel information and don't want to be intrepid for your trip, taking a group tour is a good way!
16. Traveling around Beijing without knowing Mandarin, possible?
Yes, definitely possible. A great number of travellers in the same boat like you have managed it, and so will you! A phrasebook is invaluable for communication -- Rough Guide's Mandarin is recommended.
Beijing and Shanghai is a popular destination, so the tourist infrastructure is good. Metro is the best way to get around Beijing. The subway stations are clearly signposted in both English and Chinese, and you don't get stuck in any traffic jams! See more information on Beijing Subway.
17. Where to learn Chinese before heading to China?
a. It's better to pick up some simple Chinese phrases before going. How to learn Chinese?
You may turn to some websites for help. They offer Chinese learning lessons:
1) Learning Useful Chinese Phrases for Travellers
2) Bridge For Education and International Travel
Note: Chinese is a phonic language , very often similar words have different meanings based on pronounciation and different words have similar pronounciation. No pain, no gain!
b. You may go to your local bookstore or library and getting some audio tapes for Chinese learning.
c. You also try to find a community college or school offering Chinese learning for beginners.
d. Each year a huge number of travellers with little knowledge of Chinese language visit or even work in China, actually you will have no big problem at all. You know more and more local Chinese are learning English. And they are pleased to practice with you. No worry! You can find assistance anywhere.
18. Good Muslim or Xinjiang food in Beijing?
The most famous is "Dong Lai Shun", famous main dish is mutton hot pot, the address of the biggest one is :198 avenue Wang Fu Jing tel:0086-10-65253562. If you want to eat something like Kebab, giros, you can go to "Kao rou yuan", with 300 years of history, address: 93 avenue Fu Xing Men nei, tel: 0086-10-66013123. Another time-honored restaurant serving Muslim cuisine is "Kao Rou Ji", located 14 Qianhai Dongyan, Xicheng District, telephone 6404-2554.
19. How to recognize a legal taxi in Beijing? Any advice on illegal tour bus?
1) The taxi plaque number starts with the number "B"
2) The taxi should be equippped with the light on the top and meter measuring.
3) It's better to take a taxi on the road instead of a taxi waiting somewhere. The empty taxi must show a red light in the front window. Watch out! Don't come aboard the black "illegal tour bus":
In Beijing, there are also some black illegal tour bus sending tourists to the Great Wall. You will have a terrible trip once you get on it. To promote their illegal tours, these sales people always deliver a small card to passing-by travelers wanting to go to Great Wall tour by standing on the some public places like the street, Tian'anmen Square, or the entrance of Forbidden City. Very often they use their "unbelievable low price" to attract those "blind" tourists. But once you come aboard their bus for the Great Wall, they have to make you pay additional fees again and again. Sometimes even the Great Wall is not real Badaling section!! We remind you not to take their card if you happen to meet them. Actually it's very easy to recognize an illegal tour bus in Beijing. A legal tour bus plaque starts with "B", if not, you possiblely get on a "black tour bus".
Read "China Travel Tips" by Daniel Li for more China travel advice.
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