Archive for the ‘Beijing Tour Reviews’ Category

Plugs and sockets in China

Saturday, April 14th, 2018
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Before packing for your Beijing Tour or China Tour, it is necessary to have some basic knowledge of the electricity in China, its plug and socket system as well.

We’ve rounded up the following quick guide for new visitors coming to Beijing China. If anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!
____________________________________________________________________

Kindly Reminder:
Now many of the small carry-on devices like cell phones, cameras, electric toothbrushes,  hair dryers and electric razors are made with international standards using 110/220 (combining the two main standards for voltage and frequency in the world ) with two-prong charger plugs.

And you don’t have to use an adaptor while traveling in China. In addition, you can use the two-pin sockets easily here in China with your two-prong plugs.

Before leaving for China,  make sure your electric devices use 110/220 volts and your plugs have two prongs.

By the way, most of the chargers for lap tops are made with three-prong plugs which may not fit into the three-pin sockets here in China and you need to buy a portable plug adaptor at your home country or here in China. In addition, check out the Voltage for your lap tops to see if they fit into 220 V. If not, you need to use a converter also.

If you have some questions with your plugs, sockets, and Voltage while traveling China, please read the full article.

What Voltage is Used in China?
Basically there are two main standards for voltage and frequency in the world. One is the standard of 110-120 volts at a frequency of 60 Hz (mostly used in USA), and the other is the standard of 220–240 volts at 50 Hz (mostly used in Europe).

China uses generally 220V, 50HZ, AC (Hong Kong is 200V; Taiwan is 110V).

Just list some of the Country Voltage Frequency:
Argentina 220 V 50 Hz
Armenia 220 V 50 Hz
Australia 240 V 50 Hz
Austria 230 V 50 Hz
Belgium 230 V 50 Hz
Brazil 110/220 V 60 Hz
Brunei 240 V 50 Hz
Bulgaria 230 V 50 Hz
Canada 120 V 60 Hz
China, People’s Rep. of 220 V 50 Hz
China (Hong Kong) 220 V 50 Hz
Czech Republic 230 V 50 Hz
Denmark 230 V 50 Hz
England (UK) 230 V 50 Hz
Finland 230 V 50 Hz
France 230 V 50 Hz
French Guiana 220 V 50 Hz
Germany 230 V 50 Hz
Great Britain (UK) 230 V 50 Hz
Greece 220 V 50 Hz
Holland (Netherlands) 230 V 50 Hz
Hong Kong (China) 220 V 50 Hz
Hungary 230 V 50 Hz
Iceland 220 V 50 Hz
India 230 V 50 Hz
Indonesia 127/230 V 50 Hz
Ireland (Eire) 230 50 Hz
Israel 220 V 50 Hz
Italy 230 V 50 Hz
Japan 100 V 50/60 Hz
Korea, South 220 V 60 Hz
Luxembourg 220 V 50 Hz
Macau 220 V 50 Hz
Malaysia 240 V 50 Hz
Mexico 127 V 60 Hz
Netherlands Antilles 127/220 V 50 Hz
New Zealand 230 V 50 Hz
Northern Ireland 230 V 50 Hz
Norway 230 V 50 Hz
Philippines 220 V 60 Hz
Poland 230 V 50 Hz
Portugal 230 V 50 Hz
Romania 230 V 50 Hz
Russia 220 V 50 Hz
Saudi Arabia 127/220 V 60 Hz
South Africa 220/230 V 50 Hz
Spain 230 V 50 Hz
Swaziland 230 V 50 Hz
Sweden 230 V 50 Hz
Switzerland 230 V 50 Hz
Taiwan 110 V 60 Hz
Thailand 220 V 50 Hz
Turkey 230 V 50 Hz
United Arab Emirates 220 V 50 Hz
UK (United Kingdom) 230 V 50 Hz
US (United States) 120 V 60 Hz
Venezuela 120 V 60 Hz
Vietnam 127/220 V 50 Hz

Converters
If you are from the countries where the standard of 110-120 volts at a frequency of 60 Hz is available, you need to have converters for your domestic electric devices to be used on your trip to China. You may prepare yourself a converter with a socket of your home country’s standard.

A converter is an implement that converts the input from 220V to 110V or 120V for your device. Most laptops have international converters without any problem.

Plugs and Sockets in China
At present, there is no global standard for plugs and sockets. Traditionally the plugs and sockets are classified into several regional standards in the world like American standard, European standard, British standard, South African standard and Chinese standard.

The standard for Chinese plugs and sockets is set out in GB 2099.1–2008 and GB 1002–2008. Chinese plugs and sockets are similar to those in Australia.

A Chinese plug may fit loosely in an Australian socket, but thick pins of an Australian plug may not fit easily in a Chinese socket. In China, the sockets are installed upside-down compared to Australian ones.

A standard socket on a wall in China has two pins on the upper part and earthed three pins on the lower part.

 

 

Chinese Standard Socket on a wall – Two Pins and Three Pins


You may buy a portable plug adaptor at your home country or here in China. Most of your hotels in China offer free use of plug adaptors.

A portable plug

A Chinese standard portable socket

 

A Chinese three-prong Plug

A Chinese three-prong Plug

A Chinese two-prong plug

A Chinese two-prong plug

 

Plugs and Sockets in use

 

Plugs and Sockets in use

 

Sockets and plugs in use

Sockets and plugs in use

As you see, in China, some locally made electric devices have two-prong plugs and others three-prong plugs. If your devices cannot fit into the two-prong or three-prong plugs, you need to prepare yourself for a plug adapter or a converter with a socket of your country’s standard.

Kindly Reminder:
Now many of the small carry-on devices like cell phones, cameras, electric toothbrushes,  hair dryers and electric razors are made with international standards using 110/220 (combining the two main standards for voltage and frequency in the world ) with two-prong charger plugs.

And you don’t have to use an adaptor while traveling in China. In addition, you can use the two-pin sockets easily here in China with your two-prong plugs.

Before leaving for China, make sure your electric devices use 110/220 volts and your plugs have two prongs.

By the way, most of the chargers for lap tops are made with three-prong plugs which may not fit into the three-pin sockets here in China and you need to buy a portable plug adaptor at your home country or here in China. In addition, check out the Voltage for your lap tops to see if they fit into 220 V. If not, you need to use a converter also.

Add On
How to recognise Chinese currency
Learning Useful Chinese Phrases for Travellers
What to Bring for China Trip
Top 10 Places to Visit in China

06611Tip: Hassle-free China 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 China guided tours:

China Highlight Tourfrom US$1050 p/p
(Beijing Xian Shanghai)

China Splendid Tourfrom US$1365 p/p
(Beijing Xian Guilin Shanghai)

China Romantic Yangtze River Tourfrom US$1675 p/p
( Beijing, Xian, Chongqing, Yangtze River, Yichang and Shanghai)

China Mysterious Tibet Tourfrom US$ 2070 p/p
(Beijing Xian Lhasa Shanghai)

Further Readings


Top 10 Places in China
Chinese Phrases for Travellers
Plugs and sockets in China
What to Bring for China Trip
How to recognise Chinese currency
Top 10 China Tourist Scams
How to get a Chinese Visa

Any questions, just drop a line.

How to Visit Great Wall of China by Train – Badaling Great Wall

Friday, March 30th, 2018
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Dear Travelers,

We’d like to have the following travel guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors coming to Badaling Great Wall by train. If anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!


Beijing North Railway Station has been closed for a three-year reconstruction program –  part of the overall construction of Beijing Zhangjiakou High Speed Railway in preparation for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

Now all the S2 trains ( going to Badaling Great Wall ), originally handled by Beijing North Railway Station,  have been moved to the newly renovated Huangtudian Railway Station (黄土店站) for the three-year transition.

So if you want to go to Badaling Great Wall by train, you should head to Huangtudian Railway Station which is located in Changping District, about 20 km north of Beijing’s city center.

How to get to Huangtudian Railway Station (黄土店站) ?
You can take Subway Line 13 or Subway Line 8 and get off at Huoying Station ( 霍营站) and exit from Exit G4.  The Exit G4 is only 110 meters to the northwest of Huangtudian Railway Station (黄土店站).

Huoying Station ( 霍营站) is an interchange station on Line 8 and Line 13 of the Beijing Subway. You can easily take either subway line 13 or 8 from towntown Beijing ( or interchange from other subway lines ) to Huoying Station ( 霍营站) which is just next to Huangtudian Railway Station (黄土店站). The Exit G4 is only 110 meters to the northwest of Huangtudian Railway Station (黄土店站).

How to get from Beijing South Railway Station to Huangtudian Railway Station (黄土店站) ?
First you take the subway line 4 directly from within Beijing South Railway Station to the north direction and get off at the 9th station of Xizhimen (西直门) and then interchange for Subway Line 2 to the east direction, and get off at the second station of Guloudajie (鼓楼大街), then again interchange for subway line 8 to the north and get off at the 11th station of Huoying Station ( 霍营站) and exit from Exit G4. The Exit G4 is only 110 meters to the northwest of Huangtudian Railway Station (黄土店站).

How to get from Beijing Capital International Airport to Huangtudian Railway Station (黄土店站) ?
Come out of the exit hall at Beijing Capital Airport ( T 3 or T2 ), then take the airport express train (starting from the connected hall attached to the airport).  Buy your train ticket on the sport at the ticketing booth in the hall ( 25 yuan ).

You get off at the final station of Dongzhimen (东直门), then interchange for the subway line 13 going to the north ( buy your train ticket on the spot: 5 yuan ) and get off at the 7th station of Huoying ( 霍营). and exit from Exit G4.

See the Beijing Subway Map to hone your skill for facilitating your Beijing subway trip.

The trip report below sent by Nana who has successfully made it from the airport to the Badaling great wall on a 13 hr layover:

5:30 AM land at BCIA
5:40 enter 24 hr visa line
6:30 leave visa line, change money, walk to airport transfer express subway
6:55 subway arrives, 25 yuan
7:35 arrive at dongzhimen station, walk to line 13, buy ticket for 5 yuan
7:40 start new subway to huoying station
8:20 arrive, walk to exit g4, turn right and huangtudian railway is 150 ft away, just follow the signs for badaling
8:25-30 buy ticket for 7 yuan, board train, sit on the same side as the door you entered for best views
8:43 leave
9:55 arrived at the great wall badaling station
10:10 arrived at great wall, bought ticket for 35 yuan
11:50 made it to tower twelve
12:30 PM walked back by the street, arrived at train station
1:19 train leaves
2:50 arrived at huoying station
2:55 board subway to dongzhimen
3:20 stop in dongzhimen to eat dinner
4 board airport tram
4:35 arrive at airport
4:47 tram arrives at immigration
5:05 through security
6:55 flight leaves

Total cost 109 yuan for public transportation during low season


S2 Trains:
These are suburban trains running from Beijing Huangtudian Railway Station to Badaling (Great Wall )八达岭 and Yanqing ( 延庆), known as “S2 Trains”.Train Tickets: RMB 6 per ride; if using “Yikatong” Transportation Card, RMB 5 per ticket.All the S2 train tickets are free seating.Like public buses, no advance train tickets booking.Just line up and buy the train tickets on the spot.In tourist high season,  the trains fill up quite fast.Once it is full, you have to wait for the next train.One way ticket only, if you want to buy a return ticket, you have to buy it from other side.”Yikatong” Transportation Card is definitely a smart way to pay for the train ride. Just swipe and go, and no need for lining up for buying your ticket!

Kindly Reminder:
You are advised to purchase a “Yikatong” Transportation Card ( One Pass for All Card), similar to Hong Kong’s Octopus card, Singapore’s EZ-Link, or the Oyster Card used by TfL in London in United Kingdom.”Yikatong” Transportation Card can be also used to pay for Beijing taxi, Beijing public buses, Beijing subway as well as S2 trains to Badaling Great Wall.

More about “Yikatong” card: People cannot share a Yikatong card. For a short stay in Beijing,  you may put 50 yuan ( including 20 yuan deposit ) into your Yikatong card. You may keep Yikatong as a souvenir or reimburse it at a ticketing booth when you leave Beijing.

If you don’t have enough time for returning your Yikatong, you may keep it for future use which basically will be never outdated. It is a transportation card without your identification. If you lose it, then it’s hard for you to reclaim it. Keep it well!

In tourist season, there is a limit to the daily ticket selling, but there is more leniency to transportation card holders – Just swipe and go !! Beijing S2 Trains going between Huangtudian Railway Station and Badaling Railway Station.

Beijing S2 Trains

Inside the cars of the S 2 train.

Inside a car of the S train.

Inside a car of the S2 train.

Badaling Great Wall Train Schedule ( Subject to Change in winter season without Notice )
The S2 Train Timetable below is the one effective from July, 2017. If you find the newest one, please leave us a message for updating for the convenience of the new visitors.Note: The 8:40 train out of Beijing is quite crowded.One has to run to get a good seat ( free seating). The return trip at 11:06 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.|_____________________________________

Newest Update from Kati Harasim Dated 31, Jan, 2018: 

Hello Tour Beijing Team,

As I really, REALLY! appreciate your work and how accessible you make Beijing for every visiting person.

During the weekend I visited Badaling Grat Wall and the S2 timetable changed.

Also the free shuttle bus are not running now (but its 10min walk 🙂

The north cable car – when the conditions are windy only the south side is open.  It worth to check before.

wishing you a very good day!

Kati Harasim

_______________________________________________

The train timetable listed below is designed for normal tourist season
 ( subject to change without notice in winter season)

Beijing Huangtudian Railway Station → Badaling Great Wall Train Schedule1)

Train Schedule Operated on Tue, Wed and Thu

Train S201: 06:30 – 07:37
Train S205: 08:40 – 09:47
Train S209: 11:06– 12:13
Train S211: 12:52 – 14:01
Train S217: 15:34 – 16:43
Train S219: 17:21 – 18:30
Train S227 21:09 – 22:29

2)Train Schedule Operated on Fri, Sat and Sun
Train S201: 06:30 – 07:37
Train S287: 8:11 –   9:20
Train S205: 08:40 – 09:47
Train S209: 11:06– 12:13
Train S211: 12:52– 14:01
Train S213: 13:20 – 14:25
Train S217: 15:34 – 16:43
Train S219: 17:21 – 18:30
Train S221: 17:50 – 18:57
Train S227 21:09 – 22:29

Badaling Great Wall → Beijing Huangtudian Ralway Station Train Timetable
1)  Train Schedule Operated on Tue, Wed and Thu

Train S208: 08:24 – 09:39
Train S210: 10:48 – 12:03
Train S216: 13:33 – 14:53
Train S218: 14:58 – 16:31
Train S224: 17:30 – 18:45
Train S226: 19:31 – 20:47
Train S232: 21:17– 22:46

2)Train Schedule Operated on Fri, Sat and Sun
Train S208: 08:24 – 09:39
Train S210: 10:48 – 12:03
Train S288: 11:16 – 12:32
Train S216: 13:33 – 14:53
Train S218: 14:58 – 16:31
Train S220: 15:43 – 17:04
Train S224: 17:17 – 18:54
Train S226: 19:31 – 20:47
Train S228: 20:16 – 21:43
Train S232: 21:17– 22:46

On the way, you can enjoy the total view of the Guan Valley Scenic Area, pass by Juyongguan Great Wall, and especially immersing yourself in the hundred-year-old Beijing-Zhangjiakou railway, first designed by Mr. Zhan Tianyou (1861 – 1919), the famous Chinese designer of the railway.

How to get from Badaling Train Station to the Ticketing Office at Badaling
After getting off the train at Badaling Station, just follow the throng and get out of the train station. Free shuttle buses just across the road are waiting for you, taking you to the ticketing offices at Badaling Great Wall.

Important Notice:
The free shuttle bus are not running now in winter season. But  it is just  a 10 min walk 🙂

Badaling Railway Station to Badaling Great Wall: First Shuttle at 6:00 am and last at 4:00 pm
Badaling Great Wall to Badaling Railway Station: First Shuttle at 6:15 am and last at 4:15 pm

Getting off at Badaling Train Station

Getting off at Badaling Train Station

Free shuttle buses are waiting outside the train station just across the road, taking you to the ticketing offices.

Free shuttle buses are waiting outside the train station

Free shuttle buses are waiting outside the train station

 The free shuttle buses have two stops:
Stop 01:  Get off at the first stop and walk up the Badaling Great Wall at its No.01 Tower. If you want to avoid the crowds and like to hike up the Wall, you may stop at the Stop 01.

Stop 02:  Get off at the second stop near the Cable Car Station to buy cable ticket ( entrance fee as well ) and get up to the Tower No.07. Then walk down to No.01 Tower or No.12 Tower. Basically no need for a return cable car.

One of the most gorgeous and magnificent parts of the Great Wall around Beijing, Badaling Great Wall (八达岭长城) is the well preserved Ming Dynasty Great Wall with original appearance.

Now it is divided into two sections – north and south, which start at the Badaling Pass and Gate. Most tourists prefer to climb the north section where the highest watch tower (Tower No.08) is located.

Also the cableway is available on the north section. Many people choose to climb up the north section of the Great Wall, then take the cable car down or vice versa.

The cable car goes up to somewhere below between Tower No.08 and No.09. So when you take cable car up, you will see large crowds of people. So we recommend you hike from Tower 01 and back instead of taking cable car.

Badaling Great Wall

Badaling Great Wall

To hike up the north section of the Badaling Great Wall, you have two starting points – either from the Badaling Pass or the Badaling Bear Park.

Why two starting points? Actually the north Badaling Great Wall ( totally 12 towers on the wall ) has two parallel sections meeting at the most northern tip – the 8th Watch Tower ( a curve ) of the Badaling Great Wall.

There are totally 12 towers on the northern Badaling Great Wall. So you ether start at Tower No.01 starting from Badaling Pass or Tower No.12 from Badaling Bear Park.

Badaling Great Wall

Badaling Great Wall

We often call the two north parallel sections “front mountain” and “back mountain” respectively. The “front mountain” ( from Tower No.01 to Tower No.08 ) is to the north of the “back mountain” ( from Tower No.08 to Tower No.12 ).

If you want to climb up the north “front mountain” Badaling Great Wall, you start from the Badaling Pass; if you climb up the north “back mountain” Badaling Great Wall, you start from the Badaling Bear Park.

Most passengers prefer to hike the northern slope of Badaling Great Wall simple because the north part is more scenic and convenient with cable car and slide services in between. But still some people like to hike the southern slope to avoid the crowds for better photo opportunities. If you hike the southern slope, you have to backtrack.

Ticket Price: RMB40 (Nov. 1 to Mar. 31); RMB 45 (Apr. 1 to Oct. 31)
Cable Car: RMB80 (single trip); RMB100 (round trip)
Toboggan: RMB30 (single trip);
Opening Hours:06:30-19:00 (in summer); 07:00-18:00 (in winter)
Hiking Time: Two Hours
Bus Route: Take Bus No.877 or No. 919 at Deshengmen, RMB12 for ticket.
S Train: Take S train from Beijing North Railway Station and get off at the station of Badaling.

Travel Tips:
1. No advance ticket booking service for this train route. You have to buy tickets on the spot. No need for ID for ticket purchasing.

2. For coming back, get to the station and get in the “queue” early. When the train arrives, there’s an almighty (but highly amusing) stampede through the double doors to get out onto the platform and onto the train (which instantly fills up).

3. You can use Beijing Transportation smart card for travelling S2 train from Beijing Huangtudian Railway station to Badaling great wall.  So If you have a transportation card, you don’t have to wait in line for buying a ticket. Just put your card on a reader and go. The S Train is unnumbered, free seating.

4. Alternatively, you can also take Badaling Bus 877  at Deshengmen to Badaling Great Wall, then take train back to Beijing. To get to the Badaling Bus 877, you are advised to take the subway and get off at Jishuitan Stop (积水潭). Then you walk all the way to Deshengmen (德胜门),  which is a whole block east of the  Jishuitan Subway Exit A (over 15-minute walk in the east direction).

5. And don’t forget to haggle if buying a souvenir at the shops near the wall’s entrance (those 180Yuan tshirts are happily sold for far less than their displayed price).

6. Kindly reminder: there may be allegedly “official tourist information volunteers” with red badges on, who will try to drive tourists to get on their minibuses with all sorts of excuses to lure you on. Just don’t go for it. Otherwise, you will be on a nightmare trip.

7. Hassle-free Badaling 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 Badaling Great wall.

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

Further Readings


Badaling Great Wall Tourist Map
Tips for Visiting the Great Wall of China around Beijing
How to Visit Mutianyu Great Wall by Bus
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 line.

Tips for visiting Summer Palace

Friday, March 30th, 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 coming to Summer Palace. If you have any questions or anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!
________________________________________________________________

Summer Palace Tourist map from willgoto.com


Plan your Beijing Tour? Summer Palace was a royal palace in later Qing Dynasty, only secondary to Forbidden City ( now the Palace Museum ). Summer Palace is actually not just a royal palace where once Princess Dowager Cixi and the emperors lived and handled court affairs, accepted laudations and received foreign diplomats during their stay in Summer Palace.

It also epitomizes classical Chinese architecture, in terms of both garden design and construction. It is the largest royal garden in Beijing, now a good retreat for holiday makers.

Tip # 01: How to time your visit
Normally 2-3 hours are needed to walk around Summer Palace itself. With your time on the city transportation included, you are advised to allocate at least half a day here. Summer Palace presents itself with different views for different seasons.

Winter sees people skiing on the Kunming Lake; Spring time finds people breathe under fresh trees and flowers; Summer time often sees Summer Palace set in a foggy day like a beautiful “water and mountain” Chinese scroll painting. Autumn is the best time walking around Summer Palace, clear and blue sky with comfortable weather.

Tip # 02: How to get to Summer Palace

Summer Palace has three major entry gates:

1) East Gate ( Main Gate ), also called “East Palace Gate” 东宫门
2) North Gate, also called “Beigongmen, or North Palace Gate” 北宫门
3) South Gate, also known as “New Palace Gate” 新建宫门

By Subway

1. Subway Line 4:
Take subway line 4 to the northwest direction and get off at the last but one  station — Beigongmen Station ( or North Gate 北宫门) and exit from Exit D and walk to the west, soon you will see the north gate ( Beigongmen Gate )to Summer Palace 颐和园 (entrance fee:RMB30) on your left side.

2. Subway Line 10

Take subway line 10 to Bagou station at the end of Line 10, and then get a taxi from outside the station to the South Gate, or  also known as New Palace Gate (新建宫门). Or you may just walk for about 1.5km from Bagou Station to the New Palace Gate.

Get off Bagou Station, follow your nose, you will meet a river, then turn right and walk along the river bank till the New Palace Gate of Summer Palace. If confused upon which way to go upon leaving the subway, just follow the crowd.

Public Bus:
Buses via the East Gate ( Main Gate) to the Summer Palace (颐和园正门, 东宫门)
Bus 330、331、332、346、394、712、718、726、732、737、801、808、817、826

Buses via the North Gate to the Summer Palace (北宫门)
Bus 303、330、331、346、375、384、393、634、716、718、737、801、808、817、834、Express 5

Buses via New Palace Gate ( or South Gate) to the Summer Palace (新建宫门)
Bus 374、437、481、952、704、992

Taxi Fare
A taxi from Beijing city center will cost about RMB 80  and take about 50 minutes without much traffic.

As you finish your tour and exit, you will find some taxi drivers are reluctant or even refuse to use the meter, only do a set rate, and most don’t want to go all the way back to Beijing at all, so this can be troublesome.

Tip # 03: Buy a correct entrance ticket
There are two kinds of tickets – Entrance ticket for the garden-like complex and through-ticket both for the complex itself also pay attractions inside the Summer Palace complex.The ticket prices are divided onto two categories – Low Season ad Peak Season.

 

Ticket Price

Ticket Types Unit: (RMB ¥)
Low Season
Nov – Mar
High Season
April – Oct
Entrance Ticket RMB ¥20 RMB ¥30 Entrance Tickets don’t include the admission to some paid attractions inside the compound of Summer Palace
Half Price
Entrance Ticket
(for students)
RMB ¥10 RMB ¥15
Through Ticket
(Including the admission to some paid attractions inside the compound of Summer Palace)
RMB ¥50 RMB ¥60
Admissions to the paid attractions  inside the Summer Palace Garden of Virtue and Harmony RMB ¥5 RMB ¥5
Tower of the Fragrance of the Buddha RMB ¥10 RMB ¥10
Wenchang Gallery RMB ¥20 RMB ¥20
Suzhou Street&Hall of Serenity RMB ¥10 RMB ¥10

Note:
1. You are advised to buy entrance tickets instead of through-tickets.
2. Once you enter the park of Summer Palace and are also interested in some of the paid attractions inside the park, you may purchase a separate admission ticket one by one on the spot.
3. Students enjoy half prices.
4. Children under 1.2m high are free of charge.
5. Basically there is no limit to the purchase of entrance tickets due to the fact that the park is sprawling and spacious.

Tip # 04: Opening Time:
High Season (From April 1 to Oct. 31)
Open: 6:30
Tickets stop selling at 18:00;
Close: 20:00

Low Season (From Nov. 1 to Mar. 31 next year)
Open: 7:00
Tickets stop selling at 17:00;
Close: 19:00

Tip # 05: English-speaking tour guides in Summer Palace
As for English-speaking tour guides in Summer Palace, you have the following three choices:

1. Hire the official tour guides attached to Summer Palace at East Palace Gate (the main gate) 东宫门.
2. Hire recorded audio guides at any of the three major gates to Summer Palace. You can return the audio guide at any gates.
3. There are some self-employed English-speaking tour guides by the entrance gates who will actively come up to you and ask you to buy their service. Not advised to use their service.

Tip # 06: Choose the right entrance gate and tour route
So there are three main entrances to Summer Palace – East Palace Gate (the main gate), North Palace Gate ( Norrth Gate )  and New Palace Gate (south gate).

You should get to know the gate you will go through, especially when you take a taxi or bus. Entering Summer Palace via the different three gates, you will have three different tour routes visiting Summer Palace.

Three Visiting Routes starting from the three gates:
Starting from New Palace Gate  ( South Gate):
Walk north along East Dyke – the former Court Area (the East Palace Gate, the Hall of Benevolence and Longevity…) – Long Corridor – Longevity Hill – Marble Boat – Ferry Boat  and back to New Palace Gate (loop line).

Starting from East Palace Gate ( Main Gate)
Walk from East Palace Gate: the former Court Area (the East Palace Gate, the Hall of Benevolence and Longevity…) – Long Corridor – Longevity Hill – Marble Boat – Ferry Boat – New Palace Gate ( South Gate )

Starting from North Palace Gate ( North Gate):
Walking from North Palace Gate: Suzhou Street – Marble Boat – Longevity Hill – Long Corridor – the former court area – East Palace Gate ( Main Gate). 

Kunming Lake

Kunming Lake taken from Longevity Hill in Summer Palace

Tip # 07: Boating on Kunming Lake
Taking a boat ride starting from the Marble Boat across the lake to the beautiful 17-Arch Bridge is a fun way to have more stunning views.  Boat Ride:10 yuan.

Boat Ride on Kunming Lake

Boat Ride on Kunming Lake

Tip # 08: Familiar with its 3-part layout
The three tour routes are centered around the three main parts in Summer Palace:

The Former Court Area:  a royal palace where once Princess Dowager Cixi and the emperor lived and handled court affairs, accepted laudations and received foreign diplomats during their stay in the Summer Palace.

Long Corridor and Longevity Hill: The second part features the Long Corridor, the Hall of Dispelling Clouds, the Tower of Buddhist Incense, the Hall of the Sea of Wisdom, the Back Lake, the Suzhou Market and Longevity Hill.

Kunming Lake and Nanhu Isle: The last part is Kunming Lake, which consists of the Marble Boat, Nanhu Island, the Bronze Ox and the beautiful 17-Arch Bridge.

 

the beautiful 17-Arch Bridge.

The beautiful 17-Arch Bridge.

Tip # 09: Prepare for a 2-3-hour outdoor sightseeing
Visiting Summer Palace needs some a little bit strong legs with a lot walking since Summer Palace is huge. Dress for the Hot or cold weather. The summer in Beijing could be humid and closed, sometimes extremely hot.

Also winter could be very cold. So well prepared for the uncomfortable weather both in winter and summer. You are advised to wear your most comfortable shoes.

It’s a long walk! Food choice in the complex is poor – typical fast food and snacks. So bring your own.

Summer Palace

Summer Palace

Tip # 10: Get to know the official notice to the visitors
1. No visitors are allowed to cross, climb, smoke, swim, skate, fish, spit, foul and litter and so on.
2. No visitors are allowed to camp, cook, fish, capture animals and dig plants inside.
3. No visitors are  allowed to paint and carve on the buildings, ground, stone, facility and tree, and to pick the flowers and spoil the lawn and trees.
4. The north of pavilion of Wenchang and the east of Jiehu Bridge are fist-level fire-proof non-smoking
5.  Expect for hand-powered wheelchairs and baby carriers used by the aged, the disabled, and children, any other vehicle are not allowed to enter without any permission.
6. The professional camera equipments are not allowed to use inside without any permission.
7. Without any permission, don’t perform, sing and make a noise so as to influence and disturb other visitors.|
8. The tour guides inside must have guide qualification.

Tip # 11: Opening Time:
High Season (From April 1 to Oct. 31)
Open: 6:30
Tickets stop selling at 18:00;
Close: 20:00

Low Season (From Nov. 1 to Mar. 31 next year)
Open: 7:00
Tickets stop selling at 17:00;
Close: 19:00

After the tickets stop selling, the visitors are not allowed to enter, and to leave on time.

Tip # 12:  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


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 line.