Archive for the ‘Beijing Travel Review’ Category

Beijing 144 Hours Free Visa Transit

Thursday, November 21st, 2019
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Are you planning your Beijing Layover Tour? You may think whether you need a transit visa in Beijing? This is the question frequently asked by many travelers who are going to transit in Beijing and continue to fly for a third country.

Yes, basically you need a Chinese visa to visit Beijing if you want to exit from Beijing Capital Airport for a few hours’ layover tour or 2 or 3 days’ short stay in Beijing. But currently, 53  countries are entitled to 144 hours free visa transit stay in Beijing. So Visa-free travel to Beijing is possible now!

Please note that people having a round trip to Beijing are not entitled to free-visa stay in Beijing.

Which are the 53 countries and what the preconditions for getting the free visa transit stay permit in Beijing? I will answer your questions one by one.

1. Prerequisites for getting the 144 hours transit free visa
1) The Eligible 53 nationalities include 24 Schengen Countries in Europe:
1-1): 24 Schengen countries in Europe:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovak, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

2-2): 15 other European countries:
Russia, Great Britain, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Monaco and the Republic of Belarus.

3-3): 6 American countries:
The United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile.

4-4): 2 Oceanian countries:
Australia and New Zealand.

5-5): 6 Asian countries:
Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.

2) Travelers must have valid passports.

3) Travelers must have confirmed tickets to a third country or regions (Hong Kong and Macau).

Passport Control and Immigration

Officially Designated Entry Points in the three places of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei: 
__________________________________________________________________

Ports of entry and exit are extended to designated international railway stations, seaports and airports.

Previously, the policy was once applied only at airports. Now passengers are allowed to arrive and exit at the following six points in the three places: Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province.

Beijing Capital International Airport
Tel: 0086-10-96158

Beijing West Railway Station in the capital
Tel: 0086-10-51824233

Tianjin Binhai International Airport
Tel: 0086-22-96777

Tianjin International Cruise Home Port in Tianjin
Tel: 0086 -22-25605128

Shijiazhuang Zhengding International Airport
Tel: 0086-311-96360

Qinhuangdao seaport in Hebei province
Tel: 0086-335-3099676


How to Apply for 144-Hour free-visa stay in the three areas ( Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province):

_______________________________________________

When you disembark your plane or ship, just follow the throng or the signs directing you to international arrivals, immigration and customs.

Passport Control/Immigration
In the Passport Control/Immigration Area, find your special lanes for 144-hour visa-free transit passengers.

Some 144-hour transit passengers miss their layover tour in Beijing simply because they cannot locate the special lanes to get the visa-free permit. Actually the special lanes for 144-hours visa-free transit are located just on the left side of the Lanes for Foreign Citizens as well as on the right side of the Lanes for Chinese Citizens.

You need to fill up the entry registration card and get your 144- hours free visa stay permit, a stamp on your passport. The items for filling up the registration to get your 144-hour free visa stay permit:

Name,Sex, Birth, Passport Number, Nationality, Arrival Date, Arrival Flight, Exit Time, Exit Flight, Contact Phone Number in Beijing, Address in Beijing (Tianjin or Hebei), Reception Unit or Person, Reception Unit Phone Number.

Go through Customs, claim your luggage ( if necessary ) and leave airport.

Very Important Notice:
If your airline by which you are travelling doesn’t have the latest information the 144-hour visa free transit policy in Beijing, plus they inform you that only those with valid visa’s can travel with them.

Then you can show them the official website of Beijing Capital Airport to verify that you will not encounter any problems in Beijing. Please check out the links below:

http://en.bcia.com.cn/server/notice/144visafree/

http://en.bcia.com.cn/server/notice/144visafree/144visafree_policy.shtml

What you can do during your 144-hour visa-free stay in the three Areas:
_________________________________________________________

The 144-hour visa-free transit allows you for a sufficient time to visit Beijing, or Tianjin and Hebei per your travel request.

For more information Beijing tours, Tianjin tour and Hebei tour, please check out the following links:

Beijing Layover tour
Beijing Tour Packages

Tianjin Tour
Tianjin Cruise Port Transfer & Tour

Hebei Tour
Shijiazhuang Tour
Chengde Tour
Zhangjiakou Tour
Qinhuangdao Tour

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 Get to Badaling Great Wall by Bus

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

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 bus. If you have any questions or anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!
___________________________________________________________________

Plan your Beijing tour? There are three bus lines running between the downtown Beijing and Badaling Great Wall. So you have three choices for using public transport when you are going to Badaling Great Wall by bus.

If you want to go to Badaling Great Wall by train, check out the link:
How to Get to Badaling Great Wall by train
If a slow walker or wheel-chair users, check out the link:
The Most Wheelchair-Friendly Great Wall to Visit

Choice One: Taking Bus 877  ( Starting from Deshengmen Bus Terminal )
Operating Hours:
Deshengmen to Badaling Great Wall
06:00-12:00(Apr.1-Oct.31)
06:00-12:30 (Nov.1-Mar.31)
Badaling Great Wall  to  Deshengmen
10:30-17:00 (Apr.1-Oct.31)
11:00-16:30(Nov.1-Mar.31)

Driving Time:  One and half hours ( Non-stop )
Driving Distance: 60km

Bus Fare: 12 yuan ( Transportation card is accepted )
Deshengmen Bus Terminal Location: The compound below Deshengmen Arrow Tower
Badaling Bus 877 Terminal Location: in the parking lot ( Bear Park), about 700 meters southeast of Tower No.01 of Badaling Great Wall.

Choice Two: Taking Bus 919 Express ( Starting from Deshengmen Bus Terminal )
Operating Hours:
Deshengmen to Badaling
06:00-17:00
Badaling to  Deshengmen
6:00-17:00

Driving Time:  two hours ( 13 stops )
Driving Distance: 62km
Bus Fare: 13 yuan ( Transportation card is accepted )

Deshengmen Bus Terminal Location: The compound below Deshengmen Arrow Tower
Badaling Bus 919 Terminal Location: in the parking lot about 3 km northwest of Tower No.01 of Badaling Great Wall. Basically you need to connect the free shuttle going to Guntiangou Parking Lot ( near the cable car station of Badaling Great Wall).

Choice Three: Taking Public Tourism Bus No.01 ( Starting southwest of Archery Tower of Zhengyangmen Gate)

Operating Hours:
Qianmen to Badaling Great Wall:
Starting from the end of Flag Raising Ceremony to 11:00 am

Badaling Great Wall to  Qianmen:
09:00-17:00 (Apr.1-Oct.31)
11:00-16:30(Nov.1-Mar.31)

Driving Time:  One hour and 40 minutes ( Non-stop )
Driving Distance: 74km
Bus Fare: 20 yuan ( Transportation card is not accepted )

Qianmen Bus Terminal Location: southwest of Archery Tower of Zhengyangmen Gate ( South of Tiananmen Square )
Badaling Public Tourism Bus Terminal Location: in Guntiangou Park Lot,  near the cable station of Badaling GreatWall.

It is worth getting up earlier to catch an early morning bus for Badaling Great Wall, avoiding a possible snake of people on the wall.

How to get to Deshengmen Bus Terminal ( For Bus 877 and 919 express )
Several buses can bring you to the Deshengmen Bus Station. But the bus system in Beijing could be daunting even for the local Beijingers. It is advisable to take the Subway Line 2 to reach Deshengmen Bus Station. The the closest subway station to Deshengmen Bus Station is Jishuitan (积水潭) of the loop-type Subway Line 2.

You get off at the station of Jishuitan (积水潭), exit from the Exit A. Then walk along the sideway in the east direction for about 450 meters, soon you will see a high tower – the Deshengmen Arrow Tower. Deshengmen Bus Terminal is just below the northern and southern sides of the tower. The compound of Deshengmen Arrow Tower is within a roundabout.

So you have to cross a road to reach the bus station. Be careful crossing the road since the road has no traffic light at the time of my writing. By the way, on your 450-meter walk from the subway station of Jishuitan to the Deshengmen Arrow Tower, you will pass alongside the Deshengmenxi Bus Station (different from Deshengmen Bus Station) and you just ignore it!

You will be also distracted by some privately owned buses or mini-buses operated in the name of official Badaling-bound buses. We strongly suggest you take the official buses within the Deshengmen Bus Station for safety and reasonable price. Don’t be surprised if you find the queue in front of the bus 877 or 919 express could be very long, especially on the weekends or national public holidays.

Next, follow me to have a familiarization virtual tour of how to take a bus to Badaling Great Wall.  First take subway line 2 and get off at the stop of Jishuitang (积水潭) and exit from Exit A (northeast).

You will pass alongside the Deshengmenxi Bus Station.

You will pass alongside the Deshengmenxi Bus Station

After walking for about 10 minutes, you will see the huge Deshengmen Arrow Tower.

After walking for about 10 minutes, you will see the huge Deshengmen Arrow Tower.

Then you turn left and walk towards the northern square below the Tower. The compound of Deshengmen Arrow Tower is within a roundabout.

So you have to cross a road to reach the bus station. You have to be careful crossing the road since the road has no traffic light.Before getting to the Deshengmen Bus Station, you have to cross a road without traffic light.

Then you turn left and walk towards the northern square of the Tower

Then you turn left and walk towards the northern square beow the Tower

After crossing the road, you will get to the Deshengmen 919 Bus Station below the tower.

After crossing the road, you will get to the Deshengmen 919 Bus Station below the tower.

Here is the Bus 877 below the north side of the tower ready to go to Badaling.

Here is the Bus 877 below the north side of the tower ready to go to Badaling.

Have a close look at the Station Board of 877.

Have a close look at the Station Board of 877

Kinder reminder: You ‘d better take Bus 919 express instead of Bus 919 ( slow ). So there are two “919”, one express and the other slow.

How to get to Qianmen Bus Station for  the Public Tourism Bus No.01 going to Badaling Great Wall?
The starting point for  the Public Tourism Bus No.01 is located in the departure terminal for Beijing Tourist Dispatch Hub,  southwest of Archery Tower of Zhengyangmen Gate ( South of Tiananmen Square ).

Qianmen Bus Terminal is in the southwest of Archery Tower of Zhengyangmen Gate ( South of Tiananmen Square )

You can take the subway line 2 and get off at the station of Qianmen and exit from Exit C, then walk south for about 30 meters, you will get to the bus station.

Badaling Great Wall Basic Information
Badaling Great wall is one of the most gorgeous and magnificent part of the Great Wall in Beijing. The Badaling Great Wall is the well-preserved Ming Dynasty Great Wall with original appearance. Now it is divided into two sections – north and south starting at the Badaling Pass and Gate.

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 Express at Deshengmen, RMB12 for ticket.
S Train: Take S train from Beijing Huangtudian Railway Station and get off at the station of Badaling.

Taking Bus from Dingling ( Ming Tombs to Badaling Great Wall) or Vice Versa

If you’d like to go from Ming Tombs ( Dingling ) and Badaling Great Wall or vice versa, you can take the Bus 879 listed below:

1) Dingling Tomb ( Ming Tombs) to Badaling Great Wall

Fist Bus:8:00 am
Last Bus: 4:00 pm
Bus Fare: 9 yuan
The Bus 879 leaves every half an hour
The Bus 879 has 25 bus stops from Dingling (Ming Tombs) to Badaling Great Wall ( the last but the third ) taking about one and half hours, about 40km.

1) Badaling to Dingling ( 定陵):
Fist Bus:9:30 am
Last Bus: 5:30 pm
Bus Fare: 9 yuan
The Bus 879 leaves every half an hour
The Bus 879 has 25 bus stops from Badaling to Dingling ( Ming Tombs ), taking about one and half hours from Badaling to Dingling (定陵), the last bus stop ( about 40 km ).

Frequently Asked Questions
The most important fact is that the northern section of Badaling Great Wall is a loop route ( No.01 to No.12 Towers ) and you don’t have to backtrack. You can walk from Tower No.1 ( the main entrance )  up to the highest Tower No.08,then walk down to Tower 12 ( near the Bear Garden).

1) If a slow walker or wheel-chair users, what can we do?
The cable car goes up to somewhere below Tower No. 08 and No. 09. When you take cable car up, basically you will see large crowds of people on the Wall.

From the cable car station on the upper slope, you can either hike to Tower 8 or Tower 9. It is relatively easier to hike up to Tower 9 while it is a bit harder to walk up to Tower 8. To hike up to Tower 8, you have to climb over a steep slope known as “Haohanpo” ( a real hero”slope” ), or 好汉坡 in Chinese. Or you may just skip over it.

But in your case, so we recommend you walk slowly from Tower 01 up to somewhere on the northern section of the Wall to your comfort and back instead of taking a cable car.

Badaling is more wheelchair-friendly than Mutianyu Great Wall. On the Badaling Great Wall, there is a special flat lane is built for wheelchair users starting from Tower 1 to Tower 3 of the Wall. The accessible path is flat and not deep. So you can walk slowly along the accessible path to the Tower 3 and walk further for a better view if you can.

2)The Bus 877 is close the Badaling Pass, the entrance to Badaling Great Wall, the only main entrance. A 20-minute walk from Bus 877 to the main entrance.

3) The northern slope of the Badaling Great Wall is about 3700m long starting from North Tower No.1 up to the Northern Tower No.8, then down to Northern Tower No.12. The whole hiking takes 2-3 hours. Not everyone has the strong legs to hike all the 12 towers, so many passengers would take cable car up to the Wall (below Tower No.8 and Tower 9 ) to save their energy.

If you are in good shape, I suggest you hike all the 12 towers to digest the magnificent Badaling Great Wall on its northern slope instead of eating Instant food” by taking the cable car.

4) The cable car brings you up to the slope below both North Tower No.8 and Tower No.9. So from the cable car station on the upper slope, you can either hike to the Tower 8 or Tower 9. It is easier to hike up to the Tower 9 while it is a bit hard to walk up to the Tower 8. To hike up to the Tower 8, you have to climb over  a steep slope known as “Haohanpo” ( a real hero”slope ), or 好汉坡 in Chinese. Or you may just skip over it.

5) If you want to visit the Northern section of Badaling Great Wall, you can take the cable car up, then walk down: walk from Tower 8 to down to Tower 1, or from Tower 8 down to Tower 12. Or you can take a cable down. Also you can walk up to Tower 8, then take cable car down. One way cable car: RMB60; round trip cable car: RMB80.

6)  For the northern part of Badaling Great Wall, you can walk to the east from Tower 8 to down to Tower 12, then pass by the Bear Garden, then walk about 10 minutes back to the main entrance to the Tower 1, a loop route and you don’t have to backtrack.

See the Badaling Great wall Map below to check the Bus 877 Stop and Badaling Train Station and more. ( Click Large)

badaling_map

Important Notice:
You can also take a train to visit Badaling Great Wall. For more information, please see Badaling Great Wall Train.

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

How many days to visit Beijing

Monday, August 26th, 2019
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Plan your Beijing tour? If it is your first time to visit Beijing, you may wonder how many days you would need to grasp the major attractions in Beijing.

And also you may need some suggestions relative to the top sights to see while in Beijing, aside from the much hyped Great Wall of China and Forbidden City, the two maybe already on your “to do” list.

Beijing has lots to offer. Personally I suggest that 2 full days are the absolute minimum to give you a really good feel for the city and most of the major attractions if you cannot go for 3, 4 or 5 full days.

One day is dedicated to the city highlights of Beijing including Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Summer Palace; the other day is for a full day excursion to the Great Wall of China around Beijing.

Quite a few business travelers cannot afford two days for sightseeing in Beijing. In that case, you can combine Forbidden City with the Great Wall of China in one day tour, the highlight of your Beijing tour.

If you can stay in Beijing for 3 or 4 full days, you have more options. You may add more interesting sights to your third day schedule which can cover Panda House, Hutong tour, Lama Temple and Olympic sites. And the list could be much longer.

Before you come to Beijing, make sure you print a map of the subway map. Though very crowded, the subway still remains the most fastest and economic public transport tools traveling Beijing.

In addition, you don’t have to worry about losing your direction. Find your hotel and map it on the subway map. You will be able to take the subway to the stops of interest.

Beijing Subway Line 4 brings you to the north gate of Summer Palace; Subway Line 5 takes you to Lama Temple and the east gate of Temple of Heaven.

Subway Line 1 brings you to Tiananmen Square and Forbiddden City and S trains from Beijing Huangtudian Railway Station goes to Badaling Great Wall.

Please read the following related posts:

How to visit Beijing in One Day
How to visit Beijing in Two Days
How to Visit Beijing in THree Days
How to Visit Mutianyu Great Wall by Bus
How to Visit Badaling Great Wall by Train

Forbidden City Travel Tips
Tips for Visiting Tiananmen Square
Tips for Visiting the Temple of Heaven
Tips for visiting Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs in Beijing
Tips for Visiting the Great Wall of China around Beijing
How to visit Bird’s Nest and Water Cube
How to Visit Lama Temple

Tip:  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 guided tours to Beijing:

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

Any questions, just drop a line.