Archive for the ‘Hebei Travel’ Category

144-hour visa-free stays in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei

Thursday, February 8th, 2018
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From December 28, 2017, Nationals from 53 countries with eligible travel identification and reserved tickets with a fixed date to a third country or regions ((Hong Kong and Macau) are allowed to have 144-hour visa free stays in the three places of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province.

People from the 53 nationalities that previously benefited from Beijing’s 72-hour visa-free transit policy are eligible for the new policy. The passengers from the 53 countries are able to move freely in the three places for sightseeing, on business or visit friends or family.

The 53 Countries Benefited from the 144-Hour New Policy:


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

4) 2 Oceanian countries:
Australia and New Zealand.

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

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 applied only at airports. Now passengers are allowed to arrive and exit at the following six points in the three places:

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 places:


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

Passport Control/Immigration
In the Passport Control/Immigration Area, there are mainly two connected zones ( lanes ): Lanes for Foreign Citizens on the left side and Chinese Citizens on the right side.

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 72-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.

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

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

For any questions, please drop a line.

Best Travel Options Between Beijing and Chengde

Sunday, December 4th, 2016
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While planning your Beijing tour, you may consider an interesting side trip to Chengde (承德). Now we are going to assist you in choosing the best travel options between Beijing and Chengde. There are three major ways of traveling from Beijing to Chengde – take the train, the bus and driving. We’ll help you analyse the advantages and disadvantages of each transportation option.

Chengde is an important scenic and historical city, only 250 km northeast of Beijing. Though it is possible for you to make a day trip from Beijing, we suggest you stay overnight to see its magnificent landscape and feel the  splendid culture and history behind it.

1. Travel From Beijing to Chengde by Train
There are 4 daily trains running between Beijing Railway Station ( one of the four major stations in Beijing ) and Chengde Railway Station (the only available station in Chengde). Of the four trains, only Train No.7711 starts from Beijing and ends at Chengde as its final destination while other three pass by Beijing and Chengde.

Beijing Chengde Train

Beijing Chengde Train

We recommend you take the Train No.7711 (7:56 – 12:31) from Beijing to Chengde and the Train No.7712 ( 19:15 – 23:38) back from Chengde to Beijing. The train takes about 4 and half hours. You can buy your tickets online in advance or at any of the train stations on the spot.

Advantages: Safe, Comfortable and affordable prices ( US$ 8 – 15 depending different seats )
Disadvantages: Tricky to get tickets, longer train ride time, and only one direct train



2. Getting from Beijing to Chengde by Bus
The bus service from Beijing to Chengde is more frequent, an easy and affforable option for travelers. The long-distance service for Chengde operates only at two of the bus terminals in Beijing – Sihui  Transportation Hub (四惠交通枢纽) and Liuliqiao Long-Distance Bus Station (六里桥客运主枢纽).

Sihui Bus Terminal

Sihui Bus Terminal

There are about 30 daily buses starting from Liuliqiao Long-Distance Bus Station ( first bus at 6:40 and last 18:20); 20 daily buses leaving from Sihui Long-Distance Bus Station (first bus at 7:10 and last 18:10). Just purchase your bus tickets in person at the two bus stations.

Liuliqiao Long-Distance Bus Station
Add: A1, Liuliqiao Nan Li, Fengtai District, Beijing

Sihui Long-Distance Bus Station
Add: No.68, Jianguo Lu, Chaoyang District



Advantages: Frequent and affordable prices ( US$ 15  )
Disadvantages: A bit tricky to get to the bus terminals, less comfortable than train

3. Driving from Beijing to Chengde

Beijing-Chengde Expressway

Beijing-Chengde Expressway

You can drive directly from Beijing to Chengde along the expansive expressway – Jingcheng Expressway. Jingcheng Expressway is 209.1km in length with 132.4 km in Beijing and 76.7 in Chengde. Its completion has made Beijing Chengde driving two hours, two hours less than previous old highway.

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. So you can hire a car with driver to visit Chengde and possibly you can make a day trip to Chengde from and back to Beijing by car.


: Fast, flexible and value-added if you travel on a small group to split the cost
Disadvantages: Expensive, possible congested traffic

4. Guided Excursions to Chengde from Beijing

Little Potala Palace

Little Potala Palace

250 km northeast of Beijing lie two UNESCO world heritage sites – Eight Outer Temples listed 1994 and Mountain Resort listed in 1997 under the jurisdiction of Chengde, a prefecture-level city in Hebei province.

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself trip and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided excursions from Beijing to Chengde:

Beijing Chengde 2 Day Tour by Train  Starting US$ 205 p/p
Beijing Chengde 2 Day Tour By Car or Van  Starting US$ 230 p/p
Beijing Chengde One Day Tour by car or van  Starting US$ 110 p/p
Beijing Chengde Jinshanling Great Wall 2 Day Tour   Starting US$ 215 p/p
Beijing Chengde Eastern Qing Tombs 2 Day Tour  Starting US$ 290 p/p

Further Readings

Best Time to Visit Chengde
Top 10 Attractions in Chengde
How to Visit Chengde in One Day
Chengde Outdoor Winter Activities

Any questions, just drop a line.

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

Friday, April 8th, 2016
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Among  the dozen of the notable Great Wall sections around Beijing, Jinshanling Great Wall has always been one of my favorites.  It is less crowded than Badaling Great Wall and more original than Mutianyu Great Wall.

I’m crazy about Mutianyu Great Wall too, especially hiking from the broken and overgrown Jiankou Great Wall, a mecca for the Great Wall hiking enthusiasts. Beside its picturesque scenery, Mutianyu Great Wall is more entertaining with the exciting toboggan rides and comfortable cable cars or skiing lifts.

Mutianyu Great Wall has won the first place of all the attractions in Beijing according to the rated reviews posed by real travelers on Tripadvisor. In the past several years Mutianyu Great Wall has been very popular with the mass travelers, kids and seniors in particular. But, I often think that things would be slightly different if Jinshanling Great Wall were an attraction in Beijing.

As matter of a fact, administratively Jinshanling Great Wall doesn’t belong to Beijing. It is located in Luanping County, Chengde City, Hebei Province, 154km to the northeast of Beijing’s Tiannamen Square. The relatively longer distance further away from Beijing is maybe one of the reasons why Jinshanling Great Wall looks much more quieter.

As the old saying goes that “Good wine needs no bush.”, Jinshanling Great Wall has never been quiet for the Great Wall aficionados, especially the experienced travelers and hikers. It is a perfect combination of  the Great Wall section, both restored and original.

Years ago people could hike all the way eastward from Jinshanling Great Wall to Simatai Great Wall. Unfortunately, at present the stretch from Jinshanling to Simatai is still unopen mainly due to the closure of the west section of Simatai Great Wall.

Personally I’m sorry for the magnificent Simatai Great Wall which has become a backdrop of Gubei Water Town, an over 4 billion yuan investment project – a replica of the Wuzhen Water Town in the Southern China.

Jinshanling Great Wall is open to the public all year round. Spring definitely is a good time for Jinshanling Great Wall hiking. Every mid-April sees Jinshanling blanketed by white elegant apricot blossoms, attracting a consistent flow of travelers.

Blooming apricot trees, fresh suburban air, and mesmerizing Great Wall of China. If you visit Beijing in mid April, visiting Jinshanling Great Wall is a smart choice!

Getting to Jinshanling Great Wall by public transport is still very tricky.
Take Bus No. 980 Express (980快) from Dongzhimen Transportation Hub
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)

Alternatively, you may join in the local group tour visiting Jinshanling Great Wall, Check Jinshanling Great Wall Group Tour for more information.

See below the photos of the Jinshanling Great Wall with blooming apricot trees.

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall


Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall


Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall


Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall


Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall


Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall


Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall


Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

Add on
Apricot Blossoms at Badaling Great Wall.

Any questions,  just drop a line.