Beijing Zhongcai Hotel

90 South Guanganmen Street, Xuanwu District, Beijing, Beijing, 100054, China

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Gate in ZhongShan ParkGate in ZhongShan Park

not think tank herenot think tank here



Forum Posts

Good private tour guides in Beijing ? Rates?

by jocelysue

We will be visiting Beijing for 5-7 days in april and do not wish to take group tours. nor do we wish to do business with a large agency whose guides & drivers are obliged to stop for "shopping experiences". Rather we are looking for an individual who speaks either English or French and who knows Beijing to accompany us and explain the sights. the person must be patient & allow us to stay as long as we like at places that interest us. We do not mind taking the subway or bus. We are elderly, retired, do not like walking too much but are curious. We don't mind renting a car a day or so to take us to Mutianyu & the Sacred Way, etc. but we would like to be able to decide when we for. for instance early so as to see the sun on the Wall, etc.

any suggestions?

Re: Good private tour guides in Beijing ? Rates?

by JohanIsWeg

Hi, we had a very friendly gentleman named Wang who drove us to Mutianyu and the Summer Palace on seperate days. No idea whether he is still available, but for what it's worth, the number he gave me is 13911352425. Pricing was very reasonable.

His driving was capable and safe. Vehicle comfortable.

Admittedly, at the time, his English was not great, but he could converse. No idea whether he can speak French. I saw him on a number of occasions at the Lishi Hotel in the Lishi Hutong. If the above number does not work, the Lishi reception desk may be able to assist.

Good luck!

Re: Good private tour guides in Beijing ? Rates?

by jocelysue

Will try to find him. Thanks

Re: Good private tour guides in Beijing ? Rates?

by i-s-a

you might also like to contact mr. john. he's our driver for mutianyu and summer palace during our visit last october. he speaks good english, very nice and would make arrangements based from your request. you may contact him via e-mail:

Re: Good private tour guides in Beijing ? Rates?

by nomad7890

I traveled to Beijing alone and stayed at the Westin Financial Center. In the Starwood Westin site there's a link for emailing the hotel. I had arranged a driver with a guide which worked out extremely well. One day it was the sights of Beijing (supposed to be two days, but we got done in one because I tend to walk very fast) ... following day was Mutianyu and a couple of other stops. Usually the driver does not speak English, so they engage a guide and a driver. Worked wonderful!

If you go this route, make sure when they ask you what you want your itinerary to be, you tell them "we want to see this, that, the other ... and be out until 5 PM" - otherwise they will think they're done after you visit a few places. This happened to me, but we just cut out one day. The third day I wanted to go shopping and they had a girl from the concierge accompany me at no charge - I gave her a tip and brought her lunch. Difference is, that for sightseeing it has to be a guide - shopping it does not need to be.

I think I paid around $150 per day for the car and driver. Beijing is pretty spread out, although some of the places of interest are close by, others are not.

You can also ask them to pick you up at the airport - it's a little pricier, but since I was by myself, I chose this option. Do go to Behai park - it's wonderful and you get to see how Chinese people relax and hang out with their families.

Re: Good private tour guides in Beijing ? Rates?

by albaaust

A number of us have used Alvin. He is a most generous, informative guide whose English is excellent. His contact details are Tell him I referred you to him.

Re: Good private tour guides in Beijing ? Rates?

by ellyse

Also, there're a number of guide recommendations on the TripAdvisor (China) forums. Make sure to distinguish between genuine recommendations and disguised advertisements!

Travel Tips for Beijing

Forbidden City

by extrajoce

The inside of the Forbidden City is truly a world of its own. It is awesome in size, and exquisite in detail. The emperors harnessed the skill and force of thousands and millions of Chinese over the centuries to create an ideal world of their own. The throne rooms are often austere and impressive, the garden is an idealisation of nature, and you could spend days here without seeing the same thing twice. A must-see.

Balaustrada / Baluster

by elpariente

Los antiguos edificios chinos normalmente están sobre plataformas y están bordeadas con balaustradas de mármol que tienen unos postes en los extremos que se laman en Chino wangzhu .
Estos postes tienen talladas cabezas de dragones , aves fénix , leones... sobre nubes o llamas , que a parte de ser ornamentales representaban el rango jerárquico del edificio
Los dragones y las aves fénix eran exclusivas de los edificios imperiales . El resto de personas no podían usar estos símbolos , pues era considerado como un crimen de alta traición , por eso utilizaban granadas , leones y otros símbolos que significaban buena suerte , felicidad y larga vida

The ancient Chinese buildings are usually on platforms and are lined with marble balustrades that have upright posts at the ends that are named wangzhu in Chinese.
These poles have carved heads of dragons, phoenix , birds, lions ...over clouds or flames , that besides of being ornamental , they represented the hierarchical rank of the building
The dragon and phoenix birds were unique to the imperial buildings. Other people are not able to use these symbols, as it was considered a crime of high treason, for this reason they used pomegranates, lions and other symbols which meant good luck, happiness and longevity


by MylesD

You know you want 'em. Except they are expensive in China (although you can always, ALWAYS bargain). But get them from people selling them in the street. They are the real ppl who need the money, and plus, they're selling those cards for like 90% cheaper than anyone else.

"Urban" shopping

by tini58de

It was not too far away from the Tian An Men Square when we had free time to go shopping. And there was this street with "real" shops, department stores, clothing, books, tea - and I think I looked around in almost all of them! I bought some tea and the most fun I had buying a Chinese map of Germany!!!

Beijing Subway: The cheapest way around Beijing

by mingul

Metro is a pretty convenient way of travel in Beijing and if you want to feel the Chinese experience, it is a must. Ridership on Beijing Subway set a daily record of 4.92 million on August 22, 2008. It is pretty effective and the trains come often. I was a traveller most of my time in Beijing and I must say that the subway is not very much slower than a Beijing taxi. And about 50 times cheaper.

It operates between 5AM and 11PM.


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