Confucious International Hostel

No.38 Wudaying Alley, Dongcheng District, Beijing, Beijing Region, 100007, China
Confucious International Hostel
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Forum Posts

Beijing in May: transportation and hutongs

by nicBBB

Dear travel community,

I will be arriving on May 2nd at Beijing for our first time China travel and I still have some open issues:

1) We are staying at the Days Inn Forbidden City Hotel, which is between the east side of Tiananmen Square and Fanwuying Shopping street (close to Qianmen bus station). Does anybody know which airport shuttle bus would be OK for us?

2) Most of the things we want to see, we can do without a personal guide (e.g. Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Parks, Temple of Heaven, etc.). But we are also interested in the hutongs. Does anybody know a good guide /travel agency to show us around in the hutongs?

3) I read somewhere that there are minibuses directly from the Qianmen Busstation to Mutianyu part of the Great Wall. Anybody has experience with that? Anyone knows the timetable of these minibuses?

4) Lateron we will be flying to Xian. I had a look at ctrip, elong and yoee and for the moment the biggest discount is only 20%, rating 900 Yuan. Will the price go down even more closer to the due date? I noticed that ctrip and elong have now an english site and apparently accept VISA payment from outside mainland China. Anyone recently bought flight tickets with these agencies.

Thanks a lot for your help.

Regards,
NicBBB

Re: Beijing in May: transportation and hutongs

by johnmperry

4) You might like to think about the overnight train: takes around 12 hours, saves a hotel bill.

http://www.travelchinaguide.com/china-trains/

You might also like to consult a real human travel agent:
jacky@lotusholiday.com

Re: Beijing in May: transportation and hutongs

by xuessium

HI! NicBB:

Please see link for airport bus routes: http://en.bcia.com.cn/traffic-manual/airport-bus.shtml

I think those going to Xidan could be the ones.

Re: Beijing in May: transportation and hutongs

by ellyse

1) Wangfujing, not Fanwuying. Take airport shuttle no.3 to Beijing main train station and then a taxi. What time is your flight arriving and how much luggage do you have?
4) Take the overnight Z train soft sleepers instead, saves you travel time and money.

Re: Beijing in May: transportation and hutongs

by travelonely

1). No.3 airport shuttle bus from Capital airport to Beijing Railway Station (Beijingzhan), then catch a taxi;
2). N
3). N
4). Both ctrip and elong do accept VISA payment from outside mainland China. The problem is that it's the May Day holiday and the price might go up due to the flooding tourists. We use ctrip and elong a lot in mainland China.

Re: Beijing in May: transportation and hutongs

by Epesodic

Check out http://ticket.9588.com

Ticket seems to be cheaper last minutes. I suggest your book your plane ticket while you're in China. I think your hotel can do that for you or your can go log onto the net (Free internet at the Day Inn) or called the number listed on the website.

Travel Tips for Beijing

Visit the Forbidden City and...

by mrsibf

Visit the Forbidden City and Tien An Men Square. Begun in the 15th Century as the palace of the Chinese Imperial family, the huge walled compound flows from north to south, ending on Tien An Men. Be sure to take a guided tour unless you've boned up on your Chinese history and architecture. See my Forbidden City travelogue for details and pix.

Most of the locals do not...

by wen_viaggio

Most of the locals do not speak English and if you can't speak Chinese, you should get yourself a tour guide to avoid getting lost.

Do not be suprised to find the locals spitting every now and then. In winter, you can find frozen spit globs splattered all over the ground.

Avoid hugging or kissing someone if you want to thank or say goodbye to them. They are a rather conservative bunch.

The Great Wall of China. By...

by VTShounen

The Great Wall of China. By no means is it truly 'off the beaten path'. If anything its path has been much too beatened by tourists. The Wall is, however, very, very, VERY long, and fortunately the tourist access points are but a small part of it. It is not one single continuous wall but more (in my opinion) a network of linearly constructed fortifications. A fair bit of the Wall has still not been restored (and remain in ruins), and parts of it are still being discovered in the desert. How far you'd have to leave Beijing to get to some of these less trodden parts? Not very far actually. You just have to know how to get there. Unfortunately, I don't. I was on a tour and went to a tourist access point, albeit a less popular one. But still, this will be one quest that I would like to go on when I return in the future. If you have any info on this, feel free to drop me a line!

Friendship Store Bookstore

by mke1963 about Friendship Store (Chang'an)

The Friendship Store is a bizarre anachronism from all the old days when the good people of China all equally had nothing, and the Friendship Store was where the poor wretched foreigners spent all their money on delicacies and other nice things.
It always was a hotbed of non-existent customer service, and I understand they considered rebranding it as "Mei Yo Store".
In the new century, it remains a fascinating - if frustrating - exhibit of how bad store layout, customer service and point of sale tactics can get. It used to have the best selection of foreign books and magazines, and probably still does, but it has recently moved - just a few metres away - so that they can scatter the books about more haphazardly and make absolutely damn sure that you can't find what you want.
Many of the books are now in glass cabinets, and the whole lot is mixed up. They still have the most incredibly bizarre selection of publications, including fashion books from the 1970s (possibly due to come back into fashion again soon), weird architecture and interior design books, and strange tourist boks for other countries.

It always was a miserable place to buy books, especially as they refused to sell you the decent copies kept under lock-and-key and made you buy the moth-eared, dusty old version. Now it's worse.

Taxis in Beijing

by MickeH

There are a whole army of taxidrivers in Beijing and even though it is more expensive then other modes of transportation it can be worth it.
Just place yourself on the curb and wave one in.

If you only want a short trip, say 3-4 km, they might try to refuse to drive you! This is because they want longer drives that give more money.
But they have no right to do this so this is what you do:

Always get into the cab before telling him where to go.
Stand your ground if he refuse.
As a last resort, take out a pen and paper and start writing down his taxi licence number. This will make him nervous since it's illeagal to refuse fares. He will now drive you to your destination.

This is the only problem we ever had with taxis though. Tey could easily take unneccesary detours to fatten the bill but it seemed to us that they are very honest and friendly once on the road.
So feel free to take taxis.

Price:
10 yuan for the first 4 km
1.20 - 1.60 yuan for every km after that.

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