Public bus, Beijing
During my 2011 trip to Beijing, I took more public buses than the metro trains in Beijing. One of the reasons is because my hotel is away from the metro subway station. All of their bus-stops' signboards are in Chinese only. You need to figure out the name of your location in Chinese characters. If you can read and listen to the announcement, then it should be very easy to take public buses in Beijing. They have announcements for the stops in English. Beijing has one of the best public transportation systems in China. The way to use public buses can be systematic.
First: Identify where you are or the name of the bus stop. Check out the nearest bus-stop to see which buses coming into the bus-stop, and buses that leave the bus-stop.
Second: Read the bus routes in the bus-stop to see whether any buses go where you want to go. Sometimes, you might need to go to another bus-stop to transfer to another bus to get where you want to go. For example, If you go to the East side, identify the bus that goes to the area on the east side, then transfers to another bus to your destination. Or take the bus to the nearest Metro station.
1) All the bus routes only stop at assigned bus-stops. It would be better if you know the bus-stop name. Otherwise, guessing by the street name, the area name, or building name, etc.
2) The bus fare is displayed near the door, or in front of the bus. Mostly Y1 each ride for non air-conditioned buses, and Y2 each ride for air-condition buses. I bought a smart card at the Metro Station. It can be used for public buses with great discount. Instead of Y1 or Y2, you pay only 40 cents each ride using the card.
3) You can always ask people around which bus to take. During peak morning hours, an officer with helps or assists passengers with bus information in some bus-stops.
4) I found a Free iPhone application that help you to identify the bus routes in Beijing. This mobile application is not only applicable in Beijing, but major cities in China.
5) Google map not only helps you to get a direction, but it provides you with the public bus routes.
Taking public buses are the way to see Beijing from a different angle!!
Take the subway to the Dongzhimen station and take the exit going towards the bus station. However do not enter the bus station building but continue walking around the building counterclockwise for 10-15 minutes until you see the outdoor bus terminal with yellow signs. Although previous postings have said it was bus #936 that went to the Great Wall it was actually bus #867. However ask to make sure they haven't changed it again. We left at about 9am and it took 2.5 hours to get there. The bus costs 16 Yuan one way and you buy the ticket on the bus. Coming back the bus leaves at 2pm and 4pm from the same spot you are dropped off.
We took the cable car up (60 Yuan) and walked down which isn't hard just a lot of steps. The entry fee to the wall is 45 Yuan.
At the bottom are many stalls selling souvenirs. They basically have the same things so bargain to get a good price.
There is a direct bus from the airport to the Beijing West train station. Bus #7 runs from all terminals every 1/2 hour between 7:20am-12:00am. In terminal T3 (international) the bus leaves from the 1st floor, just look for all the other buses and find the number 7 sign. Tickets are bought at the Bus Ticket counter on the 2nd floor. The one way fare is 16 Yuan, the trip takes about 100 minutes and the last stop is near the train station. However it is about a kilometer away so either factor in the walking time or take one of the pedicabs that meet the bus (the asking price is 10 Yuan but it can be bargained down).
Hi we have not long returned from bejing where we stayed for around seven days . we were show by a couple of aussies hot to navigate the local buses. What a great way to get around Beijing, we were stopping about two miles out of the centre of the city, But to get in we just used to hop on a bus from near the forbidden city IT cost 2yuan about ten pence in sterling, so cheap, and yes like any other city in the world they always turned up two three or four at a time lol, Oh yes and all the dsme number L0( so no change there then, But a real fun way to explore the city
But the best help i can give anyone travleing around bejing is bj wonder louis li who is the boss of the company collected us from the airport in a nice Audi A6 spoke fluent english, he also arranges tours and and airport and train transfers for you he is such a friendly guy, and canot do enough to help. I HIGHLY RECOMEND THIs Company
Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch is an established and reliable tour company that provides bus services to Great Walls including Mutianyu, Badaling and other top attractions in Beijing.
I was traveling with them to Mutianyu Great Wall. I went to the Beijing Sightseeing Bus Center near Xuanwumen Station around 8am. I took the metro to the station, exit B, the bus center is right there. I was asking people around which bus was going to Mutianyu. One of the person had directed me to the right bus. First, the tour guide gave a short briefing and collected bus fares from each passengers. It cost Y50 return to Mutianyu Great Wall. We had to pay our own admission and other charges. Y50 only covered the return bus fare. We were given 3 hours to sightseeing there. I thought it might be too short to see the Great Wall within 3 hours, but at the end of the trip, I found it manageable. When we reached Mutianyu, the bus driver had informed everyone that the bus would leave at 2pm. He warned us that they were not responsible for anyone who missed the bus. The bus journey took 2 hours each way.
You can check out its website for other attractions. My advise is that If you want to go with their daily tour package, you have to be there early, between 7am to 8:30am. I found it quite practical if you wish to visit somewhere far from the city.
Using a traffic card will be very easy.
We will not many cashes everyday.
Usually a distance less than 12 kilometers will cost 1 yuan in cash, and it will cost 0.4 yuan when you using the traffic card.
All the buses under No.500 have the same price for cards owners. Every passenger should pay 0.4 yuan for one time.
You should pay bus No. 1 to No. 499 only 0.4 yuan for one person a time with your card.
But if you pay in cash, it would be 1 yuan or more than 1 yuan.
If you don't want to take a taxi, hire a driver, or take a tour that will also take you to one or more factory tours and gives you two hours at the wall, then take Bus 919 to the Great Wall.
Before you pay for your subway ticket, get one of those electronic card / prepay card at the station agent. Fill the card with $$ (for four day we filled it with $100 and had plenty of money left over) and you will need to leave a deposit of 30 yuan but you can get the money back when you return the card. Take subway and exit at Jithustan on Line 2 and use Exit A. Exit left (or right) of the building and then right (or left) and follow the sidewalk EAST for 2000 ft as the bus stop for the Great Wall is located north side of a huge monument - Deshengmen Watchtower to be precise. You will see three 919 bus stops as you walk along this sidewalk and don't stop to think if one of them will go to the Great Wall. If you do, scammers will surround you like vultures to confuse you. They will highly suggest you take their bus/car to the Great Wall at $$$$$. Continue to walk until you the sidewalk curves left to the Deshengmen Watchtower. There is a cross walk to the watchtower and be careful in crossing the street as pedestrian don't have the right of way here. When you get to this spot there are two rows of buses and the 919 bus stop is on the left side - Look for the 919 bus stop sign (in both English and Chinese) or look for tourist with guide books. Someone in the bus will assist you in scanning or taking your bus fare. Find a seat- note that these bus seats are tight for an average size American!! We had an old lady coming in the bus to sell drinks at local prices. So if you don't have water with you this is the time to get it. Or else force to pay triple the price when you arrive at the Great Wall. On the side note, there is a food stall behind the exit A building that sell these chinese burritos for 5 Yuan filled with bean sprout and pork / chicken I think. Pack some to go if you want cause that is the last food place I saw until the Great Wall. Also across from it you can buy drinks at local prices - bottle water is 2 yuan.
When you arrive, go to the ticket office and purchase you ticket. You will be dropped off (as I was) at the Bus terminal on the Southside of the Badling Great Wall. There are stores, Animal - Bear Zoo, Ticket booths, and the sliding car up/down to/from the Great Wall. If you plan to take the same bus back into the city decided if you want to circle around the Great Wall by taking the Sliding Car up to the wall and walk should I say climb around and down back to the Bus terminal or take the sliding car back. I choose the former and it was well worth it. It may take up to four hours (must I add plenty of photo opportunities) so keep that in mind when the last bus will be. If you take the sliding car roundtrip then two hours will be enough. Do negotiate the price on souvenirs when you are at the wall! They will also take foreign currency since I couldn't locate an ATM.
Pictures below will give you a visual idea on locating the bus stop.
BTW, our bus fare to the Great Wall using the electronic card was 4.8 Yuan. Cash fare I think was $12 yuan.
What an experience and one that the locals don't experience too often with us Westerners onboard - judging from the stares we were getting.
It was a lot of fun being the only Westerners on board though and I was most impressed by how many men would stand up to give me their seat.... chivalry who would've thought it existed in China???
When boarding the bus you put 1rmb per person in the slot and I would strongly suggest you let the driver know where you are heading and sit/stand as close to the front of the bus as possible - 9 out of 10 drivers or passengers will tell you when your stop is coming up.
I took this trip in Feb this year and had some problems trying to find the bus but fortunately I speak Chinese so any problems were soon cleared up!!! So I can give you all the info I know. I live at Dongzhimen so the walk wasnt too bad. Yes, basically get out of Dongzhimen subway exit B and it is literally there, the bus stop that is!! You will see the Airport Express entrance right there also. Now for the tricky part..there are SEVERAL 916# buses...yes, not so clever I know!! They have the same deal with 918# buses...dont ask me why!!
Basically there is the 916# that goes to every stop imaginable and takes forever, then there is the 916# air conditioned bus which stops at quite a few places along the way and then finally there is the 916# which is the fast one and doesnt stop that often according to the bus stop sign!!! I took the air conditioned one even though I didnt need air conditioning because it was Feb, but it was the first one that turned up that wasn't full (a popular route). It took about 2 hours to get there. I asked the bus lady to let me know which stop to get off at for Mutianyu Great Wall and she did. Before you get to that stop however you will have taxi touts jumping on the bus and trying to convince you to take their 'black' cabs. My friend who was with me said that if she hadnt been with me, a Chinese speaking person, she would have been so confused and would have probably got off at that point! The thing with Chinese people is that they dont tend to help you that often and so I had to keep asking the bus lady "is this the stop?" as I thought we were maybe going past it, but she didnt tell me that the taxi drivers were illegal and again, if I HADNT been living in China for so long, I would have probably got off the bus and gone with the taxi drivers....anyway..finally we got to the stop..I think I have it written down somewhere..I'll look for it and get back to you...
Then we hired a mini van which cost us about 60RMB return. You will have to bargain with him and dont pay him until youre back at the bus stop later that day. Set a time you will be coming back down the wall and if you have a phone, take his number so you can call him in case your plans change..not that he will understand your english of course!!!hahah..sorry!
Mutianyu doesnt tend to have crowds and it really is very beautiful..far more so than Badaling which is like a Disneyworld.
Any other questions, please ask!
Bus is very cheap (cost 1 or 2 yuan), but it is really time consuming.
Not only because of the jam, but also because of the bus route.
So the better way to go around beijing is by subway.
Some bus has bilingual destination (chinese and english), but still it is better you ask to the conductor to warn you when you've got the destination.
If you need to use bus, write the destination in chinese caracter and show it to the bus driver or conductor (you can ask to the hotel staff to write it for you).
There are many ways to get to the Great Wall. One of the easiest and cheapest in by public bus (I'll get the number soon!) (619?). You pick up the bus at a specific location in Beijing, but you can also get on farther north along the road to Badaling. Anyway, it's a great way to go, and will drop you off at the entrance.
There are tours offered by many hotels, but those are best for limiting options. Sure, everything's taken care of, but you may not have the time you want or need.
You can also catch a tourist bus from the southwest corner of Tienanmen Square, across the street to the west of the square.
the Metro system in Beijing is becoming better and better, they are building new lines and it is a fast way to get around beijing during traffic hours, which are... well from 8:30 am-8:30 at night in some parts of the city!
if you're going to be in Beijing for sometime, i would suggest investing in a card, you can take all metro lines, buses, and even some taxi's with this card (though it is easier to pay with cash when on a taxi and there is no discount)
the subways have all become 2 RMB since... march? of this year and you can take it to any stop you like (one time use only)
if you are new to this city and do not speak Chinese, take the subway or a Cab, though the subway is often crowded it is pretty simple to get from point A to point B and will be quicker btw 4:30-7:00pm
taking the bus very cheap (starting at 1 rmb, or 0.4 rmb with a card) is also easy once you figure out the routs, check out bjbus.com for more info
the card is 20 RMB (refundable) and you can add however much money you want to it. this can be bought at any metro stop.
Buses are extensive and incredibly cheap, but...
- buses can be very packed during rush hour s (7am-9am; 17pm-19pm)
- buses are unlikely on schedule
- bus stop signs are in Chinese only
- neither bus driver nor conductor understand English
First of all, thanks to other Vters who provided detailed info (and pics) on getting to Badaling by Bus 919 (sorry your names escape me at the moment but hey! you got my top ratings).
My sister and I took the bus to Deshengmen and walked a few short minutes to the tower building where Bus 919 originates. Note: if you take the subway, the nearest subway station is about 15-20 mins walk.
There are three places where you will see buses numbered 919, and not all of them go to Badaling. We chanced on the first parking lot with buses numbered 919 but were told it did not go to Badaling. The next place we tried was a bus stop just behind the (first) parking lot. Bus 919 stopped there and passengers were getting off but we were not allowed to board. We were mystified. To make matters worse, there was a man telling us it cost 20 RMB to get to Badaling by the 'slow' bus and 40 RMB by 'fast' bus (scam, no doubt).
I knew the correct fare was 12 RMB so we ignored him. I asked the next bus driver where to get the right bus and he pointed to the direction beside the tower building, well out of sight from where we were standing. Sure enough, the right one was just a minute's walk from where we were!
So depending on which direction you are coming from towards the tower, you may be lucky and hit the right parking lot for Bus 919 the first time. We only got the right one after the third round :- l
- In some Beijing buses you can only board from the middle door and exit from the front and back, so, be careful.
- You have to pay an extra ticket if your baggage occupies the area equal to a standing passenger.
- Keep the ticket with you whilst traveling on the bus because in some public buses when you get off there might be a conductor examining the passengers' tickets. Be careful.
- On a bus stop board, you can find information such as the number of the bus, departures, terminus, first runs, last runs, and the name of the current stop.
- If your final destination is a little bit long, I suggest you take first the subway and then transfer to the public bus.
- Some Beijing maps have detailed information about bus numbers and bus routes, though most of them are in Chinese.
- In Beijing public lines re-routing often occur, therefore, if you want to confirm ask the conductor or a passenger for help.