Public bus, Beijing
Beijing has many busses. It may not be easy to go around Beijing by local bus, when you don't speak Mandarin. But there are also special busses for tourist, which go to all the important touristspots.
Finding the right bus to ride is generally easy that is if you can read Chinese characters. Bus stations are mostly equipped with sign boards telling which bus numbers stop there and their destinations but sadly they are written in characters. Fare starts with Y1 for the first 10km and then another Y1 for every additional 10km. Never try to pay the driver the fare but look for the conductor with the yellow shirt and often the loudest.
How to get to Simatai. Getting to the Great Wall of china at Simatai on a backpacker's budget is no easy task. It involves getting on a minibus from Beijing to Miyun. At Miyun, you can hire a miandi driver to take you the rest of the way. The picture taken by a local above is of the miandi driver and me. On a little side note, Miandis are no longer allowed in Beijing as part of a pollution reducing effort by the city in preparation of the 2008 Olympics (Congratulations 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!!
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
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.
Si vais a estar mas de 2 días dentro de la capital, es muy conveniente buscarte un mapa de lineas de autobuses urbanos, Son muy baratos, bastante limpios y muy puntuales y te llevan practicamene a todos los lugares de la ciudad.
The dispatchers at the airport are constantly busy and were the only people in Beijing who appeared off hand with foreigners. One of these ladies actually told me I couldn't catch a bus to the part of Beijing that I was aiming for and sent me to get a taxi. Fortunately a very irate local gave her an ear bashing and took the time to make sure I wa on the right bus. Hope that they sort this out before the olympics.
The bus is very cheap only 1 RMB!
But it has no air-con and can be stuck for a long time in traffic. You'll also be lucky to get a seat.
However, if you are not in a rush, or if it is early in the morning (not crowded then), you should take the bus, it gives you a good look around the city, and also you get to experience bus driver's road rage, very interesting.
Anyway, there is no air con in the metro either.
The buses travel all around Beijing.
Bus 22 to TIan'anMen Square & Xi Dan Shopping District.
If you really want to save money, riding the bus can be considered an option. However, buses in Beijing are extremely crowded and it's hard to move around in the buses. The bus system is complicated and the driver and ticket seller on the buses likely do not speak English. As a foreign tourist, you will probably find the bus system difficult to use unless you ask a person at your hotel about the routes to take, and where to get on and off, prior to boarding a bus.
The tickets for each ride cost 1 yuan each and you buy them on the bus from a ticket seller.
Take advantage of the bus system! It is wonderful - and cheap!! The picture shows an old bus with the new clean gas buses on either side. The bus route 120 is the one I took to work every day, it costs just 1RMB for the whole length. It is kind of fun, too!
.....is always crowded. A dream of any public transportation enterpreneurs, but sometimes a nightmare for laowais who are not adjusted to the situation!
Buses in Beijing are best. They are cheap, comfortable and safe. Also local taxis are in good condition but are expensive!