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  1. #1

    BEIJING - China's Capital (Please READ Page 1 Before Posting Queries)

    Beijing Thread 1: http://www.pinoyexchange.com/forums/...d.php?t=346346



    12th Revision

    BEFORE ASKING FOR HELP AND FEEDBACK FOR TOURS AND ITINERARY

    For those asking for itinerary help, please post your inbound and outbound flights as well as your hotel/hostel. Also include how many you are and the age breakdown whether you have kids, seniors or both. If you are into shopping or photography, theme parks or art, also include it.

    For those asking for tour comments, please post where you got the quotation from; from which agency or website. Include the price per person and what the package includes, transfers, hotel name, etc. Before you choose an online tour operator, read the feedbacks from the Tripadvisor Beijing forum. Tour-Beijing.com for example has very few feedback posted about it.

    I'm not asking anything in return but I hope people who ask for help will be kind enough to post a trip report and maybe simple tips after their trip. Even with my knowledge of the city, I still spend a lot of time looking through maps and hotel/hostel reviews on your behalf. The sheer number of hotel and hostels in Beijing is overwhelming so please do your research first (Tripadvisor) before asking for feedback here.

    Given the number of people posting, please post the details of your inquiry (again) if you decided to change something or will be asking a further question. It's very time consuming for me to keep track of everyone in the thread.

    Lastly, please post issues and concerns with visa in the China Visa thread.

    Introduction

    • Capital of the People's Republic of China
    • Massive in terms of size: equivalent of 15 Hong Kong's or 26 Metro Manila's
    • 4 Seasons (Extreme Winters/Summers; Short Spring/Fall)
    • Public Transportation is cheap, extensive and easy to use. Taxi Flagdown: 10RMB.
    • Exchange Rate: Approximately 1RMB = P7.
    • Same timezone as Philippines.
    • Air quality can sometimes be very bad; blue skies was, until recently, a privilege.
    • Traffic jams can be a headache if you travel during rush hours.
    • Safety is not a major concern, the city is very very safe.
    • Standard of living is not that low: Average meal 15-20RMB/person; Peking Duck is around 70RMB-100RMB each.
    • Maximum of 4 passengers per taxi.
    • People here walk a lot, 1 Kilometer (approx. 10mins walk) is considered near. Be prepared to walk!
    • Locals (even staff like security guards) are bad in giving directions because most of them are migrants from other provinces.
    • Bus entrance: middle door. Bus exit: Front and back door.
    • For big groups who will need to take 2 taxis most of the time, I recommend buying 2 local SIM cards for communication.
    • Electric Sockets are the same as the Philippines. 2 Flat Holes / 220V


    Planning Your Trip

    Budget Required

    For a 4 day trip, a rough estimate will be P15,000-P20,000 (excluding airfare and visa fee) per person.

    Entrance Fees: http://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/beijing/

    For those planning to join local tours, there are suggestions below.

    Travel Dates to AVOID

    Chinese New Year (+/- 4 days of actual day)
    October 1 to 7
    May 1 to 3

    Where to Start Your Planning / Research

    http://www.meiguoxing.com/index.html
    http://www.synotrip.com/beijing
    http://www.kinabaloo.com/
    http://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/beijing.htm
    http://www.beijingholiday.com/travel...o-beijing.html
    http://www.chinatouristmaps.com/attractions/beijing

    How Many Days to Spend in Beijing?

    To cover the must-sees, at least 3 whole days. If you will do shopping (which I suggest), add 1 day. There's too much to see/do so 5-6 days is also OK.

    When To Go (Weather-wise)

    Best time to go: September-October (but avoid September 30 to October 10)
    OK time to go: April-May (not that cold also but high winds and chances of sandstorms)
    Very Hot: June to August
    Very Cold: November to February

    Summer in Beijing (June to August)
    1. It's hot and dry. Feels like being roasted in an oven with temperatures reaching 40 degrees. But since it's dry, you don't sweat as much and you don't feel sticky.
    2. Landlock = no water = no clouds to protect you from the scorching heat of the sun = bring sunblock.
    3. Sa Beijing mainit throughout the day pag summer, kahit gabi o madaling araw, mainit.
    4. 730PM ng gabi maliwanag pa. Look at the data below.

    If it rains, it's not as hard as Manila and does not last as long.
    Good thing about July is the sale in the malls.
    Last July I was there Esprit was 40% off while many foreign brands were 50% off.

    July 2010


    VISA

    A China Tourist Visa is REQUIRED and should be applied in the Philippines.

    China Visa Thread: http://www.pinoyexchange.com/forums/...d.php?t=175104

    China Embassy Website: http://ph.china-embassy.org/

    FLIGHTS

    Travel time: Approximate 4.5 hours to 5 hours.

    Direct Flight:
    Philippine Airlines
    Cebu Pacific
    Air China

    Semi-Direct Flight (stopover at Xiamen):
    China Southern Airlines

    Connecting Flight:
    Cathay Pacific + DragonAir / AirChina

    Hotels

    There's really no perfect location in Beijing but staying in the city center (Forbidden City / Xidan / Wangfujing Area) will probably be more convenient.

    Stick to a hotel which is walking distance to a subway station.

    Hotel Choices: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g2...ng-Hotels.html

    Where to Book Hotels:
    http://www.asiatravel.com/china/beijing.html
    http://www.expedia.com/default.asp
    http://hotels.english.ctrip.com/
    http://www.HostelWorld.com

    Recommendations: Grand Mercure Xidan, Novotel Xinqiao, Novotel Peace, Park Plaza Wangfujing, Red Lantern House, Happy Dragon Hostel, Peking International Youth Hostel, Days Inn Forbidden City, Capital Hotel, Red Wall Hotel and Holiday Inn Express Temple of Heaven.

    Local apartments for rent: http://bjhostel.cn/en/

    If you can't choose from the ones above, choose from here:
    http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g2...ng-Hotels.html
    http://www.expedia.com/Beijing-Hotel...l-Guide-Hotels

    Before you ask for feedback regarding a hostel/hotel, please consult Tripadvisor or Hostelworld first. Then use the "search this thread" function and see whether the hotel/hostel has already been discussed before. There are simply too many hostels and hotels in Beijing for this thread to cover and give feedbacks on.

    Private Tour Guides / Drivers and Cars for Hire

    You can find a lot of information here, just use the search function:
    http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowForum...2-Beijing.html

    Car/Van Rentals: http://www.thebeijinger.com/classifi...s/Cars-Drivers

    Tour Guides: http://www.synotrip.com/tour-guides/beijing

    Where to Book Tours Online

    http://www.travelchinaguide.com/package/beijing.htm
    http://www.asiatravel.com/china/tours/chinatour.html
    http://www.chinahighlights.com/beijing/tours.htm
    http://www.chinaodysseytours.com/bei...itinerary.html

    Reliable Travel Agencies for Beijing for those looking for a Package/Tour

    http://www.pandatour.com/index2.html
    http://ph.88db.com/Travel-Leisure/Tr...ncy/ad-105400/
    http://www.panpacifictravel.ph/

    Currency Exchange

    The rates in the airport are not good so don't exchange a lot. You can change currencies in any bank, just bring your passport and US Dollars.

    As far as I know, banks are open during weekends. Worst case scenario, you can withdraw in ATM machines as long as your ATM card is for international use also.

    For those who want to exchange PHP to CNY, you can do that in First Hotel in 751 Ongpin Street, Binondo, Manila. (In front of President Restaurant.)

    Meron din dito JAM JAM Money Changer - Maria Orosa corner Kalaw (It's besides Manila Pavillion hotel and 7-11) 522-7135

    Meron din sa Czarina but you have to call/reserve.

    Online Travel Guides for Beijing:

    http://wikitravel.org/en/Beijing
    http://www.beijingtraveltips.com/
    http://www.kinabaloo.com/beijing.html
    http://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/beijing/
    http://www.chinatouristmaps.com/attractions/beijing

    At The Airport

    1. Exchange some of your USD to RMB/CNY.
    2. Go to your hotel via taxi, airport express or airport bus (not very tourist friendly)

    There are FAKE taxis which you should avoid, they don't look like taxis and do not have meters. Vans should also be avoided.

    Make sure you have the Chinese name of the hotel, the Chinese address and a map if possible.

    SIGHTSEEING

    Use this as your guide for entrance fees and transportation instructions:
    http://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/beijing/
    http://www.meiguoxing.com/Attractions.html

    C - City Center
    N - North of Center
    S - South of Center
    E - East of Center
    W - West of Center

    Must See Places:

    1. Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square (C)
    2. The Great Wall of China (Mutianyu/Badaling)
    3. Olympic Park (N)
    4. Summer Palace (NW)
    5. Temple of Heaven (S)
    6. Wangfujing Shopping Street - Not really for shopping (C)
    7. Qianmen Street and National Center of Performing Arts ("The Egg") (C)

    DIY Guide to Mutianyu

    http://www.pinoyexchange.com/forums/...postcount=3218
    http://www.pinoyexchange.com/forums/...postcount=3243
    http://www.pinoyexchange.com/forums/...postcount=3250
    http://www.pinoyexchange.com/forums/...postcount=3349
    http://www.pinoyexchange.com/forums/...postcount=4889
    http://susanjacobson.livejournal.com...904897#t904897

    Optional:

    1. Hutongs - small alleys that show the old and real Beijing.
    2. Houhai Lake
    3. Nanluoguxiang Hutong (http://www.nlgx.org/wp-content/uploa...ap_closeup.jpg)
    4. Beijing Zoo Panda Section (W)
    5. Drum and Bell Towers and adjacent Beihai Park (Off NW)
    6. 798 Art Zone (NE)
    7. Jingshan Park (overlooking Forbidden City) (C)
    8. Lama Temple (Off N)
    9. The Village and Sanlitun - Shopping and bar district - 5mins walk from Tuanjiehu Station
    10. The Place - Nice mall with large outdoor LCD - 10mins walk from Yonganli Station - 10mins taxi to The Village
    11. Xidan Shopping District
    12. Botanical Gardens
    13. Science and Technology Museum inside Olympic Park (for kids)

    UNESCO World Heritage Sites

    1. Great Wall - Simatai section
    2. Forbidden City
    3. Temple of Heaven
    4. Summer Palace

    Save for the Great Wall, all the spots can be reached by subway.

    There 2 accessible parts of the Great Wall, Badaling and Mutianyu. Badaling is a bit closer to downtown Beijing but it is always packed with tourists. Mutianyu is not as crowded and there's a toboggan ride from the top of the wall. These 2 can be reached by public bus or by arranging a day tour from hotels or travel agencies.

    Things to Do:

    1. Legend of Kung Fu
    2. Acrobatics Show (Chaoyang Acrobatics)
    3. Beijing Opera (not that easy to find but it's quite an experience)
    4. Beijing Foot Massage
    5. Rickshaw ride in Houhai / Hutongs (100RMB/cart)

    Chang He River Cruise:

    Boats from the Beijing Exhibition Center/Zoo to the Summer Palace generally start running about mid-April and shut down around mid-October.

    http://www.beijingtrip.com/transport/waterway.htm
    http://www.ebeijing.gov.cn/feature_2...r/t1070481.htm

    Skiing:

    Nanshan Ski Resort - Winter Only (2 hours drive)
    http://www.nanshanski.com/index-en.asp
    Closes during March; better to contact their website.

    Ski Resorts all close around the same time in Beijing because if the temperature is too hot already, their man-made snow will melt.

    More information on ski resorts and inquiries can be made here:
    http://www.tour-beijing.com/ski/
    http://www.beijingchina.net.cn/enter...ski-areas.html
    http://www.travelchinaguide.com/pack...ijingtour7.htm

    Daytrips from Beijing:

    1. Tianjin City - 30mins bullet train from Beijing South Railway Station
    http://www.pinoyexchange.com/forums/...postcount=3322

    Taxi and walking are only viable forms of transportation in Tianjin.

    2. Datong - Hanging Temple and Yungang Grottoes (5 hours by car or train)
    http://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/datong.htm

    3. LongQing Gorge/Valley - The Guilin of the North (2 hours drive)
    http://www.beijingtrip.com/attractio...qing-gorge.htm
    http://www.kinabaloo.com/lq.html

    Connections to Shanghai:

    10 hour fast train (overnight)
    12 hour slow train (overnight)
    2 hour domestic airplane ride

    Train Guide: http://www.chinatravelguide.com/ctgw...Submit1=submit

    Train Tickets can only be bought 10 days in advanced in designated train/plane ticketing stations around the country. I don't know how internet booking sites work with regards to trains but I don't think you can book them in advanced. Ticketing kiosks around the city will most probably not speak any english.

    Nearby Cities:

    Inner Mongolia (Desert & Grasslands; at least 2 nights)
    Xian (Terracotta Army; at least 2 nights)
    Harbin (Winter Festival; at least 2 nights)

    Where to Book Domestic Flights

    http://english.ctrip.com/
    http://www.elong.net/

    Photo Galleries:

    Inner Mongolia

    Nanshan Ski Resort

    Tianjin Photos

    Datong Photos

    Longqing Photos

    Houhai / 798 / Happy Valley / Solana Mall

    Lamma Temple Photos

    Beihai Park Photos

    Qianmen / The Egg / Mutianyu Photos

    Mixed Photos (Red Lantern / Summer Palace)

    Beijing Science and Technology Museum

    The Village and The Place

    Da Dong Peking Duck and the really nice Seasons Place Mall

    Scitec Premium Outlet Mall

    Mixed Photos

    Simatai Great Wall Photos

    http://www.bulakbol.com/Home/My_Albu...s/Beijing.html

    BEIJING TRANSPORTATION SMART CARD ("Yi Ka Tong")



    Similar to Hong Kong's Octopus Card, this card can be used for the public bus and subway. It can also be used for the taxi but most taxi drivers do not want to use it. It can be bought in any customer service counter of subway stations. Minimum payment is 40RMB (20 for deposit and 20 for load).

    1 Person 1 Card. The card cannot be shared for both bus and subway though there might be exceptions for the bus if the conductor does not see you or if he/she is lazy already.

    For bus: tap upon entering. For subway: tap to enter and tap to exit.

    http://www.travelchinaguide.com/city...smart-card.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yikatong

    The charge for the subway/taxi is the same but it is cheaper to use the card for the bus.

    BEIJING SUBWAY MAP

    http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/2898/beijingsubway.png

    Subway stations are very far apart, most of the time you cannot walk from one station to the other.

    Interchanges are similar to Manila which means it requires long walks, specially the one in Xizhimen.

    Price per ride per person is 2RMB no matter the distance.

    Subway system is easy to use, just plan your routes carefully.

    ITINERARY GUIDE

    Sample Itinerary:
    http://www.pandatour.com/itineraries_b1-4.html
    http://www.chinaodysseytours.com/bei...itinerary.html
    http://www.chinahighlights.com/beijing/tours.htm

    Time Allotment

    Great Wall: At least 5-6 hours including travel time
    Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square: At least 3 hours
    Temple of Heaven: At least 1-2 hour
    Summer Palace: At least 2-3 hours
    Olympic Park: At least 1 hour
    Wangfujing: At least 2 hours (no shopping at all)
    Qianmen: At least 1 hour
    Hutongs: At least 1 hour
    Houhai: At least 2 hours
    Tianjin: At least 8 hours (including travel time to Beijing South Railway)
    Jingshan Park: At least 1 hour
    Beihai Park: At least 2 hours
    798: At least 4 hours + travel time

    Places that can be seen at day/night but better at night:

    The Egg
    Wangfujing
    Qianmen
    Olympic Park
    Sanlitun

    Places that close late / Places to visit during evenings:

    Kung Fu Show / Acrobatic Show - Starts at 7pm
    Wangfujing / The Place / The Village / Qianmen - Closes at 10pm
    Houhai / Nanluoguxiang / Sanlitun - Nightlife, closes late

    Sample 1 day DIY Itineraries

    Heavy breakfast/brunch -> Tiananmen Square -> Forbidden City -> Jingshan Park -> Beihai Park -> taxi to Hepingmen for early dinner at Quanjude -> subway to Qianmen -> subway to The Egg via Tiananmen West -> subway or taxi or walk to Wangfujing

    Summer Palace -> Beijing Zoo -> Temple of Heaven -> Acrobatics/Kung Fu Show

    Mutianyu Great Wall -> Summer Palace -> Olympic Park

    Subway to Guloudajie -> Drum and Bell Tower -> Houhai -> Nanluoguxiang (Half day only; Beihai Park optional before towers)

    Sample 2 Day Itinerary

    Day 1: Summer Palace, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Qianmen, Wangfujing
    Day 2: Great Wall, Olympic Park

    Sample 3 Day Itinerary

    Day 1: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Jingshan Park, Beihai Park, Qianmen, The Egg, Wangfujing
    Day 2: Great Wall, Olympic Park
    Day 3: Summer Palace, Beijing Zoo, Temple of Heaven, Houhai and/or Nanluoguxiang

    Sample 4 Day Itinerary

    Day 1: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Jingshan Park, Beihai Park, Qianmen, The Egg, Wangfujing
    Day 2: Temple of Heaven, Drum and Bell Tower, Houhai, Nanluoguxiang
    Day 3: Great Wall, Olympic Park
    Day 4: Summer Palace, Beijing Zoo, Shopping

    CHERRY BLOSSOMS

    Where to find Cherry Blossoms:
    Beihai Park
    Yuandadu Park 元大都公园 (Huixinjie Nankou Line 10 Station)
    Yuyuantan Park (near Military Museum Station)

    Cherry blossoms bloom in spring, so it depends when spring will come this year.

    Spring in Beijing is usually during March or April. Cherry Blossoms last only for a week or two.

    They are very hard to come by so don't expect to see them even if you go during spring. (Chamba chamba lang)

    DIY TRIP REPORTS - VERY VERY HELPFUL IN PLANNING YOUR TRIP

    Trip reports here: http://www.pinoyexchange.com/forums/...d.php?t=346346

    (20 Posts Per Page - Default Setting)

    Read Pages 39, 53-54, 59-60 and 67.
    Read Pages 100 and 104.
    Read Pages 131-146.
    Read Pages 166-167.
    Read Pages 170-171.
    Read Pages 176-179.
    Read Pages 209-216.
    Page 234 and 240-243.

    SHOPPING

    Shopping Guide: http://www.meiguoxing.com/Shopping.html

    Souvenirs: Easiest to find in tourist spots (Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, Hongqiao Pearl Market near Temple of Heaven, etc.) but bargain really hard though. Tshirts should only cost 15-20RMB. Magnets should cost 5RMB only; maximum of 10RMB. Great Wall replicas are also 5RMB. Real price should be around 10% of the initial price they give you. If you have time, Tian Yi Market has some of the best and affordable souvenirs; it's like 168 with better products. 600m from Fuchengmen Station. You can also buy Beijing tumblers/mugs in Starbucks. There's a Starbucks in Terminal 2 departure area after immigrations.

    Branded Clothes: Joy City in Xidan, Qianmen Street or Solana Mall in Liangmaqiao Station. Zara, Uniqlo and H&M have branches in Joy City and Qianmen.

    Cheap clothes including jackets, gloves and scarves can be bought in the Beijing Zoo underground market. Alternative is the markets in Xidan: 77th Street Market connected to the subway and the mall in front of Joy City Mall.

    Market-type Clothing: Markets adjacent Beijing Zoo Station specially the underground market (Julong Foreign Trade Market). Very cheap place to buy overruns. Men's Tshirts start at 25RMB. Opens at 6am and closes at 4pm.

    Beijing Zoo Market Guide: http://www.meiguoxing.com/Shopping/B...ng_Market.html

    Xidan is a shopping district with markets also but from experience, the Beijing Zoo area is the best place for budget shoppers.

    High-end brands like MNG and Zara are more expensive here. Uniqlo and H&M are slightly more expensive than Hong Kong. There are other Spanish brands like Bershka and Pull & Bear.

    All the other markets like Silk, Pearl and Yashow Markets are just for tourists and for those who want to experience bargaining or being ripped off.

    Electronics: Top City in Zhongguancun. Only recommended for people who know what they want to buy. Laptops and Digital Cameras are much cheaper here than in Manila but you have to bargain. Special price might be given to tourists.

    FOOD

    Where to Eat near Tourist Spots:

    1. Tiananmen Square/Forbidden City - Xidan or Wangfujing
    2. Wangfujing - Along Wangfujing or inside Oriental Plaza and APM Mall
    3. Beihai Park - Along Di`an Men Street (near Beihai's North Entrance)
    4. Jingshan Park - Along Jingshan West Street or Along Di`an Men Nei Street
    5. Qianmen - Quanjude on Qianmen or Quanjude on Hepingmen
    6. Summer Palace - Near Beigongmen / Beigongmen Station
    7. Temple of Heaven - Near the Tiantan Dongmen Station
    8. Beijing Zoo - Along Xizhimen Wai Street (near Beijing Zoo station Exit C) or near Ito Yokado (which is near the entrance of the underground market)
    9. Olympic Park - Jin Ding Xuan (金鼎轩) Restaurant which is near Datunlu East Station on Line 5.
    10. No problem eating in shopping areas like Xidan, The Place and The Village. Restaurants are everywhere. For Xidan, go to Joy City Mall.

    Detailed Info

    Try to find restaurants with picture in their menu because it will be almost impossible for you to order with a pure-text Chinese menu.

    Beijing Chinese food is not the same as the Chinese food in Philippines which is based mostly on Cantonese / Hong Kong cuisine. Northern Chinese is significantly different, generally salty, spicy and oily.

    2010 Beijing Best Restaurants:
    http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/beijin...t-restaurants/

    Must-tries:

    1. Peking Duck

    Quanjude Peking Duck Restaurant (Long History):

    Hepingmen Branch (Biggest and most seats)
    Chinese Name: 全聚德 和平门店
    http://www.quanjude.com.cn/restauran...17&optionid=19

    Qianmen Branch (Always Packed)
    http://www.quanjude.com.cn/restauran...18&optionid=19

    Wangfujing Branch
    http://www.quanjude.com.cn/restauran...19&optionid=19

    Da Dong (Quanjude's Rival; less oily ducks):

    http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/beijin...as/nanxincang/
    http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/beijin...ng-roast-duck/

    Fat Duck (Recently voted as Best Duck in Beijing):

    http://www.thebeijinger.com/directory/Fat-Duck

    Guo Lin (Wudaokou Station Line 13 Branch)
    Address: Haidian District, #15 Wangzhuang Road (in front of Xijiao Hotel)
    After getting off the station, walk along Chengfu Road towards U-Center Mall then turn left at Wangzhuang Road


    Guo Lin (Xinjiekou Branch for those staying at Red Lantern)
    Address: Xicheng District, #44 Xinjiekou South Road


    2. Beijing Dumplings

    Not that easy to find but if you stumble into one, try it.

    3. Beijing Hotpot

    Recommendations: Dong Lai Shun and Ding Ding Xiang. Xiabu Xiabu for the budget concious.

    The Mongolian Hotpot is significantly different from the ordinary hotpot found in Manila.

    Dong Lai Shun Wudaokou Branch - Inside U-Center Mall Top Floor (They also serve Peking Duck)

    4. Street Food like Barbecued/Grilled Lamb BBQ Stick

    5. Russian Food - A lot of choices in Sanlitun and Ritan Park Area

    SCAMS TO WATCH OUT FOR:

    1. Fake taxis. Taxis have a plate number that starts with . Always check if your taxi turned on the meter.

    2. "Art students" trying to bring you to an art gallery.

    3. "Free" tea tasting in teahouses.

    Over-friendly and locals who speak fluent english are usually no good.

    CLIMATE AND WEATHER

    Climate:




    Weather Forecasts:

    http://www.weather.com.cn/html/weather/101010200.shtml
    http://weather.msn.com/local.aspx?we...Beijing%2c+CHN
    http://www.weather.com.cn/en/weather/101010100.shtml
    http://www.myforecast.com/bin/detail...35&metric=true

    December to February = Extremely Cold (Temperatures reach -18 celcius)
    November and March = Very Cold
    October and April = Cold
    Mid September and Mid May = Moderate to Warm
    June to August = Very Hot (Temperatures reach 45 degrees celcius)

    A typical air-conditioned room is about 20-24 degrees celcius.

    PREPAID SIM CARDS

    China Mobile and China Unicom are the biggest operators but I prefer China Mobile.

    Prepaid SIM cards can be bought in local "sari-sari" stores, wine/cigar stores, China Mobile stores and maybe some newspaper stands.

    A China Mobile pack will cost around 70-90RMB which comes with a 50RMB load.

    Local text is 0.1RMB, International text is 1RMB. Calls are also cheap.



    Video Tutorial -> http://www.tripadvisor.com/ProfileGa...i22550393.html

    LEARN TO SPEAK BASIC MANDARIN

    http://www.standardmandarin.com/chinesephrases
    http://www.standardmandarin.com/dailywords.aspx

    HOW TO ACCESS FACEBOOK WHEN IN CHINA

    www.vtunnel.com
    www.kuvia.eu

    Download/install Freegate or Hotspot Shield while still in the Philippines.

    TRAIN TRAVEL IN CHINA (BOOKING TRAIN TICKETS)

    http://seat61.com/China.htm#How%20to%20buy%20tickets

    Quote Originally Posted by commoner View Post
    After some research on buying China train tickets online, I found out that they are more expensive than the normal rate. It's probably because they need to pay their contacts in China. Train tickets are only sold 10 days before the actual date of departure. If you are willing to pay more, and willing to accept the possible risk, book online.

    Here are some links you should look at:
    http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...p-Beijing.html
    http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...-Shanghai.html
    http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...y-Beijing.html

    Train tickets usually run out the day they are sold, not impossible since China has over a billion people. May kilala ako nakabili ng ticket once they arrived in Shanghai (for Beijing then return to Shanghai) pero seater hindi sleeper.

    You might also want to look at domestic flights kasi mas sure yun kaysa sa train. Sometimes hindi nagkakalayo yun price lalo na pag sleeper train ka.
    PEKING DUCK AND DINING NEAR OLYMPIC PARK

    Quote Originally Posted by commoner View Post
    From Olympic Park take the subway to Line 5 Datunlu East station then walk to Golden Tripod Attic restaurant. Cantonese food yan with dimsum.

    http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/beijin.../has/yayuncun/

    This is probably the million dollar question but it's probably the same as asking where the best sisig or adobo in the Philippines is.

    Having said that, I don't think travelers should be bothered with which Peking Duck restaurant they will eat in. Even for those who are very used to eating authentic Chinese cuisine all the time (like me), it is already hard to distinguish the difference of the ducks.

    I have tried the ducks from these restaurants:
    1. Quanjude Hepingmen Branch (3x)
    2. Da Dong near Financial Street (1x)
    3. Guo Lin Wudaokou Branch (1x)
    4. Made in China - Grand Hyatt Hotel (1x)
    5. Dong Lai Shun Hotpot Restaurant Wudaokou Branch (1x)

    Quanjude and Da Dong are probably the most well-known Peking Duck restaurants in Beijing. If you like a tasty but oily duck, go to Quanjude. If you like non-oily duck and other good dishes in a very classy setting, go to Da Dong. But if you don't have time, there's no harm in going to other restaurants that serve it.

    Made in China is the most expensive I have eaten but I can hardly distinguish it from Da Dong.
    PUBLIC BUS GUIDE FOR GREAT WALL AND LONGQING GORGE

    Bus No. 919 ( Air Conditioner Bus )
    Bus Terminal: Deshengmen (德胜门快车)
    Destination: Badaling Great Wall, Weihe Drifting, Wenquan Holiday Village
    Bus Fare: RMB 12
    The first Bus: 6:00am;
    The last bus: 6:30pm
    Tel: 63360283

    Bus No. 919 ( common bus )
    Bus Terminal: Deshengmen (德胜门慢车)
    Destination: Badaling Great Wall, Badaling Sarafi Park, Juyongguan Great Wall, Longqingxia
    Bus Fare: RMB 8
    The first Bus: 6:00am;
    The last bus: 6:30pm
    Tel: 63360283

    Bus No. 919Z
    Bus Terminal: Deshengmen (德胜门)
    Destination: Kangxi Grassland
    Bus Fare: RMB 12
    Bus Starts at 8:30;11:00; 15:30; 18:00 ( 4 times )
    Tel: 63360283
    Bus No. 916
    Bus Terminal: Dongzhimen (东直门长途站)
    Destination: Mutianyu Great Wall ( actually the bus stops at Huairou Distric and then you take a mini bus from Huairou to Mutianyu Great Wall)
    Bus Fare: RMB 12
    Mini Bus Fare: RMB 40
    Bus Operation Time: 6:00-20:00
    Tel: 64671346、64608131

    Bus No. 980
    Bus Terminal: Dongzhimen Long Distance Bus Station (东直门长途站)
    Destination: Simatai Great Wall. Actually the bus stops at Miyun County and then you take a mini bus from the downtown Miyun to Simatai.
    Bus Fare: RMB 10
    Minibus Fare: 10
    Bus Operation Time: 6:00-18:00
    Tel: 64671346、64608131

    Bus No. 980
    Bus Terminal: Dongzhimen Long Distance Bus Station (东直门长途站)
    Destination: Jinshanling Great Wall. Actually the bus stops at Miyun County and then you take a mini bus from the downtown Miyun to Jinshanling.
    Bus Fare: RMB 10
    Minibus Fare: 10
    Bus Operation Time: 6:00-18:00
    Tel: 64671346、64608131
    TOURIST MAP (FOR REFERENCE ONLY)


    Enlarge: http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/1268/beijing11.jpg


    Enlarge: http://img806.imageshack.us/img806/7325/downtown2.jpg

    BEFORE ASKING FOR HELP AND FEEDBACK FOR TOURS AND ITINERARY

    For those asking for itinerary help, please post your inbound and outbound flights as well as your hotel/hostel. Also include how many you are and the age breakdown whether you have kids, seniors or both. If you are into shopping or photography, theme parks or art, also include it.

    For those asking for tour comments, please post where you got the quotation from; from which agency or website. Include the price per person and what the package includes, transfers, hotel name, etc. Before you choose an online tour operator, read the feedbacks from the Tripadvisor Beijing forum. Tour-Beijing.com for example has very few feedback posted about it.

    I'm not asking anything in return but I hope people who ask for help will be kind enough to post a trip report and maybe simple tips after their trip. Even with my knowledge of the city, I still spend a lot of time looking through maps and hotel/hostel reviews on your behalf. The sheer number of hotel and hostels in Beijing is overwhelming so please do your research first (Tripadvisor) before asking for feedback here.

    Given the number of people posting, please post the details of your inquiry (again) if you decided to change something or will be asking a further question. It's very time consuming for me to keep track of everyone in the thread.

    Lastly, please post issues and concerns with visa in the China Visa thread.
    Last edited by commoner; Jul 13, 2011 at 04:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Beijing Trip Report by popopotchi
    February 25 - Feb 27 2011
    Peking International Youth Hostel

    Notes:
    1. Always print a chinese copy of the destinations na bababaan niyo para mapakita sa driver
    2. Bring Map (Beijing/subway)
    3. Print your itinerary and primer of commoner
    4. Do-It-Yourself ginawa namin (no tour taken)
    5. Subway very easy and cheap to use

    Feb 25
    12:00am - Arrival in Beijing (papalit 100 USD to RMB)
    3:00am - Arrival in Peking International Youth Hostel
    8am-9am - Beijing Zoo Underground Market (via subway) - late nagising so di kami nakapunta dito
    9am - Papalit USD to RMB to the nearest ICBC bank
    10am - Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square (20mins walk from hostel)
    3pm-4:30pm - Temple of Heaven (North Gate to South Gate) via taxi
    5pm-7pm - Qianmen (via Taxi)
    7pm-8pm - Peking Duck dinner at Qianmen Quanjude Hepingmen / Rest
    9pm - 10pm - Wangfujing St (via Subway)
    10:30pm - Back in Hostel

    Feb 26
    8:30am - Nanshan Bus Express (Times Fortune, near SanYuan Bridge)
    9:30am - Nanshan Ski
    4:30pm - Bus back to Times Fortune, near SanYuan Bridge
    6pm - Back in Hostel to rest
    8pm - Supposed to go Olympic Park pero sobrang pagod, early sleep

    Feb 27
    6am - Packup / Checkout hostel
    7am - Dongzhimen Bus Station (via subway)
    - Take note if you are following DIY, there's no more BUS 936. You need to ride BUS 916 and baba sa Huairou
    - Pagbaba Huairou, there are cars for rent na nagaabang, just take one (120 RMB balikan nakuha namin, hihintayin ka nia, then hatid ka nia bus terminal 916 again back to downtown)
    9am-1pm - Mutyaniu Great Wall
    - Buy pasalubong (shirts/MACADEMIA/etc)
    3pm - Back in downtown Beijing (Dongzhimen Station)
    4pm - Summer Palace (via subway to Xiyuan station)
    - Wait niyo mag sunset kasi ok mag picture dun
    7pm - Olympic Park (via subway to Olympic Green)
    9pm - Back in hostel
    10pm - Airport
    1am - Bye Beijing

    Yun lang ang ayaw namin sa hostel, ang layo niya sa subway. 15-20mins walk. Nahirapan din kami maghanap ng pagkain kasi puro chinese characters lang yung nasa menu. We have to find resto with pictures on the menu then turo turo na lang. Bus 916 from Huairou to downtown Beijing is about 1hr.

    Trip report by Kencool

    Hotel FR muna

    Hotel: Red Wall Hotel
    Nearest station is Dongsi. Walkable 20 mins

    Distances from the hotel:
    Distances from Tian'anmen :300 meters
    Distances from Beihai park :1.0 KM
    Distances from The Forbidden City:200 meters
    Distances from Airport:26KM
    Distances from Jinshan park:500 meters
    Distances from Wangfujin Street:1.0 KM
    Distances from The 2008 Olympic Stadium:8KM

    There’s also a currency exchange based on the existing rates of ICBC inside the hotel.
    Most of the personnels in the hotel can understand a little English and speak in English which is really great.
    The bell boys are so nice. They helped us a lot in our planning. They are selling tickets for the acrobatics show, kung fu and then opera and they are all with service pick up from their hotel. We only watched the acrobatics show which is really awesome.

    The waiters in their Chinese resto are also nice. They want to learn how to speak and converse in English. One waiter saw the wallet of my friend and asked what it is. My friend said it is a wallet. The waiter then took a piece of paper and made note of it even asking the proper spelling. Hahaaha

    The online rates are so much cheap than what is posted in their wall.
    We only paid 15000++ for 5 days. When we computed, it is 45000+ if we base it on their room rates if you are walk in guest.

    The room are nice. We got a Deluxe standard room.Three adults. Their beds are not soft though.

    DAY 1 (Wednesday- Feb 23)

    AM – We usually starts our day at around 7:30 am.

    From our hotel we walked to Dongsi station. 20 mins ata. Then ride subway train to Temple of Heaven.
    We exited at a wrong station. Chowmengmen ata yun. Mali kasi based sa book namin. (the book we had is very old). Hahahaha. Di ko kasi na research here or sa internet where kami dapat exit.
    When we exited, we saw a nearby KFC, so we ate bfast.
    After bfast, we rode a taxi going to temple of heaven. We are dropped off at the south gate but our friends got dropped off at the north gate. 10 cny lang naman bayad sa txi always pag within 3 km. There are many gates pala so nagkita na lang kami sa center. hahahahha
    After Temple of Heaven, we rode a train again, this time we now learned na outdated yung map ng subway train na gamit namin so we used the subway map of a recent book that we had. We rode the train on the let side and then made one transfer and exited in tiananmen west I believe. Di na kami nawala
    Before entering forbidden city, we ate lunch at the side exit before going in sa forbidden city.
    I forgot the name of the resto but we didn’t order muna beijing duck. We ordered shredded pork though na parang beijing duck din gagawin mo pag kakainin mo. May other foods pa na I forgot the names. All were yummy. There are a few customers only on the resto.

    PM
    After Lunch, upon exiting the resto, we saw a ride that is only 1 cny per person. We thought it would take us to the near exit of the forbidden city since our feet are tired of walking already and its cold. The cart, that would resemble a big golf cart that can sit at around 14 peeps, would only take us pala to one exit in forbidden city and you cant go in the city but it offers a great view of the lake that surrounded the FC. The lake now is frozen. So we rode back again the same cart to take us to the entrance of the FC. After long walks, since it is near our hotel and it is already 5 pm, we walked to our hotel to rest.

    After maybe 2 hrs of rest and eating snacks, we converges again on the lobby of the hotel and then rode a taxi to wangfujing FOOD market. None of us braved to eat scorpions,centipedes, and the like, we rather ate safely because we don’t want to irritate our stomachs. Hahahahhhaha. It’s here also that we got to taste the famous chinese glazed fruits in sticks. I specially liked the one with strawberries. After eating, we walked the streets of wangfujing and anywhere our feet would bring us. It’s near 10 pm already so took a cab going to the hotel. 10 cny lang.

    One thing I noticed though, there are still 'Merry Christmas' signs/banners/posters that I saw. hahahahaha

    Day 2 (Thursday - Feb 24) Badaling - Acrobatics

    AM-
    Wake up time is around 6:30 again
    We ate a light bfast from the hotel.
    Quaker oats cookies and then coffee we brought from manila and then tea from the hotel (free)
    Around 8 am, we took a cab going to the terminal of bus going to badaling.
    At first we fall in line dun sa may signage na 919-1 to badaling but fortunately, one local Chinese guy trying to communicate to us said that the bus we have to take should be on the other side. 919-2 … So travelers make sure of this. You can see on the signage in the bus stop that it is to badaling – great wall. Badaling is such a big town pala that the other bus is going to badaling but not on the great wall. 1 hour and 30 mins travel. One thing I noticed, there buses are slow. Maybe a max speed of only 60 kmh. The small private cars are even over taking us. If here in PH, maybe it would just take 50 mins to 1 hr travel

    When we arrived there, it is sooooo cold and there is a strong wind speed. First time that It seemed that my hands are going numb already because it is freezing cold. My sister and cousin even bought another set of gloves there. I’m going to use their public toilet but unfortunately, it so damn dirty and very smelly. So instead we went to a resto there to eat. I ordered a spicy noodle since it is cold and I was able to piss at their toilet (not really clean but much tolerable already).

    PM
    After eating, we bought tickets already. We bought a round trip ticket of the sliding cars. It is boring going up but its fun going down. Parang mini roller coaster with just turns and faster descent. We stayed up in badaling for more near two hours ata.
    We rode a bus going to Beijing again. Then arrived at maybe 4 pm at our hotel. We went food shopping on the side street of our hotel. Small market sya. So we bought many things para snacks and dinner.
    At around 6:30 we went to tian di??? Theater for the acrobatics show. It’s great. Buy their DVD. The hotel provided us a taxi going there. We paid 180 cny for our tickets. Front side. It gave us a great view of the show.

    DAY 3 (Friday – Feb 25) Nanshan and Dinner

    We went to nanshan thru bus. From Dongmi Zhuanxian, hop on bus 980 Express at the DongZhiMen Bus Station to Miyun TaiYangJiaYuan or XiDaQiao (14 RMB/per person). Afterwhich we should ride a ride to nanshan ski village but taxi are scarce. After maybe 30 mins of waiting, we entertain a private van offering us (group of 7) ride to nanshan for 10 cny each. Not bad so we ok’d and we are off to the ski resort. The driver also offered to fetch us after 3 pm.

    We rented ski suits first. Then we ate there. For our safety purposes, we hired a ski teacher/trainer. 200 cny each for 2 hrs. It’s steep but what the heck. It’s more than that if you pay the bills in your hospital. Hahahahaha. I never regretted getting a trainor since it is really hard at the beginning. I stumbled maybe three times. Safety first to enjoy. I recommend it also.

    PM
    After 2 hrs, my teacher approached me to if we could give them tips. I gave them yuan but they returned it saying that hopefully we can give them Philippine money. So we give them 50 pesos. They are so happy to see a php. He said that its their first time to see a Philippine money.

    At around 5 we are in the hotel to rest. We will wait for a friend who is working there. At maybe 6:40, she and one companion arrived. After a long conversations, we went to wangji to have a dinner. They (the ones working there) recommended a place near their workplace. It’s quite far since we paid maybe 25 cny for the taxi. The resto is named DAYALI. The food are great. The peking duck is so yummy. The skin is so crispy.

    DAY 4 (Saturday Feb 26) Behai - Tianjin

    AM – I went out of the hotel seeing snow covered vehicles and snow flakes coming down. I hurriedly ran back to my sister and cousin to tell them that it is indeed snowing. The night before, I saw in the forecast in the internet it would snow in the evening of Friday. It is very very cold yesterday but no snow fall was to be found. So Im happy that we got to experience real snow today.

    After maybe minutes of playing outside our hotel, we took a cab to behai park. It is now snowing real hard there. There are few people roaming the park covered with snow. We stayed briefly in behai for my companions can’t bear the coldness of air and then the snow fall.

    At around maybe 10:30 we went to Beijing south railway to take a bullet train to Tianjin. No long queue there in buying tickets. Their terminal is so huge that it would beat hands down our international plane terminals here. It is great to ride a bullet train for the first time. I remembered that I read here that mineral water is free here so I looked where to get it. It is near the inside entrance of the train. It’s only traversing at a speed of 294 kmh for it is snowing. In the website, it says to have a max speed of 330 kmh. After 30 mins, we arrived at Tianjin. Their terminal is also big. Once we got outside, the snow flakes are bigger here compared what we experience in Beijing. We are at a food joint near their terminal.

    Pm.
    We took a cab to go to Italian Town. There are a few tourist there also. Once you are in Tianjin, you are feeling that you are in Europe not china. It is snowing hard there also that we agreed to take refuge in a franch resto, PROVENCE ata name to have a bathroom break, warm ourselves and then have snacks. When we saw that it isn’t snowing hard outside, we walk past a nice bridge there and to WalMart supercenter. We entered WalMart and had a grocery shopping. I even joked that we travelled far for just a shopping. Hahahaha. After shopping, we walked to another mall there where there is a starbucks store to buy a mug. After which, we went to wu da dao by a cab.
    After wudadao, maybe at around 4:30 we decided to go home already. We were dropped off and entered the south entrance of their terminal but the ticket selling for a bullet train is near their north entrance. So we have to walk a lot. Hahahaaha

    After we got to Beijing, we proceeded to the hotel to pack our things. Then we at around 8 pm, we took a cab again to be in the Olympic park. Its really cold that time. Maybe the temp is -3.

    Day 5 (Sunday – Feb 27) Beijing Zoo – Summer Place – Jingsyan Park

    AM – We checked out already at our hotel. Left our luggages there to have one final day of tour in Beijing. Second day of snowing here in Beijing. We then took a cab to Beijing zoo to see a Panda and then walk maybe 500 m to see penguins. We don’t know where is the underground market. So we just went down the subway station and ride to Summer Place.

    PM
    At maybe around 3 already, after a lunch at a nearby mcdo there at the vicinity of the summer place, we went to wangfujing by subway trains again. One transfer to another line is needed. We went to Oriental mall first and then my companions went to wangfujing bookstore to buy pasalubongs/souveniers while I went to jingsyan park and walk back to hotel. While walking back, I also bought some Chinese foods to bring home.

    At 8 pm, nagkitakita na kami sa hotel then nag eat kami sa Chinese resto dun. It is not really that pricey as compared to the resto in our hotels here. Their Lemon chicken is great and they also accept credit card. Hahahahaha

    At maybe 9 pm we are off to airport kasi our flight is 1 am.

    travelling tips from what I learned
    - always have a chinese name of the place you want to go to
    - dont be afraid or try to communicate with the locals, they are helpful also
    - communicate with a calculator if buying, cellphones can be used
    - do a bizzare bargain, for example, the offer is 250 cny, ask if it can be given at maybe 80 cny. He/she will then give you price again. Stick or add up a lil to your original quote. After a deadlock is reached, try to go away. They will run after you if they can give you that price. Do a research on the item first.
    - do a thorough research on what exit you should emerge in their subway system. The english transaltion is not that helpful as compared to hongkong.
    - riding a cab is cheap, 10 cny for first 3 km. 1.50 ata onwards for evey km. Even cheaper in tianjin. 8 cny ata flagdown.
    - Convenience store items can also be bargained. No harm in trying.
    - Be always prepared to walk a lot during travels.
    - Respect the cultures of where you are.

    Trip report by Anjnes

    hi.. share ko lang mga nangyari sa trip namen! hehe! feb 22-28 pero technically 5 days lang yan dahil madaling araw ang flights ng cebupac. dapat beijing-xi'an-shanghai ang trip na to pero naging hongkong-shenzhen-beijing-shanghai siya! long story! haha!

    2 days lang kame sa beijing.. sobrang bitin. sa Happy Dragon kame nagstay.. ok naman siya.. mura lang.. friendly yung mga staff.. yung pictures ng hostel check nyo nalang sa website nila.. parehas lang naman itsura.. hindi naman nila inedit or pinaganda.. bago lang kasi ako dito hindi pa ko marunong mag attach ng photos. ok yung location ng Happy Dragon kase malapit sa subway, mga 5 minutes sa Dongsi station tapos sa tabi niya ay madaming mga tindahan, restaurant, may sinehan pa nga! hehe!

    1st day namen DIY sa Mutianyu.. madali lang siya.. kagaya ng nasabi ng iba :

    Subway to Dongzhimen Station, sa baba non may terminal ng bus. Take Bus 916 going to Huairou. yung express na 916 nasakyan namen.. CNY12. almost one hour yung travel time. last na station yung huairou sa case namen.. hindi ko kase sure kung may express ba talaga or may regular ba na bus 916. may parang TV naman sa loob ng mga bus kaya alam mo kung saang lugar or bus stop ka na, meron ding parang nagppage kaya madidinig mo din siya. sa baba non andon na yung mga cab, van, car na magdadala sa Mutianyu. According sa mga previous posts dito, CNY25 siya.. pero nakuha namin siyang CNY20 lang! hehe! may nakilala kase kaming Chinese na matanda sinamahan niya kame tapos more on tawad siya dun sa driver! hehe! tas pabalik e CNY20 din, so CNY40 lang roundtrip. after non, tinour pa kame sa mga tindahan ng souvenir at dinala kame sa authentic chinese restaurant. dahil mabait si kuya binigyan namin ng CNY20 na tip.. medyo kawawa naman kase sya.. bata palang siya at saka ang tagal kase namen sa Mutianyu sayang yung oras niya. yung entrance naman sa Mutianyu e CNY45, tapos yung cable car at toboggan e CNY65, bale CNY110 lahat. after non sa olympic park.

    2nd day sa sobrang pagod e tanghali na kame naka alis.. forbidden city lang.. konting tanaw sa tiananmen square tas punta ng beijing zoo.. gusto kasi namen ng panda. hehe! punta pa sana kame sa summer palace kaso super ginaw, nag snow kase at saka pasara na yata siya kaya balik nalang kame sa hostel. tas 7pm umalis na kame papuntang beijing west station, nagpabook kame ng train to shanghai. ayun lang.. wala mashadong ganap.. dami naming hindi napuntahan lalo na yung nanshan.. sobrang bitin.. makabalik nalang ng beijing pag nag seat sale! hehe!

    kung mag DIY kayo yung cab/van/car to Mutianyu dapat nasa mga 20-30RMB lang yun one way.. minsan kase grabe sila maningil.. so more on tawad lang.

    DIY mutianyu questions:
    1.Take to subway and get off at DONGZHIMEN STATION, take exit _¬¬_? --pasensiya na hindi ko matandaan kung anong exit.. basta may signage doon sa loob ng subway pointing to bus station/terminal. madali naman siya makita

    2. Go to the bus terminal (walking distance ba from the subway station yung terminal or paglabas mo andon na yung bus terminal?
    -- walking distance, paglabas mo ng subway.. nakapila na yung mga bus don.

    3. Yung bus 916, may signage ba sa bus kung saan yun papunta or you have to ask?
    -- may numbers yung mga bus.. basta take bus 916.. marami kasing destinasyon yon.. hindi lang yung huairou.

    4. saan kino-collect yung bayad sa bus?
    -- pag may card ka.. itap mo nalang yon, otherwise, may konduktor dun sa mismong terminal.. don kame nagbayad.

    5. pagdating sa huairou, yung CNY20 na binayad niyo, ilan kayo sa car?
    -- 4 kame, so 80 lahat one way. konti lang tourists sa mutianyu ngayon kaya siguro bnigay na CNY20 samen.

    6. sa baba ng wall, andon din ba yung sakayan pabalik ng huairou?
    -- hinintay kame nung driver e, so another CNY80.. not sure kung may sakayan pabalik.

    7. sa huairou, may bus station din going to dongzhimen?
    -- yup.. sa huairou din kame binaba nung driver tas we took the same bus.

    Trip report by Stitch_05

    we were one of the lucky peep who were able to experience snow in Beijing last feb 26-27!

    try ko sana mag upload ng pics but i dont know how. we availed of tour packages here. I wouldn't recommend it kse dami ngang tourist traps as told by commoner. Kaya *** no choice na ko kse nabayaran na. We will go back in July though with other relatives. This time may chance na ko mag hanap ng hotel and IT we can do on our own. Will try to back read again to know more abt DIY IT.

    Here's what we did for the 3 whole days we were there
    STAYED AT TAISHUN BUSINESS HOTEL - NOT RECOMMENDED
    Its too far from anything, although we have a tour guide that pick us up and drop us at our hotel. it would better if there's any shopping/restaurants near by.

    (package tour was only $97/pax including meals, tours and transpo)

    DAY 1 (Feb 25)

    Temple of Heaven
    Forbidden City
    Tienanmen Square (Outside only - it was too crowded)
    Compulsory Tour at the Tea House
    Acrobatic show at night (we were charged 280 PMB by the tour guide!!! too expensive but my father still went ahead coz we have nothing else to do that night, she also quoted the same price for the kung fu show and 120 RMB for the beijing zoo - we'll just do this when we come back by july)

    DAY 2 (Feb 26)

    Played in the snow at 6AM!
    Ming's tomb
    Compulsary Tour at the Jade Market
    Great Wall (Joyongguan Pass)
    Foot Massage at another compulsory tour with the chinese master DAW
    Outside the Olympic Garden Bird's Nest and The Cube

    Day 3 (Feb 27)

    Played in the snow again!
    Wangfujing Shopping District (very short visit- di na kme naka pag liwaliw kse minamadali kme ng guide namin to go.)
    The Summer Palace
    Compulsory Tour at the Silk Market

    Then she brought us to the airport as early as 530PM! when our flight is not until 1am! Bad trip ***. sabi, bawi nalng kme pag balik nmin ng July.

    Trip report by m1m1

    Sources for this trip:
    1. Commoner's Primer - Very helpful; gives you a good headstart in planning your itinerary
    2. PEX posts
    3. www.travelchinaguide.com - directions were taken here, specific exits, etc. i also got the directions in Chinese from here
    4. www.tripadvisor.com

    Budget per person for 4 days: less than PhP10K including hotel and pasalubong

    Temperature: average of -4 to 6 degrees celcius (very cold para sa lamigin na tulad ko, 4 layers of clothing needed incl thermal, a good pair of shoes, scarf, bonnet and gloves)

    Hotel: Tiangui Hotel, No 14. Denshikou, DongCheng District, Beijing

    Positives
    1. It’s very near Dengshikou Subway (Exit A) in Dongsi Street, about 5mins walk. Also walkable to Wangfujing Street (the other end of the street), about 10-15mins walk.
    2. Has a lot of restaurants in front: Beijing resto, Shanghai resto, Taiwan resto and Mcdo. Beside mcdo is a grocery where you can buy some stuff for pasalubong. Beside the hotel is Weiduomei bakery where they have cheap and delicious breads and pastries. On that street, there is also a wet & dry market and a local grocery where they sell local pastries – different kinds of hopia, i think.
    3. Very cheap accommodation rates at 130RMB per night (Standard double beds)
    4. They allowed for a late checkout at 8pm considering we checked in late at 1am.

    Negatives
    1. Although the hotel rooms are newly painted and renovated, they did not renovate the CRs. There is a stinky smell that emanates from the drain/toilet bowl. I don’t know if this is kinda the same with the other hotels. We experienced the same in Shanghai even if the bathroom is very nice. Halos lahat din ng restrooms na napuntahan naming ganito, either in public or commercial establishments.
    2. Bed is comfortable but their sheets and comforters are not so new.
    3. They do not clean the rooms! We asked that they clean the room on our next day but they just emptied the trash! 
    4. Hotel staffs do not speak English. The woman owner can speak a bit of English but she was just there once. We had to call our Tour guide (Natalie) to speak to them.


    We arrived 12mn from Shanghai, our flight got delayed for an hour. When we exited the airport, walang pila ng taxi. Tapos may dumating na isang katutak na taxi at nag-agawan ang mga tao. So we did the same and got the first one that came along our way. Ok yung taxi kasi may interactive map sa headrest. Aliw! Mabait naman yung taxi driver at alam na niya agad yung hotel location when we showed him the google map printout. We paid 96RMB.


    Day 1 – Summer Palace & Qianmen Street

    We started the day late since we slept late. We arrived in Beigongmen station (Exit G ata, check the location map in the station) at 11am na. 2 interchanges pa kami at medyo madaming lakad in between. Medyo mabagal din kami maglakad because of my mom pero ok lang naman at least leisurely ang pace namin. We wanted to eat sana at a buffet resto beside Summer palace that was mentioned here in PEX but we cannot find it. Since kulang na sa oras, we decided to eat at Mcdo. 15RMB yung meal nila kasi promo during lunch time. My kuya and I decided to scout for other food pa nearby which we brought at mcdo. We bought 2 orders of dumplings (10 pcs each), yung isa usual dumpling at yung isa parang miniature siopao, at isang boiled egg in soy. 20RMB lahat.

    Malaki ang Summer Palace so you can easily get lost. Useful sa amin ang audio guide. We rented just one for the 4 of us (Entrance: 20rmb each + 10rmb map + 40rmb audio guide + 100 deposit, which will be refunded when you return the audio guide). Yung kuya ko lang taga-kwento at navigate. Sobrang lamig that time so we need to walk continuously. May mga snow pa sa kalye. Sad dahil one day late kami for snow but on the other hand, ok na
    din at least di ganun kalamig at di slippery yung roads.

    We entered the North Gate and exited at North Ruyi Gate near the Boat house. We ate again at the eatery where we bought the dumplings. The husband and wife tending the store were very nice. They even gave us free tea. We also bought savory pancake 5RMB near the exit. Sarap!

    Because it was late already. No Beijing Zoo and Underground market for us. So sad. Oh well, next time.

    Our next and last stop for the day is at Qianmen. Super lamig na by 6pm so we had to do stopovers on some stores para mag-defrost. Nakabili din kami ng mga anik-anik for pasalubong. Usually at 10RMB. Wala kami masyadong nabili sa mga commercial establishments tulad ng Zara at H&M kasi walang sale unlike in Shanghai. We had a light snack at KFC and we finally tried their famous egg tart. Sarap nga lalo na at bagong luto. We took a taxi at the other end of Qianmen going home. Medyo nainis ang nanay ko kasi akala niya nililigaw na kami ng taxi kasi ang daming ikot. Parang ine-explain nung driver na we rode the wrong side so we need to make a U-turn or umikot. 27rmb yung patak ng taxi pero 20rmb lang yung pinabayad ng taxi.

    Before we went home, bumili kami ng strawberry sa neighbourhood store. 10RMB yung half kilo. Masarap at malalaki yung strawberries unlike sa baguio na maliliit and hit or miss kung matamis.

    NOTE: ALL are DIY except for Day 3 (Great Wall, Olympic Park and KungFu Show)


    Day 2 – Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City & Wangfujing

    We started our day relatively earlier at 730am. Our breakfast consisted of bread bought by mom from the bakery next door (Weiduomei – also saw a branch near Temple of Heaven). Their blueberry tart was really good, priced the same as that of KFC RMB5.50. We also ate chicken fillet at McDo (chicken nuggets na malaki with powder seasoning ala shake-shake fries) RMB 7. Mura din ang Chicken nuggets ditto RMB6 ang 6pcs. Almost half the price compared dito sa pinas. We went to the grocery with the purpose of buying drinks – water, Minute Maid (White Grape & Aloe and Tropical fruits) and Minute Maid Milk with Juice. Adik kasi kami dito at wala sa pinas! Hehe. We ended buying stuff for pasalubong. Dami naming nabili!

    Because we were slightly held up in the grocery, we arrived at Tiananmen West near 11am. We first went to see ‘The Egg’. Sandali lang kami at di na kami pumasok. We walked towards Tiananmen Square then Forbidden City (aka Palace Museum). Before entering FC, kumakain na yung mga tao sa labas ng noodles or hotdog. May nakita rin akong Cafeteria on the right side. Sana kumain na lang kami dito dahil walang decent meal sa loob ng FC, puro lang coffee shops at ang mahal pa! Nainggit tuloy kami sa mga taong ang daming baon sa loob, usually mga locals. Entrance is 40RMB each and we got the audio guide again RMB40+RMB100 deposit. We didn’t get the map this time kasi may mini map naman sa audio guide unit. Namangha lang ako sa daming languanges ng audio guide. 35 languages to be exact! May Tagalog pa.

    We exited FC at around 230pm. Daming nag-aalok ng tour sa labas – hutong, great wall, etc. Syempre deadma kasi parang nakakatakot sila. Sabi din ni Natalie, kapag may pulis, di sila pwede mang-harass ng tourists pero parang may nakita naman akong mobile unit. Nakakatakot din to deal with them kasi baka kunin lang nila pera then din a sila magpakita. At the exit, tawid lang andun na yung Jingshan park. Meron din small sign with directions for nearby attractions. We did not proceed to Jingshan, Beihai, Drum & Bell Tower as planned. Sobrang gutom na kami!

    From the exit, we walked to the right towards Wangfujing, about 2 blocks away. Nagstop over lang kami sa isang convenience store to grab a light snack. Pantawid gutom since we were planning to eat at Quanjude. When we were at Wangfujing, nakita naming ang Dengshikou St. where our hotel is, just right before the church, so malapit lang talaga si hotel (during that time akala namin malayo pa si hotel kaya we went home via subway pa that night. Hehehe). Nagwindow shop lang kami sandali then went straight to Quanjude. We entered Danyao Mall, nasa 4th floor ang Quanjude. We arrived at 420pm at wala pang tao! Yung mga staff lang nila mga nakaupo. Lumapit sa amin ang manager and told us to wait for 10mins at the waiting area kasi 430pm pa pala sila open. Maya-maya dumami na ng konti ang tao. We ordered ½ peking duck RMB109 + 2 orders of wraps (2RMB per wrap) + 2RMB sauce. Nung una sabi nung manager, pang 2 tao lang daw yun. Sabi namin it’s ok since we plan to order other stuff pa. We also ordered yangchow, 2 main dishes and hakaw. Tama nga, oily talaga mga pagkain nila pero masarap din. Pero parang kailangan talaga ng softdrinks para di nakakaumay. Hehe. We paid a total of RMB370. They have very good service. Right timing lang kami pero nung umalis kami ng 6pm almost puno na ang resto. Dun kami lumabas sa totoo niyang entrance sa gilid pa. Hehe. Katapat ng isa pang resto.

    We went straight to Wangfujing foodstreet to check out the food. Sayang at busog na kami. Grabe lang kung kumain mga locals ng BBQ. Siguro mga at least 4 sticks ang order nila. Hehe. Dito rin makikita yung mga bat, sea horse, etc. Hehe. Nakabili kami ng shoes na parang sanuk dito for my dad. 85rmb yung original price pero pumayag din ng 50rmb.

    Nag-subway pa kami on the way home with 1 interchange. Next day na naming na-realize that we can walk from Wangfujing to the hotel.

    Day 3 – Great Wall Mutianyu, Olympic Village & Kung Fu Show (with Tour Guide Natalie)

    We got Natalie’s contact from luvtotravel of PEX. Unang quote niya for Great Wall, Ming Tombs and Olympic Village without entrances ay 250RMB per person. Tinawaran ko then she gave it at 220RMB per person. We paid her 880RMB for the 4 of us (includes guide and transpo). Naisip nga namin na ok ang maging tour guide sa China. Imagine earning almost 1000rmb each day! She’s very nice and speaks very good English kaya sulit naman. I really really recommend her.

    Here are her contact details:
    www.beijingtour.yolasite.com
    +86 13810355498
    [email protected]
    [email protected]

    Woke up early to have breakfast at McDo. We love McDo in China! Iba yung selections niya and did I say mura ang nuggets?! Haha! Natalie was supposed to pick us up at 830am but she got stuck in traffic. We left the hotel at 9am.

    We arrived at Great Wall Mutianyu at 1030am (Entrance 30rmb + roundtrip cable car 80rmb). We took the cable car until tower 14. I asked Natalie if it’s also possible that we take the cable car to Tower 14 then go down Tower 10 to ride the ski lift. Sabi niya pwede pero ibang company daw yun so ibang bayad na naman. Dun ba yung toboggan ride? The cable person operator also told her that we were lucky to have made it that day because they’ll temporarily cease operation for maintenance.

    My mom only stayed at Tower 14 kasi ayaw na niya lumayo at nalulula daw siya sa mga steps. Kaming 3 ng kapatid ko went straight up but only me and my brother made it to tower 21, the highest tower where people are allowed, pero may mga makukulit pa rin na tao that go beyond the tower. We were able to get down at past 1pm na then bought some souvenirs and shirts (35RMB for 2 shirts, 10RMB magnets, 20RMB snow globe and 25rmb for carved wooden seals).
    Natalie said that the drive to Ming Tombs is about 2 hours so we wouldn’t be able to make it at 4pm. Besides, based dito sa PEX, ok lang to skip it. We asked Natalie to bring us to a good resto to eat. She brought us at a fishing village. Di daw niya alam pangalan, she just said that it was a local farmer’s resto. I had the Chinese name picture though. Sikat daw yun sa Chinese locals who goes out of town during the weekend. Ok yung place, naka-plastic wrap vacuum ang utensils. You can go fishing and have the fish cooked in the resto. We ordered fish 2 ways (grilled fish & sashimi), sweet & spicy pork-the one i liked best, kung pao chicken, corn pancakes and corn vegetables. Total bill is RMB196. Sulit!

    We went afterwards to the Olympic Park. Maliwanag pa during that time, ok sana kung madilim para kita yung mga lights sa Bird’s nest at Water Cube. No choice because we have to make it to Red Theatre by 730pm. Medyo traffic na going to Red Theatre. We arrived at 7am so we had a bit of time to grab something to eat at a convenience store nearby. RMB150 each yung ticket. Sabi ni Natalie, the orig price is at RMB280. She had an emergency so she had to leave early (feeling ko standard spiel na niya ito since it was already late). She gave us 20rmb for taxi going home. Taxi going home is RMB16. Sayang nung nakasakay na kami ng taxi, dun ko lang nakita na may katabing Bianyifang ang Red Theatre. Hehehe.

    Day 4 – Temple of Heaven, Lama Temple, Nanluoguxiang and Wangfujing

    We had our last breakfast at McDo and went straight to the grocery as soon as it opened at 9am. Medyo restrained kami sa pagbili dahil takot kami ma-excess baggage. Still, we were able to buy lots of pasalubong from noodles to chilli sauce.

    Good thing we scheduled Great Wall second to the last day because by this time, ang sakit na ng legs ko from climbing. Lack of exercise! Hay!

    Today is Line 5 day. Our first stop is Temple of Heaven (Tiantan Station). We just paid for the 10rmb entrance fee instead of the 30rmb ‘through ticket’ including entrances to other temples inside. Our experience in Summer Palace was we opted for the 20rmb entrance instead of the combination ticket of 50rmb. Luckily, we did not pass by the ‘paid’ temples. This time, we were not as lucky because we had to pay still for 20rmb to enter the Hall of Prayer of Good Harvest, the nicest temple there. So total of 30rmb din.

    We exited East gate (gate where we entered) to ride the subway to Yonghegong Lama Temple Station. We asked the guards where to exit to go to Jin Ding Xuan by showing them the Chinese characters that Natalie wrote. The resto is hard to miss because it has several red lanterns in its facade. Right across the resto is Lama temple. We arrived at the resto at 230pm. Sayang, the lunch dimsum promo ends at 2pm. We took a leisurely lunch and we ordered everything we want because it will be our last decent meal in China. We ordered 4 dimsums (siomai, xiao long bao, vegetable dumpling and flat dumpling-forgot its name), 1 vegetable dish, 2 main dishes, 1 yang chow fried rice and 1.25L Coke. Total bill is 195rmb. Not bad at all. Mura na compared dito sa Pinas!

    We lost track of time and it was nearly 4pm when we arrived at Lama Temple. They closes at 4pm. We decided to go to Nanluoguxiang instead. By cab, we just paid 13rmb. We weren’t able to buy anything here. We just walked from one end to another. At the other end (Gulou Dajie), we were turned down by 2 cabs when we said that we want to go to Wangfujing. Traffic din kasi mga 5pm na. We asked where the nearest subway is and we were directed to Beixinqiao station (Line 5). It was about 20mins walk from Nanluoguxiang to the station.

    Bumaba kami sa Dengshikou to rest for a while sa hotel. After a quick rest, we walked from the hotel to Wangfujing for window shopping. On our way back, my mom and I ate at Merry Home resto. A rice topping costs 12rmb. My siblings ate at McDo.

    We left the hotel at 9pm. Yung hotel staff yung kumuha ng taxi for us pero the cab that he hailed gusto ng kontrata 200rmb kasi marami daw kaming dala. We bargained up to 150rmb. We arrived at Terminal 2 airport before 10pm. Super lamig. We couldn’t stand the cold so we had hurry inside the airport. Nag-excess kami ng 1 kilo pero pinatawad naman kami sa check-in. Yung kasunod naming na mga pinoy, excess ng 3 kilos ayaw palagpasin. Di naman pala sila strict sa handcarry luggage weight limit kasi medyo mabigat din yung carry on ko. Sana bumili pa ako ng marami sa grocery. Hehe. Wala nang bukas na resto that time except for one coffee shop.

    That’s it! That's the end of our China trip!

    Some observations:
    1. Sa subway, medyo mahilig sila manulak at hindi uso ang ‘excuse me’.
    2. Owners walk their dogs without a leash. I like
    3. There are a lot of going up and down sa subways and not all have escalators. Di ko din sure kung may elevators pero kung meron man, hassle hanapin. For those with kids and seniors, take note.
    4. Promos at restaurants usually are at lunch time 11am-2pm. Baliktad dito sa pinas.
    5. For souvenirs, 5rmb and 10rmb ang magic numbers. Beyond that, di na ako bumibili.
    6. In restaurants, servings are usually big. Good to share for 4-5 people.

    Trip Report by silent_heart017

    Date: Feb 23-28
    Hotel: Beijing Tiangui Hotel - 130RMB per night
    Tour Guide: Natalie Xing – 1000RMB per day excluding the entrance fee

    ** We had the same hotel and tour guide with m1m1 since her friend is my cousin. =)

    Day 1 – Feb 23

    We arrived at the airport past 12 midnight. The ground temperature according to the pilot is 0°C, so for us who is living in a tropical country, super lamig! Natalie picked us up from airport, 300RMB for airport-hotel transfer, 6 kami lahat so mura instead of renting a cab.

    We actually started our first day late, 9:30am. Exchanged our dollar at Bank of Beijing which is beside the hotel and open even on weekends. Had our brunch just across the hotel, I can’t read Chinese characters so I’m not sure for the name of the restaurant but there is a “24” sign on it (Siya lang naman yung may 24 na sign sa block na yun). I guess the “24” means open 24 hours. Ordered tofu with egg, pork, rice noodles, fried rice and Chrysanthemum Tea. Their tofu with egg is the best! We requested to refill our tea pero may additional charge pala na 10RMB. They will also charge you with 1RMB for each chopsticks. We finished our brunch at around 12noon.

    Beijing Zoo and Underground Market

    From the hotel, we boarded bus# 111. Bumaba kami sa 2nd to the last bus station then walked about 10mins until we reached the Zoo. Bought our entrance ticket including the Giant Panda for only 15RMB. The pandas are cute, sayang lang medyo madumi sila. Checked the underground market and bought UGG boots for only 120RMB. Tinatawaran pa naming using the calculator pero hindi na sila pumapayag kasi UGG daw yung brand. My dad got a nice loafer from 350RMB to 200RMB nalang. And since super lamig that time, we bought thick leggings for only 10RMB and black leatherette gloves for 30RMB. Had our late lunch/early dinner on the second floor of the underground market. Di masyadong sulit yung rice meal and the soup but since pagod na kami, ok na din siya.

    Wangfujing Street

    Since our hotel is near Wangfujing, almost every night nandun kami. And since and the temperature that time is around 5°C near the hotel’s vicinity nalang kami naglibot. The stores in Wangfujing street closes at 9pm and that’s the best time to haggle. You can get Mao’s hat for only 10RMB. The original price is 45RMB. There are a lot of camera stores in Wangfujing. My cousin got her Sony T5 (the underwater cam) for 2300RMB. The original price is 4800RMB. If you are going to buy camera, be sure to check if it is made from China or Japan. Others offered us 1500RMB for the same model but made in China.

    Donghuamen Night market

    We had our late night snack at the night market which is near the Kappa Store in Wangfujing Street. We thought the night market will be up to early morning but I think till 12pm lang sila. The price of the food ranges from 8-10RMB. Before heading back to our hotel, we bought cherries, 170RMB per kilo and also strawberries sa nearby fruit stand.

    Day 2 – Feb 24

    We started Day 2 around 7:00am. Had our breakfast at Mcdo, which is near our hotel. Our tour guide will pick us up at 9am. The weather is good and we got to see blue skies. Yesterday was foggy and medyo malamig.

    Yuyang Ski Resort

    Our first stop, Yuyang Ski Resort in Pinggu County, which is a 2 hour drive, about 60km from Beijing. We paid 160RMB for ground fees and another 30RMB for jackets and pants. At first medyo matatakot ka pa pero makukuha mo na din yung technique. It is our first time to ski. The staffs at the resort are helpful. Even though we did not hire any instructor, they assisted us and taught us how to balance and how to stop. We did not hire any instructor kasi medyo mahal, 150RMB per hour per person.

    Before heading back to Beijing, we asked our tour guide if we could drop by Surprise Outlet. We thought that these outlet stores are like the stores in the US with super bargain. Hindi pa masyadong marami yung stores na open and prices are similar with the prices here in the Philippines.

    Acrobat Show

    We reached Beijing around 4pm. Our tour guide suggested us to watch the acrobatic show in Chaoyang District. We opted for the early show which is 5:15pm. The entrance fee, if im not mistaken is 140RMB. The show lasted for about 1 hour. Amazing yung performers lalo na yung 12 girls riding just only 1 bicycle.

    Day 3 – Feb 25

    We had our breakfast at Wei Duo Mei Cake Shops, parang Bread Talk yung mga bread nila. Katabi lang siya ng hotel namin. Ordered pastries, coffee and tea. Masarap yung citron tea nila. Sa loob ng shop makikita mo kung pano nila dine-decorate and ginagawa ang mga cakes and pastries nila. Price of their bread ranges from 5-10RMB.

    Great Wall- Mutianyu

    Our guide picked us at 9am. We went to Mutianyu, about 2 hours ang travel and scenic ang way to Mutianyu. We arrived around 11am. Natalie advised us that most souvenirs like shirts and magnets ranges from 10-20RMB. So kapag lampas na ng 20RMB, makipag-haggle na. Hehe! Paid 120RMB for the 2 way cable car and the entrance fee. Plan namin 1 way lang yung cable, pababa nalang para maexperience naming yung trek pero sa start palang pagod na kami. Steep yung stairs going up. Good thing 2 way cable car ride yung kinuha nung guide naming. I think mga 2 hours kami sa Great Wall for photo ops. Di na kami masyadong lumayo, hanggang 3rd station/tower lang kami.

    There are souvenir shops sa entrance ng Great Wall. Bought magnets for 5RMB, big wooden dolls for only 10RMB, Great Wall paper weights for 20RMB, Chinese painting brushes (14pcs) from 250RMB naging 50RMB nalang and 10pcs chopstick for 10RMB. Always check if your change is in RMB. Madaya yung sellers dito. I don’t know if kami lang yung naka encounter nito. My cousin bought magnets and yung binigay sa kanya na change is HKD. Buti nalang halos same lang ang rate ng HKD and RMB. When my cousin tried to return the HKD, nagalit pa yung seller.

    Olympic Village

    At first plan naming mag Ming Tomb then Olympic Village eh medyo kulang na yung time kasi napasarap mag shopping, hindi na kami nag Ming Tomb. Our guide suggested watching Kung Fu show or the hutong tour. Since we already watched the acrobat show, we opted for the Hutong tour. We went first sa Olympic Park. Took pictures of the Bird’s Nest and The Cube, hindi na kami pumasok sa loob kasi may bayad na 50RMB and our guide said that similar lang sa ski resort yung loob ng Bird’s Nest.

    Hutong Tour

    Had our hutong tour near the drum tower. Paid 100RMB for the tour which includes the rickshaw ride, a tour guide and entrance to the porcelain factory/museum.

    Before umuwi sa hotel, we bought t-shirts(20RMB) and ear muffs (15RMB) sa Cheap Shop near Dengshikou Station. They had wooden dolls also but the price is much higher compared to Mutianyu. Hindi makapaniwala yung seller na 10RMB lang yung wooden doll. He is selling the doll for 45RMB.

    Day 4

    We started our day sooo early – around 530AM. Ginising kami ng mom ko just to say its snowing. Since this is the first time for almost all of us (except for my dad and my cousin) to experience snow, kahit antok antok pa, lumabas kami para maglaro sa snow. Kami lang yung nasa labas ng street that time.

    Our first stop - Forbidden City. We took bus 111 and got off at the street near the north gate (Jingshan Dongjie). We asked the bus driver if this is the bus stop going to Forbidden City. She was saying something in Chinese which we did not understand. We thought she was saying that it is not the bus stop but apparently, what she was saying is you can’t exit at the front door of the bus. Then we headed towards south (Jingshan Qianiie) and turn left until we reached the north gate of the Forbidden City

    Forbidden City

    There were many tourists although the weather was not that good. The entrance would be 40RMB each. Took some picture at the Imperial Garden. We were looking for the Hall of Supreme harmony but since we don’t have a map we ended up in the Changchun Palace. Since this palace is more of like the hutong tour we had on our 3rd day, we went back to the Imperial Garden and follow where most of the tourists go. – Hall of Preserving Harmony, Hall of Complete Harmony and Hall of Supreme Harmony. We stayed there I think for 2 hours. Since all of us were freezing, we looked for a restaurant offering hot noodle. We checked the Jingshan Dongjie but there were only souvenirs shops and a pizza store. While looking for a noodle store, a vendor was selling Chinese wooden chopsticks with cloth cover. Got the chopsticks for only 3packs (10pcs each) per 20RMB.

    Tiananmen Square and National Museum

    From the north gate of Forbidden city, we walked about 2 km (Beichizi Dajie and Nanchizi Dajie) going to Tiananmen Square. While walking, a Chinese guy approached me asking if I can have coffee with him. He wants to practice his english but since we’re running out of time and kakatapos lang ng coffee namin, tinanggihan ko siya. I thought of asking him if he could be our tour guide instead pero umalis na kasi siya. Sobrang daming police sa square. I don’t know if may something na nangyari or talagang regular lang na maraming police sa Tiananmen.

    Since we are all tired from walking and from the cold weather, we decided to head back to our hotel. Took the subway from Tiananmen east station to Dengshikou station. I was expecting na walang tao sa station since it is Saturday, but unfortunately, sobrang dami. I think, 4 trains yung pinalagpas namin.

    Day 5

    Attended mass at St Joseph in Wangfujing Street. The mass was in Chinese. At first we decided to attend the mass in latin which is at 6am since late kami nagising, we opted for the Chinese mass nalang which started at 7am. The mass lasted for an hour. Bought some souvenirs at the entrance of the gate. Took pictures of the church kahit medyo rainy-snowing that time. Had our breakfast at KFC near Wangfujing. Ordered their set meal. I like their hot soya milk. Yummy! =)

    Tianjin

    Took subway from Deshingkou Station, transferred to line 2 in Chongwenmen station and transferred to line 4 in Xuanwumen Station then got off at Beijing South Railway Station. We were having a hard time buying the ticket going to Tianjin because the ticket officer can only understand some english words. Since hindi na available yung second class ticket, napilitan kami na magfirst class nalang. Good thing additional 10RMB lang (69RMB for 1st class – one way). Maganda yung view while on the train, streets covered with snow. Sobrang white lahat. Reached Tianjin after 35mins. Sobrang lamig. -1ºC ang temperature plus the wind chill and the rain. Took some pictures of the European buildings near the train station and had lunch in Yonghe King fastfood in front of the train station.

    Checked out at our hotel around 8pm. We asked Natalie to drop us at the airport (300RMB). Reached the airport at 9PM.

    Some additional tips:

    1. There are free maps at the Beijing Zoo. Right side of the zoo entrance
    2. Download free apple apps – Ktdict C-E (Chinese-English Dictionary). Offline translator – very useful kapag hindi na kayo nagkakaintindihan ng mga Chinese.
    3. The restaurants at the airport closes early. Starbucks nalang yata yung nakita naming na open na store but unfortunately hanggang 11pm lang sila. So if you are on a cebu pacific flight, magdinner muna kayo outside the airport.
    4. Free ang bottled water sa bullet train.

    Trip Report by holeymoley

    Day 1
    We arrived at Beijing International Airport a few minutes past midnight. Nung una we wanted to avail of the airport transfer service sana, kaya lang when we asked for the rate, we were quoted 350 yuan! Sinasabi nung sa service desk na considering we have 3 luggages, dapat mag airport service na lang kami para mas malaki yung compartment. Pero sabi nga namin mejo mahal and looking at the taxis outside mukha naman kasya gamit namin, kasi di naman big luggage ang dala. So we decided to just go out and get a cab. While queuing, we were approached by a man offering a van service, pero syempre we declined the offer kasi ang dami naman taxi na nakapila sa airport kahit na alanganing time na, and we have the name and address of our hotel in chinese characters, so we shouldn't have any problem. Good thing we took a cab kasi ang fare namin from the airport to the hotel is only 103 yuan!

    so anyway, 3 kami but we booked a room for 2 lang, in short nag sneak in kami ng 1 tao pinaupo lang namin sa lobby yung kasama namin tapos 2 lang kami na lumapit sa receptionist. no problems were encountered naman while checking in. Our hotel was Days Inn Forbidden City Hotel, just a few minutes walk away from Tian'anmen Square, Tian'anmen East Station, Forbidden City, and Wangfujing. The room is quite big, yun nga lang mejo matigas yung bed. So what we did was nilatag namin yung spare na comforter para kahit papano eh cushioned yung back namin.

    Dahil mejo masama na yung pakiramdam ng 2 kong kasama, we started our day late. We had a late breakfast at the hotel (just so we can try the food that they are serving and para na din makita namin kung anong klase ng mga tao yung kasama namin sa hotel). After breakfast, we went to Beijing Zoo Underground Market kasi yung isa naming kasama walang dalang boots, and it was quite cold so sabi namin baka di nya kayanin na naka rubber shoes lang sya.

    Afterwards we went to Houhai and had our walking tour along the lake, na may side trip sa mga hutongs na makita namin. We had an early dinner/merienda at the Seven Gates Restaurant (as far as I can remember). Nung una di namin lam how to order, until we figured out na kailangan mo pala magpaload ng card sa cashier tapos itatap na lang yun sa machine nung bawat store. Maraming stall sa loob ng resto, para syang food court. trigger happy kami sa pagbili ng food, and masarap naman lahat. Yun nga lang syempre di namin masyado maintindihan kung ano yung mga kinakain namin!

    DAy2
    This day was for Great Wall, Ding Tombs, Summer Palace, Sanlitun
    We hired John ([email protected]) to be our tour guide/driver for this day. We paid him 800rmb (plus a tip of 50rmb), including toll, gas, and parking. Sobrang okay na guide ni John, pag may nadadaanan kami na may historical significance sinasabi nya and we also asked him to give us a brief history of some places. For a local, he speaks very good english!

    Sinundo nya kami sa hotel ng 7am,and we headed to the Mutianyu section of the great wall. On our way, we saw a frozen falls! Nakakatuwa kasi talagang huminto sya dun sa road to allow us to take our pictures of the frozen falls. Yung dinaanan namin going to the great wall eh mejo probinsya, sabi nya di daw yun yung main road, and we liked it. Kasi you get to see how life is in the province.

    So anyway, we spent about 2.5 hours sa great wall. We had an awesome experience! Dumating kami dun wala pa masyadong tao, tapos by the time na umalis kami eh puno na yung parking lot! If you plan to buy anything dun sa area, tumawad kayo ng todo! We bought a souvenir shirt. Initial price nila is 80RMB pero natawaran namin ng 20RMB! tapos may binili din kami na panda na stuffed toy. Initial price was 55RMb, pero we got it at 20rmb din.

    After great wall, we had lunch in a nearby resto. the food that John suggested were great and the serving is huge! AFterwards, we went to the Ming Tombs. Ang pinuntahan na lang namin dun eh yung museum and the Sacred way kasi we were already pressed for time.

    On our way back to the city to the summer palace, di kami makadaan sa highway. Kala namin kung ano na nangyayari, John explained that the highway was closed kasi may dadaan daw na governors. We had no choice but to use the service road. Buti na lang we're still lucky kasi at the next entrance di pa nasarado yung highway and we were able to get in! Exciting yung experience kasi we saw 3 police cars practically sweeping the lane for the governor! di pwedeng may nakaharang na car sa daan pag dumaan yung governor!

    Summer palace is beautiful in Winter, how much more in Spring/Summer?? We didn't have the chance to get into the temple kasi it closes at 4pm, so we just walked around the place. The place is so romantic! After the summer palace, we drove by the bird's nest and the water cube. John was kind enough to park at the road side so we could take some pictures. sayang lang kasi mejo maliwanag pa so hindi pa naka ilaw yung bird's nest & water cube Afterwards, we asked John to drop us off at Sanlitun to check the village and the bar street.

    Day3
    Temple of Heaven, Tianyi Market, Tian'anmen Square, Forbidden City, Wangfujing Street

    Dahil wala na kaming time and we wanted to accomplish a lot, I decided to use the taxi today! I went to the reception and asked them to write these down in chinese characters so we won't have any problem telling the taxi drivers about it.

    Fist stop was Temple of Heaven. We enjoyed walking around the park and watching the people go about their business. It was so cold so we didn't stay long. Besides, excited na kami pumunta ng Tianyi Market!

    Man, Tianyi is a haven for cheap good finds!!! Mejo mahirap tumawad kasi wholesalers mostly pero may nakausap kami may-ari ng isang stall and she gave us good prices for our bags! di na kami nakaikot sa market, na stuck kami sa mga bags, at di kami talaga magkanda ugaga! Super mura and okay din talaga na bumili dun at magbent dito! Problem lang yung customs natin

    We went back to the hotel para magcheck out. We were asked kung gusto namin avail yung car service nila to the airport, tutal 150rmb lang naman we said yes na. Naisip din kasi namin na baka mahirapan kami kumuha ng cab papuntang airport. We left our bags sa hotel kasi we still have the whole afternoon to spend

    We went to Tian'anmen then to the Forbidden City. Grabe nagkalat ang mga police pati soldiers kasi nga heightened ang security becuase of the protests for democracy at the same time yung Governors' meeting in Beijing. Super dami ng tao papasok ng Forbidden City! The Forbidden City is really big and so beautiful! Sobrang intricate ng structural design! We were supposed to go to Jingshan Park, pero di na kami tumuloy kasi it was so windy and so cold and masama na talaga pakiramdam ng mga kasamo ko so what we did was to walk from the Forbidden city to Wangfujing! Dun namin nakita yung street with various exotic foods! We enjoyed our street food experience and we even wanted to bring home some. Kaya lang wala kaming dalang lalagyan now I'm missing the caramelized strawberries again

    We took the cab back to the hotel (na nasa kabilang street na lang pala hahahah) and from there took our service to the airport.

    Trip Report by emem

    We arrived past midnight. Taxi sana kami kaya lang the drivers would refuse us, they only want 2 persons in each cab because of our luggage. There’s a person who has a van and give us a price of 450 RMB, we said only 200 RMB for the four of us, and he agreed . Siguro if I said 150RMB baka pumayag din kaya lang its too cold that evening so we just agreed na okay na ang 200 RMB. It only took us siguro mga 25-30 mins sa hotel (Novotel Xin Qiao).

    Day1
    Wake up early in the morning to take breakfast in McDo. Walang offer for “Early Bird promo” kaya wala kaming breakfast. We hired a guide (400 RMB) so we could get to know the history and para alam naming direction like which side to go etc. We started the tour at around 9am. First stop is Temple of Heaven which is just two stops from the subway near our hotel. Malapit lang yung Hong Qiao market sa Temple of Heaven so if you want to buy souvenirs, you can go there after temple of heaven. We got T-shirts at RMB 19, ceramic magnets and keychains at RMB 5, meron yung isang klase ng magnet na makukuha mo ng 3 for 10. Of course, you will need to haggle to get those price. Panda stuff toy pinakamababa kong nakita RMB 15 which would cost RMB 49 sa airport.

    Next stop is at Forbidden City and Tian an men, we paid 40 RMB each for the entrance. Kung nalilito kayo kung saang entrance, meron guide dun sa mismong station kung saan kayo mag-exit like if you wanted to go to The Egg or to Tian an men square. We spent siguro mga 2 hours dito kasi we wanted to visit Beijing Zoo Market which closes by 4PM. From FC, nagtaxi na kami which cost 25 RMB. Daming mura sa Beijing Underground market saka may quality talaga. Yung friend ko nakabili ng t-shirt for 15 RMB, mura na considering na maganda yung tela saka cute yung style. Dun ko nakita yung mga UGG na boots which ranges from RMB 120 to 360. (Meron pala sa Muji na boots na nakasale mga RMB 89 lang). Tapos mga cute na bubble jackets and trench coats na mura. Yung mga pupunta next winter season, I suggest kung bibili man kayo ng jackets, bumili lang kayo ng isa dito then dun na yung iba kasi mas fashionable yung mga tinda saka mas makakapamili ka pa.

    Then we went to Tian-yi Market via taxi din (RMB 20), tingin tingin lang. Wala kaming nabili kasi we are still not decided on what stuffs to buy for pasalubong. After, we went to Quanjude for early dinner, the duck cost mga more than RMB 200, then meron syang parang certificate kung pang ilan na yung duck na na-serve sa iyo. Sa Heppingmen branch kami nagpunta para malapit lang sa subway for our way home. After dinner, we went to the malls near our hotel and my friends enjoyed drinking milk tea at Happy Lemon then we went to the grocery store to buy some snacks which we would bring to the GW. On our way to the hotel, we stopped by at a bakery in front of the hotel to buy breads for breakfast.

    Day2
    Wake up early for the GW. We hired a driver (RMB 780). On our way to the GW, tulog muna kami kasi puyat. Then nagising ako nung malapit na sa GW, daming puno na lagas and I was able to see the frozen falls. Paid 110 each for the entrance and two way cable car. Too bad, I didn’t know na open ang toboggan slide. Few days before kasi nung nagpunta yung officemate ko, sarado daw toboggan. Nainggit tuloy ako kay “Salvage Me” kasi nakapag toboggan slide sya…(I guess I’ll be back to try toboggan and go to Xi’an). Dami nagtitinda ng souvenir items sa entrance ng GW, beware though dun sa mga nagsasabi ng $1 lang yung shirt, scam daw yun sabi nung driver so sa takot ko di na ko bumili kahit meron akong natawaran na RMB 15 for the shirt. We ate lunch at a resto near the GW. After, we went to Summer Palace, so on the way, since merong car, we had our power nap. Okay naman Summer Palace pero we would have enjoyed it more kung may guide na magsasalita to say the history kasi when we went there, lakad lang, then tingin, tingin and pa picture. After Summer Palace, we went to Olympic site to take pictures. On our way to Olympic site, tulog uli kasi mga 1 hour din byahe. Then, after we asked the guide to drop us off to Wangfujing to go around. My friend tried the Beijing Old Yogurt.

    Sorry wala akong mapost na pictures hehe. Yan lang ang ma-share ko kasi the rest of the days, shopping malls na. I was able to go to The Egg to take night shots. Dami ko pa na-miss na puntahan pero at least yung nasa primer na must see places ni commoner napuntahan ko hehe

    Beijing Trip Report by FQTPRT

    I’m back. Sobrang sakit pa ng katawan ko pero sulit!!! Here’s my report:

    Arrived at PEK Terminal 2 as scheduled. Wala nang tanong tanong yung IO, so I assume walang effect sa mga Pinoy tourists yung pagbitay sa mga drug carriers recently.

    First encounter of the language barrier: informing the cab driver of our hostel via a printer map with English and Chinese translation. He was asking me something but, of course, I don’t know what it was. It appears na he was asking me saan malapit and I showed him the map from Lonely Planet and pointed to him Dongsi station. Apparently he understood, so off we went. Arrived at the hostel about 1.30 na. From airport, paid the cab driver RMB99.

    Hostel: 161 Hostel
    Address: No.161 Dongsi Lishi Alley, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100010
    Location: About 200 meters from Dongsi Station.
    Positive - Very convenient location, clean, quiet and reasonably priced.
    Negative – I can’t think of any.

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...l-Beijing.html

    Rooms: Reserved twin sharing room with private bath but we were given a triple room. Ok lang din kasi mas maluwag yung room. We reserved via asiarooms.com at RMB198/night. The rate does not include breakfast but there’s a cafe in the building, didn’t try it though. The Hostel required RMB200 refundable deposit. Our room is equipped with electronic key card, electric pot, TV with Chinese channels, hot and cold shower, toiletries, slippers.

    This is actually my first time staying in a hostel. I was not disappointed because the room/hostel was not bad after all. It has basic necessities, free computer usage at the lobby, wifi also accessible in rooms, and they clean the room daily. May available microwave din sa lobby if you want to reheat your food. They rent out bicycles too. The staff was very accommodating and helpful.

    Here are some photos.

    Day 1 – Mutianyu, Olympic Park

    Left the hostel at 7am bound for dongzhimen station. Took exit B and just outside is a bus station where bus 916 can be found. Had a quick bite at Mcdonalds inside the bus terminal, then headed to the lane for Bus 916 express at 8am. The bus left after about 5 minutes and arrived at Huairou a little after 9am. Fare is RMB12. (Got on at dongzhimen bus station and got off the Huairou bus station, the last stop). From there, we hired a van that took us to Mutianyu @ RMB25 each.

    Anyway, upon arrival at the wall at around 10am, we arranged for the driver to wait for us for 4 hours. He agreed. RMB25/head din fare pabalik sa Huairou but we added RMB20 because the driver was so nice kahit di marunong mag-English.

    We took the ski lift up and toboggan down. Temperature was between 5-8 degrees with wind, sarapp!! Sobrang kokonti ng tao sa wall kaya ang sarap mag-hike! The toboggan was quite an experience! My senior citizen mom enjoyed it very much! I realized, medyo kaskasera pala nanay ko!

    Bought ref magnets @RMB5, wooden coaster with Beijing iconic structures @ 10, great wall replica@ RMB5.

    Left the wall at 2pm for Huairou. From there, we took bus 916 back to the city, last stop over was at the bus station beside dongzhimen subway. Based on experience, I would say DIY to Mutianyu is relatively easy.

    Arrived in dongzhimen about 3.30pm na, then we headed to Olympic Park. Upon arrival at the park, it begun to drizzle a bit and the wind was the killer! Photo ops ng konti amidst grey skies, then we decided to head back to hostel at about 5.30. We agreed to see wangfujing the following day na lang kasi umuulan na.

    Day 2 – Underground market, Tianamen, Forbidden City, Wangfujing, Tianyi

    We originally planned to do this – Tianamen, Forbidden City, Behai, Jingshan at Wangfujing. But since we woke up late, the itinerary changed.

    Went to Underground market around 10am via subway and took Exit C. Was able to buy UGG boots for RMB110.

    After that, we went to Tiananmen around lunch time then headed to Forbidden City until 4pm. Rented an audio guide for RMB40 with RMB100 refundable deposit.

    Upon exiting FC, we opted not to visit Behai anymore. Thus, we took Bus 103 and got off at Wangfujing. Strolled until 6:30.
    Here are some interesting pics. After Wangfujing, we headed to Tianyi. We bought a few stuff then headed to hostel around 8:30.

    Day 3 – Temple of Heaven, Yuyuantan Park, Summer Palace

    Started the day relatively early, 6am to be exact.

    Temple of Heaven – The weather was freezing cold at 3 degrees. Umuusok pa mouth namin pag nagsasalita! Stayed here from 6:30 to 8am.

    After Temple of heaven, we excitedly headed to Yuyuantan Park for the Cherry Blossoms Festival. Arrived here around 8:30.

    Got off at the Military Museum station for Yuyuantan Park and took exit A. We walked around 300 meters before we reached the park. We paid RMB10 per head. There were a lot of Cherry Blossoms tree in bloom and there were quite a number of people already. The park was blissful, the sun is up, the skies were blue and the weather was cold at 8 degrees. We were soooo lucky!!! We took pictures like there is no tomorrow! We stayed here for almost 4 hours.

    After Yuyuantan Park, we headed for Summer Palace and stayed until 3pm. After Summer Palace, punta ulit kami sa underground market for last minute shopping then headed back to the hostel at around 6pm.

    Left hostel for airport by 10pm. Left Beijing with a heavy heart!

    Tips:

    -It's ok to have an itinerary but be ready for Plan B.
    -Beijing subway is your best friend in Beijing. So be ready with a copy of the subway map.
    -Be sure to list down possible questions that you think you will encounter, like directions, addresses, etc, written in Chinese. It will come in handy.
    -Be patient if the cab driver or anybody else can not understand what you are asking them because there is really a huge language barrier. We kinda expected that, but we did not expect it to be that bad.
    -Don't be scared to push people to fit yourself in the subway. We kinda enjoyed it after a while.
    -Before opening the cr door in public toilets, BEWARE! You might not like what you will see.
    - Spitting everywhere is normal, and so is making singit in lines.
    -Expect loooooooong walks!
    -Bring munchies in case you got hungry and can not find somewhere good to eat.
    -Alaxan is no good for the aching muscles. I took it several times and nothing happened. Be prepared physically. Exercise a few weeks before the trip to loosen up the joints.
    -Wear the MOST COMFORTABLE shoes you've got!

    Regrets:

    I should have stayed a couple more days. Sobrang bitin! Naisip ko tuloy, parang gusto kong tumira na lang sa Beijing! Will definitely go back.

    Here is the rank of the places I have seen:
    1. Tie between Great Wall and Yuyuantan Park
    2. Forbidden City
    3. Temple of Heaven
    4. Summer Palace
    5. Tie between Wangfujing and Olympic Park

    Short term remembrance from Beijing:
    1. Windburn!
    2. Almost dead toenails!
    3. Aching muscles

  3. #3
    Trip Report by jomai2426

    We arrive in beijing @ about 12:45am. We arrange a van pickup price 260rmb. Unfortunately nagkaroon ng misunderstanding with the date. We end up hiring a van outside the airport. We are 7 in our group. Ayaw ng uncle ko na mag separate pa kami. Tumawad kami sa 280rmb pumayag naman sila. 2am sa happy dragon hostel na kami.

    Our hostel is happy dragon hostel. Ok naman sya. Malinis, mabait ang staff. Provide na nila toiletries. Me own bathroom. Very basic pero cozy. Cool ng place yung wall nila inside pwede sulatan ng mga guests. Meron din sila free party pag gabi check nyo sa website nila if interested kayo d na kasi kami nag try pagod na kasi. Free hutong tour pay lang for the bike kaso limited lang yun slot kaya d na kami umabot. Me wifii sa baba nga lang d abot sa room. Malapit sa dongsi station, sa wu mart at me morning market sila na marami mabili na fruits, me damit at kung ano-ano pa na mura lang. downside lang e inconsistent ang pressure ng tubig. Kaya me times na mahina ang tubig.

    DAY 1 (FRIDAY- APRIL 8) START THE DAY @ 9-10AM with guide 350rmb
    We hire Alvin Jiang. Grabe ang knowledge nya sa imperial palace info overload. kami na ang sumuko kasi lahat talaga inexplain nya.
    • Tiananmen Square
    • Forbidden City- same ng sabi ng lahat. Sobra talagang laki. Dami info na binibigay ni alvin naikot namin halos lahat ng me mga exhibit ng mga dating naging gamit ng emperor at wives nya. Halos lahat ng important site sa loob nito dinala kami ni alvin halos d ako nakapag picture kasi lagi hinihingi attention namin ni alvin para sa info. Hehe. Kaya d ganun kadami photos.
    • Jingshan Park – we climb the hill para makita namin kabuan ng forbidden city
    Ride bus no.5 going to
    • Qianmen


    Day 2 (SATURDAY- APRIL 9)
    • Temple of heaven
    • Hongqiao Market
    • Tianjin na explore lang namin dito yung harap ng station. Saka lakad lakad paglampas namin sa bridge dumiretso lang kami hinahanap namin yun Bin Jiang Pedestrian Shopping Street medyo naligaw kami. Buti na lang me napagtanungan kami na mag bf na taga tianjin. Una tinuro lang nila paano punta dun sa place. Tapos naghiwalay na kami after sometime binalikan nila kami. Sasamahan na daw nila kami since me bilhin daw sila. Sobrang bait nga nila. Tapos nun andun na kami sa place bago kami mag hiwalay sila pa nag request ng picture na kasama group namin. Gusto ko pa sana pumunta sa italian district kaso yun mga teenager ko na kasama gusto na mag si balik sa hostel sa beijing. Nakikita ko na malapit yun district sayang talaga. Kung pwede lang mag pa iwan e. Hayz.


    DAY 3 (SUNDAY – APRIL 10 (start early)
    • Yuyuantan park (jade lake park) for cherry blossom festival – food trip kami dito at picture sa mga cherry blossoms
    • Underground Market sobrang dami ng tao nun pumunta kami d rin kami nakapagtagal kasi nahilo na yun mga kasama namin.
    • Olympic Village pumunta kami dito maaga pa and nag wait til gumabi. Ganda ng place at ok din picture picture nag walk kami papunta na sa next subway station.

    DAY 4 (MONDAY APRIL 11)
    We transfer to lee garden service partment. One station away from dongsi where we stay for our first 3 nights. Ang ganda dito sa lee garden. Kinuha namin yun two bedroom suite nila 898rmb per night via ctrip. 7 kami at wala naman naging issue sa kung ilan kami mag check in. nag present kami ng passport lahat. Me kitchen, two bedroom with king size bed each. Two bathroom with bathtub. Provided na lahat ng toiletries. 3 cable tv, me automatic washing machine at ref me living area at cable internet. walking distance sa wangfujing. At kaya din lakarin from dongsi na me morning market. Kaya lagi lang nagluluto tita ko para sa food namin.
    • Happy valley Admission fee: RMB160 entrance medyo lugi kami dito kasi mga 12 na kami nakarating tapos til 6pm lang sila tapos yun major ride nila na gusto namin sakyan naka close. Hay. Most ride na sinakyan namin nakakaalog ng utak kaya yun hilo kami.
    • Since maaga pa naman we decided to go to ”the place” grabe dami ng tao sa subway. Pag open ng pinto yun mga papasok sa train d na nagbigay ng way sa amin na lalabas nasarahan kami at nasiksik pa sa loob. Kaya dun sa next station kami bumaba tapos yun lalaki na sumiksik sa amin naitulak namin palabas talaga. As in . labas tlaga sya sa train e. Ang layo ng narating nya. In fairness d tlaga sila nagagalit. Tinawanan pa sya ng mga kasama nya. Ewan ko lang if nakapasok pa sya ulit pabalik sa train sa dami ng tao that time.

    Day 5 (TUESDAY- APRIL12) (start early) our guide alvin jiang. We bargain na for 770rmb for this day. Sama na lahat maliban sa entrance ticket, activities and food. Downside lang dahil sa mura lang rate na kinuha namin yun van namin na ginamit e medyo luma na. pero ok lang naman din comfy naman. Saka yun nga siguro din kaya mura din rate na binigay kasi sabay sabay ko inemail lahat ng pwede e email na tour guide na nakita ko dito at sa tripadvisor kaya competative price na nakuha ko "siguro".
    • Mutianyu great wall – start kami sa cable car then akyat sa tower 20 ata yun tapos toboggan na pababa tower 6 sobrang layo pala nito. Kapagod grabe haba ng inakyat, binaba at tinakbo. Worth naman. Nakaka amaze talaga yun pagkakagawa ng great wall. Yung system ng defense nila laban sa gusto manakop sa kanila. Yung pagkakadesign nila at kung iisipin mo paano nila nagawa yun gamit ang pagkalalaki na bato.
    • QingLong gorge 40cny entrance 180rmb bungee jump
    Dapat sa longqing gorge kami pupunta kaso naman nun tumawag si alvin sa kanila sa may pa daw me bungee kaya nag suggest si alvin na sa qinglong gorge na lang pumunta since malapit din to sa mutianyu. Maganda yun place madami activities inside tas kita din dito yun side ng great wall. Me chairlift sila na pagkataas taas. Sobrang taas paakyat sa bundok makita mo yun birds eye view ng gorge shape daw sa dragon. Katawa nga yun guide namin e sabi nya nag try daw syang chairlift dun at ilang days daw sya d nakatulog natakot na din ata yun mga kasama ko. D na kami nag try kasi mga takot sa heights kasama namin at bungee jump talaga gusto ko gawin. Ok nga sana e try lalo na if wala ka fear sa heights kasi sobrang taas tlaga at makikita mo almost lahat sa paligid mo habang dangling ang feet mo.

    Day 6 (WEDNESDAY – APRIL 13)
    • Lama temple d na kami pumasok sumilip lang kami. Pagbaba palang ng subway amoy na amoy na ang insenso. Tapos eto ata yun first day namin nakita dami parang cotton nalipad sa paligid. Nakakailang yun mga nalipad para kasing masisinghot mo e.
    • BELL/DRUM TOWER – nag taxi na kami papunta dito kasi late na kami nag start. Picture lang kami d na namin wait yun drum show alanganin na kasi.
    • Houhai ginawa namin sumunod sunod lang kami sa mga nag hire ng rickshaw, pero d na din kami nag tagal kapagod sumunod e. hehe
    • Summer palace pasok kami sa east entrance. Tapos walk kami sa loob along ng lake papunta dun sa me gitna na me bridge. Medyo dumidilim na nito sabi ko sa kasama ko walk kami papunta sa north gate by that time kasi nasa south gate na kami at base sa nakita ko dito north gate at east gate ang me malapit na subway. Sayang din kasi if d namin ma explore sana yun place at saka marami pa naman mga tao naglalakad kaso Medyo napaparanoid na yun isa namin kasama at gusto na lumabas. Ang layo layo layo talaga ng nilakad namin makarating lang sa subway station ulit.
    • Wangfujiing walking distance lang sa lee garden.

    Day 7
    • Shopping/free time
    Near Dongsi station market
    Walk from lee garden service apartment to dongsi tingin tingin sa mga stores
    Walk again to wangfujing
    Went to tianyi market, d nakabili at di din nakaikot since limited time. D namin makita yun mura na mabilhan ng souvenir na shirt layo pa naman ng nilakad namin from the subway station.
    Explore wangfujing since waiting na lang kami sa service namin papunta sa airport.
    Yun pa din ang service namin na kinontak 260rmb pa airport

    Trip Report by rejslu

    just got back from beijing from an eight day tour....our group of eight included teenagers to senior citizens (70-79) ...we stayed at king 's joy hotel...taxi from airport to hotel was 130 RMB...10 minutes walk to quianmen subway station....we got two four bed rooms...so computation ko... parang around P422 ang charge per day per head.... pero bababa pa yun kasi di kami na charge ng isang araw... maybe because past midnight na kami dumating.... t ko pa inulit ko pa namang tinanong yung nasa reception... ang sabi ok lang daw.... used my credit card sa pagbayad...na book ko pala ang hotel sa hostelworld.com.... at least dito makikita mo yung four room beds nila... meron din silang dormitory type rooms.... parang sa iba kasi di ko ito nakita... mas mahal pala ang rates nila kung walk in ka lang so better to book online...included dito ang american breakfast ...pagpipilian mo congee, dumplings.. three kinds of vegetables.... eggs...cereals.... bread na may butter or jam....milk, tea or juice....medyo bland for my taste pero pwede na rin...we stuffed ourselves in preparation for the long walks....kaya ang nangayayari, breakfast (free) and dinners ... plus dami snacks in between....

    on our first day... we went to beijing zoo market.... wala akong nabili dito kasi nahilo ako sa mga tao...ang hirap makipag communicate... feeling ko pa... tumataas ang presyo kungdi ka marunong mag chinese.... just looked around... parang konti na lang ang nakitang kong panlamig na clothes....konti lang din ang ugg boots.... or maybe di ko kasi masyadong naikot ang zoo... napakalaki kasi at andaming tao...night time... pinasyal namin yung mga stalls sa quianmen...second day, got a tour from alvin to mutianyu great wall...andaming included sa tour pero di kinaya ng time... sobrang bagal kasi namain...maya t maya pahinga... pero we still enjoyed it kasi we had great time taking shots and enjoying the view...went to see the nest... pictures... then watch acrobatic show.... 50 percent off daw kay alvin... kaya we paid 90 each and we were on the front seats...sa poster ng acrobatic show may seats na 180... had dinner sa da dong....si alvin, our guide,,, highly recommended ko siya... very accommodating, patient and matulungin specially kasi we have elders... bukod pa don... he was funny... telling the history ng great wall while balancing our bags na puno ng baon...and assisting our parents...napaka convenient na nakilala namin siya kasi pag may problema sa communication sa locals... we just called him and siya na nakipag usap.... may magic yata siya kasi after nakausap na siya... very friendly na yung kausap naming chinese... nangyari ito in two incidents....since di namin nakuha yung summer palace which was supposed to be included in tour.... ni less niya ito sa gas mga RMB50.... package was supposed to be RMB 1200.... binigay na rin naming ng buotapos sinoli niya yung 50 at sinulatan.... pang lucky money daw namin

    day 3 was rest day...just went to the grocery for supplies.... loved yung yogurt nila don and got plenty of chips.... sa grocery pala you pay for the plastic bags.... parang 2 RMB ang isa kung di ako nagkakamali.... tip... expensive ang plastic bag don.... reuse.....day 4 tiananmen square, forbidden city ang jingshan park... super pagod... everybody slept early....day 5....summer palace...day 6 temple of heaven..houhai.... paglabas namin sa isang hutong na may maraming maraming shops....nakita naming yung hotpot resto dun.... basta something damei yung pangalan.... enjoyed the food don,,, pinasyal pa namin yung kitchen nila which was clean para makita at maturo namin kung ano oorderin ...everybody got busog.... and we paid only 70 rmb....day 7 tianyi market and wangfujing.....balik pinas

    general observations ng group.... mababait ang mga chinese...at first akala namin mga suplado sila kasi parating seryoso at pag nagsalita, parang galit... pero pag dumating yung point na nagkaitindihan kayo...makikita mo sa mukha nila na very friendly and feeling happy sila to be able to help....when we talk to them in english... di agad naiintindihan.... pero pag sinulat mo ito...mas naiinitindihan... kasama daw pala sa curriculum nila ang english,,, kaya lang nahihiya silang makipagusap sa english....another tip... isulat mo sa english tapos magtanong don sa tipong student....a funny incident i recall... hinahanap nami yung mcdonalds... di kami maintindihan.... nang pinakita namin yung M logo.... natawa... sinabing mcdonalds pero slang ang bigkas sabay turo....nung dumating kami ... sa airport sabi ang beijing ground temp is 24.... i worried kasi akala ko di ko magagamit yung pang warm clothes na dala ko.... paiba iba talaga ang temp... pero mostly cool... nung paalis naman kami... umulan....kaya super lamig...one reason kaya wala kaming masyadong pasyal sa gabi was because of the cold weather.... mas masarap matulog....everybody agreed na super enjoy ang bakasyon namin sa beijing.... we love beijing....babalik kami dito.... maraming salamat sa mga contributors dito lalong lalo na kay commoner....if it were nt for you... di namin ma eexperience ang totoong beijing..... maraming maraming salamat po

    sa great wall trip lang kami nag hire ng van, mostly subway na... thrice nag taxi... nung papunta kami sa tianyi, nag taxi kami kasi akala ko malapit lang... mga 2 subway stops away from our area, sa taxi inabot na kami ng more than thirty mins going there because of the traffic... and malayo talaga inukutan ng taxi...fare was 35RMB...convenient talaga ang subway... at least di ka na nanghuhula kung gano ka pa kalayo sa destination mo....another tip pala, if you plan to have your IC cards refunded, hindi lahat ng stations nag refund... they directed me to dong zhimen station.I just wrote refund , showed it to the guard and they directed me....pinagtatawanan pa nga ako kasi i showed my copy of subway map provided by commoner... gulagulanit na ito kasi sobrang sa gamit... hehehe.....
    ....ordering naman sa resto... di kami nahirapan... pinasulat na namin kay alvin in chinese yung pork, chicken, fish, not spicy, not oily.... meron din pictures ang menu ng mga resto....at may dala kaming soy seasoning in case.... pero masasarap naman yung mga nakainan namin in fairness... di ko lang masabi yung mga names... puro chinese characters eh.
    sa tianyi, may napamili din pero most of our shopping we did na in quianmen... as long as you know the price ng binibili mo... ibibigay din... tinip na rin kasi sa amin ni alvin kung around how much yung mga items na interested kami.....nung una, ang dami kong gustong isingit sa itinerary namin.... so many places we would like to go to... kaso, i dont think we would have appreciated it much kung masyadong nagmamadali... like in jingshan park... kung di kami medyo naligaw ligaw, we wouldnt have discovered the beautiful tulips in bloom....same thing happened din sa temple of heaven... napadpad kami sa may mga cherry blossoms... ang ganda talaga... pag humangin... natatangay ang mga petals ... parang snow ang effect tuloy sa mga pics namin.... kung wala man kayong abutang mga cherry blossoms... madami namang peach blossoms which is equally or more beautiful pa...para sa mga garden-flower lovers.... spring is the time to be in beijing....awestruck ako by its beauty

    Trip Report by eang

    here's our bejing trip report (Apr19-25)

    Day 1 & 2 - after our arrival at the airport at around 1am, we went out and got a taxi to our hotel (grand metropark yuantong). The taxi fare is rmb 105, we checked in and slept until 9am. Grand metropark is located near the 2nd ring rd, far from the city center, at least 2 line changes from wangfujing, but for me ok ***, coz malapit sa beijing zoo underground market and tianyi. If you are looking at a map , it is right on top of Zhegongzhuang subway station. We spent our morning at yu yuan tan park, may konti pang cherry blossoms. We just walked around and watched elderly couples doing the waltz and there are other groups doing taichi, ang sarap talaga sa parks ng beijing, parang mga tao don di nagsasawa mag get together sa park and spend the whole day there. sana pag tanda namin may ganitong park na sa pinas para sa mga matatanda. After the park, we went directly to Li Qun Restaurant. Nabasa ko to sa isang blog, ok din ang peking duck dito, though it is not as famous as Quan Ju De or Da Dong. Sabi nga nung taxi driver, why not eat at Quan ju de, di nya kase alam yung Li Qun, he had to ask around with the directions i gave him. Mas tender yung meat ng duck and the skin, grabe ang sarap. My husband and I ate the whole duck! NAkakasuya nung huli hehe. After lunch, we walked to Qian men, around 20 mins. from Li qun. then we rode a taxi to haidian district, visited my school BLCU, dami na pinagbago, di ko na nakilala yung Wudaokou, dati wala pang subway dun, and may mall na pala wow. we walked around the campus, then we went to Zhong guan cun, sa mga pupunta dito, yung top electronics city, ok naman yung mga prices, pero not as cheap as hongkong's electronics, so pag may chance makapunta ng hk, wag na kayo bumili sa zhong guan cun.We rode a taxi back to the hotel and did not bother with dinner dahil sa sobrang pagod na rin.

    Day 3 - We were picked up at the airport for our Great Wall Tour (jinshanling). I availed of this tour online, paid $40 us per person, for a fully day tour of jinshanling great wall with chinese buffet lunch and english speaking guide. pick up time 6am, then we were headed to great wall , travel time was 3hrs going to the great wall, it is after si ma tai great wall pa, so malayo layo rin pala. When we arrived, it started to rain pero konting ulan pa lang, so we rode the cable car going up(Roundtrip is RMb 50 - not included in the tour price), pag dating sa taas, we walked for about 5-6 towers, then it rained really hard, sayang nga kase gusto ko pa umabot dun sa point na nag coconnect ang si ma tai and jinshanling, but due to weather conditions, slippery ang stones na tatapakan, and maraming steep incline e, yung part ng great wall na to, hasn't been restored yet, so eto pinili ko. Yung talagang natural state of the wall, with minimal repairs. When we went down it was about 130pm, we had buffet lunch, then we went back to the city, we arrived back at our hotel at 6pm. Rested for a bit, then rode the subway to Wangfujing, nag street food kami, hubby ate silkworms and lamb. ako i tried their sea urchin (yuck) di ko maintindihan yung lasa, i was expecting uni from jap restos here. ibang iba na ang wangfujing, it mostly catered to foreigners na, di na katulad nung dati na masarap talaga yung food and we even went there to have dinner pa nga during the time i was a student. nowadays, the price of a bbq lamb is so high, pang foreigners na talaga yung presyo. I miss the old wangfujing, hinahanap ko din yung fried ice cream wala na rin dun after the street food, we walked for a bit hanggang sa di na nakayanan ni hubby, naghanap na *** ng foot massage. we walked to lee garden apartments, meron beijing liang zi foot massage sa hotel. Foot massage is rmb 168, while body massage is RMB 200. ok din yung massage ,. 60mins lang nga bitin, after the massage , we went back to the hotel for a light dinner and slept early.

    Day 4- We were hoping it will not rain, pero forecast nila, it will rain in the afternoon . I hired a private tour guide, Mr. Yan (RMB 300 for a day) and his private car with driver (RMB 400/day). They picked us up at the hotel 9am. Then we went straight to summer palace, sobrang dami ng tao. As it is a friday, and holy week pa, daming locals, dami ring foreigners (lao wai). After summer palace, we stopped at olympic village, Mr. Yan took us on top of a bridge overlooking the nest and cube, so picture picure . The nice thing about having your own guide, kayo lang pipicturan nya. haha, and he knows the places where to have a nice shot. After olympics, we ate lunch at Guo Lin resto, pero we did not want the usual peking duck, so nag request kami, order na lang *** ordinary beijing food, which is ok din naman. After lunch, we went to forbidden city, from the south entrance going to north, pero at this time, dumidilim na naman yung skies, so we hurried until we were almost at the north gate, biglang ulan! waa. basa na naman kami, so we skipped the tian an men square , naglakad lang kami dun, we passed through the egg also, pero no chance to have a decent picture coz it was pouring na talaga. when we arrived at the parking lot, nako basang basa na kami. then we requested that he take us to where locals buy peking ducks na naka vacuum seal, pang pasalubong, pero i think, yun pinagdalhan nya sa amin, parang pang foreigners din, may commission pa ***. If you want to buy peking duck, much better sa grocery store like carrefour or sa wangfujing may mga nakita rin ako.After buying ducks, we headed straight for our hotel na, we paid mr yan and his driver , tapos we rested a bit at the hotel, then nag subway naman kami to xidan.Joy city is ok, though mahal nga mga foreign brands dun, mas ok pa nga yung shop across joy city, it catered for local buyers and marami selections, though mostly korean and jap fashion. nag ikot ikot kami dun, then had hotpot buffet dinner dun sa 5th flr. RMB 38 per person lang . ok din ***, parang tong yang dito, with free drinks and fruit. pero ang shabu shabu sa beijing is not likee shabu shabu here ha. di iniinom yung soup, it is just a dipping base for the meat, after ka kumain, pwede mo kunin yung soup to drink a bit, pero sa sobrang dami ko nilagay, na yuck na ko dun sa soup, parang malapot na *** sobra hehe.after our hotpot dinner, massage ulit sa ground flr ng mall , RMB 68 lang, ang difference, yung rooms shabby looking, and yung mga therapists, parang mga tinatamad hehe. after our foot massage, balik sa hotel.

    Day 4 private guide was actually for my hubby, kase di ko na rin naman maalala yung details ng Forbidden ciity, summer palace, etc.Been to each places several times pero forgot about it na. haha. pag kami lang sarili pupunta, either i have to rent the audio tour na hinde rin comprehensible yung english, or brush up on my history and explain every part of the forbidden city. Pinaka hate ko pa naman ang history nung nag aaral ako hehe. So i decided, hire a guide, at least nasa private car pa kami, hnde na waste of time magpunta from one point to another, and may mag explain ng historical background of each place we went to, yun nga lang parang di ko nasulit coz umulan, and whole afternoon halos yung ulan that day, sayang talaga.

    For this day tour , i hired Mr. Yan who is a good friend of Matt ( a private tour guide hired by a pex member , read his posts a few pages back). Di kase pwede c matt, so ni recommend nya ko kay mr. yan. Hnde ko lang nga nakuha yung number ni Mr. Yan, so in case you want to contact him or matt, matt's email is [email protected].

    For the jinshanling great wall tour here is the travel agent i got :
    Beijing Xinhua international tours
    Address: 2001-1-1, Nanxiaojie,Guangqumen,Chongwen District, Beijing, China 100061
    Emergency Call ( Mobile ): 0086 15810468375( 24 hours )
    Helen He

    i got this tour from tour-beijing.com

    I prefer din the underground market sa beijing zoo. will post reports from my last 2 days (which is pure shopping ) soon.

    Nako, sobrang tagal na ko nag BLCU, my first time in blcu was 6 weeks course (1994) 2nd time i took a 1 yr- 2 semester course (1999) . so 17yrs ago, wala pang subway ang beijing, 12 yrs ago naman, may subway na, kaso line 1 & 2 pa lang nung time na yun. imagine now may line 13 na!, and pag naabutan nyo yung 12 yrs ago, yung mga subway nako, para magkaka stampede, di sila marunong pumila, walang giving way to those coming out of the train. Minsan sa sobrang daming tao,. imbes na makalabas ako, natutulak pa ko sa pinakaloob, and i have to ride another station pa para lang makalabas. wow, ibang iba na ngayon, mas mild na ang tulakan, and they are queing na talaga. And yung mga bldgs sa wudaokou, ang dami dami na, dati talahib lang yun up to beijing U. Napaghahalata na yung pagka "oldie" ko haha!

    Day 5 - I woke up at 4am, don't know why, just surfed the net again and read a few pages of this thread, dun ko nabasa na yung underground market starts at 630am! ayun, kaya pala ako nagising hehe. so ginising ko na rin si hubby, and told him, dun na lang kami eat sa malapit sa underground market, since marami naman siguro dun. We went out of the hotel at around 7am, rode a taxi to the market,around rmb 10. mura lang kase super lapit lang nya, less than 3km pala yung hotel ko to this place! yehey! pagdating sa market, marami pang shops close, may ilan na nagbubukas na. so we first ate at a popular fast food joint called "Zhen Gong Fu", yan yung may bruce lee na photo! Masarap naman yung congee nya pero cyempre ibang iba sa congees dito sa restos natin. tig isang congee set, total food bill rmb 12. not bad. we went down the underground market na, hindi ka mahirapan hanapin, marami siyang entrance, almost 6 -8 entrance yun if i'm not mistaken. At first, ok pa, kase wala pa ganong tao, we started shopping mga 8am, nako, dami nga mabibili, pero not all are genuine factory overruns, you must ask them all the time, sinasabi naman nung iba kung overruns or fake binebenta nila, yung iba naman nanloloko, or they are unaware na fake yun. pero most of the locals , as long as you know how to engage them in a conversation, mabait naman, they'll tell you truthfully naman. dito ko nagamit ang bargaining skills ko ulit, pero not so much kase puro mababa na price binibigay nila sakin. and siguro discount ko mga another 5-10 rmb per item. wala na ganong winter clothing, and wala na rin ugg boots, tapos na raw yun season na yun. puro pang summer na talaga. short sleeves, and light blouse, hinde ka na makakahanap ng mga coats, jackets.by 10am, ayan na dumadami na tao, it was a saturday pa, so we hurried, and naghiwalay na kami ng hubby ko, just to have our own time to shop, kesa antayan. mga nabili ko, MNG, ZARA, bershka, pull n bear, esprit. pinili pili ko talaga yung mga tingin ko overruns. pero may mga nakuha din ako, na pagsukat ko sa hotel, alam ko fake. pero may overruns nga talaga. They don't allow you to fit, so better kung makabili ka muna , tapos fit mo sa hotel mo or sa cr, then pag ok buy more. natapos ko siguro shopping ko around 12nn. pag akyat ko, andun na c hubby sa bruce lee fastfood, so we crossed the street to Guo Lin resto, (fave resto na nya to) . typical chinese meal here will cost around 80rmb, but since gutom na gutom na kami, inabot ata kami ng rmb 140 sa dami ng ni order nya. mga locals tinginan sa amin haha.after lunch , we went back to the hotel via taxi ulit 10rmb, rested for 2 hrs, napagod ako sa market, ang laki nya a. after resting. we headed for tian an men square again, (we weren't able to take pics nung day 4 coz of the rain). Subway from our hotel, 2 change of lines, pero mura 2RMB each lang kase. pag akyat , tian an men na, pics kami dun sa square and dun sa mao museum, walked up to grand hotel. bago nag taxi naman kami to Nanluoguxiang, dito nag merienda/early dinner kami sa xiao xin's cafe, ang laki ng pizza nya, but pasta hnde masarap, coffee free 1 cup refill. bill namin is rmb 150. sabi ni hubby sana guo lin na lang daw kinain namin! (ano ba yan, sukang suka na nga ako sa gong pao chicken hehe) nag wifi *** dun since free naman, while i browsed the shops and took photos. maganda yung nanluoguxiang, pero i prefer yung dati namin ginawa ng mga classmates ko, nag hutong walking tour kami, i forgot san yun, parang sa may qianmen, ang ganda ng mga nakuha kong shots nun, di katulad now, parang yung mga hutong, ni remodel na. and konti na lang natirang old hutong, and yung mga courtyards napuntahan namin noon, ang gaganda, we were even able to visit the soong sisters courtyard dati.After taking photos of nanluoguxiang, may nakita na naman si hubby na foot massage, so another 60 mins of massage, mas magaling yung therapist, kase parang rolling pin yung mga kamay nila dun. price is RMB 88, pero nag pa ventosa pa *** (cupping) so add'l RMB 38, after nanluoguxiang, supposedly babalik kami sa olympic village, kase yung pics namin were daytime, gusto ko ng nighttime shots. kaso naantok na kami, so we ended up heading back to the hotel

    Day 6 - i packed na, may space pa for another day of shopping, so bumalik kami sa beijing zoo. we arrived mga 830am, dun naman kami sa "shi ji da le" eto ata yung napuntahan nung isang pex member, na akala nya underground market. this is a 20 storey bldg, na yung basement up to 2nd floor , selling mostly korean, japanesese and local fashion clothing, tapos from 3rd -6th flr, puro local brands na, i even went up to 17 and 18th flr, puro mga local brands, tapos may mga fake branded stuff, pero mostly wholesalers na sila dun. basement nila, puro locals bumibili, mga korean fashion halos lahat. kung gusto maging korean looking, dito ka bumili ng damit i bought a few, and my hubby waited naman sa kfc, kase ayaw na nya maglakad, i spent mga 2hrs dito sa shijidale, kase ang cute ng mga blouse and bags, mga korean dress. di ko namalayan, 11am na pala, balik na ko sa kfc, accross the street lang, gusto na naman ni hubby mag lunch sa guo lin, so cge, tawid ulit kami, we ate there 2 days in a row na haha. this time we ordered mga veggies na lang , sarap ng veggies sa china, malayo sa atin. ang crispy and malasa. This time food bill is RMB85. we went back to the hotel and slept until 2pm, and then check out na. after checking out, we headed to fuchengmen "tian yi" , sabi sa previous trip reports, tian yi is 600m away from the subway station, pero ayaw na talaga maglakad ni hubby, so nag taxi ulit kami, fare is rmb 14. pagdating sa tian yi, ang dami ng tao, coz sunday yun. so super sikip na, and marami na namimili. tian yi naman, puro accessorries, toys, household items, figurines, display ceramics, silver, jewelry. dami ko nabili na mga bags for kids, stuff toys, keychain, korean stuff ( notepads, cases, fans) , parang 168 dito. mas madami lang choices. mga iphone cases, mga earphones, dami, all kinds. basta ang tip lang dito, sabihin mo "na huo jia" (for wholesale price) pero u need to buy at least 10 pcs up. para bigay nya sa wholesale price. i bought mga keychains and cellphone accessories pampasalubong. mga korean notepads, stationery na mga cute para sa pamangkins. and then , may announcement , mag sasara na sila 530pm na pala. haha. ayun, so we took a taxi back to the hotel, then we arranged our things, pack ulit, halos puno na luggage ko from stuffs from tian yi. mga 630 na nun, we asked concierge san pa ok mag dinner , he mentioned Jing Wei Lou, sikat din na resto ata ito, we walked westward from our hotel, mga 15mins ***. pag dating namin, dami na rin tao, locals lahat, so this place must be good. wow ang sarap nga, what a change from guo lin resto haha, food is still oily, pero mas masarap and mas malaking serving. total bill namin around RMB 150. after dinner, mga 745pm na yun, we decided, mag olympic village muna before going to the airport, so nag taxi kami to the nest and cube. picture picture, ang ganda nga at night, iba yung shots ko. and maraming locals, dun nag lalakad lakad. parang they can't get enough of this site. stay lang sila dun, kahit malamig na. after taking photos, taxi back to the hotel, and we got our luggages, tapos diretso na sa airport, from hotel to airport RMB 90. pag datin sa airport 930pm, just in time for check in.

    Tips ko sa mga mag shop sa beijing, wag na kayo mag silk market, or yashow market, go directly to beijing ungerground market,(julong foreign trade market ). andun na lahat ng mura. although it is a bit of a hassle pag di marunong mag chinese. kase mostly di marunong mag english dun, just bring a calculator. for souvenirs, go to tian yi. marami dun mabibili.

    If you are commuting by taxi in beijing, have the name of the place and address written in chinese, and show it to the driver. hinde kase nila maintindihan yung accent natin, kahit chinese ako, minsan nahirapan *** intindihin yung sinasabi ko, or mali yung intonation.

    And also, if your hotel is new, most drivers won't know it, kaya pala, dami nagsasabi di nila kilala yung hotel ko, bago pa lang. so i always tell them , the subway station, kase right on top of it is my hotel
    so if you're checking in a new hotel, better have a landmark nearby para alam ng drivers yun.

    aside from taxi minimum fare of RMB10, pag lumagpas ka ng 3km, may add'l fare adjustment of RMB 2, due to fuel price increase, it started this april 2011.


    Trip Report by putoti

    Day 1 - Delayed for about 30 mins ang Cebupac flight. We arrived at Red Lantern around 1:30am then got settled in our room around 2am.

    Headed out to the subway station (Xinjiekou) around 8:15am. Sa morning ok lang ang walk to the subway station but pag pauwi na parang ang layo na nya. Mga 15 mins walk sya. Transfer lines then got off at Tiananmen West station.

    And this is the start of the long walk. Picture picture lang sa Tiananmen Square then sa Forbidden City. Minsan nakikisabay kami sa group na may english tour guide kaso ang bagal nila. Sa may dulo ng Forbidden City ang Jingshan Park. May underpass pala to cross the street sa left side ng exit but we turned right and followed other tourists ang layo pa ng nilakad namin.

    We had lunch at Alley Restaurant and Café. Malaki ang serving 29RMB. Madami foreigners here. After lunch na kami nagpunta sa Jingshan Park 2RMB lang ang entrance fee. We kinda hiked to go up the hill dahil don kami sa steep stone stairs dumaan dahil parang ang layo ng paved way. Ang ganda ng view!

    Then we headed out to go to Temple of Heaven. Eto ang hindi ko naresearch kung pano puntahan so taxi lang ang option. Ang hirap pala sumakay ng taxi ang dami naming kaagaw and tinatanggihan pa. I don’t understand why ayaw nila kami isakay. Dito kami nascam – may nag offer 50rmb and pumayag na kami. Ang mga kasama ko hindi pa nakapagpapalit ng rmb so nagpadaan muna kami sa ICBC bank. Ok lang hintayin daw kami. Ako naiwan lang sa loob ng taxi. Ang tagal magpapalit ng dollar as in inabot yata ng more than 30 mins. Ako naiinip na, ang taxi driver parang ok lang sa kanya. When we finally got to Temple of Heaven na parang d naman kalayuan, sinisingil kami ng 100 rmb dahil daw naghintay pa. Eh sabi ko d naman nya sinabi na ganon. In the end binigyan ko na lang ng 80rmb. Grabe rip off! Kase naman din mga kasama ko d pa nagdala ng yuan. Bad trip but magaganda naman ang pics namin and medyo nagtagal kami here dahil sayang ang mahal na fare going here.

    Then off to Qianmen St. Super pagod na kami but go pa rin. Mas prepared ako kesa sa mga kasama ko dahil ako ang nagresearch and I know from your kwentos na nakakapagod talaga so I prepared myself mentally and physically. I saw the caramelized fruit here na akala ko maliit na apple. I got excited and bought a stick. Nagustuhan ko but mga friends ko ayaw nila. Yung nagtitinda nito kept saying “you lab it you lab it you lab it” LOL so that’s what we called it. Ano ba talaga yon? Anyway, dahil sa pagkaexcite ko to see “you lab it” nawala ko ang print out ng IT and primer ni commoner. Binalikan ko pa talaga sa daan but wala na. Buti may extra printout kami ng IT but walang primer. Naghahanap kami ng makakainan ng dinner but wala makita so we decided to go to Wangfujing na.

    May tourist info center sa may front ng Qianmen so nagtanong kami kung pano pumunta Wangfujing. 1 bus ride away lang and parang 2 stops lang. We searched for Quanjude resto but d namin makita. We saw another tourist info center and malapit na pala doon. So ayun we had dinner mga 8pm na. Total bill was 350rmb for the 3 of us. We ordered half peking duck with pancakes and sauce, fried rice, broccoli with mushroom, drinks.

    Last stop was The Egg. Based sa naresearch ko may connection na ito sa subway but d ko nabasa agad sa printout ko so nagexit kami sa street. Paglabas sa street d namin alam where we’re going then nabasa ko nga na may connection sa subway so balik kami. Buti na lang may escalator both ways. Then noong nasa loob na ng Egg wala naman view so labas kami. Malapit na pala don sa pinanggalingan namin na exit yon. Hay naku pabalik2 kami super pagod na. Picture picture lang then uwi na. Around 10:30 kami nakarating sa Red Lantern.

    The day started out not cold pwedeng short sleeves lang no jacket but lumamig na sa gabi. Total of 7 places ang napuntahan namin this day.

    Day 2 – I booked Natalie as our tour guide for the day. She charged us 750rmb. At 8:30 am she arrived at Red Lantern then off we went to Mutianyu Great Wall. I thought she was the driver too but may kasama syang driver. Traffic going there. We arrived 11am na. Nakatulog naman kami sa byahe so ok lang. She accompanied us til the chair lift/ toboggan station then iniwan na kami. She recommended to go to the right side mas maganda daw ang view and mas konti tao but mas steep. Hindi na kami nakaabot sa dulo sa sobrang pagod. Ang daming small steps meron ding super steep steps. At around 12:30 bumalik na *** to ride the toboggan. It was super fun! At 1 pm Natalie was already waiting for us. We didn’t have much time to shop but nakabili na rin ako ng magnet (5rmb) and pandas (37rmb for a medium ball panda and a small one). We had lunch at Mr Yang’s restaurant. Total bill was 260rmb for steamed fish, sweet & sour pork, vegetable dish and sodas.

    At 4pm we reached Summer Palace. Medyo foggy and hindi sya kasing colorful ng nakikita ko sa pictures. Sabi ni Natalie 1 hour lang daw. Ok fine. Kasama namin sya here but hindi naman nagsasalita masyado. Pag hindi ka nagtanong wala sya sasabihin about the place.

    Then at 5pm we went to Olympic Park. Hindi pa dark so wala pang lights. Picture picture lang and pahangin. Madaming nagpapalipad ng kites. Dapat last stop was Sanlitun but my friend wanted to buy a fake Rolex and we asked Natalie where to go. She recommended Silk Street so don na lang *** pumunta. Hinatid lang kami across the street and nag underpass na lang kami. Grabe ang initial price don super taas then makikihaggle ka nang sobra sobra. Nakakapagod din! Bought a dress for 50, blouse for 40 and jeans skirt for 60. Mas late pa kami nakauwi 11pm na. Nagtagal kami magshopping and window shopping dito sa Silk Street Market.

    Ang driver pala ni Natalie nakakatakot magdrive. Singit nang singit, busina nang busina and parang laging nagmamadali. Medyo napapaisip ako kung worth it ba ang paghire ko kay Natalie kase parang naging service lang sila ng driver. Sabi ng friend ko sana daw bibo ang tour guide namin si Natalie itsura pa lang soft spoken na.

    Day 3 – Relaxed na lang kami. Woke up later than the first 2 days. Nagcheck out na kami and just left the luggages at Red Lantern resto. Headed out to Beijing Zoo around 9:30am. We rode the parang big golf cart that goes around the zoo dahil tinatamad kami maglakad for 5rmb. Aba ang driver kaskasero and walang patawad sa mga batang nagkalat sa daan parang sasagasaan nya. After that ride we went inside the Panda House. Most of the pandas were sleeping but 1 was eating and then he peed and fell asleep. Super cute! Nakakatawa pa when he peed nakatapat sya sa may faucet so parang may malakas na tubig na tumutulo from the faucet.

    Around 11am we crossed the street to go to the Underground Market. Not sure kung tama ang pinuntahan namin na 8 flrs of shops na puro Chinese. Sa 8th floor naglunch kami sa Lepin Foodcourt. We ordered noodles na may picture and price na 6rmb. Kaming 3 pare-pareho ng order dahil yun lang ang madali. Yung iba parang turo-turo but d ako sure kung ano mga yon so hindi na lang. Napagod kami sa kakalakad inside this market na puro Chinese talaga. Ang hirap pa makipagtawaran so umalis na lang kami. It’s like a super huge Tutuban.

    Then we decided to just take a cab going to Nanlouguxiang. Pahirapan ulit sa paghanap ng taxi that will take us. Madami taxi doon outside the subway but lagi kami tinatanggihan I wonder why. We asked to be dropped off at Beixinqiao station (line 5) dahil yun na yata ang closest station sa Nanlouguxiang accdg to my research. Then finally may nagsakay and sinabi namin sa Nanluoguxiang na lang. Nagets naman nya and tinuturuan pa ako ng tamang pronunciation ng mga places. Hirap! Parang tama naman ang sinasabi ko but still not right for him. Anyway, nadaanan lang namin ang Drum and Bell tower. Di nakami pumunta here dahil sabi ni Natalie the tour guide wala naman daw makikita here. Mabait si taxi driver tinuturo nya samin mga places also when we passed by Houhai. Enjoy naman ang leisurely walk along Nanluoguxiang. When we reached the end of the alley pagod na naman kami super.

    We went to Houhai via bus. Can’t remember the number sorry but we just asked at a shop nearby. Sabi pa nga samin lakarin na lang daw namin but we said we were too tired. Punuan ang bus but sinabihan naman kami where we should get off. We saw a tourist information center and asked how we can go back to Red Lantern from there. We were given a map and sabi magbus 609(?) lang kami. Since ok na ang pauwi naming we went to pasyal na muna at Houhai. May nag-alok ng rickshaw ride for 180rmb and since pagod kami go na. Ikot2 lang and minsan humihinto ang driver to take picture of us. Supposedly 1 hr but wala pa yata 30mins tapos na kami dahil ginaw na kami. We passed by Hutong Pizza but giba na ang place nya not sure where they moved. Bad trip pa yung rickshaw driver nagpumilit humingi ng 20rmb tip as in ayaw kami tantanan. And hindi pa pala nya kami binalik where we started eh yun na ang alam naming sakayan ng bus. Walang kwenta ang rickshaw ride dahil d naman namin alam ang mga nadadaanan. Ang driver tinuturo lang palagi bars! Nagtaxi na kami pabalik ng Red Lantern. We got there before 7pm. Tambay lang muna kami sa resto nila.

    Around 7:30 off to airport na. Binigyan kami ng Chinese sulat ng airport so madali lang namin nasabi sa driver where to. 82rmb total binayad naming sa taxi. Closed pa ang checkin counter ng Cebupac so we decided to go to Terminal 3 first dahil doon din ang refund ng Smart Card. Had late dinner at Burger King. Til 10:30 lang daw ang mga shops and restos doon. Then headed back to terminal 2. Ok ang refund ng Smart card akala ko deposit na lang ang makukuha but they returned the full value. 40rmb ang initial load ko, 20 deposit and may natira pang 7.20 rmb. Not sure why may butal (dahil sa bus yata yon) . Then delayed ulit ang flight ng mga 30 mins. Bye Beijing!

    Grabe ang dumi2 ng hair and nails ko pag-uwi. Kahit lagi ako nagwawash ng hands and todo alcohol ang bilis pa rin dumumi. I guess polluted din sa Beijing d lang halata. And malaki sya talaga. Feeling ko lumaki ang legs ko pagbalik dahil sa kakalakad.


    Trip Report by annchong71

    Here’s my trip report. April 19 to April 25.
    Our roundtrip ticket is around 2671.89 pesos each. Tickets were booked during the 888 pesos promo. There were 8 of us while 2 do not have check-in baggage. I was supposed to book our accommodation through Happy Dragon Hostel since they have four bed dormitory with private toilet however after reading reviews in TripAdvisor, I changed my mind. They seem to have a case of overbooking.

    Accommodation: 北京城235 民宿 (or Beijing 235 Guesthouse)
    I booked two twin bedroom for eight of us through email. Pang 2 persons lang ang room actually pero I told the owner that if she doesn’t mind, I’m going to have 4 people in each room nalang. She said it was fine and voluntarily gave me the width of the bed. There were two 120cm wide beds in each room. Basic toiletries were given like shampoos, liquid soaps, toothpaste and toothbrush. It also includes blower , thermos, tsaka baso. The room was very clean. Nagpaalam pa yung owner na baka mahirapan kami maligo ng mainit na tubig dahil traditional type yung water heater nila kasi kailangan pa kumulo yung tubig. During our stay, wala naman kami problema dito although sunod sunod kami maligo. The room was very clean, the bed was not too soft nor too hard, just enough for my taste. Humingi pa kami ng extra 4 pillows. Sobrang bait ng owner, siya na siguro ang pinakamabait na taga Beijing na nakilala ko. Hindi ka nila gugulhin unless sinabi mo, okay sakin yung ganon. Kung ayaw mo magpalinis, hindi sila maglilinis. And the best thing about them, I only paid 170 RMB per room. HAH! Beat that!


    DAY 1.
    Delayed ang flight ng Cebu Pac for April 19, na stuck kasi ang karamihan sa check-in counters. Newbie kasi ang frontliner nila. We arrived at around 1:40am on April 20. I arranged a pick-up service with the hostel at 150 RMB for 8 of us. We woke up late, around 8am na, and had brunch at 白魁老號飯莊. Food was salty and oily. Tapos we rode the subway to Tiannamen East and entered Forbidden City as well. Natagalan kami dito since ang laki pala niya, plus nagpipicture pa kami. Nagkaroon pa kami ng problema dahil nagkahihiwalay pa kami. Ang ingay pa ng mama ko. Yun pala yung isang group nasa Wu Men, yung isa naman sa Shen Wu Men nung pauwi na. Around 5pm, we went to Wang Fu Jing and had dinner at Quan Ju De as insisted by my father. After ng dinner, nag-ikot kami sa vicinity ng Wang Fu Jing, yung marami benta ng exotic food. Mahilig tumingin yung achi ko ng mga necklaces or yung mga stainless steel na yan na binebenta rin naman sa 168. Nung nagupit na at nagawa na yung necklace, from 24 RMB nagging 67 RMB. At mama ko naman, mataray rin, aba nag-away sila ng tindera sa daan. HAHA. Kakahiya. Nakuha pa rin naman *** necklace at 24 RMB pero super sermon ang abot ng kapatid ko. Tapos nag-ikot-ikot ulit kami at nascam na naman sila doon sa isang orange plastic item na may liquid sa loob na nagiging mainit kapag binreak mo yung iron sheet. HAHAHA. 20 yuan each yon, at ang mama ko bumili ng 10. Dapat binigay na lang sakin yung pera , pinambili ko pa ng ice cream.


    DAY 2
    Late again ang gising. Dapat pupunta kami sa Great wall kaso sabi ko hindi na abot kasi 10am na at umuulan pa, sobrang lamig eh. Nag brunch kami sa 嘉和粥一品. Tama lang ang prices ng food, around 10-15 yuan tapos mga lugaw eh. After that, we rode bus and went to Summer Palace. Dahil sa sobrang lamig, umalis na rin kami dito at gusto umuwi ng papa ko at isang kapatid ko. We went to Qian men after that and just looked around. Napalayo pa kami sa subway station so umuwi kami using bus sa tulong ng mamang pulis. Our dinner is with 餡老滿. Their dumplings are around 9 to 15 yuan for 10 pieces.

    DAY 3
    This is our great wall day, although maaga kami nagising at inemphasize ko na kailangan maaga tayo, late pa rin kami lumabas, around 8am. Mahirap talaga pag big group kasi eh. Around 8:30am na kami nakarating sa Dong Zhi Men station at hindi pa naming mahanap yung 936 bus sa terminal. Yun pala, wala pala doon yung bus na yon kundi nasa likod. Buti nalang hindi pa umaalis yung bus pag dating naming sa tamang bus station. Sabi nga ni mamang driver, 7:30 and 8:30 lang ang lakad nila. Nagkataon lang late sila that day. Kaso wala kaming seats at nakatayo lang kami the whole trip. Nagbibilang pa nga ako ng ilan ang bus stops eh. In Mutianyu, lahat sila nag climb paakyat, ako nag cable car tapos sumama pa yung dalawa sakin. Ayaw ko nga mag climb, nakakapagod sobra. Tapos after nasa taas na kami, nilakad naming hanggang No. 6 para sa toboggan. 5 kami nag toboggan kaso sa kalagitnaan, biglang umambon at pinastop kami at pinaakyat papuna sa taas ulit. Malas talaga tapos napa unsafe pa yung pag akyat namin. Sabi nila, lipat nalang kami sa Ropeway car tapos babalik nila ang 10 yuan samin or magantay kami na punasan nila yung slide for 30 mins. Nag ropeway car kami so lahat ng rides nasubukan ko. Hehe. Going home naman, bus 936 pa rin at this time, kami naman ang nakaupo. Pero nahinto kami sa Huairou at pinalipat ng bus 916. After that nag dinner kami sa canteen ng bus terminal sa Dong Zhi Men and then we went home.

    DAY 4
    Again, we woke up late and just ate pancake and noodles. May mabibili na pancake sa area namin for 3.5 yuan tapos may pork meat na sa loob. After that, we went to Beijing Zoo by bus. Waah, ang tagal ng bus pero marami ka makikita na. We tried going to underground market. Hindi ko sure kung tama to pero underground nga siya at puro tiangges na masikip. Hindi ko nagustuhan dahil parang 168 lang siya at ang daming tao. After non, nagkahiwalayan na kami, dalawa lang kami nag-ikot-ikot at doon sa department store sa tabi non. Nag CR ako doon sa mall na yon, at yung mga babae, hindi nga sila nag lolock ng into at naghuhubad sila sa harap mo. Ako yung nahihiya hehehe. After non, bumili kami nung kamote, sarap at 4 yuan. Then we rode bus 107 going home. After that nag eat kami sa isang restaurant, 8 yuan lang at ang daming laman. Then we went home and did grocery shopping. We went to Olympic Park at night time after ordering a take-out dumplings. Sobrang lamig sa Olympic Park. Jacket lang dala ko kasi.

    DAY 5
    Late pa rin ang gising. 10am na ata ako nagising. We went to Temple of Heaven today through bus again. We spend around 3 hours dito dahil 12pm nakami nakarating. After ikot-ikot, we rode bus pauwi again to our place and did last chance shopping sa grocery. After that sa around the vicinity ng place namin kami nalang nag ikot ikot. May mga egg rolls na tig-kilo ang pag bili, mga ganon. Meron din mga isaw-isaw at barbeque malapit samin na masarap. 1yuan to 2yuan lang per stick. Tapos, pahinga kunti, at hinatid kami papuntang airport ng owner. 150 RMB again for 8 of us.


    Tips/Comments
    -If you are a student, recently graduated, or still looks young enough to be a student like me, bring a student ID. Sobrang laki ang savings. Have an elder buy tickets, not you. They don’t look at the IDs most of the time. Forbidden city ticket was at 60yuan but a student can get it at 20 yuan. May dala kaming dalawang student IDs, for my brother and my BF who is already graduated. Sabi ko na nga ba, dapat dinala ko nalang high school ID ko, nawawala kasi college id ko kainis.

    -Be very aggressive, kung tulakin ka nila, tulakin mo rin sila. Sad to say, they scam their own people as well. Sa words nga lang, hindi yun g violent style na may knife ah. May nakita ako katulad nung case namin sa bracelet, kaso sakanya hiningian siya ng 400 rmb pero 300 rmb lang binigay ng customer. Tapos naloko din siya through words.

    -Don't believe in weather forecasts, bago kami pumunta, sabi sa weather forecasts, around 23 degree na sa Beijing. Pag punta namin doon, nasa 12-13 degrees lang. GRR, jacket lang dala ko!

    -Bring moisturizers and lip balms, sobrang dry na ng skin ko may windburns pa. Hmph.

    -Ang sarap ng ice cream nila at sobrang mura. Buy lang kahit malamig. Masarap pa rin naman.

    -You can overspend the Yi-Ka-Tong. We borrowed all our smart cards from our hostel kaya sayang naman kung may natira, Inubos namin siya sa supermarket. Better to load your smart card with 20 yuan. Pwede na yon.

    -When you're riding bus even to Mutianyu, better kung may pera yung yikatong mo kasi 60% savings talaga. Unlike kami, hindi maruong kaya nag bayad ng cash. Sayang din yun.

    - Enjoy your trip, yun ang pinakamahalaga. Wag criticize ng criticize ng culture ng iba.

    I wish I can help but it took us quite a time to locate the 936 bus so hindi na rin kami masyadong observant. What we did is we went to Exit B and asked the police. They told us to go straight ahead until we see the traffic light, then turn left and then turn left again. Medyo tago yung 936. Basta you will lots of buses going out and maraming buses nakapark. Pinaside yung 936 bus. I'm not sure if this is the longer way to go there, kasi baka may short cut papunta.

    Basta huwag mo papasukin ang bus terminal na may roof, mali yon. Doon ang bus 916 and baka may magyaya lang sayo na mga tour. Here's a pic of the bus sign. Yan lang ang napicturan ko, nakuha ko lang sa facebook ng isa sa amin, kasi I need it to count the bus stops. Hope this helps, maybe other can tell it to you better. Notice na open area ang bus terminal, walang roof.



    Trip Report by jqza

    Just got back from a trip to Beijing and may I say that this forum has helped me a lot in preparing for the trip especially pag DIY lang. I found out about Tianjin from this forum and the place was simply awesome. Iba sya from Beijing. Its European architecture buildings makes it a nice break from all the temple style and Chinese style buildings of Beijing. Plus the bullet train ride was cool. Kaloka nga lang in buying the tickets because nobody speaks English. The signboards in the railway station are all in Chinese. Good thing I printed out a map of Tianjin from this forum and that helped. One thing na hindi na mention is the China/ Porcelain House. So, if you ever go to Tianjin. Drop by Porcelain House. Its very nice.

    Some tips:
    1. Most locals dont speak English so you gotta be prepared. If you have iphone - download these apps Beijing Mtrip, Lonely planet Mandarin, Beijing Taxi Guide (very important!), Beijing subway map and KTdict. This got us through the whole trip.

    2. I suggest you book your hotel within the Line 2 subway area. We book kasi sa Days Inn Forbidden City which is in Line 1. Staying in Line 2 area cuts short your line transfers.

    3. Bring some snacks or food with you. There are limited restaurants inside the tourist areas.

    4. The subway in Line 2 and Line 1 are very crowded. So its better to go by taxi around the city. But taking the cab was annoying though because nangongontrata mga drivers lalo na around Wangfujing area. They're even worst than our taxi drivers here. Unfriendly pa. The Beijing Taxi Guide app sa iphone was a big help coz its got na the main areas written in Chinese and you just have to show it to the driver.

    5. Dont expect to go there for shopping. I was disappointed. There was not much stuff to buy. We went to Tianyi market which is there version of 168. Supposedly to shop for clothes and shoes. But wala akong nabili. I feel like it was a waste of time going there. Better pa sa Beijing Zoo underground market. But even there, wala din masyadong nice clothes and shoes. We were able to buy some cheap and nice hats though.

    6. Wangfujing in Orient Plaza Mall and Xidan shopping at Joy City Mall - not for shopping din. The malls are so so. Nothing special. Zara, H & M and Mango stores have same prices as here. It was nice to walk around though and just watch the people go by. I think Sanlitun area would be nice for shopping but the shops were already close when we got there.

    7. Mutianyu Great Wall - DIY lang kami. We had a hard time finding the 936 bus station so we took the 916 bus. Suggest you use your yikatong when paying sa bus because its cheaper. 8rmb lang going to Hoarou. It was confusing though kung saan kami bababa sa Hoarou. Nagkataon taxi driver natanungan namin when we were in the bus so he helped us out and offered to take us to Mutianyu Great Wall for P200 rmb back and forth. There were 4 of us so it was a good price na.


    We stayed full 5 days in Beijing and this is our itinerary:
    Day 1 - Beijing Zoo, Beijing Zoo underground market, Summer Palace, Xidan
    Day 2 - Mutianyu Great Wall, Olympic Park, Sanlitun
    Day 3 - Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Jingshan Park, Houhai
    Day 4 - Temple of Heaven, Houqiao Pearl Market, Tianjin
    Day 5 - Tianyi Market, Wangfujing

    We stayed at Days Inn Forbidden City which is in Wangfujing area, Line 1. I booked it through Best China Hotel website. Excellent reservation service and mura pa. You pay when you get to the hotel which is good. The rooms are nice and cheap and they allow early check in as early as 6am. For a deluxe twin room, we only paid P6k/each for 4 nights. Downside is hindi sya masyadong alam ng taxi drivers even if we show them the hotel businesscard in chinese.

    Overall, Beijing is a really great city. We went there at a nice time and the flowers are in full bloom. A lot of nice tourist spots. We were not able to go to some in our 5 days stay kasi madami pwede puntahan. Downside is most dont speak English and madami rude hawkers and taxi drivers.

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    Since it's still summer, I remembered the best ice cream in Beijing.

    It's called Magnum by Wall's (Selecta). Ang sarap ng vanilla (香草). It costs around 4-5RMB.

    The word vanilla is written in Chinese under the letter M of MAGNUM.

    Yung Cornetto nila masarap din.


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    ThePowerToKnow putoti's Avatar
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    Apr 2002
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    New Beijing thread! That's great commoner mas madali na nasa page 1 ang primer.

  14. #13
    inquisitive! fqtprt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by commoner View Post
    Since it's still summer, I remembered the best ice cream in Beijing.

    It's called Magnum by Wall's (Selecta). Ang sarap ng vanilla (香草). It costs around 4-5RMB.

    The word vanilla is written in Chinese under the letter M of MAGNUM.

    Yung Cornetto nila masarap din.

    http://img684.imageshack.us/img684/4...0819094115.jpg

    I agree. ang sarap nga, kaya kahit 0degrees, kain pa rin ako!

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by fqtprt View Post
    I agree. ang sarap nga, kaya kahit 0degrees, kain pa rin ako!
    I'm glad someone was able to try it!

  16. #15
    hi commoner, this is our iti plan for a day. please let know your comments and suggestions

    1. at forbidden city, entrance at shenwu gate then exit at the meridian gate.

    2. tiananmen tower/gate then pass through tiananmen square. pwede bang tumawid sa Chang'an ave? at tiananmen square, merong check point kahit dadaan lang kami papuntang qianmen?


    3. lunch and stroll in Qianmen shopping area

    4. at temple of heaven, entrance at west gate then exit to east gate. kaya bang lakarin from qianmen -> temple of heaven?

    5. the egg at night. taxi or subway from temple of heaven?

    maraming salamat

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by QTEngr View Post
    hi commoner, this is our iti plan for a day. please let know your comments and suggestions

    1. at forbidden city, entrance at shenwu gate then exit at the meridian gate.

    2. tiananmen tower/gate then pass through tiananmen square. pwede bang tumawid sa Chang'an ave? at tiananmen square, merong check point kahit dadaan lang kami papuntang qianmen?
    http://img560.imageshack.us/img560/4513/tiananmensquaresecurity.th.jpg

    3. lunch and stroll in Qianmen shopping area

    4. at temple of heaven, entrance at west gate then exit to east gate. kaya bang lakarin from qianmen -> temple of heaven?

    5. the egg at night. taxi or subway from temple of heaven?

    maraming salamat
    2. Underground ang tawiran. Can't remember seeing that security check pero feeling ko wala na yan ngayon. Walang security going to Qianmen.

    4. Hindi kaya, that's 3 subway stops away.

    5. Pwede subway, get off at Tiananmen West then walk. Baka pwede pa isingit Wangfujing kung may oras pa.

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    may nakapahbook na ba ng hotel sa ctrip.com? pag charge niya via credit card yun na yung total bill sa hotel? baka kasi my hidden charge pa sila upon check out ? also pwede ba yung citibank card issued in Philippines na card, baka kasi pang china credit card lang pwde.

  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by commoner View Post
    2. Underground ang tawiran. Can't remember seeing that security check pero feeling ko wala na yan ngayon. Walang security going to Qianmen.

    4. Hindi kaya, that's 3 subway stops away.

    5. Pwede subway, get off at Tiananmen West then walk. Baka pwede pa isingit Wangfujing kung may oras pa.

    salamat ulit. tanong ko na rin po ang exact location ng underpass? sobrang laki kasi ng tiananmen at ang daming tao.


  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by QTEngr View Post
    salamat ulit. tanong ko na rin po ang exact location ng underpass? sobrang laki kasi ng tiananmen at ang daming tao.

    http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/1566/undera.th.jpg
    Madaming underpass sa Chang An Avenue. Sa may entrance ng FC meron.

    You'll see it when you get there, no need to panic, it's not THAT big.

  21. #20
    hi guys,

    ano contact/email nung Alvin na tour guide?

    ano din mga rates nya?

    ok ba siya with kids? i mean ,safe ba iwan ko sa kanya family ko while am on business meetings?

    thanks,

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