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Beijing Travel Tips

 

1.  Beijing's climate in summer is rainy and high temperature, prevent sunshine as well as rain when traveling to Beijing in this season.

2.  The Beijing city has Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City at its center. Rest of the city is structured in multiple ring roads around the center. Each tourist place can be located as between X and Y ring road easily.

3.  If you are a Wells Fargo banker, take the Access Code from Customer Service before boarding the flight. This code allows you to talk to a Wells Fargo banker in USA from anywhere in China. There are separate codes for North and South China. Dial the access code, get the operator, mention the 800-869-TO-WELLS and voila you are connected to the network.

4.  Once you arrive at the Beijing Capital International Airport, it is recommended to walk out of the airport and get a Taxi from the Taxi Stand instead of getting lost in rooks within the airport. It's also recommended to have your hotel name written in Mandarin because the Taxi Drivers may not be able to read/speak English. Once you checked into the hotel you can use your hotel key to show the address (which has the address written in Chinese) to move around the city. But if you book a tour with China Fact Tours you need not worry about all these, our guide and driver will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. If you halt a taxi on a remote street, be care of the black taxi, remember that all the licensed taxis with 京B on their plates.There is no tipping in taxi. Don't be surprised if you see a confused look on the person serving if you leave the tip.

5.  Took a guided tour from the China Fact Tours to Forbidden City and Great Wall of China. It covered Transportation, Lunch, Parking tickets and Tolls and an English-speaking guide. You can do the same by using a private taxi but it may turn out to be slightly costly and most likely you will not get a Mandarin-speaking driver and therefore no guide. (As part of the standard tour, they may take you to a Silk Emporium and Jade Factory. They are nice places to learn how they are all manufactured.)

6.  Remember get on the bus in middle gate and get off from the back gate when taking Beijing buses; there may be thieves in buses, take care of your personal belongs.

7.  There are many unlicensed tourist buses that concentrated around Tiananmen and Qianmen, take the licensed tourist buses would be wiser for your Beijing tour.

8. Shopping is a LOT of fun in Beijing. There is a great variety of clothes, toys, gadgets, etc. at local shops. And no shopping is complete without bargaining and that too HARD bargaining. For example when shopping at touristy places, such as street-side shops near Great Wall, bargain HARD. The rule that you should follow is to quote the price to 10% of the original. Here are some examples:

Item Quoted Paid
Tee-shirts 1 for 130 RMB 3 for 50 RMB
Cashmere Scarf (can't be original) 1 for 160 RMB 5 for 80 RMB
Great Wall Memento 350 RMB 20 RMB
Refrigerator Magnet  20 RMB 5 RMB

9.  Generally the shopkeepers will give a counter offer but be straight-faced and maintain your price. To keep it easy, just stick to your price and pretend walk away. In all the cases, I was approached with my quoted price :)

10.   If you plan to visit Great Wall during November, make sure to carry good warm clothing including gloves and an ear-long cap and a good hiking/walking shoe. It is extremely windy and certain portions of the Wall are really steep.

11.  Treat yourself with Beijing Roast Duck, spicy Gongbao Jiding (Chicken fried with peanuts and chili) and Shanghai Steamed Fish. Delicious regional cuisine, from Sichuan Smoked Duck to Cantonese Snake Soup, can be accompanied by Tsingtao beer, tea or wines from around the world.

12. Get to the popular spots during off-peak hours to avoid the flocks of tourists, early in the day before 8 o'clock in the morning, especially when you plan to visit the Temple of Heaven. In the morning, the temple attracts thousand local residents to perform their regular routines of exercise, such as traditional Chinese music, calligraphy, Peking Opera, martial arts, or Tai Chi exercises.

13.   Tipping used to be very rare in China but now, through Western influence, the idea is catching on. In restaurants a 3% tip is standard. Bellboys and room service staff expect roughly USD 1.00 or USD 2.00. You can tip in US dollars as hard currency is always appreciated.

14.  China's Emergency Call Numbers:

110  Call police for help in any danger
119  Dial this number when fire or other disaster happens
120  Call for an ambulance
122  Dial this number when a traffic accident happens

15.  Taxi Service Number:

Beijing Taxi Corp. 010-68582661 
Beijing Tourism Taxi Corp. 010-65158604; 010-65158605
Capital Taxi Corp. 010-65138893

Foreign Embassies in Beijing, China

Country Address Telephone
America Jianguomenwai Xiushuibei Street 010-65323831
Australia Sanlitun Donsi Street 010-65321796
Austria Xiushui Nan Street 010-65322061
Belgium West wing, Guomao Center 010-65052970
Brazil Guanghua Road 010-65322881
Canada Dongzhimenwai, Chaoyang District 010-65323536
Denmark Sanlitun Dongwu Street 010-65322431
France Sanlitun Dongsan Street 010-65321331
Finland Tayuan Diplomatic Office Building 010-65321817
Germany Dongzhimenwai Street 010-65322161
Greece Guanghua Road 010-65321120
Huangary Sanlitun Dongzhimenwai Street 010-65321431
India Ritandong Road 010-65321856
Indonesia Sanlitun Diplomatic Office Building   010-65325488
Ireland Ritandong Road 010-65322691
Israel West Wing, Guomao Centre 010-65052970
Italy Sanlitun Dongre Street 010-65322131
Japan Jianguomenwai Ritan Road 010-65322361
Korea, Republic Fourth Floor, Guomao Centre 010-65053171
Malaysia Dongzhimenwai Street 010-65322531
Mexico Sanlitun Dongwu Street 010-65322547
Netherlands Liangmahenan Road 010-65321131
New Zealand Ritandonglu Er Street 010-65322731
Norway Sanlitun Dongyi Street 010-65322261
Pakistan Dongzhimenwai Street 010-65322504
Phillipines Jianguomenwai Xiushuibei Street 010-65321872
Poland Jianguomen Ritan Road 010-65321235
Portugal Tayuan Diplomatic Office Building 010-65323497
Romania Ritanlu Dongre Street 010-65323442
Russia Dongzhimen Beizhong Street 010-65322051
Saudi Arabia Sanlitun Beixiao Street 010-65324825
Singapore Jianguomenwai Xiushuibei Street 010-65322731
Spain Sanlitun Road 010-65321986
Sweden Dongzhimenwai Street 010-65323331
Switzerland Sanlitun Dongwu Street 010-65322736
Thailand Guanghua Road 010-65321980
U.K. Guanghua Road 010-65321961

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