Fragrant Hills Park

On June 13, 2011, in Beijing, Cool Places, Festivals, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

A Beijing travel not only gives the chance to experience one of the most beautiful shopping and modern society surrounding, but it also gives opportunity to get away from the daily routine and busy city life, mainly thanks to the several parks around the area of Beijing. Fragrant Hills Park is considered a public park, it sits just next to the Western mountains in the […]

A Beijing travel not only gives the chance to experience one of the most beautiful shopping and modern society surrounding, but it also gives opportunity to get away from the daily routine and busy city life, mainly thanks to the several parks around the area of Beijing. Fragrant Hills Park is considered a public park, it sits just next to the Western mountains in the Haidian district, situated in the northwestern part of Beijing. It covers 1.6 km² (395 acres) and it is constituted of a natural pine-cypress forest, hills with maple tree, and persimmon trees, as well as landscaped areas with traditional architecture and cultural relics. The name derives from Chinese Incense Burner the park’s highest peak, Xianglu Feng, (1827 ft) is a hill with two large stones resembling incense burners at the top. Xian Shan Park represents one of those fantastic getaways, it also offers a fantastic experience from an historic point of view as the area was home of leisure for past emperors and even chairman Mao himself. Xiang Shan is commonly known for its vivid reds of the deciduous trees in the autumn, some of its hidden corners are kept secrets in all of Beijing.

Fragrant Hills Park is recognized as one of the major tourist attractions in Beijing especially during autumn, where the natural scenery in the park suddenly turns spectacular, with fiery red smoke tree leaves covering the mountain side creating the opportunity to take amazing pictures. Every year, thousands of tourists ride the cable cars through the park in order see the hills in autumn colors. The grand opening of the annual as Red Leaf Festival of Beijing takes place there. In Season, thousands of people climb up the steps leading to the breathless Xiang Lu peak.

The park; built in 1186 during Jin Dynasty (1115 1234) has been further expanded during the Yuan and Ming Dynasty. Thanks to Emperor Qianlong, many halls, pavilions and garden were added to the park increasing the myth of the park changing its name in park of Tranquillity and Pleasure. However foreign troops especially during 1860, with the British arrivals, the park and its relics were completely destroyed. Other damages were afflicted to the park during the Eight-Nation Alliance in 1900, causing destruction of the park and the close Summer Palace. After all this negative events the Government since 1949 has been constantly restructuring and developing the park  making the location one of the must-see attraction in Beijing.

The park offers two main routes to follow. The first one pass by the north area, where is possible to admire the immense beauty of the Yanjing Lake, the bridge, Study of reading Heart and the Bright Temple. The latter is a large Tibetan style complex built in 1780. The structure represents the residence of the sixth Panchen Lama during his visit to Emperor Qianlong. The park context also includes the Fragrant Hill Hotel, designed by I. M. Pei, famous for its unique design, which represents one of the most esclusive locations for  a Beijing Hotels. The tour and complete view of the park is also available thanks to Beijing tours.

Eight Tips to Travel to China

On March 31, 2011, in Cultural Experience, Tips & Ideas, Tours, by Jack Li

There are so many amazing things you can discover when you are in china travel. China is a great tourist destination. It is the best place to visit if you are a traveler who wants a ride through history such as Travel to Xi’an, Travel to Beijing. It is a country that has everything you […]

There are so many amazing things you can discover when you are in china travel. China is a great tourist destination. It is the best place to visit if you are a traveler who wants a ride through history such as Travel to Xi’an, Travel to Beijing. It is a country that has everything you expect in terms of sceneries and festivals. With her rich cultural and historical resources, traveling to China can definitely give you an unforgettable experience.

When you travel to China, make sure that you are equipped with the right travel tips.

The primary tip to consider is knowing China’s background details. This includes its culture, language and people. The best way to enjoy China is to know its history.

Second, you have to know more about its many festivals so that you can decide when it is best to go there. China has so many different seasonal attractions for you to choose from. One of which is the kites festival during springtime from March to May.

Third, lay down your budget plan. This usually begins with your air fare. Be practical by availing discounts or promotions from travel agencies or airline companies.Once you have planned your trip to China, you are now ready to make it a reality.

When you have finally arrived in China, the fourth tip for you to remember is to be confident. When you are in another country, it is always advisable not to appear scared because other people might take advantage of your position.

Fifth tip would be getting a car hire or joining a group tour while you start exploring its sites. A car rental can be an economical way to drive around China while going to its wonderful sceneries. By joining group tours, you can also save time and money. If it is your first time to visit China and you might get lost by exploring it alone! You will only not lose yourself. You might probably lose your money from unnecessary taxi rides.

Enjoying China’s delicacies is the sixth practical tip, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. Food is a vital need for everyone. When you travel to China, food is something you won’t have a problem with because it is everywhere. The Chinese are aficionados for exotic and amazing cuisines. In China, noodles are the easiest delicacies you can find. By having some of their wonderful dishes, you can definitely have an amazing China experience.. The seventh helpful tip to consider would be saving on transportation. You can do this by joining tour groups. With a tour group, you can avail of packages that can help you save money form unnecessary taxi rides. If you are already familiar of the countries roads and attraction, you can also choose to avail of car rental services.

The last and most important tip to remember when going to China is respecting its people. Respect is always the key to a memorable experience. You have to give the Chinese the esteem they deserve form welcoming you in their country. Be modest and well disciplined when you are in their territory.

When equipped with these tips, you can enjoy the historical China. You will have a deeply impression and  lovely China Tours. We expect your coming.

Houhai Bar Street

On March 21, 2011, in Beijing, China Travel Gossip, Cool Places, Nightlife, by Jack Li

Thinking of China Travel, Beijing Tours may be the first choice, while talking about nightlife in Beijing, Houhai Bar Street and Sanlitun Bar Street might be the top two attractions. Full of small bars and pubs, Houhai is Beijing’s newly developed bar street. Unlike Sanlitun Bar Street, people can relax in the open air both […]

Thinking of China Travel, Beijing Tours may be the first choice, while talking about nightlife in Beijing, Houhai Bar Street and Sanlitun Bar Street might be the top two attractions.

Full of small bars and pubs, Houhai is Beijing’s newly developed bar street. Unlike Sanlitun Bar Street, people can relax in the open air both in the day and at night. Here nature beauty is just by your side.

With the glow of lights over the lake, Hohai takes on an unreal feeling. Most cafes and restaurants are individually owned and have their own unique style and service. They don’t copy each other’s good ideas. Around there are characteristic restaurants, drugstores and chophouses as well as old courtyards and houses. Glancing the passers, you may find it’s more like the bar of the Beijingers, full of atmosphere of traditional culture.

Houhai, at one time, was one of Beijing’s most famous summer resorts. Historical books records the grand spectacle in the summer when officials, scholars and common people alike flocked there to appreciate tea, lotus roots, operas and other types of entertainment.

As urban modernization relentlessly moves on, many people are becoming more nostalgic. Houhai is one of the last places for them to enjoy the natural beauty, appreciate the traditional culture and trace the history of old Beijing.

Lakes, hutongs, courtyards, the strong flavor of tradition plus the small shops beside the lakes attract multitudes of Beijing’s rising petty bourgeois. To those nouveau riches, bar life is more than just a fashion, it is a matter of attitude towards life. To them, life at night is intolerable without visiting bars. Nowadays, however, many of them have abandoned Sanlitun, because they regard Sanlitun as low-quality, just a good place for visitors.

When the sun goes down, lights are shining and people are shoulder by shoulder on the bank. Various kinds of bars are open, the lights reflected on the lake twinkling like stars. Relying on the profound traditional culture, every bar in Houhai is full of people.

Houhai is in the Shichahai district. Nearby there are many scenic spots such as Prince Gong’s Mansion, Beihai Park, Nanluoguxiang, and the Drum Tower, etc. On weekends, Houhai is more animated: you can find people everywhere, in the bar or beside the banisters. Handreds of cars park and thousands of people are around there. As the bars are built beside the beautiful scene, so the bar, the scene, the culture and regional character become the whole.

In the evening, if you have been tired of staying in the Beijing Hotels, just go to the Houhai Bar Street for relaxation and entertainment.

Beijing Famous Parks

On March 16, 2011, in Adventure Trip, Beijing, Parks & Gardens, by Jack Li

When you are tired in traveling in china, what do you want to do? In order to make your China Tours in china more interesting, I will give you some tips about the Beijing parks where you will enjoy the amazing things in spring and forget the worries. When you Travel to Beijing, you can enjoy […]

When you are tired in traveling in china, what do you want to do? In order to make your China Tours in china more interesting, I will give you some tips about the Beijing parks where you will enjoy the amazing things in spring and forget the worries. When you Travel to Beijing, you can enjoy the beautiful things in spring in the gardens except the wonders.

Beihai Park

Beihai Park is one of the most popular parks in the city of Beijing. It covers a total area of over 68 hectares, more than half of it is taken up by the lake. Located northwest of the Forbidden City, this park has an 800-year history as the royal garden — and playground — of the Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. It is used to be the former palace of the emperors in successive dynasties, called the Winter Palace by Westerners. Early in the 10th century, the Liao dynasty a secondary imperial palace and an island (Jade Islet) were built here. It was expanded by digging a lake, adding more palace halls when Jin Empire took over; during the Yuan dynasty was rebuilt three times. The Ming and the Qing saw more construction and renovation: The Five Dragon Pavilions and the Nine-dragon Screen and pavilions were added.

Taoranting Park

Taoranting Park located southwest of Tiananmen Square opened to the public in 1956.

Taoranting means “Joyous Pavilion” and refers to the Temple of Mercy which stood in the grounds of the present day park.

Taoran Ting (Taoran Pavilion) is known as one of China’s four most famous historical pavilions, together with Aiwan Pavilion in Changsha, Huxin Pavilion in Hangzhou and Zuiweng Pavilion in Chuzhou. Taoran Pavilion was built in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and was a meeting point for poets, scholars and activists.

Beijing Botanical Gardens

Beijing Botanical Gardens, lying at foot of the West Hill (Xi Shan) in the suburbs of Beijing, are a relaxing, inexpensive place to spend a day away from the hustle and bustle of big city life. The Gardens are particularly spectacular in spring, with their blossom-laden fruit trees, and in autumn, when the vivid reds, greens, browns and golds of the vegetation heralds the approach of winter. Try to avoid weekend visits in spring as the park can get quite crowded with Beijing residents checking out the blossom.

The Garden grounds are well-signposted – head for the newly-opened visitor centre if you want to buy a cheap English brochure and map. A map can also be downloaded at the Beijing Botanical Garden website. For specific information you can call the Garden information service, although the English of the staff can be extremely patchy at times.

Zhongshan

Zhongshan Park is a wonderful escape into a more natural environment after visiting museums, galleries and Tiananmen Square.

Spring is particularly stunning in Zhongshan Park. There are huge swathes of tulips planted throughout the park lining paths, or adding splashes of colour under avenues of trees. It really has to be seen if visiting Beijing during the spring.

If visiting the park during the May Day holiday don’t expect to be alone. The park is very popular with many Beijingers and visitors from other parts of China. At the same time you can still find a quiet area to sit and ‘watch the world go by’ or alternatively strike up a conversation with some of the friendly locals wanting to practice their English.

Jingshan Park

Immediately across the road from the north entrance to the Forbidden City lies Jingshan Park (景山公园). Jingshan Park is also known as Coal Hill. It owes its existence to the moat built around the Forbidden City in 1420. Not only did the park provide somewhere to store the soil dug out of the moat, but it was planned in line with fengshui practice to protect the palace from the northern winds.

An interesting story about Jingshan Park is associated with the Ming Dynasty, because the last emperor hung himself as Manchu troops came to Beijing. There is a marker and notice board with the story on the eastern path in the park.

In Beijing you will not only enjoy the great wonders such as great wall, summer palace, but can appericiate the natrual things in the beijing gardens. You will have a unforgettable china travel.

FAQ on traveling in China

On March 15, 2011, in Adventure Trip, Cultural Experience, Must-sees, by Jack Li

1. Where should I go on my first trip to China? It firstly dependents on how much time you have to arrange. Generally speaking, Beijing Tours, Shanghai Tours and Xi’an Tours are recommended for your first trip to China. Beijing is the political and cultural center of China, where you can visit a part of […]

1. Where should I go on my first trip to China?

It firstly dependents on how much time you have to arrange. Generally speaking, Beijing Tours, Shanghai Tours and Xi’an Tours are recommended for your first trip to China.

Beijing is the political and cultural center of China, where you can visit a part of the Great Wall—— the Badaling and the residential area of emperors of Qing and Ming Dynasties——the Imperial Palace as well as the Imperial Gardens——the Summer Palace and Beihai Park. You can also enjoy the flavors of roasted Beijing dark and instant-boiled mutton. Shanghai is the largest city of China. It is the best place for shopping. The full range of local delicacies, cookies, handicrafts and textiles will satisfy you. Suzhou and Hangzhou, a few hours’ drive from Shanghai, represent the Arts of Chinese Garden and are crowned as “paradise on earth”. The city of Xian was the starting point of the ancient Silk Road and was the capital of thirteen ancient dynasties. The newly unearthed Terracotta Warriors are recognized as “the eighth wonder of the world”. Great Wild Goose Pagoda and Drum Tower are left over from Tang Dynasty. You can also take a hot spring bath in Huangqing Pool, which used to be a private bath for Yang Guifei. Otherwise you can pay homage to the Tomb of Huangdi, not far from Xi’an, as a descendent of Emperor Yan and Huang. In Xi’an, you can enjoy the Tang style music and dance, and taste Tangish cuisine.

2. What is most worth buying in China and where to buy it?

Chinese handicrafts, silk, porcelain, carpets and cotton textiles have high reputation in the world. The price is more reasonable than other places in the world, and more choices are available in China. Each place in China has its own local specialties. For example, Beijing’s cloisonné and carpets, Shanghai’s Chinese clothing and cotton textiles, Hangzhou’s silk, Suzhou’s antiques and Xian’s terra cotta figures and three-color glazed pottery of the Tang Dynasty. If you don’t want to bother, you can buy these once for all in Beijing or Shanghai’s friendship stores. Friendship stores in big cities usually have plenty supply, and offer mail service. Visitors who are interested in art can also purchase paintings and antiques. But remember invoice and identification mark (a red wax seal) are needed to go through the Customs.

You can just visit chinatraveldepot.com or leave questions for more information, and we sincerely welcome you to China for your China Tours.

Tips on Recommended Nightclubs and Discos in Beijing

On March 3, 2011, in Cultural Experience, Nightlife, by Jack Li

If you are a party animal, you can’t exclude going to some nightclubs from your Beijing Tours. This article will start focused on the nightclub and disco scene in Beijing. Beijing has a varied nightlife scene, and the following basic guide will hopefully give you some idea. Now get prepared for night parties if you’re […]

If you are a party animal, you can’t exclude going to some nightclubs from your Beijing Tours. This article will start focused on the nightclub and disco scene in Beijing. Beijing has a varied nightlife scene, and the following basic guide will hopefully give you some idea. Now get prepared for night parties if you’re going to pack up to Travel to Beijing.

ANGEL CLUB

Angel Club is a new opening national brand nightclub you must go in Beijing. Maybe because one of the owners works for an entertainment company, people who play in Angel always meet many of those famous stars and models.

 The Angel club, with its own separate entrance, has been newly transformed its large 12,000 square foot facility into a modern urban gem. The club features state of the art lights, video, sound, DJ booth, large dance floor, podiums, a huge bar, over ten serving stations. One lounge is for dancing, the other one is for private parties. If you want to chill-out, there are plenty of room to sit and enjoy a drink in the rear of the club and you won’t have to worry about waiting around at the bar with plenty of professional bar-staff on hand to keep your glasses full.

Location: No. 6 Worker Stadium East Rd, Chaoyang District, Beijing

Free of admission fees but alcohols charges with free soft drinks and appetiters.

Opening hours: 6:00 PM—4:00 AM

BABY FACE

A new opening national brand nightclub is another must -go venue in Beijing. Unlike Baby Face in Shanghai and Guangzhou, this is its newest version, bigger, more fashionable and comfortable than any other Baby Face chain clubs.

The lounge Baby Face features a huge screen. You will get shocked by the screen behind DJ booth. A traditional game appears on this screen, come and explore what it is!!!

They have two rooms. The big one is mainly playing house music. The small one is going to be hip-hop room. The house music style played here is very welcomed by Beijing clubbers. Music is the soul of Baby Face. If you are a party animal, this is an ideal place.

The drinks are not cheap. The beer is about 35RMB and cocktail is about 40RMB. Baby Face invites world famous DJs very often. Check for their party information before you come so you won’t miss the events.

Location: No.143, Xizhimenwai Avenue, Xicheng District, Beijing

Admission fee: 50 RMB (on weekends)

Opening hours: 8:00 PM—Midnight

COCO BANANA

If you want to get to know Beijing’s hottest fashion trends, and get shocked by latest released music dance tracks, BANANA is the best must-go place you will find. By perfectly combined with world trend disco music and Chinese local expression of music, BANANA creates its own style of disco. You will be refreshed by the variable styles of music all night long.

Located at Sci-tech Hotel in the heart of Beijing, this newly renovated nightclub has two levels, which dubs itself Chinese FEBERIC, one of the hottest clubs in New York. The two floors are distinct, yet maintain a common thread with respect to service and upbeat atmosphere. Most people there are local white-shirts who look for nightlife excitements.

In addition to regular private parties and promotional events, the small lounge includes KTV rooms, decorated in three styles—classic, modern, and Mediterranean. 

Location: 22 Jianguomenwai Avenue, Dongcheng District, Beijing

Opening hours: 8:30PM — 4:00AM (Sunday—Thursday) 8:30PM — 5:00AM (Friday—Saturday)

Admission fee: 20RMB (Sunday—Thursday) 30RMB (Friday– Saturday)

 CLUB MIX

This is a place you can party hard. The style of decoration resembles that of North American hot nightclubs. The external look of Mix is like “Arena” in L.A., or “Ten15″ in San Francisco. The 2-floor design is equipped with high quality sound system and delicately lighted.

You will easily find people from various countries in there. It is one of the nightclubs frequented by foreigners in Beijing. Weekends are inclined for hip-hop.

The areas are separated well, you can easily find a private chat corner; or burst into a dance; or even treat yourself a dish of French or Italian food on the second floor, being pleased by observing people dancing below.

 Location: Workers Stadium North Gate, Beijing

Admission fee: 30 RMB

Opening hours: 8:00 PM—Midnight

 PROPAGANDA

PROPAGANDA is one of the Beijing’s hottest new nightclubs. Two floors are full of people when on weekends. People have drinks and meet new friends on the upper floor lounge. Downstairs is geared for dance.

Special Event Day: Thursday—Lady’s Night; Friday—Tequila’s night

Location: East gate of Huaqingjiayuan, Wudaokou, Haidian District, Beijing

Admission fee: 100 RMB (for men), 30 RMB (for women)

Opening hours: 7:00 PM—2:00 AM

 With the best experience of nightlife, Beijing Tours are surely unforgettable for you.

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Temple Fairs in Beijing

On January 24, 2011, in Cultural Experience, by Sandy Li

Do you want to experience the most traditional Chinese Spring Festival when you travel to Beijing? In China, the most important holiday is the Chinese New Year, also called the Spring Festival. During the period of festival, most of people go back to their hometown and spends several days with family and friends. They also […]

Do you want to experience the most traditional Chinese Spring Festival when you travel to Beijing? In China, the most important holiday is the Chinese New Year, also called the Spring Festival. During the period of festival, most of people go back to their hometown and spends several days with family and friends. They also hold many celebrations and activities. Temple Fair is a traditional custom of Chinese culture which is held every year. So far, there have been more than 10 major temple fairs held each year in Beijing. Although different places hold their Temple Fair at different dates, the contents are similar. So, going to the Temple Fairs is your best choice to know Chinese culture in your China Tours. For foreigners or visitors who don’t know Chinese culture well, Temple Fair is a real cultural experience, because it shows Chinese culture from different aspects.

Beijing has several fairs in various ancient temples during Chinese New Year. So people call these celebrations “Temple Fairs.” It originated along with the development of Buddhist and Taoist activities. Visitors, including city folk and peasants from countryside, can do religious worship, entertainment. The fairs always have lots of games, food, performances, showing a bustling atmosphere. Farmers and merchants sell their farm products, local specialties, and antiques, jade articles, flowers, birds and fish; craftsmen set up their stalls to show and sell their handicrafts and specialty snacks; folk artists establish a stage for singing, dance, and other performances. Most Temple Fairs perform dragon and lion dances, waist drum dancing, lotus blossom fairy dances, ground and clam dancing as well as other folk performances. In rural areas, the Temple Fair is also a popular and important traditional activity.

The following are the popular temples for Temple Fairs in Beijing:

Ditan Park Fair:

Ditan Park Fair is one of the busiest temple fairs in Beijing. It has an altar where sacrifices were formerly offered to the earth god. Activities and events during the fair will include folk performances, fashion shows and a food street.

Location: 100 meters north of the Lama Temple or Lama Temple Subway Station.

To get there: Yonghegong (Lama Temple) subway, bus 13, I 16, 62 for the south gate; trolley bus 104, 108, or bus 27, 358, 119, 407, 328, 803 or 912 for west gate. Also Andingmen subway.

Admission: 6 yuan (72 US cents).

Baiyunguan Temple Fair:

This is the grandest temple fair of west downtown. Baiyunguan is a Taoist temple that is more than 1,000 years old. This is the only fair which is really held in a temple.

Location: Xibianmenwai, Xicheng District.

To get there: Take bus routes 320, 414 to Baiyunguan Station or 114, 308, 937 to Baiyunlu.

Admission: 6 yuan (72 US cents)

Changdian Temple Fair:

The Changdian Temple Fair is often a favorite outing for Beijing residents during the Chinese New Year. It is particularly held to draw people to buy and sell paintings and calligraphic works, antiques, articles for daily use, children’s toys, food products and seasonal fruit and vegetables.

Location: Liulichang Jie, Xuanwu District.

Admission: Free.

Shijingshan Amusement Park

This will be a foreign-style temple fair. It is almost like a foreign carnival parade. Visitors can get to its south gate by taking the subway to Bajiao Youleyuan.

The park is 100 meters west of the subway station.

Admission: 5 yuan (60 US cents).

If you want to know more traditional culture about China, please book your China Flights before Chinese New Year Festival and experience the Temple Fairs in Beijing.

China Tour Service —Airport Pickups in Beijing

On December 31, 2010, in Beijing, Cultural Experience, Getting Around, by Jack Li

Your wonderful China Tours start from the capital Beijing. This is your first time to this big city and although you have booked a hotel but you do not know how to make your way there. Need advice? Check out! There are many ways that you can choose from. You can take the subway-airport express, […]

Your wonderful China Tours start from the capital Beijing. This is your first time to this big city and although you have booked a hotel but you do not know how to make your way there. Need advice? Check out!

There are many ways that you can choose from. You can take the subway-airport express, shuttle buses, a taxi or you can enjoy the personal airport pickup service offered either by your Beijing Hotels or the travel agents.

Subway-Airport Express

It is the fastest way of transportation, only 16 minutes from the airport to downtown. Running between the Beijing Capital Airport and Dongzhimen Station, pass by Sanyuanqiao station, with a ticket price of 20RMB per person. The subway is connected with other subway line 2, line 10 and line 13, very convenient for travelers going to downtown Beijing.

Shuttle Buses

There are shuttle buses outside Beijing International Airport. Three routes are offered. The operation time is 7:00 to 22:00 or 7:30 to 22:00, 7days/week. The interval is 30 minutes and the price is RMB 16.00/person.

Route 1: Route: Beijing International Airport- Yu Yang Hotel- Dong Zhi Men-Dong Si Shi Tiao Bridge- Chao Yang Men Bridge-Ya Bao Road-Xidan Civil Aviation Building-Dong Si Art Museum

Route 2: Beijing International Airport- San Yuan Bridge- Liang Ma Bridge-Hu Jia Lou- Guo Mao Bridge-Beijing Railway Station (west gate of Beijing International Hotel)

Route 3: Beijing International Airport-China International Exhibition Center- An Zhen Bridge-Ma Dian Bridge-Bei Tai Ping Zhuang-Ji Men Bridge-Beijing Friendship Hotel-Beijing TV Station- Zi Zhu Bridge- Hua Yuan Bridge- Hang Tian Bridge- Gong Zhu Fen

These two ways are money-saving, however, they are only recommended when you have experience with traffic in Beijing, I don’t want you to get lost. or your hotel is near the stations.

If this is your first time in this big city and you don’t speak or read any Chinese, you will definitely need someone to meet you at the airport or train station, help you with any difficulties there, and take you right to your destination. In this case, you have another three choices.

Taxis

There is a taxi line just outside the airport terminal. Many taxi drivers in Beijing can speak or read simple English. You can take a taxi and tell him where to go or show him the note with the address on it. If you do not want to wait in the line and need your particular taxi, you can make a reservation with the taxi companies asking for an English-speaking driver.

Offered by Hotels

Many hotels in Beijing offer airport pickup service. When doing your booking, ask the clerks whether their hotel offers such service. If they do, it will free you from much unnecessary incontinence.

If you are booking a hotel through an online company, leave a message while filling the reservation form, and let they know your exact flight number and time of arrival.  They will book you a hotel with airport pickup service.

Offered by Travel Agents

If you have bought a tour package in a travel agent, chances are that they will offer you free airport pickup service. When arrive at the airport by your Beijing Flights, you will find the English-speaking tour guide waiting for you.

Many local companies offer airport pickup service, such as Beijing Holiday, Beijing Airport Transport and Beijing Page Travel Service. They have various types of vehicles different in size, shape and color to meet all your needs. Furthermore, their experienced drivers and well-trained English-speaking tour guides are professional and helpful. You can log onto their website for detailed information.

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Discounted China Hotels in Beijing

On December 24, 2010, in Accomodation, Beijing, China Travel Gossip, by Jack Li

Planning to have a Travel to Beijing and need to book a hotel to stay? As regard hotels in Beijing many visitors always think of luxury or 5-star ones like China World (Shangri La), Grand Hyatt, and Great Wall Sheraton. If you are here to experience luxury accommodation and you don’t care about the money, […]

Planning to have a Travel to Beijing and need to book a hotel to stay? As regard hotels in Beijing many visitors always think of luxury or 5-star ones like China World (Shangri La), Grand Hyatt, and Great Wall Sheraton. If you are here to experience luxury accommodation and you don’t care about the money, they would be ok.

However, if you are planning a budget tour and want to save money, getting a discounted hotel is to be listed in top priorities, as important as cheap China Flights.

Guarantees for discounted hotels are always booking in advance, avoiding weekends and high seasons, but if you have been already scheduled, be flexible in location. The location of a hotel is decisive in its rate, so look for hotels outside the city center but with convenient transportation. Here is a list of those hotels that are mostly recommended.

No.1 Shatan Hotel Beijing 

Beijing Shatan Hotel is located very close to the Forbidden City in an interesting side street which is teemed with local shops, markets and restaurants. All these combined makes you feel you live as the locals.  The room is spacious, really comfy beds, nice flat screen TV, and beautiful bathroom. The staffs are helpful and the breakfast is ok.

Add: No. 28 Shatan back Street, Dongcheng District Beijing 100009

Tel: 010-84026688

No.2 Homekey Hotel Beijing 

Homekey Hotel is a six floor building with 24 guest rooms. It is centrally located in the hutong areas, 600m from Drum Tower, 800m from Bell Tower, Forbidden City 800m, Tiananmen Square 4 km, Bird’s Nest 6 km, Wangfujiang Street 4km, Silk Market 5km, Beijing Railway Station 6km and Beijing airport 30km. Friendly English-speaking staff.  Each room is equipped with TV, air-conditioner, private bathroom, shower, 24hr hot water, wireless access, two beds, and big window with lovely view.

Tel: 0086 10 64070268; fax: 0086 10 64013846

Add: No.15, Yu`er Hutong, Nanluoguxiang, Dongcheng District, Beijing

No.3  Orange Hotels Beijing

Orange Hotel Beijing is a hotel chain with 10 hotels in Beijing – Beijing Zhongguancun, Beijing Guanyuanqiao, Beijing Tianningsi, Beijing Wukesong, Beijing Wanjing, Beijing Xinzhimen, Beijing Jingsong Dong, Beijing Jingsong Xi, Beijing Asia Games Village and Beijing Shuijin Jianguo. All the ten orange hotels are located in the major areas in Beijing, very convenient both for business and leisure travelers. All hotels are a no frills hotels. People are quite satisfied with the cleanliness of the room and the toilet. The mattress is hard like what you would find in many hotels in China. Most of the chain hotels are cozy and modern.

Add: No. 200 Beiyuan Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing

Tel: 400-819-0099 (24 hours)

No.4 Jade Garden Hotel 

The location of the hotel is super for those who want to visit the Forbidden City and Tianamen Square; both are within a ten minute walk. The night market and Wangfujing are also very close by. The staffs at the front desk are always helpful, informative, and can speak English. Rooms are clean, comfortable and the surrounding is all right. It offers very good western and Chinese breakfast buffet. Free internet is very nice.

Add: 1 Nanheyan Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing

Tel: 86 10 58580966

No.5 Bamboo Garden Hotel 

The location is great, a 10 minute walk from a subway station as well as walking distance of several worthwhile sites in the city. It’s in the middle of the hutongs with walking distance to Lake Houhai and surrounding market streets, restaurants and bars. Only a short taxi ride to Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Make sure you have the location of the hotel in Chinese as it is a bit difficult to for some taxi drivers to find. The standard room is very clean, pretty and comfortable. The bathroom is modern and clean. The large flat screen TV and computer with free internet are an added delight. The hotel has a courtyard surrounding full of greenery, very calm and peaceful.

Add: No.24, Xiaoshiqiao, Jiugulou Street, Xicheng District, Beijing.

Tel: 86-10-58520088

The hotels listed can guarantee you a decent and comfy stay for your Beijing Tours while cost you much less money with the average room rate above is between US$ 20 and 60 per night.

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Train Ticket to Beijing

On December 20, 2010, in Beijing, China Travel Gossip, Travel Info, by Jack Li

While China Flights are fast but expensive, train travel in China can both be economical and convenience. Sometimes, to enjoy beautiful views and make friends on the way are also good reasons. If you are already in China and you want to Travel to Beijing the capital, buy a train ticket to go there would […]

While China Flights are fast but expensive, train travel in China can both be economical and convenience. Sometimes, to enjoy beautiful views and make friends on the way are also good reasons. If you are already in China and you want to Travel to Beijing the capital, buy a train ticket to go there would be a good choice. Need information and advice on the train tickets? Check out!

In fact, it’s easy to buy tickets yourself at the stations in China. You should look for the special ticket window for foreigners, but remember to take your passport with you,

Classes of the Train

Chinese trains have 4 kinds of classes: hard-seater (a bench with limited cushioning), soft-seater (comfier seats), hard-sleeper (six to a compartment) or soft-sleeper (four to a compartment). So there are 4 prices for each train.

Types of the Trains

Chinese passenger trains are divided into various types according to their speed, which are identified with a capital Chinese phonetic letter, for example, D stands for Electric Multiple Units (EMU) Train, Z means Direct Express Train and T stands for special fast train, and K means fast train.

When to Buy the Trains Tickets?

Reservations for the best Z-category express trains open 10-20 days before departure, but reservations for other trains only open 5-10 days before departure. You cannot buy tickets before reservations open. If the train you want starts its journey somewhere else and calls at your boarding station already well into its journey, tickets may only be available 2 days before departure. The exact rules vary by city and by train.

However, the number of days of pre-sale tickets may be adjusted temporarily during the rush Chinese holidays or festivals, such as Chinese New Year, National Holiday and summer vacation. To avoid disappointment, it is suggested that you book tickets through an agency as early as possible.

How the reservation systems operate

Chinese Railways don’t have a central reservation system, only local computer reservation systems based in Shanghai or each city that are linked to each other. So a station can generally only sell you a ticket for a journey starting at that station, not for journeys starting elsewhere.

For example, the ticket office at Shanghai can sell you a Shanghai–Beijing ticket but cannot sell you a Beijing-Xian ticket. However, at major cities you can sometimes buy a return ticket for key routes – for example, in Guangzhou you can buy a ticket from Guangzhou to Beijing and also from Beijing back to Guangzhou. But in most cases, you’ll need to book your return journey when you get to your destination in China.

Where to Buy a Train Ticket?

Railway Station: At these ticket windows of railway stations, passengers could purchase train tickets on the spot or a few days in advance. In these popular cities, such Shanghai and Xian, the ticket windows at railway stations are opened 24 hours round the clock.

Designated Ticket Office: Generally, passengers could purchase train tickets 3~10 days (20 days for Z and D trains) ahead of travel time at these tickets offices distributed throughout a city. An additional service charge of CNY5 per ticket should be paid.

Travel Agency: It is often more convenient to obtain your tickets through a reliable travel agency or at the reception desk of your China Hotels. While this is both convenient and can save time, relevant service charge is required, maybe more if the tickets are delivered to you.

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