Travel by Air
The Beijing Capital Airport is undoubtedly China's top air hub, with 98 international, 21 regional and 757 domestic air routes linking the capital with 54 cities (excluding those in Taiwan) in 39 countries.
More than 40 foreign airlines have set up booking offices in Beijing. See details in the Beijing Directory section.
Most major international airlines have regular flights in and out of Beijing to cities throughout the world.Most cities in China have regular flights to and from Beijing. Check our flight reservation system for what you are looking for. The airport here is 27km from the city center. From here there are a few airport buses (RMB16) that will take you into town. A taxi should cost approximately RMB100.
Air Ticket Booking
The CAAC booking office is located in the China Aviation Building at 15 West Chang'an Avenue near Xidan. Most international and domestic airlines now have ticket and booking office in or near major hotels. Many travel agencies offer fast, reliable booking services.
Travel by Train
Taking the train in China is an experience not to be missed. You can met people from all over the country, and the views out of the train windows are unavailable in any other form of travel.
The city has five railway station, with lines running to almost all China's major cities. There are four kinds of seats available-soft berths, hard berths, soft sets and hard seats. If you are headed for any destination which has a travel time of over 6 hours, you should definitely try to get a soft seat. Any trips over 12 hours and a hard or soft sleeper is a must. Soft sleepers are more comfortable, but offer a more isolated (some would say private) train experience. Most overnight trains have dining carriage, and if you really can't find a seat or bunk anywhere, you can usually pay a small amount to spend the night in the dining carriage. It is a good idea to bring your own food . Instant noodles, fruit and sausages are what most people bring. Hot water is available on board.
Traveling by train, one can reach almost anywhere in China and even other destinations in Europe and Asia such as Moscow and Ulanbator.
Some of the major domestic routes include:
Shanghai to Beijing: normally about 14 hours overnight.
Guangzhou to Beijing: normally about 30 hours.
Harbin to Beijing: normally less than 20 hours.
Xi'an to Beijing: normally less than 10 hours.
There are two train stations in Beijing although most trains to major cities use the Beijing west station. The easiest way to get to the station is to take the subway. A taxi from the Forbidden City should cost approximately RMB20-40. There is a foreigners ticketing office in the station and most hotels will also arrange tickets for you (for a charge).
Beijing's West Railway Station is Asia's largest rail terminal and is very modern and well-equipped.
The most convenient way to get around Beijing is by taxi. There are tens of thousands of taxies running around the city at all times of the day. There are basically three different price categories: 1.20 Yuan/Km, 1.60 Yuan/Km and 2.00 Yuan/Km.
Although often crowded, the subway is often the fastest way to get around the center city area. There are only two subway lines, however. There is the circle line that runs underneath the Second Ring Road, and the straight line which extends from Sihuidong out to Pingguoyuan. Subway tickets are 3 Yuan, and to make a full circle on the circle line takes about 40 minutes, and from Sihuidong to Pingguoyuan takes about 50 minutes.
Click here to have a look at the Route of Beijing Subway
Besides bicycles, buses are the cheapest way to get aroung Beijing. The bus system in Beijing is very good, in that you can get almost anywhere by bus. But the downside is that they are really, really crowded and uncomfortable. There are two-segment behemoths, and the modern, air-conditioned buses which are a blessing in the summer.
There are four major long distance bus stations here: Beijiao in the north, Dongzhimen in the northeast, Majuan in the east and Haihuhun in the south. The bus can be a convenient way to reach cities close to Beijing such as Tianjin and it is easier to get seats for the bus than the train. For longer journeys though, it is worth taking the train.
if you are in Beijing for an extended period of time, you may want to consider buying a bike. Riding a Bike around Beijing is a fun way to get to know the city. Also, there are rarely bike jams (though they have been known to occur). You haven't really experienced Beijing until you have ridden alongside a three-wheeled platform bike loaded sky high with chunks of Styrofoam.
When you hear the word rickshaw, you may think of the two-wheeled carts pulled around by Chinese guys with long braids that you see in old movies. But today, rickshaws are actually three-wheeled bicycles often driven by old, retired men. There are fleets of them circling around the Tian'anmen Square area. It is nice to take a ride around the Square in the evening, but if you do, make sure you come to a price agreement first.
Postal services are usually provided at hotel desks. Some grand hotels have mail boxex and sell stamps for letters, post cards and parcels, Post offices, with eye-catching green emblems, are usually found on main streets, at railway stations, the airport and major scenic spots. They are open seven days a week from 9:00 to 17:00.
A letter costs 0.8 yuan within China, and overseas letter by air 2.5 Yuan to Hong Kong and Macao, and 5.4 Yuan to foreign countries.
International Post and Telecommunications Office
Besides regular postal services, this office handles remittances, money orders, telegraphic money transfers, international and domestic telephone and telegraph services. In the same building there is a Customs Office for those who need customs clearance for postal items. Add: Yabao Lu, 300 meters northeast of Jianguomen Overpass.
Tel: 010-65128132. Open: 08:00 - 18:30
There are hundreds of different dialects in China, and many of them are like totally different languages, though they are all lumped together into the category "Chinese" The official language of China is Mandarin Chinese, actually a northern dialect, and this is what the people of Beijing speak. Most hotel staff can speak English, so this is not a big problem. But on the street it may be difficult to communicate. If you are going to take a taxi, get someone to write down the address of your destination in Chinese. Street signs have a map, it is easier to figure out where you are.
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