A Travel and vacations forum. TravelBanter

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Go Back   Home » TravelBanter forum » Travel Regions » Asia
Site Map Home Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

Beijing China Tours



 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old August 12th, 2012, 11:10 PM posted to rec.travel.asia
jacquey
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2
Default Beijing China Tours

We will be going on a cruise in April 2013. One of our ports is Beijing for 2 nights. What tours are available beside the ships tours? Do you have to stay in a hotel in Beijing overnight rather than coming back & forth to the ship? Thank You
  #2  
Old August 13th, 2012, 06:51 PM posted to rec.travel.asia
SMS
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 897
Default Beijing China Tours

On 8/12/2012 3:10 PM, jacquey wrote:
We will be going on a cruise in April 2013. One of our ports is Beijing for 2 nights. What tours are available beside the ships tours? Do you have to stay in a hotel in Beijing overnight rather than coming back & forth to the ship? Thank You


Since there's no port in Beijing, this will be an interesting trip! I
think that cruise ships dock in Tianjin. You can take the high speed
train to Beijing (Beijing South station), it's about a 35 minute ride.
From the train station, you can take the subway all over Beijing, it's
very easy to use, and there is English signage and announcements. Of
course there are taxis as well, just be sure you have your destination
printed out in Chinese characters.

You probably don't want to go back to Tianjin every night, so you should
get a hotel in Beijing.

Without knowing what you like to do it's hard to make recommendations.

We were in Beijing in June 2012. The highlight of the trip was the trip
to the Great Wall, but not the Disneyland-like, hugely overcrowded,
completely renovated sections of the wall at Badaling or Mutianyou. We
went he
http://www.travelchinaguide.com/china_great_wall/scene/beijing/jinshanling.htm.
I'd been to China many times and only been to the Badaling section of
wall. Jinshanling was incredible.

I'm sure you want to go to the Forbidden City as well, though I think if
I had to choose one or the other I'd go to the Summer Palace. You could
do both in one day since the subway goes out to the Summer Palace now,
but it'd be a long day with a lot of walking.

I would recommend that you eschew the fancy hotels in Beijing and stay
in a hutong. We stayed he http://www.beijingcitywalls.com/. Reserve
well in advance as it's extremely popular. Not only will you spend a lot
less money, you'll have an experience that few tourists to Beijing enjoy.

I was with my family and we got the four person room, but there are two
person rooms as well, and they have bathrooms in the room. They sell
meals which were pretty good and not expensive, they have free Wi-Fi as
well as computers to use (no Facebook though, unless you have VPN
service back to another country). You can walk to an area with a bunch
of good restaurants (including of course Peking Duck) as well as the
ubiquitous KFC.

Reviews:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g294212-d1014228-Reviews-Sitting_on_the_City_Walls_Beijing_Courtyard_House-Beijing.html

http://www.hostelworld.com/hosteldetails.php/Sitting-On-The-City-Walls-Courtyard-House/Beijing/24225

You can walk to the Forbidden City from there. We took the tour they
sell out to Jinshanling Great Wall. The tour company picks you up at
6:15 am, you sit sardine-packed into a minivan where they serve you a
delicious breakfast of a cold McDonald's sausage muffin and a Coke, and
they drive you to Jinshanling, where you have about five hours to walk
around the wall. They include a mediocre lunch at a nearby restaurant.
But aside from the inconveniences of the tour company, it's an amazing
trip. There's a cable car up to the wall which saves time (we walked
back down though), and there are a few touts that will follow you trying
to sell you stuff, but nothing like Badaling.

You don't need an organized tour for the Forbidden City or the Summer
Palace, just go. The subway goes to both places, and it's much faster
than a taxi since Beijing traffic is horrendous.

April is a good time to go since it's not so hot.

If I had to guess, the cruise ship excursions to Beijing are enormously
expensive and take you to the most touristy places.

Be sure to pack very light for the trip to Beijing. We had four
rollerboard type suitcases, considered carry-on in the U.S., and we
could not get all four into the trunk of a taxi.

The spousal unit had wanted to go on an organized tour to China, but I
would not do that. We did just fine on our own. Probably no cheaper, but
we went to places that an organized tour would not go.

Final thing is to watch out for tours with forced shopping where they
take you to a "xxxx factory" (xxxx=jade, silk, etc) and pressure you to
buy things so the tour guide can get a commission. This is a huge
problem in China. We experienced it on the Li River tour we signed up
for in Guilin, even though they told us that there would be no shopping
stops.
  #3  
Old August 14th, 2012, 10:51 AM posted to rec.travel.asia
tim.....
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,591
Default Beijing China Tours

"SMS" wrote in message ...

On 8/12/2012 3:10 PM, jacquey wrote:
We will be going on a cruise in April 2013. One of our ports is Beijing
for 2 nights. What tours are available beside the ships tours? Do you
have to stay in a hotel in Beijing overnight rather than coming back &
forth to the ship? Thank You


Since there's no port in Beijing, this will be an interesting trip! I
think that cruise ships dock in Tianjin. You can take the high speed
train to Beijing (Beijing South station), it's about a 35 minute ride.
From the train station, you can take the subway all over Beijing, it's
very easy to use, and there is English signage and announcements. Of
course there are taxis as well, just be sure you have your destination
printed out in Chinese characters.

You probably don't want to go back to Tianjin every night, so you should
get a hotel in Beijing.

Without knowing what you like to do it's hard to make recommendations.

We were in Beijing in June 2012. The highlight of the trip was the trip
to the Great Wall, but not the Disneyland-like,

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For the benefit of those that don't know. The suggestion that the easily
accessible parts of the wall are "Disneyland-like" is a gross
over-exaggeration.

"Commercialised" is a more reasonable description. I.e there is an excess
of stalls selling you tat, there most emphatically is not: people walking
around dressed up in period costumes, nor are there "rides" for you to go
on.

tim


  #4  
Old August 14th, 2012, 03:29 PM posted to rec.travel.asia
SMS
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 897
Default Beijing China Tours

On 8/14/2012 2:51 AM, tim..... wrote:

"Commercialised" is a more reasonable description. I.e there is an
excess of stalls selling you tat, there most emphatically is not: people
walking around dressed up in period costumes, nor are there "rides" for
you to go on.


Definitely rides at Badaling, see
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3079869464. See
http://i46.tinypic.com/fd7vkp.jpg for a comparison of crowds. But
besides the rides, the other negatives are a) the crowds, and b) it's a
totally restored and unauthentic section of the wall.

In any case, it's easy to arrange a tour to one of the less crowded,
more historic sections. I.e.
http://www.travelchinaguide.com/package/beijing/jinshanling-hiking.htm, though
this is a lot more than we paid, but we were in a packed van, not a car
for just the four of us. Also see
http://www.travelchinaguide.com/package/beijing/jinshanling-hiking.htm. I
think we paid about $60 per person. Actually you can do it on your own
for just a few dollars, taking buses, but that would take a lot longer.

The downside for some people is that it's a lot of walking, and since
it's not restored the surface is less than optimal, and there are some
very steep steps and no hand rails of course. Not suitable for everyone.
Since the original poster is going on a cruise they may be elderly.
  #5  
Old August 14th, 2012, 07:03 PM posted to rec.travel.asia
tim.....
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,591
Default Beijing China Tours

"SMS" wrote in message ...

On 8/14/2012 2:51 AM, tim..... wrote:

"Commercialised" is a more reasonable description. I.e there is an
excess of stalls selling you tat, there most emphatically is not: people
walking around dressed up in period costumes, nor are there "rides" for
you to go on.


Definitely rides at Badaling, see
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3079869464. See
http://i46.tinypic.com/fd7vkp.jpg for a comparison of crowds. But
besides the rides, the other negatives are a) the crowds, and b) it's a
totally restored and unauthentic section of the wall.

In any case, it's easy to arrange a tour to one of the less crowded,
more historic sections. I.e.
http://www.travelchinaguide.com/package/beijing/jinshanling-hiking.htm,
though
this is a lot more than we paid, but we were in a packed van, not a car
for just the four of us. Also see
http://www.travelchinaguide.com/package/beijing/jinshanling-hiking.htm. I
think we paid about $60 per person. Actually you can do it on your own
for just a few dollars, taking buses, but that would take a lot longer.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bloody 'ell that's a lot more than I paid for the Disney (sic) tour (and we
went to the Ming Tombs).

I booked as an individual and IIRC the bus had 7 people in total, so even if
booked together they would have wanted 90 dollars a piece.

I too investigated going on the bus for about 50 cents, but decided that the
time penalty just wasn't worth the savings

tim

  #6  
Old August 16th, 2012, 05:58 PM posted to rec.travel.asia
SMS
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 897
Default Beijing China Tours

On 8/14/2012 11:03 AM, tim..... wrote:
"SMS" wrote in message ...

On 8/14/2012 2:51 AM, tim..... wrote:

"Commercialised" is a more reasonable description. I.e there is an
excess of stalls selling you tat, there most emphatically is not: people
walking around dressed up in period costumes, nor are there "rides" for
you to go on.


Definitely rides at Badaling, see
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3079869464. See
http://i46.tinypic.com/fd7vkp.jpg for a comparison of crowds. But
besides the rides, the other negatives are a) the crowds, and b) it's a
totally restored and unauthentic section of the wall.

In any case, it's easy to arrange a tour to one of the less crowded,
more historic sections. I.e.
http://www.travelchinaguide.com/package/beijing/jinshanling-hiking.htm, though

this is a lot more than we paid, but we were in a packed van, not a car
for just the four of us. Also see
http://www.travelchinaguide.com/package/beijing/jinshanling-hiking.htm. I
think we paid about $60 per person. Actually you can do it on your own
for just a few dollars, taking buses, but that would take a lot longer.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Bloody 'ell that's a lot more than I paid for the Disney (sic) tour (and
we went to the Ming Tombs).

I booked as an individual and IIRC the bus had 7 people in total, so
even if booked together they would have wanted 90 dollars a piece.

I too investigated going on the bus for about 50 cents, but decided that
the time penalty just wasn't worth the savings


It's now very fast and easy and cheap to get to Badaling from Beijing on
the train. When I went to Badaling many years ago on the train (in the
1980's) it was a very slow local train which took 3 hours, plus walking
about 1km. Now it's a 55 minute ride from Beijing North station (there
are four train stations in Beijing) plus a 1km walk. The Xizhimen subway
station is right by the Beijing North Station (which used to be called
the Xizhimen station, but I guess they changed the name to avoid confusion).

If I only had two days in Beijing I'd pass on the Ming Tombs. I think
the Summer Palace is a better use of time. The Forbidden City is another
place worth going, though once is enough and now I've been there three
times. I should have passed on it this past June, but it was the first
time my family was with me on a trip to China so I went again. It was
incredibly packed and they haven't followed Disney's systems of moving
people efficiently through an attraction. I think that they need to tear
it down and rebuild it differently. If they can put in a roller coaster
at the Great Wall, surely they could put in a ride that transports you
through, over, and under, the Forbidden City. We went through a cave
complex near Yangshuo, complete with boat rides, colored lights, and
three gift shops that you must walk through to exit--Disney would be proud.



  #7  
Old November 14th, 2014, 08:27 AM
Bildad Bildad is offline
Experienced Member
 
First recorded activity by TravelBanter: Nov 2014
Posts: 25
Default

China has amazing sources which are there and can keep you entertained because at the end that is the major purpose behind any sort of traveling if isn't purposely.
So yeah sticking to all these things can help you with the basics and i find it helpful personally .
 




Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Beijing tours rq5znszb Asia 0 November 21st, 2007 09:36 AM
Beijing tours rq5znszb Europe 0 November 21st, 2007 09:35 AM
Beijing Hostels, Cheap Beijing Hostels, Reserve a Hostel in Beijing, China Hostels, CraigslistHostels.org World's Best Hostels and Cheap Accommodations Worldwide, Online Booking Europe 0 May 5th, 2007 10:37 AM
what is there to buy in china/beijing shangai [email protected] Asia 66 December 24th, 2004 09:44 PM
hotels in Beijing, China [email protected] Asia 1 June 30th, 2004 01:24 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 02:58 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2017 TravelBanter.
The comments are property of their posters.