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Kris Aug 24th, 2001 07:05 AM

Great Wall Sheraton Beijing
We booked a package through Pacific Delight tours. We couldn't get our first hotel choice so we are "stuck" at the Great Wall Sheraton. Although the hotel looks quite nice, it also appears to be far away from, well just about everything. <BR> <BR>What's the best way to get from the hotel to the area where the attractions are? It looks like the metro is about 2 miles so that's not a good option. And I can't see any indication on Sheraton's website that there is any kind of city shuttle. Are taxis expensive? Is there bus service out in that direction? <BR> <BR>Thanks for any help! <BR>

Michael Aug 24th, 2001 01:00 PM

Kris, <BR> <BR>The Sheraton is a nice hotel. It is not all that far from Tiananmen, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Beihai Park, etc. Taxis are very cheap in Beijing/China. Wouldn't cost more than a few dollars each way to most spots in the middle of the city. <BR> <BR>Ring roads go around the circumference of the city, and as such, the Sheraton is sometimes closer time wise to such attractions as the Great Wall, Summer Palace, Lama Temple, Fragrant Hills Park, etc. <BR> <BR>Also, there are lots of good restaurants around, it's right next to the Hard Rock Cafe, and a couple of blocks from the Lufthansa Shopping City (a big department store with quality goods) <BR> <BR>Hope this helps. Let me know if you need any other help. <BR> <BR>Cheers, <BR> <BR>Michael

Kris Aug 24th, 2001 01:56 PM

Thanks Michael. I feel a little better knowing cabs are cheap but still wish we were closer. We normally like to book hotels that are right in the thick of things. We stayed way out in Istanbul too and found that we wouldn't want to go back to the hotel except when we were done for the day. <BR> <BR>We're scheduled to go the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven and Ming Tombs with the group and then have 3 free days (one with an optional excursion to Hutong ) to explore. I'm just getting into reading the guide book for our options for the free days. Are there any other places that you consider must sees in Beijing? Is it easy to arrange for excursions outside of the city, say if we wanted to go back to the Great Wall? I'm not sure how much time the tour gives at various places as it seems like they are cramming a lot into 2 days.

Michael Aug 25th, 2001 06:34 AM

Kris, <BR> <BR>Beihai Park is just northwest of Tiananmen Square and is interesting and easy to get to. For orientation purposes, the Forbidden City is on the north side of Tiananmen, Mao's tomb on the south, Museum of Culture and Revolution on the east and the Great Hall of the People on the west. If you should be lucky and are there when they are offering tours of the Great Hall, don't miss it. <BR> <BR>Other places that are interesting are the White Cloud Temple (Bai Yun Guan), <BR>Nationalities Park (Ming Zu Yuan),and Lama Temple (Yong He Gong) <BR> <BR>Shopping can be found atSilk Alley (Xiu Shui Jie), Russian Market (west gate of Ritan Park), You Yi Shopping City (Lufthansa Center), You Yi Shangdian (Friendship Store), and all of the free markets all over the city. <BR> <BR>If you really feel adventurous and want to see excellent scenery off the "beaten path", go to Chengde of Beidaihe by train. Both are experiences that 99.99+% of the people who go to China do not have, and are well worth the time. <BR> <BR>The hotel can arrange english speaking drivers for you for $80-100 for a long, full day. I have family in Beijing, so know lots of folks there. A Mr. Qiao used to work out of the Sheraton. He is quite good. If you ask for him, give him my name and tell him that I said hello please. Thanks. <BR>

David Aug 31st, 2001 04:31 PM

Beijing's traffic system has been in heavy upgrating in recent two decades.It'd be never difficult to travel across the matro, combinely served by sub-way and ring-roads. <BR> <BR>The Great Wall Sheraton Hotel is at a good location, which is geographically between downtown Beijing and major tourism interests in the northwest of Beijing, including the Gret Wall, Ming Tombs, the Summer Palace, etc.

Peter Neville-Hadley Sep 2nd, 2001 08:29 AM

Except, of course, that the hotel is in the northeast, not northwest. <BR> <BR>For part of the day, however, being on the third ring road is an advantage, and for part of the day, not so. For trips out of town get going early--before 8am to avoid the major blockage which occurs almost every day just north of the hotel where the airport expressway meets the third ring. Traffic is at a standstill or crawl until nearly 10am. Getting to and from the hotel will also be very time consuming from 3.30pm to about 7.30pm. At these times simply get yourself as near as you can to your destination by metro, and then walk if you can or cab it from there. Your best option for getting back to the Sheraton during these times is either metro Dongzhimen, or perhaps Dongsishitiao (northeast exit) and take a cab from there (still 20 mins or so). <BR> <BR>At other times take the third ring around the city to the nearest point to your destination, unless it's bang in the centre, and head in from there. 20 mins to centre or less outside rush hours. <BR> <BR>Watch out for those cabs hanging around outside the Sheraton--make sure the meter is reset, carry a map to demonstrate you know where you are going, and resist cabs which have their meters partly obscured with a little face cloth. It's always better to walk out of the hotel and flag down a passing (not waiting) cab. <BR> <BR>The Sheraton is, however, one of Beijing's better hotels. <BR> <BR>Peter N-H <BR>

Kris Sep 3rd, 2001 06:02 PM

Thanks for the great tips everyone! We normally do not take cabs unless that is the only option so I appreciate the "scam" tips Peter.

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