Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page >

one day transit in Beijing, Monday, May 2013

one day transit in Beijing, Monday, May 2013

Mar 1st, 2013, 09:28 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 111
one day transit in Beijing, Monday, May 2013

My husband and I are passing thru Beijing, arriving PEK @2:20 PM. The next flight is next morning 8:35 am, we'll be staying in a hotel near PEK for one night. We'd like to visit the Museum, will we have enough time? What time does the museum close? Is public transportation available, easy and bettert? We'll consider taxi as well. What are the better options?

We also like to stay in a nice, clean, quiet hotel close to PEK, $50-$75. Need your recommendation.

Thank you.
blade2007 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2013, 09:50 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 13,193
Which museum? The Forbidden City also called The Palace Museum ?The National Museum of China on Tianimen Square? or Museum of Urban Planning?
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Mar 1st, 2013, 01:15 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 111
The capital museum. I just got on the website, it's close on Mondays. What other activities would you suggest for such short duration? We have never been to China. However, we have joined a 8 days special tour on the way back to US. We might have to consider staying a couple extra days after the tour is completed just for the capital meseum.

Thank you all in advance for your time.
blade2007 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2013, 05:39 PM
  #4  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,245
Are you fully committed to a tour? Many of us have had great success visiting Beijing (and China more generally) on our own.

For that first pass-through, I think the challenge will be finding something that is open late enough for you to see. You'll have to check the hours in a good guide book and then confirm (to the extent that you can) on line. Or pick an outside area that interest you - maybe one of the hutong or Tiananmen Square or whatever - to roam around for a while. Or you could perhaps take in a performance of the Beijing Opera.

You might find some useful ideas in my very long, but searchable, trip report - just click on my name to find it. The sections on Beijing are near the beginning and the end.

And BTW, I hope you get to see the Capitol Museum - it holds some amazing pieces.
kja is offline  
Mar 1st, 2013, 08:03 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 774
We have used the train to get into the city, and it is quick and cheap. From the airport, take the train to Dong Zhi Men, where you can transfer to a Metro line. There are two airport lines, - one is a circuit - to get to town, you need the other.

I'm with kja on the "do it yourself" trips - you can take your time and see what YOU want to. The Metro is easy to navigate ( stairs and cursory baggage xray) and is written in English. Good to study a map first, to see which direction you need to go.
Last trip (our second) we graduated to trolleys and buses, having watched them go past our hotel. Out of peak time, they are fun, and you see more - btw, we are most defnitely seniors!
Carrabella is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2013, 02:48 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 387
Just in case of reader confusion, the Palace Museum (which is the Forbidden City) is closed on Monday afternoons until March 31. The Capital Museum, which is an odd choice for a single Beijing museum visit, is indeed closed on Mondays, as is the National Museum, whose collections are vastly more extensive and of higher quality than those in the Capital Museum.

Just in case it's the Palace Museum that was meant, even if it were open, an arrival in at Beijing's Capital Airport at 2.20pm would be too late to see it. You'd likely (but not necessarily) arrive before the last ticket was sold at 4pm, but not if you're planning to check-in at a hotel and leave luggage first. Unfortunately at about 4.10pm the staff already begin to close various sections and usher visitors towards the exit, although the museum doesn't actually close until 5pm. In general the pattern tends to be the same at other musuems: whatever is given out as the time of last ticket sale, 30 mins or one hour before closing, is the time when things start to shut down. The staff are determined that there will be no one in the building at closing time.

As for getting into town by the Airport Express there is only one line, which loops between Terminals 2 and 3, and any train that comes will take you into town. Any time from about 3pm onward the train will be much swifter than a taxi, but a problem if you are laden with luggage. Two changes of line are required to get you to the Forbidden City/Palace Museum.

Surprisingly, the Wikipedia map of the Beijing metro is accurate and up to date:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...-Subway_en.png

Most convenient, as you're in a hurry, will be the 'time rate lounge' or 'hourly lounge' in the terminal in which you arrive (2 or 3). These are well-signposted, but are down at basement level at the front of the building in Terminal 2, and to left and right at the front of the building in Terminal 3. If you usually travel at four or five-star level you won't think much of the rooms. They are plain and simple, usually twin-bedded, with private bath, and mostly windowless. But if your plan is to check-in, spend the rest of the afternoon and evening in town, and then just sleep, they're not objectionable and are simply the most convenient option. There are details here:

http://en-shopping.bcia.com.cn/app/i...name/rest-time

If you want a simple but more conventional hotel with windows, then the very nearby Ibis is probably your best choice:

http://www.ibis.com/gb/hotel-7102-ib...rt/index.shtml

Oddly, boarding the airport express and getting off at San Yuan Qiao station, right outside the Novotel and another Ibis may be more convenient than persuading a taxi to go the short distance to the airport Ibis.

Otherwise there's a Crowne Plaza, a Hilton, and a Langham Place near(-ish) the airport, mostly with shuttles to and from the airport, but you'll use up time reaching and checking-in to these. Google is your friend for more details.

I'd suggest taking the airport express to the Novotel or Ibis at San Yuan Qiao, checking in, and then taking Line 10 and Line 1 to Tian'an Men (important--don't return to the Airport Express line as you'll be charged ¥25 just to get to Dong Zhi Men before paying again to ride the metro) for a walkabout (always a good plan after a long flight anyway) in Tian'an Men where there's much you can admire from the outside, as well as people milling about flying kites, etc. You can walk up through the Tian'an Men and subsequent gets to the main Wu Men entrance to the Forbidden City and get a taste of the architecture. You may be in time to climb either the Tian'an Men itself, or, at the south end of the square (quite a walk away) the Zhengyang Men tower. There's major top-end eating at Ch'ien Men 23, just east of the south-east corner of the square, Capital M restaurant across the road at the south end. Re-imagined traditional shopping and assorted restaurants stretching further south down Qian Men Dajie.

For the likely tired and jeg-lagged this will be likely more than enough. And yes, you should take two days to show yourselves around Beijing at the end of your trip.

The first Airport Express train back is just after 6am which should have you checking in at 6.30am for your domestic flight. But at that time in the morning a taxi will also be swift and only about ¥80.
temppeternh is offline  
Mar 8th, 2013, 06:06 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 111
temppeternh, Carrabella, kja.. Thank you so much for your helpful information. Greatly appreciated.
blade2007 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2013, 11:34 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 111
Hi again,

Would anyone advise if Yitel Bejing Wangjing 998 is a good location/choice for the overnight stay. Our flight arrives PEK at 2:20PM and leaves next morning at 8:35 am. It costs $54.80 total including tax. Is it easy access to and from the airport?

Thank you.
blade2007 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2013, 03:48 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 387
Seems to me the worst of both worlds, putting you halfway into town in the middle of nowhere (unless you particularly want to see the the Caochangdi and 798 Art Districts), making use of taxis unavoidable, and at a Chinese-run hotel of unknown quality (don't believe the pictures necessarily match the reality).

Either stay at the airport with all the convenience of rising a little later for your flight, or go into town but stay near the Airport Expressway or Airport Express metro line.

Not sure why you'd want to add to your difficulties by stopping somewhere in the middle.
temppeternh is offline  
Mar 20th, 2013, 11:03 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 111
temppeternh, thank you for your prompt reply. I was looking for a somewhat a nice place, not too costly, not too far from the airport. The pictures for this property look quite nice. Since we are coming back to PEK for a few more days on way back to US, I thought we will just rest, relax and stay there till next morning's flight, especially we are not early riser. I read some reviews, they seemed okay. I do speak Chinese, so it helps with the negatives on most of the reviews. They "said" transportation to and from airport is available. I should call the hotel and check for the cost of airport transfer.

Your suggestions of the "hourly lounge" I am not sure if it's comfortable enough for us, Crown or Hilton on the airport are quite pricy. The other one I looked at is the Days Hotel Beijing New Exhibition, but the reviews says that it is very noisy.
I hope to spend around $75/night for a nice, clean, close by, comfortable lodging just for the over-night stay.

Sorry, I may be unrealistic but your help is most appreciated.
blade2007 is offline  
Mar 20th, 2013, 11:18 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 111
temppeternh, Hotel Ibis Beijing Capital Airport may be a good choice. Is this the Ibis that you referred to? Do we just take the airport express metro line to and from the city?
blade2007 is offline  
Mar 20th, 2013, 04:50 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 387
@blade2007

> Hotel Ibis Beijing Capital Airport may be a good choice. Is this the Ibis that you referred to?

Yes. I gave you a link to the property in my original posting. Here's what I said:

If you want a simple but more conventional hotel with windows, then the very nearby Ibis is probably your best choice:

http://www.ibis.com/gb/hotel-7102-ib...rt/index.shtml

> Do we just take the airport express metro line to and from the city?

Yes. This was discussed in the original posting. The Airport Express costs ¥25 for a ride into town much quicker than that provided by taxis, and when you change to the metro system either at San Yuan Qiao or Dong Zhi Men it's then merely ¥2 to any other station on the system.

maps.google.com (or ditu.google.com if you can read 汉字) will show you the layout of things. The Ibis (which like Ibis hotels everywhere in the world is plain but comfortable) is between Terminals 2 and 3. One slight problem might be getting a taxi to go such a short distance (it's a ¥10 journey), but this must be a problem that's been overcome (and perhaps you might ask the hotel). I did hear that there's now a separate taxi queue at the airport for those not going far, or a system that allows taxis that have only made short journeys to jump to nearer the head of the line on their return, but I haven't yet personally investigated this.

As I also mentioned, as long as you haven't weighed yourself down with impractical amounts of luggage, simply strolling out of the terminal and straight on to the Airport Express, 16 mins to San Yuan Qiao, and then out of the station (there are a few unavoidable steps) almost straight into the Ibis there (it's just behind the Novotel which is right at one of the station's exits) may actually be more convenient.

Here's the link:

http://www.ibis.com/gb/hotel-6281-ib...an/index.shtml

It's worth pointing out that if you're thinking of staying in a Chinese-run hotel (of the kind you were looking at) that booking directly with the hotel on-line is only going to cause you to pay much more than necessary, and that information provided on-line should be regarded as unreliable until proven otherwise. Such hotels may quite unblushingly lie outright, third party reviews are often not what they seem, and while everyone seems to believe that they can sift the true from the false reviews, this simply makes sure that confirmation bias kicks in.
temppeternh is offline  
Mar 20th, 2013, 08:39 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 111
temppeternh-
The website of the Ibis Beijing Capital Airport stated "Free scheduled airport shuttle bus serves from 5am to 24:00". Is this reliable? or should I call the hotel directly to confirm? I rather stay close by the airport for the morning flight, since we should be there 2 hours prior for international departure.

I do appreciate very much of your very kind help, and your patience. Thank you.
blade2007 is offline  
Mar 21st, 2013, 05:13 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 387
If the Ibis says it supplies such a service then there's little need to worry, especially if you make a reservation and tell them when you expect to arrive. Simply ensure you know whether you're arriving at Terminal 2 or 3, and the location of the shuttle bus stop at your terminal, before leaving home.
temppeternh is offline  

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

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:20 AM.