Tips for very quick trip to Beijing?

Dec 6th, 2005, 10:19 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Tips for very quick trip to Beijing?

I and a few business colleagues will be in Beijing on business in January 2006. We will only have maybe 1 to 1.5 days of leisure time, and I would like to make the most of it. Can anyone give me any suggestions on ABSOLUTE MUST DO's in such a short amount of time?

Thanks in advance!
mbnd96 is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 02:52 PM
  #2  
 
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Hi there,

Take a look at the China section of my site for a load of restaurant reviews from my time spent in Beijing. I was there on business as well but made a real effort to get out and about as much as possible. I really enjoyed the Lama Temple, quite a bit more off the beaten track. My China photos should give you an idea of where I went in my precious time off.

www.mcdougalladventures.com/category/china
luckykat is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 10:14 PM
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Is it safe to assume that this is your first trip to China? To Asia?

Even though it will take a 1/2 day, I would still recommend going to the Great Wall - I just can't imagine going to Beijing and not seeing it. Although it is the most touristy place to see the Great Wall, I would recommend Badaling, since it's the closest. You can arrange for a private taxi to pick you up very early in the morning so that you can get an early start to your day.

I'd also include Tienanmen Square and the Forbidden City (with the excellent audio guide) as must see's - they are opposite one another and you could go as quickly as you wanted through the Forbidden City. (I mean, it's possible to spend a day there, but you could still see a lot and be suitably impressed if you just walk through in 1 - 1.5 hours.)

I agree with Luckykat that Lama Temple is worth a visit, particularly if you haven't been anywhere else in Asia (it's a colorful Buddhist temple, so if you've never visited one, it's wonderful, but if you have, I might suggest dropping it in favor of another Beijing-only sight).

If you do some of the above and still have time, I would highly recommend a Hutong Tour. They are cheesy (you ride around the old town in bicycle rickshaws), but it really does give you a chance to see some of the "real" Beijing. It's very possible to just hire rickshaws on your own or rent bikes and do a self-guided tour, but the tour is a very easy way to do the same.

Good luck!
Andrea_expat is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 08:37 AM
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Yes, this will be the first trip to China for all of us traveling. Some if us were in Bangalore, India earlier this year; for others, this is their first trip outside the US.

Thank you both for your suggestions, and I will definitely look at your website, luckykat.

Any/All other suggestions are still welcomed!
mbnd96 is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 09:48 AM
  #5  
 
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I was there in Nov and want to let you know that some of the structures in the Temple of Heaven complex are under construction.

It's still worth going to if you have time though because the grounds are beautiful and one of the round shape building (the one where the echo wall is) is still open for tourists to get in line to see into it from outside the door.

You can probably see this attraction in 1 hr. So if you're doing Tiannanmen Sq & Forbidden City, then you can fit this into the same day and still have a lot of time left.
mmyk72 is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 05:03 PM
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I was in Beijing in July and didn't have much time myself. I opted to go to the great wall as it is one of those "must see" things and you can probably do that in 1/2 a day.
The other things I would do is the Forbidden City, but go on a tour yourself, I went with a group and wanted to see more of certain things and less of others attractions. Tiannanmen Sq is just on from the forbidden city so you can also see that. I found the Temple of Heaven a bit of a let down as it is under construction the buildings you get to see there are really good but if you have only a short period of time I would give it a miss.
I really enjoyed the Summer Palace, (even though it was raining the day I was there) that is something else you might like to think about, it is possible to do that the same day you go and see the great wall.
Tams_ is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 06:24 PM
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I endorse the Great Wall, Summer Palace and Forbidden City - but if you have only one day in total maybe you should skip the Summer Palace, which demands the best part of half a day, and fill in your time just walking around the Back Lakes and adjoining residential/ commercial areas to get a sense of life in the city as well as historical sites (weather permitting - it will be cold).

You definitely don't need a tour to see the FC or SP - just take a cab and pay at the gate, although you might like to rent the audio guide for the FC, even though the narration (by Roger Moore I think) is a little hammy. If you do go to the SP it's worth picking up a guidebook when you arrive - the complex is so large that a map is advisable, and an explanation of what you're seeing.
Neil_Oz is offline  
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