TOURS IN BEIJING

Old Feb 23rd, 2011, 03:31 PM
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TOURS IN BEIJING

Hi All
Well no one has responded to this forum in the last 6 months -- but I thought I would try anyway. Will have 3 days in Beijing in late March. Want to see the usual stuff ( the square, forbidden city , great wall, etc.). Wondering about the day tours there. If anyone has any suggestions, would appreciate it.

Thanks again

Shrink
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Old Feb 23rd, 2011, 04:01 PM
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Hi Shrink. I can't help with your question about Beijing, but I learned after you'd asked about my tour guide in India that he does indeed do individual tours. If you're still interested, his contact info is: Tejender Singh - [email protected].

Good luck with your trip to China (and India, if you're still going)!

Karen
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Old Feb 23rd, 2011, 04:08 PM
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Do you want a tour? Many "experts" point out that tour guides in China are often taught to give the "party line" about various things which may vary wildly from the truth. Often, the recommendation is made to use public transport or taxis and bring a good guidebook.

Also, tours that you book will include shopping stops which are a waste of your time. Prices aer inflated by the commission your guide will get from the shop.

I'm mystified by your comment that "no one has responded to this forum in the last 6 months" - there are plenty of posts China this month. Did you use the drop-down menu to choose CHina? It will give you all the recent posts about China.

And as wonderful as Karen's India tour guide was, I wouldn't use an India tour guide for CHina.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2011, 04:10 PM
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Oops - I misunderstood Karen's post - thought she was recommending him for Beijing - I read too fast.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2011, 10:59 PM
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Dear friend, welcome to Beijing. And I can give you some suggestions about how to do your sightseeing in Beijing.
From your lines, I guess you are the firt-time visitor to Beijing, so here is a simple itinerary for your beijing tour.

day 1: visit Summer Palace if you arrive in Beijing in the morning.It is a trip with 3-5 hours, so you can visit this imperial palace in the afternoon.

day 2: a day tour to the Great Wall

day 3: tian'an men square, forbidden city and the temple of heave in the morning. And I highly recommand you to have a hutong tour (half-day tour) if poosible. Hutong is the highlight of Beijing.

Hoping this information can give you some helps.
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 05:31 AM
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<<<Mango7 on Feb 23, 11 at 8:45pm You dont need a tour guide for such a boring, unimpressive city.>>>

Wow Mango, I'm sorry that you disliked Beijing so much. It's one of my favorite cities.


Shrink, you don't really need a tour guide in Beijing unless you want one. I went to China alone in December and only knew how to say hello and thank you in Chinese. The Metro is very easy to use and all the signs are in English. The tourist attractions pretty much have signs in English as well (some of the translations are a bit clunky, but the meaning is pretty clear). Taxi's were easy to find and really cheap. There is no such thing as lost, you're simply waiting for a taxi. I simply hopped in and pointed to the name of my destination in Chinese characters. All of the taxi drivers in Beijing were really good about just using the meter and not trying to negotiate prices. The meters do print out receipts if you want one (they're kind of fun souveniers).

Do make a point to have destinations you want to visit written down in Chinese characters. You can get these online ahead of time, the people at the front desk of your hotel will write them for you, or they may have a card with popular destinations already typed.

Click my name to get to my trip report if you're interested, the first days are in Beijing.

I spent a full day in the Forbidden City but you could easily combine the FC, Tiananmen Square and probably the Temple of Heaven in one day. A full day was spent at the Great Wall - Jinshanling section. I hired a driver to take me there and wait for me. He was excellent and I can give his contact info if you're interested. The charge was 700CNY for the entire day and he paid all the tolls and fees. Since you have a shorter time in Beijing, you could go to Mutianyu section instead, and spend a portion of the day sightseeing.

The Summer Palace was nice, but I didn't find it that interesting to be honest. It's an easy 3-5 minute walk from a Metro station. You could easily visit the drum tower (if you go, try to be there for one of their regularly scheduled performances, they only last about 5 minutes but are fun).

The automatic guide (Think an mp3 player and single headphone) at the FC was pretty nice and just played the right blurb when you got within a set area. The auto guide at the Lama Temple left much to be desired.


I hope this helps!
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 08:32 AM
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Beijing is easy to see on your own. Search this board or consult a good guide book for lots of information about how to do so.
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 03:27 PM
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Wow -- thanks folks!!! I must have somehow pulled up an out of date thread on Beijing. It was an argument between several people and was several months old. Thanks for your suggestions.
OK you talked me into it -- no guide. However I do need something to go to the great wall.
Althom the India leg of this thing fell through until late may or June.
Iowa - I am looking at y our trip report.
Again thanks loads guys.
shrink
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 03:43 PM
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> However I do need something to go to the great wall.

??? You can get there yourself by public transportation.
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 03:46 PM
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or via a taxi.
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 05:34 PM
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The ways to get to the Wall depend on on which section you choose to visit.

I think there's a Metro line that goes out to the Badaling section (not 100% sure about that). It's very close to Beijing, but eh. Every picture I've seen of Badaling shows it as completely renovated and that's no fun.

Mutianyu is a great section. I want to say there's a group (School Bus?) that runs regular tours out to the Wall. It's a good option for many people as it's not too far away but it looks like you want the Wall to look.

I loved Jinshanling, but you do need a driver to get there and it takes up most of the day.
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Old Mar 1st, 2011, 09:24 PM
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If you want to hike Jinshanling to Simitai -- and I would highly recommend this part of the wall as it is further away from the hordes of tourists -- book through Downtown Backpackers Hostel -- http://www.backpackingchina.com/detail.aspx?id=6.

They provide a bus and a guide who does not walk with you but gives you background info and makes sure you meet up with the bus at the end. You hike on your own, meeting up with the group at a set time. The price was very reasonable (much much cheaper than a taxi!)

We are mid 50s and did this hike this way with no problems (it is not just for young backpackers). You can even book the tour online in advance.You have to meet at the hostel to get the bus at 8am. It takes up the whole day (hike is 3 1/2 hours--drive is 2 hours each way) but totally worth it!
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