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Tracey Apr 18th, 2002 05:29 PM

Visit to Beijing
I am visiting with my boyfriend for 4 days and since we are students, we cannot afford to stay at a 5 star hotel. I was wondering if anyone can recommand a budget hotel or hostel that is centrally located and with clean rooms. thanks =)

Peter N-H Apr 18th, 2002 07:18 PM

I'm sorry I don't have the exact details to hand (and 'budget' is a very relative term--you really need to be more precise), but the youth hostel behind the Beijing International Hotel would probably suit you very well. It's only been open a year or so, is very clean and gives you a choice of dorm beds or twin rooms, all with common shower rooms which are clean and well-fitted.<BR><BR>Most budget travellers, who pay as little for Y25 (Can$5) for a bed are far out on the southwest third ring road. This hostel is right in the centre of town, immediately north of Beijing Station, within walking distance of stations on both metro lines, and not too far from the Forbidden City and Tian'an Men Sq (choice of walking, bussing or two metro stops). <BR><BR>The address is:<BR><BR>No 9 Jian Guo Men Nei Da Jie<BR>Beijing, CHINA 100005<BR>Tel. 86-10-65126688<BR>Fax 86-10-65229494<BR><BR>From Beijing airport there is a direct bus for Y16 from directly outside the terminal to the International Hotel (Guoji Fandian). You need route A (or the 'A line') and to get off at Beijing Zhan Kou. There are few stops, the hotel is impossible to miss, and the staff will put you off the bus anyway.<BR><BR>You can also book in advance, get directions, and check availability at:<BR><BR><BR><BR>which is currently quoting US$6, although I think the two double rooms are slightly more expensive. Membership is not required at this hostel, but can be purchased there, and beds are slightly cheaper if you have membership.<BR><BR>Hope this helps.<BR><BR>Peter N-H<BR>

Tracey Apr 20th, 2002 08:32 AM

Thanks so much, that sounds like a great idea. One more question, what are some of the common ways to go to the great wall.

Peter N-H Apr 21st, 2002 06:58 AM

I suppose the most common way to visit Great Wall sights amongst foreign visitors is to jump into a very expensive aircon tour bus, or an overpriced minibus tour from one of the backpacker hang-outs in the south. But budget travellers might consider the following alternatives:<BR><BR>Take the metro to Jishuitan (northwest side of the loop line) and walk ten mins east to Deshengmen (or take a taxi directly there), and catch frequently departing route 919 in its fast aircon version straight to Badaling in under 1.25 hours non-stop, for Y8 (US$1). Spend as much time as you like on the Wall, then take the same bus back. <BR><BR>Of course this section is deeply unfashionable, but is just as worth seeing as it was when all the myriad heads of state who've visited it went there (up to and including Bush). A bit of a scramble leaves the crowds behind and brings you to largely unrestored sections.<BR><BR>However, for something a bit more far flung, consider Jinshanling. Take the metro to Xizhimen long distance bus station (it would help to have a map to find the bus station from the metro, but essentially take the northwest exit, turn right and then immediately left until you reach a T-junction, and turn right. It's less than 10 mins walk). Start early in the morning for this, and catch one of the frequent Iveco (comfortable minibus) departures to Chengde, saying you want to get off an Jinshanling. This is well signposted about 2.25 hours after leaving, and anyway the conductor will put you off. There's then an approximately 45 min, 6km walk through villages to the Wall itself (or farmers will take you for a small amount), which although restored, quickly dwindles to charismatically crumbling sections which run along ridge tops, and can be seen stretching far into the distance in both directions. There are few visitors. To go back to Beijing, simply return to the main road and flag down any passing minibus. Approx Y12 each way.<BR><BR>Peter N-H<BR><BR>

Tracey Zheng Apr 21st, 2002 10:03 AM

One more thing, where about is Summer's Palace, can I reach that by bus or should I do this as part of a tour. I speak Mandrain very well, so feel comfortable talking to people. thanks =)

Tracey Zheng Apr 21st, 2002 01:57 PM

One more thing, where about is Summer's Palace, can I reach that by bus or should I do this as part of a tour. I speak Mandrain very well, so feel comfortable talking to people. thanks =)

gustavo Apr 23rd, 2002 11:04 AM

hi,<BR><BR>did you get a good air fare, can you help me with this.<BR><BR>thanks

McH Apr 28th, 2002 07:32 PM

Tracey here is my advice,<BR><BR>The cheapest and in my opinion most fun way to go to the Great Wall is catching a bus (I think it is the number 3) in Tianmen. This will be a tour of Chinese in Chinese, but please believe me this was one of the highlights of my trip. Take with you a good book guide, be ready to smile and be smiled by a lot of people in your bus and do not be afraid to try to contact either the guide (ours was a very gentle and understanding young girl who spoke a bit of English). This bus goes to several parts of the wall, and cost something around US$5 per person.<BR><BR>At that time I stayed at a very nice Chinese hotel near a hutong and a subway station, I am trying to dig out the name to give it to you (in Engish it was called something like International Hotel of Beijing, but let me find out more). It was clean, quite and about US$25.<BR><BR>The same goes for the Summer Palace, in the hotel (the receptionist spoke good English) they can tell you which bus you should take.<BR><BR>As a conclusion, my advice is DO NOT go with the foreigners tours, as they only charge you a lot of money for nothing. Ask around how do locals (or domestic tourist) go to the main sites, it is easy (probably hope to the subway and then to a clearly marked bus to which you just tell the driver the name in Chinese, either in your best madarin or written by your hotel, and they will very probably give you a sign on when to drop off).<BR><BR>Best of lucks, I think that the way you are going to travel you will enjoy China well above the tour-oriented traveler.<BR><BR>McH

Peter N-H Apr 28th, 2002 07:34 PM

I'm afraid neither the posting above, nor several others today posted around the same time (nor many earlier one-line posts), came from me. Sadly such malicious impersonation is all too easy on the Internet, and very easy indeed on sites such as this. <BR><BR>I'm sorry other readers and contributors to this site have to be bothered by this childishness.<BR><BR>Peter N-H<BR>

McH Apr 28th, 2002 07:37 PM

Tracey,<BR><BR>About the hotel, I just remembered it is 2 blocks away from Dongzhimen subway station, which is 6 stations away from Qianmen station where you catch the bus to the Great Wall. Qianmen station is in one of the extremes of Tianmen Square.<BR><BR>McH

McH Apr 29th, 2002 07:39 AM

Peter,<BR><BR>Why do you answer to all my posts with your paranoic post? I do not have to do anything with you, never planned to do so, never will, so leave my opinions and experiences alone mate!<BR><BR>Cheers,<BR><BR>McH

Tracey Apr 29th, 2002 08:08 AM

thanks for the help =)

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