When you’re planning for your next out of the country destination, Beijing is not your usual and common choice, but historically speaking, this place has a lot of beautiful places to offer and stories to tell. They say that when you’re in Beijing, there are two things you need to accomplish, first is to visit the Great Wall of China and second is to try their Famous Roasted Peking Duck (I just learned that it is pronounced as PEE-KING and not
PE-KING). Because of the limited flights to and from Beijing via local budget airline, I only have less than 3 days to explore the City so I did not make it to some. Right after I arrived in Beijing International Airport, I took the cab, checked-in to my hostel, had a 4 hours of good sleep and prepared myself for the whole day ahead.
Tips: Never grab the hotel transfer offers inside the airport especially at night, they will insist that rates at night is much more expensive when you take the regular taxi. “Just take the regular taxi with regular meter”. I booked my hostel through agoda.com, my place is just a 15 minute walk from the nearest subway station which is Yongtaizhuang Station, it’s modern and clean. I highly recommend to try the Book Wonder Hostel.
Tips: It’s best to download ahead of time the Beijing Subway App and Google Translate App, you can use it offline so no need to worry if you’re out of data. I also advise you to have a reloadable subway card. Throughout my stay, my subway fare is always around 4-5 Chinese Yuan (1 CNY = 8 PHP), you can ask for a refund for any unused balance.
Day 1: Historical City Tour 🇨🇳
The Summer Palace or the “Garden of Preserving Harmony”
The entire palace is surrounded by the Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake with attractions divided into six sections namely the Longevity Hill, the Kunming Lake, the Halls, the Scenic Area, the Central Axis Area and the Long Corridor. This place was also declared by UNESCO as one of the World Heritage Sites and also called the Masterpiece of Chinese Landscape Garden Design.
How to get there: No.19 Xinjian Gongmen, Haidian District, Beijing. Take the Subway Line 4 to Beigongmen Station and follow the stream of people.
Ticket Price and What to expect: I booked online through KLOOK for P233.00. Expect a huge crowd almost any time of the year in Beijing’s famous spots. Souvenir and food stores are available inside.
Tian’anmen Square (Gate of Heavenly Peace) and The Forbidden City
Tian’anmen Square is one of the largest square (if not the largest) in the whole world with around 109 acres of area. This is where Mao Zedong, a Chinese Communist Revolutionary, proclaimed the founding of the PRC. This place is also well known for Tian’anmen Square Massacre.
The Forbidden City is the center of politics during the Ming to the end of Qing Dynasty for almost 5 centuries. This was declared as one of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
How to get there: No.4 Jingshan Qianjie, Dongcheng District, Beijing. Take the Subway Line 1 to Tian’anmen East/West Station.
Ticket Price and What to expect: I booked online through KLOOK for P466.00 for the Forbidden City Entrance. Expect a huge crowd almost any time of the year in Beijing’s famous spots. Souvenir and food stores are available inside.
Live Performance: The Kung Fu Show
Kung Fu (other names: Wushu and Quanfa) is a well known Chinese Martial Arts which refers to the discipline or skill achieved through hard work, practice and patience. This live performance will teach us some reflections in life, so I encourage you not to missed this one.
How to avail: I booked this through KLOOK for P1,523.00 inclusive of ticket and roundtrip transfers.
Day 2: The Best of Beijing
The Great Wall of China (Mutianyu Section)
The Great Wall of China with a stretch of over 21,000 kilometers crosses over ten cities and provinces (Qinghai, Gansu, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin, and Liaoning) and is divided into different sections (Mutianyu, Badaling, Juyongguan Pass, Simatai, Jinshanling, Gubeikou, Huanghuacheng, Jiankou, Shuiguan, Lupiguan, Badaling Remnant and Xiangshuihu).
Badaling is the most famous section because of its closeness to the center of Beijing, it is also the most well-preserved and most complete section. Mutianyu on the other hand is also a well-preserved section but less crowded destination.
Of all the places in Beijing, this I think is the highlight of your trip so never go back to the Philippines without making it here! Hahaha.
How to get there: Take the Subway Line 2 to Dongzhimen Station then take the Bus Line 916 to Huairou North Avenue Station for 6 Chinese Yuan, then take another bus via H23, H24, H35 or H36 to reach the Mutianyu Ticketing Center for 4 Chinese Yuan. Travel time is more than an hour combined.
Ticket Price: I booked my two-way cable car and entrance ticket bundle online through KLOOK for P1,204.00.
Tips: Never accept or entertain anyone who will offer you a taxi ride to Mutianyu for 4 Chinese Yuan, they may drop you off to nowhere. Just take the bus no matter what. Going back to city center might be too confusing and difficult specially for those travelling without a guide, we walked for almost an hour just to find the bus stop. So don’t panic if you find yourself in that situation. I am sure that there is a better way, so please share it to us by leaving your travel experience below!
The Famous Roasted Peking Duck in Wangfujing
Wangfujing is a famous night market to buy souvenirs and local street foods. This is also the home of the best restaurants offering authentic roasted peking ducks.
Roasted Peking Duck became part of Chinese cuisine since the imperial era. The meat is sliced into thin pieces with a notable version that in every slice, there should be at least a part of crispy skin and meat. Staff will teach you the correct way of eating it, usually partnered with spring onion, pickled radish and sweet bean sauce rolled in pancakes.
How to get there: Take the Subway Line 1 to Wangfujing Station and ask for Quanjude Restaurant
Price: A complete set of a Half Roasted Peking Duck will cost you around 169 Chinese Yuan or P1,352.00
Day 3: Giant Panda 🐼
Another trademark of China that shouldn’t be missed is to see in real life the baby pandas (they are no longer babies but they look like one). Because of their very low birthrate and continued habitat loss, it’s a good thing that the Chinese government is very active in terms of conservation of their specie. I am very lucky to still see them alive and snoring. Hahaha.
How to get there: Take the Subway Line 4 to Beijing Zoo Station
Ticket Price: You can purchase your ticket on site for 19 Chinese Yuan
I hope that I shared some useful tips and information to you and I wish you a great and memorable stay in Beijing!
TOTAL Trip Expense: P28,529.10
- Airfare via Cebu Pacific with Baggage Allowance – P2,274.33
- Travel Tax – P1,620.00
- VISA Fee – P1,400.00
- Hostel in Beijing – P3,500.56
- Tours booked online – P3,472.21
- Allowance in Beijing – P15,200.00
- Grab Fare in Philippines – P1,062.00
Callistus B. San Diego