There are a lot of people who buy tour packages for Beijing in a very expensive price ($1000 USD) When in truth and in fact you can go here and tour the city for less than Php 10,000 or ($232 USD) airfare included.
Click links to see my review/posts about that place. 🙂
For our Beijing and Xian trip, we spent PhP 31,000. This includes everything, from airfare, land accommodations to visas. But the reason which made this a bit expensive is that we opted to choose to travel to Xian and sleep on Soft-berth (4-bed) sleepers on the train (Beijing-Xian) and that our air ticket was more on the expensive side.
We didn’t avail the sale, since during that time I still don’t know the mechanisms of “seat sales”.
However, I always knew that If you will book to travel operators in the Philippines, they always give you the price of ($1000 USD or higher), so somehow I still made some savings.
Also take note that I arranged my tours directly to travel operators in China. All I did was booked my trip with them using the Internet!! And Chada! I saved at least 300USD! It is just like communicating with your travel agent here in the Philippines!
Anyway here is my itinerary for my Beijing and Xian Trip last May.
May 12, 2011—Manila
– Flightgoing to Beijing (we had a red eye flight)
May 13, 2011 Beijing- Overall Costs (Php 2520.00 or $58.60 USD including transfers, day and night tours)
PLACES WE VISITED: Ming Tombs, Great Wall (Mutianyu), Birds Nest, Watercube, Wangfujing Street, Drive to the Central Business district.
- arrive Beijing by 3 am and transfer and check in hotel (I arranged a transfer from airport to hotel which costs 250CNY or P1750.00 or $41USD, I arranged this because it is so early in the morning and we are scared to hire a taxi due to the bad comments of hiring taxis in Beijing. The costs is not per person, it is for the four of us. So, to know the costs per person, I divided the costs into 4, so each person will pay, P437.50 or $11 USD each. We used www.gowithzz.com, they are the cheapest that I found in the net.
- tour MING TOMBS (underground tomb), GREAT WALL (Mutianyu) –> for this tour we used Sinohotelguide and paid (P1,208.00) or ($28USD) per person for a group tour. Don’t worry the tour group is just small, there will only be about 10 persons per group. We used http://www.sinohotelguide.com for this particular trip. The tour includes a lunch meal, which is really yummy!
- For Night tour, we visited the Bird Nest, Water Cube, Tiananmen Square, Wanfujing (Yum!) and the Central Business District in Beijing, we booked a private tour, with Shane which costs 500CNY or P3500 or $81 USD for a 5 hour tour. The price is per group not per person. Since we are only four persons traveling, I divided the cost to 4, so each person costs P875.00 each or $20USD. If you will book to a group night tour, it will cost 50USD each, which is really expensive. So if you wanna tour the city by night, I suggest you email Shane. His website is http://www.yangshane.weebly.com or use Vivie (Unfortunately, I did not use her since I already booked my tour with Shane. Her rate is much cheaper, only 350CNY or P2450 or $57USD, you can contact her by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We opted Mutianyu because it is less crowded than the more famous Badaling. If you choose the Badaling side of the wall, the tour only costs ($18 USD) or P774.00
May 14, 2011 BEIJING (total costs- P3908.00 or $90 USD)
- tour TEMPLE OF HEAVEN, SUMMER PALACE, FORBIDDEN CITY, TIANAMEN SQUARE. We also used http://www.sinohotelguide.com. After the tour, the tour guide dropped us off the train station. Tour Costs $28 USD each or P1208.00
- Evening- train going to Xian. We chose the soft sleeper. It is a cabin for 4 persons. The cost is 430CNY or P2700.00 (62 USD) for the higher bunk beds. I forgot the price for the lower bunk beds because the lower beds are more expensive than the higher bunk beds.
May 15, 2011 XIAN (P6235 OR 145 USD)
For our trip to Xian, we hired a private tour guide. They are the cheapest among the tour guides in Xian. The total costs for a 2 day 1 night tour package was $145 USD or P6235.00 each). This include 2 lunch and 1 dinner.
I recommend Xian Travel Service since they gave me the cheapest quotation for a private tour. If you will research in the net, the costs is almost the same if you choose a group tour.
- Transfer from Train Station to Hotel
- tour XIAN CITY (Big Wild Goose Pagoda, City Wall, Shaanxi Provincial Museum, Great Mosque)
- Evening: TANG DYNASTY AND DINNER SHOW (Dumpling banquet).. After this night, I don’t wanna eat dumplings for another year or two!
May 16, 2011 XIAN (P2700.00 or 62USD)
- TERRA COTTA WARRIORS (8th wonder of the world), EMPEROR QIN’s TOMB (1s emperor of Qin Dynasty), HUAQING’S POOL, HANYANG TOMB, BANPO MUSEUM
- Evening- train going to Beijing (with cabin/ beds) same price as before: 430CNY or P2700.00 (62 USD).
May 17, 2011 BEIJIING tour and Departure (P1208.00)
- 8:00- Hutong and Shopping Tour, I opted again Sinohotelguide for this tour it costs $28USD each or (P1,208.00)
- 6:30 pm- transfer going to airport, we used the taxi
- 10:30- take flight going to Manila
May 18, 2011- HOME SWEET HOME
- Arrive Manila
- Traditional View Hotel (2 nights stay w/ breakfast) PhP 6176.11 or 132.72 USD)/4 = PHP 1544 each or 35.90USD
- Shaanxi Nanfang Hotel- Xian(1 night stay) PhP 2772/4 = 693 each person or 16.11 USD
- Airfare –> PHP 11,000.00 $255.81
- Land Tours and train tickets–> PHP 16,571.00 $385.38
- Hotel Accommodation —-> PHP 2237.00 $ 52.02
- Food (dinner etc. —-> PHP 1000.00 $ 23.25
- Chinese Visa —-> PHP 1400.00 $ 32.56
- TOTAL PHP 32 208.00 $ 749 USD