Tag Archives: Beijing Itinerary

BEIJING PRIVATE TOUR GUIDE AND BEIJING 3 DAY TOUR ITINERARY

Last year, my friends and I decided to book our flight towards Beijing not only to see the sights but to experience winter and snow for the first time. My friend’s parents decided to join us, so my plan on “backpacking” Beijing—meaning no tour guides, with only the 4 of us wandering around with a map in our hand- went down the drain. ūüôā

Nevertheless, I loved the idea that we will have a tour guide, a van and a very knowledgeable tour. ūüôā Knowing that I won’t stress about where to go, or to speak in Mandarin just to get to our destination.

I chose Rain. Rain was very accommodating, ¬†very knowledgeable about the history of Beijing, as well as very trustworthy. We paid her after the tour, and she even offered us a discount. ūüôā ¬†Moreover, her rate is cheaper compared to other tourguides, upon searching for the cheapest PRIVATE TOUR in Beijing. I found Rain in synotrip.

Rain is a certified tour guide, as seen in her website. She is very smart, and very kind. She is patient enough for us while we take pictures in the very cold winter day/night. Our driver is none other than her husband, who is really “handsome” haha, and very accommodating. ¬†However, unlike Rain, her husband, rarely talks to us since he only knows basic English. Rain on the other hand, is very knowledgeable in English. Rain is good in conversational english. She doesn’t eat her words unlike other Chinese tour guides, so you don’t need to worry in asking again and again “pardon” “please repeat that” what’s that? “sorry” ¬†since you don’t need to. You can easily understand her. ūüôā

 Her rate is: 

600RMB or Chinese Yuan per day (for 9 hours) with van and tour guide.

300RMB one way airport transfers

400RMB tour guide and van within the city

If you exceeded the 9 hours per day tour, these are the charges: 60RMB per hour

Here’s my 3 DAY ITINERARY WITH RAIN¬†

December 21 : Airport Pick Up Service (12:05 am)

6:30/7:00am Pick up from hotel, go to Juyongguan Pass (2hours), then Badaling Great wall(4 hours) Then we are going to tour the following: Olympic Green andWangfujing St., Houhai Area, Qianmen Street. Payment is 600RMB with 60RMB/hour overtime charge.

Our first day is so tiring, but we really wanna see all the highlights in Beijing. So, please understand. and mind you, it is doable. ūüôā not that tiring especially since it was cold and you won’t sweat.

the great wall in the juyongguan pass
the great wall in the juyongguan pass
Sorry, no other pics than this. Me in the birds nest during my 2nd visit in Beijing
Sorry, no other pics than this. Me in the birds nest during my 2nd visit in Beijing
food to eat in wangfujing, define exotic.
food to eat in wangfujing, define exotic.

December 22,: Tian’an Men Square, Forbidden City (please take note that we want to tour every inch of Forbidden City, like going to the museums etc.), Jingshan Park, Behai Park and Ghost Street (if time permits) 400RMB fixed rate with additional 50RMB/hour for overtime (just tour guide with no transportation anymore, since they are near each other)

at the tian an men monument. my friend and I
at the tian an men monument. my friend and I
one of the buildings in forbidden city
one of the buildings in forbidden city
the view of the forbidden city in jingshan park
the view of the forbidden city in jingshan park

December 23: Summer Palace (3 hours), Temple of Heaven, Lama Temple, Silk Market . 600RMB with 60RMB/hour overtime payment then transfer going to the airport (300RMB)

summer palace
summer palace, my friends and I

RAIN’S CONTACT DETAILS:

EMAIL: 13775847555@139.com

WEBSITE: http://www.synotrip.com/kungfu-panda

Rain and the group, I was the one taking the photo, so I'm not there
Rain and the group, I was the one taking the photo, so I’m not there
Me, Rain, and my friends in Behai Park in Beijing
Me, Rain, and my friends in Behai Park in Beijing
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Beijing: A Night Tour to Remember

Even though we are so tired from walking all day (Going to the Ming Tombs and The Great Wall), we still have to walk again for our night tour! I made my itinerary as jump-packed as possible, in order for us to visit everything in just 5 days. Well, my idea was a good idea when I was just planning it but when I‚Äôm already there, I realized that it was really a bad idea! We are already tired and so exhausted and just wanna rest but because of my miscalculations and ‚Äúgreediness‚ÄĚ we are forced to attend this night tour.

Although I should still applaud myself because our night tour was quite cheaper than the other tour operators in Beijing, and also, we enjoyed a lot!

Beijing Olympic Stadium

Our night tour itinerary includes a visit to the Olympic stadium and the Water Cube! the visit during the night in this WIDE park was really spectacular! They called this park as Olympic Green. Also, in the park there is a McDonalds and other fast food chains.

The park area is really huge with good landscaping. There are colorful flowers planted in the park that made it more attractive. Walking here is really tiring especially when you are already exhausted from your previous itinerary during the day.

The water cube which looks like an ice cube with a surface (like of a bubble wrap) is really cute. It houses the Olympic size swimming pool. I wasn’t able to enter but we just took pictures outside of it. According to Wikipedia, it has a capacity of 17,000 persons during the Olympics but was reduced to 6,000 after the event.

Water Cube

The Birds Nest or the Olympic Stadium is really one of the greatest architecture I’ve ever seen; Its size and shape is really eye-catching, thus, it made me look at it as if I’m a child who saw a living unicorn. I was amazed and just stared for it for about 5 minutes.

This Stadium, also according to Wikipedia, has a capacity of  for 91,000 people, but the capacity was reduced to 80,000 after the Olympics.

My Dad, Brother and my Mom and the Bird’s Nest!

In the Olympic Green, you can also find the Linlong Pagoda which houses a broadcast station. I think this is their modern version of a Pagoda… Great Isn’t it?

At our back is the Ling Long Pagoda

The next stop of our night tour, is the Wangfujing Street!! In this street there’s a lot of vendors selling different kinds of food stuff and most of them are put in a stick. There you can also find some exotic food like scorpion-on-stick instead of the usual hotdog-on-stick! I tried eating one of the things that I don’t recognize… I still don’t know what it was… but all I can say is that the taste was great!

Look at the vibrant color of the different food-stuff sold in Wanfujing St.
I’m eating an I-dont-know-what-it-is street food

By the way, we are about to ran out of Chinese Yuan, we only have US dollars and Philippine Peso with us. We are looking for money exchanges in Wanfujing but we cannot find a single one. We just realized that there are no money exchange counters that are open 24/7 in China or let me say there is none at all! You can only find one in some good hotels like Novotel. Anyway, we experienced having not enough money in China because we can’t exchange our dollars or Peso in CNY. I got stressed a lot because I didn’t know that unlike Hong Kong or Singapore or any other country, they don’t have Currency Exchange counters. I learned that you can only exchange your money in the airport or in the bank (since the bank closes by 5pm… we are too late to exchange our money and the next day is a Saturday!). But Thanks to the internet, I learned that we can just withdraw money from the ATM. J Good Lord! I was really scared!

This is where we are seriously looking for a money exchange. This is also Wangfujing

After that, we went to a place called Houhai Area. According to our tour guide/driver, the place is where locals go for drinking. This is there night life area. You can also buy souvenir stuffs here.

Houhai Bar Area. There is also a “lake” there.

Once you enter the Houhai area, you will immediately feel the Chinese vibe. It has small alleys where shops are facing each other. It is a beautiful sight.. It is as if you are walking in a market centuries ago.

Houhai Shops, the alleyway exudes the vibe of “Old China Town”

We also stop-by the Tian‚Äôan men Square‚ÄĒthe largest square in the world and we did some photo-ops. We just stayed in one corner and took a lot of photos.

Then, after that, we went back to our hotel by around 11pm. We are all dead tired. But the night tour was fun!

Our night tour with Shane costs 500CNY or P3500.00 or $81USD. The tour lasted for five (5) hours and it was a private tour. The costs is still cheaper than the one offered by big travel agencies in Beijing. Anyway, if you want to contact him, you can go to his website http://www.yangshane.weebly.com.

Shane is a good man, and helpful. He will leave you alone to enjoy by yourself, unlike being in a group tour where your time is limited in every place that you visit, and you just keep on walking… Being in a group tour makes your picture taking time really limited because you are scared to be left out by the group. What is good about Shane is that he also explains some facts and trivias about the place. He will also give you a mobile phone for his customers to use if ever they lost their way or if they have any questions.

I will definitely book with him again if ever I’ll be back in Beijing! ūüôā

Anyway, overall, this night tour is a night to remember. Walking in a foreign place with your family makes you feel relaxed and happy.

ūüôā

May 2011: Beijing and Xian: MY ITINERARY AND BUDGET!

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. ūüôā

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‚ÄĒManila

–¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 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: vivietour@yahoo.com.cn

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.

Click here to see my experience in buying train tickets and my overnight train ride in China (Beijing to Xian) 

  • 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‚Äôs TOMB (1s¬†emperor of Qin Dynasty), HUAQING‚ÄôS 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
HOTEL ACCOMMODATION (P2237 each or $52 USD_)

TOTAL COSTS:

  • 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
IF NO XIAN: ONLY BEIJING –> LAND ACCOMMODATION WITH A ¬†LOT OF TOURS –> 7,000.00PHP and if you chanced upon an airfare –> which is only 3000PhP then you only need to pay P10,000 for your beijing trip! this quotation is for a 4 days 3 nights stay in beijing.