Beijing is a city that has been around since the Han dynasty, and it’s one of the oldest cities in China. It’s also one of the most modern cities in terms of infrastructure, with new high-speed rail lines, subway systems, and highways connecting the city. The Chinese capital is home to some of the best shopping malls in Asia and some of the world’s largest department stores. The city is known for its culture, history, and food, but it’s also a great place to visit if you want to take advantage of affordable flights to Beijing. This guide will help you plan your travel itinerary, including how to get there from anywhere in the world. The following are some travel hacks for your next trip to Beijing:
* VPN (virtual private network) service
In Beijing, a VPN service can be beneficial when accessing certain websites or services that may not be available outside of China. A VPN allows you to connect to an encrypted server somewhere else in the world so that you can access blocked websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, and other streaming sites. Beijing law requires all internet traffic to go through state-owned servers, which means that many foreign companies have their VPN servers located in China. If you don’t use a VPN while traveling in China, you could face fines or arrest.
* Use WeChat
WeChat is a popular messaging app used by millions of people across China. It works just like WhatsApp, except it doesn’t require users to download any apps. Instead, it uses a browser plugin. While this might sound complicated, it’s pretty easy to set up. Just search “WeChat” in Google Play Store or Apple App Store, install the application, and follow the instructions. In many cases, WeChat offers better customer service than traditional email because it gives customers more control over their messages. In addition, you can send money using WeChat Pay, pay bills, and order goods online.
* Buy train tickets early
Train tickets are often sold out during peak season, especially during holidays. To do this, simply head to the company’s website selling the key, choose the date you wish to travel, and enter your details. The site will tell you whether or not tickets are available and how much they cost. You can then book your ticket right away. For example, if you want to fly into Beijing Capital International Airport from New York City, you must book your flight no later than two weeks before departure.
* Book hotels near the airport
When flying into Beijing Capital International Airport, several hotels near the terminal. These include the Park Inn by Radisson, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn Express, and Courtyard by Marriott. Most of these hotels offer free shuttle buses to and from the airport, making them perfect for those tired after a long journey.
*Travel by train
Trains are one of the most convenient ways to get around Beijing. They frequently run throughout the day, and they are usually cheaper than taxis. However, trains can also be crowded, noisy, and dirty. There are three main types of trains: high-speed rail (HSR), ordinary express, and suburban. HSR trains are faster but only operate between major cities. Regular express trains are slower but cover smaller distances. Suburban trains are the slowest, but they stop at every station along the way.
*Use public transport
Public transportation is cheap and convenient, but it can be challenging to navigate. The subway system has signs showing where each line goes, but some lines are closed for renovations. You can also take bus routes marked with blue signs. Bus stops have maps showing which way each bus takes, but sometimes they don’t show all of the holidays. If you want to use a taxi, look for yellow cabs parked outside the subway stations. Taxis are expensive, but they are generally reliable.
*Get an international SIM card
To make calls while traveling abroad, you first need to buy a local SIM card. This allows you to call other countries without paying extra fees. Many Chinese mobile phone companies sell SIM cards but finding one that suits your needs can be tricky. Some companies charge a lot of money for calling plans, and others won’t let you use certain phones. A good option is to visit a store such as 7-Eleven or Circle K and ask for help. Alternatively, you could try buying a SIM card online.
* Use Wi-Fi hotspots
If you have access to Wi-Fi, you can use it to browse the internet. Many cafes and restaurants provide free Wi-Fi, but you may need permission. Otherwise, you can find public Wi-Fi in many places, including airports, shopping malls, and coffee shops. It is important to remember that using public Wi-Fi is illegal in China.
*Find a friend
If you speak English, you should consider getting in touch with someone back home. They can act as an interpreter when visiting friends and family, and you can share information about what you are seeing and doing. The good thing about having a friend in Beijing is that they will know where to go if you get lost. For example, if you are looking for a place to eat, your friend might suggest going to a restaurant recommended by their colleague.
*Take advantage of the services offered by hostels
Hostels are great because they allow travelers to meet people from different parts of the world. At a hostel, you can hang out with locals, practice your language skills, and learn more about the culture of the city you are visiting. In addition, hostels often offer activities like cooking classes, tours, and social events.
*Learn how to say “hello” in Mandarin
When meeting new people, it is common to exchange pleasantries. Saying hello means saying “Ni hao” (literally meaning “I am fine”). To say this phrase, start with “Ni Hao” (meaning “Hello”) and then add “Wen Jian le” (means “How do you do?”). Another way to greet people is to shake hands. Shake hands with both arms straight down at chest level. For extended conversations, you can use the word “Nǐ men shuō wèntí” (you two talk), which means “You two talk.”
*Learn how to read street signs
Street signs are written in simplified characters and can be hard to understand. However, most streets in major cities have signs indicating the name of the road, the direction, and the nearest metro station. The names of streets are usually written in pinyin, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble figuring them out.
China is a vast country filled with amazing sights and experiences. If you want to explore everything there is to see, you need to set aside some time. When visiting Beijing, You can travel around by train, bus, taxi, or plane. Whatever method you choose, you will need to plan to ensure you don’t miss anything.