Beijing Travel Tips
Tours, Flights, Visas, Hotels, Insurance

Your independent travel guide to Beijing China

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Beijing Travel Guide
Travel tips and background information on Beijing, Chinese culture and the 2008 Olympics.
April 2008; black & white, text only.
97 pages, A5 size.

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Beijing, with the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven, is a great city destination. It is usually one of the destinations in holidays based on a cruise or tour (Beijing is close to the port city of TianJin). Other places that may be included in an 'all-China' type tour are the modern port city of Shanghai, the ancient city of Xi'An (past capital and home to the famous Terracotta Warriors), Tibet and many others.

There are many tours and holidays available to Beijing. It is also very possible to create your own plan, or even simply to fly in, take a bus downtown and check-in somewhere that takes your fancy! Although not everyone speaks English (most older people speak little, with some notable exceptions), younger people often speak english well and you will never have much difficulty finding help with communication if you need it.

Whether you choose a package tour or go as an independent traveller depends on your personal preferences.


A number of airline companies fly to Beijing and they often have special seasonal low fare offers. When buying an air ticket, consider if and how much it costs to change the return date and maximum stay - and also the maximum allowable luggage weight. The same ticket may vary widely in price depending on where you buy it, so it certainly pays to shop around.


From 5 star hotels to budget hotels and hostels, Beijing has a vast array of choice.

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All visitors to China require a valid passport and a visa. Visas must be arranged beforehand through your nearest Chinese embassy. CTS and CITS, China's state travel agencies, can also arrange visas and have offices worldwide.

There are a few exceptions. Most tourists will be granted a tourist visa on entry to Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region) and Macau SAR. Some nationals visiting Shanghai and Guangdong for short visits do not require visas. It is advisable to consult your nearest Chinese embassy or their website to get the latest information. The Chinese embassy in the US website has useful information on all its offices in the US and links to Chinese embassies worldwide.

In general, you will need a visa to fly into mainland China.

There are a variety of types of visas. Most tourists opt for a single entry tourist visa, which is valid for 3 months and costs around US$40. Multiple entry visas, business visas and student visas are also available.

If you plan to spend time in Hong Kong before entering the mainland, visas can be obtained quickly and easily in the SAR within 1 or 2 working days. Most travel agents will arrange this for a small fee or you can go directly to the Visa Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC. The office is located on the 5th Floor, China Resources Building (low block), 26 Harbour Road, Hong Kong.

In China, your passport will be the prime means of identification - you will need it to check into a hotel, cash travelers checks, buy plane and train tickets and as a general identification. It is a good idea to have photocopies of your passport in different places just in case your passport is lost; it makes getting a replacement much easier. Keep one copy with you in your wallet or purse.

Health and Travel Insurance

Vaccinations are not mandatory and probably unnecessary unless part of your journey will take you to tropical areas. You can check the recommendations of your health service or tour operator.

You should consider travel insurance and health insurance (travel insurance with medical cover). If you visit China on a package tour or cruise, check with your holiday company about opt-in or opt-out cover and exactly what is, and what is not, included.

Beijing Guide

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Travel Guide One

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Time Zone
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Travel Guide Three
Traveller Checks
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Travel Guide Four

Travel Guide Five

Travel Guide Six
Health Matters
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Drinking Water
Air Quality
Legal Advice
Quality Supervision


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