Filipino who wish to visit any part of the mainland China like Beijing and Shanghai is required to obtain a Tourist Visa prior to departure. You can apply directly in the Chinese Embassy. Visa fee is Php 1400.00
The World Center, Sen. Gil J. Puyat Ave, Makati, Metro Manila
Operating hours: 9:00 to 11:00 AM (Mon-Friday)
Processing day: 4 working days
Flight and Hotel Bookings
A flight reservation is required for Chinese Visa Application. You can look for some travel agency that can issue a reserve flight ticket that you can cancel if needed. Or you can also submit a confirmed ticket if you wereable get a cheapest Seat Sale in Cebu Pacific. Check my post for Seat Sale Booking Tips.
I always book my hotel reservation via Booking.com to get the best deals. I book my Beijing stay in Bestay Hotel Express Beijing.
Quick Itinerary Overview
- Temple of Heaven
- Wangfujing Walking Street
- Great Wall of China
- Olympic PArk
- Forbidden City
- Tiananmen Square
- Qianmen Walking Street
Day 1: Arrival
It was overcast, gloomy and cold when i arrived in Beijing International Airport after the 7hr flight from Abu Dhabi. Though sleepless, my energy started to build up as my excitement rise up to crossed out my first Seven Wonder Buckelist.
After clearing the Immigration, your have four options to reach downtown, Airport Express Train, Public Bus, Taxi or a Private Car for Hire. I took Airport Express Train for 25RMB or around Php190.00 for one way trip to Dongzhimen Station. From Dongzhimen subway station, you can transfer to other subway line (Line 1 and 13) or take a taxi going to your hotel. I reached my accomodation by 1130am and luckily they allowed me to check in early. I was able to take a short nap to reenergize and freshen up before i start my Beijing adventure.
Firts stop, Temple of Heaven, which is only few blocks away from my hotel.
The Temple of Heaven is considered the most holy of Beijing’s imperial temples. It has been described as “a masterpiece of architecture and landscape design”. It is where emperors came to worship Heaven and to solemnly pray for a good harvest. Listed by UNESCO as one of World Cultural Heritage. Its land area is bigger than the Forbidden City
Entrance fee is around the park is 15RMB but if you like to enter the temples inside the park 35RMB COMBO ticket is also available.
About 2hrs later, I almost explored the whole area of Temple of Heaven, I decided to have a visit in Wangfujing. From the park, I took Subway in Tiantandonmeng Station near the east gate of the park and get off at Dongdan Station. Wangfujing Pedestrian Street is about 10min walk from Dongdan Station.
It is a famous walking street in Beijing that stalls several fashion boutiques and reataurants. Aside from the usual restaurants, here you also find the street of exotic food- scorpion, crickets and starfish to name a few. Some scorpions are still alive and moving while onthe skewer. So if you are brave enough, unlike me, try out these exotic Chinese food.
Day 2: The Great Wall of China
The highlight of my Beijing trip is to climb The Great Wall of China. The Great Wall is over 6,000 kilometers long and divided into at least 10 sections that can be visited near Beijing. After doing thorough research on which section is best to visit, I came to these three, Mutianyu as the best-restored, considered as the most beautiful is Jinshanling, and by far the most crowded but nearest to Beijing is Badaling. I opted to visit Mutianyu where i also got the chance to see autumn foliage.
You can reach Mutianyu by public bus transport, if you want to Do-It-Yourself. Roundtrip fare is 30RMB on two bus rides from Dongzhimen subway station. But please be aware that you may face some difficulty when doing public transport due to language barrier.
Entrance fee in Mutianyu is 45RMB for adults 25 for children and senior citizens. There is an optional Cableway ride for 100RMB roundtrip. I recommend to avail this not only to save time but also energy especially going down when you almost used up all your energy climbing the wall. All you wanted is to sit and relax after 2hour walk.
Package tours are also available. I joined a group tour for 290RMB offered by Beijing Landscape. The tour already includes pick up and drop off to your hotel, entrance fee in Mutianyu, roundtrip cable car ride and lunch in the restaurant at the foot of the Great Wall.
This section of Great Wall has 23 towers. If you take cable car, you will be drop off at Tower 14. We were told that beyond Tower 23 is already off limits to visitor which is untouched and has not been restored but if we wanted we can still explore that part of the wall.
It was a steep climb from Tower 20 to 23 and my legs are already feeling cramp, the feeling when you already wanted to stop and return. But with my eagerness, I reached Tower 23 one step at a time. There i met one of my group tourmates and asked me if i can go with his son who still like to go up beyond Tower 23. I was like, woooaahhh wait my legs are still on cramps, yet i still said YES. Indeed it was worth the effort, i think I was already in the peak of the mountain. The wall was surrounded with lush autumn leaves – red yellow orange on both sides of the wall. Clouds are also there to cap the lower part of the mountain.
It took me almost 2 hours to see the beauty of Mutianyu Great Wall – that is only way up. Going down is usually faster since no more photo stops and rest is less. What more rewarding after the climb was the lunch prepared for our group in a restaurant down the wall. And a cup of tea in a cold weather is perfect while you rest your aching legs.
Going back to Beijing, some of us requested to drop off in a subway station connecting to the Olympic Park. It’s just enough time to have some photo ops in the Birds Nest and Water Cube. Coming to Olypic Stadium at night will give you a treat of light display. The Birds Nest and Water Cube is well decorated with lights that makes it better for night photos.
Day 3: Forbidden City
Visiting the Forbidden City took me back to my asian history class during high school and i tried to recall some of famous dynasty in China. – Ming and Qing dynasty.
It is one of the most well preserve ancient palaces in China and considered as the largest ancient palace in the world. Forbidden City has been the home for 500 years of dynastic rule in China. Admission fee is 60CNY (9USD) from April to October and 40CNY (6USD) from November to March. Forbidden City is a complex of ancient structures that houses several antique displays. Two to three hours may be alloted to explore the central area of Forbidden City.
After Forbidden City, when you exit at the Northern Gate or known as the Gate of the Divine Might, accross the road is the Jingshan Park. The park located in Jingshan Hill. Going up the hill is overlooking the Forbidden City. Entrance fee here is 2RMB.
After Jingshan Park, walked back south of the Forbidden City to see Tiananmen Square and to grab some lunch.
Another known walking street in Beijing is the Qianmen Street. It was about 15min walk to from Tiananmen Square. The street has the classic Chinatown Arc that is also a perfect for a selfie. Along the street are several fashion boutique and resturants like the one in Wangfujing.
I also visited Madame Tussauds in Qianmen Street. It was my first time to visit a wax museum, so forgive me including this not so Chinese activity in the itinerary.
Before i went back to the hotel, i just had some pasalubong shopping in Qianmen to conclude my Beijing backpacking.
Day 4 Departure
If you will be visiting Shanghai, you can visit Wani Wanders post for additional guide in Shanghai.
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