vlad1971 From Netherlands, joined Jul 2005, 93 posts, RR: 0 Posted (2 years 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 4448 times:
Good evening . Can someone advise the best way to get to the city center from BJS Intnl airport ? Any other way to get there except taxi ride ?? I've heard there is a fast train link . Is it easy to navigate if I do not speak Chinese ? Thanks for advise .
Akiestar From Philippines, joined May 2009, 768 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 4444 times:
Quoting vlad1971 (Thread starter): I've heard there is a fast train link . Is it easy to navigate if I do not speak Chinese ?
There is a train connecting the airport to Dongzhimen, and from there you can take the Beijing Subway to the city center. All signs on the Subway are in English and Chinese, although speaking from experience with the Guangzhou Metro, it might be difficult to find English-speaking staff on the Beijing Subway (though it should be easier given Beijing is the capital).
There's also a shuttle bus service between the airport and a few points in Beijing.
yeogeo From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 882 posts, RR: 14
Reply 2, posted (2 years 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 4430 times:
Quoting Akiestar (Reply 1): All signs on the Subway are in English and Chinese, although speaking from experience with the Guangzhou Metro, it might be difficult to find English-speaking staff on the Beijing Subway
Don't need English speaking staff- just hold up fingers corresponding to number of tickets needed and hand 'em a bill - worked for me! On the platform are Cantonese/English Maps for each direction.
Taxis are cheap in Beijing - fare was reasonable even from the airport, IMO. Beware - Subways are usually incredibly crowded at most times; I'd hesitate before traveling with bags.
WROORD From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 916 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4317 times:
Quoting yeogeo (Reply 2): Taxis are cheap in Beijing - fare was reasonable even from the airport, IMO. Beware - Subways are usually incredibly crowded at most times; I'd hesitate before traveling with bags.
Not to mention that every time you enter a subway station you have to put all your bags through an x-ray machine and many stations have escalators going only up so you have to carry your bags downstairs.
If you want to save a few bucks, take the fast train to the city and instead of transferring to the subway system transfer to a cab at Dongzhimen. There are plenty of signs in English in Beijing post Olympics, it is not always correct English (slow down the stairs), but you will get the point. All public transport (including) cabs are heavily subsidized in Beijing so fares are cheap. One point to keep in mind is that maps you get at the airport or hotel only not to scale and only have main roads, so what looks like two blocks on the map may end up being ten blocks. If you take the express train it goes from T3 to T2 before it goes back to the city center.
vlad1971 From Netherlands, joined Jul 2005, 93 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 4271 times:
Thanks a lot for good advise everyone . I will take a train from the airport and then a taxi to the hotel , although it looks very close to the train station but as WROORD mentioned it could be really far away ... I will stay at SWISSOTEL at Dongsi Shitiao metro station which is only 1 stop from Dongzhimen .
WROORD From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 916 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 4267 times:
Quoting WROORD (Reply 3): I will stay at SWISSOTEL at Dongsi Shitiao metro station which is only 1 stop from Dongzhimen .
I stayed at Swissotel once and it is literally next to the subway station. If you do not have a lot of bags you are ok with taking subway that extra stop. Check on the subway map which exit to take as it is a busy intersection and there are no crosswalks for pedestrians you have to go underground to cross the street in certain areas.
legacyins From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 2022 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4235 times:
Quoting yeogeo (Reply 2): Don't need English speaking staff- just hold up fingers corresponding to number of tickets needed and hand 'em a bill - worked for me! On the platform are Cantonese/English Maps for each direction.
Never saw a "Cantonese" sign before But, I do concur the Beijing subway can be daunting with the amount of passengers and lack of curtosey manners.
The taxi drivers do not speak English. So having some kind of address or directions in Chinese will be helpful.
There is no such thing as Cantonese writing, only traditional and simplified, and it's not too hard to read traditional if you can read simplified and follow the rules.
Quoting SomedayTrijet (Reply 12): Well, Mandarin and Cantonese use the same written language (Chinese hanzi signs), so I guess you could say Beijing people can read Cantonese.
Best bet is a taxi. Will still take one hour without traffic. Just make sure you get on a cab with plates that have Beijing's character (jing, or 京) followed by the letter B and numbers, e.g. 京B12345. The ones that have an F or any letter other than a B will have a taximeter that runs many times faster the legal rate.
ZKOJH From China, joined Sep 2004, 1620 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (2 years 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 4016 times:
Would take the train from T3 or T2 it's a cost of 25 RMB each way and takes about 25 mins to Dongzhimen - transit hub, first train from the city and Airport is 6am, you don't really need to ask much just give them the money and they give you a ticket - simple.
If you take a taxi be prepared to have to pay extra for the airport toll (10 RMB) and the extra 3 RMB for the gas increase which has just come into force, A taxi to downtown will take anything up to 45-60 mins depending on traffic and can cost around 70-80 RMB each way,
I live in Wangjing which is close to the airport, and a taxi fare to home from the airport still comes in at 55 RMB. so I tend to use the train.
the other option is the airport shuttle bus, but you need to know some basic Chinese to help you on this one think the last time I used this it cost about 15 RMB,
david31998 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 79 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3823 times:
Since you don't speak Chinese, have the name and address of you hotel written in Chinese to show the taxi driver who most likely does not speak English. And a couple of other things to keep in mind; pickpockets and thieves are everywhere, so lock your wallet to your underwear and never leave your bag out of sight. Also, bring a supply of fresh air or a gas mask. You will need it.
Coal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1945 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (2 years 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3812 times:
Quoting david31998 (Reply 16): pickpockets and thieves are everywhere, so lock your wallet to your underwear and never leave your bag out of sight. Also, bring a supply of fresh air or a gas mask. You will need it.
What a bigot!
I wouldn't pay attention to this. I feel so much safer in China than I do in the US.
Quoting Coal (Reply 17): I wouldn't pay attention to this. I feel so much safer in China than I do in the US.
As usual, I suspect that the real truth is somewhere in between.
Unless you look Han and speak some Chinese, as a westerner you're an obvious target for petty theft in Beijing. I doubt that petty theft is all that much more prevalent in China than it is in the US or other western countries, it's just that as an obvious and presumed tourist you are an easy target.
The Chinese authorities frown on tourists simply disappearing, and unless you go out of your way to find the drug dealers and cheat them, you're unlikely to vanish. The few times I have feared for my life were here in the US, when I was somewhere I didn't belong and wasn't wanted.
Beijing air quality is fairly poor on many days. I've no idea whether it's statistically better or worse than say the LA basin, but in my limited experience they're both bad.
I've been ripped off worse in New York City by taxi drivers (and hotel concierges) than in Beijing. That had little to do with the city per se and more to do with my being more aware in Beijing than I was in NYC. Both are very (very) large cities with the usual share of scumbags and crooks who will leech on you if you allow it. I'd say that your average taxi driver, in either city, will be reasonably honest unless you act like an idiot.
SomedayTrijet From China, joined Nov 2010, 140 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3737 times:
I say don't worry too much about pickpockets. If you use common precautions you will most likely not encounter any problem. Taxi drivers are also mostly honest in my experience. I probably don't need to say it, but always insist on using the meter.
Anyway the subway is very good for getting around in the city, and its very fast, clean, and easy to use. In Beijing a good rule of thumb is to use the subway when possible and use taxis if you're destination is not on a subway line (the same can be applied to most large Chinese cities.)