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1 to 2 day trips to Qingdao, Tianjin, or Xi'an from Beijing

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
21 posts
1 to 2 day trips to Qingdao, Tianjin, or Xi'an from Beijing

I'm heading to Beijing in mid October and I'm thinking about taking a 1 or 2 day trip to a city near by. I know that Tianjin isn't that far from Beijing but Qingdao and Xi'an are pretty far. If you had to choose between those 3 cities to visit with a short amount of time, which would you pick? I'm mainly interested in sight seeing. I know that Qingdao and Tianjin have the shore but I've heard Xi'an has more historical sites. Money is an issue so I would likely have to take a train to whichever city I visit from Beijing.

8 replies to this topic
Beijing, China
Level Contributor
12,490 posts
1. Re: 1 to 2 day trips to Qingdao, Tianjin, or Xi'an from Beijing

Xi'an, hands down, for 2 days. If you are on a tight budget, overnight standard sleeper train is the best method. Daytime high speed rail will cost about as much as flying. The significance and interest of Tianjin and Qingdao pale in comparison. But if you have 5 full days or less on this trip, keep it all in Beijing.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Guangzhou
Level Contributor
14,390 posts
63 reviews
2. Re: 1 to 2 day trips to Qingdao, Tianjin, or Xi'an from Beijing

Xian, absolutely.

Taiyuan, China
Destination Expert
for Pingyao County
Level Contributor
3,728 posts
200 reviews
3. Re: 1 to 2 day trips to Qingdao, Tianjin, or Xi'an from Beijing

Yeah, Xi'an. admittedly, on a two day trip you won't see a lot but it should be a good trip for seeing historical sites. An alternative would be Pingyao which is an old walled city which is closer to Beijing on the same rail line.

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
21 posts
4. Re: 1 to 2 day trips to Qingdao, Tianjin, or Xi'an from Beijing

Someone I know mentioned Xi'an but he told me that he went to China for 2 weeks and saw Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai. I arrive on a Friday afternoon and leave in the morning of the next Friday so I technically only have 6 full days to spare. It's going to be a tough decision. I'd love to see Xi'an mainly because of the history of the city but I have never seen the Pacific Ocean before so it would be cool to see it in Tianjin or Qingdao.

Dublin, California
Level Contributor
23,927 posts
47 reviews
5. Re: 1 to 2 day trips to Qingdao, Tianjin, or Xi'an from Beijing

You can see the Pacific Ocean in many places. Go to California or Oregon, or just look out the window as you fly to and from China.

There is no where in the world where you can see the Terracotta Warriors but Xian.

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
21 posts
6. Re: 1 to 2 day trips to Qingdao, Tianjin, or Xi'an from Beijing

Good point. Technically, my flight back to DFW from Beijing I have a 5 hour layover in Shanghai so I guess I could see the ocean there.

Beijing, China
Level Contributor
12,490 posts
7. Re: 1 to 2 day trips to Qingdao, Tianjin, or Xi'an from Beijing

Technically, the Pacific Ocean isn't anywhere near Shanghai. The East China sea is, but I doubt if the view is that inspiring from anywhere near Pudong Airport. Same for Tianjin and Qingdao. Deal with the Pacific Ocean when you're back in the USA. Or change your return flight to Beijing > Shanghai > San Francisco (layover for up to 24 hours) > Dallas, rent a car and head down the coast for a few hours.

One thing you should avoid planning is a domestic-to-international flight connection. My suggestion is to sandwich the Xi'an trip in the middle of the time, bracketed by Beijing at both ends. For instance, spend Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon in Beijing. Tues morn to Xi'an, Tues aft and Wed Xi'an. Thurs return to Beijing to wrap things up. You can pick up a lot of gainful daylight for sightseeing if you're willing to take an overnight sleeper train to Xi'an, then an evening bullet train back to Beijing.

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
21 posts
8. Re: 1 to 2 day trips to Qingdao, Tianjin, or Xi'an from Beijing

What's the average length of time for a bullet train ride from Beijing to Xi'an? I might just suck it up and save up and take a bullet train. Is it true that foreigners in China can't buy train tickets in advance and have to buy them at the ticket booth at whichever train station the train leaves at ? The person that recommended Xi'an to me sounded like Xi'an was really cool. They were a little in the middle about Beijing and weren't a fan of Shanghai. They said Shanghai was basically just like a huge place where you could shop and not a lot of historical sites. Souvenirs are nice but I'm more interested in the history and sights of China. Another stupid question but are you allowed to buy tickets in advance to see the Terracotta Warriors? I know China has over a billion people but I'm hoping that I might catch a break with the crowds since it will be the middle of October. My main worry is the pollution in Beijing. It would suck for all the days that I'm in Beijing for it be hazy and cloudy. Crossing fingers.

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