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Layover tours

Abbotsford,BC
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118 posts
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Layover tours

We will be arriving in beijing next month at 1am for a 15 hour layover.We would like to hire a guide to see the Great Wall,preferably Mutianya area and Forbidden city and Tienamin Square.I know the wall opens around 7:30am.If we got picked up at 6am and made it back to the airport by 1pm

(Our flght leaves at 4pm)

Will we have enough time to do this?

Any recommendations for a good guide?

Thx:)

Beijing, China
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1. Re: Layover tours

Firstly, I must say your idea is highly ambitious. I presume you have thought about sleeping at some point.

If you enter China, you will need to have a valid visa. This is somewhat expensive if this is your only tour plan. However, it is certainly possible to go to Mutianyu first thing in the morning, though I'm not sure it opens that early - I think 8 or half-past. Assuming the latter, iIf you limited yourself to 2 hours there, you could get to Tiananmen by about noon - just in time to head back to the airport. Better to stick around the Great Wall, if you decide it's do-able for you. Search the forum posts for driver recommendations and look in the classifieds of thebeijinger.com. No need for a guide.

2. Re: Layover tours

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Abbotsford,BC
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118 posts
72 reviews
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3. Re: Layover tours

Thank you.We have applied for our visa's.Pick up on Wednesday.If all goes well then we will start looking for a driver.

We arrive in Beijing at 1am,hopefully we can sleep a few hours in the airport hotel lounge.I have heard it's about 300-400 cny for 4-6 hours.

I am assuming we will have to get our luggage then re-check it? Do you know if is it possible for it to go straight through?Thailand-Beijing-Canada?

If we meet the driver at 6:30am,go to the Mutianya part of the wall for an hour then Tiananmin Square and quick trip through the Forbidden city then we should be able to make it back to the airport by 1pm? Our flight leaves at 3:50pm.Then sleep on the plane home.

Beijing, China
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4. Re: Layover tours

Whether you need to collect and re-check your luggage will depend on your flight arrangements - if it's separate carriers, then yes. You will also need to double check which terminal(s) you arrive and depart from in order to arrange pick-up/drop-off with your driver and/or luggage storage, if appropriate.

Allow an hour to get to Mutianyu from the airport and 1.5hrs to get from Mutianyu to central Beijing and at least 45mins to return to the airport from the city centre. International check-ins close one hour prior to departure but I would say it is better to be there 2hrs before for comfort. Parking/waiting areas are very limited around Tiananmen and the Forbidden City.

One hour is not enough time to walk any distance on the wall so you will be limiting yourself to a small section and will need to ascend and descend at the same place. On this schedule, Tiananmen and the Forbidden City will basically be walk-throughs.

Toronto
Destination Expert
for Tokyo
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5. Re: Layover tours

You basically have no contingency built in and the "tour " will be a precision military exercise. I don't suppose you'll be hiring a police escort for the drive. Good luck.

Tel Aviv, Israel
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6. Re: Layover tours

I went to Mutinaya from Central Beijing - as someone said it will take you at least 1 - 1 1/2 hours to get back to the center of town. You can walk up the stairway to the start of the wall but as you are very limited for time suggest you take the cable car. I spent a good 2 hours here which included the very steep climb. I doubt if you will have time for that. You can come down by cable car or by a sort of rail slide. Its a beautiful part of the wall. Tianamen square is nice to walk around and you can cover that in about 45 mins. You may want to go to Maos mauseleum which is at the other end to the entrance of the forbidden city. I arrived to late to go to the forbidden city and I only had a short time in Beijing. Its a fascinating city and even if you dont fit it all in you will be impressed.

have a great day

angie

www.angietravels.com

Abbotsford,BC
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118 posts
72 reviews
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7. Re: Layover tours

Thanks for the feedback Angie, we know it's a short trip but really would like to "fit it all in". Once in a lifetime experience....

Springfield...
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8. Re: Layover tours

I haven't been yet so I don't know if there would be any time savings if the crowds are larger, but have you considered the Badaling section? It's a shorter drive from what I understand.

Beijing, China
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9. Re: Layover tours

Not from the airport.

Springfield...
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10. Re: Layover tours

oh wow. interesting. That's useful information. Tx!