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Beijing over the New Year (many questions)

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nyc
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Beijing over the New Year (many questions)

My husband is here in Beijing for work temporarily and we're at Haidian. My family is visiting from Dec 29 - Jan 11 but we want to do most of the sight-seeing from Dec 29 to Jan 5 because that's when my husband has a week off. I'm trying to work out an itinerary but I'm a little worried that it'll be really crowded especially on Jan 1 & 2.

My itinerary:

Dec 28: Family arrives late at night.

Dec 29 Sunday: Lama Temple, Beihai Park, Houhai by taxi.

Dec 30 Monday: Mutianyu by car.

Dec 31 Tuesday: Forbidden palace, Tiannamen, Jingshan park by taxi

Jan 1 Wednesday: Xian

Jan 2 Thursday: Xian

Jan 3 Friday: Rest

Jan 4 Saturday: Temple of Heaven, Pearl Market by taxi

Jan 5 Sunday: Summer Palace by taxi

My questions:

1. Will it be very crowded especially at Great Wall and Forbidden City? Should I rearrange my itinerary?

2. We are 4 adults and 1 child (3.5 year old). Can we take 1 taxi or do we need 2 taxis?

3. Does anyone has any driver recommendation to Mutianyu?

4. I'll like to try Peking Duck, dumplings and Haidilao. Are there any outlets near the attractions?

5. I'll like to reduce unnecessary walking if possible since we'll be with my 3.5 year old and my mom can't walk for too long. I'll appreciate any tips to make our visit more efficient.

6. Can a taxi stop right in front of the Forbidden Palace? Is it far to walk to Jingshan Park after that? Otherwise, what's the best way to get a cab after we come out of Forbidden Palace?

7. What's the best way to visit Summer Palace with the least walking? As in, go in from which entrance and which direction to walk to? I doubt we'll walk up the hill to all the pagodas so we just want to cover all the major attractions, if possible.

That's all for now, thanks for reading. Appreciate all the help!

Guangzhou, China
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1. Re: Beijing over the New Year (many questions)

1. Not sure but new year is not a long holiday. Guess the crowd won't be very bad.

2. Regular size adults should be fine. Your kid might sit on one of the adult.

3. tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g294212-i2147-k687…

4. thebeijinger.com/directory/haidilao-hot-pot-1 A lot of dumplings everyhwere. Not an expert for the duck.

5. The Great Wall you have to walk quite a lot.

bon voyage

Sherbrooke, Canada
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2. Re: Beijing over the New Year (many questions)

1- no bid deal. Winter is the low season. No worries.

2- Taxis are small. I guess taxis will probably refuse you. It is probably illegal to have 6 people in a taxi.

3- I use Mark. He has good reviews on TA: http://www.best-our.com/

4- You'll find Beijing duck everywhere. Haidilao has several branches, none near the attractions. Dumplings are as easy to find as hot dogs in NYC.,

5- Every place will require a lot of walking. These are vast places. There is no way to avoid it.

6- I guess you mean the forbidden city? No, taxis are not allowed to stop in fronmt of it. They will drop you several 100 meters away. Also once you get to the main entrance it is still a lot of walking. Even if you go quickly and just zoom through, it is probably a 2-hour walk. Jingshan park is just across the street from the exit of the forbidden city but still a fait amount of walking and climbing.

7- You can,t avoid walking. It is essentially a big park around a lake. Lots of walking, no way around it.

Los Angeles...
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3. Re: Beijing over the New Year (many questions)

1) It's almost always crowded... it's China, but it won't be too bad.

2) Taxis usually only allow 4 people in Beijing, but if it is just a small child you shouldn't have a problem, just get another one if the first says no.

3) Many buses around Dongzhimen in Haidian go there, and there will be many cars/vans there as well offering to take you. You don't have to worry much about black taxis being dangerous in Beijing unless you are a single girl.

4) The best Beijing duck place I have been to is on line 2 outside of Hepingmen station. Quanjude Hepingmen Roast Duck Restaurant. They also have a lot of other dishes they cook as well. (If you want to take them to a good restaurant for other food besides roast duck, try MeiZhouDongPo, they are in many places throughout Beijing. They make the best La Zi Ji in China.)

5) Taxis are cheap and everywhere. There is a phone number for them as well, my gf always called though, so I don't know if they speak English. If you go to any tourist destination there will be dozens of them outside. Also, there are the tuk-tuk like cars all over that will take you shorter distances.

6) You will have to do a lot of walking in both the park and forbidden city. Maybe you can hire someone to cary you in a cart by foot lol.

7) You can get dropped off right inside. If you don't see the pagodas and everything there is not much else besides a giant lake. I forgot the gate, I think East is the best because you can just walk from there to the lake, past the pagodas and then leave. If it is January many people walk across the lake a well.

There is another park the 3 year old will like at Chaoyang, it has childrens rides there and little haunted houses and stuff too.

Beijing, China
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4. Re: Beijing over the New Year (many questions)

For clarification above:

There are no bus services to Mutianyu from Dongzhimen at this time of year or from anywhere else in central Beijing. Dongzhimen is not in Haidian and I have to say that I've not seen any cars or vans in this area touting for such business for years. Those little tuk-tuk things have seriously declined in number, which is not a bad thing, but there are quite a lot of tricycle rickshaws around tourist areas. However, you are advised to avoid using these. Read Top Questions, especially concerning scams.

5. Re: Beijing over the New Year (many questions)

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nyc
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6. Re: Beijing over the New Year (many questions)

Thanks for the tips. I've booked a driver for airport transfers and to Mutianyu just to be sure we could all fit into one car. As for the rest, we might try the subway on the way out if taxis won't take us all in one cab. Not sure we wanna deal with looking for each other at the destinations.

nyc
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7. Re: Beijing over the New Year (many questions)

I think I might have sounded too lazy to walk lol. I understand there'll be a lot of walking but I was hoping for some tips to avoid unnecessary walk. I remember reading a review somewhere detailing the best route to take at the Summer Palace in order to walk downhill instead of uphill but I didn't save the details.

Since taxis can't stop at the Forbidden City, is it a shorter walk from the subway station? I'm thinking we'll just look at Tiananmen Square from the Forbidden City to get a glimpse instead of walking the vast square to reduce walking. Is it feasible?

Btw, I've read a review from someone who could not find the entrance to Beihai Park from Jingshan Park. Is it very difficult to find? Can I get a direction on how to find the entrance?

My husband's coworker is also recommending Quanjude but he insisted that we should go to the branch at Houhai. It seems that this branch put up a cultural show at night. I'm thinking maybe we could take a taxi there after Beihai Park.

I don't think I'll take any rickshaw rides unless it's desperately needed. A few of my husband's coworkers got on those at the Forbidden City and were driven into some small alleys. They had to pay some ridiculous amount of $$ before they were released by the rickshaw drivers. Definitely scary!

Sherbrooke, Canada
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8. Re: Beijing over the New Year (many questions)

Yes you'll see Tian'Anmen as it is across the street.

About getting to Beihai park, just get a map. Most hotel will have some or buy a cheap one once you get there.

Quanjude is not a very good place for duck but this best is the most interesting because of the show. Depends if you want a show or good food. You can see videos of it on Youtube.

Rickshaws are better avoided.

Beijing, China
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9. Re: Beijing over the New Year (many questions)

Exit Jingshan Park west gate, cross over the road into the alley opposite and keep walking straight ahead. It must be one of the simplest places to find, virtually across the street from each other.

10. Re: Beijing over the New Year (many questions)

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