We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Beijing 14 Hour Layover- thoughts?

Which Beijing hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
58 posts
8 reviews
Save Topic
Beijing 14 Hour Layover- thoughts?

I will have a layover for 14 hours in Beijing on my flight to Manila, Philippines on May 31. I will arrive at PEK at 4:50am and depart at 8:00pm. I'm a US citizen so I qualify for the 72 hour visa free transit in PEK. I'm thinking of doing a day tour through tour-beijing.com company. Has anyone used them before?

I plan to do the Beijing Highlight Layover Tour (approx. 10 hours) which will go to The Great Wall Mutianyu entrance, Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City.

www.tour-beijing.com/short-tours/blot_05.php

Any thoughts and advice on this company and the tour itself is greatly appreciate. Any other tour company you would recommend is welcome as well.

Thank you.

Beijing, China
Level Contributor
5,000 posts
82 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Beijing 14 Hour Layover- thoughts?

You are another traveller for whom the 72 hour visa-free transit is irrelevant.

It will be a relatively quick visit to the Forbidden City but overall it's not too bad. I can't comment on the service provided by the tour company but the price is not so unreasonable assuming that you are not expected to do commission shopping or pay fees disguised as 'tips'. You could engage a private driver for about half the price but this would not include a guide, entrance fees (minimal), and you'd probably have to get the train or a taxi back to the airport afterwards.

Sherbrooke, Canada
Level Contributor
39,291 posts
814 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Beijing 14 Hour Layover- thoughts?

This tour looks fine and the price reasonable.

Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
58 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Beijing 14 Hour Layover- thoughts?

Thank you both for your feedbacks.

Edited: 01 May 2014, 04:40
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
58 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Beijing 14 Hour Layover- thoughts?

Hello quipnicely and Jean-Pierre D,

Here's another quote that I got from another tour operator. It's a little more than the first one because of the lunch and stop at Yaxiu market. Is this too much as far as time is concerned- I don't want to be late to my flight to the Philippines at 8:00pm. I'm not sure how the traffic goes from Yaxiu to the airport and going through security and all that. Also this is on a Saturday so it might be crowded???? Please let me know what you think.

31st May

Pick up at the airport at 6:45am

Tour Mutianyu Wall (8:00am to 10:00am)

Lunch at 11:30am to 12:20pm)

Tour Ti'an'anmen Square & Forbidden City ( 13:00pm to 15:00pm)

Shopping at the Yaxiu or silk Market (15:30pm to 16:30pm)

Back to the airport (the driver will accompany you to the airport but the guide won't accompany you to the airport and will finish at the market)

It's 1080CNY per person based on a group of 2:

Included

English-speaking tour guide service fee

Air-conditioned vehicle with a private driver

Gas, toll & parking lot fees

Delicious Lunch in a local Chinese restaurant

All entrance tickets to the sights listed above

Round Trip cable car up & cable car down the wall or chair lift up & toboggan down the wall

(If you want to choose the cable car up and toboggan down the wall then you have to cover the price difference as the cable car and toboggan belong to two different companies which will change more than just buy the round trip from one company)

Airport Transfers

Excluded (Not Included)

Accommodations

Dinner

Gratuity to the guide and driver

Personal Costs

Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
58 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Beijing 14 Hour Layover- thoughts?

Any suggestion if I should take something out please let me know. Thanks!

Beijing, China
Level Contributor
5,000 posts
82 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Beijing 14 Hour Layover- thoughts?

I had presumed you were a solo traveller. If not, then the pricing structure changes the game entirely. That said, the latest offer is not as good as the first. You simply do not have time to go shopping and quite frankly I would not advise you to waste any time stopping for lunch anywhere. If it were me, I'd be eating a sandwich in the car on the way back from the Wall.

Sherbrooke, Canada
Level Contributor
39,291 posts
814 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Beijing 14 Hour Layover- thoughts?

About the sandwich suggestion, note that there is a Subway restaurant at Mutianyu.

This second option is not cheap at all.

Edited: 02 May 2014, 06:46
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
58 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Beijing 14 Hour Layover- thoughts?

Thank you qupnicely for your input. There will be 2 travelers- me and a friend. That's what I was thinking too if it's worth stopping for lunch and stop by for some souvenir shopping. I heard traffic in Beijing is bad so I don't want to take the risk of missing my flight.

If we don't have time for shopping, do you know if there are some souvenir shops or vendors at the Mutianyu Wall?

Sherbrooke, Canada
Level Contributor
39,291 posts
814 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Beijing 14 Hour Layover- thoughts?

Don't worry, there will be plenty of old ladies trying to sell you souvenirs at the bottom of the Wall.

Beijing, China
Level Contributor
5,000 posts
82 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Beijing 14 Hour Layover- thoughts?

There are plenty of souvenir vendors by all attractions - of course, they'll be pricier than a market so you might have to bargain hard and be resolute.

The issue here is not about traffic. You don't have time to do any more, pure and simple.

You can save your sandwiches to eat inside the Forbidden City, if you prefer. I'd advise you to make your intentions clear to the tour company regarding what lunch arrangements you want to make. The price is still reasonable based on two.