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Beijing Transportation

As the nation's capital, getting to Beijing is very easy and straightforward. Rail and air connections link the capital to virtually every point in China, and fleets of buses head to abundant destinations from Beijing. Using Beijing as a starting point cot explore the rest of the land makes perfectsense.

Int'l Flights

Beijing international airportBeijing Capital Airport (Tel: 64653604), is the largest airport in China. It locates about 25 kilometers (16 miles) northeast of downtown Beijing. Beijing Capital International Airport Co. Ltd has 38 major foreign cooperative airline companies, 21 domestic airlines, 1 Hong Kong airline and 1 Macao airline using the airport. Now it is the major door for foreign travelers to get to mainland China.

On arrival in Beijing, foreigners have to complete the followingprocedures:- Immigration, Customs/Quarantine and Health Declarations. The necessary forms will be distributed on board the aircraft before landing. They include the Entry Registration Card, Health Card and Customs Luggage Declaration Form. Please complete and have they ready with your travel documents prior to reaching the Customs and Immigration area.

Health check

On arrival, the first check you have to pass is the Quarantine Check. At the check point, you show your passport and the form you filled in on board. Anyone with listed diseases such as yellow fever, cholera, VD, leprosy, infectious pulmonary tuberculosis or AIDS will be forbidden to enter or be sent to the airport clinic for further checking. Those arriving from areas with epidemics of yellow fever must show their valid certificates of inoculation against this disease. Those with symptoms of fever, diarrhea, vomiting or rashes must declare this information accurately.

For those who are going to stay longer in China, they have to show their quarantine certificate issued by an authorized health department abroad.

Border entry

After passing through the Health Check, you come to the border control area (equivalent to the immigration control in the West) where you show the officer your passport and the Entry Registration Card. You must have a valid passport with the necessary Chinese a visa. A tourist visa is necessary and easily obtained at the Chinese embassies or consulates in your own country. Without a valid visa, you will find it difficult to enter the country. China does not normally issue at-the-border-visas, so you risk being sent home.

CustomsOverview Beijing's transportation

After collecting your luggage, you will pass through the Customs. There are two channels, red and green. If you have nothing to declare, go through the green channel, otherwise take the red channel. If you are not sure which channel you should take, then you should take the red channel.

If you take things listed on the Customs Luggage Declaration Form in the red box such as computers, cameras, video cameras, gold and silver, printed or recorded materials, or anything more than you need during your travel in China, or something that you will not take out of China when you leave, you have to fill in the Customs Luggage Declaration Form which you are given on the plane or at the Customs.

The following items are not allowed to be taken into China

1. Weapons, ammunition or explosives;

2. Forged currencies or forged valuable securities;

3. Printed, audio, video, computerized and other materials which are harmful to China's political, economic, cultural and ethnic life;

4. Various poisons;

5. Opium, heroin, marijuana and other addictive drugs;

6. Plants, animals or other products which may carry diseases, viruses, parasites, etc.,

7. Foodstuffs, medicines or other products which may cause harm to human or animals, which come from areas with epidemics or which may spread diseases or contamination.

Money Exchange

After arriving you can exchange a small amount of money at the Bank of China counter near the Arrival Hall Exit.

Airport to the City

After arriving in Beijing you can go into the city by one of the following means:

Airport Shuttle: The airport shuttle runs every 30 minutes from early 5:30 to 20:00, and cover different routes. and the cost is 16RMB (about $2). The bus stops at certain places in the city and you can continue to other destination in the city by Taxi.

Airport Taxi: The legitimate taxis in a long queue outside the Arrival Hall. The line is usually quite long but taxis move quickly so you won't wait long. At the head of the line a dispatcher will give you your taxi's number, which is useful in case of complaints. The charge will be at least 100RMB but pay according to the meter, which includes an expressway toll of 15RMB. After 23:00, you will pay more.
Hotel Shuttle: The best and easiest way is to go by hotel shuttle. Most major hotels will have this service. When making a hotel reservation, be sure to ask for airport shuttle service from the airport.

Leaving China

Departure is relatively much simpler. As mentioned above, you have to take out the things that you had declared with the copy of your Customs Luggage Declaration Form which you filled in on your arrival. If any item is missing, a certificate by the relevant department is required (for instance, a certificate from the police is required if something is stolen); otherwise, you have to pay import duty according to the Custom regulations.

China has strict regulations for exporting, such as cultural relics, medicinal materials, gold, silver, or antiques for export. The cultural relics that are forbidden to be taken out of China include antiques earlier than the Qing Dynasty and ancient paintings and calligraphy (also some modern ones). Keep the receipt of the antiques you bought so that you can show them on departure. These antiques bought in shops which can be exported usually carry a red wax seal. Travelers should be take care that those items e.g. antiques previously mentioned are purchased from reputable dealers. Be sure to ask for the correct documentation if you intend to purchase this kind of items.

Travelers who want exchange Renminbi (RMB) back to foreign currency at the airport before leaving China will be required to show the exchange slip provided when they exchanged foreign currency into RMB on arrival or at banks.The procedure are the same for all departure points.

By taking train, travelers can get to almost all the cities in China from Beijing. Thereí»re 4 railway stations in Beijing. The two major ones are Beijing Railway Station and West Station. Both of these two stations have special counters for foreign travelers. Foreign travelers can book train tickets at hotels, Beijing Railway Station, West Station and ticket agencies.

The city itself has good transport facilities. The Metro is convenient to use within the city and being expanded as you read this.  The road system is excellent and traffic runs relatively smoothly except during peak traffic hours in the morning and evening when people rush to and from work. Many parts of Beijing can be explored on foot.

The main shopping areas and most of the tourist attractions are easily reached by subway, taxi or bicycle.  In fact, if you are the type of person who likes to explore on foot, some of the main areas could be visited on foot.  The bus system is extensive, comfortable and not crowded if you take the ones which have air-conditioning.  The non air-conditioned buses are much more crowded because the monthly bus passes bought by local passengers are not valid on the air-conditioned buses.

If you will be travelling to areas outside the city center such as the Great Wall, your options are limited.  You can take the cheap but sometimes unavailable tourist buses, an expensive private car/taxi or an organized tour.  If you take a tour, choose carefully! Ripping off foreigners is somewhat of an art in China.

One of Beijing's biggest urban concerns is its widespread traffic congestion. Traffic in the city center is often gridlocked during rush hours (7:00AM-9:30AM; 11:30AM-2:00PM and 5:30PM-7:00PM), so visitors are advised to avoid rush hours, or build plenty of flexibility into their travel times.

Public Bus & Trolley Bus
Public bus is the cheapest way to get around the city. The bus fare starts at 1 Yuan and increase to several Yuan in most situations. The bus fare starts at 2 Yuan for those with air-conditioning. From 2007, the bus passengers can enjoy a 60%'s discount if they use the IC card which is called 'YiKaTong' in Pinyin for paying the fare.

1. When traveling around Beijing, ask for a card with the hotel's name in Chinese from the receptionist of your hotel. This will be very useful when directing taxi drivers or if you get lost.
2. Be aware of speed restrictions in Beijing:
2nd Ring Road, 3rd Ring Road, 4th Ring Road: 50 ĘC 80 kilometers/hour (31 ĘC 50 miles/hour)
5th Ring Road: 50 ĘC 90 kilometers/hour (31 ĘC 56 miles/hour)
Airport Expressway: 120 kilometers/hour (74 miles/hour)
Jing-Jin-Tang Expressway: 110 kilometers/hour (68 miles/hour)
Changan Avenue, Pingan Dajie, Liangguang Dajie, Qiansanmen Dajie: 70 kilometers/hour (43.5 miles/hour)

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