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Your Guide To


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The capital of China, Beijing is a monstrously large city of more than 21 million "registered residents", meaning there may be far more people present at any time or at least it may feel that way if you're finding yourself lost in translation. The city hosts a number of significant modern day and ancient landmarks popular with almost any visitor to China. From Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden CIty, right through to the controversial "Pants" building (CMG Headquarters).

For some, a stepping stone into China, for others, the focal point of an adventure in the Middle Kingdom. Beijing was once known as Peking, the namesake is reserved for airports, delicious duck dishes, and institutes of higher learning these days. You could easily get lost down a myriad of subway lines among tall buildings. You will enjoy Beijing for its local style comfort food and the opportunity to touch on some spectacular history.

Planning your trip

Cruises embarking or disembarking Tianjin are among the easiest ways to enjoy a visit to Beijing as part of your larger cruise vacation. It's a good 100-120 miles from Beijing's airport or city centers to the cruise terminals, however. Account for significant traffic delays if you're braving a same-day embarkation.

We think that Beijing is one of the best cities to visit in China, with a great opportunity to experience the history and culture of the region. Distances between landmarks can be great, the city is rather sprawling. We especially like our luxury providers for China when including Beijing as hotel ratings and descriptions can "lose a lot in translation" when sought elsewhere.

When you should go

Beijing's winters can be quite cold, with hot summers. Smog can be a factor, especially in the winter months. Spring Festival typically sees the city empty out as residents head home to be with family for as much as 6 weeks. The late spring period around March and April can be quite pleasant, as too might September or October be.

What else you might need

As an alternate to any Chinese tourist visa, a 144-hour transit visa does exist for those passing through Beijing. Some strict rules apply and you should check in with your advisor or another trusted resource when it comes to planning any short visit. China's transit visas tend toward air passengers who hold onward tickets, Beijing is quite distant from many other destinations outside of China, Korea, and maybe Western Japan or Vladivostok. That can mean limited selection of comfortable or convenient air routes if you're not planning a longer stay to explore China.

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Content is intended for information and planning purposes only. While we try our best to deliver accurate and current information, some items may not be as described. Please contact your Odyssean Travel advisor for further details. Recommendations are made by independent travelers and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Odyssean Travel and we shall not be liable for any content and its subsequent accuracy or validity.

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