Beijing, China: My First Impression

My Beijing trip almost did not materialize because of the seven days visa I got from the Chinese Embassy in Manila. I cannot imagine the rush that I would have to go thru in a few days in Beijing. I was torn between cancelling it and just buy a ticket flying anywhere to Indochina. After a little computation, it turns out that I would still be able to save a lot of money if I fly to Beijing due to the promo ticket ($20 one way ticket from Manila) that I got from Cebu Pacific a few months ago instead of buying a new one.

And so I flew out last April 26 and arrive in the early morning of April 27. Cool air greeted me on my way out of the airport which is a big adjustment for me. I stayed in El Nido, Palawan for 28 days and got used to the hot and humid air.

Beijing, China: My First Impression

(Me looking at the Summer Palace Map)

We were planning to sleep in the airport but since based on my calculation, I should leave Beijing on my fourth day, we’ve decided to go to the hostel in the wee hours of the morning.

I was surprised with the presence of bus taking people to different parts of the city at that ungodly hour. We took the bus to Xidan which only cost us 16 Yuan ($2.5) per person and should have gotten off at the Beijing Railway Station but we missed it. We got off the bus at Xidan and took the van waiting in front of the bus stop. And that was my first mistake, we were offered 80 Yuan for the trip to the hostel but we haggled it until we agreed at 60 Yuan (almost $9) which we later found out was too much.

We stayed at 9 Dragons Hostel which you’ll find when you book thru Hostelbooker. The price of the dorm was just 30 Yuan per person per night. The hostel was very nice with clean western style toilet (which I prefer than the squat toilet). It’s also located in a Hutong , a small Chinese alley and the prefect place to observe local Beijinger life.


On the remaining days in Beijing, we toured around YuYuanTan Park, Summer Palace (my favourite), Beijing Zoo, Nan Luo Gu Xiang, Hou Hai and of course the Great Wall. I’ll provide the details of each trip on the following days.

And the best part of travelling in Beijing will always be about the food. I’ll also make a separate post about it in the coming days.

After a few days in Beijing, we left on my fourth day and took a 28 hour train ride to Nanning. We took another 10 hour bus ride to Hanoi. The overland trip from Beijing to Hanoi is quite easy and hassle-free.

Beijing is a megalopolis. It’s massive and it’s impossible to experience it in just a few days. It’s also surprising to find out that it can be a good destination for budget travellers like me. There’s a lot of cheap option for transportation, food and accommodation.

tianamen square


Twitter and FB don’t work in China. I suggest you check out Shannon’s article about how to work around the Great Firewall of China. Anil of Foxnomad also have a helpful article about hotspot shield.

Photo Credits: Pics by Frameless World


  1. So pleased that you finally managed to get to Beijing Flip…it was on my itinerary until I got too stressed out by all the visa rules etc but it’s still on my Bucket List =) Looking forward to hearing more about it!

  2. I can’t wait for your budget-travel tips about Beijing. I would love to explore this place someday, hopefully for more than a week 🙂

  3. Flip! got ur mssg dude! super thanks! 🙂 post ko nlng mga new entry nyo ni Bino sa PTB new posts thread ha since walang FB sa China. =) Be safe! =)

    • nasa Vietnam na kami… dont worry about posting it kasi on the way na kami to Laos tomorrow… magkaka FB na siguro nun 🙂

  4. virgo itinerary says:

    they gave you 7 days? how come i got 30 days samantalang 5days lang naman ako dun.ewan ko talaga kung ano basis nila

    • di ko rin talaga alam basis ng mga embassy.. considering na ang return ticket na binigay ko is after 24 days pa…

  5. Hey Flip! i lived in beijing for an entire year! I have no idea how I survived haha. I loved every moment of it, even hte hardest parts. It’s not an easy city to live in!

    As far as haggling… Beijing is CHEAP… if you think its even a little too expensive… IT IS! Just remember that! This sounds bad, but they will lie to you there with a smile on their face and a firm handshake and everything, so, just be careful okay!!

    I hope you enjoy Beijing! It’s a city of many wonders and a lot of craziness. GO to the grocery store and take a look at how long the isle is just to buy cooking oil. Try to wake up for sunrise and go to Tienanmen Square to watch the flag rise and everyone sing. Seek out some of the open patio areas where everyone gets together for ball room dancing and painting caligraphy on the ground. Summer Palace is one of my favoirte places. Go to the Temple of Heaven in the early morning and watch all the people do Ti Chi, Sing Songs, and bring their Bird Cages outside so the birds can sing together! My favorite place to eat was 2 blocks form my apartmnt in Shuangjing called Seafood & Dumpling. Get out of Shuangjing Subway Exit A and walk stright for 3-4 blocks and you’ll see it!

    Okay that’s all I can think of for now!
    Keep me posted Flip!
    And yea the Chhinese Visa process is rediculous!

    have a great time!!
    Lauren 🙂

    • wow… thank you for all the tips about beijing… i do love travelling in china… food is awesome and ive met alot of chinese people too.. the only thing i hate about is the visa process… thanks for all the tips about beijing…

      and envious that you got to lived there for a year… really found beijing a nice city (compare to where i grew up its way better) 🙂

      thansk for all the tips again 🙂

  6. i wanna go straight to the airport now and leave all this behind!!! i miss traveling big time, flip!

    • konting hintay pa jerik 🙂 sabi mo nga nagiipon ka then you’ll fly out… see you on the road my friend…

  7. Very informative! Want to go to Beijing too if my busy schedule allows=)


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