Beijing, an ancient and modern city
Overall, Beijing is a friendly city to foreigner like most important metropolis all over the world, beyond that, Beijing is one of the most safety city in China, even in the world, so if you got a plan to visit it, just enjoy your journey.
Here is the simple checklist you should take into consideration.
Depends where you live, the time to issue a China VISA differ, just check with the your local China embassy or consulate， or your travel agent, just make sure you have enough time frame in advance, this is the only process you can not control yourself.
Airline (Detail Guide)
Although China Airline is a good choice to China, Aeroflot, Hong kong Dragonair would be much better for oversea travel, let’s say more than 12 hours travel over the Pacific while considering the cost, comfortability, food and service including online checkin.
Hotel (Detail Guide)
Make sure you find any 4 star above international chain hotel within the RING-Four realm(Check out map) based on your main travel destination. The reason behind this is general traffic time consuming consideration and convenient for daily life, as well as entertainment. Sharing startup App such as Airbnb is extremely not recommended for first-visitor even they have business up and running in Beijing, because the average cost of upscale hotel or even some luxury hotel rate is not high, this is just the one of the important reasons, I will address others in detail in the guide.
Transportation (Detail Guide)
BCIA(Beijing Capital International Airport) T1,T2,T3 is convenient transportation hub to any your destination, if your are new to Beijing, Taxi will be your reasonable choice, yet, there will be few min-van type Taxi, only economic Hyundai sedan kinds of car, if you have lots of luggages and running out of the cargo space in the trunk, just consider call a 7-seat cab via uber App, actually in Beijing DiDi App is more popular（http://www.didichuxing.com/en/）, which has de facto acquired uber China(so called Strategic Alliance), you can download the APP and use it just like uber. but please keep in mind, print your hotel’s Chinese name and hotel contact phone number on a paper in advance, show it to Taxi driver, if he have no idea of where the hotel is, he can call the hotel directly.
Do not bargain about the taxi fee, just follow the taximeter and No tip in China(Hotel room service or restaurant as well). I would like to talk more about subway, shuttle bus and car rental also in town transportation in this article if you want to know more.
Air pollution is severe, especially in winter, technically speaking, from Nov. to Mar(Next Year), most the other days is better, pretty good in fall, but if your nose is sensitive about the air, bringing your face mask is better, anyway, It’s not a big deal for most of short term traveling people.
As the rate of the allergic population to peanuts in China is low than such as in America or Europe, most of local snack, processed food are not clearly labelled with the allergic ingredient. so be careful to eat any of food/snack you do not know well.
Bringing some of your common using drugs for occasional catching cold, diarrhoea, if you have to see a doctor for emergency, better ask the staff of hotel or your local Chinese friends to help you, because doctor in public hospital do not speak any other language than mandarin.
Honestly, Mandarin is extremely difficult to learn as a second language, only if you want stay here for a long time, you should probably not want to know it at all. but if you did, I will show you some basic mandarin skill in some specific tutorial.
Do not try to use Google Translate App for instance translation, It’s not working in China, except in Hong Kong, Macao. Practically just ask some one , such as hotel staff or your friends to write down the destination in Chinese, and you just take picture with your phone. that’s it, simple and effective.