‘‘China is a sleeping giant. Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move the world.”
– Napoleon Bonaparte
Nicknamed as The Sleeping Giant, it never occurred to me that I will be visiting China on my own, during winter, at the start of my 2019.
I booked a spontaneous 2 way flight from Manila to Beijing to Manila last year of 2018 via Cebu Pacific for only P2,000.00 ($40.00). I didn’t think it over, I just booked without thinking about it.
Chinese visa is the first ever visa I’ve obtained. Getting one has given me a lot of emotions, especially being worried if I get denied, and joy when i got my single entry visa to China.
Having a detailed itinerary is one of the documents I submitted within my application. Which most of it, I haven’t really had the chance to do.
The flight between Manila to Beijing is roughly 4 to 5 hours. I flew 15 minutes before 8pm and arrived in Beijing before 1am, the other day.
Sharing below is my 6 day itinerary to Beijing, China.
January 14 – Day 1:
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- Check in to my hostel – Leo Hostel (52 Dashilan W St, Xicheng, Beijing, China)
- Bunk Bed, 7 nights – P2,734.84 (CNY 378.42 / $54.09)
- Rest for a few hours. Breakfast at the hostel
- Leo Hostel has a really good location which make it accessible to most of the tourist spots in Beijing.
- Walk and food tripping at the Qianmen Street
- The Temple of Heaven
- – P202.36 (CNY 28 / $4.00)
January 15 – Day 2:
- Quick visit to Tienanmen Square
- Beijing Railway Station
- Train ride going to Harbin, China – 7 hours train ride
- P2215.07 (CNY 306.5 / $43.81)
- Check in to my Hostel – The North International Youth Hostel (No.65 Dijie Street, Daoli, 150016 Harbin, China)
- Bunk Bed, 1 night – P361.57 (CNY 50.03 / $7.15)
January 16 – Day 3:
- Check my Harbin adventure here!
- Harbin Railway Station
- St. Sophia Cathedral
- A walk and food tripping at Zhongyang Street – Russian style street
- Songhua River Winter Wonderland
- Siberia Tiger Park
- including the ordinary sightseeing bus trip – P794.97 (CNY 110 / $15.72)
- Harbin University
- Train ride going back to Beijing
- P1102.12 (CNY 152.5 / $21.80)
January 17 – Day 4:
- Get back to Leo Hostel
- Food tripping and wandering around the Hutong market street in Dashilan
- Rest, drink some beer and read a book at the hostel lounge
January 18 – Day 5:
- Pick Up tour by TravelBeijingTour.com
- Lunch is included – P1517.67 (CNY 210 / $30.00)
- National Stone Place – Jade Stone
- The Ming Tombs
- Mutianyu Great Wall
- Tea Making
- Food and Beer during night at the hostel
January 19 – Day 6:
- Beijing Zoo
- P72.27 (CNY 10 / $1.43)
- The Yonghe Temple – also known as the Lama Temple
- P180.67 (CNY 25 / $3.57)
- Summer Palace
- P114.54 (CNY 20 / $2.86)
- Food tripping and wandering around Wangfujing District
- Night visit outside the Wangfujing Catholic Church
- Flight back to Manila
6 days in Beijing is never enough. When I looked back at the places I visited, I always think that I would’ve done better, explored better and followed my original itinerary. But, looking at my photos, remembering the days I had in Beijing – every minute of it was never a waste. It was a spectacular vacation that I am planning to go back to China again.
Tips in getting around Beijing (or Harbin) (during the winter season):
- Make sure to bring the right type of clothes – warmers, jackets, leather gloves which you can also use while using your phone without taking it off, beanie, boots or warm shoes.
- Install a VPN to access Google or Facebook, if you don’t want to install a VPN, you can use WeChat as a form of online communication to your friends or family. I used Betternet.
- Simcard costs P2023.56 (CNY280 / $40.02) good for 7 days. This is fast and reliable. I even used it for calls and texting while I was in China. You can pre-order this, with my experience, I bought it from the airport which is why it caused a bit expensive.
- NEVER ever ride the black taxi, or follow the taxi driver who offers their services. These are scammer – i paid P3505.09 (CNY485 / $69.33) for a single ride going to my hostel. It was 1 am and I was really cold.
- If you are riding on a train, it’s okay to ask if the seats are available. Chinese are really nice if you talk to them kindly.
- Use the Beijing Subways! You will enjoy it and it saves a lot of time. Make sure that you have 1, 5 or 10 yuan available for easy subway tickets.
- Try authentic Chinese food.
- If you are travelling solo on a group tour, it’s always feels nice to talk to other people on that group. You’ll learn a lot from them.
- Listen to your tour guide.
- Always bring your passport.
- Download a Google Translate application.
Total Number of Expenses:
- P18,444.73 (airfare, accommodation/s, train ride (Beijing ⇆ Harbin), tours, stupidity in taxi ride, travel tax) – Food and Pasalubong expenses are not included.
I don’t normally share my expenses, but this could be helpful to those who want to travel in Beijing – especially for a solo (female) traveler like me.
Should you have any questions or enquiries about Beijing, please feel free to message and follow me:
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Throughout the years, it seems that The Sleeping Giant has been awake and doing so much better to its country. In my experience and humble opinion, China is a place that you should be adding to your bucket list.
GOES SOLO TO
Til my next adventure!