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Beijing subway questions

Beijing subway questions

Old May 7, 12, 9:14 am
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Beijing subway questions

I'm staying at the Rennaisance capital hotel in Beijing. It looks like the hotel is located near the guomao subway station where the 1 and 10 routes intersect. Is this an accurate assumption? If so, how far is this station from the hotel?

Secondly, I've read that there is an above ground light rail line. What is the name of that line? I'm a rail fan and would like to ride this line. Thanks
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Old May 7, 12, 9:38 am
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Beijing subway questions

I think the one on the ground you are talking about is the Ba Tong line running from Si Hui to Tong County. You need to take line 1 to Si Hui and change to Ba Tong Line.
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Old May 7, 12, 10:29 am
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The line that goes to tuquaio?

Thanks. How hard is it to ride the subway in Beijing? I understand it is pretty crowded. Is it worse than NYC? Are there signs that are in English?
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Old May 7, 12, 11:04 am
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The trains are crowded...much worse than NYC. Remember, there's no personal space in China.

English is available in the system, it's pretty easy to follow. The lines are numbered and colored and go in two directions.

Not too much to worry about compared w NYC where multiple lines share same platforms, some are express vs local, etc...none of this in BJ.

Originally Posted by steve4031 View Post
Thanks. How hard is it to ride the subway in Beijing? I understand it is pretty crowded. Is it worse than NYC? Are there signs that are in English?
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Old May 7, 12, 11:28 am
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Originally Posted by steve4031 View Post
I'm staying at the Rennaisance capital hotel in Beijing. It looks like the hotel is located near the guomao subway station where the 1 and 10 routes intersect. Is this an accurate assumption? If so, how far is this station from the hotel?

Secondly, I've read that there is an above ground light rail line. What is the name of that line? I'm a rail fan and would like to ride this line. Thanks
Email me if you want lounge access there.
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Old May 7, 12, 11:36 am
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The lines can be fiercely crowded, but like anywhere, if you go off-peak, it helps a lot. 2 yuan to anywhere, I think, so very cheap.

English everywhere, that should not be a problem on the subway, or in Beijing generally, the only thing there being, if you get lost, it might be very difficult to ask for help ...
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Old May 7, 12, 11:38 am
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#2 is not correct. The Capital Ren is near the Shuangjing subway station, on Line 10 one stop south of Guomao. You would go out northwest Exit A. There is a way to cut through the inside of the attached Viva mall, but for first-timers it's easier to exit to street, and then walk north one (long) block...about 5-8 minutes...keeping the mall building on your left and the elevated expressway on your right. When you hit the next side/cross street, the Cap Ren is the building on the corner in front of you. Main door faces west (opposite side from the expressway facade).

Beijing subway system can be crowded at rush hours 7:30 - 9:30 am and 4:30 - 6:30 pm. Line 1 is busy and crowded throughout the day and also on weekends when all the shoppers are out, but the other lines aren't so bad. I wouldn't let this be a deterrent if the system can get you close to where you need to go, as it can be much faster than sitting in surface traffic. It is easy to navigate and all signage and announcements are dual language Chinese and English. Also very cheap, RMB 2 per ride with unlimited transfers. The system is very safe to ride at all hours of operation and all routes (unlike NYC) and is much less of a dump (also unlike NYC) and while crowded, is more civilized (yep you guessed, also unlike NYC).

As most stations involve some sort of stair climbing (esp in the down direction), I don't advocate using the system for the mobility-challenged, or if burdened with more luggage than a small rollaboard. Transfers can involve long walks underground, and I particularly dislike the Line 1-Line 10 transfer (and vice versa) at Guomao station--my normal practice is to exit to the street after the first ride then go back down a different entrance from the street directly to the other line, paying the extra RMB 2 but avoiding the long underground cattle crush.

Light rail lines are twofold: 1) Airport Express which is a simple line running from airport to two points in town. This line is not part of the subway system for ticketing purposes, and a one-way ride is RMB 25. 2) Line 13 which is a U-shaped line serving northern suburbs. About a one-hour journey around the U from endpoint to endpoint, but not very interesting or useful for visitors. Some of the suburban lines like the Batong (to the east) and the recently-added Changping (to the northwest) run above ground also, but unless you have a specific reason to be out in those areas, probably not worth spending time riding.

Last edited by jiejie; May 7, 12 at 11:57 am
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Old May 7, 12, 11:33 pm
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Beijing Subway

So happy I found this thread! You guys are a wealth of info!! We're doing a stopover in Beijing for 3 days at the Renaissance Capital Hotel. I kept reading about the subway connection via the mall but sounded very confusing. Thanks jiejie for the details. Would someone be so kind as to tell me which stop to take for T-Square (I studied the map and it looks like there are two stops)? Which one would be a shorter walk? Someone told me to just take a taxi from the hotel. Good suggestion? Or due to one-way traffic it can be a longer ride than just going subway? We're dragging 2 smaller kids w/ us so fastest and painless is what I'm going for Thanks for the advice (I have ?s about Renaissance Cap but will post in other forum).
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Old May 7, 12, 11:42 pm
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Originally Posted by mominthecity View Post
Would someone be so kind as to tell me which stop to take for T-Square (I studied the map and it looks like there are two stops)?
More like four, Hepingmen and Qianmen will work as well. They're at the south end; Tian'anmen West and East are at the north end.

Originally Posted by mominthecity View Post
Which one would be a shorter walk?
They're all nearly across the street. (It's a really big square.)
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Old May 8, 12, 12:14 am
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Originally Posted by mominthecity View Post
So happy I found this thread! You guys are a wealth of info!! We're doing a stopover in Beijing for 3 days at the Renaissance Capital Hotel. I kept reading about the subway connection via the mall but sounded very confusing. Thanks jiejie for the details. Would someone be so kind as to tell me which stop to take for T-Square (I studied the map and it looks like there are two stops)? Which one would be a shorter walk? Someone told me to just take a taxi from the hotel. Good suggestion? Or due to one-way traffic it can be a longer ride than just going subway? We're dragging 2 smaller kids w/ us so fastest and painless is what I'm going for Thanks for the advice (I have ?s about Renaissance Cap but will post in other forum).
You can post here. I know a great deal about the ren and really will hook you up with the lounge
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Old May 8, 12, 1:37 am
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Beijing Subway/Renaissance

Thanks moondog. I tried to find out all my answers via reading all the posts but there are a lot of posts..so here goes.
-Does the Ren. charge for extra child? Couldn't find anything on hotel website re: extra child policy. If I input 2 kids in the reservations they always say it exceeds max allowed. Do they charge extra per child? Can I settle it onsite or should I call ahead? For now I just reserve 2 adults w/ 2 twin beds to just get a room reserved.
-Is the front desk's English proficient enough so that if they charge me the DCC I could ask that they charge me in RMB or should I have a friend write it down for me? Have you experienced any problems w/ this? I'll mostly likely use Amex but prefer to use Capital 1 to avoid forex fee.
-Would you recommend reserving airport shuttle w/ hotel or just going with a taxi? I've read reviews where taxi's weren't sure where it was located (I'm printing the hotel card found on website). On other hand - shuttle is about 500-600 RMB (kinda expensive right?). Due to stopover & traveling onwards we have baggage which means airport shuttle out of the question.
-We don't have lounge access but didn't know if the hotel's concierge could advise or coordinate getting/reserving tix for the acrobatic show at the Chayong Theatre (didn't know if I should buy tix online & give c.c. and don't know if tix available at window). We wanted to do it in advance as we wanted to go eve of arrival (arrive at PEK 4 p.m. eta check-in 6). Is that realistic? Should we take subway to the the show or taxi? Tried to locate it on the map but it's taking me longer than just posting and asking.
-I also saw a review that getting a taxi from Forbidden City back to hotel can be a hassle. Have you heard or experienced same thing? Thoughts?
-Finally-we are also debating staying at Courtyard NE due to great reviews/better rates for us. However - that's pretty far out, right? Access to subway not as convenient? What do you think?
Thanks so much!
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Old May 8, 12, 1:51 am
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Originally Posted by rmartinez View Post
More like four, Hepingmen and Qianmen will work as well. They're at the south end; Tian'anmen West and East are at the north end.

They're all nearly across the street. (It's a really big square.)
Definitely not Hepingmen, that is not at the south end but quite a bit further west and a long walk.

Mom, your methodology may depend on time of day. If you are going in the morning, and if the "small children" are under 5-6 years old, I'd probably recommend a taxi. Taxis cannot stop on any of the Tiananmen Square streets, so they'll have to turn on a side street before they can stop, and you walk back to main square.

While there's no way to avoid heavy traffic, I would advocate a taxi route that does NOT use Jianguomen Blvd, but instead goes westbound on Guangqumen Blvd (nearer to Cap Ren), crosses the 2nd Ring Road, and turns up towards Qianmen, with taxi letting you off just before hitting the south end of the Square. A map will make this clear to you, and a hotel concierge/doorman can assist with telling the taxi driver how to go. You'll also better appreciate the Arrow Tower, Qianmen, and the Square itself starting at this south end then walking north towards the famous gate with Mao portrait.

If heading over between 10 am - 2 pm non-rush period, you could do the subway Line 10 transfer to Line 1. Either Tiananmen East or West will do.
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Old May 8, 12, 1:55 am
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Beijing Subway

rmartinez - thanks for the info!
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Old May 8, 12, 2:02 am
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Mom, your methodology may depend on time of day. If you are going in the morning, and if the "small children" are under 5-6 years old, I'd probably recommend a taxi. Taxis cannot stop on any of the Tiananmen Square streets, so they'll have to turn on a side street before they can stop, and you walk back to main square.

While there's no way to avoid heavy traffic, I would advocate a taxi route that does NOT use Jianguomen Blvd, but instead goes westbound on Guangqumen Blvd (nearer to Cap Ren), crosses the 2nd Ring Road, and turns up towards Qianmen, with taxi letting you off just before hitting the south end of the Square. A map will make this clear to you, and a hotel concierge/doorman can assist with telling the taxi driver how to go. You'll also better appreciate the Arrow Tower, Qianmen, and the Square itself starting at this south end then walking north towards the famous gate with Mao portrait.

If heading over between 10 am - 2 pm non-rush period, you could do the subway Line 10 transfer to Line 1. Either Tiananmen East or West will do.
Awesome information! Would not know any of this stuff (like taxi at T-Square streets). Thanks!
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Old May 8, 12, 2:05 am
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Originally Posted by mominthecity View Post
-We don't have lounge access but didn't know if the hotel's concierge could advise or coordinate getting/reserving tix for the acrobatic show at the Chayong Theatre (didn't know if I should buy tix online & give c.c. and don't know if tix available at window). We wanted to do it in advance as we wanted to go eve of arrival (arrive at PEK 4 p.m. eta check-in 6). Is that realistic? Should we take subway to the the show or taxi? Tried to locate it on the map but it's taking me longer than just posting and asking.
-I also saw a review that getting a taxi from Forbidden City back to hotel can be a hassle. Have you heard or experienced same thing? Thoughts?
-Finally-we are also debating staying at Courtyard NE due to great reviews/better rates for us. However - that's pretty far out, right? Access to subway not as convenient? What do you think?
Thanks so much!
I'll let moondog do the specific Cap Ren questions. Don't stay at the Courtyard NE, it's a terribly inconvenient location for you. Others:

--Take taxi from airport, from the official queue. Have the address written in Chinese also a phone number for the hotel. (Chinese cabbies all have mobile phones even if you don't.)

--No, you do not have time to get to the Chaoyang Acrobat show on the day of arrival, if your scheduled in at 4 pm. Pick another evening. When you arrive, ask hotel to help you get tickets. You can also buy at box office but better not to waste valuable sightseeing time. It's actually very easy to get to Chaoyang Theater by subway from your hotel: get on Line 10 Shuangjing station, then up 3 stops to Hujialou Station, Exit C. The theater is immediately south of this Exit, can't miss it.

--Yes, getting a taxi from the Forbidden City (including the exit/north gate) can be wicked. And the subway is a long, long walk. If you don't want to deal with having a prearranged car (tough to sync the logistics if you can't speak to the driver in Mandarin), then public bus is an option. There are a pile of bus lines with stops near the north gate, choice depends where you'd be heading next.
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