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PEK layover - CN lounge/TWOV questions

PEK layover - CN lounge/TWOV questions

Old Apr 30, 19, 6:53 pm
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PEK layover - CN lounge/TWOV questions

Flying from LAX-PEK-SGN with a 15 hour layover in Beijing. First time to China.

Some questions for the forum:
1. Is the 24 hour TWOV good for this itinerary with a US passport?
2. Is it possible to take a shower in the CA business class lounge after arrival and then get a TWOV visa and go into town?
3. Flight to SGN departs at 835p on Thu May 9. How much in advance of departure should I arrive at the airport? If leaving from Tiananmen Square area, what time should I leave if traveling by car? Don't want to miss that flight!
4. Do ATMs in China work with US banks? What about US credit cards - are credit cards as widely accepted as in the US?

TIA!
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Old May 1, 19, 1:11 am
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Originally Posted by PCTraveler View Post
Flying from LAX-PEK-SGN with a 15 hour layover in Beijing. First time to China.

Some questions for the forum:
1. Is the 24 hour TWOV good for this itinerary with a US passport?
2. Is it possible to take a shower in the CA business class lounge after arrival and then get a TWOV visa and go into town?
3. Flight to SGN departs at 835p on Thu May 9. How much in advance of departure should I arrive at the airport? If leaving from Tiananmen Square area, what time should I leave if traveling by car? Don't want to miss that flight!
4. Do ATMs in China work with US banks? What about US credit cards - are credit cards as widely accepted as in the US?

TIA!
1. Yes, but be sure to book a hotel in order to increase your odds of being let out
2. Your goal should be to leave the airport; if you pull this off, you can shower somewhere nicer
3. I'll suggest 530p; Beijing traffic is pretty bad, but an hour should be sufficient to get there (i.e. tell the driver to take 5th Ring, if needed)
4. ATMs work fine, for the most part. Credit cards are accepted at many higher end places, but I do run into issues at times (e.g. some restaurants seem to be okay with Visa, and not MC)
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Old May 1, 19, 1:36 am
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And just because a place has a VISA/MC logo, even a machine, does not mean it will for sure take non-Chinese cards. The staff may well not know the machine doesn't work for overseas cards till you try.

ATMs are much more dependable.
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Old May 1, 19, 5:44 am
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I don't think that you can access the lounge from the arrival area. However once you exit to the main hall after passing customs, turn right and at the far end you have shower facilities ($).
I am not what you mean by the Tian'Anmen square are but understand that you won't get a taxi around the square as cars can't stop there. I also think that at that time of day. getting a taxi will be nearly impossible. Consider the subway and Airport Express.
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Old May 1, 19, 9:20 am
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I'd strongly recommend finding an ATM that works with Visa/MC (which should be easy) and taking out as much cash as you want to spend that day. Foreign cards are usually ok in hotels and shopping centres, but as noted above, you can't really rely on it beyond that. It's completely different from Europe where I wouldn't usually carry cash at all. So if you want the flexibility to explore (which you should if it's your first time in Beijing!), take out a handful of cash so you can relax.
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Old May 1, 19, 3:51 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
1. Yes, but be sure to book a hotel in order to increase your odds of being let out
2. Your goal should be to leave the airport; if you pull this off, you can shower somewhere nicer
3. I'll suggest 530p; Beijing traffic is pretty bad, but an hour should be sufficient to get there (i.e. tell the driver to take 5th Ring, if needed)
4. ATMs work fine, for the most part. Credit cards are accepted at many higher end places, but I do run into issues at times (e.g. some restaurants seem to be okay with Visa, and not MC)
Thanks Moondog. Is the TWOV not automatic if I have a ticket to SGN the same day?
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Old May 1, 19, 3:59 pm
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Originally Posted by PCTraveler View Post
Thanks Moondog. Is the TWOV not automatic if I have a ticket to SGN the same day?
TWOV is definitely automatic; once you're there, they will not force you to return to your home country. The issue we've been discussing recently in the TWOV thread is being able to leave the airport, because some people have been denied this option.

Following are my thoughts about how to increase your odds, in order of success chances:
1. CA books a hotel for you
2. You book a hotel on your own
3. You book an official tour
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Old May 1, 19, 7:29 pm
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Originally Posted by PCTraveler View Post
Thanks Moondog. Is the TWOV not automatic if I have a ticket to SGN the same day?
You can certainly transit without a visa but in principle you can't leave the airport for a transit under 24 hours. However you can apply for an entry permit which can be issued at the discretion of the immigration officer. A longer stay (10 hours +) and a hotel booking usually sufficient to convince them.
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Old May 1, 19, 10:53 pm
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By the way, there is no way to use the lounge for a shower upon arrival. Even for domestic China travel, the airport is designed to funnel you straight to landside if you no longer have any business being in the sterile zone.
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Old May 1, 19, 10:59 pm
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Originally Posted by sinoflyer View Post
By the way, there is no way to use the lounge for a shower upon arrival. Even for domestic China travel, the airport is designed to funnel you straight to landside if you no longer have any business being in the sterile zone.
True, but in the unlikely event they don't let the OP leave the terminal (really push for this @OP; a shower does not justify hanging out there for more than 2 hours!), then he/she will end up on the departures level anyway.
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Old May 9, 19, 5:30 am
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Arrived in PEK this morning. Had no issues with the TWOV, issued without any questions and didnít even have to show my visa for Vietnam. The agent did flip through all my passport pages, fortunately I donít have too many stamps in this one.
When going thru baggage claim there are signs for the Air China premium lounge. In the far right corner of baggage claim, thereís a lounge that is basically only private showers/toilets, and very nice ones at that. See pictures. The shot in the shower room is a panorama btw. They also have basic beverages and a small sitting area. Very pleasant surprise. No waiting at 630am, there was only one other person, I saw exiting as I arrived. After a day of siteseeing I also wanted a shower before flying. Turns out the showers in the Air China business lounge are no longer in operation. There are now showers on the 1st floor - take an elevator down from within the lounge, so still within the sterile zone. These arenít quite as nice as the arrivals, but spacious and well appointed. Sorry, no pic taken. They also have a private toilet as well. The food in the lounge is still terrible, however.
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Old May 9, 19, 8:09 am
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Originally Posted by PCTraveler View Post
Arrived in PEK this morning. Had no issues with the TWOV, issued without any questions and didnít even have to show my visa for Vietnam. The agent did flip through all my passport pages, fortunately I donít have too many stamps in this one.
When going thru baggage claim there are signs for the Air China premium lounge. In the far right corner of baggage claim, thereís a lounge that is basically only private showers/toilets, and very nice ones at that. See pictures. The shot in the shower room is a panorama btw. They also have basic beverages and a small sitting area. Very pleasant surprise. No waiting at 630am, there was only one other person, I saw exiting as I arrived.
Pictures? Where? BTW, I've never noticed this lounge, so I'm interested in seeing pictures of it.
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Old May 9, 19, 8:17 am
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Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
Pictures? Where? BTW, I've never noticed this lounge, so I'm interested in seeing pictures of it.
I've seen the signs on my arrival in PEK recently too (but didn't check it out)

Glad to hear CA actually done something useful (the regular departure CA lounge in PEK really isn't great, neither the int nor the domestic part (I even prefer the domestic one!) - albeit they showed in PVG that they're totally able to build a reasonable lounge)
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Old May 12, 19, 3:24 am
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Originally Posted by PCTraveler View Post
Arrived in PEK this morning. Had no issues with the TWOV, issued without any questions and didnít even have to show my visa for Vietnam. The agent did flip through all my passport pages, fortunately I donít have too many stamps in this one.
When going thru baggage claim there are signs for the Air China premium lounge. In the far right corner of baggage claim, thereís a lounge that is basically only private showers/toilets, and very nice ones at that. See pictures. The shot in the shower room is a panorama btw. They also have basic beverages and a small sitting area. Very pleasant surprise. No waiting at 630am, there was only one other person, I saw exiting as I arrived. After a day of siteseeing I also wanted a shower before flying. Turns out the showers in the Air China business lounge are no longer in operation. There are now showers on the 1st floor - take an elevator down from within the lounge, so still within the sterile zone. These arenít quite as nice as the arrivals, but spacious and well appointed. Sorry, no pic taken. They also have a private toilet as well. The food in the lounge is still terrible, however.

Panoramic shot.

Lounge entrance is on the right, next to lost baggage counter.
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Old May 13, 19, 4:36 am
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Added my experience to main TWOV thread.
flyertalk.com/forum/31095602-post5705.html
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