Top 5 Budget Tips: How to Save Money in Beijing2015-12-22 09:35:19Share:
There are plenty of ways to save money and timeand still have a good time while travelling. Planning your trip before leaving home, learning how to get around, what to see and where to eat… we'll help you get the most out of your time and money in Beijing. Here we give you a "Top 10" list of things to keep in mind.
Many of the money-saving services are not widely known outside the Chinese community and may not provide English service. If so, try getting a Chinese friend to help—people are always keen to practice their English.
1. Free admission day
A fantastic budget saving trick is to take advantage of the "free admission" policy at the city's 13 museums, which awards the first 200 visitors free entry on every Wednesday. The 13 museum are: the Capital Museum (首都博物馆, which has 4000 free entries if reservation was made 3 days in advance; special exhibition excepted.), Xubeihong Museum (徐悲鸿纪念馆), Ancient Bell Museum (大钟寺古钟博物馆), Beijing Art Museum (北京艺术博物馆), Cultural Exchange Museum (文博交流馆), Beijing Ancient Coins Museum (北京古代钱币展览馆，86-10-62018073), Beijing Art Museum of Stone Carvings (北京石刻艺术博物馆), Lao She Memorial Hall(老舍纪念馆， 86-10-65142612), Zhengyangmen Gate (正阳门, 86-10-65229384), Dajue Temple (大觉寺), White Dagoba Temple(白塔寺), Confucius Temple and Guozhijian Museum (孔庙和国子监) and Beijing Ancient Architecture Museum (北京古代建筑博物馆, 86-10-63045608).
On May 18, or the International Museum Day, museum-goerscan also enjoy free entrance. For a complete list of participating museums, please log on to http://english.bjww.gov.cn/zwgk/jgsz_zsdw.asp.
2. Getting orientated
Drop off your bags and go check out the area around your hotel. Seek out subway lines in the near vicinity, (the subway is the most practical way to get around the city due to the constant crazy traffic) and you may just be able to get to the sites without taking a taxi.
3. Using the public transportation system
Public transport in Beijing seems a lot more stressful than it actually is, and is a great way to save money. Bus and subway routes are clear and logical and we offer bus and/or subway route information to all the sights listed. For a bus map, see http://www.china.org.cn/e-logo/e-map.htm(in English).
A public transport "Superpass" (一卡通yikatong) may help save your money and time buying individual tickets. Three types of prepaid super-passes are now available:
Adults' card: For buses numbered from 1 to 499, there is a flat rate fare of RMB 0.4; and for these numbered from 601 to 899, 40% of the normal ticket prices. For those numbered from 900, 80% of the normal ticket prices. Subways, no discount. No limit on duration.
Students' card: For buses numbered from 1 to 499, there is a flat rate fare of RMB 0.2; and for these numbered from 601 to 899, 20% of the normal ticket prices. For those numbered from 900, 80% of the normal ticket prices. Subways, no discount. No limit on duration.
Limited duration bus cards are very handy for visitors: a 3-day card (maximum 18 rides) costs RMB 10; a 7-day card (maximum 42 rides) costs RMB 20; and a 15-day card (maximum 90 rides) cost RMB 40.
You can buy a superpass at China Post Offices, subway stations or CITIC Bank branches.
There is a refundable RMB 20 deposit per card. To get back your deposit , visit one of the following places: Bus 328 terminal at Andingmen Xi (安定门西), Bus 15 terminal at Beijing Zoo (动物园枢纽站), and Bus 335 terminal at Fuchengmen (阜成门).
4. Eating out
Eat where the locals eat. When you're in Beijing, Chinese food is always the cheapest and best tasting. Look for Chengdu Snack Food (成都小吃) restaurants which can be seen everywhere in town. They serve cheap and cheerful dumplings, noodles and gaifan (盖饭 rice topped with dishes such as Kung-pow chicken 宫保鸡丁, approx. RMB 10/plate). Street vwndors selling all kinds of snacks like Yangrouchuan (羊肉串 lamb kebabs) and jianbing (煎饼 pancake) are extremely convenient when you're on the move.
5. Shop' til you drop
A lot of "touristy items" are sold throughout the city. You do not have to buy a souvenir of a tourist sight at the place itself. In Chinese markets it is often the late bird that catches the best worm. Vendors offer bigger discounts at the end of the day, so leave shopping until last (then you won't need to lug it around all day either!
Don't go with the flow and shop at markets constantly mentioned in other travel guides, such as Pearl Market or Silk Street. Their prices tend to be higher than others as they've become the most famous shopping spots among foreigners. Look for some new spots: for cheap special souvenirs go to Tianyi Market; and stop at Tianzhaotian Wholesale Market for women's accessories at wholesale prices. Spend at least two hours at the wholesale market around Beijing Zoo for dirt-cheap wholesale clothes. For a bit of everything, Golden Five-star Wholesale Market should be your ideal stop.
Bargaining is expected so make sure to haggle the price down or you'll be paying over the odds.
1). Bring along a sense of adventure and fun when shopping and be prepared to bargain.
2). Start by offering no more than 40% of the vendor's first price and smile through the process.
3). Once you’ve reached your limit, stand firm, but polite. Call the seller "pengyou" (friend).
4). If the vendor won't accept your price, walk away. They’ll often call you back. If not, their last price is really their last price, and if you want to buy the item (at least from then) that's the price you'll have to pay.
5). When buying multiple items, negotiate the single item price first, and then insist on a lower price for multiple purchases.
6). Don't feel sorry for the seller; there's no way they are losing money on a deal no matter how cutthroat a negotiator you are. At the end of the transaction, compliment them on their good selling and be prepared to be showered with praise for your excellent bargaining.
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