- Wear your most comfortable shoes. There’ll be a lot of walking. We designed our own itinerary and commuted our way through Beijing. We averaged almost 50,000 steps each day (J’s watch has a pedometer).
- September is Autumn in Beijing. Weather ranged from 13-16C (Pinoys, it's like Baguio weather). You can survive with only one layer of clothing. But if you're lamigin, like me, best to bring a jacket / coat. It gets ice cold when it starts pouring (good thing I brought gloves and scarves).
- Check the weather forecast on-line. It was accurate from Sept 18-22, 2010. Thank God we brought umbrellas.
- If you're exploring on your own, bring your own map. Unlike in HK, SG and Shanghai, there were no free Beijing maps when we arrived at the Central Airport Terminal 2. Good thing our Frommer's book came with a free map, that’s what we used the entire trip.
- Pay public toilets are everywhere. Warning: they could be very stinky. And ladies, be ready to squat.
- Don’t ride the rickshaws. We heard they charge gold!
- Politely walk away from strangers approaching you for photos, tours, tickets, etc. These could be scams.
- You need at least five days to get around. Our trip was super bitin – only three days of pasyal (the other days were for flying). We didn’t get to see The Summer Palace and The Temple of Heaven; and there was no time for serious mall window shopping for me (hehe). More reasons to go back? *wink*
- The locals are helpful in their own sungit way.
- It helps to know a little Chinese. (J's taking Mandarin classes.)
- For the major attractions, we printed out their names in Chinese and English (you can access these on-line). The print outs made it easier to ask for directions.
This is a personal list from our recent trip (September 18-22, 2010) to Beijing. Best to make your own list if you don’t agree with me.