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Tips for Better Navigating Beijing

Navigating the sprawling metropolitan city of Beijing is no easy task at all. It takes some patience and experience, but more importantly, fool-proof plans. Here are some practical tips for you to better navigate the city.

Beijing Airport Shuttle Bus

Tip 1 - Forget about Taking the Super Shuttle
After landing at the airport, it is best not to wait on the curb for a ride in a sweat-soaked coach at the risk of being dropped off at the wrong place, all just for saving a few bucks? It is really not worth it from my personal experience. Your time is worth more than that and should be saved on your trips rather than on the ride. The shuttle is the worst $20 you will ever save and takes forever to drop you to your hotel. It usually takes way much longer to get in town than a Town Car or cab would have been. By the way, you are just first in town and do not know well around the city, so you just would not want to be dropped at the wrong place, just to save a few more bucks. Moreover, when you plan on booking a hotel, pay more attention to the near city center which is open to vast interpretation. Some hotels claiming near city center usually mean you have to spend 30-minute commutes and outrageous taxi fares to get there. So it is better to book a hotel which is located downtown - it is easier to get to and launch your trips from.

Tip 2 - Get Your Money Changed at the Airport
For those travelers while traveling overseas, it seems universally acknowledged that only amateur travelers change money at the airport. Though the exchange rate for foreign currency is better in town, it is not worth it at all. It usually saves you not that much money. According to the recent dollar-to-pound exchange rate in Beijing, it will not save much more money than you expect. Therefore, it is not worth your time to get in town to change some money. By the way, it will take you a long while to navigate the city to find an acceptable place to change money and you may spend an hour lining up for your turn. And if you are unlucky, you may end up with some local coins in your pocket. Convenience factor alone makes it worth changing some cash at the airport, let alone the time saved on your trip.

Overall, with these tips in mind, you will enjoy a pleasant trip to Beijing!