ABOUT
BEIJING

USEFUL INFORMATION

WEATHER
The end of March and early April sees a big rise in temperature, with average daily temperatures rising from a cool 12°C to a warm 35°C. Overnight temperatures are generally a little cool with an average low of 1°C at the start of April.

CURRENCY
The official currency of Beijing, China is Renminbi or Yuan which can be abbreviated as RMB or CNY.

The notes come in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 yuan. One yuan coins are also widely used. Due to inflation, banknotes or coins with a value of less than one yuan, including one jiao and five jiao, are rarely used in China. Many places round up or down to the nearest whole number. Most hotels, restaurants, shops and car rental agencies accept major international credit cards. Most cash or credit cards with a PIN can access cash from ATM’s. Please visit www.xe.com or http://www.boc.cn/sourcedb/whpj/enindex.html for current exchange rates.

LANGUAGE
You will be able to speak English, although Mandarin is the official and most common language. The Grand Hyatt hotel has a taxi card available for visitors which has the address of the hotel and a map in Chinese characters, making it easy to tell the taxi driver where you need to go.

TIPPING
Tipping is appreciated, but not necessary when you experience good service; many restaurants and hotels automatically impose a 10 percent gratuity to your bill.

DRINKING WATER
Most hotels will provide bottled water. The hotel recommends guests do not drink tap water as a result of older plumbing and pipes.

ELECTRICITY
The standard electrical current used in China is 220 volts AC (50 hz). You can use a type A power plug, with two flat pins; or a type C power plug, with two round pins. The plugs are illustrated here. You may also need a voltage converter.

TAXES
There is no sales tax in China. All hotels charge a 6% tax and may add a 10% to 15% service fee. You can apply for your VAT refund, on some purchases, at the Beijing Capital International Airport. Click here for eligibility criteria and details.

SHOPPING 
Shopping hours are Monday to Saturday 9:00am – 8:00pm. All shops are closed on bank holidays. Most supermarkets open from 7:00am – 8:00pm.

LOCAL TRANSPORTATION
Beijing is very well connected by its subway and bus system.

By Train or Subway: The Jingjiu Railway is the center of China’s railway net is the fastest and safest way to zip around the city.

By Bus: Over 1200 bus routes are running in Beijing, including regular downtown lines, suburban lines, night lines and intercity lines. Payment by both cash and Transportation Smart Card are accepted.

By Taxi: Taxis are comfortable and especially handy if you want to go to places not accessible by bus or subway, with a flag-down rate of CNY13 for the first 3km. UBER or LYFT is also available.

USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS
Police – 110
Ambulance – 120
Fire Brigade – 119
Flight Information – 010-645-41-100

TRAVEL INSURANCE
Please be advised that IAF and/or ILAC cannot be held liable for any unforeseen circumstances such as travel delays, loss of luggage or medical expenses incurred whilst at the IAF-ILAC Joint Annual Meetings. We strongly recommend that you obtain travel insurance before traveling.

SMOKING
Smoking is not permitted in any indoor locations in Beijing, as well as eateries, entertainment centers (including night spots), sports and recreation facilities, healthcare facilities and on modes of transport. However, certain premises may have designated areas for smoking.

 

10 FUN FACTS ABOUT BEIJING

Once the capital of four dynasties in history and capital of People’s Republic of China today, Beijing is one of the world’s truly imposing cities. Beijing is the capital of exhilarating extremes with its glittering skyscrapers. Combining both modern and traditional architecture, Beijing is an ever-changing mega-city rich in history but also in its extraordinary global influence.

1. Second largest city in China
Despite being the capital of China, Beijing is actually smaller than Shanghai, which is the world’s largest city by population. Beijing is still really large, with a population of over 22 million!

2. Home to the largest palace in the world – Forbidden City.
The world’s largest palace is the Forbidden City. The Palace complex is the perfect example of traditional Chinese palatial architecture and has influenced cultural and architectural developments around the world.

3. Second largest city square in the World – Tiananmen Square.
Located in the center of Beijing is a city square named Tiananmen Square, meaning “Gate of Heavenly Peace”. It contains the Monument to the People’s Heroes, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum of China, and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, who proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949.

4. Beijing will be the first to host the summer and winter Olympics!
Beijing has hosted the summer Olympics in 2008, and it will host the winter Olympics in 2022, making it the first city to host both Olympics ever!

5. Beijing’s airport is the second busiest in the world.
Beijing Capital International Airport is the second busiest airport in the world, handling more than 100 million passengers in 2018!

6. Have you ever been to the Temple of Heaven?
The Temple of Heaven is an imperial complex of religious buildings located in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The Emperor’s of the Ming and Qing dynasties visited the temple for annual ceremonies of prayer for good harvest. The Temple was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.

7. Sixteenth Name of the City!
Beijing is the sixteenth name of the city! The city has such a rich and deep history, with different people throughout the centuries all vying for control of what was once known as the City of Ji. Interestingly, Beijing literally translates as Northern Capital.

8. Beijing is one of the bicycle capitals of the world.
Beijing is big on bikes. Despite vehicles being very popular in the city, there’s nothing like a bike for your morning commute. It makes it easier too when there is a huge amount of real estate dedicated to bicycle parking too.

9. China’s official language is mostly based on the Beijing dialect.
China’s official language, Mandarin, is mostly based on the Beijing dialect. There are a couple of differences in regional vocabulary and grammar, but the Beijing dialect is the one to learn if you want to learn the Chinese language.

10. The Beijing Zoo is one the most famous tourist destinations in the city.
The Beijing Zoo is popular for its Panda Bears and is the largest zoo in the country!

Think that’s all there is to know about Beijing? Think again. Check out these must-dos to make the best of your upcoming trip to Beijing.