CHINA: The Tale of Two Great Cities

China 中国 (literally ‘Middle State’) officially the People’s Republic of China (PRC) 中华人民共和国, regarded as “The Sleeping Giant” is humongous in every way. As the world’s most populous country and has history that spans a thousand years, no wonder it exudes rich history and built one of the greatest architectural feats in the world: The Great Wall of China. Considered as one of the new seven wonders, it is better to appreciate it personally so the opportunity came when the rewards program of a budget airline offered free flights to this country via Beijing and Shanghai. Hitting two cities far away from each other is risky but I made sure to focus on my must-visits including spending a day at Disneyland! In this post, I’ll show in detail how I got to Beijing 北京 (cultural and administrative capital) and Shanghai 上海 (nation’s financial capital). This is the start of my birthday vacation Fancy Asia TripletsChina-Japan-South Korea01Highlights per City:

BEIJING 北京市 ‘Northern Capital’
Great Wall of China (Mutianyu Section)
Wangfujing Shopping Street
Wangfujing Saint Joseph Church
National Centre for the Performing Arts (The Egg)
National Stadium (Bird’s Nest)
National Aquatics Center (Water Cube)
CMG Headquarters (Big Pants)
Temple of Heaven
Palace Museum (The Forbidden City)

SHANGHAI 上海市 ‘Upon-the-Sea’
Puxi (West Bank of Huangpu River)
-The Bund and its Promenade
-Xujiahui Cathedral
-Yuyuan Garden
-City God Temple
-Huxinting Teahouse
-Yuyuan Old Street
-Nanjing Road Shopping Street
-LEGO Shanghai Flagship Store
-Starbucks Reserve Roastery
-Xintiandi Shikumen Houses
Pudong (East Bank of Huangpu River)
-Lujiazui Roundabout
-Binjiang Riverside Park
-Oriental Pearl TV Tower
-Shanghai Tower
-Shanghai World Financial Center
-Jin Mao Tower
-Shanghai Disneyland Resort (highly recommended rides):
*Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure
*TRON Lightcycle Power Run
*Soaring Over the Horizon
*Rex’s Racer
*Buzz Lightyear’s Planet Rescue
*Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
*Camp Discovery – Challenge Trails (activity)

DAY 1: MANILA PH DEPARTURE
1915H ETD in Manila

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Bound to Beijing


DAY 2: BEIJING CH ARRIVAL AND GREAT WALL TOUR

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Arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport 北京首都国际机场 Terminal 1
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The Chinese Yuan 元 or formally Renminbi 人民币 Bills (1CNY = PHP7.40)

0005H ETA in Beijing (same time GMT+8)
Sleep at the airport arrival hall and wait for airport train opening at 0630H
Plugin Travelsim good for 4 days (bought from travelsimph)IMG20190904011806-min
Use Metro China App for train routes in Beijing and Shanghai
0636AM Buy Yikatong Card (or load borrowed card) CNY100.IMG20190904062730

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Beijing Subway 北京地铁 Map

Ride at Terminal 2 Airport Express, transfer at SANYUANQIAO L10, then HUIXINXIJIE NANKOU L5. Alight at HEPINGXIQIAO.
0715H Eat breakfast and wait for tour bus for Great Wall Tour at HEPINGXIQIAO Station, exit B
0830H Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from Beijing (With Pick Up)

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Mutianyu 慕田峪 is a section of the Great Wall of China located in Huairou District within the city limits of Beijing 70 kilometers (43 mi) northeast of the center of the city. As one of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall, the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall used to serve as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs. I chose this over Badaling section (nearer section to Beijing) because it is less crowded here.
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1 of  7 Wonders of the World achieved! (n_n)

Cable Car one-way up to Great Wall
Toboggan ride CNY100. Slideway Upper Station: between No. 5 Watchtower and No.6 Watchtower
Lunch included in package tour
1630H End of tour. Drop at Wangfujing street. City tour after.
Drop off at Wangfujing Shopping Street.IMG20190904163642-01 Visit St. Joseph Church.IMG20190904162231-01
1710H Ride at WANGFUJING L1, transfer at GUOMAO L10, alight at SHILIHE. Check-in at Green Tree Inn.
1856H Pickup Rail Pass for Shanghai: Ride at SHILIHE L14 and alight at Beijing South Railway Station.IMG20190904191950
1926H Ride at Beijing South Railway Station L4, transfer at XIDAN L1 and alight at TIAN’ANMEN West L1. Explore The Egg.IMG20190904205501-01-01
2103H Ride at TIAN’ANMEN West L1, transfer at JIANGUOMEN L2, transfer at GULOU DAJIE L8 , and alight at Olympic Sports Center L8. Walk towards Olympic Park for Bird’s Nest and Water Cube.IMG20190904220653-02-01-minIMG20190904220724-01-01-min
2200H Ride at Olympic Sports Center L8, transfer at BEITUCHENG L10 and alight at JINTAIXIZHAO. See CMG Headquarters (Big Pants).IMG20190904230728-02-01-min
2318H Ride at JINTAIXIZHAO L10 and alight at SHILIHE L10. Rest.

DAY 3: BEIJING CITY TOUR AND SHANGHAI CH ARRIVALPhotoCollage_20191022_192613502-01-min
0500H Wake-up call
0632H Ride at SHILIHE L14, transfer at PUHUANGYU L5 and alight at TIANTANDONGMEN L5. Explore Temple of Heaven Park. CNY15IMG20190905081951-01-01
0830H Enter Temple of Heaven Proper CNY20IMG20190905080219-01-01
0902H TIANTANDONGMEN L5, transfer at DONGDAN L1, alight at TIAN’ANMEN East L1. Queue for Security Check going to Forbidden Palace.
Scan the QR code for Beijing Palace Museum Ticket (The Forbidden City) at the entrance.
Optional to rent English Audio Guide at Forbidden Palace CNY20 (GPS enabled).IMG20190905094804-01-01
Recommended to visit important buildings along Central Axis from South to North like the Hall of Supreme Harmony.IMG20190905095432-01-01
1105H After Forbidden Palace Tour, walk towards National Art Museum station L8, ride subway, transfer at NANLUOGUXIANG L6, transfer at HUJIALOU L10, alight at SHILIHE L10.
1200H Check out at Green Tree Inn. Ride at SHILIHE L14 and alight at Beijing South Railway Station. Proceed directly to security check at railway station. Check the LED screen for schedule and boarding gate. Buy lunch nearby. Refer to train ticket. Ex: [China Rail] Beijing to Shanghai [Second Class] Beijing to Shanghai is 4.5hrs. Ex: G3 train 14:00 – 18:28 4h28m

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Beijing South Railway Station 北京南站售

1400H Departure at Beijing South Railway Station
You can eat bought lunch at the train.


1828H Arrival at Shanghai Hongqiao Station. Buy Shanghai Transpo Card with load CNY100IMG20190905183210
1832H Train to accommodation: Hongqiao Railway Station L2 and alight at East Nanjing Road L2. Walk towards hostel and check in. *Provide CNY100 deposit but refundable at check-out.
2000H Walk from hostel to The Bund. See the famous Shanghai Lujiazui with illuminated towers along Huangpu river. Walk along The Bund to see heritage buildings on the elevated promenade.IMG20190905211757-01-01IMG20190905213303-01
2100H Late dinner, then washup and rest.

DAY 4: SHANGHAI DISNEYLAND
0500H Wake-up call
0647H Ride at East Nanjing Road L2 and alight at Lujiazui L2. You can get at overpass near subway or visit the nearby Lujiazui Park to see the tall buildings closer.
0706H Ride at Lujiazui L2, transfer at Century Avenue L9 and alight at XUJIAHUI. Walk towards the cathedral. Visit the church with proper attire.IMG20190906074919-01
0800H Ride at Xujiahui L11 and alight at Disney Resort L11. Walk towards main entrance and queue for security check. Show Klook voucher of [Early Bird] Shanghai Disneyland Resort Ticket and passport to get physical ticket.
Install the Shanghai Disneyland App and sync your pass by scanning the QR code. Once synced, you can get Express Pass right away on your desired attraction. Very easy! Enjoy Disneyland! Don.t forget the Disney Parade near the castle and fireworks show at night. Find comfortable spot.IMG20190906093244IMG20190906094011-01IMG20190906095330-01

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Though Ive been to HongKong and Tokyo DisneyResorts, this was my first time to gave picture with mascot of Mickey Mouse, and it was awesome! (n_n)

2112H Leave Disneyland after fireworks. Ride at Disney Resort L11, transfer at Luoshan Road L16, transfer at Longyang Road L2, alight at Lujiazui L2.
Walk towards Lujiazui Roundabout to see Oriental Pearl TV Tower, then walk towards Binjiang Riverside Park to see The Bund.orientshanghaitowers

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The Bund as seen from Binjiang Riverside Park 滨江公园.

2300H Walk towards Lujiazui L2 and alight at East Nanjing Road L2.
Late dinner, washup and rest.

DAY 5: SHANGHAI CITY TOURPhotoCollage_20200410_191712920-01
0749H Ride at East Nanjing Road L10 and alight at Yuyuan Garden L10. Walk towards Yuyuan Garden area. Visit the Tourist Center, get a map and explore.
Visit Huxinting teahouse in the pond and other stalls while waiting for Yuyuan Garden to open.IMG20190907083426-01
0830H Buy ticket for Yuyuan Garden CNY40 and enter.IMG20190907095610-01
1000H City God Temple nearby CNY10. Then walk along Yuyuan Old Street and buy souvenirs/snacks.IMG20190907105032-01
1205H Ride back to Yuyuan Garden L10 and alight at East Nanjing Road L10. Check-out from inn and get the deposit. You can leave luggage at the counter.
Go to Nanjing Road then walk along the shopping street See M&M’s Chocolate World and Lego Shanghai Flagship Store.IMG20190907132406-01-01IMG20190907141056-01-01
*Optional to visit People’s Square but I walked straight to Starbucks Reserve Roastery near West Nanjing Road Station (Biggest Starbucks in China).IMG20190907153030-01
1614H Ride at West Nanjing Road L13 and alight at Xintiandi L13. Explore the old Shikumen houses turned to boutiques and restaurants. There’s a mansion neaby displaying ng Beijing Olympics 2008 Torch.IMG20190907170417-01-01-min
1730H Walk towards South Huangpi Road L1, transfer at People’s Square L2 and alight at East Nanjing Road L2.
Last minute shopping of souvenirs/snacks and dinner then get the luggage to proceed to Pudong Airport.
1915H Ride at East Nanjing Road L2 and transfer at Longyang Road. Walk towards MAGLEV ticket counter to buy single-trip economy ticket at CNY50. Find your seat and wait for train departure.IMG20190907200928

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Shanghai maglev train line 上海磁浮示范运营线 It ran at 301 km/h for 8 minutes!

2028H Arrived at Pudong Airport. Find your airline and designated terminal. Make sure to spend CNY bills and loose coins to buy snacks unless keep them as souvenirs.
2200H Shanghai Pudong International Airport Terminal 2. ‘Check-in, Pass the immigration, Board

DAY 6: SHANGHAI DEPARTURE AND MANILA ARRIVAL
0135H ETD in Shanghai
0525H ETA in Manila – NAIA3

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Departure at Shanghai Pudong International Airport 上海浦东国际机场

#MADEINCHINA SIGHTSEEING SOLO TRIP🇨🇳 🏛️🏯🕍🚇
#China #Beijing #Shanghai
September 03-08, 2019 (Beijing and Shanghai, China)

1CNY = PHP7.40 (rate at Rashida Money Changer in Ermita, Manila)

Itinerary and Expenses (6D5N)
Airline: Cebu Pacific
Fare: MNL-PEK GetGo 400pts Php1313
MNL-PVG-MNL GetGo 200pts Php1857.62
Chinese Visa Single Entry: PHP1400 at 2F of The World Center, Buendia, Makati City: Check requirements HERE.
BPI Bank Cert Php200 and BPI Bank Statement 6months Php250 5pages
Travel tax: PHP1620

Transportation:
CNY100 – Beijing Yikatong Card with load (CNY20 card deposit + CNY80 load)
CNY100 – Mutianyu Toboggan ride
CNY100 – Shanghai Transpo Card with load (CNY20 card deposit + CNY80 load)
CNY50 – Shanghai MAGLEV single-trip economy train ticket

KLOOK Pre-booked Activities:
Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from Beijing (With Pick Up) ₱1342
Mutianyu Great Wall One Way Cable Car ₱746
Beijing Palace Museum Ticket (The Forbidden City) ₱439
[China Rail] Beijing to Shanghai ₱4123
[Early Bird] Shanghai Disneyland Resort Ticket ₱2671

Entrance Fees:
CNY15 – Temple of Heaven Park Entrance
CNY20 – Temple of Heaven (Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, Circular Mound Altar & Echo Wall)
CNY20 – Forbidden Palace English Audio Guide Rent (optional)
CNY40 – Yuyuan Garden
CNY10 – City God Temple

Accommodation via Booking.com:
CNY263 – GreenTree Inn Beijing Chaoyang Shilihe Antique City Express Hotel CNY320 (1night) single room
CNY520 – Mingtown Nanjing Road Youth Hostel CNY260 (2nights) standard double room
Travelsim Php550

TOTAL EXPENSES (EXCLUDING FOOD AND SHOPPING): PHP26782.82

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Some souvenirs from China

Notes:
1. Because CebPac’s GetGo Promo for Shanghai (Booked Sep122018 using 200 GetGo points) and Beijing (Booked Nov282018 using 400 GetGo points), my China trip was fulfilled. The Shanghai-bound I booked was roundtrip, which I used to apply for Chinese visa because the requirement is confirmed flight tickets Beijing ticket is one-way only so the flight bound Shanghai was not used. Still,  used the PVG-MNL back to Philippines.
2. My pocket money is only CNY2000 because I prebooked my activities in KLOOK like Beijing-Shanghai bullet train and Shanghai Disneyland. You can save more when you book early for bullet train ticket, so once desired date is available, book immediately at KLOOK. But if you can grab a cheaper flight between Beijing and Shanghai, the better!
3. Jampacked itinerary because my target are world heritage sites. You can customize like I did (out of many places I want to visit). The places I didn’t visit on day, I tried them at night. Even there was a downpour at Shanghai, just GO but take caution!
4. Be mindful of train etiquette. Priority seating for seniors, buntis, PWD and with kids. Though there are many subway lines, it is easy to follow as they’re color coded. Use MetroMan App for subway lines in China. Choose the city and input the departure and arrival destinations. I must say trains super on-time (reminds me of Taiwan’s). 2-3 minutes frequency.
5. Before going to China, I had perception before they’re super rude like when you ask a question, you get reply  “No English” even the language barrier. But people in the cities are way different (as I experienced, the aura are with likes of HK and Taiwan 😊). They are very accommodating! In fact, when I got lost finding my accommodation in Beijing (because of wrongly-pinned location of my inn BOTH in Google Maps and MAPS.ME ). Good thing I printed the booking form in Chinese, then showed to a policeman the address and I said “Zai Na Li?” meaning “Where is this?”. The he got my gist and searched in his phone using exact Chinese address. He showed to me the map and compared in my Google Map. Luckily, I pinpointed it! Xie Xie! Xie Xie! Thank you very much indeed! 😊. The receptionists of Green Tree Inn are good as well as whenever they have something to say or I request, they’ll just use voice-to-text translation at their phones. In their own ways, I was astounded and smitten by their kindness.😊 Again, make sure you have addresses of accommodation printed in Chinese to avoid hassles.
6. Food is relatively cheap in China. I alloted at least CNY150 per day: 20-50-80 for breakfast-lunch-dinner with exception of Disney lunch at CNY100. In reality, I spent less than that because I bought food at grocery stores for breakfast the next day (bread, noodles, water) since I got back to my hostel at almost midnight. There are stores selling cheap breakfast buns and lamien (noodles) in both cities. If you can afford Peking Duck at Quanjude (a bit pricey), just GO!
7. For souvenirs and snacks shopping, in Shanghai I bought some as my departure is at Pudong airport. There are White Rabbit Candies sold in Shanghai! Not only milk flavors. They are cheaper at Yuyuan Old Street than Nanjing Road. Even refmagnets they have CNY10 as you walk away from Yuyuan Garden.

Hoping this guide will help you. China is a bit intimidating at first. Even I got nervous as this is my first time in Mainland China, but experiences teach you better as long as you do your research. For those planning Beijing-Shanghai combo, research first on places and modes of transpo (bullet train or plane) before purchasing any tickets, where you are comfortable, so every cent will be well-spent. Hoping to get back soon to visit Central China’s natural landcapes. Xian and Guangzhou maybe. 😊 Enjoy your China trip soon!

#SharingIsCaring #PekingDuck #LumpiangShanghai #worldheritage #bengoeswhere #solotrip #MadeInChina

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Thinking of next Chinese destination. (n_n)

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