Travel

About Beijing

Beijing, the capital of the People's Republic of China, with a population of over 15 million, is China's second largest city after Shanghai. Recognized as China's political, cultural, and educational center, it hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics.

The city of Beijing is a popular tourist destination in the gorgeous autumn season, with many options for sightseeing, shopping, dining, and entertainment. Particularly popular areas include the Palace Museum (Forbidden City) and Tiananmen Square, the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, and the Beijing Zoo.

October 1 to 3 is National Day, an official holiday in China.

Beijing Climate in September/October

  • 6°C (43°F) to 19°C (66°F), generally clear skies
  • sunrise 06:11 CST / sunset 17:57 CST, in early October


Beijing Conditions


Maps

  • Beijing Area (Beijing Travel Tips)
  • Beijing City (Beijing This Month)

    The Beijing Friendship Hotel is in grid C1 on the above city map.


Area Map

Click for larger image of area surrounding Beijing Friendship Hotel in a new window.

Destination Guide

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Entering China

All foreigners entering China require a valid passport as the primary means of identification. Upon arrival, foreign visitors must complete a Passenger Luggage Declaration form.

Also required is a Chinese visa, a permit issued by one of China's visa authorities, to allow entry into, exit from, or travel through open cities across China. Overseas visa authorities to contact include Chinese embassies, consulates, and visa offices.

General visa requirements include a completed visa application form, two 5 cm × 5 cm (2 inch × 2 inch) full-faced passport photos, an actual passport with at least two blank pages (valid for at least 6 months from the date of travel), conference confirmation letter, round trip air tickets, hotel reservation, and payment for the visa fee. Please allow enough time for processing, and consult the visa authorities for the latest requirements.

A tourist (type L) visa should be sufficient for conference attendees.

  • Chinese Visa (Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States of America)

According to IEEE Computer Society policy, confirmation letters for visa purposes will only be issued to speakers/presenters, committee members, or attendees who have paid their registration fee. We are unable to issue letters for spouses or companions accompanying potential delegates.

Once the entered information is verified, the confirmation letter will be sent via email. For further inquiries about confirmation letters, please email

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Transportation

Taxi

You can take a taxi from the Beijing Capital International Airport to the Beijing Friendship Hotel. It costs about 110 RMB for the 40 minute one way ride (depending on the taxi's rate, including highway tolls).

Most taxi drivers do not speak English. Please print the following Chinese directions for the taxi driver, which say you want to go to the Beijing Friendship Hotel. Alternatively, using pinyin, you can say "You Yi Bin Guan", for the "You Yi" Hotel, i.e., Friendship Hotel. Taxis accept cash only. There is no need to tip.

Beijing Friendship Hotel address (English, Chinese)

Check in at the appropriate building for your hotel reservation. The corners of the buildings are generally numbered.

Airport Bus

Or catch the #4 airport bus from the Beijing Capital International Airport to Friendship Hotel stop, available 07:00 to 23:00 at 15 minute intervals. This costs 16 RMB one way.

The shuttle bus desk is in the arrivals area of the airport terminal. Please print the following Chinese directions for the clerk, which say you want to go to the Beijing Friendship Hotel. After payment, you receive a ticket to give to the bus driver. Outside, look for a bus stop with a large sign that mentions GongZhuFen as the direction and Friendship Hotel as a stop. See airport bus information.

For line #4 from Beijing Capital International Airport toward GongZhuFen, the stops are: International Expo Center, XiBaHe, AnZhen Bridge, MaDian Bridge, BeiTaiPingZhuang, JiMen Bridge, Friendship Hotel, Beijing TV, ZiZhu Bridge, HangTian Bridge, and GongZhuFen, the terminus. You will need to listen carefully, but the prerecorded audio includes Mandarin and English announcements of the next stop to come and as you arrive at a stop.

The trip to the Friendship Hotel stop takes about 40 minutes, depending on traffic. At the stop, take the stairs up and cross over to the far side of the roadway (over opposing traffic), descend to the right, to enter the Friendship Hotel complex at one of its minor side gates.

Check in at the appropriate building for your hotel reservation. The corners of the buildings are generally numbered.

For line #4 from GongZhuFen to Beijing Capital International Airport, buses are available 05:30 to 21:00 at 15 minute intervals, with a stop at Friendship Hotel.

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Money

Currency

Most major credit cards (e.g., Visa, MasterCard) are accepted only in large shopping malls and stores. Chinese currency is called Renminbi (RMB), of which a popular unit is the Yuan (CNY). See currency converter.

There are bank machines that take bank cards or credit cards in the arrivals area of the airport terminal, outside baggage claim.

Tipping is not customary in China.

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Useful Facts

Time Zone

The time zone for Beijing and all of mainland China is China Standard Time (CST) or UTC+8.

Electrical

China uses 220 volt alternating current electrical systems at 50 hertz. Please check whether your appliances or devices require an AC power converter. You may also need a compatible plug adapter.

At the Beijing Friendship Hotel, wall sockets accept plugs that are North American non-polarized style with two parallel flat blades (type A), European style with two round pins (type C), or Australian style with oblique flat blades and vertical ground blade (type I).

Phone

International country code for China is +86.

Beijing city area code is 010, but dial 10 if calling Beijing from abroad or omit this code entirely if calling from within the city.

To make international calls from Beijing, dial 00, then the country code, area code, then the phone number. 1-800 numbers in North America are not toll free from China.

Mobile telephone operators in China support CDMA and GSM phones. The GSM cell phone frequency in China is 900 MHz. Generally, GSM cell phones that work in Europe, Africa, and Asia will work in China. GSM phones from North America will not work in China unless they are quad-band or tri-band phones supporting the 900 MHz frequency.

Water

Drink only bottled or purified water. Hotel rooms typically provide a thermos of boiled water. Tap water is not potable, even for brushing your teeth.

Emergency

Contact the hotel staff first for assistance.

Beijing United Family Hospital:
#2 Jiangtai Lu, +86-10/6433-3960, +86-10/6433-2345 emergency hotline, open 24 h

Visa emergency number:
+86-10/800-440-0027

MasterCard emergency number:
+86-10/800-110-7309

American Express emergency number:
+86-10/800-610-0277

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Additional Guides


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