Beijing, the capital of China, is China's political, economic and cultural center. It is unique in history, tradition and characteristics. Some 3000 years ago, a small city appeared on the present site of southwest of Beijing. From the 12th Century to 1911, it was the capital of Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. Now, it is shaping itself into a modern metropolis on the 16,800 square kilometers with a population of 13 million. You will find the city an unforgettable destination, with its ancient Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the numerous palaces telling legends of dynasties long lost in the mist of history. Moreover, the city has refreshed its complexion by the growing numbers of parks and recreational centers, the folk shows of holiday celebrations, the splendid theatrical stages, and the grand city outlook.
There are currently over 10 subway lines, and many more under construction; Tiananmen Square, Wangfujing, Qianmen, and Lama Temple and Confucius are can be reachable by subway. There are lots of public buses linking the city major sites. There are also tour buses to some major scenic spots in the city and the suburbs.
Beijing is very big and not walkable. The present city still finds its the basic outline of the Imperial City 500 years ago in Yuan Dynasty with a clear north-south axis and a lot of narrow lanes. The round line of the subway and the second-ring road almost liken the none-existant old city wall. The Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square are located in the middle of the city.
Map of Beijing (Click HERE for large image)
With buses, taxis, subway, transportation in Beijing is convenient. The most efficient and convenient traffic tool for a foreigner is taxi. Usually you can take a taxi in front of a hotel or restaurant on the street. Please do not take taxi in the main road or against traffic law. The cost is RMB2 kilometer with a minimum of 12 yuan for initial cost. If the distance is over 15km, the price for the additional distance will become RMB3 per km.
Transportation in Beijing is convenient with buses, taxis, underground subway etc,.
Buses are the main means of transport in Beijing. Please prepare small bills in case of no-change bus lines. It would be very crowded in rush hours at 07:00-09:00 and 16:00-18:00.
Subway:The subway system in Beijing has eight lines. The fare is RMB2 per entry with free transfer from one line to aonther. Trains run from 05:30 in the morning until 23:00 in the late evening. A ticket can be bought at the ticket office at each station or at an automatic ticketing machine. Subway stops are announced over the train's speaker system in Chinese and English.
Click HERE for Map of Beijing Subway
Taxi: Taxi service is available at everywhere in the city the whole day. The cost from the airport to the conference venue is about RMB100-120 enclosed the extra highway fee RMB10. Please do ask for the receipt from the driver.
Passport and Visa
Passports, valid for at least 3 months from the entry into China, and entry visas are required to visit China. Participants are advised to consult the nearest Chinese diplomatic mission for details.
A single entry visa is valid for three months, and can be extended for an additional month at the Foreigners Section of the Local Public Security Bureau if necessary.
Once in China, the participants are advised to carry their passports on them at all times because the passports may be needed to check into hotels, book airline tickets, and change money. Participants from Japan, Singapore within 15 days do not need to apply visa to entry China.
To apply for visas, participants should first fill out the On-line Registration with the appropriate registration fee. The Conference Secretariat will then send a formal invitation form via airmail or fax with which the participants can apply for a visa at the Chinese diplomatic mission indicated in the invitation.
This application should be made preferably at least one month before departure for China.
Alternatively, participants may ask their travel agents to arrange their travel to China and obtain a tourist visa irrespective of whether or not they have registered with the Conference Secretariat.
If participants have any difficulties in obtaining their visa, they should contact the Conference Secretariat.
The registration fee does not include insurance for the participants regarding accidents, sickness or loss of personal property. It is advisable to make your own arrangements in respect of health and travel insurance before leaving your countries.
In China, only RMB (Chinese yuan) is used. However, exchange centers can be found at airports, banks, most hotels and large shopping centers. When exchanging money, please keep your receipt, which you will need in order to change any remaining Chinese yuan back to foreign currency when leaving China. Visa, Master, American Express, Diners Club and JCB are accepted in many department stores and hotels. It may be difficult to draw cash with credit cards.
The electric current in China is 220V, 50hz. Most hotels have built-in converters in bathrooms for shavers and hair dryers. Please note that a variety of plug types are used in China, and adaptors may be necessary. Two types of sockets are used in China: three-pin socket (a grounding pin and two flat prongs forming a V-shape) and two-pin socket (two flat parallel prongs without grounding).
Reconfirmation of Air Ticket
Departure air ticket (both international and domestic) should be reconfirmed 72 hours in advance. Calling the airline office in Beijing could make it. But these offices do not work in weekend.