Most blogs these days talk about how to spend less when visiting a certain city or country. I’m joining the bandwagon to show you how I spent 15,000 PHP (300USD) for 5 days and 5 nights in Beijing, China.
On every trip, I always take note of the things I buy or how much money I spend. I saved up for this trip and ended up spending less. The exchange rate of 1 CNY was around 6.75 PHP. As of this writing, the exchange rate of China Yuan Renminbi to Philippines Peso is 1 CNY = 7.20 PHP.
This is just a glimpse of the itinerary I made for a group of five. The original itinerary covered more tourist spots but eventually, we chose to drop some off because we wanted to stay longer in some places and because we wanted to ‘savor’ the moment.
Note: I am not going to discuss elaborately on how to go to the tourist spots but in case you want to know more about it, just leave me a message. For now, I’ll just show you how it is possible to spend less without sacrificing the quality of your experience.
Here’s our Beijing itinerary:
12NN. After we arrived at Beijing Capital International Airport, we bought an airport express ticket to reach Dongzhimen station where we can transfer and alight another train going to our hotel. Before we transferred to another train, we bought the Beijing Yikatong which is similar to Hong Kong’s Octopus card or Australia’s Opal card. It’s a prepaid card you can use for train and bus rides.
1:30PM. We settled in our hotel then started to explore our neighborhood – the Hutong area. We were hungry and we wanted something quick so we grabbed something to eat at the Subway.
5:00PM. After walking a bit around the Hutong area, we decided to go to Wangfujing shopping street to try out Beijing’s authentic and exotic street food and also because Din Tai Fung is just around the area. We had Dimsum for dinner and bought some stuff from the shopping strip. We went back to the hotel to prepare for the following day’s activity.
Wangfujing Shopping Street
Din Tai Fung
Yikatong + Load 300 CNY
Airport Express Ticket 25 CNY
Subway Food 28 CNY
Din Tai Fung 49 CNY
Godiva 50 CNY
Scorpion (street food) 25 CNY
Water 5 CNY
Shopping 130 CNY
Total Expenses: 612 CNY = 4,131.00 PHP
8:00AM. This day was the day I was really looking forward to! One place or activity on my bucket list was ticked off when we visited THE Great Wall of China. It was truly a majestic view, even from afar. We chose the Badaling part of the wall because our visit was not on a peak season. True enough, there were lesser people. We had our lunch before going up the wall. There are lots of shops and restaurants before you go up the wall. You don’t have to worry if you feel hungry.
To know more about our trip to the Great Wall check: DIY Trips: A Watcher on the Great Wall of China.
4:00PM. We finished around 4 in the afternoon, we took the train from Badaling District to Huangtudian Railway Station. We walked towards Houying Station from Huangtudian, then from Huoying we alighted at the Beijing Olympic Village stop. The travel going back to the city center took almost two hours.
7:00PM. No entrance fee is collected unless you go inside the stadium. There was no game or activity during our visit so we chose not to go inside the stadium. We just explored the Olympic park then went to Jing Din Xuan for dinner.
Tip: Some restaurants have their queueing in Mandarin. It would be best to know or know someone who understands basic Mandarin numbers.
Great Wall of China – Badaling
Beijing Olympic Village
Jing Din Xuan Restaurant
Lunch at Badaling District 38 CNY
Cable Car 140 CNY
Badaling Railway 6 CNY
Popcorn 10 CNY
Jing Din Xuan 48 CNY
Personal Necessities 40 CNY
Total Expenses: 282 CNY = 1,903.50 PHP
8:00AM. Our agenda included Beijing Zoo and Summer Palace. We went to Beijing Zoo in the morning so we’d have plenty of time to roam around. What I learned from this trip is that the places in China are so vast, it would be hard for you to go around in one day without feeling dead-tired or drained. The cold weather will make you feel better but you’ll surely shed some weight from all the walking.
12NN. We transferred to Summer Palace and finished roaming around the area in the afternoon. It was called palace for a very obvious reason.
5:00PM. We were hoping to catch the National Centre for the Performing Arts that day but we weren’t able to go inside because we arrived a little after 5 pm. We just took photos outside and decided to go back the following day.
8:00PM Afterwards, we went home and rested a bit before going out to check The Place in Xiushui Street and Sanlitun Village.
National Centre of the Performing Arts
The Place – Xiushui Street
Beijing Zoo Fee 14 CNY
Summer Palace Fee 50 CNY
Meals @ Zoo 39 CNY
Starbucks Mugs 180 CNY
Meals @ Palace 21 CNY
Dengshikou Pancake 7 CNY
Hutong Restaurant 40 CNY
Total Expenses: 351 CNY = 2,369.25 PHP
9:00AM. If you grew up watching Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and/or other Chinese actors, you would be excited to see the iconic Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City. Just like what I said, China’s tourist spots are REALLY vast. So you better have a map so you would not waste your energy figuring out where the EXIT gate is!
1:00PM. Tiananmen Square, Mao’s Mausoleum, Forbidden City are right next to each other while the NCPA is just across them. This time, we were right on time! We were able to go inside NCPA. The interior is exquisite!
3:00PM After NCPA, we went to Qianmen Street. It’s a strip full of shops and authentic Chinese food and snacks, including the famous Peking Duck. After having dinner at Quanjude, we went back to the hotel to drop some of our stuff then proceeded to Xidan to check out their malls.
Tip: You have to queue at Quanjude. Be at their doors earlier so you won’t have to wait long before getting seated.
Mausoleum of Mao Zedong
National Centre of the Performing Arts
Quanjude Peking Roast Duck
Brunch 29 CNY
Chips 20 CNY
Qianmen Streetfood 12 CNY
Toy 10 CNY
Quanjude Peking Roast Duck 50 CNY
Total Expenses: 121 CNY = 816.75 PHP
10:00AM. We transferred to another hotel during our last full day in Beijing. All thanks to Philippine Airlines for moving our flight and shouldering our accommodation. Hooray! This also means that our trip was extended for a day. We initially planned to ski even before our trip got extended. It’s just that we had waaay more time to do what we wanted to do, so yay!
12NN. After we settled in our new hotel, we asked for a shuttle service to the airport so we can ride the railway to our next stop – Nanshan Ski Village in Miyun Qu District. We spent the rest of the day skiing and went back to our hotel in the evening. You can know more about our ski experience here: My First Ski Experience: Nanshan Ski Resort, Miyun, Beijing.
Nanshan Ski Resort
Brunch FREE (Thanks PAL)
Taxi from MTR Station to Nanshan 26 CNY
Nanshan Ski Fees and Rentals 550 CNY
Coach Service Fee 110 CNY
Shuttle Service to city 25 CNY
Dinner 21 CNY
Total Expenses: 732 CNY = 4,941.00 PHP
Last day in Beijing! We returned our Yikatong at the train station and got our money back. We’re off to the airport to wait for our flight back to the PH.
💰 Expenses: Railway Fare
Total Expenses: 10 CNY = 67.50 PHP
💸 SUMMARY OF EXPENSES
Total Daily Expenses: 2,108.00 CNY = 14,229.00 PHP
Agoda Accommodation 451.40 CNY = 3,047.00 PHP
Philippine Travel Tax 240.00 CNY = 1,620.00 PHP
Airfare (PAL Anniversary Sale) 1,185.19 CNY = 8,000.00 PHP
Note: You can always book these months before. You’ll still have plenty of time to save.
I hope this write-up will help you plan your trip to Beijing! Feel free to leave comments or e-mail me if you have any questions. If you like this article and want to see and know more about my trips and tips, follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.