Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA) is the biggest and busiest international hub in China. It is also known as the first international airport in the country which is completed with the most advanced modern facilities. This makes the first time arrival get confusing. So, here are several things that you need to consider.
Beijing Capital Airport has three terminals, i.e. T1, T2 and T3. There is a walking corridor connecting T1 and T2, while T3 is positioned on the other side of the airport. However, travellers can easily reach the three of them by the inter-terminal shuttle bus serving daily for free.
Unless you are in hurry and it is an emergency, you must always take time to plan the journey to China. Book a flight which offers the most convenient departure time and flight length. Be sure to arrive in China at noon to stay on budget. It will give you better eyesight opportunities to the landscapes, buildings and local Chinese people. Importantly, you can be more alert with the overwhelming arrival procedures.
On the plane
You will receive an arrival card from the cabin crew before landing. It is a paper coloured in yellow and white. You will need it to pass the immigration. Be sure to fill it in with the following information:
• Name, date of birth and passport number
• China Visa number
• Flight number
• Purpose of visit, for example, Tourism
If you do not receive any, you can get it from the customs area. Make sure you know which terminal by checking your boarding card.
You may arrive at T2 or T3 where the international flights are received. Make sure you have China visa to enter the capital city, Beijing. You may also need to fill up the free-visa stay to be allowed to enter the city.
It is important to have some cash on hand to pay off transportation. You can withdraw it from the provided ATM and get the change to RMB (Yuan) at some China Banks operating at Beijing Capital Airport. Always keep the receipts as you will need them again when exchanging the left cash back to your country’s currency when leaving China.
It is possible to book a hotel room right away after the arrival at the airport. You can go to the Beijing Tourist Information Center. If you have booked one already in advance, you can ask them to write down the hotel name in Chinese, so that the taxi driver will easily know where it is.
There are several choices of transportation you can choose once arriving at Beijing International Airport. The cheapest one is taking a shuttle bus which costs about RMB 15 per person. Take time to learn about the bus routes. If you bring a lot of stuff in your luggage, it is better to take a taxi.
Follow the taxi stand sign to get the legal one. Do not forget to give the hotel address written in Chinese. The cost is likely about RMB 100 to 200. To save more, you can jump on a fast Airport Express Rail that connects the airport to Beijing’s’ subway line. It is just RMB 25 per person. But the most convenient way among of all is getting the hotel arranging the airport pick-up service.
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