Author Topic: Quick Weekend Getaway to Beijing (TR)  (Read 5792 times)

Offline chucksterace

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Quick Weekend Getaway to Beijing (TR)
« on: April 27, 2015, 01:12:59 PM »
Here is a mini trip report from my very recent trip to Beijing.

Taking advantage of Americanís business class mistake I snagged myself a ticket to Beijing for a quick getaway weekend. I flew out on Wednesday, April 22 (4pm, landing PEK 8pm on April 23rd) and returned Monday, April 27 (10am, landing ORD 9:30am on April 27th). I will skip the info about the flights as it was the old AA 777-200 business class seat and Iím sure there are many reports on these around the web. I will note though that the meal on the return from PEK was from the Beijing Chabad. It seems that the Chabad possibly takes over one of the kitchens of the airline food caters and prepared the food there. It was nothing special. Appetizer was a few sliced pieces of Chicken and for the main was fish. For the snack there was a lox sandwich. Breakfast was the classic egg type substance.

During my time in Beijing I decided to stay at the Grand Hyatt. First, let me say the hotel is magnificent, big, and great. The last part with a few creavits. After checking in by the lounge I was given a deluxe room, which was a bedroom with a separate living room that has a sliding door between them. However, in that room there was an issue with the bathroom so we got changed to a full on suite. The lounge there is great. It was big with a second floor and the spread definitely satisfied my hunger or thirst pains.

In the basement they have whatís called ďClub OasisĒ. It is their pool and workout gym. The pool closed around 11pm while the gym is 24 hours. Letís put it this way, it will be very hard to beat their setup. The pool is built and setup to remind me of a rainforest; trees, animal sounds, rocks, and more. In the general area the pool itself it huge and there are two hot tubs. Inside the locker rooms there is an additional hot tub and a dry and wet sauna.

The only downside I found with the hotel was the language barrier and when needed something done. For example, when I wanted the light or sensor removed in the fridge for Shabbat the engineer came up and didnít understand what I was asking since he didnít speak a word of English. I had to use Google Translate to tell him what I needed. (Thanks Astrill VPN). When I needed an extra bed I had to ask about 3 times I got it sent to the room. Oh, and the sensor in the fridge couldnít be disabled so I had to use a book to keep the fridge open a drop so the light wouldnít turn off.

But enough with the hotel, lets get on to the fun parts.

On Friday we walked to the Forbidden City, which was quite something. It is huge and definitely and eye sight to remember. From there we walked over to Tiananmen Square. After those two we headed over to the silk market to get some shopping done. A trip to China is never complete without the customary haggling and counterfeit shopping.

After those were done we heading back to the hotel to get ready for Shabbat. For Friday night and Shabbat morning we headed to Chabadís downtown location, which was about a 30-35 min walk from the hotel. The Chabad in downtown is hosted by the Raskin family. Inside their living room is where they hold the services and meals. Unfortunately this Shabbat there wasnít a minyan, so after a quick davening they set up the meal.  There was nothing to complain about here. The meals were good and did the job. Itís always fun to go to other Chabad houses and make new friends.

On Sunday we decided to head to the Great Wall. I coordinated with a guy named Larry whose info was originally sent in the Chabadís info reply. He originally wanted about 1300 RMB for the trip but got him down to 700. He picked us up from the hotel around 9am, drove to the Wall and was there for about an hour and a half, which then we headed back. He was polite, had a clean car, and best of all, spoke English. The Great Wall was definitely the highlight of the trip and very happy I went.

Sunday evening we went to Diniís Restaurant that is located in Chabadís main location. When we went it was empty and didnít have a few things off the menu. The food was ok, nothing special. Prices were ok, main dishes are around 110RMB and appetizers are around 20-40RMB. You can see their menu by going to their website. It did the job to satisfy our hunger but nothing special. To get to the restaurant we used a taxi which cost about 40 RMB and back to the hotel we used Uber which cost about 40 RMB.

Finally, Monday morning came around and it was time for my flight home (on which I wrote this). The taxi I originally took from PEK to the Hyatt cost around 110 RMB and for the way back Hyatt to PEK I used Uber. After requesting the Uber and someone confirming the pickup I had the hotel stall call the driver to say exactly were the hotel is. The total cost for the Uber ride was 50 RMB, less than half the price of a regular taxi.

Now that this is all said and done it definitely was not a short report and sorry about the deceiving words in the beginning. But if I would have said here is a long boring trip report who would have actually read it?? >:(

Thank you for reading. Next up, Shanghai sponsored by Emirates for $350 in Y.

Trip Notes:
AA J R/T. ORD-PEK AA187, PEK-ORD AA186 - $440 R/T Revenue
Hotel: Grand Hyatt Beijing, 15,000 points per night.
Taxi: PEK to GH = 110 RMB, GH to PEK = 55 RMB Uber :: GH to Dini's (Restaurant) - Taxi 45 RMB, Uber 22 RMB
Driver GH to Great Wall = 700RMB
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Offline chucksterace

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Re: Quick Weekend Getaway to Beijing (TR)
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2015, 01:15:18 PM »
Pictures - Grand Hyatt Beijing

Hotel Frond


Pool
« Last Edit: April 27, 2015, 01:18:37 PM by chucksterace »
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Offline chucksterace

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Re: Quick Weekend Getaway to Beijing (TR)
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2015, 01:15:42 PM »
Tiananmen Square


Tiananmen Square


Tiananmen Square


Forbidden City


Forbidden City


Forbidden City


Forbidden City


Great Wall


Great Wall


Great Wall
« Last Edit: April 27, 2015, 01:28:31 PM by chucksterace »
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Offline chucksterace

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Re: Quick Weekend Getaway to Beijing (TR)
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2015, 01:16:33 PM »
Randoms

National Museum of China


Amazon has their own delivery company here?  :o  ???


Soldiers on street corners


Security by the entrance to the subway


Morning Activity. Watching the Bulls game with Chinese announcers.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2015, 01:39:19 PM by chucksterace »
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Offline rileywiles23

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Re: Quick Weekend Getaway to Beijing (TR)
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2015, 01:25:05 PM »

Reserved
Short and sweet. Thank you.
Life is as good as you make it...

Offline Aj3042

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Re: Quick Weekend Getaway to Beijing (TR)
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2015, 01:39:59 PM »
Wow nice great pix.

Offline Chapshnell

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Re: Quick Weekend Getaway to Beijing (TR)
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2015, 02:12:50 PM »
Hotel is magnificient!

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: Quick Weekend Getaway to Beijing (TR)
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2015, 02:22:27 PM »
Nice quick TR! Thanks for taking the time to write it up! Great pics, the wall looks so cool and THAT pool!!

Offline srf60

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Re: Quick Weekend Getaway to Beijing (TR)
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2015, 02:55:41 PM »
Nice TR. And that pool, wow!!!

Offline benjie1305

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Re: Quick Weekend Getaway to Beijing (TR)
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2015, 03:08:58 PM »
Main takeaway: Go visit the pool!
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Offline chucksterace

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Re: Quick Weekend Getaway to Beijing (TR)
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2015, 03:10:23 PM »

Main takeaway: Go visit the pool!

Yup. Whenever I had a chance I was down there.
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Offline aaa

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Re: Quick Weekend Getaway to Beijing (TR)
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2015, 04:14:53 PM »
Thanks for the report. What about gmail on your phone, did you use that?

Offline chucksterace

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Re: Quick Weekend Getaway to Beijing (TR)
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2015, 04:15:48 PM »

Thanks for the report. What about gmail on your phone, did you use that?

Gmail worked fine on my cell using t-mobile. When I was by local wifi I used Astrill VPN
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Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Quick Weekend Getaway to Beijing (TR)
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2015, 04:22:42 PM »
Great TR! Thanks for posting.

Offline TimT

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Re: Quick Weekend Getaway to Beijing (TR)
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2015, 07:04:04 PM »
Nice TR. Thanks for taking the time. Is the highlight of the Great Wall the views ?