DIY Trips: How I Spent 15,000 PHP in Beijing, China

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.

In 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 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:

DAY 1

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.

👁 Highlights: 

Hutongs

Wangfujing Shopping Street

Din Tai Fung

ABC Wangfujing

💰 Expenses:

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

 

 

 


DAY 2

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.

Snapseed

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.

👁 Highlights: 

Great Wall of China – Badaling

Beijing Olympic Village

Bird’s Nest

Jing Din Xuan Restaurant

💰 Expenses:

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

 


DAY 3

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.

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👁 Highlights:

Beijing Zoo

Summer Palace

National Centre of the Performing Arts

Hutong Restaurants

The Place – Xiushui Street

Sanlitun Village

💰 Expenses:

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

 

 


 

DAY 4

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.

👁 Highlights: 

Tiananmen Square

Mausoleum of Mao Zedong

Forbidden City

National Centre of the Performing Arts

Qianmen Street

Quanjude Peking Roast Duck

Xidan

💰 Expenses:

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

 

 


 

DAY 5

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.

👁 Highlights: 

Nanshan Ski Resort

💰 Expenses:

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

 

 


DAY 6

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

 

Pre-trip Expenses:

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.

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Beijing Squad

 

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Moniq says:

    Hi! What a great read! This is reallt helpful. Thanks. Just want to know where did you stay? And also, how did you get around the city without hiring a tour? I found your post about commuting to see the Great Wall, how about the other locations?

    Like

    1. deetoxify says:

      Hi, Moniq! Thank you for the kind words. We stayed in Beijing Saga Youth Hostel in Dongcheng District, within the hutong area. I think they renamed the hostel recently to Happy Dragon Saga Youth Hostel. Commuting is an experience I/we shouldn’t miss whenever I/we travel. We rode the MTR to reach all the spots we’ve visited. I just researched how to get to each spots and grouped those which are near/walking-distance. Just don’t forget to factor in travel time. Hope this helps!

      Like

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