I’ve always wanted to go to China to see their Great Wall which is one of the wonders of the world. I was able to tick it off in my bucketlist when I joined the Backpacking Trip Beijing with Travel Factor. Thanks Tikoy for always telling us any promo airfare. I booked my roundtrip Beijing ticket last Sept 2014 at Php 7645.22 ($174) with 15kg baggage allowance. This is actually a Piso Fare but had to pay the Fuel Surcharge, Airport Fee and Web Admin Fee. Usually the airfare to Beijing ranges to Php 20K~30k ($682). Need to buy baggage as I need to bring jackets since it’s still cold in Beijing during March time. The 7kg handcarry baggage is not enough for my clothes for my photoshoot in China :-). Every day, I checked the weather so that I know exactly what to wear on the said date.
Day 0 March 7: Baguio – Manila – Beijing
Woke up at 7am to prepare for my trip. I’ve been checking my luggage everyday just to make sure that I have all the stuff that I need. Had to do a quick manicure and pedicure. I wasn’t able to do it since I had to see the Session Road in Bloom (Panagbenga Festival). I’m lucky that we have a visitor from Moog UK who is going down to Manila for his flight to London. He’s also my contact and my friend now – Lolo Ade. So it’s a free ride now going down to Manila. Pick up by Ade at 9am. Good thing, we have TPLEX now. At 12:30, we are eating our lunch at Subway.
But when we reach Manila, it’s the start of the traffic. Arrived at the airport at 2:30pm, still early for my flight. Need to wait for Tikoy before I can leave my luggage and boarding pass. She still has my passport since she’s picked up my visa at China embassy. At 5pm, I’m with Camil now (my Indochina friend), saw ate Ibang with her brother Melvin and son Kulas, then finally Tikoy and Phoebe. I had to pay Airport Tax (php 1620) and Terminal Fee (php 550). This is unique in Philippines airport. But look how bad our airport is…too much corruption. I’ve been to different countries and we are not paying any airport tax and terminal fee. Since we will be arriving in Beijing past midnight, we need to ate our early dinner. Just ate at Jollibee (my favorite chickenjoy). I know I will still be hungry at the airplane so had to bring water and cookies.
Happy to see Marieville at Beijing Airport. I met her during my Mt. Pulag trek. Such a small world.
Finally met the Beijing backpackers.
with Lee (Lilibeth Aruelo, it’s her 6th TF trip)
Camil – my room mate, met her in my Indochina trip last year
The boys – Frandy (IT Guy from Singapore) and Darvs (Lawyer, he handles the Camp John Hay vs. BDCA case)
Gic and Aica – TF Coordinators but participants on this trip
Phoebe and Tikoy – our trip coordinators
Liz and Kha
Ate Ibang, Melvin and Kulas – sadly my camera just died when we’re about to take our photos, but don’t worry, I had lots of photos with them. 🙂
Arrived at Spring Time Hostel at 2:00am at -4 degree temperature. Our hostel is really nice and so convenient as it’s very near at Dongsi Subway Station, McDonalds and Grocery. The only thing that I don’t like about it is the breakfast. You have to wait forever for your breakfast and no coffee. Only one person do all the kitchen works. Make sure to bring your own hair dryer or blower since they don’t have it. You don’t wanna go out with wet hair at -6 degree temperature.
Day 1 March 8: Photo shoot at Temple of Heaven
Lazy Panda at Beijing Zoo
Tianamen Square & Qianmen Walking Stree
Day 2 March 9: The Great Wall of China
Day 3 March 10: Jianshe Park & Forbidden Temple
Food Trip at Wangfujing
Lost in Summer Palace
Day 4 March 11: Beijing – Manila – Olongapo
Mr. Ping picked us at the Spring Time Hostel at 9pm since our flight is scheduled at 1:00am. China airport security is too tight. At the counter for check in, they will ask you if you bought powerbank in China. If yes, you need to remove it from your luggage. It’s not allowed due to low quality, I think. Ate Ibang had to leave her powerbank. After that, time for immigration and another security check. You had to bring out all your electronics for scanning. After that, you just have to wait for your flight back to Philippines.
I enjoyed my Beijing trip, no dramas only fun. But this trip made me realized (again) on how poor my country is.
The value of their money is higher than our money, 1 Chinese Yuan is equivalent to 7 Pesos.
I think the air is not that polluted; or maybe I’m just used to my country’s own pollution.
I also love the Temple looking toilet, but hates it if their’s no potty toilet.
The difficult part is the communication. Not all knows how to speak English.
Good thing, Ate Ibang knows Chinese.
Can’t wait for my next adventure….soon! 🙂