If you have ever traveled to a new place, surely you had problems using the local transportation. Although taking taxi may not be problematic, but it is usually expensive. Specially if you are staying somewhere for a long time for example studying in a foreign country, certainly you will need to use public transportation. So do not be afraid, even if you cannot speak Chinese well you can still get to your destination in Beijing without getting lost. Here is a guide for the students coming to Beijing particularly Beijing Language and Culture University. I will introduce Beijing transportation and added some information about BLCU map and gates.

Taxi

When you arrive at the Beijing Capital Airport you need to take a taxi to BLCU. However there are some other options like Beijing Airport Express Train and Beijing Airport Shuttle Bus, but since you are a student and probably has a heavy luggage, it is not recommended. Furthermore they don’t have stop in BLCU and you need to take taxi again. As you step out of the air port building you can see Taxis in the end of each terminal. Do not reply to the drivers who comes to you and urge you to take taxi because they are probably black cars and they will ask you for more money than the real fare. Keep walking till the Taxi stations where you can find official taxis fitted with meters.

Beijing Taxi

Beijing Taxi

There are some tips which help you to differentiate between the official taxis and the black ones. Taxis usually have the taxi sign on the roof and a red light in the front glass which shows whether the car is empty or not. Remember to ask for the receipt when you are getting out of the car. Receipt contains many details about the company and driver so that you can find the taxi in the case you have left something in the car or any other problem.

There are different taxi companies in Beijing, however, the fares and rules are all the same. It is 2.3 Yuan for each kilometer from 5 am to 11 pm. If it exceeds 15 kilometers then in would count 3.45 Yuan per kilometer. After 11 pm the taxi fare increases to 2.7 Yuan per kilometer and 3.91 when exceeding 15 kilometers. Additionally, all drivers must accept any hiring within Beijing unless having a good reason not to.

Tips:

A taxi from the air port to BLCU would take about 40 minutes and cost about 150 Yuan. Taxi drivers in the airport may know a little English but it is advised to show them the name of the university and address in Chinese in order to avoid any misunderstandings.

Bus

Beijing bus

Bus is one of the major public transportation in Beijing, however, it is not advised to the foreigners who are new to Beijing and know little or no Chinese. There are signs in all bus stops in Beijing which shows the bus stop names and the bus number you should get on. But they are all written in Chinese and won’t help you much. Furthermore if you lose your way which happens frequently you will not be able to find your way by asking the people. So take bus only for the places you know well.

When you get on the bus you should pay 1 Yuan in Cash or buy an IC card( Yi Ka Tong) with 20 Yuan for deposit. (it can be refunded if the card is not damaged.). The bus will only cost 0.4 Yuan if you pay by the card. IC card can be bought and recharged from the subway station.

Tips:

Unlike Beijing Metro which is usually very crowded, The buses are sometimes almost empty. Except the peak hours in Beijing which is around 8 am and 7 in the afternoon, you can have a good trip with the bus. In Beijing you should get on the bus from the front door and alight from the back door and you should drop the money into the case or swipe the IC card when you are getting into the bus.

Subway

Beijing subway is quite convenient for traveling to long distances. There are more than 15 subway lines which cover many spots in Beijing and some suburb areas. Almost all tourist attractions in Beijing have subway station near them. Fortunately subway has English signs which can help you finding your way. There are two types of ticket for subway. One is IC card which can be used for the bus, subway and taxi , the second type is single ride ticket which you can buy it from the automatic machines or the personnel with the price of 2 Yuan. Do not remove it after getting in the subway because you will need it when you are getting out. This is the Beijing Subway map downloaded from bjsubway.

Beijing Subway Map

As I said, you can visit many attractions in Beijing by taking the subway, such as, Summer palace, Forbidden City, Tiananmen square, Temple of Heaven, Beijing Zoo and so on. By the way, When going to visit attractions in Beijing, do not forget to take your “xuesheng zheng”(学生证) with yourself since there are a 50 percent discount for the ticket with that student evidence.

Tips:

Xuesheng zheng is different from student card, it looks like a small notebook which proves that you are student.

Go to attractions from BLCU

To go to Summer palace you should get to the Subway station in Wu dao kou near the west south of BLCU. It is the 13th line. Get to the train which goes toward Xizhimenen. After three stops you will reach to Xizhimen which is the last stop and all passengers should get off the train. Xizhimen is a very big subway station and you have to walk for some minutes to change the train. Follow the signs to the line 4 and get on the trains which goes toward the Anheqiao north. After 10 stops you should get off at Beigongmen. Get out of the subway station and Summer Palace is just beside you. Walk 50 meters to find the gate. The common ticket price is 30 Yuan but you may need to buy more tickets to if you want to visit more places. And as I said earlier the ticket would be 15 yuan for the students. Summer Palace is very big, so visit it when you have enough time to enjoy it.

Summer Palace

Summer Palace north gate near Beigongmen

For going to Beijing zoo follow the same directions but after getting on the train at Xizhimen you should get off at the next stop. It is highly recommended not to go to Beijing Zoo at weekends or holidays since it is very crowded in such days. The ticket price is 50 Yuan per person and 25 Yuan for the students.

You can also go to Tiananmen, Forbidden city and Temple of heaven by the subway, however you should chang your train several times. Go to the Xizhimen again and this time change your train to line 2, after 3 stops in the Fuxingmen again chang your train to line 1 which goes towards Tuqiao, after two stops you will arrive to the west door of Tianan men and the next stop will be Tiananmen east door. Then you can visit Forbidden city , Tiananmen Square and Temple of heaven, which is located about two kilometers from Tiananmen Square on foot.

Tips:

Here in Beijing you can buy maps with all subway directions and attractions so that you can easily find your way to the historical places. You can also buy it from the BLCU book store with the price of 10 yuan.

Bicycle

Beijing has long been famous for it’s bicycles, even now it is still one of the major transportation means in Beijing. There are bicycle lanes and bicycle parking spaces all over the Beijing and near subway stations. For short distances such as the distance from home to university it is very convenient to ride a bicycle. It is very healthy and chip with no pollution. Beijing is a flat city and it makes cycling even easier. Nowadays Electric motors have also been very popular. Foreigners also can buy electric motors and ride them without having a driving license.

Tips:

If you have applied through CUCAS they would give you a free bicycle which you can use during your stay in Beijing.

CUCAS free bicycle

 

BLCU MAP

Beijing Language and Culture University has three gates; east gate, south gate and west south gate. Here is the map of BLCU which is provided by the university for the new students.

BLCU campus map

(click to see the larger version)

East gate is in front of the main building (Zhu Lou) and just out of it in the right hand there is a bus station and the Agricultural Bank of China.

BLCU east gate

South gate is beside the dinning hall and you can find the China Post Bank by getting out from the university, turning right and going straight forward about 50 meters. And the west south gate is located 50 meters from the sought door and is near to the subway station Wu Dao Kou, a shopping center and some restaurants. BLCU bus station is just located between the sought and west south gate.

BLCU southwest gate

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