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Beijing might not be the next Orlando, but it looks like they are on schedule to get one heck of a theme park if things go according to plan. The suits behind the Universal Studios empire are looking in their direction, and it sounds like the bulldozers will start moving some earth sooner than later.
Nothing has been confirmed from the folks at the Universal Studios camp, but the Los Angeles Times is now reporting that it’s only a matter of time. This will be park number six for the company and the theme park family, as there are four already doing their thing with one opening in South Korea in 2016.
New Routes / Airlines / Air China / Washington DC Travel / Beijing Travel / Star Alliance / → All Tags
The flight will go four times a week via a CA817/8 on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays and on the wings of a Boeing 777-300ER every Saturday. According to the release, the flight departs Washington at 16:35 local time and arrives at 18:15 Beijing time the following day. The return flight leaves Beijing at 13:00 and arrives in Washington at 14:35 local time.
Travel Pitfalls / What Not To Do / China Travel / Great Wall of China / Beijing Travel / Mutianyu Travel / → All Tags
At first, some of the headlines surrounding the announcement that China will allow graffiti on the Great Wall sound like a nightmare turned reality. Really, we can write on and deface this incredible icon? This is one of the traps of journalism in today's world, the fact that if you're just skimming headlines, you're bound to get the wrong idea. China's decision has nothing to do with wanting more graffiti on its historical fortification. In reality, it's trying to reel it in.
Every day, tourists walk the Great Wall and, like many places around the world, feed the desire to leave their mark, despite the fact that common sense tells us it's an awful, terrible thing to do to something we're trying to preserve. We're sure China would love to ban it entirely, but with no way to really police it, the country has decided to designate a section of the Wall at Mutianyu outside of Beijing where people can feel free to draw or write on it. This section was specifically chosen because it is mostly a reconstruction of the Wall, so the graffiti wouldn't be ruining the "real thing."
A real life Central Perk, the cafe where Rachel, Ross, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, and Chandler hung out on Friends, has finally openedbut not where you'd expect.
A replica of the famous '90s coffee shop has been constructed in a Beijing apartment complex by Friends super-fan Du Xin (aka "Gunther" to his friends) who says, “for me, it’s like a religion. It’s my life.”
In order to visit China as a US citizen, you've got to apply, pay, and be approved for a visa. In order to apply for that visa, you've already got to have a China trip booked, including round-trip ticket. It's a true Catch-22, because what if you're denied for some reason or make some small mistake in the application process?
Luckily for all who want to quickly cross China off their bucket list, both Beijing and Shanghai have just cut the need for visas completely for visitors on the ground for 72 hours or less.
Essentially you'll be "in transit," but 72 hours is much more than a sneeze in Shanghai's direction; 72 hours is 2-3 nights in town, meals, museums, gardens and perhaps a little shopping. All in all, moving quickly could mean a very good taste of one of these two metropoli before committing to a longer trip and the headache of getting one of those compulsory visas.
The only clincher to the new 72-hour, visa-free policy? Well, you've got to eventually continue on, and you have those 72 hours or less to do it. It's just a transit visa, after all, which you can apply for and be instantly approved at immigration.
Train Travel / China Travel / Beijing Travel / Guangzhou Travel / High-Speed Trains / Travel News / → All Tags
Earlier this month, we gave you a exclusive look at traveling on the high speed train that zips between Beijing and Shanghai. While we still think that line is super cool, China has given everyone even more train porn to drool over.
Just this week, the nation's newest and longest HSR (high-speed rail) line opened up between Beijing and Guangzhou cutting travel time between the two cities to a fraction.
China Travel / Beijing Travel / Shanghai Travel / Train Travel / Photo Gallery / First Class Travel / → All Tags
During a trip to China earlier this year, we had to make our way from Beijing to Shanghai. Always keen to try out new modes of transport, we opted to forego our usual choice of flying and took the bullet train instead. Since this Jaunted writer lives in Europe, rail traveleven the high-speed kindis something we’ve done many times, but we were still pretty excited to try this and would definitely recommend it as one of the best ways to travel between these two cities.
Running between Beijing South Railway Station and Shanghai HongQiao, the fastest service takes roughly 4 hours and 45 minutes, with a top speed of 190 miles per hour (300+ km/h). China is a land of contrasts, and you see this clearly as the landscape zips by outside your window. Before we tell you more about the journey itself, a few words on booking a ticket.
Kitty cats. They rule the internet and, whether we realize it or not, pretty much the world too. Ever noticed how cats sometimes stake out the coolest spots in a city? This new featureTravel Catfocuses on exactly that. Submit a photo to be featured by tweeting or Instagramming it to us (details below).
Travel Cat spotted in: Beijing, China.
This week's Travel Cat comes from reader Lisa Sun, who says of these three:
Olympics Travel / Sports Travel / London Travel / Beijing Travel / Athens Travel / Sydney Travel / → All Tags
Love ‘em or hate ‘em the Olympics are here to stay—at least for another week or so. Unless you're already in the UK, it's a tad too late to plan a trip to London at this point, and who really wants to wait another couple of years to check out the athletes doing their thing? That’s why we suggest taking in the sights—and remaining sounds—of recent former Olympic cities and their venues:
· Sydney, Australia
In Sydney it’s kind of like the Olympics never left, as there’s always something going on at the city’s Olympic Park. There’s a chance to try your skills at archery, practice your BMX skills, and even check out the cauldron—it’s been lit to celebrate the games in London. As a bonus, you can even make your way over to the AMP Services building in Circular Quay to check out an exhibition showing off past Olympic torches.
Tax Refund Vacations / China Travel / Beijing Travel / PEK / Shanghai Travel / PVG / Food Travel / → All Tags
Tax day has arrived, and your happy not because you may have stand in line at the post office, but because you're probably getting a fat refund. Probably. The economy may be on it's way back up, but you should try to stretch that tax refund as far as you can...like with a little "you did a great job last year" trip.
By now, you will probably know what type of refund you will getting back from Uncle Sam. This post is devoted to those refunds that are on the larger side. If you want to completely splurge and use your entire check to see more parts of the world, China is your destination.
By now you've all heard the story of the family with two toddlers kicked off a JetBlue flight from Turks and Caicos and, regardless of where you stand on the incident (for the parents or against), it's clear that flying the so-called friendly skies with little ones is not an enviable journey.
Our first thought when we heard about the family getting kicked off was, "Dear God, we hope that never happens to us." Our second thought was actually about this little playground we saw at the Beijing International Airport back in China.
While racing to finish up work, stuff the last necessary items into our suitcase (we would not be a good candidate for I am Packed right now), print out our boarding passes, double-check our camera equipment, charging cords and TSA-sized toiletries and do other last-minute errands before hopping on a flight, we caught eye of this snapshot from the Beijing International Airport in our photo archives.
Posted just before the trains to the baggage claim, it says: Relax. Train Comes Every Three Minutes.
Isn't that just...nice? We wish all airports had that sign so that us hyper-active, worrywart travelers could at least take a moment off (or three minutes) from stressing.
There's another bonus for the OCD traveler at Beijing's airport, as the lifts and train cars are frequently disinfected. But of course, we understand if you still want to bring your own personal hand sanitizer.