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About Beijing

Beijing is the vibrant capital of the People's Republic of China. It’s the second-most populated city in China, loaded with unique cultural experiences. Beijing is one of the major tourist destinations in the world. Touristic attractions of this city include the Yonghe Temple, Wangfujing shopping street and Tiananmen, which is the famed gateway to the Forbidden City.

Cheap flights to Beijing are now available for a limited period of time, so get ready to be engulfed by the enchanted attractions of this city. Beijing is home to Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK), which is an estimated 30-minute drive to Beijing’s city centre. Beijing Capital International Airport serves a multitude of airlines - including Air China, Emirates and Ethiopian Airways. Non-stop international flights to Beijing departure from Johannesburg. Flight duration from Johannesburg to Beijing is approximately 14 hours.

Why visit Beijing

Beijing Sightseeing

Sightseeing

The Great Wall of China is the longest structure ever built by humans. It is an impeccable sight that many wish they could bear witness to at least once in their life.

Beijing Cuisine

Asian Cuisine

Beijing has 60,000-plus restaurants and its cuisine is influenced by culinary traditions from all over China, including noodles, dumplings and soup dishes that will leave you wanting more.

Beijing Arts

Asian Culture

The Forbidden City is China’s best-preserved collection of ancient buildings and the largest palace complex in the world. It is definitely a cultural experience every visitor would appreciate.

General information

Essential details you need to know before your trip

Country People's Republic of China
Currency Renminbi (RMB)
Exchange Rate 1 ZAR = 0.43 RMB
Language Beijing dialect (Mandarin)
Hub Airport Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK)
Airline Air China
Time Zone GMT+08:00
Travel Adaptor Type A / C / I

Best time to visit Beijing

There is no ideal time to visit Beijing but, if forced to choose, consider planning your vacation between September and October, as this is the time when the weather is most pleasant (cool during the evening and warm, dry and sunny with clear skies during the day). During the months between July and August the temperatures can exceed 40°C. Peak-seasons coincide with popular Chinese holidays, festivals or events, such as the Chinese New Year which takes place during spring. Chinese New Year is a great time to visit the city - it is said to be an experience of a life-time. Travellers can expect goods to be slightly over-priced and the city becomes crowed, as this is one of China’s biggest festivals.

Weather & Climate in Beijing

Average temperature (°C) & rainfall (mm) per month

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Low °C -9°C -7°C -1°C 7°C 13°C 18°C 22°C 20°C 14°C 7°C 0°C -7°C
High °C 2°C 4°C 11°C 20°C 26°C 30°C 31°C 30°C 26°C 19°C 10°C 3°C
Rainfall(mm) 3 6 9 26 29 71 176 182 49 19 6 2

Overview

A place with rich history dating back several thousand years - it is not hard to see why it has so much to offer. Whether you are looking for a cultural, historical or even just a cuisine-related adventure, this city has everything you need to make your holiday one to remember.

Beijing is home to many sacred temples that are very close to perfection, including the Yonghe, Tanzhe, and Yunju Temple which are the most beautiful temples in Beijing. The city is a major tourist attraction in itself. You definitely need to spend more than a week in this teeming urban paradise to understand its rules, millenary traditions and unique charm. With its inimitable mix of architecture, nature and diversity, this capital city will certainly be your next object of fascination.

Compare several airlines, and book your cheap flights to Beijing online at Travelstart!

Visa & Customs

South Africans do need a visa in order to enter China. Ensure your South African passport has at least 6 months remaining on it from your departure date and that you have at least 2 blank pages available for stamps. You can contact the Embassy of China for more information, in addition to visa applications.

The South African Embassy in China:

Address: 5 Dongzhimen Outer St, Chaoyang, Beijing

Telephone: (+86 10) 6532 0171 / 021 674 0579 (Cape Town)

Fax: (+86 10) 6532 7319

Email: embassy@saembassy.org.cn

Health & Safety

Beijing is a very safe city and violent crimes are not something you can expect to see often. The city has a very strong reputation for having one of the lowest crime rates, not just in Asia, but globally as well.

Don’t let this blind you to crime, as with any city there are bad and good sides to Beijing. During peak-seasons especially, unexpected incidents of petty crime have been reported. Tourists should be aware of their surroundings, especially due to the fact that tourists tend to stand out more than locals, which at times can make them easy targets.

Cost of Living

Item Cape Town Johannesburg Beijing
Meal, inexpensive restaurant R 90 R 100 R 57
Domestic beer (0.5 litre draught) R 22 R 20 R 10
Cappuccino R 19 R 20 R 54
Taxi 1km (normal tariff) R 10 R 12 R 4
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) R 35 R 35 R 31

Where to stay?

Since Beijing is one of the main tourist destinations in the world, the accommodation that is offered here is pretty much close to perfect. There are various beautiful hotels that visitors can choose from, depending on your taste and budget.

Getting Around

Beijing is the most important transportation hub in the mainland of China in air, rail and road. Due to Beijing being densely populated, transportation in the city’s urban area can become a little over-crowded, especially during rush hours. There are many ways of getting around in Beijing, most of which are easy to use and inexpensive.

The various public transportation options available include subways, buses, sanlunche (three-wheel-car) and taxis.

Main attractions in Beijing

Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven

Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square

Yonghe Temple

Yonghe Temple

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