I think a huge part of why we were able to get the 24 hour transit visa was that we only had carry-on bags. Upon arrival in Beijing, we filled out our landing cards and proceeded through the disease scanners. From there we turned left at immigration for the visa on arrival desk. We waited about 30 minutes in total to get our visas. No problem. I had been to China before and had to disclose that. Just in case, I had brought my previous passport with my Chinese visa inside. This wasn’t needed, but I felt better knowing I had it, just in case. The only thing they asked about was how long Jives had been in Turkey for, (23 hours in 2017). After this we went through immigration, which took another 30 minutes. FOR THE BLOG POST ALL ABOUT THE VISA
From here we took the airport express to Beijing city centre. it cost 25 Rm each, and I was able to use cash at the ticket window. The train ride took about 30 minutes as well, and we arrived at the end of the Airport Express line. We transferred to the subway, and rode that for two stops. By the time we were actually out on the street in Beijing, it was after 8:00pm.
We had a bit of trouble navigating to our hotel because Maps.me didn’t work (it normally works offline), so had to navigate the old fashion way!
Our hotel was about 15 minutes from Quiamen station. It was called “Beijing Court Hyde”. We arrived here at about 9pm. We were worried about if our room might be available, because the hotel had told us that they reserved the right to give our room away after 4pm. We had asked if we could pay in full to hold the room ahead of time, but they did not respond. Anyway, there was no issue with checking in, and our room had not been given away. We paid 367 Yuan on my credit card , and left 100 RM cash for the room key. We dropped our bags off and went out to explore the city as quickly as we could.
We walked to Tianamen Square and saw Mao’s Mausoleum (which should certainly be called the Maosoleum, no?) and the entrance to the Forbidden City. There was a security check point to see the area, and we had to show our passports. We then tried to walk to the night market, it was closed (I have since read it is closed for renovations).
We then took the metro, which ended up being partially closed for the night…so we had to walk back from Tianamen Station to our hotel. We stopped along the way at the grocery store*, which was the only thing open. we feasted on snacks and a well deserved beer (Tsingtao), back in our room.
*Side note: the grocery store had Winnie the pooh milk, which John Oliver falsely lead us to believe was illegal in China.*