Until recently you had to speak Chinese in order to use a bus in Beijing, but Chinese Tourism have introduced a Yiktong Card which means “one card pass” in Chinese. It is similar to the Oyster Card used by TfL in London, Singapore’s EZ-Link, and Hong Kong’s Octopus card, and is like a credit card for travel that you ‘top up’ as you use it. In order to get a Yiktong card you need to pay a deposit of RMB20 plus RMB100 for the travel itself and you can top this up at subway stations, railway stations, most post offices and big supermarkets in Beijing. When you leave, you get your deposit back.
Bus fares range from RMB1-5 according to the route and whether the bus has air conditioning or not.
There are many different bus lines and they are categorised by number: the city lines are buses 1 to 122, night buses are 201 to 212, suburban lines are 300 to 949, air-conditioned buses begin with number 8, double-decker buses begin with the Chinese letter – Te which means special.
Little secret tips:
- If you decide to use public transport to visit the Great Wall of China look for buses which start with the number 9. For example, to go to the Great Wall of China at Mutianyu go to Dongzhimen Bus Terminal and get bus 916 which takes you directly there
There four main bus terminals in Beijing:
Deshengmen Bus Terminal – buses to the Juyongguan and Badaling sections of the Great Wall, and Kangxi Grassland. The fare is RMB8-12.
Dongzhimen Bus Terminal – buses for the Mutianyu, Simitai and Jinshaling sections of the Great Wall. Only bus 936 which operates during the peak tourist season runs directly to the Mutianyu Great Wall, buses for the other sections, 916, 980, 918Z, stop before there and you need to transfer to a minibus. The bus fare is RMB10-16.
Pingguoyuan Bus Terminal – buses 929 and 931 go to the Jietaisi, Tanzhesi and Chuandixiacun Temples, and the fares are RMB15-20.
Beijing Railway Station Bus Terminal – 938 bus to Epoch City in Xianghe, fare RMB10.
Tianqiao Bus Terminal – bus 917 to Hancunhe village, fare RMB10
For more information how to book a Private Day Trip in Beijing on foot, by bus, tube, or by bycle with local guide please check our website at www.ReadyClickAndGo.com or email Tara@ReadyClickAndGo.com