China- visit to Beijjing

We plan on going to Asia in the fall. I have wanted to see the Terra Cotta Warriors for years. I'm not sure were we will fly first. I know for what all I want to do I am going to have to double back somewhere on our trip.
Does anyone know a cheap hotel in Beijing? I' mean about $50.- for two people. I do now meed a 5 star hotel. Private bath, A/C, and the option to get an American style breakfast would be nice. We just need a place to put our head.
Thanking you in advance.
Mickey

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
7402 posts

Visited Beijing back in January and had a good stay at the Holiday Inn Express in the embassy/shopping district. I got a rate of $75USD. It's a newish hotel, rooms are on the small side but very clean and modern, with the bonus of a full hot buffet breakfast included in the rate. It's about a fifteen minute walk from the last stop on the Airport Express line. In addition there is a subway station about a ten minute walk away which will get you into the city center (Foribben City/Tiamenn Square).
The Yashow (knockoffs) Market and the ultra-luxury Sanlutin Village Shopping Mall are nearby:
http://tinyurl.com/qhc5h5x

You have to be careful with budget hotels in China, many are very rough around the edges;)

Posted by emma
London
874 posts

I wouldn't get to hung up on looking for an American style breakfast. I traveled through China for 3 weeks staying in 3 star hotels and every hotel's interpretation of breakfast was different. One thing I did notice was that the bread over there is different to the stuff we are used to in the west. I think it has much less gluten so bread type products are more "cakey". At the end of the trip the one thing I was really craving was toast, hot crunchy toast! Coffee was also a little hit and miss but there are branches of Starbucks everywhere where you can pop in for a hit. I know it dreadful to visit Starbucks in a foreign land but decent caffeine is non negotiable. Starbucks were also the one place where you were guaranteed a European style toilet....just sayin!
That said I really enjoyed the breakfasts, which usually included a small range of dim sum dumplings.

The terracotta warriors are near Xian. They really do not disappoint! Totally mind blowing! Xian is on the end of the spice road so some of the food is slightly more middle eastern. If you get a chance try the lamb kebabs cooked in cumin. I still dream about them, they were that good. My trip was an organised cooking/eating tour and I only had one dish that I didn't like in 3 weeks! This was a river fish that tasted really muddy to me, otherwise every meal was a good experience!

Posted by kyleaz
2 posts

Emma,
Thank you for your reply. I have stayed in Asia and many hotels have an oriental buffet and a western buffet. This is what I'm looking for and have found several hotels that have this to offer. It gives me a very large choice and I have eating issues. I am hoping to be able to get some protein for breakfast. I won't die if it isn't possible. Toast will work fine. I am not to drink with my meals and I'm not a big coffee drinker so I will live, in fact I love Vietnamese coffee that is made with condensed milk.
I would love to hear more about your trip to Xian. Did you take the train if so the fast train or a slower one? Was there much to see on the train?
Did you get a guide or do the trip by yourself. I have heard mix reviews. Did you get to see the new dig that is by the airport in Xian?
Regards and thank you for your help,
Mickey

Posted by emma
London
874 posts

I visited Xian as part of an organised tour around china run by Imaginative Traveller. From memory, it was about 5 years ago, we went by overnight train from Beijing. It was quite a long trip, about 12-14 hours. Unfortunately being overnight we didn't see much out of the window! We were in the 2nd most expensive accommodation that slept 4 and was quite comfortable.

We stayed just off the main square in Xian.It is an interesting town in its own right . The city walls are particularly impressive.
I don't remember having a guide at the site. It was all very organised and very easy to make your own way round. We didn't see the new dig.
Sorry I can't be more help.

Posted by Kevin
Rick Steves' Europe
132 posts

I don't have a specific hotel to recommend anymore but I lived in China for two years and when I would travel to a new city I would use the website www.elong.com since they usually had great prices on very nice hotels. Beijing is a big city so there really isn't a "perfect" location but as long as you are in the city center and near am metro stop you'll be able to explore quite easily. Don't be afraid to ask for help, the Chinese are some of the most helpful people I have met during my travels.

Posted by Anita
Long Beach, California, USA
1297 posts

Really be wary of cheap hotels in Asia in general...some can be great but others, really, really bad. I've stayed in both and, believe me, you want to avoid the bad ones. I rely on Trip Advisor to get an idea of which ones are acceptable and which are not. Don't rely on the pictures and website that the hotel posts - really that rule applies anywhere. Don't count on an American style breakfast unless you stay in a nicer hotel. Then you should expect some hybrid form of breakfast that will include food from many cultures. Often you'll have English, Chinese, Arabic, and smatterings of other cultures that frequent the hotel. I find it fun though to sample things that are eaten for breakfast in other places!