June 12, 2012

Beijing | Tiananmen Square.

It was the kind of trip I know I am going to remember forever. It was my second time in Beijing. The first time I visited, I attended a conference, so I wasn't able to see much of the city. This time around, I spent the entire five days breathing in its history and beauty.

If you are curious, we did not join a tour group. We hired a tour guide instead. It was quite convenient. We had a van all to ourselves and a guide who took us to many wonderful places.

My friends and I arrived in Beijing at dawn via Cebu Pacific. We decided to sleep the morning away. Our guide, Jamie, picked us up at noon and we headed off to our first stop -- The Tiananmen Square.

The Tiananmen Square is said to be the biggest square in the world. It has a total area of 440,000 square meters and could hold one million people. It is unbelievable how huge it is. At the center stands the Monument to the People's Heroes.


The Monument to the People's Heroes at the background.
This monument was dedicated to the men and women who died in the struggles
to make China an independent nation. Construction started in 1949
and it was completed in 1958. The monument is 40 meters high.


These LED screens were not here the first time I visited. These were installed in 2009.
According to ChinaTimes, the screens broadcast 12 hours a day,
five to six charity or public information films an hour.


Located at the eastern side of the square stands the National Museum of China.
The building was one of ten famous architectures built in 1959 to mark the 10th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic. The Museum of Chinese History was in the South Wing while the North Wing housed the Museum of the Chinese Revolution. They were both opened to the public in 1961. The building has a rectangular exterior and faces the Great Hall of the People. Twenty-four square pillars make up the magnificent west gate portico. With its classical color and imposing structure, the whole building is an important part of the panorama of Tian'anmen Square. {grabbed from china.org.cn}


Flowers everywhere.


Just beautiful. The entire city actually looked like one huge garden of flowers.


Since the square is visited by thousands of tourists everyday
(except perhaps on winter months),
food/refreshment vans like this are scattered all over the square.


Police visibility. Although there really are no incidents of crime here.


One of the many tourist guides at the square bringing a panda umbrella.
I want an umbrella like that! :)


Photographers abound.


The Forbidden City is just across the street north of Tiananmen Square.
Chris, me, Edeena, Bambi, and Nikko.

It was incredibly hot that day, but nothing really stopped us from walking around the square.
We also went to the Forbidden City, taking in every bit of its history.
But that would be for another blog entry.

. . . . .

BUDGET 
(six days in Beijing):
Hotel: Days Inn Tiananmen Square with breakfast
Tour Guide + Transpo + Lunch
Airfare: Cebu Pacific
Pocket Money

more or less $1,200/person

. . . . .

Our guide Jamie Wang speaks english
and is knowledgeable about China's history and tourist spots.
He was very helpful and nice and honest.
If you plan to visit Beijing and would need a guide,
email him at jamiewglory@hotmail.com

. . . . .

Chinese Visa Application

Tourist/Family Visit Visa Requirements:
  • Valid passport.
  • Completed Application Form.
  • One (1) passport or 2x2 photo glued on the application form. (Do not staple. Stapled photos will not be accepted). Photo must be colored, white background, front view, no hat.
  • U.S. Passport-holders must submit two (2) duly-accomplished application forms & two (2) photos
  • Invitation letter with your host's valid Chinese residence visa and passport information page or Chinese national identity card.
Additional requirements for first time visa applicants
(Philippine residents, 18 years old and above):
  1. Original NBI Clearance valid for travel abroad.
  2. Original Bank Certificate with receipt or updated passbook.
  3. If a company is sponsoring your trip, provide the company's Bank Certificate, letter of sponsorship,and the company's business registration.
  4. If an individual is sponsoring your trip, provide that person's Bank Certificate, letter of sponsorship & invitation, copy of that person's valid residence visa, passport information page or Chinese national identity card.
  5. For employed persons, submit Employment Certificate, company ID, SSS ID and contributions, TIN ID, and latest ITR.
  6. For students, provide school ID.
  7. For business owners, provide business registration of company, TIN ID and latest ITR.
  8. Personal appearance is required for those who are 16-21 years old.
  9. Emergency contact information at the back of your passport must be filled out and photocopied.
  10. Other documents required by visa officers if necessary.
For second-time visa applicants:

Submit filled out application form with 2x2 photo and a valid passport.

Visa Fees:

Philippine Passport
Single Entry: Php1400 | Double Entry: Php2100 | Multiple Entry (6 months): Php2800 |
Multiple Entry (12 months): Php4200

US Passport
Single Entry or Multiple Entry: Php6500

All other foreign passports
Single Entry: Php1700 | Double Entry: Php2550 | Multiple Entry (6 months): Php3400 |
Multiple Entry (12 months): Php5100

Processing Time:
  • Four working days.
  • You can request a one day processing for an additional Php1700 fee.
  • Or a three-day processing for an additional Php1100 fee.

How to Apply:

Bring complete requirements to the Consular Office or you can send a travel agent to act on your behalf.
Your representative must bring an authorization letter and a valid ID.

2nd & 3rd Floor,
The World Center
330 Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue,
Makati City

Visa Section:
Fax: 632 8482386
Inquiry: 632 8482395 (Weekdays 08:30-10:30 | 14:00-16:00)
Email: chinavisamanila@yahoo.com

Visa Exemptions:
  • Holders of Diplomatic or Government/Official passports entering/exiting for a period not exceeding 30 days.
  • Passport holders from Singapore, Brunei, and Japan visiting China (sightseeing, business, transit) for up to 15 days.
  • Anyone holding a booked seat at an international airline flying directly to China, transiting less than 24 hours without leaving the airport.
  • Passport holders from the following countries -- transiting through Pudong Airport or Hongqaio airport provided they have booked seats, confirmed flights to their final destination, valid visas to other countries they are visiting, and only stay in Shanghai for 48 hours -- Republic of Korea, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Austria, Greece.
  • Passport holders of the following countries joining a tour group to Hainan Province (staying not more than 15 days): Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, the Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Germany, Great Britain, France, Austria, Italy, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Netherlands, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
All information were grabbed from the Chinese Embassy's official WEBSITE. Go visit!

. . . . .

Related Posts
Beijing | The Forbidden City
Beijing | Donghuamen Night Food Street
Beijing | Summer Palace
Beijing | The Olympic Venue
Beijing | The Temple of Heaven
Beijing | Panjiayuan Antique Market
Beijing | Beihai Park
Beijing | Qiangan Hutong Tour
Beijing | The Lama Temple
Beijing | An Acrobatic Show
Beijing | The Great Wall
Beijing | 798 Art District

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2 comments:

  1. can't wait to visit Beijing in this lifetime.. love the detail about how much money to bring and the name of the tour guide;-) <3

    ReplyDelete
  2. Chelo: It's a very fascinating place, Chel. You and A will love it there, I'm sure. So many places to see, things to learn, food to try. I am in love with Beijing. :)

    ReplyDelete

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