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Leaving Luggage at Beijing Airport

Moline, Illinois
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Leaving Luggage at Beijing Airport

Hi,

I'm wondering what the process is for leaving your luggage at the airport overnight. If you drop it off in one terminal, can you pick it up from a different terminal the next day?

Our flight lands at 6:00PM (Hainan Airlines - terminal 2) and we take an Air China flight to Bangkok (terminal unknown?) the following day at 1:40PM. Do you always pick up your luggage from one location? Will it take a lot of time to retreive our luggage if we have to pick it up from a different terminal than we are traveling from?

We want to go to the Drum Tower area for dinner/walking around once we leave the airport, but wish to stay at a bargain hotel closer to the Silk Market and a subway stop so that the next day we can briefly see Tiananmen Square/Forbidden City and stop in the Silk Market for an hour before heading back to the airport. This will all be easier if we can leave our luggage at the airport and just bring a small bag to dinner and then later to the hotel. Any recommendations for this?

If this seems impossible, does anyone have recommendations for where to stay, where to go to dinner, etc. to be able to see Tiananmen Square and the Silk Market the following day?

Thank you for the help!!!

Sherbrooke, Canada
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1. Re: Leaving Luggage at Beijing Airport

There is a manned luggage storage area at the airport. If you leave it in one terminal, you need to pick it up from there. They store luggage and not not move it. There is a shuttle bus between the terminal. Assume that you will waste half an hour.

I don't know of any cheap hotel in this "prime area". Maybe someone else has an idea. For restaurants, there are tons of choices. Do you have a budget or type of cuisine in mind?

San Francisco
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for Guangzhou
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2. Re: Leaving Luggage at Beijing Airport

After landing, just walk or get to the departure terminal and store your luggage there, not that hard, best to get that done than do it when leaving. There are signs, usually near customs exit in the lobby, easy to find. We did that in PEK, so we did not have to transport all the suitcases into Beijing hotel and out again. Storage was not that cheap, but much cheaper than Tokyo airport.

Beijing, China
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3. Re: Leaving Luggage at Beijing Airport

Your Air China flight to Bangkok will depart from Terminal 3. With your situation and connection situation, you will have to handle your luggage manually at PEK. If you are going to store luggage at Left Luggage, it's best to do it at the terminal that you will be departing from. Assuming an on-time arrival at T2 at 18:00, by the time you deplane, get through Immigration, Bag Claim/Customs, get the shuttle bus over to T3 and get your stuff put in Left Luggage, assume it will be about 19:30.

Your stated plans have some flaws, as follows:

--You will not be able to do anything at the Drum Tower except see the outside. I'm not sure going all the way there essentially for dinner is worthwhile. Suggest you abandon this plan and grab dinner at a more convenient location.

--As JP said, the area near the Silk Market is not a cheap area to stay--maybe it depends on your idea of "cheap?"

--No time to see Tiananmen, the Forbidden City, and shop at the Silk Market the following morning.

With a scheduled 13:40 departure to BKK and having to pick up at Left Luggage and check-in, you will need to arrive back at PEK no later than 12:00 noon. This means you'll need to leave central Beijing by taxi 11:00 to be safe. Or be at the Dongzhimen Transport Hub for the Airport Express by 11:30. While you can see Tiananmen and then get to the ticket booth for the FC just before it opens at 08:30 (except Mondays when FC is closed), even "speed-visiting" the FC through just the main sections takes 1.5-2 hours, and it will take all your remaining time to get find transport to get back.

The Silk Market is generally open to 09:30-21:00, so you'd have to start shopping there right after opening to have enough time to properly search and bargain for what you want, which would foreclose on the FC or any other major sightseeing.

Moline, Illinois
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4. Re: Leaving Luggage at Beijing Airport

Thanks for all the advice!

Maybe we will forgo the Forbidden City and just go walk around Tiananmen Square before going to the Silk Market. If you think it's not worth going to the Drum Tower area for dinner, do you have other suggestions for nearer to where we want to stay? Is there anything to see/do at night in that area?

And I knew it wouldn't be cheap for a hotel in that area, but I was hoping to spend no more than $80-$100 on a hotel for the night, but that might not be realistic.

And if we don't go to the Drum Tower, it may not be worth it to leave our luggage at the airport.

Beijing, China
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5. Re: Leaving Luggage at Beijing Airport

I think it makes more sense for you to do two things:

1) Get to town as fast as you can, by taking luggage with you and foregoing the terminal change and Left Luggage issue.

2) Change your markets from Silk to Yaxiu (they have the same stuff except Yaxiu is less cutthroat and easier to shop at). Change your hotel to something near Yaxiu/Sanlitun and use the evening hours to do your shopping. Silk Market is in the heart of the most congested part of town traffic-wise, and your arrival time will put you into heavy gridlock. Getting to the Sanlitun area shaves about 20-30 minutes off your travel time. And the Sanlitun area has gaboodles of restaurants that keep fairly late dinner hours.

Then the next morning, you can use the subway system to get around to Qianmen/Tiananmen Square for a walk and maybe the FC before taxiing back to your hotel to check out. If you're already packed up and ready to go, it shouldn't take long to do that. You could also check out in the morning before you sightsee and have the hotel hold your luggage in the bell closet. Depending on which hotel you choose, either taxi or take subway + Airport Express back to Terminal 3.

For hotels in the Silk Market area that might work in your price range: Ibis Hotel Jianguomen, Sci-Tech Hotel, Dong Chang'An Hotel, For hotels in the Yaxiu area: Yoyo Hotel, Hanting Express Sanlitun Soho. You could also stay along the Airport Express Line such as the Ibis Sanyuanqiao, get from airport to there, check-in quickly, then use subway to get to Yaxiu Market/Sanlitun dinner. Probably the most efficient of all.

Sherbrooke, Canada
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6. Re: Leaving Luggage at Beijing Airport

Note that Ya Xiu closes at 8h30. Other "regular" stores close at 10h.

Beijing, China
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7. Re: Leaving Luggage at Beijing Airport

Did something change very recently? Yaxiu should be closing at 21:00.

Beijing, China
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8. Re: Leaving Luggage at Beijing Airport

Add to above: their official website (Chinese language) does say 10:00-20:30, but I know I've been in there between 20:30 and 21:00 closing a negotiation/deal for a purchase. If you're in a shop working on making a purchase, no vendor is going to kick you out!

Perhaps the OP just needs to decide whether shopping is more important than sightseeing, and just pick one to do in the morning. Then evening before, just deal with a good dinner and decent night's sleep.

Shanghai, China
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9. Re: Leaving Luggage at Beijing Airport

can you leave luggage for a week at the beijing airport? i will be flying through and then going to burma for a week then returning to beijing for a month and want to know what to do with my larger bag that i will not need in burma? also is there a hotel at the airport that is connected to the airport so you dont need to technically enter china?

Beijing, China
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10. Re: Leaving Luggage at Beijing Airport

#9 yes you can leave luggage at BJ airport, usually up to a month. Will you have a Chinese visa? If you are just in transit, you may be able to use Transit Without Visa--read the second question under Top Questions about Beijing at the top of this page, upper right. Be very clear on the time limitations for TWOV and particularly if you will be flying to Burma via Kunming or any other Chinese city. Under TWOV, you "technically" enter and exit China for limited time basis if you meet the conditions.

There is no hotel at Beijing airport physically located in such a way that you can circumvent entering China either by visa or by TWOV. Left Luggage is also outside the Immigration cordon, in the arrival hall after you pass through Bag Claim and Customs.