To and From Beijing
China has plenty of long-distance buses with air-conditioning and movies (whether you want them or not). Buying tickets can be complicated if you don't speak Chinese, so it's best to have your hotel concierge or a travel agent make arrangements. Better yet, consider taking a train or plane.
Buses depart from the city's several long-distance bus stations. The main ones are: Dongzhimen (Northeast); Muxiyuan (at Haihutun in the south); Beijiao, also called Dewai (North); and Majuan or Guangqumen (East).
Beijiao. A30 Huayan Beili, Chaoyang, Beijing, Beijing, 100191. 010/8284–6760.
Dongzhimen. 45 Dongzhimenwai Xiejie, Dongcheng District, Beijing, Beijing, 100028. 010/6467–1346.
Majuan. 22 Guangqumenwai Dajie, Chaoyang, Beijing, Beijing, 100022. 010/6771–7620.
Muxiyuan. 16 Nanyuan, Fengtai District, Beijing, Beijing, 100075. 010/6726–7149.
Unless you know Beijing well, public buses aren't the best choice for getting around. There are hundreds of routes, which are hot and crowded in summer and cold and crowded in winter. Just getting on and off can be, quite literally, a fight.
The Beijing Public Transportation Corporation is the city's largest bus service provider. Routes 1 to 199 are regular city buses and cost a flat fare of Y1. Routes in the 200s only run at night, costing Y1. Routes 300 to 799 go from downtown Beijing to suburban areas, and fares (starting at Y1) depend on how far you're going—have your destination written in Chinese. The newer air-conditioned buses in the 800s and 900s start at Y2 and increase depending on distance.
If you bought an IC card for the subway, you can use it on buses. Most buses allow you to scan your card as you board. On the suburban buses you'll scan as you board and as you depart, calculating the fare. For buses that go even farther afield, there is a conductor onboard who will take your fare or scan your card.
Beijing Public Transportation Corporation. 29 Lianhuachi Xili, Fengtai District, Beijing, Beijing, 100161. 010/6396–0008; www.bjbus.com.