Hi everyone! 😀
After covering Hong Kong and Macao some time ago, I’m so excited when Jade and Kev from Two Tall Travellers reached out to cover the first city in mainland China that we’re gonna talk about: the one and only capital city, Beijing.
Speaking of which, since it’s $10 series, then I don’t know who needs to hear this but the currency in mainland China is renminbi and not yuan. And you’ll get a further explanation about this later in the post.
If you kinda mistake one with another, I’m not gonna blame you as you might adapt it from watching too many Chinese movies with subtitle. Like I did in the youth. #AsianProblems
So, what could you get in Beijing for $10? And how much is $10 USD in renminbi? Go check this out! 🙂
Traveling Around Beijing with Your $10
Beijing is a bustling city full of things to see, do and eat. You could easily experience its temples, parks, and museums on a budget.
The local currency across China is renminbi (RMB), but it’s more commonly known as the yuan, or kuai in colloquial terms. RMB is the actual name of the currency, and yuan is the unit. 1 yuan = 10 jiao = 100 fen.
$10 USD is equivalent to 69 RMB. If you’ve only got $10 USD to spend in Beijing, you’ll have to count your jiaos a little, but you’ll be able to find good values for money everywhere.
Getting from A to B
Traveling around Beijing is incredibly cheap. You can purchase a subway card at any station and use it on the subways and buses.
You’ll need to put down a 20 RMB refundable deposit, and most journeys only cost 3 RMB. The subway stations are super easy to navigate, because the signs are in both Mandarin and English!
Hungry? Stick to Street Food or Local Chinese Restaurants!
In general, eating out in Beijing can be done on a budget.
If you want international food (Q-Mex do the best burritos!), then expect to pay a little more, but you can get local dishes from as little as 15 RMB. Choose a place that smells good and has Beijingers sitting outside on plastic chairs, drinking beer.
Some amazing dishes include cumin lamb skewers, sweet and sour chicken and noodle soup!
You can get all of these and more for extremely low prices – just look for the restaurants with pictures on their menus!
Surprisingly, Beijing has some astounding parks that are either free or cost about 5 RMB to enter. The city keeps its parks wonderfully clean, tidy and safe, and there are often other attractions inside too.
Choyang Park, in the east, has a clear running track, tennis courts and a fairground!
Forbidden City / Tian’anmen Square
You can’t come to Beijing without seeing the famous Forbidden City!
It costs 60 RMB (or 40 RMB in winter) to get in, and you could spend hours wandering the corridors and alleyways of the ancient city.
Across the road lies Tian’anmen Square, which you can enter for free. There are a few museums with low cost entry dotted around the square too. Remember to bring your passport to get past the security gates.
Explore the Hutongs
A hutong is a small alleyways, lined with shops, stalls and traditional homes.
The winding paths take you around the historic areas of Beijing, showing off its time-honored culture. You can meet the locals going about their daily business, as well as explore the various shops and markets that keep the hutongs ticking along.
A couple of great places to explore for free are Nanluoguxiang, Wudaoying, and Skewed Tobacco Street (Yandai Xiejie).
Outdoor Swimming Pools
In the summer, Beijing becomes incredibly hot and sweaty!
There’s no better way to cool down than a quick dip in an outdoor pool, and there are plenty to choose from in the city.
Pay a small entrance fee of around 40 to 60 RMB, and spend the day splashing, sliding, and snacking at a pool. Tuanjiehu Water Park, Qingnianhu Park Water World and Chaoyang Park’s pool and beach are all family-friendly!
Beijing is a great place to visit, and you can have so much fun just on $10 USD!
Contributor: Jade and Kev from Two Tall Travellers
Jade and Kev are on a mission to travel and work around the world! From the busy city life of Beijing to a remote outback town in Australia, they’ve started to pack some unusual job experiences under their belt. They’ve recently moved back to China and in their third year of teaching English there.