Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We have tried to cover the most frequently asked questions here, but if you don’t find the answer to your question, please use our contact us form by clicking here or e-mail us directly at - your answer is just an e-mail away!

Why tour Beijing and China with Beijing Discovery Tours?

We are travelers too - we know what most people need and expect when traveling to an exotic destination such as China. Beijing Discovery Tours is a company that combines the best of both worlds – we are both Western and Chinese owned and managed, which gives us a thorough knowledge of the needs and expectations of Western travelers combined with an in-depth knowledge of not only Beijing but the entire country of China and its travel industry as well. We have worked hard to establish a good reputation, and exceeding our customers’ expectations is our overall goal. We are still a relatively small company, which means that you are dealing directly with the owners when you are booking your tour with us. Each and every tour is important to us, you are never “just another tourist” with Beijing Discovery Tours. You can see a list of some of the comments from our previous customers here on our Guest Comments page. We do our very best to make sure that travelers who tour China with us get the best value for their money – there are no hidden fees, no fake tourist sites and no forced shopping trips with Beijing Discovery Tours! We realize that the best advertising is positive word-of-mouth, so we do our best to make sure that everyone has a great time in China with us.

Why should we trust Beijing Discovery Tours with our China tour plans?

That is a good question that hopefully you will ask before booking a China tour with any company. We have been in business for more than sixteen years, with plans to build our company into the best tour company in China. We are a registered company in the United States (see our business registration here) and we use only tour guides that are licensed by the Chinese government’s Ministry of Tourism office. Our drivers and their vehicles are also licensed and insured. We try to make everything as clear as possible and we encourage questions – the more that we know about what you are looking for in a tour, the better the service that we can provide you. We intend to be in business for a very long time, and building up our credibility and trustworthiness through exceeding our customers’ expectations is the very foundation of our long-term business plan.

How many people will there be with me on my Beijing or China tour?

All of our tours are private tours, which means that it will just be you, your chosen traveling companions, your tour guide and driver. We do not put our guests on overcrowded vans or buses or any of those “join-in” tours (unless of course, you ask for one); we only operate private tours with tour itineraries that are very clear for our guests – no surprise shopping stops and no fake tourist sites. Those “budget” tours from other companies are very cheap for a reason, expect dirty, crowded vans and buses packed with people, unscheduled shopping stops, and less time spent at your desired sightseeing spot, such as the Great Wall of China or the Ming Tombs, for example. There is certainly nothing wrong with taking one of those cheap tours, as long as you know what to expect.

How far is it from downtown Beijing to the Beijing airport?

It is about 17 miles / 27 kilometers from the city of Beijing to the Beijing airport, but that can vary considerably depending on where you are starting from in Beijing. Beijing is a huge city!

How long does it take to get to the Beijing airport?

On the weekends or when there is not heavy traffic, it should take about 45 minutes to get to the Beijing airport from downtown, but it depends on what part of Beijing you will be departing from. However, during rush hour traffic (roughly 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday), it can take up to an hour and half to get there from downtown Beijing, and even longer from western or southern Beijing (the airport is northeast of the city.)

How far is it from the Tianjin Dongjiang Port or Tianjin Xingang Port to downtown Beijing?

From the Xingang Port to downtown Beijing, it is approximately 150 miles / 241 kilometers.

How long does it take to get from the Tianjin Dongjiang Port or Tianjin Xingang Port to Beijing?

It takes approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours to get from either of the Tianjin Ports to Beijing, depending on how heavy the traffic is and the weather. There is usually less traffic on the weekends so the Xingang Port transfer to Beijing should take less time.

How far is it from the Tianjin Dongjiang Port or Tianjin Xingang Port to the Beijing Capital Airport (PEK)?

It is approximately 167 miles / 269 kilometers from the Tianjin Dongjiang Port or Tianjin Xingang Port to the Beijing Capital Airport. The transfer by private car or van should take around 3 hours, or up to 4 hours if there is heavy traffic.

Do I need a visa to visit China?

China requires citizens from most countries to obtain a visa before visiting China but there are now some big exceptions to that rule with 144-hour visa-free stays allowed in several cities in China for citizens of 53 different countries, but the rules for that can be complicated. China has also decided to allow citizens from many different countries to visit without a visa, so the best plan is to contact your nearest Chinese embassy or consulate in the country that you are currently living in to see whether you would qualify to visit China without applying for a visa, for the 144-hour visa-free stay in China and/or to find out exactly how to apply for a visa to visit China. 

Can Beijing Discovery Tours help me obtain a visa to visit China?

If you book your hotels and/or domestic flights inside of China with us, we can provide you with documentation for your hotel and flight reservations if you need it for your China visa application. For our U.S.-based customers, we have partnered with VisaHero, a China visa assistance company located in Washington, D.C. that can help U.S. citizens with obtaining their China visas. You can check them out with a special 10% discount code on the cost of their services here: