Home » Beijing Layover, How to Spend 24 Hours

Beijing Layover becomes an adventure - Forbidden City | Pic: R. Ocampo
Beijing Layover becomes an adventure - Forbidden City | Pic: R. Ocampo

Beijing Layover, How to Spend 24 Hours

Turn a Layover in Beijing Into an Adventure

I spent several days in Kuala Lumpur recently on business. Since I no longer live in New York City or Los Angeles, flight options are not easy to come by. My flight from Ft. Myers, Fla. to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia took me through a few stops:

  • Ft. Myers to New York JFK
  • JFK to Beijing
  • Beijing to Kuala Lumpur

With limited options, I chose a flight that required an overnight layover in Beijing. The layover was just under 24 hours, so I decided to go that route to stop by and visit China for a second time. My flight arrived around 6pm and left the next day around 3pm – just enough to experience the highlights.

Note:  Short layovers, like this one, do not require a visa. You can leave the airport as a 24-hour international transit passenger. I believe the same applies for a 72-hour transit passenger but see the Chinese Embassy site for details.

I reserved a hotel at the St. Regis in Beijing for less than $200. The same type of room in New York City would easily run 3-4 x’s the price. I was blown away a bit when the butler rang the bell to give me a tour of my room and serve me green tea!

Below are some highlights from my trip to Beijing, with captions describing what you see. There are scenes from the Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City and a tea marketplace with unending stores serving hot Chinese teas. Look for my mask in the video, which was a prerequisite due to the poor air quality.

I made a brief video of some of the highlights. Take a look!

Beijing Layover