Steven Pinkert’s Assessment of Beijing Prices

As a frequent traveler to Beijing I thought I would update my perception of the current prices.  Hotels were outrageous, food fairly priced  and unchanged, air fare (USA-China) great deals, and taxi up just a bit.

Hotel Rates in Beijing

The price of 4 and 5 star Western hotels has skyrocketed in Beijing.  While the price of airline tickets to Beijing was very reasonable in March (2012) the prices of hotel rooms are through the roof.  The Marriott where I regularly stay was asking $1600 RMB plus 15% tax.  If you aren’t familiar with the exchange rate that is about $292.00!  This is Beijing, China not New York.  And the Marriott wasn’t out of line with many of the other hotels’ prices that I checked.  I finally got a good rate at the Park Plaza Wangfujing.  This is a very nice hotel with some recently renovated rooms. Good breakfast and very nice staff.  This was my second stay and would certainly return again.

Long Haul from USA to Beijing

I generally fly America or United from Chicago to Beijing.  March is usually a slow time as there is little tourism to Beijing because the weather is cold.  The Business airfare was as low as $3300 on American which is a steal but the downside is that there were only 80 seats filled in coach on my outbound flight.  This is a serious problem for American as if they need more problems.  I have heard a rumor – totally uncorroborated that American may stop their service to Beijing.  I urge you, if you are considering traveling to China support American’s airlift to Beijing.

Beijing Restaurants

Basically western hotels are close to the same price we pay in Miami, but outside of the hotels food is generally reasonable.  I frequent several places such as Bellagio, South Beauty, and a few others.  These places are Asian fusion or Szechuan – my favorite.

Beijing Taxis

Beijing taxis are fairly reasonable.  An average 15 minute ride in the city will cost you about 20 RMB or $2.50.  They tack on an extra RMB or 2 these days probably because of the cost of fuel.  Remember Beijing Taxi drivers speak no English so have your hotel write down your destination and keep you hotel’s address handy for the return.

Steven Pinkert’s summary on current Beijing prices: if you can find a good hotel rate Beijing is still a value. By the way Steven Pinkert also has a blog about his family at www.pinkert.us

Steven Pinkert Returns to China

Steven Pinkert has been to China 40 Times the Past 4 Years

Jet Lag is a Killer

The toughest part about doing business in China is the jet lag. Since Beijing is 12 hours ahead of the US Eastern Time, day is night and night feels like day.  It is hard to sleep at night and you are fatigued while you work during the day because your biological clock thinks it is sleep time. Supposedly melatonin helps you adjust and sleep at night but I haven’t tried it.

The jet lag problem is exacerbated if you are on a short business trip because your body doesn’t have time to adjust.  Then, after a week, just as you are adjusting you return to the USA (Eastern Time) and once agan you are tired in the day and sleepless at night.

Getting Around in China

For those of you that haven’t spent time in China it is a fascinating place to visit and business opportunities are available but very challenging for the Westerner. Getting around is a challenge in and of itself as taxi drivers do not speak english. The trick is to have your hotel write down in Chinese where you want to go. Another trick is to purchase a sim card for local phone service (which is very cheap) but you must have an unlocked phone. Then you store the phone number of your hotel in your local phone. I call the hotel from the taxi and the concierge translates to the driver where I want to go!

If you have any interest in conducting business in China you can contact me, Steven Pinkert, at my law firm, Pinkert and Marsh, PA, in Miami, Florida. The phone number is 305-788-3900 and the website is: www.pinkertlaw.com. Also, if you want to learn more about the internationa business consulting that I conduct in China read about it here:http://pinkertconsulting.com/?page_id=2.