If you are roaming, This is a good news for you. You will be able to use Google Map since the internet access is from your home country. However, if you are accessing internet from China, either using WiFi or China SIM Card, you will need be connected to VPN to use Google Map.
Assuming that you are using ‘China Internet’, Baidu Map is one of the way to get around. Using Baidu maps is surprisingly easy once you get used to it. In this example, I am going to show you how to use Baidu Map from The Forbidden City (故宫/gùgōng) exit, Gate of Divine Prowess (神武门/shénwǔ mén) to Niujie Mosque (牛街礼拜寺/niú jiē lǐbàisì) which is located at Niujie Street (牛街/Niú jiē). Checkout this post for attractions in Niu Jie.
Look for the name of your destination in Chinese characters. You may Google it or copy the Chinese character from Google Map (This can only be done when in VPN or accessed from outside of China).
For non-Chinese speakers, we recommend that you keep a list of places that you will be travelling to and your accommodation in Chinese characters. Click here (coming soon) for list of major attraction in Beijing and its Chinese characters. Therefore, you don’t need to know how to type in Chinese characters. You can simply just copy and paste it in the app.
Enter the place name in Chinese Character into Baidu Map:
- Origin: 神武门
- Destination: 牛街礼拜寺
The following is the search result:
Based on the result there are 5 options:
- Bus 109 (Recommended Option)
- Bus 103/101 → Subway Line 4 Daxing Line → Bus 48/13
- Bus 5
- Bus 103/101 → Subway Line 4 Daxing Line → Bus 48
- Subway Line 6 → Subway Line 4 Daxing Line
In this case, we choose the first option due to lower fare, shorter distance, duration and shorter walking distance.
Click on the Option 1 to view the detail of the journey. This will show you on the walking direction and bus journey.
- Walk for 280m
- Board the bus 109 at Forbidden City Station (故宫站 /gùgōng zhàn)
- Walk for 500m to reach Niujie Mosque Niujie Mosque (牛街礼拜寺/niú jiē lǐbàisì)
In order to view the walking direction, click at the walk icon ( 步行 280米) to view the direction from the Gate of Divine Prowess to the Forbidden City Station (故宫站 /gùgōng zhàn).
It doesn’t matter if you can’t read the Chinese characters, just follow the direction on the map and board bus 109 at the Forbidden City Station. In this case, you will need to cross the road.
When boarding the bus, swipe the travel card.
Then on the Baidu map, click at 12站 (12 stops) to view the list of stops in the route.
If you are roaming or using the free WiFi in the bus, you will be able to see your location being updated as the bus move. Alternately, there will be an electronic signboard at the front of the bus and announcement made at each stops. Buses in the city area usually have an English announcement.
If none of that is available, you will need to check the route map & stops list which is available inside the bus and compare the Chinese characters. Last but not least, you may also ask the driver or other passengers to tell you when to get off. Show them your the map on your screen and point at the stop.
Once you safely exit the bus at Niujie Intersection West Station (牛街路口西/niú jiē lùkǒu xī), click the Walk icon to view the details. Then just follow the direction shown in the map to reach Niujie Mosque Niujie Mosque (牛街礼拜寺/niú jiē lǐbàisì).
How to Go Back
You may repeat the same steps to go back. Input the Chinese character of destination or your accommodation name in the destination.
The nearest subway station Line 7: Guang’anmen Inner (广安门内 /Guǎng’ān mén nèi) which is nearby the bus stop which you exit earlier, around 1km walk from the mosque.
Sign up to Baidu to save the route. However this is not possible for foreigners as ID is required for signing up.
If you do not have internet connection during your travel, do the search at hotel or at your home country. Then screen shot the journey.
We use Amap app during our trip to Beijing. It is similar to Baidu and it also has the feature to save the journey for future reference.
|神武门||Shénwǔ mén||Gate of Divine Prowess||Origin Location|
|牛街礼拜寺||Niú jiē lǐbàisì||Niujie Mosque||Destination|
|出发时间||Chūfā shíjiān||Departure Time||Select the departure time|
|交通工具:全部||Jiāotōng gōngjù: Quánbù||Transportation: All||Types of transportation|
|推荐路线||Tuījiàn lùxiàn||Recommended Route||Click on this tab to sort the list of options best on recommended route|
|时间短||Shíjiān duǎn||Shortest Time||Click on this tab to sort the list based on the shortest journey|
|少换乘||Shǎo huàn chéng||Fewer Transfers||Click on this tab to sort the list based on number of transfer in ascending order|
|少步行||Shǎo bùxíng||Lesser Walk||Click on this tab to sort the list based on walking distance is ascending order|
|票价¥2||Piào jià ¥2||Tickets ¥ 2|
|最佳||zuì jiā||Best /Recommended Route|
|109路||109 lù||Route 109||Bus number 109|
|41分钟||41 Fēnzhōng||41 minutes||Travel duration,|
分钟 – minute
|7.3公里||7.3 Gōnglǐ||7.3km||Travel distance,|
公里 – km
|步行780米||Bùxíng 780 mǐ||Walk 780 meters||步行 – Walk,|
米 – metre
|109路||109 lù||Route 109||Bus number 109|
|故宫站 上车||Gùgōng zhàn shàng chē||Board at the Forbidden City Station||故宫站 – Forbidden City Station,|
上车 – board the bus
|12站||12 Zhàn||12 stops|
|牛街路口西站 下车||Niú jiē lùkǒu xī zhàn xià chē||Get off at Niujie Intersection West Station||站 – stops,|
下车 – Exit the bus