We flew from Yangon in Myanmar to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia with a 36 hour stopover in Beijing as both flights were in the middle of the night. Three times in the past three years, we have flown over this part of Asia at night.
Some say long night journeys can save on hotel. Not in my case, see our itinerary below. I booked two nights in Beijing at the Aulympic Airport Hotel so we could check in at 8 am instead of 2 pm. I’m getting too old to spend 14 hours trying to rest in an airport. Things we learned (each one was an adventure):
- Chinese is useful to talk to front desk. Google translate is the next best thing. Download simplified Chinese to allow offline use.
- Hotel email is usually not divulged from hotel or booking websites. We used fax to alert hotel on our unusual schedule.
- Google translate worked pretty good at converting English to Chinese characters for the fax. Tip: Use simple Subject-Verb-Object sentences with common words. Limit adjectives and prepositional phrases.
- After a little discussion and explanation the staff was very kind and allowed a three hour late checkout for our flight on to Ulaanbaatar.
- The Chinese Visa free stay for up to 144 hours in Beijing takes about two hours in line, two sets of fingerprints taken, and a good helping of confusion.
Below you can see the map of our journey and the horizon as we neared Beijing. I did not even find a single cat to photograph in China.
Depart: Wed, 13 June 23:50
RGN Rangoon, Yangon International Airport
Flight: CA906 Operated By: Air China Flight Time: 4h30m
Arrive: Thu, 14 July 05:50
PEK Beijing, Capital International Airport
Depart: Fri, 15 June 21:10
PEK Beijing Capital International
Flight: OM 224 Miat Mongolian Airlines Flight Time: 1h30m
Arrive: Fri, 14 July 23:40
ULN Ulaanbaatar Chinggis Khaan International