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How long does it take to get back to Beijing?

Beijing Travel Blog

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the airplane to Beijing being loaded, I could see my luggage on the luggage cart!
The flight from Urumqi to Beijing should take 3 hours 45 minutes, but after I got to the airport at Urumqi, and finding the Air China check-in counter (which was not easy to find because they  had just one small sign, along with all the other Chinese airlines), I was told the the 9:40am flight was delayed til 1pm, and we should get our meal and hotel vouchers and board the bus to the hotel to rest!

So back on the bus and to a hotel near the airport. The hotel is actually not too bad, probably almost a 3 star one. So I watched some TV about the 5-12 earthquake in China, many schools had collapsed and school children were buried under the rubbles, but some were seen pulled out alive on TV.
in Shijiazhuang, waiting in the airplane, not near any gate.
We were in Turpan on that day, and didn't feel any quake. It had rained since in some of the quake affected areas and some of the roads were not passable, soldiers and rescue workers had to hike on foot into the remote villages. Not a good scene.

About 11:40am, the bus took us back to the airport, and we checked in. The airplane was set to depart about 1:30pm. It eventually departed just before 2pm. I had some random Chinese man sitting next to me, who after ordering one beer, wanted me to order another one for him! I said no, and that he could order it himself. He was able to get a second beer with the meal. Before 5pm, the stewardess announced that we were going to land in Beijing soon, and gave us the usual about sit belts, seat backs, tray tables etc.
a glimpse of the Shijiazhuang airport terminal
But then after 5:30pm, she came back on the air and said we had been diverted due to thunder storms in Beijing to Shijiazhuang airport and would land about 18:15pm.

A sort of a roar/sighs erupted in the cabin, and people mumbled and talked. I asked the woman next to me how far Shijiazhuang was from Beijing and she said 175km but it's not right. We landed, and the airplane was refueled. We were told to stay on the airplane because we would be departing soon. This time it was our luck that we only waited til 7pm before the plane took off again for Beijing, The announcement said it was 400km to Beijing and it would take 45 minutes. We did eventually land in Beijing about 50 minutes lates, and had to taxi 15 minutes to the far corner of the airport. Then we were bussed to the terminal 3 (about 10 minutes). Luggage was late in showing up, So at about 8:45pm, I was able to leave the airport with my luggage!

From when I left the hotel in Urumqi to getting out of the airport in Beijing, it took almost 13 hours! It was another long day. My brother met me for a late dinner, and I finished the day with some blogging, but I forgot to say that I arrived in Beijing safely.
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the airplane to Beijing being load…
the airplane to Beijing being loa…
in Shijiazhuang, waiting in the ai…
in Shijiazhuang, waiting in the a…
a glimpse of the Shijiazhuang airp…
a glimpse of the Shijiazhuang air…
two men playing Chinese chess outs…
two men playing Chinese chess out…
Beijing
photo by: Deats