Beijing is the worlds busiest airport. Lots of variety and no hassles when taking pictures here.
A great report on spotting here
and a collection of photos here
I stayed at the Sino Swiss Hotel.This is a nice hotel and has soft beds
something of a novelty in China.The hotel is very clean and has bars and
restaurants of a good standard.
The spotting from this hotel is not that
good.The Aircraft landing on 36L can be read off from the roof and any high
number room that faces West.but you would need an S.B.S. for Aircraft landing on
36R and 1R/L.
The best place is the Mound.Leave Terminal 3 and turn right,at
the end of the Terminal there is a VIP Car Park turn right and walk along the
Cobbled path.This path will take you to the Mound it wanders around a lake and
you can see the Mound but do not try and walk across the grass to it as part of
it is very marshy,I dont know if this was just due to the weather or if it is
like this all the time.
The views are great as long as the
Aircraft are landing on 36L/R and 1R/L and with a pair of 12×50 bins nothing is
missed landing on all 3 Rwys.The Mound has benches and tables.The Mound is
underneath 36R and is great for photos.36R is mostly used for takeoffs Aircraft
taxi from both Terminals and turn in front of you before lining up for take
off.The only drawback is if they are landing in the other direction which they
only did for about 2 hours on one day then they are almost too high in the sky
when passing the Mound.
Terminal 3 has a food court facing 36R and we
spotted from here with no problems whatsoever from any security staff.What you
need to do is have about 30 mins in the food court and then walk to the other
side of the Terminal and have 30 mins facing 1R/L large windows but no seats.The
only Aircraft you will miss is what lands on 36L.
These are used by China Southern,China Eastern,Hainan
Airlines,Xiamen Airlines,and Grand China Airlines almost all other Airlines use
There is a free shuttle bus from Terminal 3 to 1&2 and it is
worth going over for a look.As the bus arrives at 1/2 look to you right there is
a Ramp for Exec Aircraft and a Taxiway to the back of T1/2. Get off the bus at
the first stop and walk back and read off whats on the Ramp. Then go inside
Terminal 2 and go to the depature level walk right to the far end following
signs for T1 and you come to a walkway with windows on your right side which
overlook some gates and a lot of the traffic using 18R/36L will pass you it is
worth an hour if you are not using the mound.
Bejing is a great Airport I
had 6 full days there 3 years ago but I still made 230 frames this time and I do
not use S.B.S.as I have to read off the Aircraft myself and be able to see at
least 50% of the Aircraft.