Archive for the ‘Beijing Top 10’ Category

Top 10 Free Things to Do in Beijing

Sunday, February 4th, 2018
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Plan your Beijing tour on a budget? Visitors may be a little bit worried that Beijing is an expensive city, but you must know that there are loads of free things to do in Beijing. If you want to know more about these ideas, please check below my version of the top 10 free things to do in Beijing:

1. Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square is located in the center of Beijing, 880 from north to south, 500 meters from east to west, covering an area of 44,0000 square meters. It can accommodate one million people for a grand assembly. Now it is the world’s largest city square of this kind.

October 1, 1949, Chairman Mao Zedong in Tiananmen Square proclaimed the founding of the PRC, and personally hoisted the first flag. From then on, Tiananmen Square has become a symbol of new China. It it is the solemn image of an important part of our national emblem.

Check out the link for information: How to Visit Tiananmen Square.

Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Tower

After the founding of new China, Tiananmen Square has been expanded with the People’s Heroes Monument built on the central square, then on the west side of the square were built the Great Hall, on the east China National Museum  and on the south Chairman Memorial Hall.

2. Chairman Memorial Hall
Chairman Mao Memorial Hall is to the south of the People’s Heroes Monument in Tiananmen Square. Its construction began in 1976 and was completed in May 1977. It is 280 meters from north to south, 220 meters from east to west, over 57,000 square meters, total construction area of 28,000 square meters.

The main building is square in shape with exterior 44 Ming Fujian yellow granite columns, and between columns with floral ceramic plate made from Shi Wan, covered with Qingdao quintana granite veneer.

The roof has two layers of glass, with sunflower relief inlaid in between. Its base has two platforms made from red granite bricks, surrounded by evergreen ornamental railings from Fangshan marble.

Its North and South have two white marble steps down the middle zone, carved with sunflower, evergreen, bloom, pine pattern. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 8:00-12:00 am

 

Chairman Memorial Hall

3. Qianmen Street
Qianmen Street in Beijing is a showcase of Beijing’s condensed culture and custom. It has also witnessed the old Beijing’s profound change in various historical periods. Qianmen Street each year attracts a large numbers of tourists from home and abroad, and plays an important role in sino- foreign economic and cultural exchanges.

Qianmen is also one of the places which have a fairly complete protection of the relics. Since the Ming and Qing Dynasties, experts say, Qianmen Street has become a unique street of architectural culture, merchants culture, folk culture, opera and cultural characteristics of the most developed and prosperous neighborhood.

It is a lively folk customs Museum of Ancient and Modern in Beijing. Qianmen Street is a broad and deep cultural area,  it has become the most live cultural memory for Beijingers.Qianmen Street is located to the south of Tiananmen Square.

Check out the link for information: Qianmen Street

 

Qianmen Street

Qianmen Street

4. Wangfujing Street
Wangfujing is nicknamed “China’s first Street”.  Wangfujing Street is just more than 1,000 meters starting from the northern Xisi Street to the southern Chang’an Street, but it is the famous “First Street of China”, also a must see visit place for tourists coming to  Beijing.

In 1999, one part of Wangfujing Street ( from Goldfish Lane to Satiao of Dongdan) was rebuilt into a pedestrian street, and also has established sister street with the famous Champs Elysees in Paris France. Now In summer time, there are open-air cafes, beer festivals.  The pedestrian is a kind of simulation of Europe with much imagination.

Check out the link for more information: Wangfujing Street 

Wangfujing Street

 

Like the Bund in Shanghai exhibiting Shanghai,  Wangfujing Street bring together all kinds of department stores, showing the consumption of different times in Beijing.

Whether it is spiritual food or appetite food, Wangfujing has everything.

5. Shichahai ( Houhai – Back Lake )
Shichahai refers to the Shichahai Lake Area which is composed of three lakes – Qianhai, Houhai and Xihai.

To be different from the Beihai, Zhonghai and Nanhai, Shichahai is also called housanhai.”hai” means “lake”, “Hou” back, “qian” front, “Xi” west, “bei” north, “zhong” middle, and “nan” south”. Shichahai is often referred as ”Houhai”, or “Back Lake” by foreign visitors who kill time in its bar area in the evening.

Check out the link for more information:  The Night View of Shichahai

Shichashai

Actually Houhai (back lake) is just part of Shichahai. Shichahai is composed of three lakes – Qianhai (front lake), Houhai (back lake) and Xihai (west lake). Sometime local people also use “Houhai” to refer to Shichahai.

Shichhai literally means “Ten Temple Lake”, indicating there used to be ten temples around Shichahai. Today some of the temples are still there, including Guangji Temple, Huitong Temple, Huoshen Temple, Guangfu Guan ( a taoist temple )…

If you are fed up with the gentrification in Beijing; if you lose interest in modern Beijing; if you feel sad about the fact that Beijing is becoming less like Beijing;if you want to see a traditional Beijing; if you try to find a quiet place in the busy Beijing, come to Shichahai!

6. Sanlitun Bar Street
Sanlitun Bar Street is one of the most “prosperous” entertainment street in Beijing nightlife. Foreigners living in Beijing as well as local big shots often frequent the bar street.Every glowing night, the street is teemed with people bustling, bright colors against the background of city noise and luxury.

Sanlitun Bar Street has been always given a “smoke and mirrors” feeling. Nobody can see the true face of it, and nobody can give the street a clear commercial position.

The Bar Street is south of the embassy district. Because of the great reputation of this street, and some foreign embassies will change the house number from the Sanlitun Road to “Sanlihe Bar Street”. The Bar Street is open every afternoon from to 2am everyday.

 

 

Sanlitun Bar Street

Sanlitun Bar Street

7. Hutong (narrow lane)
Tourists in Beijing often ask a question “where are Beijing’s hutongs? Beijing’s Hutongs originated in the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) with more than 6,000 at the peak time. The word “hutong” is Mongolian in origin, meaning a “water well”.

In the old-time with the digging of new wells, came the new communities. Later it was referred to as narrow streets or lanes formed by quadrangles.

What’s the number of Beijing’s hutongs”?  According to historical records,  there were several thousand hutongs in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), of which more than 900 in the inner city, 300 in the outer city.

The Qing Dynasty 91644-1911) reached 1800 hutongs while the Republic of China ( 1912-1949) more than 1,900. Statistics shows that when the New China was founded, there were over 2,550 hutongs.

Check out the link for more information:  Hutong tour.

 

Walking along hutongs

Later due to the hutong name change as well as the economic and urban development, there has been much demolition and renovation of the existing hutongs, now Beijing has more than 4,000 hutongs.

8. 798 Space, 798 Art Zone
798 Art Space , or 798 Art Zone, or Factory 798, is the Beijing “Greenwich Village” or “SoHo”, a part of Dashanzi in the Chaoyang District of Beijing that house a rich artist community. It is nestled in a 50-year old out of service military factory complex with a functional Bauhaus-influenced design.

While many people all day thinking about how to live in a house with a viewing balcony, another group of people whose arrange their own home in the city’s wasted plant in the suburbs.

Check out the link for more information:  798 Art Zone.

 

798 Space, 798 Art Zone

These are special people who work for the arts, so they have more reasons than the average person to show their personality. In terms of timing, they are free people, they do not work nine to five stuck in an office.

What they need is the space. Now they own the space in groups.The “798 Factory” is now the most famous art community of Beijing. Quite different from Real estate companies using the same “SOHO” concept,  the 798 factory is the real “SOHO district.

9. Silk Market
The only world-renowned market, clearly marked on the world’s top tourist map;  in the eyes of foreign tourists, on a par with the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Beijing roast duck – she is the Silk Street!

20 years ago, a group of young people hoping for the future, set up shabby open-air stores from a simple pavement by the use of this prime location adjacent to the embassy district. They mainly sold silk clothing.

The old market has been demolished. The new market is now open to the public. The new building has an area of 30,000 square meters, known as the New Silk Alley Market. There are 1,600 booths in the new building.

Address:North of Dong Chang An Avenue, Jianguimenwai Street, Chaoyang DistrictBus:Bus No.1,9,28,37,43,120,126,403,639,640,668,728,and 729, take arrival at Yonganli Station

Check out the link for more information:  Silk Market

 

 Silk Market

Silk Market

10. Panjiayuan Market
Panjiayuan Flea Market, or Panjiayuan Market, or Panjiayuan Antique Market, or whatever names you use, is a must for those who like something really Chinese.Beijing Panjiayuan Flea Market is located in the southeast corner of Third Ring Road Beijing.It is the largest flea market opening from Monday to Friday for fixed shops and open Districts No.01 and 02. On Saturday and Sunday all the shops.

Check out the link for more information:  Panjiayuan Market

798 Space, 798 Art Zone

Panjiayuan Flea Market has an area of 48,500 square meters. Market is divided into the stall area, ancient room area, classical furniture, area, modern collection area, stone carving area, food service areas of six business areas.

Mainly focusing on old items, crafts, collectibles, decorations. It has the annual turnover of several million dollars. Market has more than 4,000 operating business units with  business people nearly ten thousand people, including sixty percent of the operators from outside Beijing from Twenty-eight provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, involving Han, Hui, Manchu, Miao, Dong…

Tip:  Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Beijing:

Beijing Highlight Day Tour from US$59 P/P

(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Mutianyu Great Wall)
Beijing Classic City Tour from US$65 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace)
Beijing Excursion Tour from US$59 P/P
(Mutianyu Great Wall + Ming Tomb)
Beijing Hutong Highlight Tour from US$59 P/P 
( Hutong + Rickshaw)

Mutianyu Great Wall Half Day Tour from US$55 p/p
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from US$69 p/p

Mutianyu Great Wall Layover Tour from US$65 p/p
Beijing Highlight Layover Tour from US$75 p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.

Night View of Beihai Park

Sunday, November 9th, 2014
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Visiting Beijing for the first time? Spare some time for the sightseeing in Beijing at night.  You have multiple places to choose from for your Beijing night tour – maybe  a pleasant stroll in an elegant, romantic, tranquil site.  The time-honored former imperial winter palace – Beihai Park is a nice place to stretch your legs and rekindle a romance with traditional beauty of Chinese landscape.

Beihai Park is just located to the northeast of Forbidden City.  Beihai Park was once the imperial winter palace opposite to Summer Palace.  The former imperial park is mainly composed of five parts – Qiongdao ( Jade Isle ), East Shore and North Shore, Circular City and Arboretum. It has 4 main gates – the south gate, west gate, east gate and north gate ( or back gate).

For more information on Beijhai Park, and  check out the link – How to visit Beihai Park  and Photos of Beihai Park at Dusk .

Well, follow me to have a virtual tour of Beihai Park at night.

This is the ticketing office by the south gate to Beihai Park. The entrance fee: RMB 5

Beihai Park's South Gate Ticketing Office

Beihai Park’s South Gate Ticketing Office

The South Gate is connected to the Circular City which also serves as the southern wall of the park.

The South Gate is connected to the Circular City

The South Gate is connected to the Circular City

The circular City which is also the southern wall of the park

The circular City

The circular City

The pagoda atop the hill on the Jade Island is one of the landmarks in Beijing

The pagoda atop the hill on the Jade Island

The pagoda atop the hill on the Jade Island

Zoom in the White Pagoda

Zoom in the White Pagoda

Zoom in the White Pagoda

The lit Yong’an Bridge with waving willow trees.

The lit Yong'an Bridge

The lit Yong’an Bridge

The teahouse by the lake bank is a quite and mesmerizing place.

The teahouse by the lake bank is a quite and mesmerizing place.

The teahouse by the lake bank is a quite and mesmerizing place.

Chinese typical arch bridge and pavilion

Chinese typical arch bridge and pavilion

Chinese typical arch bridge and pavilion

Bridge under dancing willow trees

Bridge under dancing willow trees

Bridge under dancing willow trees

Beihai Imperial Food Restaurant

Beihai Imperial Food Restaurant

Beihai Imperial Food Restaurant

The Circular City seen from inside the park.

The Yongan Brideg leaging to Circular City

The Yongan Brideg leaging to Circular City

The circular city

The circular city and his people

The circular city and his people

Any questions, just drop us a line.

Top 10 Mosques in Beijing

Friday, June 7th, 2013
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Plan your Beijing Muslim tour? The history of the mosques in Beijing dates back to the year 996 when two Arabic elders started the construction of Niu Jie Mosque ( Ox Street Mosque ), the first mosque in Beijing.

The Yuan Dynasty (1279 – 1368 ) saw the fast development of Islamism after the influx into China of a great number of Muslims. The famous Dongsi Mosque was established in Yuan Dynasty. Islamism developed greatly in Ming and Qing dynasties, adding to over 30 mosques in Beijing.

Today there are estimated to be over 200,000 Muslims and 72 mosques in Beijing. We list the best and most popular mosques in Beijing in no particular order. The list is based on their history, facilities, scape and popularity. Leave your comments and share with others.

1. Niujie Mosque 牛街清真寺
The Niujie Mosque is the oldest mosque in Beijing. It was originally built in 996 during the Liao Dynasty and was reconstructed and renovated in successive dynasties. The mosque has had three big renovations since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

Niu Jie Mosque is located in the largest muslim community in Beijing. The Niujie Mosque takes an area of approximately 10,000 square meters. Its architecture is a blend of Islamic and Han Chinese cultural and architectural influences.

Add: No.88 Niujie St, Xicheng District, Beijing
Tel: 0086 10 6353 2564

Niujie Mosque

Niujie Mosque

2. Dongsi Mosque 东四清真寺
The Dongsi mosque is one of the oldest mosque in Beijing. It was originally built in 1356 during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). It is located at No.13, the Dongsi South Street, Dongcheng District.

The present mosque is mainly composed of two gates, a minaret, a worship hall and a library. The worship hall can house 500 people praying and there is a separate area in the main hall for women.

It has been restored and renovated many times. The library houses valuable manuscripts of the Quran, the Hadith. The mosque is the headquarters of the Islamic Association of Beijing.
Add: No.13, Dongsi South Street, Dongcheng, Beijing
Tel: 0086 10 65257824

 

Dongsi Mosque

Dongsi Mosque

3. Huashi Mosque 花市清真寺
Huashi Mosque was first built in 1415 during the reign of the emperor Yongle in Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644). It is located on the west side of the Huashi Street in Dongcheng District.

It underwent several renovations and expansions.The present Worship Hall is the largest architecture in the mosque. The other buildings in the mosque include the Stele Pavilion, the Jingu Hall, Xunyue Platform, the Sermon Room, and bedrooms.

Add: 30 West Huasi Street, Dongcheng, Beijing
Tel: 67120726

Huashi Mosque

Huashi Mosque

4. Nan Douya Mosque 南豆芽清真寺
Nan Douya Mosque was originally constructed during the Qing Dynasty (1644-19111). This mosque mainly serves the Hui community that lives in the area, but it now receives thousands of foreigners each year.

The Nan Douya Mosque has no entrance fee but it encourages donations from visitors. It is located next to the Chaoyangmen subway station of Subway Line 2.

Add: 15 Nandouya Hutong, Dongcheng, Beijing
Tel: 84068225

Nan Douya Mosque

Nan Douya Mosque

5. Haidian Mosque 北京海淀清真寺
Haidian Mosque was originally built in the late Ming Dynasty and the early Qing Dynasty. It is a three-hall courtyard layout. The prayer hall is in the center of the mosque with the kiln hall at its back and the Baishi platform at its front.

A square corners pavilion is atop the prayer hall telling the Islamic architectural style.The teaching rooms are in the south and north of the yard. The north of the mosque houses a vegetable garden and the west has the Yidi place (a cemetery).

Add: West Zhalan Road, Haidian Town, Haidian District, Beijing Tel: 62558296

6. Dewai Mosque 德外清真寺
Dewai Mosque is also known as Beijing Fayuan Mosque. It is located 200-300m to the northeast of Desheng Gate, hence the name of Dewai Mosque, meaning “outside Desheng Gate Mosque”. It was origailly constructed in late Ming and early Qing dynasties.

In 2003, the local Xicheng District government allocated 8 million yuan and collected 2 million yuan for the renovation of the old mosque. Now the upgraded Dewai Mosque coveres an area of 4,000 square meters, 3 sizes of the original mosque.

The mosque entrance faces the street to the west. The Dewai Mosque is a mix of Chinese architecture and Arabic Islamic architectural style. To the southeast corner of the main 200 square meter prayer hall is the smaller prayer hall for female. Every day many Muslims come here to pray and some non-muslim vistors visit th mosque as well.
Add: No.200 Dewai Street, Xicheng District, Beijing Tel: 62016131

Jinshifang Street Mosque

Jinshifang Street Mosque

7. Jinshifang Street Mosque 锦什坊街清真寺
Jinshifang Street Mosque is named after the street in the west of Beijing where the mosque is located. The mosque is also known as “Pushou Mosque”. It was originally built in the year of the 4th year of Xuande in Ming Dynasty ( 1429 ), one of the four major 4 mosques in Beijing. It was rebuilt and renovated several times in the past.

In 1982, the old mosque was reconstructed with a construction area of 1373 square meter. The main prayer hall covers an area of 200 square meters in the style of Chinese classical palace architecture. The buildings inside the mosque is spectacular with its shape and colorful design in the Ming style.

There are over 2500 muslim households of over 11,000 muslims using the mosque. There are over 150 rolls of Arabic classics and over 100 Persian rolls of classics. The Xicheng Muslim Association is located inside the Mosque.
Add: No.63, Jinshifang Street, Xicheng District, Beijing
Tel: 66036165

Changying Mosque

Changying Mosque

8. Changying Mosque 常营清真寺
Changying Mosque is named after the same name village where the mosque is located. Changying Mosques was originally constructed in the Zhenge period in Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) and was largely reconstructed in the Jiaqing period in Qing Dynasty (1644 -1911). It was the largest mosque in the suburbs of Beijing. Today it is still an important religious site for nearby muslims to pray.

In the years of in 1983, 1993 and 1998, the Changying Mosque was renovated and repaired for several times. Built on an axis from east to west, Changying Mosque faces the east and it is a three-hall courtyard with Chinese characteristics of black bricks and green tiles.

In recent years there newly constructed a separate hall of women, designed for female Muslim to pray.
Add: Changying Minzu Village, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 65484914

9. Madian Mosque 马甸清真寺
Beijing Madian Mosque takes an area of over 3,800 square meters. It has the style of a traditional Chinese courtyard. The main structures include the prayer hall, teaching rooms and the hall for female muslims. Historically, the Madian area has been inhabited by numerous muslims, another big muslim community after Niujie community.

Beside the local muslims, there are many muslims coming from the universities and expats and muslims from all parts of the world, especially from Arabic countries and people from the Southeast countries in Asia。
Add: Madian South Village, Haidian District, Beijing
Tel: 62019208

 

Madian Mosque

Madian Mosque

10. Dongzhimen Mosque 东直门清真寺
Dongzhimen was originally constructed during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). but the present building was reconstructed in the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Now, the mosque is laid out the shape of a traditional quadrangle courtyard of Chinese characteristics.

The mosque includes such buildings as the prayer hall, and other houses and the wing-room and other facilities.
Add: No.6, Waichaci, Dongzhimenwai, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Tel: 64638195

 

Dongzhimen Mosque

Dongzhimen Mosque

Add-on
Top 10 Buddhist Temples in Beijing

 

06611Tip:  Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Beijing:

Beijing Highlight Day Tour from US$59 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Mutianyu Great Wall)
Beijing Classic City Tour from US$65 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace)
Beijing Excursion Tour from US$59 P/P
(Mutianyu Great Wall + Ming Tomb)
Beijing Hutong Highlight Tour from US$59 P/P
( Hutong + Rickshaw)

Mutianyu Great Wall Half Day Tour from US$55 p/p
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from US$69 p/p

Mutianyu Great Wall Layover Tour from US$65 p/p
Beijing Highlight Layover Tour from US$75 p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.