Archive for the ‘Beijing Tour Reviews’ Category

Top 10 Beijing Shopping Malls

Thursday, June 2nd, 2022
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Plan your Beijing tour? Beijing has over 100 large and medium-sized shopping centers or malls. Are you trying to visit one or two of the local malls to feel the vibe and mix with the locals? For your convenience, We’d like to round up our subjective list of the top 10 shopping malls in Beijing, and you may choose the one or two close to where you stay for a shopping trip.

If you are not interested in shopping at high-end Beijing shopping malls, where everything seems to be overpriced at fixed prices, you may explore another page of the top 10 markets in Beijing.

Note: We have offered subway information on how on how to get to the following shopping malls. You may use the Beijing subway map to guide you to get to these malls. Happy Shopping in Beijing!

Top 1: Beijing apm (Xindong’an Plaza) 北京新东安广场

“Beijing apm”means “from am (morning) to pm (evening)”, implying that Beijing apm will appropriately extend the business hours, especially the evening business hours to attract more Beijing young consumer groups aged 19 to 35 years old and targeting the youth fashion.

Beijing amp ( Photo Credit: www.beijingapm.cn)

Beijing apm gathers more than 100 international famous Chinese and Western brands in the fields of international cosmetics, fashion trend, cutting-edge sports, digital technology and online Influential catering.

Beijing apm is committed to creating a new landmark of one-stop shopping, entertainment, and leisure life incorporated into in Wangfujing area, attracting more young fashion groups, and opening a brand new lifestyle in Beijing.

Add: 138 Wangfujing Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00
Tel: 010-58176995
Web: www.beijingapm.cn
Subway: Taking Subway Line 1 and get off at Wangfujing Station, exit from Exit B1

Top 2: TaiKoo Li Sanlitun 三里屯太古里

It is dubbed as the capital’s hottest fashion destination and the coolest place to hang out.

Taikoo Li Sanlitun is the first comprehensive commercial project of Swire Properties in Mainland China. It is an open shopping district consisting of 19 low-density contemporary buildings. The project is divided into two areas: the south and the north, which are integrated with the surrounding buildings. It also maintains relative independence.

TaiKoo Li Sanlitun (Photo Credit: english.visitbeijing.com.cn)

Sanlitun Taikoo Li itself represents a cultural gathering, so it’s all about people: creating art and leading fashion as well as enjoying food, shopping and fun. It houses the popular fashion brands such as Uniqlo, Steve Madden, Esprit, Mango, the Apple Store and Adidas’flagship store and the list is much much longer, also including numerous restaurants and a multi-plex cinema.

Add: Courtyard 19, Sanlitun Road, Sanlitun
Tel: 10-6417 6110 / 010-6417 7110
Web: www.taikoolisanlitun.com/en/
Opening Hours: 10am-10pm

Subway: take subway line 10 and get off at at the station of Tuanjiehu (团结湖), and exit from Exit A, 500 meters to the west; take Line 6 to Dongdaqiao Station (东大桥), exit B, 700 meters to the north.;take Line 2 to Dongsishitiao (东四十条)Station, exit from Exit C.

Top 3:The Malls at Oriental Plaza 东方新天地

The Malls occupies a total area of 130,000 sq. m. and is an integral part of Oriental Plaza – one of the largest commercial complexes in Asia. Situated in the heart of Beijing, the complex is located between Gold Street (Wangfujing Street) and Silver Street (North Dongdan Street).

The Malls at Oriental Plaza

The Malls is a popular shopping destination for both local residents and visitors alike.
Add: No.1 East Chang An Avenue, strategically located along Wangfujing Street, Beijing
Tel: 85188888-2272
Web: www.orientalplaza.com/eng/
Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00

Subway: take subway line 1 and get off at the station of Wangfujing (王府井), exit from the Exit A

Top 4: Solana – Beijing Lifestyle Shopping Mall 蓝色港湾

Solana Lifestyle Shopping Park is like a small town coming from the European by air. It is a perfect blend between commercial civilization and the natural landscape and is full of innovation and surprises.

As a water shortage city of Beijing, SOLANA has a superior hydrophilic environment on its three sides, the south and east are teeming with the water from Chaoyang Park, and the north from Landmark Lake.

If not in person, you are hard to believe that there is such a beautiful environment in the city center! Solana houses more than 1,000 international brands, with dozens of retail shops, restaurants as well as a lively bar and clubs.

Solana – Beijing Lifestyle Shopping Mall

Add: 6 Chaoyang Park Road
Tel: 010 5905-6565
Opening Hours:
Mon-Thu 11am-9:30pm, Fri-Sun 11am-10pm
Web: www.solana.com.cn

Subway: Take subway line 10 and get off at the station of Liangmahe (亮马河), exit from Exit B, then have a long walk to the east along Liangma Qiao Road (亮马桥路), till the second traffic light, then turn south, down to the northwest corner of Chaoyang Park where Solana is located.

Top 5: Parkview Green 芳草地商业

Parkview Green is located on the west side of Dongdaqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, close to the core of Beijing CBD. Parkview Green is an innovative building with a total area of 200,000 square meters, integrating top office buildings, fashion shopping, art and boutique hotel.

With the strong international atmosphere and the advantage of the commercial location, Parkview Green is committed to building a diversified commercial and cultural leisure complex in Beijing.

Parkview Green ( Photo Credit: www.parkviewgreen.com)

Parkview Green’s leading environmental design, concept of sustainable development and rich artistic atmosphere constitute the unique characteristics of Parkview Green, bringing new and unique experience to every visitor.

Add: 9 Dongdaqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Business Hours: 10:00-22:00 Monday to Sunday
Web: www.parkviewgreen.com/cn/
Subway:
Line 1: Get off at Yonganli Station, Exit A
Line 6: Get off Dongqiao Station, Exit A

Top 6: China World Mall 国贸商城

China World Mall provides consumers with a number of international luxury brand flagship stores and new concept products leading the trend.

China World Mall and CBD ( Photo Credit: cwtc.cn )

China World Mall is active with the skating rink full of dynamic. The bookstore and the cinema bring you the spiritual pleasure. Chinese and Western retautrants cater to the needs of various tastes. Fashion clothing, home furnishing, entertainment and leisure, catering services are all available, creating a one-stop high-end consumption palace.

Add: No 1, Jianguomenwai Street, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010-65357586
Web: www.chinaworldmall.com.cn
Subway: take subway line 1 and get off at Dabeiyao and exit fron Exit B

Top 7: The Place 世贸天阶

The Place is mainly composed of the huge screen in the middle and two luxury buildings on its both sides. People walk around under the screen enjoying the space art, high technique, lighting. The Place is alao a place for luxury shopping and gourmet experience.

There are several open-air bars for you to relax. The Place is a blend of shopping mall, office building, Space Art and Fashion. The Place is designed by Jeremy Railton. He is also the designer for the world largest electric screen in Las Vegas. Two four-story malls house Tourneau, China’s largest watch boutique, D&G, Ferrari and English-language bookstore Chaterhouse.

The Place at night

Add: 9 Guanghua Lu, Beijing
Tel: 010 6587-1188

Subway: Take subway line 1 and get off at the station of Yonganli (永安里), exit from the exit B, then walk to the north along Dongdaqiao Road (东大桥路). After the first crossroad, you will see the Place on your right hand. 

Top 8: Joy City 大悦城 ( Xidan & Chaoyang)

Xidan Joy City 西单大悦城
It is the biggest shopping mall in Xidan. Xidan Joy City has 13-story complex equipped with the world’s longest escalator. It also has the largest digital cinema in China and the largest cosmetic shop in Beijing. Find Zara here as well as FAB, Uniqlo, Next, Motivi and Honeys.

Add: 131 Xidan Beidajie, Xicheng District, Beijing
Subway: take subway Line 1, get off at the station of Xidan (西单), exit from the exit F1

Chaoyang Joy City ( Photo Credit: kuaibao.qq.com)

Chaoyang Joy City 朝阳大悦城
Chaoyang Joy City is an urban complex building has a large shopping center of 230,000 square meters. The shopping center has 11 floors on the ground and 3 floors underground. It integrates six major themes including shopping, catering, entertainment, culture, fitness and leisure.

Add:101 North Chaoyang Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010-85579871
Subway: take subway line 6 and get off at Qingnian Road Station

Top 9: Beijing SKP ( 北京SKP)

If you are a high-roller with over numerous international brands. They also boast the largest Gucci flagship store in Asia. There are also some good restaurants in the mall.

You will see the higher-end as well as a number of mid-range labels that carry the basics, seeing the season’s latest first hand (Marni, Anna Sui…). There is a good florist in the basement near the bread shops.

Beijing SKP (Photo Credit: kuaibao.qq.com)

Add: No.97, Jianguo Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100025
Tel: +86 10 6530 5888
Web: http://www.skp-beijing.com/
Opening Hours:
Mon – Sun: 10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
Subway: Take subway Line 1, get off at the station of Dawanglu (大望路), exit from Exit A; take Line 14 and get off at Dawang Road Station Exit F.

Top 10 : Jinyuan Shidai Shopping Center 金源时代购物中心

The mall has a nickname of “Great Mall of China”, mainly due to its total area of 6 million square feet with six floors, 1.5 times the size of the Mall of America, the largest shopping mall in Beijing and Asia as well.

Jinyuan Shidai Shopping Center (Photo from internet)

The center has 230 escalators, over 1,000 shops, restaurant space the size of two football fields, and a skating rink…. This mall is designed to create a stable, happy, middle-income consumer class.

Add: 1 Yuanda Road, Haidian District, Beijing
Tel: 010-88875888
Opening hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Subway: take subway line 10, get off at the station of Changchun Qiao (长春桥) ,exit from Exit Northwest, then walk to the west along Changchun Qiao Road (长春桥路)and Yuanda Road (远大路), you will see the mall on your right hand.

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 Beijing guided tours:

Car Rental in Beijing
Beijing Day Tour
Beijing Tour Packages
Beijing Winter Tour
Great Wall Tour
Beijing Tours
China City Tours
China Tour

Further Readings


Best Time to Visit Beijing
How to plan a trip to Beijing

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.

Tips for Visiting the Temple of Heaven

Thursday, May 26th, 2022
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Dear Travellers,

We’d like to have the following quick guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors visiting the Temple of Heaven ( Tiantan 天坛) in Beijing.

If you have any questions or anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!

Temple of Heaven Map www.willgoto.com

Plan your Beijing tour? Temple of Heaven is a big draw in Beijing. The name of the Temple of Heaven is a little misleading. It is more than just a temple, it is a huge park as well.

Inside the huge park, there is a lovely temple complex, which is composed of three main parts – Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests Imperial Vault of Heaven and Circular Mound Altar sitting along an axis from south to north.

The Temple of Heaven is called ‘Tiantan Park’ ( 天坛公园) in Chinese, literally meaning ‘Temple of Heaven Park”. It was first constructed in 1420, the 18th year of the reign of Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) emperor Yongle. It was the place where the emperors of the Ming Dynasty and and later Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1912) would worship the god of heaven and pray for good harvest.

Tip 1: Get up early to feel the local vibes in the park

Though everyday the temple and historical buildings within the park are open to the public basically from 8:00 till 17:00 ( subject to change due to different seasons), the park itself opens a bit earlier at 6:00 and closes at 22:00 ( again subject to change due to the seasons). Many local people have annual passes for easy access to the park.

An old man writing Chinese calligraphy with a big brush dipped in water

Getting there about 7:00 or 7:30am, especially on a Sunday morning, you will see local people, most of them are middle-aged or seniors doing various kinds of light physical activity you can imagine, like singing, dancing, playing instruments, playing chess, practicing kung fu, tai chi… After 9:30 a.m. it will be slammed with group tourists.

Tai Chi


Check out: Morning Stroll in Temple of Heaven for more information.

Tip 2: ABC of the historical buildings in the park

Be prepared for a guidebook or hire a Beijing Tour Guide for your lifetime trip to the temple complex in the park. Three historical buildings are not missed from north to south, namely the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, the Imperial Vault of Heaven and Circular Mound Altar.

The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests:

where the emperors sacrificed animals and burned incense sticks to pray for good weather for the crops.

the Hall of Pray for Harvest above the Wall

The Imperial Vault of Heaven: 

A single gabled circular building, built on a single level of marble stone base. It is located south of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest.

Inside the compound, a circular wall, an echo wall where you can whisper something from one end and the voice will transmit to the other end.

Imperial Vault of Heaven under the sunset glow

Circular Mound Altar

 Used to worship Heaven at the winter solstice where the principal construction is a large round marble terrace named the Circular Mound.

The distant view of the Circular Mound Altar under the sunset glow

Tip 03: Don’t miss the Cypress Grove

Always keep in mind that here is a huge park, a huge garden. Old cypress trees are worth having a close look.

Some of the cypresses are more than 600 years old. Dr Henry Kissinger, when he visited the temple, stated that while the USA could recreate the Temple of Heaven if it desired, it could not create the trees!

the Cypress Grove

Tip 4: Choose the right entrance

Originally the Temple of Heaven had only one main gate, which faced west, but after it was made a public park in 1949, entrances were also opened on the northern, southern and eastern sides.

So now it mainly has four gates – East, South, West and North. Both East Gate and South Gate are highly recommended.

East Gate:

If you want to see the local people engaged in all kinds of morning activities, you are advised to enter the east gate since most of the morning activities are carried out around the east gate area.

The East Gate entrance is also close to the subway line 05. If you enter the east gate, then your walking itinerary would be east gate – long corridor – The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest – The Imperial Vault of Heaven – Circular Mound Altar – South Gate.

After your north – south tour of the temple, you may turn back and go out of the east gate again and head to the Hongqiao Market across the road.

South Gate:

Start your tour by entering the south gate, then walk along the central way to visit Circular Mound Altar – the Imperial Vault of Heaven, the Hall of Prayer for Harvest – Long Corridor – North Gate or East Gate (Hongqiao Market).

Tip 5: How to get to the Temple of Heaven

If you visit the Temple of Heaven through the east gate, you take subway line 5 to Tiantan Dongmen Station (East Gate of Temple of Heaven) and then take exit A, close to the East Gate entrance to Temple of Heaven. For the public buses to the east gate, you may try bus 6, 35, 36, 39, 41, 43…

If you use south gate, you also can take a taxi or take bus 36, 120, 122, 800, 803, 958

Address for Temple of Heaven:
No. 7, Dongli, Tiantan Nei, Dongcheng District, Beijing Zip code: 100061
Telephone: 010-67012483 (daytime)
010-67013036 (night)

Tip 6: Opening time for the buildings and the park itself

Peak season : ( April 01- October 31 each year)
Off season : ( November 01 to March 31 of the following year )

The Park opening time
Peak season opening hours: 6:00-21:00
Off-season opening hours: 6:30-21:00
Park clearance : at 22:00

Opening time for the historical buildings inside the park
(mainly the Imperial Vault of Heaven, the Circular Mound Altar, the Imperial Vault of Heaven)
Peak season opening time: 8:00-17:30
Off-season opening time: 8:00-17:00
also including the North God cook, the North slaughtering house, the Fast House and Divine Music Administration (神乐署中和韶乐)inside the park.

The sights above are closed on Mondays (except public holidays).

Tip 7: Entrance tickets at Temple of Heaven

Basically there are two kinds of entrance tickets – Entrance ticket for the park only and through tickets for entering the park as well the three main historical buildings within the park.

Entrance Ticket:  An entrance ticket charges RMB 15 (April – November) and RMB 10 (December – March). With the ticket, you can get into the park, see local people do morning exercises and have an outside look at the historical buildings in the park as well.

Through Ticket: The ticket charges RMB 34 (April – November) and RMB 28 (December – March). With a through ticket, you can enter the park and go to visit the three areas in the park – Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, The Imperial Vault of Heaven and the Circular Mound Altar.

Notice:
1. The ticket for Divine Music Administration inside the park:10 yuan ( a separate ticket)
2. During the present pandemic period, people are requested to use Wechat App to book the tickets online. If you are not able to use Wechat, the park staff will help you use the app. If still that doesn’t work, you are still allowed to buy your tickets on the spot.

Tip 8: Self-guided audio & in-person tour guides

Self-guided audio service

  1. Location: four gate areas;
  2. Time: 8:00 — 17:00;
  3. Language: Chinese, Cantonese, English, Japanese, Korean, French, German and Spanish;
  4. Rent fee:
    A) For Chinese, the deposit is 100 yuan, which will be returned to the tourist when the machine is replaced. The rent for the machine is 10 yuan.
    B) For other languages: 100 yuan deposit, return to the tourist when returning the machine; The rent for the machine is 40 yuan.

In-person tour guides

  1. Location: South gate of the park;
  2. Time: 8:00 — 17:00;
  3. Language: Chinese and English;
  4. Fees:
    A)100 yuan for five Chinese speakers ( including few than five) ; 200 yuan for more than five people.
    B.) There will be an extra charge of 50 yuan for the English speakers.
  5. Tips: The tour guide should be booked two days in advance; Contact number: 67028866 ( Tour Guide Team)

Tip 9: Dress for the Hot Weather

Though there are many trees in the park, all the trees are lined on the both sides of the north-south axis. So no single tree on your axis trip – Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, the Imperial Vault of Heaven and the Circular Mound.

For summer time, be ready to bring an umbrella for sun protection, bottles of water, and comfy walking shoes. Check Beijing Climate for more information.

Tip 10: Wear Comfortable Shoes

The park is so huge.  You are advised to wear your most comfortable shoes. It’s a long walk!

Tip 11: 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 Beijing guided tours:

Car Rental in Beijing
Beijing Day Tour
Beijing Tour Packages
Great Wall Tour
Beijing Winter Tour
Beijing Tour
China City Tours
China Tour

Chinese version of the travel guide

如何坐地铁去参观天坛

Further Readings


Morning Stroll in Temple of Heaven
Sunset Glow over Temple of Heaven
Zhonghe Shaoyue at Temple of Heaven
Tips for Visiting Tiananmen Square
Tips for visiting Summer Palace
Forbidden City Travel Tips – The Palace Museum Travel Tips

Tips for Visiting the Great Wall of China around Beijing
How to Visit Ming Tombs in Beijing
How to visit Beihai Park Beijing
How to visit Shichahai
How to visit Bird’s Nest and Water Cube
How to visit CCTV Tower in Beijing
How to Visit National Grand Theatre in Beijing
Top 10 Most Romantic Places in Beijing
How to Enjoy Beijing Nightlife
Top 10 Beijing Souvenirs
Top 10 Tourist Scams Beijing

Any questions, just drop a line.


Top 10 Tourist Scams Beijing

Monday, May 16th, 2022
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Dear Travelers

We’d like to have the following travel guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors coming to Beijing.

If anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!

Plan your Beijing tour? Most foreign travelers feel very safe when traveling in Beijing. But that doesn’t mean you should lower your vigilance on possible travel scams in Beijing.

The remark below is quoted from Percy from USA:
Thank you for having this site. As a traveler and student of human nature, I appreciate the scam warnings and the comments. I am a native New Yorker, and I feel it important to remind people that scams are not only in China.

Anywhere around the world where there are larger groups of humans, there will be more opportunities for scams. It seems the way of the Universe that these will be filled. You should always be aware, do research and remember that if it seems off, or too good, it is probably a scam. This is true in China, the U.S., or any other place where humans exist.”

Latest feedback from Denis:
Hi, you website is very helpful. I can share my experience about another scam:

We used an official taxi with the meter, so when the ride was over, we wanted to pay with 100 RMB, as we didn’t have any other bills. The taxi driver didn’t like the bill we gave to him and asked for another one. Then for another one and so on (every time giving back the previous one of course).

He was also friendly but insisted on the other bill and we couldn’t understand what’s wrong and what did he wanted, so we just kindly gave him different bills to try out. At some point we just decided to leave because it started to become annoying.

After some more negotiations he finally took one of our bills, gave us the change and left. The next day, when we tried to pay by cash at a grocery store it appeared that 4 of our bills are fake and I’m quite sure they were not fake before.

Not such a big amount for learning a new type of scam (I have forgotten already that there is such a thing as fake money on the streets) though.

Scam 1 Avoid KTV bars

Whether you enter on your own or taken by a Chinese “friend.”, in most cases you are in for a trap! It is a karaoke place. You enter the room to sing a few songs and have a few beers. Suddenly girls appear and want to drink with you. Then suddenly a cart appears with lots of snacks and beer.

The snacks are NOT free and they are expensive–but more on that later. The girl wants a brandy and you say okay. You will end up paying huge amount of money! Just avoid KTV!

Scam 2:  Tea Scam

At some heavy tourist areas (like Tiananmen Square, Wangfujing Street…),  you will be approached by one or three  attractive females or gentlemen, who are  willing to have a natural and nice talk with you or  even give you a free tour of hutong  in a polite way.  She or he will talk about the interesting things in Beijing, or talk about the culture or history of your home country and even world affairs!

Then if everything goes smoothly, then  invite you to a traditional Chinese teashops or ceremony. The whole ceremony proceeds then at the end of the ceremony your “friends” will ask you to pick out some favorite teas. So the scam start when it comes time to pay the bill, and it can again run into the hundreds or thousands of dollars. Simply don’t go for it!

To make the tea scam more natural,  they  pretend to be very friendly. They even don’t suggest you pay the whole amount. It is to be split between you and your “friends”.  So you  will see them pay their part. It is a scam!

It happens in central part of Beijing mainly, esp. in Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the surroundings.

Scam 3: “Art Student” Scam

Also at some big tourist destinations,  some young people,  disguised as ” art student’”,  will approach you. They offer you a free tour of an art show. Thus begins the “Art Student” scam.

Actually they will take you to an art shop selling all kinds of “art” stuff. This is just a waste of time. You can easily find these art pieces on the market. They sell the same “art” at higher prices. Simply say bye to them.
It happens mainly in historical sites, and public transport hubs. They are good actors(actresses) indeed. To us Chinese people they say they are out job-hunting and is penniless; to overseas travelers they say they are art students. Many of them are very properly dressed.

Scam 4: Rickshaw Scam

Some first-time oversea or even domestic travelers visiting Beijing fall into the traps of some seemingly “humble rickshaw drivers”. For example, let’s say, you and a rickshaw driver agree on a price of RMB 40 for a pedicab ride. It will turn out to be RMB400!. The trick is that your rickshaw driver will pretend to be ignorant and he will pull out a laminated price list and say it is 400 yuan instead of 40 yuan. Better take a taxi than a pedicab.

1) Rickshaw Scam at the North Gate of Forbidden City
There are two entrances to the Forbidden City – the south gate ( Meridian Gate – Wumen)  and north gate( Gate of Divine – Shenwu Men).  The south gate is linked to Tiananmen Square to the south. You have to enter Forbidden City from its south gate and exit from its northern gate, which is officially set as a one-way south to north travel route.

Make sure you are taken by your taxi to the south entrance of Forbidden City (better yet, take the subway line 1 –  its very nice and very cheap!). Don’t ever take a Rickshaw at the north gate of Forbidden City unless you feel like getting lost and extorted.

So if you visit Forbidden City by getting to a wrong gate (north gate), don’t use a local rickshaw to get back to the south gate, just walk to the right gate (south gate). For the same reason, if you exit from the north gate after visiting Forbidden City, don’t use a rickshaw for your next place.

2)  Rickshaw scams also occur at the entrance to the “Legend of Jinsha” which is performed at the Beijing Workers’ Club in Beijing.

3)  Rickshaw scams possible at any places in Beijing
Rickshaw scams could occur at any other places in Beijing. Be Vigilant!

 Scam 5: “Black” Taxis

When arriving at the airport, keep away from the taxi drivers who approach you in the terminal or outside the terminal as they will charge you much more than the actual price. Just following the sign pointing to the taxi line just outside the terminal. Taxi drivers should use their meter; make sure that the driver puts down the flag.

Taking a taxi from the airport to the downtown Beijing costs just over RMB 100 plus RMB 5 toll fee. Beijing legitimate taxi license plates will begin with the “Beijing B” otherwise it is possibly a black taxi!

After paying a legal taxi, you will get a legal computerized receipt in which you can find the taxi company’s phone number while a black driver only offers you a hand-written receipt with which you will never find him! A black driver would charge you RMB 400 – RMB 500 for the airport downtown drive! Normally a taxi ride from the airport to the downtown of Beijing costs you around RMB 120.

Black cars could be found around the subway stations, shopping malls, and also around some major tourist attractions such as Summer Palace, Forbidden City and Wangfujing Street and Beijing Railway Station as well.
By the way, your taxi driver may pull out a very official looking list of all hotels and official airport price. Never belive so-called official taxi-rate list of all hotels and official airport price. Never such a taxi-rate list!

It seems that there is a new kind of scam in Beijing when it comes down to the taxi’s.  Taxi drivers are asking their passengers to get out of the car and help to push it / close the trunk. When the passengers are outside, the drivers takes of with all their belongings.

For more information on taxi, please visit Beijing Taxi.

Scam 6:Outside Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao

When you line up for entering Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, you will probably meet some fake helpers or officials who are trying to “grab” some money from you.  To avoid being cheated, please read the following travel tips:

The admission to Mausoleum of Mao Zedong is free. No need for passport ID check and no need for buying shoes to replace your sandals (though not encouraged). As with most mausoleums, strict rules are enforced for visitors. No bags and cameras are allowed inside the hall. One locker is located 500m to the east of the mausoleum. The deposit is not free ( yes, a little strange)! The charges on deposit locker ranges from CNY 2 to 10.

Scam 7: Scams at Tiananmen and Forbidden City

The area around Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City is a favorite hangout for scammers.  Below is a trip by a scam victim named  Akalan:

In fact this was my 4th trip to China, but first trip to Beijing. Many a times many people, usually young ladies chatted with me and they helped me a lot. Even on the same day morning I went to the Great Wall and a young girl with good English walked with me. All those I met earlier were genuine people who just wanted to help a visitor to their country. Most of the time they did not even allow me to pay a bill, ticket price or taxi fare.

With that sort of experience, I had no suspicion on this woman. Still my priority was to get into the Forbidden city ASAP, as it was passed 3pm and I knew that the ticket sales would stop at 4 pm. This lady said that she would show me the “East gate” where I can enter without a long queue. Yes, there was a queue of people at the main entrance.

I simply followed her advice and she walked with me to “show” the entrance. On the way she said she is from Xi’An (a city I visited 1 month ago) and we had quite a good conversation on history, culture and languages. She also explained some history of the area.

She said her friends from another province are there and they will meet her in 10 min. If I can wait 10 min, they also can join me to go inside the Forbidden city. While waiting for them, she suggested me to sit some where and have a tea or fruit juice. In fact after walking and climbing whole morning in Great Wall area, I was thirsty and wanted to sit and stretch my legs. So I agreed.

I tried to sit on some chairs laid outside, but she suggested to go inside – less noisy, less dust and air-conditioned! I picked a Chinese tea and the scam began!

You know the rest. Yes, she split the bill, still I lost a few hundred! Worst thing was that she took me to a gate, assuring that I could enter from there, but obviously there were no ticket counters. I had to get to an electric car. The driver charged 20, instead of 2, as he sensed my urgency!

He actually did not take me to the ticket counters, instead, he stopped somewhere and a woman approached me. She was telling me that the ticket counters are closed and she would sell a ticket to me for 100 ! I did not want to let some one rip me off for 3rd time, within 15 min. Finally when I found the ticket counters, they were closed! So I missed the Forbidden City!

Scam 8: Scams from Itinerant Tour Companies at Streets

AVOID TOURISM COMPANIES, the ones who talk to you at street, promising a great price to go meet Great Wall (for example), they will make you pay more inside the bus, will take you to the worse section of the Great Wall, and prepare yourself for a long day stopping at market places, really awful experience.

If you want sightseeing, get a legal one, from important sites.

Scam 9: Scams at North Gate to Forbidden City

There are two main gates to the Forbidden City – the south gate ( Meridian Gate – Wumen)  and north gate( Gate of Divine – Shenwu Men).  The south gate is linked to Tiananmen Square to the south. You have to enter Forbidden City from its south gate and exit from its north gate, which is officially set as a one-way south to north travel route.

So don’t try to go to the North Gate to Forbidden City.  The North Gate now only serves an exit gate.  If you get to a wrong gate ( the north gate ),  just walk along the streets circling Forbidden City and move on to the south gate. In this case, you are not encouraged to use a rickshaw or a 3-wheel motorcycle taxi at the north gate of Forbidden City.  Some  of the rickshaw and 3-wheel motorcycle taxi drivers are just disgusting swindlers.  Avoid Them!  Below is the account by Bill of the victim at the North Gate to Forbidden City.

I was a victim of two scams in the same day! The first was with a 3-wheel motorcycle taxi at the north gate of the forbidden city. I was offered a ride to the south gate for 3 Yuan. The taxi drove through a maze of narrow alleys and he stopped at an isolated spot. Then he demanded 300 Yuan, about $48.

The second incident was the tea shop routine. A nice couple invited me to a local place near Tiananmen square. I told them about the taxi incident and they sounded shocked and empathetic! We were given snacks (2 Yuan per bag in the store), some high quality tea, orange juice, and about 1-2 ounces of wine. The bill was 1200 Yuan plus 100 for the tip. He paid half (money probably borrowed from the owner), but I was still squeezed for over $100.

The next day, near the same square, a woman began a nice friendly conversation with me and tried to do the same thing. The good-bye was very quick.

Scam 10:  The Counterfeit Money Scam

Hi there – another scam to add to the list is the counterfeit money. We used a standalone ATM at the silk markets and received many hundreds of RMB that was fake. We didn’t know of course – its nearly impossible to tell. Now we have some lovely souvenirs that look like 100 RMB notes 🙂
The advice would be to use a bank ATM I guess.

More Tourist Scams:

Tourist scam on Chinese Medicine ( Feedback from christian Holscher )
There is a tourist scam where people pretend to be part of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences. They pretend to be doctors and ‘diagnose’ an illness just by taking the pulse. Then, they sell very expensive pills which are most likely just herbal remedies.

The company does not give receipts for their sale, and no address or contact number was provided. They clearly do not pay tax. All what they give to the customer is a worthless certificate with no address. The real of this company can be found on the credit card receipt.

Tip:  Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours

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

Beijing Day Tour
Beijing Tour Package
Great Wall Tour
Beijing Tour
Beijing Winter Tour
Car Rental in Beijing
China City Tours
China Tour

Further Readings


Best Time to Visit Beijing
How to plan a trip to Beijing

Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
Top 10 Tourist Scams Beijing
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
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 Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

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

Wangfujing Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.