Archive for the ‘Beijing Winter Tour’ Category

How to Spend Christmas Eve in Beijing

Monday, December 18th, 2017
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Christmas Eve for the West is similar to the New Year’s Eve of Chinese lunar new year for the Chinese, a time for family reunion. This western religious festival is getting its popularity in China, especially in the big cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and more.

There are various reasons behind the increasing popularity of Christmas in China. The Christians and Catholics are increasing in numbers; young people seek Christmas as the time to boost their romance; smart merchants grab Christmas to promote theirs sales or images; foreign business related companies follow suit…

If you happen to spend your Christmas eve in Beijing during your Beijing tour, you may take some adventure going on to the streets to explore and spend a local Christmas eve.

So how will local Beijingers celebrate Christmas eve? What are things to do during Christmas eve in Beijing?  Unlike the west countries where Christmas is a time for family get-together, here in Beijing it is a time for making fun and making money.

I once drove around the busy areas in Beijing for feeling the atmosphere of Christmas eve. Here’s my run down of the interesting spots for Christmas eve.

Christmas Eve gala party
Many hotels, mainly 4 or 5 star hotels would hold Christmas eve gala parties in recent years.  A routine Christmas eve gala party would include three elements – a big dinner,  high-level performances and several rounds of exciting lucky draws.

Christmas eve party is also a channel for networking or “Guanxi” in Chinese, enhancing working relationship and friendship. Below are the two pictures taken from internet.

Performance at a Christmas eve party

Performance at Crowne Plaza Christmas Eve Party

Christmas eve gala party 

Christmas eve party (Picture from internet )

Go to Church
There are 11 churches in Beijing, 6 Catholic churches, 5 Christian churches. My favorite is Eastern Church.Located east of central Wangfujing Street, the Catholic East Church, or Wangfujing Catholic Church, is one of the 11 best-preserved churches.

The East Church was originally called Saint Joseph’s Church, and was built in the 12th year (1655) of Emperor Shunzhi during the Qing Dynast y (1644-1911). It was the second Catholic church built in Beijing after Italian preacher Matteo Ricci built the “South Church” in southern Beijing at the end of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

The present building was rebuilt in 1904 on the ruins of the burned church. In the 1980s, large-scale repairs and maintenance were carried out by the government for East Church.

Opening Time: every morning (times may vary)

Add: 74, Wangfujing Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Bus Lines: Take bus 103, 102, 104, 803, 814, 808 and get off at Donganmen Shichang, then walk north approx. 300 meters.
Mass Times: Weekdays 06:30 and 07:00 (Chinese), Saturday 06:30 and 07:00 (Chinese), Sunday 06:15 (Latin), 07:00 and 08:00 (Chinese)
Tel: 010-65240643

A huge crowd of fun-seekers would gather the church, taking pictures and sensing the ambiance of Christmas eve. A great number of police were on high alert for a safe Christmas eve.

A huge crowd of people circling the Church.

Police will be on high alert for a safe Christmas eve.

Police were on high alert

Late Night Shopping
On Christmas eve,  almost all the stores and shopping malls in Beijing will not miss this golden opportunity for sales promotion. Business hours last till small hours, even to early next morning with big discounts.

Wangfujing Walking Street will see “people mountain and people sea” .

Wangfujing Walking Street  will see “people mountain and people sea”.

Christmas eve shop exterior decoration

Chriastmas eve shopping exterior decoration

Inside a shopping mall on the Wangfujing Street.

Inside a shopping mall on the Wangfujing Street.

Beijing Department Store says it is open till 6am. There is something festive inside the department store.

There is something festive inside the department store.

Great discounts at a street front store on Wangfujing Street.

Great discounts at a street front store on Wangfujing Street.

Pubs and Bars
There are several clusters of pubs and bars around Beijing city center. My favorite is Shichahai bar area ( often known as Houhai Bar streets), walking from Lotus Market, to Yinding Bridge ( Ingot Bridge ) and finishing at Yandaixiejie. This trail is teemed with bars and small boutiques. There is a strong festivity in the Shichahai area.

Listening to the music from inside. Having a glimpse of the music band inside a bar.

Having a glimpse of the music band inside a bar.

Hawking Christmas mask and horns

Hawking Christmas mask and horns

Christmas hats and Sugar-coated hawthorns

Christmas hats and Sugar-coated hawthorns

Red lanterns and Christmas trees. Houhai bar area north of Ingot Bridge

Houhai bar area north of Ingot Bridge

Christmas eve promotion

Christmas eve promotion

The small vendor was also in!

The small vendor was also in!

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.

Celebrate Chinese New Year at Beijing’s Highest Place

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016
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Different from the Gregorian calendar, Chinese New Year ( Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival ) marks the first day of the New Year in the Chinese calendar.  Every Chinese lunar year is represented by a zodiac animal sign. The 2016 Chinese new year is  the Year of the  Monkey ( the new year first day: Monday, February 8,2016 ).

If you happen to be on your Beijing tour during the Chinese new year, you will be probably tantalized by the question ” Where to celebrate Chinese New Year ( or specifically the new year’s eve )? “.  Basically You have a plethora of options to spend the  Chinese new year considering the size of the metropolitan Beijing.  Do you have the fancy idea to greet the new year at Beijing’s highest place?

The China World Trade Center Tower III, a supertall skyscraper with 81 floors 333 m / 1083 ft, is the highest building in Beijing.  It is a comprehensive building with office and hotel space. The floors 1 – 55 for office space; 64 – 77 for the luxury hotel – the China World Summit Wing Hotel; the floors 79 – 81 for dining and drinking.

The 80th-floor-330-meter-tall Atmospher Bar (云酷酒吧) is the highest bar in Beijing. It offers a rich variety of high quality tea and refreshing cocktails. The drink menu lists some 300 cocktails, 90 whiskies and 560 wines, along with beers and soft drinks. Price starts from about USD15 per glass. Atmoshpere Bar also serves wonderful afternoon tea.

The bar’ biggest draw is the dazzling skyline viewed from its 80th floor. If you are lucky to have a nice and clear sky, you’ll have a panoramic view of the glitzy central Beijing, extending from China’s Central TV Station, dubbed as “Giant Pants” to the massive Forbidden City.

Having a cup of afternoon tea and viewing the sunset glow over the golden Forbidden City is an unforgetable piece of peacefulness. Overlooking the colorful evening Beijing, you sip the wine over the music, talking about your new hopes in the new year. So life is beautiful!

Add: Floor 80,   China World Trade Center Tower III ( No.01 Jianguomenwai Dajie), Beijing
Tel:010-65052299 ext 6432/6433
Opening Hour:2:00 pm -02:00 am ( Weekday) ; 12:00 pm -02:00 am ( Weekend)

The China World Trade Center Tower III, a supertall skyscraper with 81 floors 333 m

The China World Trade Center Tower III, a supertall skyscraper with 81 floors 333 m


The 330-m height Atmosphere Bar

The 330-m height Atmosphere Bar


A Panoramic View of the central Beijing

A Panoramic View of the central Beijing


Lively Jazz Show

Live Jazz Show


The Amazing Cocktails

The Amazing Cocktails

All Photos from Internet, any questions, just drop a line.

Add on 

Top things to do in winter in Beijing
What to see and do at the temple fairs in Beijing

How to dress for visiting Great Wall in winter

Saturday, August 30th, 2014
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Planning your Great Wall Tour  in winter? You may have been told that winter is not the right season for visiting Great Wall, but for whatever the reasons, you happen to hike the Great Wall of China during the cold season, so you are now a bit on the fence about visiting the Great Wall.

Well, everything has its two sides. The so-called best seasons often see the Great Wall mobbed by the numerous tourist group and you may waste much of your valuable time on the way from your hotel to the Wall (traffic jam). On the Wall, you have to take group photos since there are a great number of people on the Wall.

Walking from Jiankou Great Wall to Mutianyu Great Wall  in winter.

Jiankou to Mutuanyu

Jiankou to Mutianyu Winter Hike

Great Wall winter hike has its advantages – the tourist crowds are gone so you can walk along the Great Wall hassle free. The prices are lower for Great Wall transportation and admission.

Of course, hiking the Great Wall is a bit daunting if you are unlucky to visit the Wall on a cold and blusterous day. If well dressed for the winter Wall hikes, visiting the Great Wall in winter is still not a bad idea. We’re going to share with you some ideas on how to dress for Great Wall winter hikes. Dressing for the season and having the right clothing items for colder temperature on the Wall.

1. Check historical climate data and weather forecast
Before leaving for Beijing,  you’d better check Beijing’s historical climate data ( day by day temperature ) to get a general assessment of the weather condition on your actual hiking date. Beijing’s winter normally starts from mid-November through mid-March. Check out the following Beijing’s historical climate data on the winter months in Beijing:

How to Visit Beijing in November                       How to Visit Beijing in December
How to Visit Beijing in January                            How to Visit Beijing in February
How to Visit Beijing in March

In winter Beijing has short days, dark 4-5 pm. The ticket selling for major attractions is closed after 4.30pm. The sights stay open all year round. When you arrive, don’t forget to check the current weather broadcast in Beijing and choose your better day for visiting Great Wall in the cold month. You may also check out the following realtime weather photos to get a general idea of how the current weather looks like and how local people are dressed:

Beijing November Realtime Weather Photos   Beijing December Realtime Weather Photos
Beijing January Realtime Weather Photos        Beijing February Realtime Weather Photos
Beijing March Realtime Weather Photos

2. Dressing in Layers
A heavy coat gives you little opportunity to act or adjust in weather conditions. For the better hiking  and comfort, you need to dress in layers.

Base Layer
The purpose of wearing the first body layer is to make  your skin dry by removing moisture possibly produced by perspiring. Kindly remind you not to wear cotton base layer for it keeps the moisture,  leaving you disagreeably moist, sticky if you are sweating.  You’d better choose the shirts made from light merino wool or synthetic fibers.

Middle Layer
This middle layer is the insulation layer,  important for keeping your body warm.  For the same reason trying to avoid the cotton which dries slowly and select  sweaters, vests and jackets which are made of polyester fleece, warm and quick to dry.

Jacket Outer Layer
You need to have a waterproof or water-resistant outer layover to keep you from snow, rain, and wind. Try to have a warm jacket lightweight with good breathability. A warm jacket with zippers and vents is important for you to regulate your body temperature.

3. Feet Protection
Basically it is unnecessary to wear a pair of heavy hiking boots since most of the time you will walk on the stone steps on the wall. Avoid leather shoes which can freeze.  Looking for the shoes made from a mix of plastic and rubber. Basically sport shoes are ok for Great Wall hiking in winter. If you are going to hike the unrestored wild sections of the Wall, a pair of gaiters can add a measure of protection against the shrubs and bushes on the way.

Your feet also need layering too. It is essential to put on a pair of thin and tight-fitting socks that keep your feet dry and warm. Your outer layer socks should be also made from merino wool or synthetic material. Your outer layer socks should not be too thick otherwise they will reduce the circulation in your shoes.

4. Hands Protection
To keep your hands from become cracked, rough, or sore, you definitely need to have a pair of gloves to reduce  the risk of frostbite and chapping to your hands. Basically people prefer gloves than mittens, not having to expose your hands.

5. Head and Face Protection
It is a common knowledge that we lose our body heat through our heads, so we need to have a warm hat. It is essential to wear a hat with ear flaps, an ushanka, a Russian fur cap with ear flaps that can be tied up to the crown of the cap, keeping your ears from the cold. In addition, ready for a scarf to protect your face.

5. Where to buy the winter clothes?
For those who live in a warm climate, winter clothes are a bit hard to get from their home country. No worry about that. Hats, gloves, winter jackets and the list could be much longer, can be easily bought in Beijing. Going to Silk Market is a good choice to arm yourself for the winter tour in Beijing.

Tips for Visiting Great Wall around Beijing
How to Visit Beijing in Winter
Visiting Great Wall by Train
Go to Badaling Great Wall by Bus
Great Wall Tour
Top 10 Markets in Beijing

Any questions, just drop a line.