How to visit Beijing in One Day

June 10th, 2018
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If you only have one full day in Beijing and would like to feel, touch and see the essential Beijing, you may check out the quick guide to Beijing one-day itinerary in below, my suggested self-guide itinerary to plan your own memorable Beijing Day Tours.

This itinerary mainly takes you for a walk along Beijing axis from south to north and appreciate the harmony of the city design which took its form in Yuan (1279-1368) and Ming ( 1368-1644) Dynasties.

For Beijing airport layover tours, please check out Beijing layover tours.

Temple of Heaven
Get up early and have a fast breakfast, and get to the south gate to Temple of Heaven by taking Beijing taxi or to the east gate by taking the subway line 5. Walking from the south gate ( or east gate ) to the north gate and on the way visit the 500-year-old temple ( now actually a huge park).

Temple of Heaven was constructed in 1420 AD during the Ming Dynasty as a site for the emperors to offer sacrifices to heaven.

Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven is now actually a park. Early in the morning there are a great number of retired people who come here to hang out with friends and do morning exercises, playing Taichi ball, doing ribbon dancing, ballroom dancing, playing cards and dominoes and writing calligraphy on the ground. There are also music and singing…

Qianmen and Hutongs
Now you exit from the north gate to the Temple of Heaven and turn left (west) for 15 minutes walking, then turn right (north) to Qianmen Wallking Street and Dazhalan. Please notice, to get to Qianmen Walking Street, you have to pass over a flyover to the east side of the Church you will see.

Use some time to explore the time-honored Qianmen Pedestrian Street full of shops and restaurants. You may grab some local food as your lunch. Dazhalan is a must for you to walk for a while exploring the modified ancient street in Beijing.

Walking on the Qianmen Pedestrian Street

 

Dazhalan is a must for you to walk exploring the modified  ancient street in Beijing.

Tiananmen Square
After finishing your exploration on Qianmen, you head north and pass through Zhengyangmen Tower ( Arrow Tower) and then walk through a Beijing Subway tunnel to Tiananmen Square.

Take a half hour or more time taking pictures and immersing yourself in the center of Beijing or even China.

Walk through an underground tunnel again from Tiananmen Square up to the Gate of Heaven Peace (Tiananmen Tower), where  Chairman Mao declared the People’s Republic On October 01, 1949. You pass under Mao’ Portrait and enter Forbidden City .

Take a half hour or more time taking pictures and immersing yourself in the center of Beijing and China.


Forbidden City
The grandeur imperial palaces for the emperors in Ming and Qing Dynasties. The Forbidden City  is a must see highlight for every first time visitor to Beijing.Be prepared for crowds of people like you visiting this complex.So you go from the south gate to its north gate. Your visit usually will take 2-3 hours.

The Forbidden City is a must see highlight for every first time visitor to Beijing

Jingshan Park  ( Jingshan Hill,  Coal Hill or prospect Hill).
Jingshan Park  is unmissable for your Beijing Day Tour. Jingshan just sits across the north gate to Forbidden City . After finishing your visit to Forbidden City  from south to north, you exit from Forbidden City’s north gate.

Raising your head, you will find a pavilion with three-layered eaves perched on a hill in Jingshan Park, a perfect place to have a panoramic view of Forbidden City and the city of Beijing as a whole.

The main road between the north gate area of Forbidden City and the south gate of Jingshan Park  is full blocked. To get across to the south gate  to Jingshan Park , you just turn left for 20 meters and take the underground pass.

Line up at the ticket window by the gate to Jingshan Park for the tickets: RMB 2 per person. Opening hours: 6am – 8pm all year round.

Jingshan Park is not to be missed a visit during your Beijing Day Tours

Beihai Park
After Jingshan Park , you are supposed to walk west to its neighbour – Beihai Park.  Beihai Park is very often neglected by many visitors. Often dubbed as Winter Palace by westerners, Beihai Park  is the oldest imperial garden in the world as well as one of the largest in China.

Beihai Park is well-known for its beautiful gardens, the maze in the stone cave, temples and pavilions. Atop the Jade Island in Beihai Park, White Dagoba becomes an important landmark of the city.

Beihai Park is the oldest imperial garden in the world as well as one of the largest in China

Public Bars at Shichahai
Walk through the north gate to Beihai park, you come to the most famous night hangout in Beijing – Shichahai, where a cluster of bars and restaurants are dotted along the banks of the lake.

People mill along the bridge with weeping willows glowing with shining sunset in Shichahai

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,  and if you try to find a quiet place in the busy Beijing, come to Shichahai! Tired? Have a drink on one of the bars.

Guojie Food Street
Are you hungry? Take a cab to the nearby Guijie, Ghost Street ,  a 1442-meter long gourmet street, located within Dongzhimennei Dongcheng District, running from the east of Dongzhimen Bridge.

Eating seeds outside on benches and waiting for a seat in Ghost Street

Guijie, Ghost Street is lined with over 100 restaurants and most of them offer 24-hour service.

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:

For Beijing airport layover tours, please check out Beijing layover tours.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


Forbidden City Travel Tips – The Palace Museum Travel Tips
Tips for Visiting Tiananmen Square
Tips for Visiting the Temple of Heaven
Tips for visiting Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs in Beijing
How to visit Beihai Park Beijing
How to visit Bird’s Nest and Water Cube
How to visit CCTV Tower in Beijing
How to Visit National Grand Theatre in Beijing
How to visit Shichahai

Any questions, just drop a  line.

How to use ATM in China

June 9th, 2018
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Plan your China tour? Generally speaking, China is a very ATM friendly country, especially in the large cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hongkong, Macao and the list can be much longer.

Most of the local ATMs machines accept Visa and Master. CITIBANK card and HSBC are also very popular in China because Citibank and HSBC have an agreement with UnionPay.

For other cards, you may check the ATMs you are going to use and see if they have the logos and signs for your credit cards.

Then how to use ATMs in China?

 

ATMs in China

 1. It is a good idea to get most of cash you are going to use in China through ATMs by using your credit card or debit cards, and dont’ be bothered with great amount of cash before your departure carrying from your home country.

2. Don’t forget to inform your credit card company that you’ll be visiting China or oversea so they don’t block your purchases.

3 Scan your cards (front and back), keep emergency numbers separately in case you lose your credit cards.

4. You should take some home-currency cash with you to exchange at the airport or your hotel upon arrival for taxis or other small expenses, mainly in case that ATMs don’t work or run out of money. Takes one ATM card and possibly a back-up.

5. The major ATMs of the local banks in China include Bank of China, Merchants Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank and China Agriculture Bank.

VISA and MasterCard debit cards work in most Bank of China ATMs. For the ATMs of the other major banks, please look for a network symbol on the machine that matches a network symbol on the back of your card. CITIBANK card and HSBC card can work in most ATM in China because Citibank and HSBC have an agreement with UnionPay.

6. Most Atms distribute the foreign languages including Chinese(simplified), Chinese(traditional), English, French, Spanish, Portuguese…

7. Most Chinese banks distribute 100 yuan note(You can withdraw 100 yuan minimum.). Check out “How to recognize Chinese currency?“.

8. Most ATM cards issued by major networks can be used in China, transaction fees may be different though, most charge around RMB20 or RMB30 for a one time transaction of RMB2500.

If you are using an ATM Debit card, usually the charges are comparable to drawing money in your own country. If you are using a Credit Card, it can be extremely expensive depending on your bank and how long you take to pay back the money.

9. Keep your ATM receipts so you can re-exchange your Chinese currency back for your home currency on your way out.

10. Basically taking cash out of the ATMs in China is very safe.

06611Tip:  Hassle-free China 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 China.

China join-in small group tours.
China Private Tours.
China Train Tours.
China City Tours.
China Provincial Tours.

Further Readings


Top 10 China experiences China’s Top 10 Most Beautiful Mountains
The Top 10 Most Beautiful Lakes in China The most beautiful waterfalls in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Grasslands in China Top 10 Most Beautiful Villages in China
Top 10 Old Towns in China The Most Beautiful Rivers in China
Top 10 Places to See Autumn Leaves in China

Any questions, just drop a line

Top 10 Beijing Markets

June 7th, 2018
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Dear Travelers

We’d like to have the following guick guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors who would like to go shopping at the markets in Beijing. If anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!
______________________________________________________________________

Plan your Beijing tour? If you are not interested in shopping at high-end Beijing shopping malls, where everything seems to be overpriced at fixed prices, then why not dig into the plentiful free or flea markets where you can enjoy bargaining with the local vendors.

If you are not familiar with the markets in Beijing, you may follow me to explore the top 10 Beijing markets below. I’m sure you will get what you want to memorize your Beijing trip.

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

reminde11rBeijing’s overall urban blueprint has been in the process of adjusting, upgrading and standardizing.  Many busy and noisy lively markets  have been removed from the urban central areas and resettled in the relatively remote outskirts of Beijing.

Some lucky ones have been gentrified and placed indoors like Silk Market (now actually a huge 5-story mansion). Some of the vendors have been evacuating from the markets and settled elsewhere. The golden “flea market” time in Beijing has been fading, gradually diluted by gentrification and disneyfication.

Normally all the markets are open all year round except Chinese Spring Festival. Most of the markets will be closed for 5 days during China Spring Festival.

By the way, most of the department stores and shopping malls are still open during the biggest holiday in China. Most of the listed markets are mainly composed of private vendors who need to go home for family reunion for the big holiday.

Top # 01: Silk Street Market 秀水街市场
Brief introduction: The old market has been demolished. The new market is a five-storey building with an area of 30,000 square meters, known as the Silk Street Market.

There are 1,600 booths in the building. According to the developer of the building, the advantages of the old market will be available in the new one, targeting the shopping groups including foreign tourists and local white-collar workers.

Silk Street Market

Silk Street Market

Location: 8 Xiushui East Street, Jianwai Dajie, Chaoyang, Beijing北京市朝阳区建外大街秀水东街8号
Tel::(010) 51699003,  56767766,  56767768
Opening Hours: 9am-9pm
Subway: take subway line 1 and get off at the station of Yonganli (永安里), and exit from Exit A
Public Transport: Bus No.1,9,28,37,43,120,126,403,639,640,668,728,and 729, arrival at Yonganli Station

Top # 02: Panjiayuan Flea Market 潘家园旧货市场
Brief introduction: 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. From Monday to Thursday, it is open from 8:30am to 6:00pm.

On weekend, it is open from 4:30am to 6:00pm. I suggest you go to Panjiayuan on weekends. Only on weekends, you will find some vendor coming from all parts of China to show their personal stuff or artifacts they collect and sell on the ground in a designated area in the market.

Panjiayuan Flea Market

Panjiayuan Flea Market

They just put a piece of blanket on the floor and put what they have on it.If you come here on other week days, you won’t see these free vendors.It is actually a huge market place for selling and collecting Chinese folk handcrafts, maybe the largest in Asia!

What you will see are jewelry, ceramics,calligraphy, teapots, ethnic clothing, Buddha statues, paper lanterns, Cultural Revolution memorabilia, PLA belts, Ming- and Qing-style furniture, old pipes, opium scales, and painted human skulls and many more.

Location: No.18, Huaweili Road, just 100 meters west of Panjiayuan Bridge on the southeast third ring road.
地址:北京市朝阳区潘家园桥华威里18号
Tel: 5120-4671
Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday open from 8:30am to 6:00pm; On weekend, open from 4:30am to 6:00pm
Subway: take subway line 10 and get off at the station of Panjiayuan (潘家园)
Public Transport: Take bus 28, 300, 368, 607, 730, 810 or 907 and get off at Panjiayuan Station.

Top # 03: Beijing Antique City 古玩城
Brief introduction: Beijing Antique City ( former Beijing Curio City) is a four-story building. It is located just to the west of Huawei Bridge on the southeast third ring road, about 300 meters south of Panjiayuan Flee Market.

It is the largest Chinese antique trade center in Asia.

Beijing Antique City

Beijing Antique City

Beijing antique city has a total floor space of 26400㎡. The building is elegantly decorated. At present it has antique over 600 dealers, mainly selling the classical furniture, the ancient clock and watch, the ancient rug, the ancient ceramics, the celebrity calligraphy and painting, the Baiyu ivory carving, the snuffbox.

It also offers the ancient rug, the copper ware image of Buddha, the ancient clock and watch, the ancient ceramic antique chinaware, the Tibetan cultural relic and much more.

Location: located just to the west of Huawei Bridge on the east-south third ring road, about 300 meters south of Panjiayuan Flee Market.
地址:北京市朝阳区东三环南路华威桥古玩城
Tel: 5960-9999

Opening Hours: 10am-7pm
Subway: take subway line 10 and get off at the station of Panjiayuan (潘家园). Beijing Antique City is located to the south of Panjiayuan Flea Market.
Public Transport: Take bus 28, 300, 3 52, 378, 7 57, 830 or 986 and get off at Shilihe Station.

Top # 04: Hongqiao Pearl Market 红桥市场
Brief introduction: The name of Hongqiao Pearl Market is a little bit misleading. This four-story building offers much more than just pearls. It actually provides everything from bags, shoes, clothes, silk, tea, table-cloth, toys, souvenirs, to pears and jewellery.

It is just located east of Temple of Heaven.Its main entrance – the west big gate faces the west to the road around the Temple of Heaven.If you drive to the market, you are supposed to get off at its north side gate, newly opened to ease the traffic at the main entrance.

Beijing Hongqiao Market

Beijing Hongqiao Market

The market has four stories. The first floor sells digital products, timepieces and glasses, Groceries, mobile phone parts and daily necessities; the second floor offers clothes, shoes, cases and bags; the third floor provides pearls, jades and artifacts; the forth floor sells the high-end jewellery.

Location: 9Tiantan Donglu, Dongcheng District (just opposite the east gate of Temple of Heaven)
地址:东城区天坛东路9号
Tel: 6711-8984
Opening Hours: 8:30am-7pm
Subway: take Subway Line 5 and get off at the station of Tiantandongmen ( East Gate of Temple of Heaven 天坛东门). Then walk to the north you will see the market.
Take bus 39, 43, 60, 116, 610

Tip # 05: Tianya Hongqiao Jewellery Market 天雅红桥市场
Brief introduction: On the east side of Hongqiao Pearl Market is the recently opened Tianya Hongqiao Jewllery Market, a complement to the well-known Hongqiao Pearl Market.

It is a five-story building with two underground floors selling almost the same stuff as Hongqiao Pearl Market. The newly established building is lavishly decorated.

Tianya Hongqiao Jewellery Market

Tianya Hongqiao Jewellery Market

Location: Fahuasi Jie 136, 东城区 District, BeijingTel: 010-8766 7125
地址:东城区法华寺136号红桥市场东侧
Opening Hours: 8:30am-7pm
Subway: take Subway Line 5 and get off at the station of Tiantandongmen ( East Gate of Temple of Heaven 天坛东门).Tianya Hongqiao Jewellery Market is located just to the west of Hongqiao Pearl Market.Take bus 39, 43, 60, 116, 610

Top # 06: Liulichang Antique Street 琉璃厂
Brief introduction: On both side of the street there are plenty of storefronts and vendor’s stalls selling collectibles and art supplies, including the renowned Rongbaozhai, the most prominent shop on the west section of Liulichang. It sells woodblock prints, copies of famous calligraphy, historic paintings (reproductions), and art supplies.

It is one of Beijing’s top art shops and well worth browsing. Actually Rongbaozhai is located on the west section of Liulichang Street. To get to Liulichang Xijie ( the west section of Liulichang Street) on your right side, you have to across the main street.

Liulichang Antique Street

Liulichang Antique Street

Location: Liulichang Street, Xicheng District;
地址:西城区琉璃厂
Opening Hours: 8:30am-7pm
Subway: take subway line 2 and get off at the station of Hepingmen (和平门), and exit from the Exit C2 (check old Beijing Walking Tour for more information.)
Bus No.s 6, 14, 15, 25, 50, 53, 57, 102 and 105.

Top # 07: Dahongmen Clothing Wholesale Market 大红门服装批发市场
This huge market, oft-lauded as the largest clothing market north of Yangtze River in China. It is located on Beijing’s south axis road starting from Muxiyuan (木樨园) on the south third ring road in the north to the northern bank of Liangshui River (凉水河北岸) , about 7  km south of Tiananmen Square.

The market is composed of 24 comprehensive markets covering clothing, shoes, hats as well as food, antiques and paintings jewelry, cultural and creative products. The most well-known markets include Dahongmen Clothing City (大红门服装城) and Dahongmen Shoes City  (大红门鞋城).

Dahongmen Clothing City

Dahongmen Clothing City

Address: 15 Yongnan Road (south of Dahongmen Birdge ), Fengtai District
Chinese Add: 北京市丰台区永南路15号(大红门桥南)
Contact: 67226658
Business Hours:
Dahongmen Early Morning Market (大红门早市):4:30 am – 10:00 am
Dahongmen Clothing Wholesale Market (大红门服装批发市场) : 9:00am – 5:00 pm
Tianya Clothing Plaza (天雅服装大厦) : 9:00 am – 5:00pm
Jingwen Clothing Market (京温服装市场):9:00 am – 5:00pm
Dahongmen Shoes City (大红门鞋城):7:00 am – 4:00pm

Top # 08:Shilihe House Decoration and Building Materials City 十里河家居建材城
The so-called city is an over-3-kilometer-long street lined with numerous buildings specialized in all kinds of materials for building and decorating a house: lighting, plumbing, furniture, building materials and so on.

Shilihe House Building Materials City

Location: 100 meters east of Shilihe Bridge, East Third Ring Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 北京市朝阳区东三环十里河桥东100米
Take subway line 10 and get off at the station of Shilihe ( 十里河)and exit at the east. Then walk along Dayangfang Road (大羊坊路), then you will see the buildings for all the stuff you will need.

Top # 09: Baoguosi Culture Market 报国寺文化市场
Its open-air market is closed. But it still keeps some of its delicate indoor markets. So you still can see some quiet and lively antique trade business going on inside the market ( indoor ).

Brief introduction: “Baoguosi” means Baoguo Temple ( Serving the country Temple ). It was first constructed in the Liao Dynasty (916-1125) in the southern part of downtown Beijing. Baoguo Si was a Buddhist temple.

During the Ming Dynasty, it was used to hold a member of the royal family. By the early Qing dynasty, the temple had already been turned into a popular bazaar for books and flowers.

Top # 10: Beijing Tianyi Small Commodities Wholesale Market 北京天意小商品批发市场 (permanently closed)
Beijing Tianyi Market has over 2000 suppliers from all over China with over 60,000 small products. The market has a business area of 11000 square meters with 20 business halls and 1550 booths.

Beijing Tianyi Small Commodities Wholesale Market

Beijing Tianyi Small Commodities Wholesale Market

The market can almost meet your need for  some cheap accessories. It is better to buy large quantities, let’ s say 10 pieces and it is easy to bargain in bulk-buy. The market sells everything such as hairstyles, electronics, souvenirs, toys,  Jewels, door keys, bags, tissues, clothes, cuddly toys, cosmetics, plants, shoes, phone accessories, office supplies,  bookshops, school supplies and many more!!

Business Hour: 7:30am – 5:30pm
Add: No. 259, Fuchengmen Outer Street, Xicheng District, Beijing, China, 100037
中国北京市西城区阜成门外大街259号 邮政编码: 100037
Subway line 2: Take subway line 2 and get off at the station of “Fuchengmen station”(阜成门), exit from Exit A, then walk westward along Fuchengmen Outer Street (阜成门外大街) for about 1.2 km, coming across 2 traffic lights,  you will see  the market on your right side ( No.259).

Zoo Market 动物园服装批发市场 ( Closed)
Important Notice: Zoo Market has been in the process of adjusting and upgrading.  Some of the vendors have been evacuating from the market and settled elsewhere.

Brief introduction: This is a huge wholesale market group which is composed of seven markets. Beijing Zoo Market is mainly composed of 7 sub-markets: 1) 金开利德 (Jinkaili) 2) 天乐宫 (Tianlegong) 3) 天皓城 (Tianhaocheng) 4) 东鼎 (Dongding) 5) 聚龙 (Julong) 6) 世纪天乐 (Shijitianle) 7) 众合 (Hezhong)And the most popular ones are Julong, Tianlegong and Shiji Tianle.Buy them here for half-price but be geared up for bargaining hard or buy in volume.

Everything is so cheap and so plentiful here!! Anywhere from 10-50 RMB for shirts, tops, jeans, pants, skirts, everything. Jewelry for about 10-15RMB. In some places they can be more expensive, but about 90% are the cheap prices listed above.

Zoo Market

Zoo Market

Weekday mornings are the best time to come and be prepared to spend a few hours walking around. There are also various places to eat in the area: KFC and McDonalds, Yonghe Soy Milk, Pizza Hut, Yoshinoya, Dairy Queen, A&W, Mexican Restaurant …

Location: Around Beijing Zoo, Xizhimen Waidajie, Xicheng District
Tel: 010-68312001
Opening Hours: 5:00am – 3:00pm
Subway: Take Subway Line 4, get off at Beijing Zoo Station ( 动物园)and exit from Exit D
Public Transport: Bus No.s 7, 27, 103, 105 and 111.206, 209, 319, 334, 347, 360, 362, 534, 601, 632, 634, 697, 714, 808, 814, 特4, Yuntong 104, Yuntong 105, Yuntong 106 or Yuntong 205 and get off at Beijing Zoo Station.

 

 

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 Beijing guided tours:

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 line.