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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
Reviews onTour-Beijing.Com
Home  »  Beijing Tour  »  Beijing Theme Tour  »  Student Guide to Beijing Travel
Student Guide to Beijing Travel & Tour

Before you go to Beijing:
Beijing is a should-see student travel spot. Beijing is a city full of vitality. She is waiting for young students like you to feel and touch. Make travel plans before you go.

1. You need a passport and a tourist visa.
2. Find the best airfare to Beijing from student airfare agencies like Student Universe and large travel websites like expedia and travlocity as well.
3. Study the major attractions in Beijing and find the favorable sites you like. See Top 10 Must See Attractions in Beijing
4. Learn some Chinese simple sentences
Worried about your inability to speak Chinese ? Please find below the useful information for you:
1) Check out the page  Learning Useful Chinese Phrases for Travellers to pick up some basic Mandarin;
2) You may go to your local bookstore or library and getting some audio tapes for learning Mandarin;
3) You also try to find a community college or school offering Chinese learning for beginners. 
4) Come to Beijing taking some Chinese learning courses. We recommend LTL Mandarin School, a mandarin language school offering courses, homestays and internships in China.

When to go?
Beijing has clearly cut  four seasons with longer winters and shorter springs. Beijing's winter lasts from November 15 to March 15. Beijing is dry and cold outside, but visiting Beijing in winter is not a bad idea given the discounts offered by airlines, hotels and sights  as well as numerous winter activities in Beijing. Though Beijing's official spring time starts from March 15 to May 15, its warmer springtme only lasts one month from early April to early May. Beijing's March is very often chilly and sandstorm hits Beijijng periodically in March. So traveling Beijing in early April through early May is relatively safe and comfortable. But try to avoid visiting Beijing during the 3-day public holiday May 01 to 03. 

Beijing's summer lasts from May 15 to Spetember 15.  The first two months ( May 15 - July 15) are not so hot with relatively comfortable weather, a nice time to visit Beijing. July and August are Beijing's rainy season, hot and humid. July and August are also the school summer vacation season with lots of domestic tourists flocking major attractions in Beijing. Autumn (September 05 to November 15) is oft-lauded as the best time to visit Beijing, blue and clear sky and mild temperature. October 01-07 period should be avoided to keep from the hordes of domestci tourists on China's National Holiday.

The major attractions in Beijing are open all year around and basically you are able to visit Beijing at any time of a year. Choosing your own best time per your own time, budget and personal taste. You are always welcome to Beijing!  Check out Beijing Climate for more information.

Arriving in Beijing:
When you arrive at Beijing Capital Airport, you may take a break and have some coffee at Starbucks or KFC that have the outlets in the international arrival hall. You can exchange your money at the banks in the hall. See Currency Converter .  Beijing Capital Airport has three terminals. Most of the international incoming flights land on the terminal No.03 and No. 02. Terminal 01 is mainly for domestic flights. To get to the downtown Beijing from the airport, you have four choices:

Beijing Airport Shuttle Bus

For Beijing airport shuttle bus, you should go out of the hall and find some coaches waiting outside. There are several lines. Please be sure where you are going and choose the right line. It costs about RMB 25 ( about USD 4 ) charged per distance. 

Beijing Airport Taxi 
When arriving at the airport, keep away from taxi or black taxi drivers who approach you in the terminal or outside the terminal as they will ask for much more than the actual price.Just follow the taxi sign and there is a taxi stand outside the each terminal. Drivers should use their meter; make sure that the driver puts down the flag. Beijing capital airport is located about 20km to the northeast of Beijing city center. Taxi charges from Terminal 3 at Beijing capital international airport to Beijing downtown: about CNY 130 inclusive of both a toll gate fee (CNY 10) and a fuel surcharge (CNY1). Taxi charges from Terminal 2 at Beijing capital international airport to Beijing downtown: about CNY 120 inclusive of a fuel surcharge (CNY1).

If you take a taxi to Beijing airport from downtown Beijing at rush hour (morning and afternoon), it is best to call a taxi several hours in advance of your departure time. Although the Metro is often quicker during peak hours, a taxi is much more convenient.

Beijing legitimate taxi license plates will be for the "Beijing B" otherwise it is 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.

Beijing Capital Airport has three terminals - T1, T2 and T3. Each Terminal has its own airport taxi stand. Below is the detailed information on the location of each airport taxi stand of T3, T2 and T1 at Beijing capital airpor.

Beijing Airport Express Trains 
Taking an airport express train is no doubt one of the fastest and the cheapest. This short article provides you some practical information on Beijing airport express trains.

Beijing Airport Private Transfer 
Are you looking for the airport transfer service between Beijing Capital Airport and your midtown hotel or residential area in Beijing? Tour-Beijing Travel Service has a fleet of variou kinds of vehicles different in size, shape and colour. We are able to meet most of your Beijing airport transfer service with our years'experience. Check out Beijing Airport Transfer for more information.

Money Exchange in Beijing
How and where to exchange your money when you travel to Beijing China?
Usually you may do money exchange at the banks or ATM machine at the Beijing Capital Airport when you arrive. They make the same deal either you do it at the airport banks or at ATM machine. When you do the money exchange, don't forget to take your passport. Please keep your receipt. It is vaild for three months! you can use the receipt to exchange your RMB ( Chinese money ) back to your currency when you leave China.

When you run out of money, you can also exchange your money at the counter of your hotel in Beijing. Each hotel has the capacity to do the money exchange for you since Bank of China or other banks in China will have their counters at the foreign-related hotels 

Where should you stay in Beijing?
Beijing hostels are the best way to go for budget lodging in Beijing. Ask to see a hostel room before you pay and choose a dorm (several bunks in one room) for the cheapest Beijing lodging. Please check out the Top 10 Beijing Hostels below: 

1. Peking International Youth Hostel (北京国际青年旅舍)
The hostel is within walking distance to the Forbidden City and Tianenmen Square. Beijing Railway Station is also not far. The shopping center is only a 20 minute walk, including markets and restaurants. The rooms are quite nice, but very small. The staff, though not excellent with English, are very helpful and informative.
Add:5, Beichizi Ertiao, Beichizi Dajie, Dong Cheng District, Beijing
Tel: 86-10 – 6526 8855 

2. Chinese Box Hostel (团园客栈)
It is located in an old Hutong district, within 5 minutes’ walk to subway and many bus connections. The Forbidden City and Tian`anmen Square are easily accessible in less than ten minutes by bicycle. Chinese Box Hostel offers comfortable, affordable private and dormitory rooms, equipped with en-suite or shared bathrooms, air conditioning, wireless internet access and a key-card entry system for security. They also have a range of facilities and services, such as a free internet café, security lockers and luggage storage, a book swap and a tours desk.
Add: No.52 Xisibei Ertiao, Xisi, Xicheng District, Beijing
Tel: 86 10 66186768
ZIP: 100034

3. The Great Wall Courtyard Hostel (老院子)
The courtyard Youth hostel is located at the crossroad of the old town,  at the foot of Beijing Badaling Great Wall. It is a Siheyuan building with the style of Ming and Qing Dynasty, The courtyardis 500 meters away from Badaling Great Wall and 30minutes driving away from Badaling Broken Great Wall. In the daytime, you can appreciate the unlimited sights of the Great wall as much as you like and in the evening, you can go to the hot spring to wash off your dust and tiredness. 
Add: No.5, Chadaogucheng, Badaling Village, Yanqing County, Beijing
Tel: 86 1069121156,  86 13911753888

4. 9 Dragons House ( 鑫茂青年酒店 ) 
The hostel is located in hutongs in the Dongsishitiao area of Beijing. It is approxi a 10-minute walk from exit C of the line 5 subway at Zhangzhizhonglu Station. The atmosphere is good in the hostel. The restaurant provides western food and the staff are extremely friendly, speak good English.  The rooms are nice. Overall a very friendly place in an excellent part of Beijing.
Address: 78, Dongsijiutiao, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Tel: 86 10 84036146
ZIP: 100007

5. Beijing Drum Tower Youth Hostel (北京鼓韵青年旅舍)
The hostel has about 40 rooms with private facilities, there are air-conditioner & long-distance phone and cable TV in the room. In lobby you can get high-speed internet connect and you can use your own computer to surf the net for free. On the terraced roof you can view the drum tower and bell tower, also there are Chinese and western style restaurant that serves you good tastes food. The tour office can help you to arrange your tours around BeiJing. It will make you feel comfortable and convenient. It is an ideal place to stay.  There have 23 dorm rooms with share facilities, the dorm rooms at third floor and B floor.
Add: No.51 Jiugulou Dajie, Xicheng District, Beijing, China
Tel: 86 10 8401 6565

6. Beijing Downtown Backpackers Accommodation (北京东堂青年旅舍)
Downtown Backpackers is located in the very famous protected area of old Beijing, known as Nanluoguxian Alley, the heart of the ancient capital of Yuan dynasty. It has a walking distance to Houhai, Drum Tower and Bell Tower.Downtown Backpackers is not far from Forbidden and just behind Beihai Park. The Hutong district is full of character and life. It is on a street with lots of individual cafes, bars, restaurants and shops. The staff speak good English, extremely helpful and informative. The rooms are spotless and comfy.Add: No.85 Nan Luo Gu Xiang, Dongcheng District Beijing Tel: 86-10-84002429

7. Beijing Far East Youth Hostel (北京远东青年旅舍)
Far East International Youth Hostel has a very good location in a hutong area and near Liulichang, the famous Qianmen shopping street, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and easy accessible to buses, taxis and subway station. The hostel has a courtyard where you may meet people and exchange tips. This hotel has clean rooms, excellent service ,and helpful staff,  good for anyone who wants to save money for good service. Food in surrounding restaurants fantastic and so cheap. 
Add: 90 Tie Shu Jie Xuan Wu District Beijing 100050, China
Tel: 86-10-51958811

8.  Lama Temple International Youth Hostel (北京雍和国际青年旅舍)
It has a great location, on a side alley, right next to Beixinqiao subway station line 5. There are a plethora of restaurants and a grocery store right down the street. The staff are also very friendly and helpful. The dorm area  was all right. the beds are a little hard side. It is also somewhat noisy at night, since the walls are not soundproof. The bathrooms are all communal, and fairly clean, and the shower water is very hot.
Add: 56 Qiaotou Hutong, Beixinqiao, Yonghegong Dajie, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Subway: Beixinqiao Station - Line 5
Tel: (86) 10 64008515 Fax: 10 64028663

9. Beijing City Central International Youth Hotel (北京城市青年酒店)
Beijing City Central Youth Hostel is located just across from the Beijing Railway Station. The bus terminal, airport shuttle bus stop and taxi stands are next to the railway station, and Beijing Zhan subway station Line 2 (Exit A) is just outside the door. The reception staff are quite nice. The bar is nice and offers cheap beer and pool tables. The bathrooms are adequately clean and there are laundry and boiled water facilities. Breakfast worth it, wifi good.
Address: No. 1 Beijingzhanqianjie, Dongcheng District, Beijing, 100005
Tel: 86-10-85115050, 86-10-65258866

10. Saga International Youth Hostel, Beijing (北京红都实佳宾馆)
It has a super location with walking distance to Beijing Railway Station and Tiananmen Square. It takes you only 10 minutes to walk to the hostel from the airport shuttle bus terminal of Beijing International Hotel. It’s also situated at a hutong area- that’ll give you a lot of cultural experience. The staff speak very good English, helpful, fun, and friendly. This hostel is better than the Western standard for hostels. It feels more like a 2-star hotel. You can rent bikes and cruise around the historical Hutong area. Have a nice stay at Saga International Youth Hostel Beijing.
Add: 9 Shijia Hutong, Nanxiaojie, Dongcheng District, Beijing
tel: 86-10-65272773
ZIP: 100010

A plethora of Beijing hotel options are likely to remain around to tantalize and torture you. We at Tour-Beijing Travel Service, are to hack through the jungle of options and simplify your selection process into three choices - the top three best value hotels in Beijing, saving your time and your money. Please check Beijing Hotel Booking for more information.

No matter where you are from, you can easily find your home food. In Beijing, a capital of China, you can get almost any kind of food you prefer. There are restaurants of all sizes all over the city, showcasing the foods from all the world. There are a lot of western fast food options for the those who prefer international standard food (like McDonald's,Pizza Hut, KFC). It's interesting to enter a local small restaurants. 

Most of them have no English menus, but most offer very good food. Street food is amazing. Of course, make sure the dishes appears clean. You can find the night snack market in Wangfujing Street. In the over 50 stalls that open each night, you can get all kinds of local flavors from all over China. You even can find the fried scorpions, little whole barbecued birds, or sea horses, or chicken hearts, or livers.

Must see scenic and historical sites in Beijing
There are five major scenic spots for first - time visitors to Beijing, namely, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace ( these three are within the city ); Great Wall and Ming Tomb ( the two sites are in the suburb). To cover the 5 sites, you have to spend 2 full days. Tiananmen Square can be coupled with the visit to Forbidden City since they are next to each other.

In the evening, if you are not dog-tired, you can mix with the local people, and go to Wangfujing Street shopping and enjoying local flavors at Donghuamen night market. The other night, you may go to Houhai Bar street to take a rest having some drinks while enjoying the night view of the Houhai lake. 

If you only have one day free in Beijing, we suggest you visit Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Great Wall -- the highlight of the Beijing highlight! If you have an extra day in Beijing ( third full day ), you may go to visit Hutong by taking rickshaw. Still, if you have more free time, you can take some side trips to Chengde, Beihdaihe, Mountain Tai, Qufu or Datong.

If you have more time for sightseeing, you can go to Xian, Shanghai or Guilin, even Yangtze River cruise. The scenic spots and tour cities just mentioned are the "must to see" sites while you travel in Beijing China. See Top 10 Must See Attractions in Beijing.

How to go to the Great Wall?
Basically, you have five ways to go to the Great Wall.

1) Take Beijing seat-in coach tours organized by a local travel agency to Badaling, Mutianyu or Simatai. The tour of Mutianyu and Simatai exclude any shopping. No worry! But these tours have fixed departures, so have nice and well arranged travel plan in advance. 

2) Take Beijing private tour organized by a local travel agency to the Dadaling,Mutianyu,Simatai,Jinshanling or Huanghuacheng. The tour to Badaling includes some shoppping at two stops. It's all right. Life is beautiful! Do't be afraid if shopping. It's a different experience. 

3) Take Beijing public bus to the Great Wall. First take a cab to the Deshengmen bus station and take an express bus to the Badaling Section of the wall. The bus leaves from behind the Bell tower and is the no. 919 (make sure you get righ texpress, airconditioned bus, not the normal one which stops all the way). 

4) Ask the concierge at your hotel and arrange a Beijing taxi for you to go to the Great Wall. It is pricy, but it's more flexible. 

5) Hire a car or van for with a driver to  traverse Beijing ( Beijing car rental ).

Touring Beijing with a tour group is good for the first time tourist. But if you really want to travel independently, you should break off from the pack and do some touring on your own. We provides some tips and insight on how to get about Beijing and some spots in the suburban area. See Beijing Transportation. You can take the public bus to the main attractions outside Beijing. 

A review of Beijing traffic from a tourist
I went to Beijing last month and found the traffic in Beijing is not a small problem. You can find traffic jam is quite serious just like other big cities in the world. You know, there is a growing number of middle class who can now afford to purchase cars (some of car are even very expensive). There is only a small percentage of Beijing people who are able to buy cars. But considering 20 million of Beijing population, this small percentation means huge number of cars! In the peak hours of the morning and afternoon, the traffic jams is quite serious, something like New York, very often the traffic comes to a standstill. 

Last time I had some bad luck and couldn't find any taxi returning to my hotel during rash hours. Sometimes, I even had to try several cabs before I could locate an empty taxi. I suggest travelers to Beijing hiring car or van for their trip in Beijing due to the shortage of cars during the peak hours to keep their travel scheduled. Just one more thing, crossing a street is annoying. You will find cars, buses, and bicycles mixed to spoil your day. Try to follow a group of people while crossing a street. There is little possibility of being hit when you go with a large group of people.

Walks Beijing
Experience the fascination of the Capital Beijing on our walking tours! You'll see it all as our English-speaking tour guides take you to both the old Beijing and the trendy Beijing! Taking a walk in Beijing is not an easy job. But it does pay off if you take some time to explore the inside of Beijing. Especially, it's constructive to take a stroll around the hutongs (old alleys and quadrangles).  Check out Beijing Walking Tour for more informaion.

Beijing Public Buses
Taking a public bus in Beijing can be an experience in itself. You can both save your money and keep your trip adventurous. Of course,the buses are often very crowded but it's really interesting to mix with the locals. Don't be afraid of the buses though sometime you do have the danger of being harmed by pickpockets. Just watch out! Normally on each bus there is a person whose main job is to sell bus tickets. 

But a few bus lines have no real person selling tickets. All the prices are written on bus windows. When you enter the bus front door, you just put a coin or small note to the tiny hole. The driver will take care of your money to make sure you have paid the ticket. In these cases, we need to give the exact amount for the ticket. The ticket fair rangs from RMB 1 to 5 due to the different destinations. Bus lines are very complicated but thanks to the "route sign" at each station, we can easily have our way out. Once you are on the bus, you can ask the ticket person whether the bus goes to where you are going, or ark the driver. It's the safest way to make sure you are on the right direction. More about Beijing public bus, please see Beijing Bus.

Beijing Subway is very convenient
For most tourists, Chinese or foreigners will feel the beijing subway trains very clean, fast and fairly comfortable. But,of course, except during weekends or rush hours, the subway trains are very crowded and packed! The subway runs each 5 or 6 minutes daily from 5:00 to 22 or 23:00. The fare is RMB 2 per ride for any distance. Check out Beijing Subway Tour for more information.

Among over a dozen of subway lines in Beijing, there are two main subway lines in Beijing: one straight line running under Chang'an Avenue and its line extends from Sihuidongzan in the east to Pingguoyuan in the west; another one circles under the northern part of the Second Ring Road. You can transfer between these lines at Fuxingmen station and Jianguomen station with no transfer fee.

To find a subway entrance, you can study your map first, to see which is the nearest station. At each station there are usually four entrances in four directions. Then you should look for a large blue sign with letters "D". If you still can not find it, you may ask a Chinese "di tie". Then walk down stairs to enter a station and go to buy the ticket. Above the platform,the tickets are sold . When going down to the platform, give your ticket to the checker at the top of the stairs. On both tunnel walls of the platform, you can still can find signs and maps in Chinese and Pinyin showing the next station and assisting you to decide which subway train to take.

Once inside the train you also can find complete system maps in Chinese and Pinyin, and an announcement both in Chinese & English tells you the name of the next station. So if you find you are on the wrong direction, you can just get off at the next station, (It usually takes about 5 or 6 minutes to travel between stations.), and get on the train running to the opposite direction. No transfer fee will be charged.

Beijing bike riding is a good choice 
As a western tourist, if you are staying at one of the cheap budget hotels in Beijing, then they may have bikes available for rent around 10 RMB per day with a deposit RMB 200. Riding around Beijing is easy as there are many bicycle lanes for you to use and the downtown area is mostly flat terrain. Bike riding is a great way to get off the main roads and head for the hutongs between Beihai Park and the Drum Tower. Be sure to lock your bicycle as bike theft is still a big problem in Beijing. There are some bicycle parking lots on the side of the streets that have an attendant who will watch your bike for small money.  Check out Beijing Bike Tour for more information.

Beijing City Layout
Beijing is very big and quite extending. The present city still find its the basic outline of the Imperial City 500 years ago in Yuan Dynasty with a clear north-south axis and a lot of narrow lanes. The round line of the subway and the second-ring road almost liken the none-existant old city wall. The Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square are located in the middle of the city. 

The place cycling the Forbidden City once held court officials and noble families. Many of these old residential housees can still be found in the hutongs or alleys. These hutongs now become the popular sites for a visit to the city. It's a shame in some other parts of the city, the old alleys are being fast destroyed for new buildings. 

Not far from the south of the Forbidden City is Wangfujing Street, a busy walking commercial street and the layout of some famous hotels. Wangfujing is walking distance to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. 

To the Northeast of the Forbidden City is Chaoyang District, which holds a lot of the city's expat community and also the layout of lots of hotels which are for foreign clients. To the North is the Badaling Great Wall and Juyongguan Great Wall. The Beijing Capital International Airport is located to the northeast of the city with about 40 minutes by drive.
Northwest to the Forbidden City is Weigongcun which hold lots of higher learning institutes, like Beijing university, Tsinghua University and more. The Summer Palace is also situated to the northeast of the city center.

The goods tourists to Beijing prefer to buy are unique handicrafts and cultural relics full of Beijing flavor, such as cloisonn? jade ware, bronzes and stone tablets with inscriptions, writing brushes, ink sticks, paper and ink slabs, antiques, paintings, calligraphic works and handicrafts including dough figurines, facial masks and kites unique to Beijing. Check out Top 10 Beijing Markets for more information.

Dongsi Street
This shopping area is located at the north end of Wangfujing near Longfu Temple. The Longfu Building is a large department store. Shops of every size and description as well as privately owned stalls are in the area. 

Silver Street(Dongdan North Street) 
Silver Street is parallel to and one block east of Wangfujing Street, and is an area for Western-style clothing. 

Wangfujing Street
This is Beijing's busiest commercial area and is normally full of shoppers. Besides many shops and restaurants there is an very large many storied mall. Prices are reasonable in this area as many stores are government owned. The street has recently been completely renovated. 
The area is a good area to shop in as the visitor will not be cheated or overcharged. No bargaining here, but lots of fun. The weekend is the most crowded time. 

This area is north of West Chang'an Avenue and has many different shopping options. Xiadan Market is the largest shop, and it has recently been modernized. Wide range of merchandise is available along with a friendly and helpful staff makes shopping here extremely interesting. There is also a large Xidan Shopping Center in the immediate area. 

Ganjiakou Market
When visiting the Beijing Zoo, the visitor might want to stop off to visit this market. It is located next to the McDonald's, near the zoo. Many clothing items are offered, but are mainly for Asian taste. 

Hongqiao Market
Located near the Temple of Heaven on Tiantan Street, this market offers antiques, clothing, porcelain, produce and much more. Shop all three floors in the main building, but don't miss the antiques hidden behind the pearl stalls on the third floor. Lots of souvenirs. 

This market of about 50 small stores is located across the street from the Kempenski Hotel on the East Third Ring Road. There is a little of everything, but mainly ceramics, paintings and antique furniture. A couple of the furniture stores have larger warehouses in other areas. 
Prices look high, but you can really bargain them down here. Stay with it. 

Liulichang Antique Street
Located southwest of Qianmen, this market specializes in Chinese paintings, calligraphy, rare books, and arts and crafts. At this market the shops all have the look of a traditional Qing Dynasty market area having been rebuilt in the 1980's. A fun place to stroll through and shop.

Panjiayuan Flea Market 
Antique lovers who know their stuff will be very happy shopping here. Most of the real antiques vendors are in the rear area of the market and are usually peasants from the countryside who sell items collected in their villages. Come very early on weekends, Sunday is the best day for the antiques. 

Sanlitun Yaxiu Market
Located on Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District, near the northeast embassy area, is similar to the Silk Market, but it's an indoor 4-floor store. It is also as crowded. It's full of fake designer, jeans, shoes and ladies wear and so on. 

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

Longfu Shopping Street
A pedestrian shopping street, the shops in the section to the west of Longfu Trade Building mainly sell clothes and those in the section to the east of Longfu Trade Building are most snack eateries.

Chongwenmenwai Street
It is flanked by some big shops and markets such as Jinlun Mansion and New World malls, Hongqiao and Ciqikou markets selling farm produce and aquatic products, and Heavenly Temple Market selling flowers and pot plants. 

Qianmen Shopping Street
This is an ancient shopping street outside Qianmen Gate. It is sided by shops and restaurants. Especially the Dashilar Tourist and Pedestrian Street has many old shops such as Tongrentang Pharmacy, Neiliansheng Shoe Shop, Ruifuxiang Silk and Cotton Fabrics Shop, Quanyechang, Zhang Yiyuan Tea Store and Majuyuan Hat Store.

Beijing Nightlife
Actually 20 year ago,there was no nightlife of what people expected like today. Now things have changed greatly and the nightlife in Beijing has been developing. In comparison with the other big cities like Shanghai and Hong Kong, Beijing may be regarded soft night experience, but Beijing is becoming more and more attractive when people seek nightlife.  Check outBeijing Night Tour for more information.

Please find below the three bar areas most popular in Beijing:

Sanlitun Bar street (三里屯酒吧 in Chinese)
ADD: Located in the embassy area. 
You can find much of the nightlife is focused around the Sanlitun Embassy district. Sanlitun Street is full of bars of various styles with live music and imported beers. There are many foreign visitors going there. Of course,you also can find many Chinese bar lovers there too. New clubs and bars open and close very fast. It's better that you may ask your friends or hotel people for more information, or pick up one of the numerous free magazines from a hotel or bar. 

Hou Hai Cafe & Bar (后海酒吧 in Chinese) 
Add:20 South Houhai, Xicheng District 
Houhai is Beijing's newly developed traditional area. It is full of small bars and pubs with character. With the bright of the lights over the lake Houhai has the impressive and unreal image. Many of cafes and restaurants are privately owned and have their own unique feature and unique service. Houhai is a very bright in the contrast to the shabby Sanlitun Bar district. There are many bars and restaurants of different styles that line on the shores of the lake. The area is a good place for people wandering and having a stroll. There are also many trendy restaurants, bars and boutiques have come along the shores of the old Imperial Lake, located north of Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. 

Wudaokou Bar Area (五道口酒吧 in Chinese)
Add: in the lane opposite the west gate of Beijing University, Haidian District 
Wudaokou is a living area in the Haidian District of North West Beijing. It is near a great number of universities and research institutes, which include Peking University, Beijing Language and Culture University, and Tsinghua University. There is a large student population. Wudaokou is famous for its popularity as a student living area, especially the international students. It has great number of bars and nightclubs which, in most cases provide low prices than the more central bar areas. 

Check out Beijing Night Tour for more information.

1. Bring little packages of kleenex to use in the toilets (although Beijing was better for having tp than most cities) 
2. Carry a card with your hotel's name and address in Chinese.
3. Be prepared to bargain for items when shopping 20-30% of what the shop keepers price is. 
4. Make sure you tell the taxi drivers to put the meter on and that you want a receip.
5. Be careful with your personal items, there are huge crowds of people everywhere.
6. A local guide can be very helpful in touring sites, making arrangements and acting as a middle-man translator. 
7. The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall is spectacular, and suposedly less touristy. 
8. Snacks from home are a good thing.
9. Bring bug spray. 
10. Bring an open mind, things are different and not necessarily as sanitary as in the Western world.
11. Never accept rides from taxis that don't have a working meter. Just get out and find another one.
12. Don't go hiking far alone on remote sections of the Great Wall.

Top 10 Beijing Tourist Scams

13. Advice on taking taxi:
Taking a taxi is quite easy in Beijing. Bust there are some illegal taxi in Beijing! You can use the following methods to choose the real taxi: 
1) The taxi plaque number starts with the number B 
2) The taxi should be equippped with the light on the top and meter measuring. 
3) Please take a taxi on the road instead of a taxi waiting somewhere.The empty taxi must show a red light in the front window.My experience tells me that here are two areas where you will encounter the illegal ( black ) taxi: 
A.The taxi waiting at the North Gate of Forbidden City.Actually the legal cabs are not permitted to wait in fornt of the gate.if you want to take a taxi when you finish your visit to Forbidden City, we suggest you walk about 200 meters and find a taxi going on the road B.Please take a serious look at the taxi waiting at the Summer Palace. We still suggest you use a moving taxi.Don't use a the taxi which has no B or with funny colour ( normal colour: yellow and Red ).

14. Fake art students: 
In some areas, you may meet some so-called art students who are approaching to you and talking with you mainly at the aim of practicing English with you. In fact, later, they want to sell some artifacts by taking you to an exhibition hall! Especially be careful of these areas: 
A. Wangfujing street 
B. Tiananmen square, 
C. Starbuck coffee inside the Forbidden City.

15. Some bad shops: 
Some shops nearthe Great Wall, especially Badaling section of the Wall. Be careful of the bad shops. 

16. Panjiayuan flea market 
If you are inerested in visiting Panjiayuan flea market which are open only on weekends,please do bargin. You know some of the stuff are not real antique. 

17. Just name some places worth to visit in Beijing: 
A) Visit the Temple of Heaven in the earlier morning. You will find people, especially olders do morning exercise in the park.
B) The Summer Palace, 
C) See the panda in Beijng zoo. 
D) Visit the Drum Tower. From the tower you could have a good view of the middle axis in Beijing 
E) As for the Great Wall,we suggest Simatai or Mutianyu section, it is a bit wild section. 
F) Ming Tombs : Dingling or Chang Ling. 
G) Houhai bar area where you find lots of bars and a few restaurants near lotus market. 
H) Visit Wangfujing night food street.Just have a close look and don't eat too much

Beijing: Toilets 
Of course,this is a sensitive subject. There are two kinds of restrooms: sitting and squatting, but most are the latter. Please keep in mind that there is seldom toilet paper in the most toilets, so bring your paper always on hand, and even take some anti-bacterial wipes. Hotels here have very good toilets. Some in the tourist sites are all right. But you will find some toilets are terrible! Sometimes the smell is beyond belief. Usually our tour guide advise us to use toilet before going to some remote area like great wall.But things are changing to the better now at least in Beijing. 

Beijing Emergencies
When you are traveling in Beijing or other parts of China and find yourself in emergency, the urgent telephone number is 110 for police, 119 for fire and 120 for ambulance. But while you are in Hong Kong or Macau, please use the number of 999 for emergency services. Foreign Tourists are every often the victims or the targets for thieves, so visitors should keep passports and money from pickpockets. It is also a good idea to keep from wearing impressive jewelry or disclose money in public.

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