Beijing Journals

Site Seeing While on Business

A January 2005 trip to Beijing by gpsmith

Quote: An overview of some top tips on things that I enjoyed doing while spending a couple weeks in Beijing on business.

Site Seeing While on Business

Overview

Quote:
For me, other than just soaking up the culture--which is very radically different from that of the U.K.--getting to see the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square, and the Forbidden City were great personal goals.

Quick Tips:

Choose the time of year when it's not too cold or too hot.

Best Way To Get Around:

While downtown, you can walk a little bit, but taxi generally is the easiest and cheapest, compared to Western cities.

The Great Wall Sheraton Hotel

Hotel | "The Great Wall Sheraton - Beijing"

Quote:
This was a pretty standard international-grade, business-type hotel. It was clean, the staff was friendly, and the location was convenient for getting downtown at night, by only 10- to 15-minute cab ride. It's in the middle of the Embassy District, so there's easy access to Western restuarants, including the Hard Rock Cafe, which is just across the road. The hotel has a very nice Chinese resturant on the top floor called the 21st Floor. It has great views of the city and wonderful food. They can arrange for a car to and from the airport if you want, but you'll pay 400RMB each way. It's useful when you arrive, though, as they have a driver and hotel porter who speaks English waiting for...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 17, 2005

The Great Wall Sheraton Hotel
10 NORTH DONG SAN HUAN ROAD
Beijing, China
86-10-6590-5566

Grand Hyatt Chinese Restaurant

Restaurant | "Chinese Restaurant, Grand Hyatt"

Quote:
Okay, it's expensive, but it is in the Grand Hyatt downtown, so this should not come as a great surprise. Besides, it's a wonderfully designed place with atmosphere. You can see the cooks working behind glass walls, which is really interesting if you've never seen a busy kitchen before. I can recommend the Peking Duck. Among the four of us, we all ordered something different and shared it all. Everything was completely wonderful.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 17, 2005

Grand Hyatt Chinese Restaurant
1 East Chang An Avenue
Beijing, China
+86 10 8518 1234

Hong Qiao Market

Attraction | "Pearl Market (Hong Qiao)"

Quote:
Surprisingly enough, the Pearl Market actually only has one floor with pearls on it. The other two floors have a combination of electronics, clothes, silk products and knick-knacks. Be prepared to bargain hard, if you're a Westerner, the initial price you'll get will be very high. Take, for example, a traditional Chinese women's dress, initially offered to me at 680RMB, finally paid 215RMB. Great for buying gifts of chopstick sets, tablecloths/runners, chess sets, traditional Chinese gifts, and silk scarves, etc. Worth watching a few people bargain first to get some pointers. Ideally, if you can take someone Chinese with you, they'll be able to give you a guide price on what ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 17, 2005

Hong Qiao Market
Tian Tan East Road, East of the Temple of Heaven
Beijing, China 100061
+86 (0)10 6713 3354

Great Wall at Mu Tian Yu

Attraction | "The Great Wall at Mutianyu"

Quote:
So you're in Beijing and you want to see the great wall. Well there are about three parts of it within a couple hours' drive from Beijing. On the advice of previous travellers, I went to Mutianyu, a popular but not overly touristy part. You can get there through either organised tours (often available through your hotel), taxi, or private tour. If you go by taxi, be careful not to get ripped off. I took a private tour, which cost 900RMB for three of us. The driver spoke fantastic English, great for asking all those questions about the area and culture. The best thing when you get there is to take the cable car up, walk 1.5 to 2km to the right, and either take the chair lift o...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 17, 2005

Great Wall at Mu Tian Yu
San Du He Village
Beijing, China 101400
+86 (0)10 6162 6873

Summer Palace

Attraction

Quote:
This is a large park with numerous buildings used to relax in the summer (no surprises from the name then). In the middle is a huge lake, which freezes in the winter. I went in early February and was very cold--the cold air coming in off the frozen lake didn't help, either. I would imagine that in the spring or autumn, when it's not baking hot, it would be very nice to spend a day wandering around and taking it all in. We saw the key things in a couple of hours. I found it funny that every sign that explained the history read something like, "Built in 1800; burnt down by Anglo-French forces in 1850; rebuilt in 1890!" It's like they seriously don't like the English or French, which the American I...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 17, 2005

Summer Palace
Kunming Lake
Haidian, Beijing, China
010-6288 1144

Forbidden City

Attraction

Quote:
How can you go to Beijing and not go to the Forbidden City? It's something to be seen, as the scale of the complex is hard to describe. Being there in late January and three years away from the Olympics, they were doing a lot of renovation work, so parts were blocked off, with a lot of work going on. However, although this hampered my photography, it didn't hamper my enjoyment. Once they have finished, the new paint work will really bring the temples and buildings to life. I was slighty disappointed that the temples did not have much furniture in them. I realize that real relics might not be available, but replicas would have been good to get a better feel for how the space w...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on February 17, 2005

Forbidden City
North Of Tiananmen Square Dong Cheng District
Beijing, China 100009
+86 (0)10 6512 2255