Beijing Journals

Crazy in Beijing

A December 2004 trip to Beijing by noushi

Quote: Having heard so many horror stories of China, like their terrible human rights record, cruelty to animals, etc., I was really anxious when I arrived into Beijing. Boy, was I surprised! I was there for 2 weeks. This is my account.

Crazy in Beijing

Overview

Quote:
I imagined Beijing to be too crowded to move, that there would be hardly any space, that people would be rude... I could not have been more wrong. Beijing is huge, and there is so much space and so much to see. In fact, I would say so far on this around-the-world trip of mine, Beijing is my favourite city! It has managed to balance the old and new. Though Mcdonald’s and Pizza Hut are everywhere, they have managed to retain their traditions and culture, which so many places seem to be loosing these days. Highlights are of course The Great Wall, The Forbidden City, Tian'anmen Square, Houhai Lake, and the Silk Market.Quick Tips: Best Way To Get Around: Walking is probably best at f...Read More
Quote:
This hotel was advertised as a four-star hotel, and they weren’t wrong. Our room was huge. It lacked character, but the size and facilities made up for this. This hotel is only a 5- to 8-minute walk to Tian'anmen Square, so it was conveniently located to the major sights. Their standard room rate, though, was RMB 1,080, which is ridiculous. We got it for half of that on the Internet. Just type in Beijing Hotels on Google. We paid under £40, just over $80, a night. The hotel has a café, shops, and a beauty centre, which do excellent massages. I totally recommend you get one of those. I have had really funny times at this hotel. Only one person spoke excellent English, so if you needed to ask a ques...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 1, 2005

Beijing Dongjiaominxiang Hotel
No. 23, Dongjiaominxiang, Dongcheng District
Beijing, China
86-10 65243311

Quote:
This is a two-star hotel located just off the shopping plazas of Wangfujing Golden Street, which is not too far from the Forbidden City and about 10 minutes from Tian'anmen Square. The hotel contains 56 rooms with air-conditioning, though the budget one that we stayed in was very basic. It, however, suited our needs and pockets. The price includes breakfast. They have a booking centre and an Internet café.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 2, 2005

Fang Yuan Hotel
36 West St. of Dengshikou
Beijing, China
86 10-65256331

Paulaner Brauhaus Beijing at Kempinski Hotel

Restaurant | "Paulaner Brauhaus"

Quote:
When you're fed up with special fried rice and sweet-and-sour pork, this is the place to come. The huge portions of quality German food, such as pork schnitzel and bratwurst with sauerkraut, are just amazing. This place is such a find, though a little on the pricey side. The beers are, of course, great too, and they have live music most nights.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 2, 2005

Paulaner Brauhaus Beijing at Kempinski Hotel
Beijing Lufthansa Center, 50 Liangmaqiao Road
Chaoyang District, Beijing, China 100125
+86 10 6465 3388

Afunti Restaurant

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Restaurant | "Afunti Uighur Restaurant"

Quote:
Afunti is a sanitised Uighur restaurant that has established a reputation for excellent Uighur food. It is a bit of an institution in Beijing, so tourists now outnumber locals. The reputation for the post-meal dancing on the trestle tables, the Uighur music, and the... err... cabaret performance have pulled in the punters. Sadly, the excellent food is rushed in order to get the tables cleared away so the dancing can begin. For this reason, you need to arrive early - no later than 6:30pm - to allow time to eat. It also closes early, and once it is down to a handful of remaining drunken revellers, the music slacks off (you can't really whoop it up on a table to Greensleeves) and you are ushered out into...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 16, 2005

Afunti Restaurant
2A Houguaibang Hutong
Beijing, China 100010
+86 (0)10 6527 2288

Beijing Fangshan Restaurant

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Restaurant | "Fangshan (Imperial)"

Quote:
Imperial cuisine in a palace--you can't beat that! Fangshan Resturant offers the ordinary folks like us a taste of what a typical meal is like in the royal palace, and therefore, it's not surprising to hear that this is one of the more exclusive restaurants in Beijing. Court Cuisine originates from the imperial kitchen, which cooked food for the emperor and his family. After the fall of the Qing Dynasty, some chefs from the imperial kitchen opened restaurants in the capital to introduce the special food once only eaten by the imperial family. The restaurant itself is situated on the edge of a lake in a large, sprawling traditional building and is terribly romantic. When we came in, they had a group of...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 17, 2005

Beijing Fangshan Restaurant
1 Wenjing Jie
Beijing, China 100034
+86 (0)10 6401 1879

Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant

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Restaurant | "Quan Ju De (Peking Duck)"

Quote:
We met a Swedish guy named Kimmo, and we talked about eating a Beijing Duck. He had heard about a great place with great food that was cheap, and he knew where it was! Great! I'm ready to splurge on a meal!! We made our way to the place. I was surprised to see a small line of people who hadn't made it inside yet--wow! This place must be popular! The Qianmen Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant, established in 1864, is nationally famous for its roast duck, reputed to be China's No. 1 delicacy. Ever since its establishment, the restaurant has kept the traditional method of roasting duck: the duck is hung on a pole over a wood fire until the skin turns golden-brown and crisp. Customers can enjoy the spe...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 16, 2005

Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant
32 Qianmen Avenue
Beijing, China 100051
+86 (0)10 6511 2418

Silk Market (Xiushui Jie)

Attraction | "Silk Market"

Quote:
This really is a fab market, though the name is deceptive. Although it does sell silk scarves, ties, etc., just about every stall sells purses and bags, rip-off Armani Jeans, and of course, polo shirts. I've rummaged through the markets of Hong Kong, Bali, and the notorious night market, Patpong, in Bangkok and seen all the fake Gucci, Dior, and Armani rip-offs, but this market certainly is one of the best for its quality and range of merchandise. This is a must, but remember to bargain hard!

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 2, 2005

Silk Market (Xiushui Jie)
near Embassy Row
Beijing, China

Poachers Inn

Attraction

Quote:
This place is extremely well-known both to locals and expats alike. It gets packed to the rafters and is a lot of fun, not to mention cheap. A vodka and orange drink set me a back a mere 70p - that’s around $1.25! Be warned, though - with drinks this cheap, it's not long before you find yourself absolutely plastered and dancing around like a manic with the rest of the bar.

They even have real toilets!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 2, 2005

Poachers Inn
43 Bei Sanlitun Lu
Beijing, China

Quote:
This tea house is so romantic. It's also steeped in tradition and feels of a world that once was. You walk in and the hostess seats you at your own private area. You are given a menu with various types of teas, and after you choose one, she soon brings a clear teapot of water and two cups full of tea leaves. A long scroll is rolled down to the ground, replacing a door, and you are left alone with your date to chat away and remember that, years before stepped in here, this was not only where meeting places were held and important decisions made but also an integral part of the Chinese culture.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 2, 2005

Purple Vine Tea House
2 Nanchang Jie
Beijing, China

Forbidden City

Attraction | "The Forbidden City"

Quote:
The mysterious Forbidden City, a place of cultural pride for the Oriental world, was once known for its refusal of foreign visitors in the 19th century, which is kind of ironic today when hoards of tourists, tour guides, and Chinese flock en masse into the city walls from which their ancestors were once denied. The Forbidden City is divided into two parts. The southern section, or the Outer Court, was where the emperor exercised his supreme power over the nation. The northern section, or the Inner Court, was where he lived with his royal family. Until 1924, when the last emperor of China was driven from the Inner Court, 14 emperors of the Ming Dynasty and 10 emperors of the Qing Dynasty reigned her...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 3, 2005

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

Beijing, A New Olympic City

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Story/Tip

Quote:
The first thing to realise about Beijing is that you won't see it all in a week, or even two. The whopping scale of China's capital means that many visitors are limited to doing the obligatory rounds of famous, and admittedly dazzling sights including the Forbidden City, the Great wall, the Temple of Heaven, and the Ming tombs. The 2nd thing to know is that inital impressions of the place, generally acquired through a car window while hurtling down the airport expressway, will do little to inspire a longer stay. Recent affluence and preparations for the 2008 Olympics have created a frenzey of demolition and development, with the inevitable construction-site dustbowls. The city's new roads, absorbing...Read More