Beijing Journals

Beijing and Environs

Best of IgoUgo

An October 1999 trip to Beijing by gsingh

Great Wall at Si Ma Tai Photo, Beijing, China More Photos
Quote: We dive-bombed upon Beijing and spent some free time exploring the ways and means of the Chinese.

Beijing and Environs

Overview

Quote:
The Great Wall at Simitai, traffic jams, and more Peking Duck than you can imagine.Quick Tips: When you take a taxi from the airport, don't get caught in one of the scams. Take the little red taxis. Don't let some lady talk you into spending fifty dollars for a ride that should cost ten. Also, have someone write down your destination in Chinese, so you can show it to the cab driver. Many of them don't read maps. Another tip: carry toilet paper with you wherever you go. Many public toilets are paperless.Best Way To Get Around: Bus system is dynamite, as long as you don't mind being jammed in with a million people. The taxis are extrememly cheap, so they are the most economica...Read More
Beijing Friendship Hotel Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
We stayed at a gargantuan complex called the Friendship Hotel, which isn't near the center of the city, but it's only a five dollar cab ride away. Located on Bai Shi Qiao Lu in the Haidan district, the hotel is about 45 minutes from the airport (depending on traffic), and about 15-20 minutes from Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. This place is the equivalent of a five-star western hotel and it has 1900 rooms, 20 restaurants, a few bars, swimming pools, outdoor and indoor tennis courts, an underground shopping mall, a bowling alley, a gym, a karaoke lounge, a hair salon, beautiful gardens outside, and underground passageways that connect its five Chinese temple style buildings. It is the large...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 2, 2000

Beijing Friendship Hotel
3 Bai Shi Qiao Lu
Beijing, China
+86 10 6849 8880

Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Quan Ju De -- Peking Duck!!"

Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
Peking Duck, one of the most Epicurean dishes in China, goes way back in time, and while in Beijing we gorged on it. Sometimes the duck comes whole, while other times it arrives already cut up on a plate. You then take the shaves of duck meat, along with a few green onions or leeks, and wrap it up in the Chinese equivalent of a small pancake with some Hoisin plum sauce. One duck serves about four people.Two particular restaurants were faves on our trip: the world famous Quan Ju De, and another spectacular joint called Tian Wai Tian. Both specialize in Peking/Beijing Duck.Quan Ju De, which translates as 'all virtues assemble' is one of the most famous eateries in all of Chin...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 14, 2000

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

Great Wall at Si Ma Tai

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "The Great Wall at Simitai"

Great Wall at Si Ma Tai Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
One of the most breathtaking views on earth is at the Great Wall at Simitai, about three hours north of Beijing. If you are in Beijing soon, you owe it to yourself to make a visit to Simitai. It will make your entire trip to China worthwhile. We were there at the end of October, not the time to visit the place, as the frigid, polar gusts and the below freezing wind chill factor nearly turned us into blocks of ice. This is where they get you. None of us were prepared for the weather, so the t-shirt vendors, all of which had plenty of hats, gloves, and overcoats for sale, made a fortune. I chose to venture forth with only a light windbreaker. Bad move. I nearly collapsed....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 2, 2000

Great Wall at Si Ma Tai
Si Ma Tai
Beijing, China 101508
+ 86 (0)10 6903 1051

Purple Hair in Tiananmen Square

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Tiananmen Square Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
Tiananmen Square was unusually vacant the day we decided to visit the place. I don't know why. I imagined it would be overrun with tourists, but it wasn't. There were a few dozen people, mostly Chinese people from parts outside of Beijing, strolling around taking pictures. I didn't see any other Westerners besides us. Funny as it seems, my friend traveling with me, Mr. Ryan Torchia, had long purple hair and was wearing a Melvins T-shirt. I thought this fact would draw us immediate attention, but it didn't until later. After fighting off the hawkers trying to sell us postcards, we turned right around and were faced by three lovely young Chinese girls, each one with a camera and each one wanting ...Read More

Traffic in Beijing

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
Traffic in Beijing is completely insane.Just for the sake of comparison, if I drive on the sidewalk in a big city in California for a reasonable length of time, I'll probably hear a siren within ten minutes. If I cruise through a residential neighborhood and drive on someone's parking strip just to get around the slowpoke in front of me, I'll most likely get a ticket. If not, someone will write down my license plate number and dash for the phone. Whatever American metropolis you find yourself in, there are volumes of traffic laws and moving violations designed to subdue the would-be reckless driver.In Beijing the only rule is this: whoever has the biggest vehicle wins. Or s...Read More

Airport Taxi Scam

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
After you clear customs at the Peking Airport, you'll walk towards the door amidst the typical hustle and bustle of a crowded facility. Once you get outside, you'll need to take a taxi to wherever you plan on staying. There are several types of taxis in Beijing, but the tiny red ones are the ones you want. They are very cheap. Find someone to write down your destination's address in Chinese characters so you can give it to the taxi driver. Many of the drivers can't read a map, so this is a must.At the airport you must beware of a certain scam. As you approach the door, a lady will come up and tell you that she has the best deal on upscale driving services into the city. She'll lead yo...Read More