Beijing Journals

Beijing: Off the Beaten Track

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A travel journal to Beijing by Elisabeth28

Pan Jia Yuan Antique Market Photo, Beijing, China More Photos
Quote: Beijing is a huge, fascinating, and overwhelming city, but other than the main tourist sites, it is not particularly user-friendly for the casual visitor. In this journal, I describe some of my favorite places that I have discovered over the past few months of studying in Beijing.

Phrik Thai

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Restaurant

Quote:
Beijing offers a surprising range of international cuisine at very reasonable prices, and this Thai place is one of the best in town. Though it might seem strange to come to Beijing and eat Thai food rather than Chinese, the price and quality make it a great place to try new tastes or indulge in old favorites. The menu is not particularly long but contains a wide variety of traditional Thai dishes, as well as some mouth-watering drinks and desserts. When my husband and I visited last week, we started with the chilled green papaya salad, which was fantastic, just the right blend of sweet and spicy. The sour coconut milk soup was also delicious, though a bit too rich for my taste. The green curry (av...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 16, 2006

Phrik Thai
6, Lane 3, Guan Dong Dian, Chao Yang District
Beijing, China
+86 (0)10 6586 9726

Pan Jia Yuan Antique Market

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Attraction | "Panjiayuan"

Pan Jia Yuan Antique Market Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
Panjiayuan is much more than just an antiques market (though that is what the English sign near the entrance proclaims). The vast majority of the stalls are not devoted to antiques at all but rather to a tremendous variety of goods, including Tibetan Buddhist and traditional Chinese paintings; jade (and fake "jade") carvings in all shapes and sizes; a wide assortment of all types of jewelry in both wholesale and retail amounts and prices; porcelain; lacquer furniture; silk pillowcases, table runners, and purses; Tibetan saddles, knives, shields, and clothing; Communist memorabilia, and many more unusual items like traditional Chinese paintbrushes, ranging in length from 6 inches to 3 feet, and Indones...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 16, 2006

Pan Jia Yuan Antique Market
18 Hua Wei Li, Pan Jia Yuan Road
Beijing, China
+86 (0)10 6775 2405

Old Summer Palace/Yuan Ming Yuan/Imperial Gardens

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Attraction | "Old Summer Palace"

Flowers at the Old Summer Palace Photo, Chengde, China
Quote:
Though its more famous neighbor gets all the press, in my opinion the Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan) is well worth visiting, especially for those who are fed up with the crowds at the major tourist sites. The park, located in northwest Beijing, near the Summer Palace and just north of Beijing University, was a former imperial palace and summer retreat. The landscaping of the imperial pleasure gardens is all still there, including several large lakes, but the buildings were destroyed by the Anglo-French invasion force of 1860, leaving only some evocative ruins along the north edge of the park. Yuanmingyuan thus doesn't have much in the way of "sights," but this fact ensures that it is much less crow...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 16, 2006

Old Summer Palace/Yuan Ming Yuan/Imperial Gardens
28 Qinghua West Road, East Of Summer Palace
Haidian, Beijing, China 100084
+86 (0)10 6255 1488

Sanyuanli Market

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Attraction

Quote:
If you have a hankering for tropical fruit, fresh vegetables, or imported cheese at a reasonable price, Sanyuanli is the place for you! This covered, permanent market consists of one long aisle with shops on either side, grouped by category. The north end is home to a dozen or so fresh fruit vendors, offering a fantastic selection that would make any supermarket or farmers market in the U.S. or Europe pale in comparison. Along with the typical bananas, oranges, plums, and grapes you will also find kiwis, several kinds of cherries and melons, lychees, pineapples, mangoes, papayas, and my personal favorite, mangosteens. In fact, as a self-confessed fruit junky I consider mangosteen to be one of the m...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 16, 2006

Sanyuanli Market
Xinyuan Jie, Xinyuanli
Beijing, China

Using Public Transport in Beijing

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Story/Tip

Quote:
For many tourists, the words "public bus" conjure up a host of unpleasant adjectives, beginning with "dirty, crowded, slow, and confusing". This last may be the greatest obstacle, especially if you do not speak the language and doubly so if you cannot even read the signs. This journal entry is thus designed to decode the mysteries of Beijing's buses and subway, in order to enable the first-time visitor to use them with (relative) ease. The subway is the easiest place for visitors to start, as it services many useful downtown locations such as Tiananmen Square, Qianmen, and the Yonghegong temple. There are currently three active subway lines, unimaginatively named 1 (runs east-west), 2 (cir...Read More