Beijing Journals

Beijing or Bust

Best of IgoUgo

A June 2005 trip to Beijing by AsianPersuasian

Water Calligraphy Photo, Beijing, China More Photos
Quote: A look at how to experience the real side of city life in Beijing, without spending a lot of "yuan".

Beijing or Bust

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Water Calligraphy Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
Beijing is what it is...the seat of Chinese history. Centuries of people have worked, lived, and died to make Beijing the city it is, and you notice. You can see the layers of life etched into every building of this city. Anachronism. That is the best word for this place. Palatial compounds like the Forbidden City near glass skyscrapers and asphalt roads. Ancient buildings with terracotta roofs housing discos and shops. The past meets the present and there is little breathing room in between.I visited Beijing just to see for myself the city I had read about for years in history classes. The culture and the history is brutal and beautiful and not to be missed. The architecture is br...Read More

Red Lantern House

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Red Lantern House Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
This place was fabulous! Right in the middle of a hutong this guesthouse had a real homey feel. The guest house is run by three brothers and every evening they sit in the common area smoking cigarettes and listening to their older bother play the erhu, the Chinese version of the violin. The youngest brother collects red paper lanterns and every night he lights them, along with regular oil lamps, and it creates the most amazing glow that just draws you in. I really wished I could have stayed there longer.Every morning they offer you the option of buying a hot breakfast, tea, and espresso. My favorite thing to do was to buy pork buns from the street vendor outside for 50 mi...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 25, 2006

Red Lantern House
No.5 Zhengjue Hutong
Beijing, China
+86 13901125417

Street Vendors

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
Many of my friends thought I was crazy. There were bets on when I would get dysentery or worms...Eating from street vendors is the way to go in China. It is much easier than muddling your way through a menu in Chinese, because all you have to do is point and use your fingers to tell them how many. I saved a TON of money buying meals this way and also experienced the real flavor of Beijing.Each morning I stumbled into the street and bought three pork buns and two rice triangles for pennies on the dollar. I would munch on these throughout the day and buy fruit lychees from another vendor for dessert. In the evening I walked down the street to the satay man and bought a couple sticks of barbecu...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 25, 2006

Silk Market (Xiushui Jie)

Attraction | "Silk Market"

Quote:
This place is not the place to go if you want to buy "Chinese things". The prices are hiked up even if you manage to haggle it down to 25% of the originally quoted price. It is more of a department store than a true market, however, if you are looking for knock-offs this is probably the easiest place to go. For true Chinese items at a fair price visit the Pan Jia Yuan Antique Market (18 Hua Wei Li, Pan Jia Yuan Road), also known as the Weekend Market.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on August 25, 2006

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

Pan Jia Yuan Antique Market

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Bronze Lion Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
This place is IT! For real, honest prices and a wonderful selection of goods this is the place to go. The vendors carry a variety of antiques, beads, chops, brushes, scrolls, lacquerware, wood work, jade, pottery, statuary, and Mao memorabilia...the list goes on and on! I felt so overwhelmed by the beauty of everything that I will have to go back when I return to China. Very little haggling needs to happen here, however do haggle, it is expected.The atmosphere is wonderful...It is entirely an open air market..take photosPlease visit this place. You will kick yourself if you don't. It takes place only on the weekends, so don't try to find it during the week or people will think you ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 25, 2006

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

A Bus from Mongolia to Beijing

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
One of the best kept secrets for traveling from Mongolia to China is taking the bus. Now, granted, if you are not a local, traveling with a local, or are unskilled in filling out customs forms in Mongolian, you may not want to choose this path. However, if you are an adventurer I'd say,"Go for it."To take the bus, buy a ticket from UB to Ulaan Uud. At Ulaan Uud exit the station and walk over to the buses and figure out which one is going to Beijing. It helps to know what the characters for "Beijing" are. My fare cost 90 yuan. This was a HUGE discount compared to taking the train all the way. Once you are on the bus find a bed towards the rear and settle in. Make sure you take the sleeper bus...Read More

Important News About Photography

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
If you visit China and decide to take a film camera, have your photos developed in China. The x-ray machines will kill your photos. I had 13 rolls of film destroyed. They say the machines are film safe, but this is a lie. Some places may let you have it hand inspected, but the chances are slim. Usually they require you to have special paperwork. However, the only way to get the paperwork is if you speak Chinese and know how the system works.Digital is the way to go. Buy yourself a high quality digital camera. I like Casio Exlim. For its size and processing speed, it's the best compact camera on the market. I took this camera to Europe and fell in love with it. Having your photos de...Read More