Beijing, China

On 23 de May de 2014 by Sel

Beijing, China – Bear in mind please that I’ve been to China twice, summer and winter time, 30 days each of my trips, I’ve been there studying Chinese language in a local Chinese school, living in a Chinese house and use to go for a Chinese hangout!


Forbidden City entrance and Mao Tse Tung photo on top of the most high entrance gate. The western and eastern walls have giant placards; the left one reads "Long Live the People's Republic of China" (Chinese: 中华人民共和国万岁; pinyin: Zhōnghuá rénmín gònghéguó wànsuì), while the right one reads"Long Live the Great Unity of the World's Peoples". The right placard used to read "Long Live the Central People's Government" on the founding ceremony of the PRC, but after the ceremony it was changed to "Long Live the Great Unity of the World's Peoples" (Chinese: 世界人民大团结万岁; pinyin: Shìjiè rénmín dà tuánjié wànsuì). Both placards are written in simplified Chinese.


Before anything else:

  1. Buy a pocket guide English/Chinese.
  2. I didn’t have one. However, I was going for Chinese language learning and for a Chinese home staying. Few people out of Shanghai and Hong Kong speak English. Beijing is a city with quite a lot of expatriates, but out of the main centres Chinese is the spoken language.
  3. Chinese people are very friendly and prompt to help, despite the language barrier.
  4. Doesn’t matter where you go, what a country you visit or culture you are living with, its always nice being polite. Some basic words, easy to learn:

    1. ni hao – hi,
    2. xie xie – thank you
    3. zai jian – bye
  5. Check the name of your hotel before you board and land. Not always taxi drivers and people will know the hotel by a chain name as such as Ibis, Marriot or Hyatt. Sometimes hotels have a Chinese name. As soon as you get your place to stay ask a Chinese citizen to write down your address and place in Chinese characters and have it in your back pocket. It’ll make your life easy just in case you get lost or need a cab.
  6. Chinese food is slightly spicy though, tasteful, cheap and base on vegetables. I just love it! Try a jaozi or noodles at Wangfuging.
  7. Tip, download following apps:

    1. “Translate”- it’s a dictionary, faithful to Chinese language and that helps with Chinese characters as well.
    2. Beijing Metro – it’ll help with your underground and walkabouts.

Beijing: It’s an amazing city! I love it! People, food, even the bizarre traffic jam is nice in Beijing.

Traffic – It’s surreal, take care on crossing streets. Red traffic lights means nothing, cars are allow to turn right on red, just as in the USA. Crossings are a non sense net. They horn for everything, what doesn’t mean something is going on, it’s just like that as this is all over Asia. Despite all of the traffic Qianmen Street is a peaceful shopping street with all of the top worldwide brands with a nice touristic refurbished train crossing the street.

Buildings – Beijing as same as Shanghai show off a modern face contrasting the ancient city side. Of course there is a social condition gap of life, this is also a local culture. Hutongs that today are a tourist destination were one day a place for people less fortunate and thieves. You’ll find nice restaurants, small shops and nice handcrafts.

Central China TV Building, Beijing CCTV Television Station and Headquarters – design by OMA

Electronics – I recommend a shopping with somebody local. They will offer you everything so cheap that is difficult to hesitate to the temptation, but there’s a high risk to buy only an iPhone shell for instance or go home with a 1GB flash memory instead of a 64GB.

SIM Card – Be chill, have patience and enjoy! This is the most annoying and funny one! It may take hours, first they’ll offer you a number, as much as “8’s” you get as expensive you’ll pay, 8 is their luck number! “4’s”are the cheapest one’s. After that the problem is getting a 3G, if you bought your SIM on street most probably you’ll be not able to register it, make sure you buy at a local dealer.

Credit Card – CC will not allow you to bargain. Notwithstanding that, they are not well accepted by small businesses, the conversation in China is cash-on-hand, never let them see how much money you really have, put your money all over the pockets and take out only the amount you’d like to pay, make your offer only once, give your back and keep walking, they’ll come behind you for a deal. If doesn’t happen, no worries! Just try again few meters ahead, you’ll find always the same everywhere, or make a better offer for the next because you went too low.

Don’t miss in Beijing:

Great Wall. [photos]. There are several places of the wall to visit. Simatai is one of the most visited and nearest to Beijing. This is 3 hours away. You can make it by bus, near by Mao Tse Tung Mausoleum you’ll find buses, try to make it as early as possible, Great Wall use to be a long day visit and can be quite full of tourists summer time or in a sunny day.

The Great Wall of China seen from East side

Forbidden City. Think in a busy place! This is Forbidden City! I’d suggest a very early day or after lunch visitation, the run finishes at a temple on top of a park just opposite side the exit. The sunset from the top is astounding! Here is the tip. Get inthere at Forbidden City entrance, on the right side of your entrance gate there is another small gate, you’ll find there a store from academy of arts of Beijing, stop by, buy some souvenir, pay another 6RMB for an exclusive entrance trough the imperial garden, no queues, no lines! If you can afford another 100RMB take a guide for an entrance inside the walls, they will tell you the history building by building and save you time and lot of reading.

A Cidade Proibida vista do topo do monte do Parque Jingshan

Tiananmen Square. flag raising, 5AM, -20C – Named Tiananmen after the Tiananmen Gate (Gate of Heavenly Peace).

Lama Temple. Another temple, as beautiful as every single temple in China, smells peace. There are some Hutongs near by. You’ll find a Tibetan restaurant beside, that offers lamb in a roll and mutton chicken, they have English menu with photos.

Templo of Heaven Entrance - Entrada do Templo Lama

Beihai Park. COMING SOON!

Hutong Definition: COMING SOON!

Summer Palace. Far way! Beautiful! Some visitors find this place as the most beautiful place in Beijing. It’s worth the visit, but it’ll depend on how long you intend to stay and what you already know! Versailles Palace, Leeds Castle and so on. This is located at last underground stop and is a full day visitation.

Birds Nest Stadium - Estádio Ninho do Pássaro

The Birds Nest, Water Cube, Olympic Park. Amazing! Brief taking! After lunch visitation, late afternoon by sunset time, the sunset is behind the stadium and evening time lights are on. Worth the visit to the roof. Underground leaves you inside the Olympic Park.

Water Cube - Parque Aquático Cubo D'Água

Ho Hai. Late afternoon or evening time is the time to visit. Near by Forbidden City. Nice restaurants around a lake, bars, shops, live music. Nightlife place. Worth the visit. Winter time you’ll find a nice ice skating rink.

The Place. It’s an open air shopping centre with an amazing outdoor screen ceiling panel, at 20m high and 100m long! If you have a local mobile phone number just send a SMS to the screen and you’ll see your message at the top.

Wangfujing. COMING SOON!

 Sanlitun. Don’t miss it! This is the highest point of a worth trip.

Sanlitun - Cultural, Nightlife place, Shopping, Restaurants, Nightclubs, Bars and lots of beautiful people either Chineses, Europeans, Americans, all of the expatriates from all of the globe - Esta eé a parte mais nova de Pequim e onde se concentra o maior número de expatriados estrangeiros entre os quais Europeus, Americanos e gente de toda parte do mundo. Tambeém eé onde se concentra o maior nuúmero de bares e restaurantes para os visitantes que não conhecem a cidade com uma vida noturna bem agitada.

Clean! Clean! and Clean!

Nice meeting place! Ponto de encontro bem legal de Sanlitun!