Things to Do In Beijing
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Beijing Travel Guide
Get Your Bearings in BeijingWhere to Stay
Beijing offers accommodations of all types. The city center contains everything from high-end luxury hotels to budget hostels, and is located close to many of the city's attractions. Perhaps the best hotels are in Chaoyang, a center frequented by diplomats in an area close to the Central Business District and Sanlitun, the main nightlife center of Beijing. Many luxury hotels are also spas with traditional Chinese medicine treatments and masseuses and additional accommodations like pools and gyms.
Caution: Many hotels will overcharge guests unless you talk to them directly rather than reserving rooms indirectly.
What to Eat
Western-style restaurants of all types are available in several of the city's international districts like Sanlitun and Chaoyang. But Chinese, from meat-heavy Muslim cuisine (from far-off Xinjiang Province) to spicy Sichuan, is in evidence in formal restaurants and humble corner establishments. A more picturesque area to dine is around the Black Lakes, where a spot of preserved traditional buildings is home to eateries amid the narrow lanes and lakes.
Hot Tips: Tips are not necessary at restaurants, but a 15% service fee may be charged by hotels or higher-end restaurants.
Things to See
Beijing is filled with internationally famous sites like The Forbidden City, The Great Wall, Summer Palace and Tiananmen Square, and seeing all of them can be a challenge unto itself. In addition, the city contains numerous museums, monuments, gardens and religious sites. Traffic, distance and the sheer scope of the city make seeing the numerous sites a challenge, so be sure to plan in advance.
Caution: Many of the standard tour operators will overcharge you, but will include transportation and translation.
Places to Party
Most of the nightlife is centered around the bars in Sanlitun, many of which offer live music of all types throughout the week. Several venues and theaters offer Chinese opera, acrobatics and puppet shows. The Beijing Symphony Orchestra performs throughout the year, and the city hosts a number of international ballets and international music events.
Hot Tips: Several publications, like Time Out and The Beijinger, contain a schedule of events going on in the city.
Where to Shop
Beijing's largest shopping area is Wangfujing Dajie, a long, closed-off walking street filled with large international chains, restaurants and smaller shops selling everything from high-end luxury goods like electronics, fashion and fashion accessories to souvenirs. The Village in Sanlitun's bar district has a more relaxed selection of clothing stores, electronic shops and cafes. Liulichang is another shopping district specializing in handicrafts. with antique shops and other stores selling art, books and tea.
Caution: Beijing is famous for its fakes, so be especially careful while shopping for items like pearls and jade.
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Beijing Is Known for...
Five of Beijing's most unique features and characteristics.Heavy Bargaining
One of the most fun activities for tourists is bargaining and negotiating when shopping in Beijing. This can be an amazing experience. The general rule is to take their initial price at bargain until you've agreed to pay one-third of the original asking price. Keeping the banter positive is easy with Beijing's talented and fun-loving sales folk. At the fakes markets and on busy tourists streets you'll have to pull out your best bargaining skills to score a good deal. There are, however, a few places you don't have to bargain, including cabs, hotels, most restaurants and bars and in department stores.Peking Opera
Beijing is known nationally as the soul of the opera scene. The city's many cab drivers are often heard wailing along with the opera performances on the local radio, and there are signs throughout the city for different operas on performance. It's a must-see experience for any tourists to Beijing, and a stark contrast to the opera of Europe and the US. The opera can be confusing in China, but many of the theaters offer English-language subtitles to help urge the audience along.Peking Duck
Beijing is famous for it's Peking Roast Duck. Served in over one hundred slices, the whole duck...
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