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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I will spend 1 month in Beijing this summer, and I will be free all afternoons and weekends. What are your recommendations for me to visit, but not the obvious turistic places, but other things like skyscrapers that have an observatory, nightclubs, or other cities in the area, etc?

THANKS!
 

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do you like nature? if so, go to wild Great Wall, not "well maintained" by the government, or go to 石花洞 Shihuadong (Shihua cave), in the outskirt of Beijing.
Also, Shidu十渡 in Fangshan district; Wuling Shan (Wuling Mountain) in Miyun county. this is summer in Beijing now, you can go to Longqingxia (Longqing Gorge), it is different when it is in winter.
if you are a meat eater, go to Donglaishun (东来顺) for hot pot, it is halal, and it is/or used to be (haven't been back to Beijing for nearly 2 years) the most famous hot pot place in Beijing.
um, what's your purpose of going to Beijing? plan to stay with someone who has a car? if you have a friend who has a car and can give you lifts to these places mentioned above, then usually it's easier for you to travel around these places.
Except Chengde, all the places are in Beijing municipality; and the municipality is 16807.8 sq. km. urban Beijing is only 1040 sq. km. and most of the natural places are in rural Beijing. public transport in rural Beijing is not very easy.
 

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so what's you interest? shopping? sightseeing?

there are two famous bar districts, one is 三里屯, (San Li Tun) another one is 什刹海(Shi Cha Hai) Personally i prefer Shi Cha Hai. For Shopping, Oriental Place is good(Dong Fang Guang Chang). for more expensive place go to Guo Mao Zhong Xin, (WTC Mall), for less expensive ones go to Xidan area. they are all on Chang An Street.

i dont know what you mean by "not those obvious torist attractions". you dont like them, or you have been there before? as sentosa said you should really check out some part os the great wall that haven't been refurbished to receive tourists. One famous one is 箭扣 Jian Kou, check with locals on how to get there. but i assume you need a car, because it's not a popular tourist spot so there are no buses going there.

i seriously dont know what skyscrapers in beijing have observatory decks, all i know the tallest is Jingguang International Centre, it's less than 300 m tall though, not that exciting. You can go to CCTV tower in the west Beijing, it's the tallest structure in Beijing(TV Tower, not a buidling). and it has an observatory at the top floor. Since it's located in the west Beijing, maybe the view isnt that great because all of Beijing's skyscrapers are on the east side. Btw maybe you can go to CCTV HQ and WTC Phase 3 construction sites and bring some update news for us.

Personally i dont recommend Hutong tours, they look so fake, for you it might look interesting though. btw all those preserved Hutong area is near Shi Cha Hai where there are also many bars as i mentioned. So you might want to check it out. There are still some hutongs in Beijing that are not tourist areas, they are disappearing as we speak, i dont knwo if you will like it,. because it's very dirty there, but if you have personal interest go to Gu Lou Nei Da jie, i dont know if they have been torned down though.

around Beijing: Tianjin is really close, it's a bit boring but it has some really nice colonial buidlings. and Chengde to the north east, it's the summer retreat of the Qing imperial family and there is a summer palace and 8 buddhist temples (2 Han Buddhism, 6 Lama tempels, truly reflects the multicultural nature of Qing Empire).

Eating: Peking Duck is must, but you dont have to go to Quan Ju De, another place called Bian Yi Fang is also great. Zhajiangmian is also famous Beijing cuisine but i dont like it personally. other than those Beijing pretty much has restaurants from all over china and the world. There is a place called Moscow Restaurants, it was established in 1950's when China and SU had really good relations. the food there is great, but a little bit expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
wow, thanks a lot for all the info, i will visit some of these places for sure.

The whing about the obvious turistic places is that I will be studying Mandarin in a school and they will take us to see those landmarks, so I wante things that I could do by myself on the afternoons.

I will visit the construction sites of CCTV Hq, I am really interested on that building

Thanks a lot for the recommendations.
 

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Which school are you studying at? Wouldn't happen to be Beijing Language and Culture University would it?
 

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Hey!
I did exalctly the same last summer, so maybe my advise will be usefull.
* around the university, if you are at "Bei Yu" (diminutive for Beijing Language and Culture University ) there are plenty of cheap restaurants, of uneven quality : try by yourself or ask the professors (they gave us the best advice). Just on the block south to the university there is one (but you have to enter the block, and find a remote backstreet) called ".com" that is cheap (50Y) and very, very good quality (believe me!). On-campus restaurants are expensive, appart from the 'na' you can buy at the ouigour restaurant, and the cantine is alrigth although a bit repetitive after one month.
If you go to "diske", ie nightclubs, there are plenty of them. Some of them are great great, but to me nothing is as good at the Rock'n'roll (There's an english name) which is a cantonese place with a great ambiance and a crazy dj. age av. 20. Music= a funny mix of chinese techno. It's 100 m inside the southeast block when you are at the main crossrad in Sanlitun.

If you go to wan(g?)fuxing, there's a smaller street with an interesting open air food market (you can eat scorpions...)!!! The streets to the east of forbidden city of nice to walk through in the evening.

There is also a small picture & antiques market to the 1 km south west ot TianMen (other side of tien an men), where you can see chinese paintings. A little touristic, but the pics are ok. There's a much bigger market on sundays, next to the sky temple in south eastern beijing.

The sides of the lake north of beihai are full with little restaurants on open air terraces, it a cool place although a bit tourisitc.

That's the 2-3 adresses I can advise you, but there's so much more to see!!!
In general, you'll appreciate more the restaurant if you're being helped by a chinese friend (or ask the fuwuyuan=server to help you choose for you). That's how we made our best feasts! Try to go in good restaurants once or twice (70 per person) if you can afford it, they're worth it! And there are plenty of different kind of food depending of the region in China, so try Sechuan, Hunan (hot!), or Guangzou food there in good restaurants, that will change you from the thick sauce you see in (too) many dishes in Beijing restaurants.

Concerning the travellers book, my lonely planet had wrong maps!!!! The dots indicating the restaus & discos were wrong so we had to use the address and read the map ourselves!! (I remember walking from Sanlitun to a park at the east, and back again, for more than one hour!!). Same things in other french books.
But buy one, it's so usefull.

Bejing is pretty safe for such a big city for travellers. I remember I forgot my bag with passport, Visa card, numerical camera and 1000Y at a small restaurant. They called the hotel to signal it before I found it out. And everything was in there!! I do'nt know about the statistics, but I guess you can feel free to go in many places alone, outside touristics "traps" (still, most of beijing touristic attraction are woth seeing!!). The best way to see other side of this city is still to meet chinese people, make friends, discuss and visit the city with them. A friend of mine was given extra chinese lessons by a student, and this way we met some chinese students (not numerous on the campus during the summer, and harder if you're in a group of 10 persons).

Outside Beijing, I can tell about the great wall. Don't go to padaling, go to Simatai!! It is so beautiful there! It hasn't been restaured in the 50's, so it's original (restaured in 17XX) and in a fabulous landscape. And there's a thrid place I have been to, it's lost in the nature and much further. The wall is in a forst, trees a growing atop, it's one of the most romantic misty mountain landscape I've ever seen!! The university carried us there, so they know where it is, I don't remeber...

Otherwise, you'll have to learn to negociate. Clothes are incredibely cheap (a pair of jean is 50 Yuans max if you're being helped by a chinese fried, 150 otherwise!!), electronics not so much (you should try to get 30% off still), apart from made in china products. Don't try to buy in big store in central city, but rather in big markets with plenty of small store : this way you can compare the prices).


OK, I'll stop there, otherwise I'll never stop. :)
Enjoy you stay there, Adrien
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks a lot, all this is very useful for me, because yes, i'm staying in an academy a few blocks away fron the Bei Yu, I think my shool and Bei Yu are linked somehow, like same teachers, etc.
Thanks a lot for the advice, I leave in one week, all this will make my trip better.
 

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do you like xxx, u can see it in every hotel in Beijing,Guangzou, etc with cheap price, nice girl, good make love, about 25usd/each time. that's greated !!!!!!!!!!
 

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chuoinhe said:
do you like xxx, u can see it in every hotel in Beijing,Guangzou, etc with cheap price, nice girl, good make love, about 25usd/each time. that's greated !!!!!!!!!!
Do you really think this is appropriate for a public forum?
 
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