Local traditions and culture in Beijing

  • Eating and Drinking
    by blueskyjohn
  • Eating and Drinking
    by blueskyjohn
  • Eating and Drinking
    by blueskyjohn

Most Viewed Local Customs in Beijing

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    No tipping, poor service?

    by melosh Written Jun 27, 2007

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    Tipping is not customary in China. My son who lives near Beijing believes this may explain why the service is often so indifferent, inefficient and even cold in Beijing restaurants. I observed this at almost every good restaurant we visited, even though my son spoke Chinese and was always friendly and courteous. Come to think of it, this was only not true at the most modest place we ate at during my stay in Beijing.

    This lack of tipping would not explain why everywhere else I visited in China the service seemed both efficient and very friendly.

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  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    The Dazibaos

    by kokoryko Written Apr 24, 2007

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    The dazibaos are not what they used to be !!
    They were created for “free” expression of “citizens”, political education and information, now. . . it is financial information. . . times have changed. . . .
    Well it is a bit a silly thought, but I am not sure this kind of Dazibao is better than the former ones.

    The modern Dazibao!
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    Show windows

    by kokoryko Written Apr 24, 2007

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    What do Beijing and Amsterdam have in common? There are not as many channels in Beijing as in Amsterdam, but many bikes and bikers can be found in both cities. What else? Have a look at picture 2 and you will know. Yes, I was very surprised to find show windows with women here in Beijing, as the communist Party, long time ago banished prostitution and I thought it could not be that “public”. But times are changing, it seems, and money is money, so I guess these activities are allowed.
    No it is not a phantasm, the girls made very explicit signs to me when I passed by, and they did hide when they saw my camera, I just had time to make one picture showing them.


    Main picture: Biker in Beijing, from biker’s perspective, quite a very common view in both Amsterdam and Beijing.

    Picture 2:This is a show window for some special activities; I have put this in local customs, but I am not sure this custom is local; but I wouldn’t dare to post this in “things to do”! Picture taken on Deshengmennei Dajie.

    Could be Amsterdam.. . . Could be Amsterdam.. . .
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    Fly a kite!

    by idy Updated Mar 13, 2007

    Beijingers are pretty big on flying kites. On any given day, you may spot a kite or two in the sky. At first you may mistake them from large birds, but no, they are kites. If it's a sunny day with a nice wind, not galing, the number of kites will increase exponentially.

    It's good fun and you can easily get your kite up as high as your string is long, as it's a sunny and gusty city. Be careful, though, not to get into any kite accidents with the locals - if you have the ill fortune to meet a nasty fellow, he'll demand that you pay him if his kite is damaged!

    What a pretty kite! Up it goes ...
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  • amy_leong's Profile Photo

    Old Beijing Hutong

    by amy_leong Written Oct 18, 2006

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    You will need to bargain with the trishaw agents. We managed to get the price down to RMB30 per trishaw (2 passengers) for the Old Beijing Hutong Ride. Price excludes entrance fees to certain spots or meals.

    Hutong Wall Art
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  • oceania26's Profile Photo

    Staring

    by oceania26 Written Aug 30, 2006

    If you're non oriental be prepared for a lot of gawking. They don't even hide the fact that they are ogling you. If you are non-white, expect even more starring - especially if you are black. It's more a curiousity then anything else, I don't most Chinese outside the major cities have seen foreigners.

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    Spitting

    by oceania26 Updated Aug 30, 2006

    Men and women will spit EVERYWHERE regardless if they're indoors or not. I was absolutely amazed by this...people hawking and spitting right there on the floor. You'll see gobs and gobs of spit everywhere. Kinda like bird poop in Venice...lol.

    I guess the spitting problem is getting pretty bad there because there are signs saying 'No Spitting'..LOL.

    Just be prepared

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    Electricity

    by keeweechic Updated Aug 21, 2006

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    Voltage is 220 volts. In Hong Kong they operated on the 3 pronged flat British type plug, but I also had another fat round 3 pin plug in my apartment which was an older type and was gradually being replaced by the flat head plug.

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  • ancient_traveler's Profile Photo

    BEIJINGERS

    by ancient_traveler Written Jun 5, 2006

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    Beijingers enjoy chatting, taking their caged birds out in the parks, gardening, raising gold fish, window shopping and playing cards and mahjong. In recent years, an increasing number of Beijingers have become soccer fans. Young people love pop and rock music.

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    FESTIVALS

    by ancient_traveler Written Jun 5, 2006

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    Beijingers while the night away on the New Year’s Eve and visit fairs during the Spring Festival. On Lantern Festival, they eat rice dumplings and on the Dragon Boat festival they eat pyramid-shaped glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in board reed leaves. On the Day of Pure Brightness, they sweep the tombs of their deceased and for the Mid- Autumn Festival they admire the moon and hold family reunion.

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  • wwliu's Profile Photo

    Chisel Seal

    by wwliu Written May 21, 2006

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    Liulichang is an antique street in Beijing which is famous for curio trade. Today, it is become to culture express typical street in Beijng. You may find most old Beijing's culture activities as chiseling seal. In the past, people espacially intellectual and officer have stone seal called "Zhang" in Chinese. It is different from seals today we use. Chiselling characters on a stone like jade and carnelian is not a easy stuff. Not only chisel without mistake, but also chisel beautiful style. It is definitely is a hard skill. So, if you walk on Liulichang, why not chisel one your own seal.

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    Take your photos of ppl with their permission

    by jenaikes Updated Mar 20, 2006

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    ...otherwise, do it quickly. The mainland Chinese are extremely paranoid people. Paranoid about people laughing at their behaviour/bad habits (cos they are proud), paranoid especially if they are roadside hawkers or streetside vendors cos they are afraid that police can identify them for illegal hawking etc...

    The ones with children normally are more open when you want to photogragh their chidren, especially if you complement that their kid is "ke ai" (adorable). Ask when in doubt if not you'll risk getting scolded.

    ppl smoking in a restaurant

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    Bicycles

    by bonio Updated Dec 24, 2005

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    Well, the song says there are 9 million bicycles in Beijing - maybe once but there's too much traffic now - it's too dangerous on a bike, everyone drives or takes public transport. Traffic is very congested at all times it seems.

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    Swept away

    by MickeH Written Oct 5, 2005

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    Beijing employ an army of street sweepers. Where every you go there are sweepers doing their job. This means that Beijing is a very clean city with very little litter.

    It seems that they always work the same area because at nigt you can see sweeps lying under bushes or propped against walls and I guess the owner just come back in the morning to start all over again.

    They do a great job because the streets are cleaner than most placed I have been.

    Street sweeper in the Forbidden City

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    Flying Kites

    by MickeH Written Oct 5, 2005

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    In many places, Tiananmen Square in particular, you will find people of all ages flying their kites.
    Some are very skilled and their kited fly high over the rooftops of the nearby houses. And that is saying something because the houses around Tiananmen Square are very big. Not skyscrapes, but still.

    There are a wide array of different kites flying and sometimes there are many kites flying so close together that I can't understand how they keep them from getting in eachothers way.

    Early morning is the best time to see them I think, but there are people flying kites all day if the weather allows it.

    Kiteflyer at Tiananmen

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