If you feel like a bit of pampering and have a little spare time - treat yourself to a hairdresser's visit.
They are open till really late which is perfect and as it was very cold during our visit to Beijing it was so nice being pampered and not having to freeze whilst washing our hair under open showers!!
The Red Lantern House is located on the street where there seemed to have many hairdressers so we found one we liked - entered and although NO english was spoken - the treatment we received was like we were royalty - they were in awe of the Westerners hair!!
We were shown to lockers to place our belongings - coats, scarves, bags etc! The key was on a stretchy band that fits on your wrist like a bracelet and we were issued with silky gowns to wear during the treatment. The basins you lie into - it was heavenly and so enjoyable.
I had my hair washed and straightened - which is no easy feat as I'm a mass of curls
Nikki has her hair washed and straightened also - she has extensions in so it was really long
Adrian has his hair dyed and the total cost - 260rmbs for all 3 x treatments. That's less than AU$50!! I pay more than that just for me in Oz.
There's this street where i spent a couple of days and ate at almost every restaurant along the street.
The mutton kebabs at the Xinjiang restaurant is superb (look for the green signboard) and a couple of doors away, there's a Thai restaurant where the spicy and sour noodle soup is delicious..with more than a hint of Chinese influence...nevertheless..it's lips-smacking good!
And in the mornings, i would get the freshly baked pita bread stuffed with mutton or pork..dripping with juices...
South of Tianenmen Square is a market area that I don't think is too frequented by foreigners... or if it is, it wasn't when we were there!
In the market, there were tons of the typical shops selling lots of average stuff. There was one shop, however, selling awesome Chinese Tea for completely outrageous prices. Jesse and I bought 5 huge bags of various teas (jasmine, oolong, fruit, etc.). It cost us about $100 CDN. We worked out that if we had bought the same amount at home, it probably would have cost us about $700 CDN!!! Wow!
One of the best things about the shop was that the owner did a whole tea service for us with 3 different teas. It was pretty fun to watch, and the tea has a way stronger flavour when it is steeped properly. She was very friendly, and told us to come back if we were ever in Beijing (probably because we made her sales for the day!).
I shouldn't encourage you to buy these fake stuff. However, this is the favourite place for my Eurepean colleagues, I thought some of you may like to shop here .
There is a small video store (I don't think they have a name) easily to be found. Right next to the MTR station of World Trade Centre (The other side of the road). There is a bus stations in front of this store.
You can find all the update DVD/VCD at price from 15 to 25 . Most of them are good quality.
Fabrics that makes this beautiful Cloisonne things.. Great art craft!
We visited one of this fabrics and could see how they made this beautiful craft step-by-step....
This traditional handicraft unique to Beijing boasts a colourful range of varieties shaped in various models incl. furnace, tripod, and quardripod, ash-tray, stationary and lantern. Among them, the blue glazed ones with golden colour are the best because they are most colorful...
The Underground Passages
There are entry points all over Bei Jing, it's best to ask a tour guide or travel agency, or if possible the locals. The entry to the Underground Passage that I used was near the Bei Jing Dong Jiao Min Xiang hotel.
These passages have been built under the city of Bei Jing and lead to places all over the city. Built a minimum of 8m under the city and up to 16m under ground, the passages were built to shelter the people from nuclear attack. They are large enough to store three months worth of food for the city and you'll also find some shops underground. (We visited a silk shop and marvelled at the silk quilts being made.)
This is a part of the city which many people, locals included don't know about. The incredible network has signs pointing to Tianamen Square, the Forbidden City and many other famous places. You will need to pay a small entry fee, but it's well worth the trip.
On our way to the great wall of china, we made a quick stopped at the factory of bronce and copper pots. First they show you the whole process and then thwy launch you into a store. The prices are ok.
Have a name chop/ seal made with your name written in CHINESE!!!!!!! You can choose from the many different sizes and styles available - the most inexpensive being those carved from wood. But if you have some money to spare, buy those jade chops.
If you want to buy some Chinese tea, please go to Zhangyiyuan Chazhuang at Dazhalan street in Qianmen, which is one of the oldest tea stores in Beijing. Jasmine tea seemed very popular among local people.