Beijing, the paradise of bicycles
Beijing is an ideal place for cycling especially in the city's hutongs.
Cycling is not only a healthy and funny way to experience Beijing and the Chinese culture but it is also a much faster way to get around than taking a taxi or a public bus.
For the Chinese, bikes are more than a medium of transportation, bikes can also be:
- Works of art
Points to consider:
While riding by the cycle paths at the side of the road, you be careful for some motor vehicles, it seems they are fond of cycle paths.
Most of bike riders in Beijing don’t wear a helmet, however, in winter it is a must in order to cope with the ice, sandstorms and strong winds.
You also need a good lock.
If you have a flat tire or mechanical problem you will easily find a bicycle repair shop or a bicycle repair stand in the sidewalk, don’t worry. Cycle parking is also available for a small fee at numerous pavement bicycle parks.
Where to rent a bike?
Bicycles can be rented from a hotel and cycle shops, this won’t be a problem for you.
If you want more information about bicycle rents, you may take a look at the following website.
Another funny way to get acquainted to Beijing is by joining a bike tour. For more informations about it, please, check the website I provide below.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
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play soccer in Beijing
If you are a soccer fan, and have a long jounery in Beijing, you can find some soccer players play with you. Dong Dan Gym and Altra of the Earth Gym are two popular place, you may play in these places for only 20 RMB. Don't worry about balls and shoes, lot of sports shop around there.Related to:
- Adventure Travel
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Dong Heng club
Pool and billiards is very popular in Beijing night life, Dong Heng club is my favourite one. lot of players is expert level, if you went there alone, they also provide accompany service. Another club named Xuan Long, located at the south gate of Altar of the Earth, is also very good. they are all 24 hours club.
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Hiking the Great Wall
Those who like a good workout should climb/hike the Great Wall. It's generally walking up a gentle gradient, but some sections are good and steep, and there are a great many stairs to climb!
If you're even more adventurous, you may want to consider parasailing over the Great Wall (as seen in photo 3)! Just imagine how fabulous the view would be!
Equipment: Comfortable shoes, drinking water, a hat!Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- Historical Travel
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Hiking Ling Shan (Á¡¡ì¦É½)
Á¡¡ì¦É½ is good for anything from a day's hike to a several days' hike. Locals like to go there over the weekend, and there are several camping sites. Start out early if you want to camp at a better site than at the top, which has no protection from the wind. Further down the trail, a small group can camp on the unrestored section/watch tower of the Great Wall, or even further down, for bigger groups, an area close to a farmhouse.
Equipment: Do bring appropriate equipment suitable for the season. It's terribly cold in autumn and in winter, it's even worse! Water is a must, as is food, and a dry change of clothes and extra warm clothing.Related to:
- Mountain Climbing
- Hiking and Walking
Buying golf stuff
With China being the worlds leading manufacture of golf clubs then obviously you’re going to see them for sale around Beijing. Unfortunately what you see for sale is almost always fake although visually you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference in many cases. One guy admitted they were copies and showed me to a back room in his shop where he claimed he kept the real stuff, still didn’t believe him though. All the top brands are there and are only a fraction of the cost in Europe but you get what you pay for. Would have loved to have tried to hit a few balls with one of the fake drivers but obviously not possible in the middle of Beijing, and I’m sure they wouldn’t risk a sale and allow you anyway. There’s about a dozen or more golfing stuff only shops nearby the silk market and a few more in the silk market but the ones away from the silk market are better. I bought couple of big name brand putters (Odessy and Taylormade) and they’re good fakes and I wasn’t going to do much harm for $20 each.Related to:
Not quite a sports tip as such!
It is a place you can go and have Chinese characters and English letters printed onto sports clothing. When I was in China my second time round it was my then boyfriend's birthday and I wanted to think of something different to get him. So with the help of a Japanese friend who was also having some football shirts printed, I came across this small shop down some winding lanes.
I went to him and chose the number I wanted printed on the front of the football t-shirt (Beijing football club's) and then wrote in Chinese my boyfriend's Chinese name. And within two or three days, it was all done!
The perfect present with a little difference to it!
Equipment: All you need is an item of sports clothing you want to have printed. It really was very cheap. Probably around one pound a character, if that! I think it actually cost me around 4 pounds in total....GREAT!
The guy's name is Wang Dan Xing.
This is the Worker's Stadium which is situated in the east of the city, on North Worker's Stadium Road. It is here where you'll see all kinds of football matches, both international and national being payed. It was here where Real Madrid played the China team and it will also be here where Beijing plays its home matches. I went once to watch Beijing play another Chinese team, I forget who now, and it was so much fun! I have only been to one match in England before, but it was so different here. The crowd were effing and blinding and they would throw things onto the pitch and they had lots of horrible noise making machines with them! The quality of the football wasn't very good and the seats were tough plastic, but the atmosphere was fun, and that's what I went for! We hadn't bought any tickets in advance so just had to go to the dodgy dealers lurking round the front gates to buy some!!! They weren't too expensive so it worked out alright! Im sure for big international games all black market tickets would cost a fortune, so you're better off buying them in advance and legally! I know...how boring!!!!
Ex-pro swim teacher
I first met this lady my first time in China, back in 1998. I had seen her advert in a magazine claiming to be a 'China Swimming Coach', and due to my love of the sport, I gave her a call. She doesn't speak any English if i remember but when youre learning something like swimming, it doesn't really matter if you don't speak the same language. Well, thats at least what I believe! I had been swimming since I was about 9 for Gibraltar and so by the age of 19 I was pretty good! I didn't need someone who could teach me to swim, just someone to coach me. She was wonderful and gave me lots of great tips. So although this tip is more for those who are planning on staying in China for a while, it doesnt only apply for serious swimmers. She can teach people of all abilities.
Equipment: We swam in a hotel pool in Jianguomen opposite the Friendship Store, The Scitech Hotel. The pool wasnt very large and a had a curve in it, so it wasnt great for me who wanted to do laps, but for beginners, its perfect!
Like I said, I swam with her in 1998. She may not for all I know still be doing it, but she's a professional coach and very good at her job. Equipment you need......a swimming costume, cap and goggles! As simple as that!
The coach's name is Chen Xuan Qian
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Wushu Training with the Beijing Wushu Team
Chinese Wushu, or Martial Arts, is one of the great cultural treasures of China. And one of the best places to study wushu (especially modern wushu) is Beijing, China.
Modern Wushu is broken up into two main disciplines, forms competition/training (taolu) and fighting competition/training (sanshou/sanda). Whether your interests are in looking amazing and showing off your moves, or in learning to defend and attack with the best, you can find what you're looking for with wushu.
If you are familiar with Jet Li, the world-famous movie star, then you already know what wushu is. In fact Jet is a former member of the Beijing Wushu Team which trains at the Shi Cha Hai Sports School located on Dian Men Da Jie next to Hou Hai.
Not only is wushu training a great way to get in shape, but it's a really wonderful way to learn about Chinese culture, language, and bond with local Chinese in a way you just can't do by touring the Great Wall for an afternoon.
At Shi Cha Hai's facility they not only have top of the line training, coaching and equipment, but a wonderful 3 - 4 star hotel with an arboretum and it's just a hop-skip and jump from Hou Hai and Lotus Lane.
Equipment: For most wushu training you need nothing more than comfortable workout clothes (t-shirt and sweats or shorts), some joint supports if you need them (knee brace or ankle brace) and a soft pair of shoes. You can find training shoes at most of the training locations in Beijing (I recommend picking up a pair of feiyue's for taolu training). Aside from that, just bring your grit, determination, and a big old bottle of water.Related to:
- Study Abroad
- Adventure Travel
Play on the Ice
I read somewhere that the Chinse invented ice skating. Whether that is true or not, I'm not positive, but what I do know is that playing on the ice is a cheap, amuzing and quite popular way to spend a nice winter day.
You can simply walk the ice and enjoy the sights from a different angle.
You can strap on a pair of skates and pretend you are in the olympics.
You can saddle up on a bike/skate hybrid and peddle around.
You can even sit in a chair that has rails and pole your way around.
For the really ambitious you can make a train of all of the above...
I even saw people playing pick-up games of hockey on the southwest moat of the Forbidden City.
Equipment: Warm clothes is all you need, you can get all others as needed on the ice.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Adventure Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Bungy Jump Beijing
The best place to bungee jump near Beijing is in Fangshan. There is also Qianlong park, but Fangshan a better jump because you jump into more of a valley so it feels higher (i'm not actually sure which one is higher)...and it's more scenic.
Fangshan also has Shidu, underground limestone caves and the Peking Man Site. Not to mention an escalator housed inside a giant yellow dragon that zig-zags up the cliff.
Equipment: The equipment is not Chinese (I think kiwis brought it over) they seem to know what they're doing.
We didn't die.Related to:
- Bungy Jumping
All the golf clubs in suburban Beijing open in late April when the courses become green.
Among the 20 golf-links opened so far in Beijing, most of them have suffered financial problems that they had to lower the price to attract more players.
Generally, a one-day golf play in any of these golf-courses costs no more than 300 yuan (US$36), far cheaper than the 800 yuan (US$96) several years ago.
Usually the entrance fee ranges from 15 yuan (US$1.8) to 20 yuan (US$2.5) per person.
Renting Golf clubs are 20 yuan (US$2.5) each. Golf balls are 30 yuan (US$3.6) for 30 balls. And golf-course ranges are from 30 yuan (US$3.6) per hour to 40 yuan (US$4.8) per hour.
For people with club membership cards, it is relatively cheap. The annual membership card costs 7,000 yuan (US$843) to 10,000 yuan (US$1,205) without time limit. Here are some good golf destinations in Beijing.
Huatang International Golf Club
It was opened in late 1997. It is a new course but with lots of trees. The friendly course is open to public not only for people with a membership. It is a 40-minute drive from the city centre
Address: Beijing East Yanjiao Economic Development Zone, Tongzhou District.
Tel: 010-6159 8888
Beijing Golf Club
The club is just 30 minutes from the Beijing International Airport. This championship course was designed by Poellot and Benz of the US.
Address: East bank of Chaobaihe in Shunyi District.
Beijing International Golf Club
The course runs alongside Ming's Tomb (Shisanling) Reservoir. In an area of water shortage the golfer has 13 holes where water is the main hazard. This mature course offers large greens with plenty of out-of-bounds markers.
Address: North Side, Ming Tomb Reservoir, Changping District.
Tel: 60762288Related to:
Outdoor Sports ABC
1. What kinds of outdoor sports are available in Beijing?
There are many mountains at 2,000 meters above sea level around Beijing, so hiking is one of the favorites of outdoor sports lovers. Also available are rock climbing, ice climbing, and hang gliding.
2. How do I choose suitable sites for outdoor sports?
Although many mountains are scattered around Beijing, not all of them are suitable for outdoor sports. Choose those with convenient transportation, stable communication facilities, and sufficient clean water supplies.
3. What areas are banned from outdoor sports?
There are military zones on some mountains in Beijing, where signs are usually posted warning people not to enter. Note that according to relevant laws and regulations, except for those in several scenic resorts, other sections of the Great Wall have been prohibited to visitors since August 1, 2003. The forbidden sections include Huanghuacheng and Jiankou, which many foreigners used to be able to visit.
4. What if any emergency occurs during my trip?
If any dangerous emergency occurs, you should dial the 110 police hotline with a mobile phone. In the areas without adequate signal coverage, you can ask for help at 437.5000 MHz or 409.8500 MHz through a radio. In addition, most of the areas around Beijing are populated. Continue in a single direction, and you will find someone to help you.
5. What kinds of outdoor sports clubs are there in Beijing?
Because some outdoor sports can be dangerous if attempted alone, you would be wise to join a club for such outings. In Beijing, there are many different outdoor sports clubs for you to join, including Sanfo (www.sanfo.com.cn), Fengyuxue (www.e-outdoor.com.cn), and Lvye (www.lvye.org).Related to:
When the Beijing traffic or crowds or spitting gets too much for you, how do you 'Go Postal' without actually hurting anyone?
Well in the basement of a towerblock in suburban north-east Beijing is Laser Tag, where for around 100RMb per person you can run around a basement with your friends, in near darkness, shooting each other with lasers.
The kids love it, and the dads get to do their stunt action stuff.
You do need to go with a team or a crowd of people, but this is a good way to let off excess energy or wrath.
Equipment: All gear is provided.
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