Fun things to do in Beijing

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Beijing

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    The Chinese Drinking Culture

    by ampraxu1 Written Feb 21, 2014

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    China is a country which would lose her meaning without liquor drinking. Liquor in China has been granted a variety of meanings that the Chinese adhere to and use even today. If you are friends with each other, you drink to strengthen your friendship; if you get married, you drink and toast to show your happiness and thanks; and if you participate in a party held by your boss or leader, you drink to show your respect, and so on and so forth.

    According to the traditional Chinese culture, the bride and groom need to drink the Jiaobeijiu, which requires the couple to drink while intertwining their arms without spilling a drop of the alcohol. After this process, the newlyweds should toast the groom’s parents as a duty.

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    Ming City Walls Ruins Park

    by ampraxu1 Written Feb 18, 2014

    The Chinese Spring Festival has just stepped away and Beijing is still enclosed in a frozen world. However, inside the Ming City Walls Ruins Park you will have a different but very refreshed experience from the early plum blossoms including Fu Ban Tiao Zhi (复瓣跳枝), Xiao Gong Fen (小宫粉), Xiao Lve (小绿萼) and other species.

    Source: http://english.visitbeijing.com.cn/

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    Origin of the Phoenix

    by ampraxu1 Written Feb 17, 2014

    Fenghuang seems to have no connection with the phoenix of the Western world, which derives from Egyptian mythology. Peculiarly, the Egyptian phoenix may also in part reference a prehistoric bird, the Bennu Heron. Unlike the Fenghuang, which is a chimera not very much like any one extant bird, the Egyptian phoenix is most often considered similar to a heron or eagle.

    During the Han Dynasty (2,200 years ago) two phoenixes, one a male (feng, 鳳) and the other a female (huang, 凰) were often shown together facing one other. Later, during the Yuan Dynasty the two terms were merged to become the generally translated "phoenix", but the "King of Birds" came to symbolize the Empress when paired with a dragon as a dragon represented the Emperor. From the period of the Emperor Jiajing (1522-66) on, a pair of phoenixes was differentiated by the tail feathers of the two birds (typically together forming a closed circle pattern--the male identified by five serrated tail feathers (five being an odd, or yang number) and the female by what appears to be one, but is in fact, two (two being an even, or yin number) curling or tendriled tail feathers. It was also in the Ming Dynasty that phoenixes first began to appear with combs, hence comb-less phoenixes are pre-Ming, and phoenixes depicted with combs, Ming or post-Ming.

    Also during this period, fenghuang was used as a symbol representing the direction south. This was portrayed through a male and female facing each other. Their feathers were of the five fundamental colors: black, white, red, green, and yellow. These colors are said to represent the Confucian virtues of: loyalty, honesty, decorum, and justice.

    Source: http://english.visitbeijing.com.cn/

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    The Stamping Dance Named Tage

    by ampraxu1 Written Feb 17, 2014

    In ancient China there were numerous styles of graceful and wonderful dances. Some remain today and are still practiced by modern people, while others have already vanished. Tage is one amongst those which are still practiced today. It is a self-entertaining folk dance. Basically when it is performed, a group of people will stand together hand in hand dancing with their feet to the song they are saying. This is the reason why it was named Tage (Ta means stamp, and ge song). This unique art form is often found on the streets or public places when festivals arrive.

    As for its long historic meaning, we have a lot of words to say. This art form can date back to the Han Dynasty where in the imperial court the dancing ladies performed this dance on October 15 (the Chinese lunar calendar). When time dawned on the Tang Dynasty, the dance became popular with the common citizens. During the dynasty poems were highly appreciated. So, this dance was described and complimented time after time by the poets that time. Two of the most famous ones are Poem on Stepping Dance by Liu Yuxi and Wang Lun by Li Bai. In addition, the grand Tage dance was usually performed by the imperial court on the Lantern Festival, for the government wanted to share happiness with its civilians.

    Today’s Tage originates from that of the ancient times. In today’s dance, you need to restrain your shoulders, withdraw your chin, sway your back, relax your knees, twist your waist and relax your hip to form the “three-bend posture”. The weight center of the lady stays at her legs. When she waves her long sleeves, she just skillfully keeps balance without making you think she is falling down. This is Tage!

    Source: http://english.visitbeijing.com.cn/

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    Chinese Tea Drinking Traditions

    by ampraxu1 Written Feb 13, 2014

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    Serving Tea: In China, serving tea from the host to his guest has lasted for over 1,000 years. While serving the tea, the host should extend his hands to hold the cup to show respect to his guest. Those who are dainty usually will put the cup onto a saucer or tea-tray, and, when offering the tea, they will use two hands to hold the saucer or tea-board before the chest while saying softly “Enjoy your tea”. The guest, at the same time, should slightly move his body forward and express gratitude.

    Covering Cup to Thank the Host: It is a convention for the host to serve tea and add water for the guest. If the guest has drunk his fill and wants to leave, he will usually flatly spread out his right hand with the centre of the palm downwards onto the tea cup, indicating, “Thank you. I don’t need more tea.

    Substituting Tea For wine: The tradition of substituting tea for wine has existed for more than 2000 years in China. In the Zhou Dynasty, a prohibition was decreed by Emperor Wuwang, who knew that the Shang Dynasty was just defeated due to alcoholic addiction and corruption. So people began to offer tea to the emperor, while the noble and common people substituted tea for wine too. The custom has come down until today.

    Tea after or before Dinner: To clean the mouth and get up the appetite, people usually drink clear, sweet, mild green tea or scented tea before dinner. A short rest should be taken before drinking tea after dinner. Sweet, greasy-removed tea like oolong and Puer tea is preferred after dinner.

    Read more from http://english.visitbeijing.com.cn/play/culture/n214964055.shtml

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    Avril Lavigne Beijing Concert 2014

    by ampraxu1 Written Jan 26, 2014

    After The Black Star Tour in the Chinese mainland two years before, Avril Lavigne will have her third mainland concert tour in 2014. The scale of this tour is unprecedented, for it will cover eight cities, including Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Nanking, Beijing, Hangzhou, Chengdu and Shenzhen. This tour will make a wave of punk rock music.

    During this year’s concert tour, Chinese fans can also taste the charm of her rock music in advance.

    Avril will have more communicate with her fans on life, love, Rock N Roll and other stories. As for the lyrics, each one will tell a story which just originates from her own life. To some extent, this is a tribute to her first album Let Go. As one powerful singer on site, she will never need any extravagant costumes or sexy dances to show her beauty. Being who she really is is the style of hers and it is which that attracts her fans. This is Avril! Either her elfish punk style or sexy charm that gradually appears, Chinese audience will have a good chat about this of the unusual singer.

    Beijing Concert

    Date: March 2, 2014, Sunday, 20:00

    Venue: MasterCard Center

    Link: http://english.visitbeijing.com.cn/news/n214960268.shtml

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    2014 Temple Fairs in Beijing

    by ampraxu1 Written Jan 22, 2014

    The 5th Annual Royal Temple Fair

    Yuanmingyuan will once again play host to a temple fair to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The fair will take place between January 31 and February 6.

    Lots of events and activities including dances, and a Black Swan photo contest will go on throughout the week. There will also be an ice rink and about 3,000 lanterns.

    Date: Jan. 31 – Feb. 6, 2014

    Venue: Yuanmingyuan

    Opening Hours: 07:00-19:30

    Tel: 86 10 6262 8501

    Add: 28 Qinghua West Road, Haidian District, Beijing

    北京市海淀区清华西路28号

    Getting there: take Subway Line 4 and get off at Yuanmingyuan (圆明园) Station.

    Temple Fair at Ditan Park (Altar of Earth Park)

    Ditan Park is not only famous for its Altar of Earth, but also its temple fair which is participated in mostly by the locals. At the temple fair you will have plenty to see.

    See if you can spot the Dai people's 'peacock dance' amongst a host of dances from all over China. You'll be able to see exhibitions that cover the life and customs of Beijingers through the centuries as well as the different ways that Spring Festival is now celebrated all over the world. Pick up some (supposedly) antique Chinese handicrafts from stalls and if you get there for 10am glimpse a re-enactment of the imperial family's traditional prayers for good harvests originally held here in the summer months.

    When you get hungry, you can pick up dry-fried beans, jiaoquan (fried dough sticks that taste great dipped into doujiang – thick soy milk) and New Year cakes (a kind of glutinous rice cake).

    Date: Thursday, January 30 – Thursday, February 6

    Admission: 10 RMB

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    Ballet Theatre Shows from Jan 23- 25

    by ampraxu1 Written Jan 22, 2014

    One of the United Kingdom's best loved dance companies, Northern Ballet Theatre, will bring its production of A Midsummer Night's Dream to Beijing. With Dior-inspired costumes, stylish black-and-white sets and a creative team, including artistic director David Nixon, set designer Duncan Hayler and music director John Pryce-Jones, the production is a stunning display of visual and musical delights. It is sure to bring out the comedy, romance and entanglements of this enchanting story.

    Time: 7:30 pm, Jan 23-25.

    Address: The Opera House of the National Center for the Performing Arts, 2 West Chang'an Jie (Avenue), Xicheng District, Beijing.

    Tel: 010-6655-0000

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    3D Myth: The Monkey King

    by ampraxu1 Written Jan 21, 2014

    The 3D movie The Monkey King premiered Jan 19, 2014 in Beijing, a new Chinese blockbuster which has made a wave for movie-goers across China. For the foreigners who stay in Beijing and want to enjoy the newest Chinese movies, this one should be one of their targets. The brief storyline of the movie lies below.

    The Chinese magic movie The Monkey King originates from the first eight chapters of the world-famous novel Journey to the West. The first eight chapters tell us a story that after Monkey King has learned the 72-body-transformation skill, he wants to become an immortal but is then considered enemy of Heaven after his childhood friend Nine Tail Fox was killed and has wrongly made friends with Bull Demon King. To return his beloved wife Iron Fan Princess and son Red Child who had been staying in his mother’s womb for 300 years before birth to Heaven, he incites Monkey King to make chaos in Heaven with him, which finally forces the ruler of the Three Worlds (Heaven, Earth and Hell according to Chinese traditional culture) Jade Emperor to fight against them accompanied by God Erlang and other gods of Heaven. Then, a series of wars breaks out between gods and demons. The movie will be in theaters in the forms of 3D, IMAX-3D and DMAX on the first day of the 2014 Spring Festival across China.

    Monkey King, hero of the novel Journey to the West, is a universally known character because of numerous valiant acts he does during the pilgrimage of his master, two non-biological brothers and himself to India. Havoc in Heaven is but one of these valiant stories, but Monkey King has left a very deep impression on people’s minds during this period across China. The director once said, “Monkey King is the only novel character well known by both Easterners and Westerners.” To create a new image for Monkey King—the super oriental hero, the special effects makeup team consisting of 70 members from Hollywood had made 20 inverted molds before the movie was finished.

    From http://english.visitbeijing.com.cn/exhibitions/films/n214958629.shtml

    The Monkey King
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    Beijing Red Theatre: Dead Red - You can't miss it!

    by spocklogic Updated Jan 13, 2014

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    The building, a steel structure that looks like scaffolding in the daytime, is completely ablaze in red light at night. The color red in China signifies prosperity, good fortune, & joy. Formerly known as the Chongwen Workers Cultural Palace, the Beijing Red Theatre is home to a twice nightly performance of the Legend of Kung Fu Show. I wouldn't call the decor inside any more inspiring than the outside, but fitting for the venue in what it offers I suppose and quite red inside as well. There are two floors, for upper and lower level seating. In the lower lobby area area there is a boy meditating for tourists to gawk at and take photos. He remains perfectly still and seems almost a statue except his eyes blink. Overall, the exterior and interior can only be best described as gaudy I guess, meaning 'extravagantly bright or showy, typically so as to be tasteless'. A sight to see maybe, and it's Dead Red - You can't miss it at night!

    I was not able to find any information on this building under its former name, when it was built or the architectural design in idea. Apparently there was some major renovation here to improve the stage, but little info is available on that either or when it happened. If I run across anything in these regards I will update this review. If anybody knows such information then let me know. I decided to make this separate review from the Legend of Kung Fu Show because it would have been too much to include in one review and didn't want to detract from what I wanted to say about the show there. Consider this one an accessory review to say a little something about the building and its interior. Something to gander at if passing by at night.

    Beijing Red Theatre Legend of Kung Fu Billboard Lower lobby meditation area Upper level areas Stairwell art
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    The Lake

    by solopes Updated Dec 17, 2013

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    The big lake by the summer palace is really very beautiful - nature and men combine well with temples and boats surrounded by flowers inviting to a trip.

    We didn't do it, but most people couldn't skip it.

    Beijing - China Beijing - China Beijing - China
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    Songtang Museum

    by blueskyjohn Updated Oct 13, 2013

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    This is a nice little museum that is free. It is small and not worth a special trip but since it is located between the Confucius Temple and Lama Temple, it is worth the visit for a few minutes. It is mostly a display of stone and wood carvings. I think the most interesting items are in the basement area. It really isn't marked but when you see stairs going down, it is ok to walk down.

    There is a sign when you enter that list the Sandiao Art Museum (ticket 50rmb) and Yuan Qinghua Museum (ticket 80rmb) but I couldn't figure out where there were and there was no one to collect money. I walked throughout the building, no charge.

    Hours:
    April through October: 9:00am to 6:00pm
    November through March: 9:30am to 5:00pm

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    Diagramming Allegory Exhibition

    by blueskyjohn Updated Oct 13, 2013

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    This gallery is located on the 10th floor of the Park View Green Fang Cao Di building. Currently it is featuring the conceptual art of Wang Luyan. The first sculpture you see when walking in from the elevator is an over size handgun with part of it cut away. Interesting on its own but when you walk in further, there is long room with a bulls-eye at the far end. If you closely at the cut-away gun, you will see that there are two bullets in the chamber facing opposite directions. It appears that if the trigger were pulled, a bullet would hit the target and one would hit the shooter.

    Continuing on to the next room is a stand of chrome figures that seem to be marching. Past this in the next large room is completely different art. A series of pieces interpreting classical works of art.

    Some of the pieces include "Revolving Genesis" and "Revolving Mona Lisa."

    Very interesting to see

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    Park View Green - Sculptures, better than a museum

    by blueskyjohn Updated Oct 13, 2013

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    Located in the Park View Green mall are three floors of stores and sculptures. The sculptures range from small to very large and are modern art. Such a range. There is a large sculpture of two military ships colliding that is in the shape of a bridge. Probably the most interesting is an extra large sculpture of a bull blowing something out of his butt and ramming into a person who is suppose to be Bernie Madoff. I couldn't stop taking pictures. It was amazing. The bull is suppose to be the bull located on Wall Street in New York City. I felt this all was museum quality art and I thoroughly enjoyed this experience. In my opinion this experience was better than being at a museum.

    Hours:
    Monday 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
    Tuesday 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
    Wednesday 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
    Thursday 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
    Friday 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
    Saturday 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
    Sunday 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

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    The Place - Largest LED screen in the world

    by blueskyjohn Updated Oct 13, 2013

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    The Place is an open air plaza with a mall of restaurants on either side. The main attraction is the overhead screen known as the sky screen, is 250 meters long and 30 meters wide. Several shows are shown on it. Two that I saw were an underwater tour of fish, whales, sharks and mermaid. The second and most amazing is a tour through the galaxy. It was very impressive and I recommend seeing this.

    People can also text a message to a number and the message will be seen on the screen. This costs 1 rmb and many couples express there love and commitment to each other.

    The Place is open every day and the screen is on from 11am to 9pm.

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