People have been seen standing on the ledge overlooking the river 200 meters down for the sake of taking photos. play it safe and just look at the cannons and the ledge. You can see the river without taking chances
If you are going to Beijing, choosing the right time to go is very important to avoid the haze and sandstorm. When I was there in April 2008 (spring time), the haze was quite bad, and usually sandstorms will occur during middle of the year or so. I think the best time to visit is autumn (October to November) when the temperature is cooling and the sky is clearer.
Because of the Beijing Olympic Games 2008, the Beijing International Airport has expanded a lot and there is now several terminal/buildings.
While the airport now looks very modern, do expect delay because your plane may take longer time to move from the runway to the airport terminal. Furthermore, the airport is so huge that it takes quite long to move from the plane to the customs clearance checkpoint and finally to the carpark or vehicle/bus waiting area. Just give yourself more time if you are planning your travel schedule.
If you randomly walk around Tienanmen Square or other popular tourist spots, without a group, expect to be solicited by the multitudes of "can I practice my English with you" con-artists. Usually it will be a couple of cute girls claiming to be college students, but sometimes it's a guy & gal, and it could even be a solo practitioner.
They will make some small talk, perhaps show you some of the sites, and eventually ask if you want to go for a drink which will end up being at one of potentially dozens of teahouses in the area buried back in some place they'll never expect you to be able to find again.
My first time in Beijing alone, I actually fell for this and got hit with a ridiculous bill from the Catital Tea House. For a longer account of this by another traveler (not me) who got burned here see: http://atomicpug.net/shane/2005/11/09/an-adventure-an-experience-and-a-lesson/
Needless to say, when the bill comes, suddenly nobody speaks English anymore.
At first I didn't realize how much I spent due to the conversion. When I figured it out though, I got pissed, searched for the place, went back with someone who spoke Chinese, caused a scene and got my money back. Probably the first time that happened to them.
Anyhow, the problem has only gotten worse. Last time I was there and taking a stroll around the forbidden city I was approached by four different groups in about 45 minutes.
There are lots of illegal taxis in Beijing so be careful. If the taxi does not have a meter, try not to take it as the driver will try to quote you a high price if you are a foreigner who do not know the price well. I was told that some foreigns had to pay RMB$600 for a taxi ride from the airport to Beijing on illegal taxis when the actual cost in a normal taxi is only about RMB$100.
Because Beijing is still using coal as a main form of energy in the city, you will notice that the city will get smoggy and polluted. This is made worse by the many constructions going on in the city. However, all this will be stopped a few months before the 2008 Beijing Olympics so that the city will be in good shape to welcome visitors from all over the world. Another big problem in Beijing is the bad sandstorms that occur during the middle of the year due to the sand from the Gobi Desert north of Beijing, sometimes visibility can be very bad. Lastly, the winter months in Beijing can be very cold, so be careful. The best time to visit Beijing is in the autumn months of September to mid-November and during springtime around May.
Wangfujing Street is a great place to people watch. If you are a single guy, walking on the street alone after 5:00 PM you will be approached by beautiful young girls pretending to be college students, who want to practice their language skills. They may very well be students. They may want to practice English. But, first they will ask you if you want to sit and have a drink of tea and just talk. It will sound very innocent and how can you get hurt? If you agree they will walk with you inside a large department store. Again, it seems really innocent and safe. You'll climb to the third or fourth floor. There toward the back of the building you three will finally come to rest inside a pretty tea house. This tea house has private rooms as well as public tables. Here's where the scam comes in and this is my warning. Don't agree to buy anything unless you are prepared to spend 1,000 to 2,000 yuen (about $100 to $250 US dollars). If talking to these girls is worth that price, then go for it. If not, you better get out quick! Will you score with these girls? Obviously, if you went as far as the tea house with them, the thought had entered your mind. These girls are probably not prostitutes. But, they may be. These girls may want a foreign boyfriend or husband and this is a way to screen out the cheapo's who they don't really want to marry. Go into the deal with your eyes open and you may come away with a beautiful Chinese girlfriend who speaks your language! You may just come away a little bit poorer!
1) If you wear contact lenses, make sure you have a pair of spare opticals, just in case your eyes can't tolerate the polluted air, you can always change contacts into the glasses.
2) Lip stick, and plenty of moisturing cosmetics to protect your skin and lip skin from sands and the dry air.
3) Check the weather before your trip, make sure if they have sand storm. If so, take a mask with you, just in case.-- it's not good looking at all, well, I regret i didn't have one then. hehe..
Don't even try to leave your hotel without any paper with the name and the address of the hotel in Chinese. Othervise you probably will have a pleasure to look it all the night. Chinese are very nice people, but with all the good welling their english isn't very well
Please do not "duck-nap" these chopsticks holders from Quan Ju De (Peking Duck) like I do. I just cannot resist this cute little thing. Probably I did it out of my respect for the quality Peking ducks served by Quan Ju De.
Try to find an excuse for the mistake done. Hehe!!!
In China, I get more internet intrusion in 1 day as compare to my whole year web browsing back in Kuala Lumpur.
Make sure you have an updated antivirus & firewall software on your computer. And I noticed most of the attackers are from Russia.
I have special advice to attackers who are too free to do all the intrusions. Go “play” yourself.
I come from a country where the drivers are on right hand drive. The drivers in China are on left hand drive.
In our country, when we want to cross the country we first look to the right for oncoming cars. In China, it is the opposite, left first.
A few times, I almost got into accidents. Since I jay walked when I have the chance.
Remember look left first then right. So watch out.
On one of my many tourist trap trips, this time at the Ming Tombs, we walked past this gloriously wonderful garden in bloom! I just had to take a photo to remember just how 'luxuriant' this grass was.
I hope you enjoy looking at it as much as I did!
Unfortunately to ' properly using onboard emergency alert device' you must at least be able to reach it! If due to stunt growths when you were a child (maybe to do with too much smoking..or so they say!) you will now be unable to protect yourself from then engulfing flames around you! Try not to panic though...just find someone a bit taller who can 'properly using onboard emergency alert device' that's all!
P.S. For the stunted growth people around us...just pointing at the 'emergency alert device' will NOT help stop the fire! Remember - find someone taller....!
In the case of fire on board the train, please get off in a quiet and fashionable manner to avoid panic. Then look out for the guy in a checked jacket (you will notice him quickly as he is not wearing stripes as you and the rest of the passengerrs are!) who will shout orders and direct you straight into the heart of another fire! Do not panic, do not ask 'why?' just follow the orders!
Having lived in Beijing for a number of years, I had stayed in relatively few hotels in the city -...more
No.28 Science & Technology Park, Economic & Technological Development Zone, Yanqing County, Beijing
This is a fairly new hotel the staff told me, built in 2008. It is in the Dongcheng District at 97...more