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Top Tours

 
Private Custom City Sightseeing and Shopping Tour of Beijing
"The tour starts with a pick up from your hotel in Beijing. Your exact itinerary is flexible so you can customize your tour based on your preferences. If there’s something you want to see more or less of simply let your guide know. Your professional guide will make all the sites you want to go in order as long as time allows and make an ideal itinerary for you.The city sites you can choose include:Tian'anmen square and Forbidden City --recomm please add the sites in the 'Special requirement' box when you make the booking. After the historical sightseeing you will have a Chinese lunch in a local restaurant. Then you will start your exciting shopping tour in the afternoon. When making your booking please provide your shopping interests in the 'Special requirement' box. Your guide will recommend the right s your guide and private vehicle will drop you off at your hotel or site you want to go in the city."""
From $48.00
 
Private Tour: Panda House Visit And Cruise To The Summer Palace With Imperial Dinner
"Meet your guide in your hotel lobby around noon time (12:30pm) and head to the Panda House of the Beijing Zoo to visit the lovely pandas. Next take a short drive to the Imperial Dock in the Purple Bamboo Park. Take a scenic 40-minute cruise from Zizhuyuan Park to the South Gate of the Summer Palace on a boat that was once used exclusively by the Qing Emperors and Empress Dowager Cixi. Pass many including the working and living quarters of the emperor; the Long Corridor the longest covered walkway in the world with 14000 exquisitely painted pictures; Longevity Hill the best place to have a panoramic view of the Summer Palace; Marble Boat the iconic building of the Summer Palace which used to represent the stability and eternity of the Qing Dynasty; and Suzhou Street
From $118.00
 
Beijing Private Culture Experience With Lunch Inclusive
"Temple of HeavenPick up at 8:30am from your hotel to visit the Temple of Heaven where the Ming and Qing emperors performed their ritual ceremonies. The best time to visit it is in the morning to see the local seniors exercising practicing Tai Chi playing Shuttlecock doing ground calligraphy as well as singing and dancing.Liulichang StreetYou can visit Liulichang Culture Street which is known throughout China and the world for its ancient books calligraphy paintings brushes
From $118.00

Friendship Store Tips (6)

Friendship Store: Souvenirs

This is a colossal department store of souvenirs. Prices aren't as cheap as at the markets. But given that prices in general are considerably cheaper in China it's less of an issue and the selection here is unmatched.

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Jim_Eliason
Sep 15, 2016

Friendship Store: Winter Jackets

What to buy My best buy in China was a waterproof winter jacket made of 90% duck down.It was a saving of hundreds of dollars compared to buying something similiar in australia.Although you must be carefull of the zippers and buttons which might not be of the best quality.

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littleman
Sep 15, 2008

Friendship Store: Shopping for souvenirs

Friendship store is a big souvenir store selling many different kinds of Chinese art and craft. You can find small items as well as big ones. You can visit their "workshop" where they are making the Chinese art (see the pic). There you can find Chinese costume as well.

One of the interesting items you can purchase is a personalized stamp. Stamp is an important object in Chinese culture. it is like a signature in Western culture. If you visit Chinese museums you can see the stamps of Chinese Emperors made of jade, precious stones or others.

In friendship store, you can purchase a personalized stamp for yourself. you can choose the material to make the stamp. They have different kinds of material and they are in different sizes. If you have a Chinese name, you can write it down on a piece of paper and someone will engrave the stone or wood with your Chinese name.

I bought a small stamp (see pic) made of stone. It costs RMB 40 and takes only 5 minutes to finish engraving. And, the Chinese usually uses red ink for the stamp.

What to buy - souvenirs
- art and craft
- Chinese costume
- personalized stamp

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blue_sky04
Dec 21, 2005

The Friendship Store: The Friendship Store

The Friendship Store is one of those classics that just goes on and on, defyint the critics who suggest it must be due to close soon.
It is worth visiting one of the Friendship Store as much for its historical significance as for buying anything there, but it also has prices that are not unreasonable. Also it remains one of the few places to have a true Western-style deli (Jenny Lou's shops are another).
In the bad old days, there was only the Friendship Store. Period. If it wasn't in the Friendship Store (and usually it wasn't) you basically waited until you left China. The Friendship Store accepted FECs and foreign cash only, not Chinese money, so local people hung around the entrance looking in longingly at the goodies inside, reserved for the oppressed foreigners and the poor unfortunate cadres and government officials who were forced to buy stuff here.
Now, the Friendship Store is an anachronism: the vast numbers of bored, largely useless staff remain sullenly unhelpful and underemployed. A transaction like buying a magazine takes four of these talented individuals to complete the job: one to write down the price laboriously on a sales slip, one to take your money at a distant till, one to check the sales slip, and one to put the magazine in a plastic bag.

What to buy The small touristy antiques are frequently 'only' found in the Friendship Store, and it is worth searching for handicrafts here. This may seem surprising, but there is rationale here. The Friendship Store is part of the 'tourist merchandise distribution channel' which means that they always get some of the stuff that goes into the wider market-place. As the Friendship Store gets much less shoppers than most places, the stock doesn't move as fast.
The downside is that the prices are almost fixed: not one worker here cares whether you buy or not - they are paid at the end of the week either way. Haggling over the price is utterly pointless.
In a bizarre way, visiting the Friendship Store is like a flashback to the 1970s, if you missed life under old-style Communism.

What to pay More than average for everything, but not a whole lot more (maybe 10% more). Worth itif you can't find something elsewhere that you really want.

mke1963
Dec 04, 2004
 
 
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Friendship Store (Chang'an): Friendship Store Bookstore

The Friendship Store is a bizarre anachronism from all the old days when the good people of China all equally had nothing, and the Friendship Store was where the poor wretched foreigners spent all their money on delicacies and other nice things.
It always was a hotbed of non-existent customer service, and I understand they considered rebranding it as "Mei Yo Store".
In the new century, it remains a fascinating - if frustrating - exhibit of how bad store layout, customer service and point of sale tactics can get.

What to buy It used to have the best selection of foreign books and magazines, and probably still does, but it has recently moved - just a few metres away - so that they can scatter the books about more haphazardly and make absolutely damn sure that you can't find what you want.
Many of the books are now in glass cabinets, and the whole lot is mixed up. They still have the most incredibly bizarre selection of publications, including fashion books from the 1970s (possibly due to come back into fashion again soon), weird architecture and interior design books, and strange tourist boks for other countries.

It always was a miserable place to buy books, especially as they refused to sell you the decent copies kept under lock-and-key and made you buy the moth-eared, dusty old version. Now it's worse.

mke1963
Nov 07, 2004

Friendship Store: Yu Long Friendship store

Huge tourist oriented shop with a ceramics factory attached. Tour around is almost obligatory but interesting nontheless.
Good restaurant there too!

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bonio
Dec 24, 2005

mke1963

"The Northern Capital"
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blueskyjohn

"Beijing"
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SLLiew

"Beijing - Imperial Peking"
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nepalgoods

"My wonderful Beijing"
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filipdebont

"Beijing: from the Forbidden City to the Great Wall"
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Things to Do Near Beijing

Things to Do

Beihai Park

a tibetan Buddhist stupa in the Tibetan buddhist temple in Qiuongha Island in Behai Park called the Dagoba by Tibetans and Bai Tai by Han Chinese, built by Qing Emperor Shunzhi in 1751, made the Behai...
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Church of the Saviour - North Church - XiShiKu Church

Not too sure about the spelling there, but it should come out to something like that. This church, a little bit west of Beihai Park, is one of the most beautiful in Beijing. During certain times, you...
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Jingshan Park

Jingshan Park is directly north of Forbidden Palace. Most people visit the park in early mornings and day time. However, i recommend taking some time to visit the park in the evening as well. A lot...
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Forbidden City - The Palace Museum

A very serious advice: Pay attention to every detail of the explanation done by your guide (person or book), during the visit: that way you will find out that "peace and harmony" is the dominant...
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Back Lakes - Hou Hai

Shichahai is comprised of three lakes, Qianhai, Houhai and Xihai. Situated just above Beihai Park, there are many restaurants and bars along a quiet roads that run around the lake. Along the lake you...
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Nanluoguxiang

This is the street and area to stay if you are on a budget in Beijing. I liked the street, it is located in an old area of Beijing. You have everything there, hostels at affordable prices in...
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Getting to Beijing

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Jianguomen wai dajie

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