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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

Art Students Tips (13)

Art students...

In the forbidden city some "art students" may come to you asking you to take some time to visit their work.

They are friendly and speak good English, so the first sensation is good. If you take a time to see their work, you will be taken to a nearby cafe and souvenir shop and you may stay there for long minutes visiting "art".

Unique Suggestions If you have forgotten to buy some souvenirs to your wife or family, maybe you can find some "fine art". But do not forget to bargain!

Fun Alternatives You can always tell the aproaching student "thanks but I am not interested" and continue with your visit...

ahoerner's Profile Photo
Feb 28, 2004

Arts students

It is quite common knowledge amongst frequent visitors in Beijing, that in Tinamen square, you will be approached by young students of art. Actually they are salesmen and the art they want to sell is most likely not of their own. We were warned and sure enough, we were approached. But they are nice people and we went with them to their art studio.

Unique Suggestions You can go to the art studio, but say that you are a tourist on a budget and just look at their calligraphy.

Fun Alternatives If not interested in Chinese art, say that you have been in Beijing many times and have been approached by "arts students" frequently.

oldmonk_92129's Profile Photo
Aug 20, 2003

Art Students

In many places in downtown Beijing some youg students might approach you saying "Hello, we are art students! You want to see some calligraphy? Original Chinese art? Our university is very close by..."

Actually, this kind of approach is harmless and you will not go into a major trap. The thing that will happen: they will bring you to a closeby place, where they will show you calligraphy and Chinese paintings of moderate quality, sometimes very bad, sometimes quite good and they will talk a lot, introduce you to their teachers, maybe will tell you, that this school will move soon and that today is you only chance to buy something. Then they will try to sell the art for way too high prices. But you can always leave and will not be hindered.

The only thing is, that this "trick" - even though already well known - can get quite annoying, when every second young person in the pedestrian zone states to be an art student. Just nodd friendly and continue walking or say hello and continue your direction, but dont get involved in a talk.

Unique Suggestions bring someone who can judge the quality of the calligraphy and who can give you an advice on reasonable prices.

claudia1975's Profile Photo
Jan 23, 2005

I'm a student from the provinces

Approached everytime I went to Tianemen Square by young males and females who all stated that they were art students and asking me to accompany them to a display of their work. They were very persistent talking to me for about 30mins. Finally just to get them off my back I agreed to go with them. Trust me this is a commercial process their job is to get you into a workshop where the proprietor will try and take as much money from you as possible.

Unique Suggestions The party line is, I don't want any paintings, chinese caligraphy, tea or whatever else is fro sale. If you wan to practise your english I'm happy to talk to you but I'm not buying anything. The genuine people will understand and those who are working will simply leave you alone. I did this with a freindly smile and everytime we parted on amicable terms.

Fun Alternatives Sorry, there isn't one if your going to the forbidden city or tianemen square. I was even accosted in modern mall in downtown beijing. Keep smiling and tell them your not buying. It never became heavy they finally left me alone. I believe it's more of a problem for european males travelling alone.

mccrorj's Profile Photo
May 31, 2006
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Student galleries

If you walk around the area near the southern end of Tiananmen Square, chances are you will be approached by a duo of art students keen to show you their galleries. They will take you to a gallery, where they will show you lots of art, and (surprise, surprise) try to sell you some. Ummm... I actually bought some calligraphies, but my point is: People only appoach you, if they want to sell something.

Unique Suggestions If you want to buy something, pretend that you're not interested. Bargain. If you don't want to buy anything, have a look around, then quickly get out of there!

tomks's Profile Photo
Jun 25, 2003

'My professor is holding an exhibition...'

As soon as we stepped out of our hotel on our first day we were approached by two young Chinese students who were very nice and spoke good English. They were trying to get us to go to an art exhibition nearby. These students were everywhere and target tourists. They aren't aggressive or anything and if you fancy a few scrolls then it's probably safe enough to go with them. We went to a gallery (er, small shack) on a road alongside the forbidden city, where the shop holder did try a little bit of the hard sell and even begged for us to buy something in the end. We bought a cool scroll painting which now hangs in the living room.

Unique Suggestions We ended up by having a bit of fun with the students in the end, by saying that we were English art students, that we had an exhibition of our own, and would they like to come along to buy something? They realised the game and laughed us off.

Fun Alternatives This is an absolute tourist trap but the art work can be very beautiful and worth buying as a souvenier. So maybe choose the students that you like the best and let them sell you something.

JBourne's Profile Photo
Oct 21, 2006

Approaches from Art Students

I had read about the art students prior to going to Beijing, but unlike other tipsters we were approached constantly not just at the major sights; we were stopped in shopping malls, while walking on quiet side roads and one morning we made a quick coffee stop and two students were circling the exit like a pair of sharks waiting for us! All the students were polite, if a little devious in their approach sometimes - usually along the lines of asking could they practice their English, which we were happy to do, but which then led to their ‘art spiel‘. We were approached at least six times a day. Initially we listened to them and then made polite excuses but after a couple of days it did become tiresome so we cut off the conversation from full flow by saying “we’ve been” - and this seemed to do the trick.

Unique Suggestions Not sure if it's a trap as such, we didnt go. From other tips it appears to be another sales pitch, so just be prepared for that if you chose to go and view.

Fun Alternatives Not all approaches are art students, we were in a bookshop on Wangfujing when a young man asked for the time, I answered him half-expecting another art shot but it wasn't - he was genuinely just trying to converse with us. So, an approach could be a genuine attempt to practice English, but most times it isn’t and unless you want to go and view, and buy, their art make it clear as soon as the art word is mentioned. "We've been" works wonders.

henry14's Profile Photo
Jan 16, 2005

They are everywhere!!!!

Apparently Art School and English school go hand in hand, because some of the best English you will hear in Beijing is from Art Students who need your help to support the school's scholarship. They start of very friendly, and later ask to show you their exhibit. Not the worst scam in the world, and some of the art isn't bad, although it may be more mass produced and less likely to be hand made the student would have you believe.

pgj579's Profile Photo
Dec 21, 2005


"The Northern Capital"
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"Beijing - Imperial Peking"
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"My wonderful Beijing"
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"Beijing: from the Forbidden City to the Great Wall"
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"Hello do you speak English"

Ok, if you travel the world enough, your able to deal with the "Hello do you speak English" or "Hello I'm a college student" lines.......and I must say...why do they continue to use these lines ??? It is because dumb people still fall for them !!!!!!! There all over the metro exist, and the main tourist attractions.......simple just ignore them, don't make eye contact or speak another langauge besides english and they'll leave you alone !!!!!! once they realize that your not paying attention they move on to there next victim !!!!!

Update May 2009:
I must say I was really surprised to see that the amount of "Hello do you speak English" people have almost disappeared, this is great !!!! We walked Tiananmen Square several times and weren't apporached once !!!! But there all at the Forbidden City.

jlanza29's Profile Photo
Jul 28, 2009

Beijing Art students

I fell for the Art Student trap my first morning in Beijing on my way to Tianamen. The kid was pretty nice, spoke English well, and I followed him to his showroom. Some of the work was very good and some was not. We spoke for 30 minutes before the idea of a sale came up. I didn't think it was a scam until him and his "teacher" tried to hard to show me how legitimate they were.
I ended up buying a very large scroll for about $80. They originally wanted a lot more. I decided if it was original art I got a good deal. If it was a cheap reproduction it was still a lot cheaper then it would have been in the U.S.
I never felt like I was in any danger what-so-ever. I ended up paying with a credit card and my account hasn't been messed with. It was really just about sales and not about getting robbed. I might have been a little more suseptable to this as a former art student myself.

Apr 12, 2009

Art students in Beijing - don't fall for it!!!!

My husband and I loved China, and I had read all about the scams before we left for our trip. But, on arriving, I had totally forgotten everything I had read!

We hadn't been in Beijing five hours (in the middle of winter on 26/12) and we were approached by a pretty girl wanting to chat to us about where we were from and wanting to go somewhere and have a cup of tea. Being in a new country (but not new to travelling) we didn't want to offend, but it was -12 degrees and we were tired. I don't think we would have gone with her anyway (I mean, we wouldn't at home, so why there???).

The next morning we were walking away from our hotel and came across two young girls claiming to be art students from Guilin (near Xi'an). Again, it didn't even cross my mind that I'd read all about this only a couple of months before....

I'm annoyed to admit this - but I do hope this helps someone else - we got chatting (they spoke really good English) and went to the art studio with them - and felt sorry for them and bought a couple of prints..... I know, I know.... Actually, if it had just been me, I wouldn't have even spoken with them (I'm hard) but my husband is too nice and doesn't like to offend. Basically, you just have to - whether they're honest or not. For instance, a couple of weeks later, we were in Shanghai and, having realised our mistake in Beijing, were really wary. We met this couple on the Bund who wanted us to take a photo of them.... they were Chinese, living on an island off Hong Kong. They seemed really nice and mentioned having lunch - alarm bells started and I had to say no.... It's a sad part of travelling wisely - you really never know who you can trust after only a few minutes....

Jan 18, 2012

Chinese art students

In the Forbidden City (and in other tourist locations) we were approached by ”Chinese Art students” claiming that they would have an exhibition in Norway soon and they wanted us to come along to look at their paintings to get feedback and new ideas. We never did go along to see what it was all about so I can’t really comment on it :-) Maybe they just wanted to practice their English but when it happens over and over again we got a bit fed up.

Gard's Profile Photo
Apr 20, 2003

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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Things to Do

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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Things to Do

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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Things to Do

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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Things to Do

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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Things to Do


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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