When we go on holiday we like to experience the best that destination has to offer from iconic attractions to fine local cuisine. For many of us however following the tourist trail just isn’t enough and we want to live like a local. Football unites the world as demonstrated this summer in South Africa but with teams the world over, attending a football match is sometimes a great way to socialize with the local community.  Such an experience rings true in Beijing anyway as I discovered last weekend.

The Workers Stadium

Saturday 11th September 2010, there is a definite buzz around the Worker’s Stadium, ticket touts are competing for custom at the gates and the streets are emblazoned with green Guoan merchandise. Walking by you want to be part of this, join the locals and get behind the home team. Present a group of international interns with a great atmosphere, great football and a potentially great night out and you get over 20 Beijing kit clad westerners descending onto the city streets. Kits are available from Sanlitun Yashow Clothing Market, don’t forget to barter to get the best deal.

At The Match

The match we attended was fast paced with goals in both the first and second half.  Shandong Luneng got the better of Beijing Guoan by 3 goals to 2 but that didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the event. Football anthems were sang, beers were drank at half time and dumplings were ordered after the game to accompany an analysis  on passes, free kicks and tackles which was carried out between mouthfuls. Just like home.

To experience football in Beijing like we did visit  for match dates and venues. Tickets for events may be purchased from the Workers Stadium box office situated at the front entrance next to the sport’s store.

Alternatively if sport is not your thing contact China Travel Depot for a personalized itinerary or take inspiration from China Travel Depot’s online guide to experience the best of Beijing.

Jack Li
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