Natural Beauty in the Center of Town

On October 31, 2011, in Beijing, Nature Scenery, Temples, by Jack Li

If you like to walk through parks and see nature at its best. Then on your next Beijing Tour plan on visiting Jingshan Park. It was once a royal garden now it’s a stunning landscape garden. When you travel to Beijing plan on seeing the Forbidden City and Jingshan Park in the same day since […]

If you like to walk through parks and see nature at its best. Then on your next Beijing Tour plan on visiting Jingshan Park. It was once a royal garden now it’s a stunning landscape garden. When you travel to Beijing plan on seeing the Forbidden City and Jingshan Park in the same day since they are right by each other.

Jingshan Park is located in the center of Beijing on the south-north axis. It is right behind the Forbidden City. So your day can start by visiting the Forbidden City then you can leave the city through the north gate go across the street and walk around Jingshan Park. On a clear day the visitor will be able to see a clear view of the Forbidden City. Jingshan Hill is the highest point in Beijing. From here you can see the Bell and Drum Towers, Beihai Park and the White Dagoba Temple.

Jingshan Park can date back to the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties (1271-1911). Jingshan hill served as an imperial garden. There were fruit trees planted in the Ming dynasty. Pavilions were built around the park so that the emperor could make sacrifices to his ancestors. The royal family would also enjoy hunting around the park.

Jingshan Park was open to the public in 1928 and in 1949 the park was rebuilt. The paths were paved and the buildings were renovated. The park covers 57 acres. While you are visiting make sure you see -first Qinwang Pavilion, second five summits, third hall of Imperial Longevity and forth Yongsi Hall or Missing Hall.

Qinwang Pavilion has two stories and is surrounded by white marble. The emperors would worship the tables of Confucius here. The second thing to see is the Five Summits they are located around Jingshan hill at each summit is a pavilion. These pavilions used to have a copper Buddha stature that represented the five tastes which were sour, bitter, sweet, acrid and salt. In 1900 all of the Buddha’s statues were lost during the warfare.

Thirdly you need to see the Hall of Imperial Longevity-the emperors paid their respects to the ancestors here. Some emperors had their portraits placed in there so that they could be worshiped. Lastly you need to see the Yongsi Hall or Missing Hall this is placed were the past emperors and queens bodies where placed after they past away.

If you are looking for something to do that is close to your Beijing hotel then Jingshan is right for you. Since it is in the Center of town it will only be a subway ride away. It is a great place to spend your day. It is opened from six A.M. to nine P.M. During the colder months remember to wear warm clothes.

Beijing Purple Bamboo Garden

On October 28, 2011, in Beijing, Parks & Gardens, by Jack Li

If you want to travel to Beijing but you are on a budget then you need no fear. You can visit the Beijing Purple Bamboo Garden for free. The Purple Bamboo Garden is in a nice location since you can get there by a bus. So when you are planning your China tour and you […]

If you want to travel to Beijing but you are on a budget then you need no fear. You can visit the Beijing Purple Bamboo Garden for free. The Purple Bamboo Garden is in a nice location since you can get there by a bus. So when you are planning your China tour and you want to do something for free plan on seeing Beijing Purple Bamboo Garden.

The Garden is located in the Haidian District, west of the Capital gymnasium. In the ancient times it was a wetland, and in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) a river Called Tonghui ran though this land. In the Ming Dynasty the people built a temple and called it Zizhuyuan or the Purple Bamboo Garden. The public was able to see it after they fixed it up in 1949.

It covers 117 acres. While you are walking around the Garden you will be able to see three lakes and two small islands. The lotus blossom adds to the lakes beauty. If you want to walk around the island you can cross the arch bridge. The garden has many pavilions, man mad hills a river, bridges and a lotus pond. Each one of these attractions helps create a beautiful scenic spot. There is also a hexagonal pavilion with bamboos surrounding it, while you are walking around you will feel like you are in a fairly tail.

In the west side of the garden there are fishing holes so when you are walking around you might be able to see people fishing. The South side of the garden you will be able to see a hill house and a Children’s Eden. In this part of the garden you will be able to see a blue lotus Islet and a Moon Islet. If the night is clear the best place to look at the moon is at the waterside pavilion. You can look out and see the moon island and the moon.

People say the most beautiful spot in the garden is Bayixuan Pavilion. It is .62 acres. A lotus pond can be found in front and ten thousand green bamboos behind. The Pavilion by it self is an amazing but when you had the surrounding to it becomes the most beautiful place. If you enjoy paintings then you will enjoy Zhuyunshi Garden. Around this area you will find engraved paintings and poems telling about the rain, wind, snow and frost. The pictures show bamboo scenes and how they change with the seasons.

If you visit during the summer months then you will be able to boat around Lotus Ferry. There are water lilies that grow here and lush lotuses. Here in the garden you will be able to spot 50 types of Bamboos some of these types are purple, fishpole, mottled bamboos. The whole garden is decorated with bamboos. You can find bamboos on the floor, on the pavilions, on tables, chairs and the bridge. If you have the desire to understand about the Chinese bamboo culture then the garden is for you.

So when you are hanging out at your Beijing hotel and you realize that you have less money then you thought and you still want to sightsee then the Purple Bamboo Garden is for you. It is a good way to spend your day. If you enjoy the Chinese cultural then the Purple Bamboo Garden is for you.

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Make the ‘Great Wall’ your Goal

On October 26, 2011, in Cool Places, Great Wall, Must-sees, Nature Scenery, by Jack Li

There are three things that you need to see while you’re on your China tour the first is a Panda, the second ‘The Great Wall’ and the third is the Terracotta Warriors (I will write about the warriors in another blog).  Hiking the Great Wall might not be easy but it will be worth the […]

There are three things that you need to see while you’re on your China tour the first is a Panda, the second ‘The Great Wall’ and the third is the Terracotta Warriors (I will write about the warriors in another blog).  Hiking the Great Wall might not be easy but it will be worth the time during your China travels. Many people visit China and many people miss the opportunity to climb the ‘Great Wall of China’. Don’t be one of those people.

Short History-

Throughout the Spring and Autumn period, there was seven states that fought with one another. To protect themselves they started to build walls and put troop around these wall watch for invaders. In 221 BC a man by the name of Qin defeated the other six states, and set up the first kingdom in China. While he was emperor he had the wall connected to protect against Huns. In the Ming Dynasty the emperors had the walls enlarged and fortresses and watch towers built, to stop minority tribes from invading. Even though the Qing Dynasty started off fixing the wall by the middle of the dynasty all engineering work stopped.  Today the all the parts that the visitor can visit where mended to ensure the safety of the sightseers.

The Great Wall is a hike since it crosses the tops of the mountains. There are two ways to get up to the top the first you can hike to the top and the second you can take a cable car. If you so choose to hike up to the ‘Great Wall’ make sure you are ready to walk up 1,000s of stairs. Even though there are 1,000s of stairs it won’t take long for you to hike them. The cable car does cost 60RMBs to ride.

When you get to the top you will see an unbelievable view of the Great Wall. You will be able to see the Great Wall for miles surrounded by trees. During the summer months the trees will be green. In October the colors of the trees will start to change to yellows, reds and orange making it look enchanted.

The length of the Great Wall is 5,500 miles. It took 2000 years to build starting in the Warring State period to the Ming Dynasty (476 BC-1644). There are six sections you can visit some of these sections might be easier to hike then others. Some sections of the wall have only stairs and these stairs do not match up. Some are bigger, some are tall, some are long and some are short and small. So it is hard to get a pattern down when you are walking up them. So these Stairs go either straight up or straight down. Other sections have smooth walking paths and some stairs, these sections are easier to hike.

If you want to go to the Great Wall you can book your tour through chinaTravelDepot.com. The price includes a private car that will pick you up in front of your Beijing hotel, entrance fees and a local travel guide. Just remember that you need to make it your goal to visit the Great Wall of China.

The Largest Royal Park in China- Summer Palace- Yiheyuan

On October 13, 2011, in Beijing, Summer Palace, by Jack Li

China travels can lead you to great places. These great places will show you created looking gardens, corridors, towers and pavilions that date back 1,000 or more years ago. China will also show you very old structures that Emperors and Empress used to reside in. One of these great places is the Summer Palace. So […]

China travels can lead you to great places. These great places will show you created looking gardens, corridors, towers and pavilions that date back 1,000 or more years ago. China will also show you very old structures that Emperors and Empress used to reside in. One of these great places is the Summer Palace. So after you check into your China Hotel make sure you plan on seeing Beijing Summer Palace.

Some of the Summer Palace Attractions include the Court Area, Front-Hill Area, Lake Area and the Rear-Hill area. Did you know that the Summer Palace is the largest and most well-preserved royal park in China. It has the most famous natural views. Chinese horticulture and landscape were greatly influenced by the Summer Palace. Another name of the Summer Palace is the “The Museum of Royal Gardens”.

History Lesson-

In 1750 construction on the Summer Palace started. It was created so that the royal families had a place to rest. Then in the Qing dynasty it became the royal residences.  Later on the Anglo-French allied force destroyed it by fire.  It was reconstructed in 1888. It is said that Empress Dowager Cixi used the Summer Palace to embezzle navy funds to reconstruct it into a resort, so she would be able to spend her life there. Sadly in 1900 the Summer Palace was attacked again, by the Eight-Power Allied Force. It only took China two years to recreate the Summer Palace.

The Summer Palace of today-

The Summer Palace occupies an area of 742.8 acres.  When you travel there you can see over 3,000 man made ancient structures, each one is remarkable. These structures include corridors, pavilions, towers and bridges. Empress Dowager Cixi and Emperor Guangzu used the Court Area to meet with officials and conducted states affairs. The Court Area was broken into two sections one for the court affairs and the other one for living. The Court Area is the first stop for visitors to enjoy the view of Kunming Lake.

The most outstanding area is the Front-Hill Area, since it has delicate buildings and excellent gardens. While you are in this area you can walk up the hilltop and see important building for example Hall of Sea Wisdom, Revolving Archives. The Largest part of the Summer Palace is the Lake Area. Its open ups to Kunming Lake, you can also see Houxi River. When you walk though this area you will walk by pavilions, wharfs and over bridges. There are some famous attractions some include the Seventeen-Arch Bridge and Bronze Ox. The best part of being in the Lake Area is seeing the waves gleam, and the beautiful colors.

The Rear Area is the last area in the Summer Palace. This area is very quiet compared to the other areas. One of the reasons is that some of the constructions were never repaired after the attacks. So when you are walking around you should notice the ruins. So while you are strolling around take your time to feel peaceful and tranquility that the Summer Palace as to offer.

So after you book your Beijing Flight make sure you plan on seeing the Summer Palace. It will cost 60RMBs to get in. The best way to get there is by taking the subway. Make sure you are on line 4 and get off at Beigongmen Station, or you could get off at Xiyuan Station, if you take this way take exit C2 then walk west.

The Center of Beijing – Forbidden City

On October 12, 2011, in Beijing, Forbidden City, Must-sees, by Jack Li

The Forbidden City is a must see if you are going on a Beijing Tour. It is located in the heart of Beijing with Tiananmen Square on the south side. The Forbidden City is in a great location since it might be down the road from your Beijing hotel. History behind the Forbidden City Emperor […]

The Forbidden City is a must see if you are going on a Beijing Tour. It is located in the heart of Beijing with Tiananmen Square on the south side. The Forbidden City is in a great location since it might be down the road from your Beijing hotel.

History behind the Forbidden City

Emperor Chengzu built the city during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The construction of the palace started in 1407 and finished fourteen years later in 1420. It was believed by the Chinese Astronomers that the Purple Star (Polaris) is located in the center of the heavens. Since the Emperor was a Heavenly Emperor he lived in a purple palace called the “Purple Forbidden City”.  The reason why it was called Forbidden was because the only way to get in was by being invited by the Emperor.

What you can see while you are there:

There are thousands of buildings you can see while you are visiting the City not including the many beautiful courtyards. A 52-meter wide moat and 10-meter high wall was built around the City. The city has over 8,700 rooms. While you are visiting the City you should count how many rooms you can see. The City is very big so you might get lost but isn’t that the fun of going to new places is by getting lost and finding your way back.

The grandest hall is the Hall of Supreme Harmony. This is where the emperor would ascend to visit with officials. Important events were also celebrated there. On the right side is where the princes would study. Off to the north lies the imperial library where the world largest encyclopedia (Sikuquanshu) was house.

To get to where the royal family resided you need to go under the Gate of Heavenly Purity. During the Qing Dynasty, Emperor Kangxi would meet high officials to give them his orders. The emperors also had a hall for the concubines so they had a resident. There is also imperial garden. It is a small garden but it has many beautiful effects.  It has towers that over looks it, pavilions, and artificial hills. They also created springs throughout it. The best part is that old tress can still be found there. Some of these trees are over 1,000 years old. These are only a couple of things you can see while you are walking around the Forbidden City, there is much more, so go and experience it for your self.

Just a reminder that the Forbidden City might restrain the number of passengers into the park, on such days as May Day, China National Day, and some summer holidays. The admission fee is 60RMBS and it opens at 8:30 o’clock AM and closes at 6 o-clock PM. Plan on staying for three to four hours since there is a lots to see and do. The best way to get there is by taking the Subway, on Line 1 get off at Tiananmen West or East Station. Go north through Tiananmen Tower. If you take Line 2 make sure you get off at the Qianmen Station and you will also want to walk north to the Tiananmen Tower.

So when you go on your China Tour make sure you have planned on seeing the Forbidden City. It is in the heart of Beijing, and will be the heart of your trip.

Buddhist Lama Temple- Yonghe Lamasery

On October 11, 2011, in Beijing, China Attractions, Cultural Experience, Temples, by Jack Li

When people think of the Buddhist they think of Asia. Since Buddhism is a popular religion in China it would be unwise to take a China Tour without visiting a Buddhist Temple. One of the oldest Buddhist temples is the Lama Temple and it is located in Beijing. The Lama Temple might be far from […]

When people think of the Buddhist they think of Asia. Since Buddhism is a popular religion in China it would be unwise to take a China Tour without visiting a Buddhist Temple. One of the oldest Buddhist temples is the Lama Temple and it is located in Beijing. The Lama Temple might be far from your Beijing hotel, but just remember you can take the subway there. The Lama Temple is the only temple in Beijing to have its own stop, so make sure you take line 2 and get off at Yonghegong/Lama Temple.

Buddhism was introduce to China in the 6th century, from India. Many of the Chinese Emperors were Buddhist so they built monasteries and temple to promote the religion throughout China. Buddhism have many aspects, first it guilds the people to behave, and to be honest and to be responsible. Second it helps people to create harmony and have a peaceful mind. Thirdly it focuses on sharing and having compassion toward other people. Fourthly is emphasizes in awakening the mind, people can do this by learning. Once someone has developed intellectual capacity then they understand how to love and be kind to other beings.

 The Lama Temple (Yonghe Temple) was built in the Qing Dynasty. It was first used has Emperor Yongzheng place of a residence. Then in 1744 it was converted into a lamasery.   The Lamasery is described as a mini-palace that occupies an area 16 acres (66,400 sq ft).  There are six parts to the temple-

South courtyard- as visitors enter the courtyard a bell tower and drum tower greet them.

Hall of the Heavenly Kings- has four Heavenly Kings enshrined in the hall. The middle one is Maitreya he is glowing with a smile and has his legs crossed.

Hall of Harmony and Peace- has three Buddha’s that represent the Past, present and future. Hall of Harmony and Peace also holds four wings. In the fourth wing is where the lamas study Tibetan medicine, astronomy and geography.

Hall of Everlasting Blessings- holds the Medicine Buddha, and Lion Buddha.

Hall of the Dharma Wheel- this is where the lamas read sutra and hold ceremonies. On one of the wall there is a mural it shows the viewer of the life of Sakyamuni, and it also displayed some Buddhist scriptures.

Pavilion of Infinite Happiness- in the middle of the hall there is a statue of Maitreya, he is 85 feet in height and is 26 feet in diameter and with 26 feet buried under the ground.

If you are asking your self why you should visit the Lama Temple, you should tell your self I want to visit it because it will introduce me to China culture and religion. Many monks still live on the temple grounds. So many lucky visitors are able to get a glimpse of the monks chanting sutras in the morning and during certain periods, while they are wondering around the grounds. They might also get a change to see the Buddhist carryout the Tibetan Buddhist ceremonies.

There is an admission fee of 25RMBs. The Lama Temple is open at 9:00 AM and closes at 5:00PM daily.  So after you get off your China Flight make sure you have planned to visit the Buddhist Lama Temple.

Beijing on a Budget

On October 10, 2011, in Beijing, Cultural Experience, by Jack Li

If you want to travel to Beijing and you enjoy saving money, then Beijing is right place for you. There are multiple of places to visit. Some of these sites should be close to your Beijing hotel. The first place you should see is the National Museum of China. You can get there by taking […]

If you want to travel to Beijing and you enjoy saving money, then Beijing is right place for you. There are multiple of places to visit. Some of these sites should be close to your Beijing hotel. The first place you should see is the National Museum of China. You can get there by taking Subway line 1, but please make sure you get out at the Tiananmen East stop. 

The National Museum of China is the largest history museum in China. It opened in 2003. In the museum there is Chinese ancient history Section. The ancient history sections dates back to 1,700,000 years ago and ends in 1921. This section holds the most amazing historical objects, such as the Terracotta Warriors. Another section of the museum is the Revolutionary section this section holds a great deal of material such as pictures, books, and models, these materials represent the development of modern day China.

The second place you need to visit is Tiananmen Square. You can also get there by taking line 1 of the subway and stopping at either Tiananmen West or East stops. Tiananmen Square is a historical place; it is where Chairman Mao Zedong proclaimed China to be the “People’s Republic of China” on October 1, 1941. There are also many sites to see while you are visiting Tiananmen Square like, Monument to People’s Heroes, Tiananmen Tower, Great Hall of the People, and Memorial Hall Of Chairman Mao. The admission is free; unless you want to explode Tiananmen Tower then it will cost you 15RMB. If you take the subway make sure you are on line 1 and get off on Tiananmen West or East.

Another great place to visit while you are in Beijing is the Olympic Green. There is so much to see here. During the day you can walk around the Forest Park. The park is a great place to go since it makes you feel like you left the busy life of Beijing to walk through a forest. There are many different paths you can take and each one is peaceful. While you are walking you can hear birds singing and see different types of flowers and trees.

When it gets dark you can walk around the Olympic Green. It’s better to walk the Olympic green in the dark since everything light up. On the Olympic Green you can see the Olympic Torch and the Birds Nest that is where they held the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. While you are on the Olympic Green you can see the night life. Sometimes there are groups of people dancing and some people playing instruments and other flying kites. Going to the Olympic Green and the Forest Park is a pleasant way to spend a day.

So if you are on a budget and you want to travel to Beijing makes sure you plan on seeing The National Museum of China, Tiananmen Square, and the Olympic Green, given that all three of these places has free admissions. So it is a great way to send your day and stay debt free. So plan on starting your China tours soon.

Top Music Festivals in China..

On September 19, 2011, in Beijing, China Travel Gossip, Festivals, Shanghai, Sichuan, by Jack Li

If you are a big music fan and planning a China tour you should definitely check to see if your visit coincides with a music festival. There are a variety of music festivals every year all over China (particularly if you travel to Shanghai or Beijing) with many genres having a place on the stage. […]

If you are a big music fan and planning a China tour you should definitely check to see if your visit coincides with a music festival. There are a variety of music festivals every year all over China (particularly if you travel to Shanghai or Beijing) with many genres having a place on the stage. I attended the Black Rabbit Festival this weekend which is a new festival for 2011 playing in Beijing and Shanghai. There was a mix of international and local talent including Yellowcard, PK 14, Ludacris and 30 Seconds to Mars.

 

Ticket were a fraction of the cost expected in the west, with prices at 210RMB for the full day event. Generally a ticket to see just one of these bands would cost that price. The festival itself was an interesting mix, where indie, rock and hip hop fans all came together to experience their favourite acts performing.

 

 

The festival in Beijing was located at Chaoyang Sports Park on the outskirts of the city, it was only a 32RMB cab ride there, however the journey back was a little difficult as taxi’s were not willing to stop and pick anyone up! So we resulted to hopping on the 350 bus back to Tuanjiehu (Sanlintun area) and continuing our travels by subway.

 

The grounds of the festival had a variety of entertainment, with a Chinese style market, food vendors and a bouncy castle. We were lucky enough to acquire some freebies of t-shirts and rabbit ears which helped us blend in to the festival crowd further!

 

Here is a short selection of some other popular festivals across China you may wish to check out!

 

MIDI Festival

Midi is China’s largest and longest running festival and usually runs for four consecutive days. It runs every year at the beginning of May in Beijing and the bands are usually within the Rock, Punk and Metal genres. Tickets cost around 200RMB for the weekend, and there is usually a combination of Chinese and International artists.

 

Strawberry Festival

Strawberry is another big rock festival held annually in Beijing (alongside other cities). It appears to be competition against Midi festival as they generally schedule to run at the same time, in the same city, just an hour apart from one another.

 

Zebra Festival

Zebra music festival is held each year in Chengdu, Sichuan province. Again it is a rock festival and tickets are 80RMB (for a day pass as weekend tickets aren’t available) with the festival running for three days.

 

Beijing Pop Festival

This festival, contrary to the name, is infact another rock festival! It was held every year (until 2007) in Beijing’s Chaoyang Park and features a combination of local and international bands. Notable acts that have performed there include Nine Inch Nails,  Public Enemy and New York Dolls. However, there haven’t been any performances over the past few years meaning it possibly could be extinct, considering Black Rabbit Festival has popped up in the month this festival usually takes place.

 

Other festivals to look into are Modern Sky Festival, China Music Valley Festival and Blossom Festival. However, festivals throughout China seem to be disappearing as fast as they begin, so it is best to continually check the line up and stability before planning any China Travel around this!

 

 

Entertainment in Beijing: Acrobatics, Opera & Kung Fu Shows!

On September 15, 2011, in Beijing, Entertainment, Nightlife, by Jack Li

A must see experience on any China tour is a visit to an acrobatic show. Attractions like this can be very hit and miss but Chinese acrobatics is definitely a hit and has to be seen to be believed! The shows are an eclectic mix of dance, gymnastics, contortion, martial arts and incredible stunts, with […]

A must see experience on any China tour is a visit to an acrobatic show. Attractions like this can be very hit and miss but Chinese acrobatics is definitely a hit and has to be seen to be believed! The shows are an eclectic mix of dance, gymnastics, contortion, martial arts and incredible stunts, with insane acts such as five men on motorbikes whizzing around a gigantic hamster like ball.

 

The history of Chinese Acrobatics dates back over two thousand years and when you travel to Beijing the best and most recommended location to see the extravagance is the Chaoyang Theatre. The theatre is easy to get to and located in the east of the city, the nearest subway stop is ‘Hujialou’ on line 10. Performances are available each night, with a viewing at 5.15-6.30pm and another at 7.15-8.30pm with the cost being around 200RMB for the cheapest seats, however this can rise up to 800RMB for those with the best views.

 

Chaoyang Theatre has a souvenir stall selling merchandise related to the performance including a DVD of the show, and there is also a small shop selling drinks and snacks to bring into the theatre with you. Performances are around 75 minutes.

 

The show is a spectacular combination of movement, lighting and sound and makes for some beautiful photos. Other theatres in Beijing offering shows are the Tiandi ‘Heaven and Earth’ Theatre (nearest subway stop is Dongsishitiao on Line 2) with shows daily at 7.15-8.30pm and Tianqiao Theatre (best accessed by taxi) with shows at 7.15pm. Both cost in the region of 180RMB for the cheaper seats.

 

In addition to Acrobatics there is also an energetic Kung Fu performance on show at the Red Theatre (closest subway stop is Tiantandongmen, Line 5) entitled ‘The Legend of Kung Fu’. There is more than just martial arts to this show which follows a narrative, as it involves dangerous stunts with variety of props and sharp instruments. There are performances every evening beginning at 7.30pm and tickets cost from 180RMB. Shows last 1 hour and 20 minutes.

 

Another traditional attraction is the Beijing Opera (known as Jingxi) which, although not as comprehensible as the above attractions, is still worth a visit – if not for the impressive costumes, make up and stage design. The most popular theatres for this are Liyuan Theatre (accessed via the Liyuan stop on the Batong line) and the National Centre for the Performing Arts (subway stop Tian’anmen West (Xi)), both have evening performances starting at 7.30pm. Alongside the original opera performances many popular Chinese teahouses also combine the traditional tea tasting experience with Opera entertainment, and often this can be combined with a Peking Duck dinner too.

 

If you are unsure about organising any of these activities or would rather be a part of a group visit many Beijing Hotels and online travel companies offer tours or package deals to all of the above attractions.

KTV: Sing, Dance and Be Merry!

On September 8, 2011, in Beijing, Cultural Experience, Entertainment, Nightlife, by Jack Li

KTV (short for Karaoke Television) is a popular social activity in the far east, and is an interesting twist on the typical bars and clubs we commonly visit in the UK, Australia and America. It is an experience any tourist should try at least once when they travel to Beijing and there are KTV venues […]

KTV (short for Karaoke Television) is a popular social activity in the far east, and is an interesting twist on the typical bars and clubs we commonly visit in the UK, Australia and America. It is an experience any tourist should try at least once when they travel to Beijing and there are KTV venues located all over the city near to many Beijing hotels and attractions, you will usually spot them by their big sign with ‘KTV’ in neon lettering.

 

 

The entrance lobbies are generally very grand with extravagant decor, vibrant colours and giant chandeliers. You are usually met at the entrance and shown to your booth for the evening. KTV rooms are available to rent for an evening or per hour, and there is a broad price range which varies between establishments.

 

 

They have many different rooms ranging from a simple 2 person room right up to big rooms suitable for work gatherings and birthday parties.  The idea is to rent out a booth with a group of your friends, select your favourite tracks and sing your heart out. The booth is closed off and private, and provides television screens with the music video and lyrics so everyone can sing along with you. In Chinese culture it is a very popular pastime even if you are not so vocally talented, and the locals use it as a place to vent their emotions, socialise and relax.

 

KTV establishments normally provide food and beverages or have them available to purchase giving you no reason to leave your private area, and each room has a spacious dance floor for those who feel less than confident about singing in front of their friends!

 

There is normally a variety of music to choose from with both English and Chinese favourites available, including all the latest popular chart hits from back home. Karaoke rooms are kitted out in style with fancy couches, a modern computer playlist and giant flat screen televisions. The atmosphere is generally very party orientated with twinkling coloured lights, disco balls and dimmed lights.

 

KTV was originally invented in Japan and came to China about 25 years ago, originally existing in mostly expensive four and five star hotels, before moving on to nightclubs and specific KTV establishments. Alongside the private rooms there is usually a general public karaoke area where groups can gather and sing together.

 

KTV is the perfect way to chill out with your friends and sample the culture first hand, a must see on for your China travel itinerary!

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