Veggie Heaven in Beijing!

On September 26, 2011, in Beijing, Restaurants, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

When considering China as a potential holiday destination, it is often confusing for those with specific dietary requirements to understand what food options will be available for them once they arrive. If you plan to travel to Beijing this article will hopefully give you a bit more information on Vegetarian and Vegan options. There are […]

When considering China as a potential holiday destination, it is often confusing for those with specific dietary requirements to understand what food options will be available for them once they arrive. If you plan to travel to Beijing this article will hopefully give you a bit more information on Vegetarian and Vegan options. There are a decent amount of restaurants available within the city and most Beijing hotels, alongside fast food and western restaurants will also have guaranteed meat free dishes on the menu for Vegetarians.

 

For a larger selection you could head to a pure Vegetarian restaurant. There are a variety of such places available and you will find a high concentration in the area surrounding the Lama Temple. It is not unusual for monks and tourists to dine in these places at the same time which makes for an interesting experience.

 

A popular place and well worth a visit is ‘Xu Xiang Zhai‘. This restaurant is nearby the Lama Temple and directly opposite Conficus Temple, with the nearest subway being Yonghegong on line 5. The establishment offers a buffet starting at 5.30pm, and a large menu which is available all day. It is quite a serene atmosphere, upon walking in you feel as though you are entering a spa complete with fish swimming around in pools. It is one of the most reasonably priced Vegetarian restaurants with the buffet costing around £6, which includes drinks and desserts. This consists of Chinese and Western dishes alongside some unusual and interesting creations.

 

Those with a larger budget may consider ‘Pure Lotus Vegetarian‘. This restaurant has two locations in the Chaoyang district and has fairly western prices, with a meal costing between £12 and £20 per head. Similarly to Xu Xiang Zhai it offers Vegetarian dishes alongside mock meat imitations, including Veggie versions of Peking Duck, Kung Pao Chicken and Kobe Beef. Other purely Vegetarian restaurants worth a look are Lotus in Moonlight, Tianchu Miaoxiang, Fairy Su and Beijing Vegan Hut.

 

In addition to the specific Vegetarian places, many Chinese dishes such as stir fries, noodles and hot pots have Vegetarian varieties, and tofu is a popular ingredient replacing meat in many dishes. The only issue to be aware of is sometimes these dishes may be cooked in animal fat, seasoned with fish sauce or accompanied with meat toppings so it is best to bring a phrase book or download an English to Chinese dictionary application on your phone so you can effectively communicate with the waitress.

 

Some key phrases to learn before your trip which will come in very useful are:

I dont eat meat - Wǒ bùchī ròu

I am vegetarian – Wǒ sù shí zhě

I am Vegan -Wǒ chún sù shí zhě

Do you have Vegetarian food? – Yǒuméiyǒu sù shí zhě

I am on a special diet – Wǒ zài jiéshí

I am allergic to (insert food) - Wǒ duì (insert food) guòmǐn

Could you make a meal without (insert food)? – Néngbùnéng zuòyīge bùfang (insert food) de cài?

fish – yú

eggs - jīdàn

poultry - jiāqín

red meat – niúyángròu

gluten - miànjīn

seafood – hǎixiān

shellfish – bèiké

peanuts – huāshēng

meat – ròu

pork – zhūròu

beef – niúròu

(note these phrases can be incomprehensible or mean something else entirely if pronounced incorrectly, so it may be worth downloading an application for your mobile phone with an Audio component to become familiar with the pronunciation.)

 

Another possible option to consider would be sampling the varieties of street food in Beijing, as there are many vegetarian snacks and meals, including baked sweet potatoes, savoury pancakes, fresh fruit and grilled vegetables on sticks. Additionally it may be worth heading for a large supermarket like Carrefour or Wal Mart if you have self catering facilities, as they have a large selection of both western and Chinese foods to create meals from. These are some of the bigger hypermarkets but there are plenty of small to medium supermarkets and stores located near most Beijing Hotels.

 

Beijing – The City that Never Sleeps

On September 23, 2011, in Beijing, China Travel Gossip, Nightlife, Nightlife, by Jack Li

A Beijing tour is not complete without sampling some Beijing’s bustling nightlife. From a quiet expensive cocktail to unlimited drinks for 30RMB. Just a short walk from your Beijing hotel when the sun goes down, you will come across a new world full of excitement. Most bars and clubs stay open until 4am or later so you […]

A Beijing tour is not complete without sampling some Beijing’s bustling nightlife. From a quiet expensive cocktail to unlimited drinks for 30RMB. Just a short walk from your Beijing hotel when the sun goes down, you will come across a new world full of excitement. Most bars and clubs stay open until 4am or later so you will be no doubt be spoilt for choice!

 

Night Market
If you want to experience the smells and tastes of China at its best, then a trip to the night market in Wangfujing Street is something to behold. From starfish to live scorpions on sticks, the night market has it all! However for those who are less adventurous, there are candied fruits and traditional Chinese food such as spring rolls and Kung Pao Chicken.

 

 

 

 

Sanlitun Bar Street

This thriving place is the expats favourite desintation to party. With an endless streets of clubs and bars to suit every taste. My personal favourite is called Kokomo which is a Caribbean themed club on the 4th and 5th floors of TongLi Studios and is  a lounge and has a roof terrace (which is covered in the winter) and has received a variety of awards over the last 5years. Other notable clubs include Vics which is incredibly popular among expats and is considered one of the largest and most impressive clubs in the capital and Boys&Girls which is ones of the most popular bars on the street teamed with it’s neon lights and live Chinese pop and rock bands.

 

 

Juicy

Juicy bar is one of Beijing’s best kept secrets, situated near Chaoyang park, for a one off payment of 50RMB you get yourself a members clubcard which entitles you to free entry everyday except Wednesday (where you pay 30RMB entry fee) and entitles you to half price drinks on Sunday – Tuesday and free unlimited drinks on Wednesday. The bar also has a wide variety of different flavours of Shisha which can be enjoyed on the roof terrace for only 40RMB.

 

 

 


Atmospher
e

For those who want a more exclusive feel, Bar atmosphere is definitely the place! Situated on the 80th floor of the China World Trade Centre, making it the highest bar in Beijing. As well as enjoying the views, you can enjoy a variety of single malts, one of the 300 available cocktails (starting at 65RMB) as well as some light snacks and cigars. This exclusive bar has a strict dress code after 6pm so make sure you get your glamrags on! In the evening there is entertainment from an excellent Jazz Band playing a variety of music from Duke Ellington to Norah Jones. This is the perfect venue for a special occasion or a romantic drink.

 

 

 

So when booking you Chinese flight, remember to look forward to the exciting nightlife that Beijing has to offer. There is something for everyone and you will not be bored of things to do.

A Short First Timers Guide to Trains in China

On September 20, 2011, in China Travel Gossip, Tips & Ideas, Travel Info, by Jack Li

During your China travel adventure, You may consider venturing out on the train for an interesting cultural experience, a day trip to somewhere new or simply as a method of transport from point A to B. Less hassle than catching a flight or taking a bus, the trains in China cover most of the important […]

During your China travel adventure, You may consider venturing out on the train for an interesting cultural experience, a day trip to somewhere new or simply as a method of transport from point A to B. Less hassle than catching a flight or taking a bus, the trains in China cover most of the important tourist destinations alongside local areas so you can travel to Xian, Shanghai, Guilin, Tibet, Guangzhou and more depending on your itinerary.

 

Train Categories in China

Trains in China have multiple categories, distinguished by a letter (this precedes a number which corresponds to the route). ‘K’ and ‘T’ are the oldest and therefore slowest train types, with the middle category being the ‘Z’ train. Trains starting with a  ‘C’, ‘D’ or ‘G’ are the newest and fastest trains, usually with the highest prices, although this is worthwhile if you are short of time and far from the price you would pay for the same distance in a western country.

 

Seat and Sleeper Classes in China

There are a variety of seat and sleeper classes on Chinese trains, however some are restricted to certain trains, for example long distance or popular routes. The types available are: Soft Sleeper, Hard Sleeper, Soft Seat, Hard Seat and the less often seen Deluxe Sleeper.

Soft sleeper is a 4 bed compartment with a lockable door, car attendant and occasionally, TV screens and power supplies. This is the most popular category for western tourists and nicely fits a family of four. The two lower bunks convert into sofa’s for daytime use. Hard sleeper is an open plan 6 bed partition and has no lockable door. These berths are popular with the backpacker crowd and travellers with a lower budget.

Soft and hard seats are similar to those on western trains, soft is slightly larger and more padded being equivalent to first class back home, whilst second class are cheaper and adequate, like standard train seats in Europe and America.

Deluxe sleepers are usually found on long distance overnight trains and consist of a private 2 bed compartment with private bathroom area. Travellers use these less often, as they are usually equivalent to the cost of a flight and generally occupied by government employees.

Train facilities

All except the oldest ‘K’ and ‘T’ trains are fully air conditioned and generally have both western and squat toilets available. Toilet paper is very rarely supplied so be prepared to bring your own supply for the journey. Smoking is only permitted outside of sleeping compartments and aisles, however the newer model trains have a non-smoking rule.

All long distance trains and those running a popular route have restaurants on board. They are housed in a restaurant car and those heading to or from major tourist orientated towns and cities will likely have an English menu. There are snacks, drinks and hot meals available. In addition to this there are usually hot water dispensers situated throughout the train should you wish to make your own hot drinks, soup or pot noodles.

 

Booking and Purchasing Tickets

You can purchase tickets prior to your arrival in China or through an agent, this is a stress free easier method especially if you don’t have a very flexible itinerary, however there will be an added fee for the convenience.

It is simple enough to book tickets yourself and large cities generally have an English speaking booth available. Tickets for the popular high speed trains usually come on sale up to 20 days before departure however the older and less used trains often leave it until 5 to 10 days before. It is recommended to take your passport as for certain routes and trains it needs to be presented in order for you to book a ticket. Another point to be aware of is you are only able to book a journey departing from the station you are at, so you cannot book a journey from Beijing to Xian if you are at Shanghai Central Station.

A recommended website for train travel throughout China (and other cities) with all other vital information including photographs is Seat 61. You can also book many train journeys within China online at China Travel Depot.

 

Sample Some Snake, Scorpion, Seahorse or Starfish at Wangfujing!

On September 16, 2011, in Beijing, China Travel Gossip, Cultural Experience, Restaurants & Food, by Jack Li

For adventurous eaters or those just curious to see the range of unusual creatures deemed edible, you should definitely not miss a trip to the night markets in Wangfujing. This is an experience that usually isn’t on offer in other countries, except slightly less bizarre offerings such as fried grasshoppers in South East Asia! Therefore […]

For adventurous eaters or those just curious to see the range of unusual creatures deemed edible, you should definitely not miss a trip to the night markets in Wangfujing. This is an experience that usually isn’t on offer in other countries, except slightly less bizarre offerings such as fried grasshoppers in South East Asia! Therefore when you travel to Beijing it is a must see, if only for some interesting photographs to show people back home! Also if you plan to travel to Shanghai there are also similar streets to sample the delicacies.

 

Wangfujing is fairly central to access on Subway line 1 and the stop is conveniently also called Wangfujing. Take exit A and it is a short walk to most of the action. Wangfujing is also more than just the night market location, being a popular attraction and one of the busiest shopping areas. It is also a pedestrian only street which is a rarity in Beijing, and has a variety of shops and smalls.

 

There are a few night market areas but the main streets are ‘Xiaochi Jie’ and ‘Donganmen’. These stalls are a little more expensive and tourist orientated however you will find an exciting array of insects, animals and other edible deep fried delicacies to try. Examples of the variety available include everything from starfish, scorpion, lizard and snake to silk worms, millipedes, spiders and birds.

 

If you are a fussy eater there is plenty of ‘normal’ food available at the stalls aswell, including noodles, spring rolls and rice dishes. There are also plenty of stalls selling a variety of kebabs using lamb or chicken. In addition to this if you require a full meal there are plenty of both Chinese and Western restaurants in the area, and you can walk north to the many hutongs to sample some authentic dishes down any of the small side streets.

 

The market is opened every evening from around 5pm and starts to close at 9.30pm, with it clearing away completely by 10pm. It is also located reasonably nearby Tianamen Square so you may be able to walk from your Beijing hotel.

 

 

Ultimate Iphone Apps for your trip to China: Part One

On September 7, 2011, in Beijing, China Travel Gossip, Tips & Ideas, Travel Info, by Jack Li

For your upcoming China tour or holiday, you might be interested in some of the most useful Iphone Apps for your trip. China Travel can be daunting and might be confusing in the beginning, but don’t fret as There’s An App For That!   DianHua Dictionary (free) DianHua is an online Chinese to English dictionary […]

For your upcoming China tour or holiday, you might be interested in some of the most useful Iphone Apps for your trip. China Travel can be daunting and might be confusing in the beginning, but don’t fret as There’s An App For That!

 

DianHua Dictionary (free)

DianHua is an online Chinese to English dictionary application using CC-CEDICT and provides support for both Traditional and Simplified characters, alongside English and Mandarin Pinyin. You are also able to search by drawing characters, and can include or omit the tones. The application has copy and paste support and will also store your previously searched words allowing you to make flashcards for future use. You can also bookmark phrases and words together under categories to make it easier to find and memorise them.

 

There is also a separate number section allowing you to convert numbers and listen to them orally with the audio playback feature. If you wish to learn characters there is an enlarged view of both Traditional and Simplified characters available allowing you to study and trace over them with the stylus.

 


Additionally there is a feature to create your own flashcards using words you have been learning, and you can combine this with the writing feature. Both of these elements will tell you how well you are doing and there will be a percentage on display on screen to mark your progress.

 

Other available dictionary software applications include Qingwen, KTdict and Pleco.

 

XE Currency (free)

A simple yet vital application is XE Currency Convertor. You can convert the Chinese Renminbi into any other world currency with the click of a button, including multiple currencies at once. With an internet connection you will get a live current exchange rate result, but the app is also available offline to use as it stores data enabling you to view the previously loaded exchange rate.

 

Whats App (0.69p)

This application is ideal for those travelling anywhere outside of their home country, especially if you do not wish to be charged the extortionate fees for international text messaging. With an internet connection (or 3G signal) you can send unlimited text and picture messages to your automatically imported contact list, and it is also compatible with Android, Nokia and Blackberry phones enabling you to keep contact with friends and family who don’t use an Iphone.

 

You can also send audio files and video messages, and the recent update includes a group chat feature enabling you to talk to multiple contacts in one conversation.

 

Doodle Chinese (free)

From the makers of Doodle Jump comes Doodle Chinese, a fun animated style application to make picking up Mandarin phrases more enjoyable! Suitable for all ages the app builds up your language skills from basic words to scenario conversations. Quizzes and game based practices help you to memorise what you have understood.

 

Doodle Chinese uses a Native Chinese Speaker for all audio phrases, and comes with Pinyin and English translation for every phrase. You are able to switch between Pinyin and Chinese Characters whenever you wish, and can share your progress with your friends online.

 

Check back for Part Two of the Ultimate Iphone Apps for China travel!

 

A Simple Guide to Airport Transportation

On September 6, 2011, in Beijing, Getting Around, Transportation, Travel Info, by Jack Li

You may be wondering about the possible transport options from Beijing Capital International Airport to your Beijing hotel accommodation. Few airlines arrive at Terminal 1 which caters to mostly domestic flights, so you will most likely arrive at 2 or 3. Terminal 2 is the base for major airlines such as KLM, Delta and China […]

You may be wondering about the possible transport options from Beijing Capital International Airport to your Beijing hotel accommodation. Few airlines arrive at Terminal 1 which caters to mostly domestic flights, so you will most likely arrive at 2 or 3. Terminal 2 is the base for major airlines such as KLM, Delta and China Eastern Airlines, and Terminal 3 is the home of British Airways, Emirates, Air China and Cathay Pacific.

 

There is a free shuttle bus service which connects all the terminals. From 6am until 11pm buses depart every 10 minutes, and outside of this time there is usually a bus once every half hour. The airport is 27km from the town centre and journey times into town will vary depending on your arrival time, this can be up to one hour and may be much less if you do not face any of the notorious Beijing traffic!

 

Possible Transport Options:

  • Airport Shuttle
  • Airport Express (Subway)
  • Taxi

 

Airport Shuttle

The downtown shuttle to the center of Beijing is 16 RMB per person, per ride. There are also shuttles available that head further out, to the border cities such as Tanggu and Tianjin. Tickets are available within the terminal. For Terminal 1 you will find a ticket office at Gate 7, Terminal 2 at gates 9, 10 and 11, and at Terminal 3 next to gates 5, 7 and 11. All these ticket offices are on the first floor, Terminal 3 also has offices on the second floor.

 

There are 9 shuttle lines heading to different sections of the city:

  • Line 1: Airport to Fangzhuang (7am – 1am) Return Journey (5.10am – 9pm)
  • Line 2: Airport to Xidan (7am – 12am) Return Journey (5.10am – 9pm)
  • Line 3: Airport to Beijing Railway Station (7am – 12am) Return Journey (5.10am – 9pm)
  • Line 4: Airport to Gongzhufen (6.50am – 12am) Return Journey (4.50am – 22pm)
  • Line 5: Airport to Zhongguancun (6.50am – 12am) Return Journey (5.30am til 9pm)
  • Line 6: Airport to Wangjing (7am – 22.30pm) Return Journey (5.30am – 8.30pm)
  • Line 7: Airport to Beijing West Railway Station (7.20am – 12am) Return (5.10am – 9pm)
  • Line 8: Airport to Shangdi (7am – 12am) Return Journey (5.30am – 6.30pm)

Follow signs at the airport to find your shuttle, buses usually leave when they are full.

 

Airport Express (Subway)

The airport express (subway line) has four stops on the route:

  • Dongzhimen, Sanyuanqiao, Terminal 3, and Terminal 2.

The journey costs 25 RMB for a one way trip and takes approximately 30 minutes. Carriages leave every 15 minutes and the service operates from 6.35am – 23.10pm from Terminal 2, and 6.20am – 22.50pm from Terminal 3.

Taxi

You can easily catch a taxi to and from the airport, and this is the best option if there are a few of you and you have lots of luggage – but it will be the most expensive. Taxi ranks are located outside the airport, Terminal 1 has stops outside gates 3 to 5, Terminal 2 outside gates 3 to 7, and Terminal 3 has signs within the building directing you to the taxi stand. The minimum charge is 10 RMB for the first 3km, after this each further km will cost 2 RMB.

 

Taxi Tips

  • Insist that the driver uses the meter, ‘Qǐng Dǎbiǎo’ means put the meter on please.
  • Have your destination written in chinese characters as many drivers do not speak English.
  • Be aware of toll charges which you cover in addition to the fare.
  • Be sure to get a licensed taxi with official certification.
  • Note down the taxi number if you have any problems.

 

In addition many of the higher end hotels provide complimentary shuttles for guests so this may also be worth looking into when you travel to Beijing.

 

The Survival Guide to the Beijing Subway

On September 6, 2011, in Beijing, Cultural Experience, Getting Around, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

  The Beijing subway is the one of the most surreal experiences I have ever come across on my Beijing Tour. It is the 5th busiest in the world and currently consists of 14lines and some 209 miles of operating lines which intends to keep growing until 2015. The busiest line, Line 1, cuts through the entire […]

 

The Beijing subway is the one of the most surreal experiences I have ever come across on my Beijing Tour. It is the 5th busiest in the world and currently consists of 14lines and some 209 miles of operating lines which intends to keep growing until 2015. The busiest line, Line 1, cuts through the entire city centre, including stations at Tianenmen Square and Guomao (where the notorious Silk Market is based). On 4th March 2011, a record breaking 6.82million people rode the subway. Getting to a subway station is very easy as most Beijing Hotels and landmarks are close to one. There are 172 subway stations across the city and 2 further lines are to open in 2012

 

 

Tickets & Security

You can either pay for each ticket individually or invest in a Beijing subway card (similar to a London Oyster Card) which can also be used on buses. A return on the subway is 2RMB no matter how far you are going. Before paying for your ticket, you place your bags on the conveyor belt, similar to that of airports to scan your bags for suspicious items. The subway is one of the very few places in Beijing where you are not allowed to smoke.

 

 

 

Rush Hour

Rush hour in Beijing is what the Beijing subway is most known for. There are mass amounts of people crammed into trains, to the extent that there are specialised security officers to push people into the train, making everyone packed like sardines, similar to that seen on the Tokyo subway. There are ways in which you can avoid these busy times (by avoiding major lines such as line 1 or avoiding traveling at that time completely) but it something to experience by those who want a grasp of everyday life in Beijing.

 

 

 

Tips to Enjoy your Subway Ride

Be safe – As for any subway, use your common sense. Keep all bags zipped and valuables hidden and just keep your subway card in your pocket to avoid rummaging in your bag at the station.

Push – In Western culture, we are prone to queuing – this is not the case in Beijing. Pushing will get you places teamed with shouting ‘ràng yī xià’ which means ‘Please move’.

Get a good spot – The quietest spots on the subway are normally the middle carriages, if you are stuck in a busy carriage, getas far away from the doors as possible to stop being pushed from every possible angle by the large amount of people getting on and off the tube.

Be prepared – When the doors open for the station before you are due to get off, get as close to the door as possible to avoid the struggle at your actual stop and missing your station.

Occupy yourself – On longer subway trips, kill some time by reading a newspaper or talking to a friend to make the journey a little faster.

 

China travel is something to be experienced by all everyone so hop on a subway and visit all the sights of Beijing in a fast, cool and cost-effective way!

 

Tagged with:  

Shop ‘Til You Drop’ at the Beijing Silk Market

On September 5, 2011, in Beijing, China Travel Gossip, Shopping, by Jack Li

One of the Must See Attractions when you travel to Beijing is the enormous six storey Silk Market. It is very convenient on the subway from most Beijing hotels and taxi prices are reasonable, just be sure to get the chinese name for where you are going as there is a very high chance the driver […]

One of the Must See Attractions when you travel to Beijing is the enormous six storey Silk Market. It is very convenient on the subway from most Beijing hotels and taxi prices are reasonable, just be sure to get the chinese name for where you are going as there is a very high chance the driver will not speak any English.

You will find a huge amount of stalls selling a variety of merchandise, and there is an entrance directly from Yong’anli subway station which brings you into the centre of the action, starting at the lower floors selling mostly handbags and shoes. Goods are mostly imitations of well known designer and high street brands, although non branded items are available alongside this. All the big brands are here including Chanel, Mulberry, Louis Vuitton, Christian Louboutin etc and there is quite a range of high street from Adidas to Zara.


The pedestrian entrance walking from the subway to the market itself is also worth a look, as it sells a range of trinkets, magnets, gadgets and stationary – perfect as a gift for someone back home! There are also unusual inventions here that you would expect to see in Asia, for instance a mini fish tank complete with a built in alarm clock, side light and pen holder!

 

You can catch the lift or take escalators up to the further levels selling clothing, electronics, jewellery, children’s toys and homeware products, you name it and there is a high chance it is probably for sale at the market somewhere! Even newer and less obvious brands are replicated at the Silk Market, for example Cath Kidston’s iconic floral printed accessories and the very popular Lelli Kelly embellished children’s shoes.

 

There are many restaurants and snack stalls around, they appear to be more concentrated on the higher levels and prices are reasonable. The famous Quanjude Peking Duck restaurant has a space on the sixth floor and there are also other food options such as a McDonalds within walking distance.

The market is extremely busy, usually attracting around 50,000 visitors on a daily basis, therefore the sellers are very experienced and will start with extortionate prices. Be prepared to haggle hard as the starting price is likely to be hugely inflated, it is possible for a starting price of 5000 RMB to be haggled down to around 80 RMB. It is easy to spend all day there, exploring the various stalls and different quality of items available.

 

If you are after a slightly easier time with more chance of a bargain or just a tiny bit more space it may be worth visiting in the early morning or evening, as the market is open daily from 9am until 9pm, however due to the guaranteed hoards of potential customers you may still end up paying more than you should be.

 

If you are unsure about navigating the market or the sights and sounds of china, there are many Beijing tours available including specialist shopping tours. There are options for whatever length you require, including multi trip tours that also visit other major Chinese places of interest such as Shanghai and Xian.

The Silk Market

On August 29, 2011, in Beijing, Cultural Experience, Shopping, Tours, by Jack Li

China is not only renowned for its ancient history and rich cultural heritage but also its extraordinary capacity for manufacturing. Most of the world’s electrical and clothing items are produced in China. Travel to Beijing and there are endless places where you can indulge yourself into buying what ever takes your fancy. The Silk Market […]

China is not only renowned for its ancient history and rich cultural heritage but also its extraordinary capacity for manufacturing. Most of the world’s electrical and clothing items are produced in China. Travel to Beijing and there are endless places where you can indulge yourself into buying what ever takes your fancy.

The Silk Market attracts approximately 50,000 visitors daily and 60,000 on weekends as of 2006. This 35,000-square-meter complex houses 1,700 retail vendor and over 3,000 salespeople spread over seven floors with three levels of basements. Many of the stalls have, over the years, gained local and international reputation for selling counterfeit luxury designer brands at relatively low prices. Some have carried on this trademark despite growing pressures from the management, the Chinese government and famous brand-name companies.

Opened on March 19th 2005, and replacing the old alley-based Xiushui Market, the current Silk Street establishment has diversified their business scope. In addition to selling fashion apparels and accessories such as hats, handbags, shoes, belts, sportswear and silk fabrics like their predecessor, the new Silk Street has introduced traditional Chinese handicrafts, antiques, calligraphy, carpets, table cloths, bed coverings, paintings, hand-knit dresses, toys, electronic gadgets, trinkets, and fine jewelry. Reputable establishments such as the Tongrentang Pharmacy, Quanjude Peking Roast Duck restaurant, and multi-national coffee and restaurant chains such as Lavazza, SPR Coffee, Caffe L’affare, Subway and TCBY have also joined Silk Street’s bid to become the “ultimate one-stop tourist destination” in Beijing. Invested and constructed by Beijing Xinyashenhong Real Estate Development Co., Ltd. and managed by Beijing Silk Street Garment Market Co., Ltd., Silk Street is built along Line 1, Beijing Subway next to Guomao (China World Trade Centre) with a direct basement link to Yonganli subway station (Exit A). This makes it easy to access for any tourists wishing to get their hands on some bargains.

This famous market attracts many people. This provides the salespeople in the silk market to set their own prices and ask for as much as they think they could extract out of one particular individual. However, do no be fooled as this price is normally 4 or 5 fold the amount that you should actually pay. Haggling is a sport when you enter this building. You should always remember that it is a marathon and not a sprint. Have your maximum price (as low as possible) for the item and be stern. If they do not accept, simply walk away. More often then not they will accept the price when you walk away making you the winner of the haggling war.

So Book your Beijing Tours and Beijing Hotels now and practise your haggling skills at the highest stage.

Tattoos in China!

On August 29, 2011, in Beijing, Shanghai, Transportation, by Jack Li

Since ancient times, people have decorated their bodies with tattoos. In those times, this type of skin art was not limited to any particular geographical area, but was very common among primitive peoples around the world. Despite its long history, modern civilizations have regarded tattooing as something that only savage jungle people or criminals practiced. […]

Since ancient times, people have decorated their bodies with tattoos. In those times, this type of skin art was not limited to any particular geographical area, but was very common among primitive peoples around the world. Despite its long history, modern civilizations have regarded tattooing as something that only savage
jungle people or criminals practiced. Today, it has become a popular way for especially young people to show off their individuality. If you are going to make your China Travel you should buy your China Flight and get a cool Chinese Tatoo!

In China, tattoos have traditionally been associated with prisoners or members of criminal gangs. Against this background, it is understandable that some Chinese elders still view this form of body art with a certain degree of contempt. But in addition to tattoos being considered the mark of a convicted man, they have long been part of tribal rituals, in southern China in particular. Eventually, the tattooing practices of some of China’s indigenous people spread west along the
Silk Road, which stretched from Xi’an in central China all the way to the Mediterranean Sea.

The most famous tattoo to appear in Chinese history is that of Yueh Fei, a renowned general from the South Song Dynasty. When he joined the military forces
fighting off the enemy from the north, his trusted troop leader suddenly jumped ship and joined the enemy ranks. Disgusted by this treachery, Yueh Fei resigned
and returned home to care for his mother.

China’s young people have adopted tattoos and piercings as part of their fashion, just like their Western counterparts. And just like with fashion, the latest trends in tattoos travel quickly around the world.

Originally, Chinese young people took tattoos to show they were cool, but now they are becoming more interested in the designs, often spending a lot of time and
effort to create unique tattoos, or to look for the design that best matches their personality, a tattoo artist from Beijing says.

Attitudes are changing, but still, most parents oppose the idea of their offspring covering their body with such noticeable, and sometimes provoking art. According to Chinese philosophy of thought, a person’s body is a precious gift from his or her parents and, therefore, should never be abused or blemished with a tattoo.
But the freedom to decide what to do with one’s body is one of the most inalienable rights human beings possess, which makes tattoos a very effective way of communicating one’s likes and convictions to other members of society.

“Tattoos aren’t as popular as colored hair in China yet,” Sofia says, “but they are getting there, as more and more trend setting celebrities get themselves tattooed.”The growing popularity of tattoos as a sign of individualism is reflective of the changes sweeping the Chinese society. “I believe that tattoos will become more fashionable in China in the future when individuality and freedom are more respected,” Sofia says. Travel to Beijing where you can find the most interesting tattoos!

Tagged with:  
Page 3 of 1812345678910...Last »