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Carnival of Cities: Beijing, China (travel tips from a native Chinese)

Tian An Men Square, Beijing

Beijing is the capital city of our great motherland.” I believe this is the first knowlege of “Beijing” in many Chinese of my age. I don’t remember since when I was asked to memorize this sentence. What did that imply? I guess I had interpreted it as ”Beijng is a serious, but not a fun city”. But now, with the whole “2008, 08, 08Beijing Olympic Games being expected, it is becoming more and more exciting place.

I did some research before putting up the tips. Two surprising discoveries:

Google thinks people are looking for “Beijing travel” when people type in “beijing”: 3 out of 10 results on first page are about “travel” v.s. 1 result for “san francisco“;

– “Hong Kong” is a suggested related word for “beijing”.

beijing history

beijing facts

beijing airport

beijing pictures

beijing shopping

hong kong

map of china

forbidden city

Ok, here are my bet on top 5 tips for you (as a non-Chinese speaker) to get around the city:

Forbidden City, Beijing1. Best Travel Guide Book: DK Eyewitness Travel Shanghai & Beijing. Beijing is a big city with huge history. It is not easy to get around to see everything in a short tip. This guidebook help you to decide where you want to go by showing the vivid pictures from difficult angles. I like the walk-trip plan especially. You don’t get to know the city without walking on the lanes.

2. Best way to know Beijng: Join a tour? No, never ever if you only visit Beijing. A tour package might save you some time in planning the trip, booking hotel, but you have to pay a lot more. Price is one thing. The other thing I don’t like guided tour is that the itineraries are tend to be outdated. Well, you see the history of the city, but you will miss what’s going on the city if you rely on your tour guide. Suggestion? Find a personal travel guide. Advantages include: flexible schedule, more communication about what to see and what to eat, and more updated local news.

3. Best blog about Beijing life: Make sure you check out DanWei at least once when you plan to visit China. I guarantee you some laughter from it.

Beijing Breakfast.jpg4. Best worst Beijing food: I own the reputation of being brave enough to eat every cooked food. But, there is one kind of Beijing food I can’t take. It is a drink made from soy bean, white in color, sour taste, a tradition drink for in breakfast Beijing native. I basically run away from the restaurant after I have my first sip of the drink. If you want to test your tolerance of bad food, show these two characters to your guide: 豆汁(literary translated as ‘bean juice’).

5. Best attraction: Temple of Heaven is my favorite. Known as Tian Tan (天坛), it is one of the largest temple complexes in China and a paradigm of Chinese architectural balance and symbolism. The temple is situated in a very large and pleasant park.

Temple of Heaven, Beijing

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8 responses to “Carnival of Cities: Beijing, China (travel tips from a native Chinese)”

  1. Erika says:

    I love your photos and I love Beijing. I was there a few months ago for about 5 days, which was not enhough, but what a great place. I can’t wait to get back to China, there’s so much to see and I had such a fantastic time.

  2. admin says:

    Thank you for visiting this blog, Erika. I love Shanghai, where I live now. And there are a lot of great places you can visit in China.

    Hope to see you soon in China!

  3. […] It was my second time to join the bloggers at the Chinese Blogger Conference 2007 in Beijing on Nov. 3 and 4.  Last year, I went to Hangzhou and met a lot of great bloggers, including one of the conference founder/organizers, Issac Mao, who has begun to be referred as “Chairman Mao” by bloggers; Rebecca MacKinnon from Global Voices Online;and Professor Chunyan Wang from Renmin University, who was the first person who introduced Creative Commons (CC) licence to China web-sphere. And this year, I had the chance to reunite with my blogger friends, and make new friends. How wonderful! […]

  4. […] Kango blog is hosting a Carnival of Cities this week. It asks bloggers to answer “Where do you want to go today?” well, I have a long wish list. But the 1st place is Angkor Wat. Reason #1: Winter is the best season to visit East South Asia as the raining season is over and the weather will be cooler. But the con is that Winter is also the tourism peak season as well. Anyway, who cares. Reason #2: I am from a country of a long history. I want to see all other ancient cultures and histories. One day I will be in Egypt, Chile and Greece. Carnival of Cities is quite a fun blog event. I submitted a post in September about Beijing and that post now is the most viewed page among my 43 blog posts. So, undoubtly, you can promote your blog while having fun writing about trips! […]

  5. Dave & Kasey says:

    Thanks for your information on your blog. It is very helpful. My bride and I will be traveling to Shanghai and Beijing in a couple of weeks. Cant Wait!

  6. admin says:

    Thank you for visiting this blog, Dave & Kasey! Have a good time in China!

  7. “ I’ m very sorry for the Chinese people who have to live in unhealthy environmental conditions,” Idem told Reuters. “ If it has an effect on the sporting field, it will be the same for all of the athletes.” This pragmatic view is echoed by some Beijing residents.

  8. […] was my second time to join the bloggers at the Chinese Blogger Conference 2007 in Beijing on Nov. 3 and 4. Last year, I went to Hangzhou and met a lot of great bloggers, including one of […]

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