Beijing Travel Tips
Best time to visit Beijing
What is the best time of the year to visit the capital city Beijing? May, September and October are the best months for paying a visit while autumn the greatest season; since Beijing has continental climate with long hot summer days as well as dry & cold winter weather condition.But the truth is: Traveling Beijing in different seasons and you get quite varied scenes. Spring is the season with green vegetation and blooming flowers and the terrible sandstorms less and less now; the summer always hot and tourist’s crowds everywhere; autumn is cool and comfortable with amazing views all around, and a hiking along the great wall is pleasant. The snow-covered season bring special activities like skiing, skating, snow sightseeing, and great hot pot as well as fewer tourists.
High seasons in China:
• Labor Day (May 1, 3 days duration)
• National Day (October 1, 7 days duration)
• University Holidays: Summer holiday (June-September) and Winter holiday (January-February)
Beijing Safety Tips
Beijing is a pretty safe city and the dangers in most common are normally more of getting tricked, misdirected and ripped off in terms of money than crimes like having a gun or knife put on your back.
Just looking both sides when crossing the street, even on pedestrian or zebra lines, pay attention and walk with the crowds.
Watch your belongings when sight seeing or just walking at the subway, malls, restaurants and don't leave your coats or bags unattended.
In some metro or train stations in Beijing city, an X-ray machine or scanner check are needed.
China's Emergency Call Numbers:
110Call police for help in any danger
119Dial this number when fire or other disaster happens
120Call for an ambulance
122Dial this number when a traffic accident happens
Beijing Shopping Tips
There are many famed market places or malls in Beijing and shopping brings really great fun in this big city. There is great variety of clothes, toys, watches, DVDs, jewelries at local shops.To avoid being ripped off, always bargain for the desired items (except at the major department stores); when shopping at street-sides shops near tourist sites you could quote the price to 10% of the original. Generally the shopkeepers will give a counter offer but straight faced and maintain your price with big smiles.To keep it easy, just stick to your price and pretend walk away; and if you felt the price too high or something unusual just walk away and shop around.
Fakes goods are easy to find although government has tried fair efforts; many a famous brand name, like Tommy, Gucci, Fendi, Prada, Adidas, Reebok, Nike, etc. Some of the fakes are obviously just a plain sweat shirt with a Versace logo embroidered across it.Do not be fooled.Don't pay anything like the brand name price, just offer your quote based on its quality. The most popular places for shopping in Beijing are, Xiushui(Silk) Market, Hongqiong Market, Wangfujing street, Panjiayuan Market, Xidan, Qianmen Street, etc.
Eating in Beijing
Beijing is a city full of ancient relics as well as great foods around. Eating in Beijing range from the simple street stand to the small family owned restaurant or the big imported chain stores.Local Beijing Cuisine is a cooking style based on Shangdong cuisine and the essences of the imperial cuisine of Ming and Qing dynasties; Beijing dishes are soft, crisp, fresh and tender prepared in different ways of frying.Beijing Roast Duck is the represent ivies of Beijing food, which is mostly prized for the thin, crispy skin, though the meat is fat, it is tender and tasty, not greasy. Delicious regional cuisine, from Sichuan Smoked Duck to Cantonese Snake Soup, can be accompanied by Tsingtao beer, tea or wines from around the world.
Nightlife in Beijing
Beijing offers varied amusement at night,
Sanlitun Bar Street and Houhai Bai Area are the most popular places if you want to visit a bar, frequently visited by many foreign customers and you won't feel out of place.
There also some fun and interesting shows available at night, like Pecking Opera, Kungfu Show and acrobatics. Pecking Opera is the traditional opera in Beijing; actors have various colors painted on their face in the show, reflecting each character's heart. Except the colorful makeup, there are many different bright costume and exaggerated eye movements and body gestures, dancing and acrobatic jumps with fans or swords are common. Laoshe Tea House is another place to experience Chinese traditional culture with superb tea cuisine and impressive performances. Kungfu, acrobatics, dance, and tea ceremony will be shown everyday.
Festivals in Beijing
Temple fairs are the held in Beijing during lunar New Year in the most parks or temple areas of the city. You will find many stalls selling local snacks, food or the games stalls with range of souvenir. Cultural performances are also the highlight; traditional games like yangko dance, stilt-walking dance, land boat dance, lion dance, traditional flower fair, folk arts and craft exhibition, traditional local food enjoying, painting exhibition are held in traditional ways. This is also the old way of celebrating Spring Festival.
National Day is the day that makes the city crowd, with most of the Chinese on holiday and thousands of them visit the city. It will be difficult to enjoy a scenic spots, and hard to transfer in or out of Beijing. We do recommend you avoid the Oct.1st- 7th.
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All About Beijing
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Senior Travel Specialist